When Paladin escapes from the saloon with the gambling stakes, Dever looks out the door after him and yells, "He dropped the gun!" The next scene shows Paladin climbing on the camel and then dropping the gun, well after Dever said it happened. See more »
Again, "Have Gun-Will Travel" humanizes a seemingly cruel monster (see the results of the chase and how he reacts when a gun is dropped on the ground) with land water rights that has brought a little town named Mojave to its knees paying hefty fees in order to have the only water available to them thanks to a legal loophole found by a man named Billy Joe Kane (Lawrence Dobkin, with a smiling face and sneaky disposition akin to a charming politician). Kane owns the Mojave's surrounding land and water, all the power to squeeze the town dry of the profits they might encounter from outside visitors. Kane runs this Mojave Chase where a traveler enters the contest, must ride into the desert on the outskirts of the town, and outwit him and his posse who know all the watering holes.
One such visitor, Paladin, reads of the chase in the San Francisco newspaper, heads out to Mojave after purchasing a camel (camel's have an ability to "pack" gallons of water allowing it to survive out in the desert longer than horses) from an old koot (who bought it off of a tired Calvary officer and pal to Paladin), and will narrowly escape with "betting money" and land rights deed (the up-for-grabs wager between Paladin and Kain, interrupted by a book testifying facts about camels) after Kane and high-tempered, trigger-happy brother Dever (the always reliable character actor Claude Akins) almost arrest him for illegally unethical practices (the secret about camels and water they hold in their humps).
The chase will commence as Paladin doesn't have his gun (Dever took it) and no water, just his camel and intellect, while Kane, Dever, and other members of his entourage follow in high pursuit, canteens full of water, guns, and the numbers game. How do you think it will turn out? Who "hired" Paladin? The town will pay his customary fee ($1000) in exchange for water rights. "The Great Mojave Chase" is essentially a man hunt where one man uses his brains and survival instincts to outwit his pursuers. Ultimately it is the one with the water who will come out on top. Fun diversion, with an effective use of the hot sun and intimidating desert setting of the main plot, but not as fulfilling on an intellectual level as the last episode, "The Outlaw". Still, this episode allows Paladin to escape the odds by outsmarting those who had made a profitable living off of cheating and outnumbering other competitors unable to win the chase. You say, "How will he be able to remain active and alert out in that hot sun and desert while Kane and his boys have all the luxuries he doesn't?" That's the draw to this episode's story: we watch as he finds ways to even the odds. The cool parts of this episode is Boone's moments with the camel such as how he gets the animal to collapse its legs and let him mount or dismount. Boone is very comfortable and relaxed, smiling with delight at the response of others to his having a camel as a riding animal. When it is time to get serious, though, Boone's Paladin does, and we see that he is one cool customer when the odds seemed stacked against him.
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