On the trail, Paladin has to kill his fallen horse. He is soon picked up by a mountebank heading for Fort Pawnee. He soon learns that his benefactor has ulterior motives for coming here and reveals them during a puppet show.

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Cast

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Jack Burnaby (Dr. Humbug)
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Croft
Natalie Norwick ...
Maryanne Croft
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Cavalry Sergeant
Peter Boone ...
Young Boy
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Storyline

On the trail, Paladin has to kill his fallen horse. He is soon picked up by a mountebank heading for Fort Pawnee. He soon learns that his benefactor has ulterior motives for coming here and reveals them during a puppet show.

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Western

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24 December 1960 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In their book 'The Have Gun - Will Travel Companion', authors Martin Grams, Jr. and Les Rayburn report that Richard Boone's real life son, Peter, made his acting debut in this episode. They further state that this episode was written with the expectation that Red Skelton would portray the role of puppeteer Jack Burnaby. Apparently, negotiations were unable to come to fruition. See more »

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HIdden in the "Punch" Lines.
20 February 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In Robert Southey's poem "After Blenheim", referring to the 18th century Battle in which the Duke of Marlborough routed the French, an old man tells two small children of burned homes, civilian casualties, and rotting corpses -- while repeatedly calling the Battle itself "a famous victory".

Paladin is moved to quote the poem when Jack Burnaby, proprietor of a travelling Punch and Judy show (and the provider of some convenient transport after Paladin is forced to shoot his own own horse) delivers them both to Fort Pawnee. The Fort is commanded by one General "Pawnee" Croft whose celebrated but somewhat controversial victory over Native Americans 16 years previously has led him to consider running for the Presidency.

Paladin watches Burnaby prime his audience for an evening puppet show, suspecting that the traditional script will be pointedly "doctored" by Burnaby. Attempting to acquire a horse and ride away before all hell breaks loose during the "performance", Paladin runs afoul of General Croft's famous temper and is forced to stay while Burnaby puts his puppets through their paces.

Additional quotes from Virgil's "Aeneid", Shakespeare's Hamlet, the English essayist Thomas DeQuincy, and even a verse from the children's nursery rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York" add a bit of literary flair to this episode. But Burnaby's carefully-staged revelations, and the fiery denouement they provoke, leave practically everyone -- Paladin included -- completely speechless.


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