Rowdy rescues a nester from a rancher's men as the nester refuses to fight. The drovers are drawn into the conflict with the rancher deciding to block Favor's herd as well. However, high water threatens everyone in the valley.
Rowdy saves a treed nester from pistol-happy ranch hands, drawing the ramrod into a 1-sided range war. Rowdy takes Higgins to his home where Higgins lives with his daughter Sarah, son Prescott and 19 year old apprentice Grover. Higgins, a silversmith, refuses to leave Paradise Valley, run by the fearsome Johanson clan, but the New Englander doesn't cotton with gun-play. Meanwhile, Harry Johanson rides into the drover's camp looking for Rowdy who is missing. He tells Favor to be sure his men stay out of the fight. Favor has a river with high water and more on the way to cross. Johanson bars Favor's cattle-drive from crossing through his big, unhappy valley, so how can reasonable Favor prevent a wicked blood bath? Favor sends Wishbone and Quince to Pradise to find Rowdy who has gotten into a fight protecting Higgins. The three of them leave with an unconscious Higgins who they return home. When none of the men return, Favor sends Scarlet and Hey Soos to find them but they don't return ... Written by
Clint Eastwood must have felt a bit of confusion in this when as the ramrod of a trail herd he goes to the aid of a homesteader being roughed up by a pair of toughs, one of them a young Beau Bridges. But he's a cowboy hero and seeing Bridges and his friend picking on Burgess Meredith stirs the cowboy hero in him.
Before the episode is over all of Eric Fleming's top hands are involved including Fleming himself. As Randolph Scott said "there are some things a man don't ride around" and as another cowboy hero he ought to know.
The conflict is resolved in a most unusual way for a western and of course Fleming, Eastwood and the rest go back to driving cattle for the next show.
Arch Johnson is the big Ponderosa owner in that valley and he's such a nasty bully you really do want to see Fleming and his crew take him apart even if it does involve them temporarily abandoning their business of cattle driving.
Meredith and Johnson are a matched pair of adversaries. See this for both of them.
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