A conman and his wife con the drovers into pooling their efforts to prepare a Christmas celebration for a sickly Mexican boy. The boy isn't sick and Rowdy ignores Favors orders to move the herd across a river trapping the herd.
Wishbone and Mushy find a man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit walking on the range. He nearly passes out saying he is lost and practicing for an early Christmas party for his dying son. They take him to his wife and adopted son's camp. The trio of con artists are pulling the "dying boy" scam on the good-hearted drovers. The idea is to pretend their boy is dying and his final wish is to have a Christmas party replete with valuable presents. Meanwhile, at the drover camp by a deep river Favor gives Rowdy orders to get the herd across the river immediately before it rains as he leaves with Clay to scout ahead. While Favor is away, the crew disobeys his orders to cross the threatening river. Instead, they organize the Christmas party. The drovers are planning for each to give a head of cattle while Rowdy decides to capture a wild stallion for the boy but injures himself trying as it rains. A furious and suspicious Favor returns and directs the doctor called to care for Rowdy to examine ... Written by
Rawhide's Christmas show takes place in August when Eric Fleming is away from the drive and conman Ed Wynn shows up with faithful wife Anne Seymour and a young Mexican boy they've adopted Rafael Lopez.
The idea is to bilk the drovers out of some cash and maybe a few head of cattle by pretending that young Lopez is dying and we need a little Christmas as he may not last until the real deal.
Lies sometime give birth to truth as it turns out this might be the last Christmas for somebody.
Our three guest players outshine the Rawhide regulars here. Ed Wynn in his scenes with both Seymour and young Lopez is very effective. Anne Seymour turns in one of her best performances on the big screen or the small.
A most worthwhile bit of Yuletide viewing.
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