Matt and Frankie arrive in Austin in the 1880's to investigate the background of Ben Thompson. Matt gets employment at a gambling den owned by Ben's ex Texas where he starts to build a case establishing Ben's criminal activities.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Mary Castle ...
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Ben Thompson (as Richard Simmons)
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Texas Bess
Douglas Evans ...
Kane
Mauritz Hugo ...
Constable
Howard Wright ...
Murdered passenger
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Storyline

Matt and Frankie arrive in Austin in the 1880's to investigate the background of Ben Thompson. Matt gets employment at a gambling den owned by Ben's ex Texas where he starts to build a case establishing Ben's criminal activities.

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Western

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Release Date:

8 July 1954 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The actual Ben Thompson was frequently employed as a lawman including in Austin right before the died. See more »

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"Nobody throws Ben Thompson out of anywhere!"
15 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ben Thompson was a gunman and gambler in the Old West, and a contemporary of men like Wild Bill Hickock, Bat Masterson, Bill Cody and John Wesley Hardin. He's portrayed in this story by actor Richard Simmons, who the following year would get his own TV series as Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Funny, but without the Mountie uniform, I didn't even recognize him.

The story here has Thompson returning to Austin, Texas where he previously tried to cheat Mariposa Saloon owner Texas Bess (Claire Carlton) out of her share of the operation. 'Texas' hires Matt Clark, Railroad Detective (Jim Davis) working undercover as a card dealer at her saloon, and it doesn't take long for Matt to duke it out with Ben, who he decks with one punch and then has him arrested for safekeeping.

However a landowner named Kane (Douglas Evans) pays Ben's bail, and hires him to strong-arm local ranchers into selling Kane their properties. With the railroad moving in, Kane wants to turn a quick profit by selling to the railroad. When Thompson confronts Kane about paying up for burning out the ranchers, Kane refuses and they have an awkward looking shootout in the saloon in which Kane draws first, Ben gets off the first shot, and they both wind up fatally shooting each other. As far as these Stories of the Century go, it might have been Matt Clark's easiest case.

One thing to keep an eye on if you watch these shows in their original release order back in 1954 - the sign identifying the Mariposa Saloon in Austin is used in the following episode about Clay Allison, but this time it's located in Cimarron! But I don't think you'll be tested on this bit of trivia any time soon.


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