There's probably nothing that's historically accurate in this 'Stories of the Century' episode, other than the fact that there once was a female American outlaw in the Old West nicknamed Little Britches. The derivation of the nickname is unknown, though she was born Jennie Stevenson in 1879 and at one point was a member of the Doolin Gang operating in Oklahoma. Her name in this episode was Jennie McCall, and the apparent Bill Doolin stand-in was gang leader Kerwin, portrayed by Robert Livingston.
The story has Little Britches taking up with gang member Dave Ridley (James Best), who quickly falls out of favor with Kerwin for demanding a share of stolen money. The pair decide to rob the Diablo Bank ahead of the rest of the gang, which turns out to be a head scratcher if you analyze what happens. As Jennie shoots the bank teller, the shot is heard by the local sheriff, Railroad Detective Matt Clark (Jim Davis) and his assistant Frankie Adams (Mary Castle). The trio see Dave and Jennie flee the bank with a money bag, but instead of giving immediate chase, they stop inside the bank to see what happened. Probably could have guessed.
During the chase, the outlaws split up, with Matt following Little Britches, and in an unusual maneuver, grabs the gun out of her hand and throws it away while giving chase on horseback. I'm still wondering how that could have happened. Ridley is shot by the sheriff and dies, and the distraught Jennie is jailed, but is broken out of prison by gang leader Kerwin. Jennie proceeds with a romantic relationship with the new boss.
The story ends on a fictional note when Matt and Frankie try to follow up on another Oklahoma railroad robbery, and wind up tracking Little Britches all the way East to New York City where they find her working charity on a food line in a slum neighborhood. They decide to call off the hunt in probably their most generous gesture of the series.
Little Britches/Jennie is portrayed by Gloria Winters in this story; she had a nice long run as Penny King in the 'Sky King' TV series of the 1950's. In 1981, a movie titled "Cattle Annie and Little Britches" fictionalized the stories of both characters with Amanda Plummer playing Annie and Diane Lane in the role of Little Britches. Sounds like something I'll have to look up.
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