A gang lead by Belle Starr, commits a train robbery which included robbing Jim Hardie who happened to be there. Hardie tries to lure the pretty outlaw out of hiding by tempting her with a top notch race horse as she has a fancy for them.
Jim Hardie is at a train depot when a stage coach arrives. He helps a lovely woman out of the coach along with her luggage. She says she is a widow going to visit a sick relative. When the train arrives , several men ride up to rob the Wells Fargo box on it. As Jim starts to pull his pistol, the woman pulls a gun on him. She is part of the gang which steals the Wells Fargo lock box and then a member, Blue Duck, asks each person on the gangway including Jim for their money. After the gang leaves Jim learns that the woman was Belle Starr and where she lives in Indian Territory from the train agent. Jim decides to use a race horse to draw her out as she loves race horses. She falls for it but Jim soon finds himself a foot. Written by
TALES OF WELLS FARGO was a western series than ran for a total of 200 episodes between 1957 and 1962. Dale Robertson plays the lead as Jim Hardee. Hardee is an agent for the stage and cargo hauling outfit. When something goes wrong he is the man they send to fix it.
This episode is the 15th of the series. Wells Fargo man, Hardee (Dale Robertson) is on a train that is held up by female outlaw, Belle Starr (Jeanne Cooper) and her gang. The gang got the drop on him preventing any action to stop the robbery. The gang help themselves to the Wells Fargo cash-box as well as the passenger's wallets and watches.
Robertson checks around and finds out where Cooper is hiding out. He intends to retrieve the cash and arrest Cooper and her gang. Robertson has a plan. He knows that Cooper loves fast horses. He shows up with a speedster of a horse and challenges the woman to a race.
Cooper of course agrees to the contest. Robertson wins the race, but Cooper is shall we say, a poor loser. She takes Robertson's horse and runs him off on foot. Robertson however tracks Cooper and ambushes her, getting his horse back as well as Cooper. He intends to take her to the nearest Federal Marshall to be charged.
Needless to say there are several complications along the way to the jail. Cooper never stops trying to escape which slows the trip down. This allows her gang, Ed Hashum and George Keymas to catch up. There is an exchange of lead with the villains of course on the losing end. Robertson takes in Starr and she ends up with an 18 month vacation on the State's dime.
This is a neat little episode that was directed by one of the better television helmsmen, Earl Bellamy. The story was by the equally talented Frank Gruber. Gruber cranked out the story or screenplays for film and television between 1939 and 1968. He worked in several different genres and was equally adept with all. These include, NORTHERN PURSUIT, THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS, JOHNNY ANGEL, DRESSED TO KILL, FIGHTING MAN OF THE PLAINS, CARIBOO TRAIL, WARPATH, PONY EXPRESS and SILVER CITY.
There is plenty of nice outdoor location shooting in this episode. It was filmed at Columbia State Historic Park. PALE RIDER is just one of the many films made in the area.
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