A new train full of greenhorns is formed in St. Louis. Samuel Evans and Humphrey Pumphret are typical examples. Although Major Adams gives explicit details on what supplies to take, as usual the greenhorns don't listen and the merchants take advantage of them. Samuel is a dedicated bachelor traveling with his aunt but Humpphrey's daughter Melanie catches his eye. The members of the train go by riverboat to St. Joseph where they learn how to handle their wagons and break in their new horses. The men have to quickly learn how to handle problems they encounter. The relationship between Samuel and Melanie takes a turn when it appears Melanie contracts cholera and Samuel decides to stay with her. As Adams knows will happen, the greenhorns develop into people able to handle the roadblocks in front of them on their way west. Written by
Ellen Corby plays Mickey Rooney's Aunt Em in this episode. Rooney had previously starred in a string of films with Judy Garland, who starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy lived with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. See more »
The reference by Samuel T. Evans (Mickey Rooney) to the Boer War seems premature since the first Boer War wasn't fought till 1880 -- several years after the time of this particular wagon train. See more »
Samuel T. Evans:
Aunt Em, I never realized the human body had two hundred bones until today when I cracked every one of 'em.
Did you pick any names for the horses, Sam?
Samuel T. Evans:
Yeah, I sure did. But none a lady can use.
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When you see the settlers on Wagon Train taking their families west, did it occur to you that they had to learn about driving a team, circling the wagons, how much and what provisions to take, etc? The Greenhorn Story which stars Mickey Rooney tells of Ward Bond and the rest of the Wagon Train crew had to go through in training the greenhorns with Rooney as the archetype.
The accent is on comedy in this episode as Rooney traveling west with his aunt Ellen Corby tries the patience of Ward Bond, Robert Horton, Terry Wilson, and Frank McGrath. Rooney among other things is bringing a printing press west because it's his intention to settle somewhere they need a newspaper. He's also got romance on his mind with Daria Massey, daughter of fellow greenhorn Byron Foulger. You've got to see how they manage to screw up circling the wagons during a practice drill.
Of course it all does work, it has to or the whole history of the country would have been different if clueless pilgrims didn't learn where to find the clues. But here it makes for one of the best of the Wagon Train episodes.
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