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
Mickey Rooney reprised the role of Samuel T. Evans in an episode titled "Wagons Ho!" that was broadcast the next season. 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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If they had done a "Andy Hardy Goes West" I think it probably would have looked a lot like this episode,
Mickey Rooney dominates the footage as a "young" greenhorn who decides to travel west with his Aunt Em (Ellen Corby). He has to learn how to handle a wagon, his horses, and all the details of a wagon train west. It really is an interesting episode in which they show a lot of details that the show doesn't usually get into.
Rooney plays a very earnest, eager to please character and gets to handle a lot of Andy Hardy-esque comedy, dance and fall in love. The only trouble is that at 39 Rooney is a bit long in the tooth to be reprising Andy Hardy again. It doesn't help that the actress playing his female love interest (Daria Massey) looks to be about 17. (She was replaced in the follow up episode with Olive Sturgess).
But if you can suspend disbelief a little and imagine Rooney is 19 or 20 instead of almost 40 (he looks about 45) this is an enjoyable and fun episode that gives most of the regular cast a light week of work as Rooney carries the ball through much of the show.
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