Original air date Nov 12, 1962
Directed by Robert Sparr
Written by Warren Douglas
Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie
Peter Brown as Ross Andrews
Lisa Lu as Mei Ling
Weaver Lee as Wang
Robert Foulk as Tom Fanshaw
Bon Anderson as John Bishop
Nelson Olmsted as Jim Melville
Frank DeKova as Red Knife
H.T. Tsiang as Yup Soong
Marshall Bradford as the Doctor
This episode is Cheyenne's entry into the universal male television writer fantasy, the inadvertently acquired female slave. (See Laredo episode "The Bitter Yen of General Ti.") This theme requires the star who acquires the woman to have buddies around to needle him about it. Since Cheyenne had been a solo act since L.Q. Jones was dropped as his partner after the first season, Peter was written in to provide the sidekick commentary as a surveyor friend of Cheyenne. This was his fourth guest shot on Cheyenne; the others preceded his four Lawman years.
Cheyenne and Ross are surveying a route for the railroad through Indian territory. They watch the progress of the railroad and reflect on the impact of the railroad on the land. Because of Cheyenne's good relationship with Chief Red Knife, the railroad is able to take an easier route through Shoshone land rather than a more hazardous northern route. Cheyenne introduces Ross to Red Knife.
Investors in a land syndicate who had purchased land along the northern route are unhappy and seek to get rid of Cheyenne. Their first try is a gunfighter who forces a fight with the wrong man when he goes after Cheyenne. Ross watches with concern as Cheyenne dispatches the syndicate's gunman.
Cheyenne and Ross are persuaded to buy tickets for a Chinese lottery for "a pearl of great price." However, when Cheyenne wins the drawing, the prize turns out to be Mei Ling. Ross is disgusted when Cheyenne immediately insists she go back to her father.
When Cheyenne and Ross return to their hotel, to Ross' delight they find Mei Ling in their room. Cheyenne pushes Ross into explaining to Mei Ling why she can't stay with Cheyenne. He's not very successful.
They have Mei Ling cook for them until they can find a way to get her to San Francisco. She saves them from a sneak attack by another syndicate man. However, the syndicate kidnaps Mei Ling's father and tells Mei Ling he will be killed unless she poisons Cheyenne. She lures him into a goodbye picnic and takes the poison herself.
Cheyenne gets Mei Ling to a doctor. Then he and Ross track down the bad guys to a sacred Indian burial ground which they plan to blow up to enrage Red Knife into rescinding his permission to cross Shoshone land. However, the bad guys are killed by Red Knife's people, Ross is shot in the shoulder which gives him an excuse to escort the recovered Mei Ling to San Francisco.
NiteOwl Review: This was a pretty good although not outstanding episode of Cheyenne. Peter Brown was a very attractive presence in a role more like his later Chad Cooper character in Laredo than either his part in Lawman or his interesting "boy becoming a man" roles. He had good chemistry with Clint Walker which was just about all that was needed to be successful in this episode.
Official Peter Brown Fan Site