Caught between French soldiers and Mexican rebels, Cheyenne tries to help a displaced southern belle get home.
French soldiers question the townspeople after an attack.
Mississippi uses a kiss to try to change Cheyenne's mind.
Cheyenne is enlisted to remove a bullet from the body of a Mexican rebel leader.
Mississippi entertains the crowd at the hotel cantina.
- Cinema on the small screen: The plot, situations and some dialog for this episode were lifted from the 1944 movie To Have and To Have Not, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and novel of the same name written by Ernest Hemingway.
- This is one of two episodes in Season One that begin with an expository voice-over by Cheyenne Bodie.
Real World References
- Mississippi sings Dink's Song (Fare Thee Well) in the cantina, an American folk song whose lyrics were first published in 1909 by John Lomax.
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Cheyenne has gone into the transport business in Rio Hondo after a man named Bolados who owed him money skipped town. Cheyenne and his elderly partner Pete arrive in town just in time to see Bolados has returned after four months away. He’s accompanied by an attractive blond woman. Cheyenne confronts him in the lobby of the hotel and demands payment. Bolados promises to deliver the next day.That evening, Bolados sits down for dinner with the blonde woman in the hotel restaurant. After he steps away, the blonde heads up the stairs to her room. Cheyenne follows and demands that she hand over Bolados’ wallet. At first she professes innocence, but she gives the wallet up and Cheyenne pulls her into his room to go through it. They are interrupted by Manuel the hotel owner and some of his rebel friends. They want to hire Cheyenne for a secret transport mission, but he refuses. He wants to stay out of local politics. They are all joined by Cheyenne’s elderly business partner, Pete, who is concerned about the rebels nosing around their wagon.
Cheyenne excuses himself and the blonde from the crowd and they head back to the dining room to confront Bolados. Cheyenne demands that the crook pay him immediately. While he’s signing over the money, the rebels leave the hotel and a hail of bullets from French soldiers rip through the room. Cheyenne pulls the woman down in time, but Bolados isn’t as lucky. He’s shot dead. Soldiers arrive and round up the patrons for questioning.After some lengthy questioning by French commander Colonel Picard, Cheyenne unintentionally pays him off and he and the blonde, Mary Brown, are released. Both are broke and hungry, so Mary goes off in search of a male companion who can buy her dinner and Cheyenne heads back to the hotel. Mary joins him later and shares her sad story about her hasty move to South America, losing her father and her long journey to return to Mississippi. Cheyenne decides to help “Mississippi” get home and hints to her how he will do it: the rebel mission. Mississippi stops at his hotel room to try to talk him out of the job. When he refuses, she offers him her earrings and then a kiss, but her charms don't tempt Cheyenne to change his mind.
That evening, Cheyenne instructs Manuel to get Mississippi on the morning stage and then heads off. His mission to pick up a rebel leader and transport them to Rio Hondo goes well at first, but French soldiers give chase and the leader is shot and wounded. Cheyenne fire bombs the road using coal oil to escape the pursing soldiers. In the morning, he discovers to his frustration that Mississippi didn’t accept his charity and leave on the stage. She's taken a job as a singer in the hotel bar.
Manuel approaches Cheyenne about helping save the life of the rebel leader and he reluctantly agrees to get involved again. In the basement of the bar, he performs rudimentary surgery to remove the bullet from the man’s body, while Mississippi assists and the man’s wife frets.With things appearing to quiet down, Cheyenne tells Mississippi to pack up. They’re finally going to get out of town. Up in his hotel room, Cheyenne finds the wife of the rebel waiting for him. She begs him to help the couple escape to the United States. Mississippi arrives and warns them that Picard and his soldiers are coming up the stairs. She and the wife hide on the balcony while Cheyenne deals with Picard.
The scoundrel reveals that he has Pete locked up and is torturing the poor old soul. He demands that Cheyenne reveal his recent activities in exchange for the old man's life. Mississippi steps into the room and sneaks Cheyenne a gun. Furious at Picard for his barbaric treatment of Pete, Cheyenne knocks out his soldiers and threatens the commander. Picard agrees to trade his life for documents that will give the rebel leader, his wife, Cheyenne and Mississippi safe passage back to the U.S.
Finally able to leave of Rio Hondo, Cheyenne and Mississippi exit the hotel as the cantina piano player serenades them with a rendition of “Dixie”.
"Bolados' wallet, let's have it."
"What's got into you?"
"What are you gonna do?"
"What are you gonna make me do?"
- - Cheyenne catches Mississippi being a pickpocket.
"You're a smart woman. Most ladies ain't smart."
"Most smart women aren't ladies."
- - Pete and Mississippi
"You look after Cheyenne. I can't watch out for him all the time."
"I won't take my eyes off of him."
- - Pete and Mississippi share mutual admiration.
"Believe me, we are not happy to be exiled to these dusty villages teaching civilization to these people."
- - Colonel Picard shares his true feelings about his current assignment.
"She is a very strong-minded woman."
"This country is full of them."
- - Manuel and Cheyenne note the personalities of their female companions.
"This town's hotter than a bonfire in July."
- - Cheyenne takes the political temperature of Rio Hondo.