Corrupt mine operators arrest travelers and force them into working off their sentences at a silver mine.

Episode Notes

  • Crooked lawmen using prisoners as slaves in a mine is also an element of the plot in the season six episode Trouble Street.

Errors and Continuity Nitpicks

  • When Cheyenne first arrives at the Stagge mine, there's a brief scene of two shirtless prisoners moving a mine car up the tracks, who happen to be an out-of-sequence Cheyenne and Whitey! A very similar scene with both men will be shown later in the episode at a more appropriate time.
  • When Cheyenne hits Shore's wrist with the chains there's a closeup shot of the gunslinger responding in pain, but the man who leans into the shot is not actor Rhodes Reason, but a much older, wrinkled man.

Real World References

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Cheyenne rides into Stagge City for a rest from the trail. He meets the local sheriff and judge who seem friendly enough at first, then the men abruptly declare that Cheyenne is a vagrant in violation of the town’s laws. Bodie finds himself arrested, tried and sentenced to 60 days in jail in less than 60 seconds. A local farmer named Lee Mitchell objects to Cheyenne's treatment; he is also arrested, tried and given an even longer sentence.


The Stagge silver mine enslaves men as cheap labor.

Cheyenne and Mitchell are taken to the Stagge Silver Mine. The grounds are stalked by foreman Ray Landers, a gunslinger named Les Shore and the mine manager Iris Danner, while Old Man Stagge and his daughter Virginia live in comfort in the ranch house. The prisoners are little more than slaves, chained at all times and forced to eat and sleep in a jail-like bunkhouse. A prisoner tells Cheyenne the mine's dirty secret: there’s no getting out no matter when your sentence ends.

On his first day in the mine, Cheyenne is singled out for his size and muscles. Landers assigns him the work of two men. Cheyenne also catches the eye of Iris, when she isn't teasing Shore and pushing away Landers. She gets a perverse pleasure from pitting men against each other to fight for her affections.

Though they don't know it, Cheyenne and Mitchell have an ally in Virginia. She clandestinely drops a key for the leg irons at Mitchell's feet. Mitchell and Bodie agree on an escape plan and release each other. On their way out they are caught and Cheyenne swings his chains onto Shore's gun hand, disabling him. The commotion brings Landers over. Seeing Shore is wounded, he thinks he has a chance to defeat his competition for Iris. Landers challenges the gunfighter but Shore still kills him...he's just as good with his left hand.


Iris entices Cheyenne with promises of wealth and power.

Late that night, a guard escorts Cheyenne to a back room where Iris is waiting. She wants him to take Landers' place and kisses him to seal the deal. With his new promotion, Cheyenne is brought to the house where he's given fine clothes and invited to a fancy dinner with the whole motley crew of Iris, Shore, Stagge, Virginia, Sheriff Gaffey and Judge Odlum. It's now that Cheyenne learns Old Man Stagge is an invalid unable to walk or speak. Iris truly is the mastermind behind everything! Virginia dares to challenge Iris at dinner and she is expelled from the room. Later, Iris continues her seduction of Cheyenne, giving him a gun as protection from the jealous Shore.

The next chance he gets, Cheyenne corners Virginia and asks if Iris is truly the brains behind the Stagge empire. Virginia confirms this but dismisses him as another one of her powerless pawns. Cheyenne assures her he isn't under Iris' spell.


The motley crew in charge of the Stagge mine have dinner with the paralyzed Mr. Stagge.

After dark, Cheyenne sneaks outside intending to free the prisoners. Virginia follows and Cheyenne is forced to hide with her to keep her from harm, just as the guards and Shore corner them. When Iris hears about it she commands Shore to kill them both. The gunslinger isn't eager to comply, not after Cheyenne told him about Iris' plans to replace him. Taking his hesitation as defiance, Iris coolly commands a guard to shoot the gunslinger. Shore ruthlessly shoots them both dead, then calls Cheyenne out. Bodie steps into the yard and faces him down. When Shore draws, Cheyenne shoots and kills him.

It's a new day at the Stagge mine now. The men have been freed and Virginia has hired Mitchell to be in charge. Cheyenne wishes them and Mr. Stagge the best and rides on.


"Are you trying to show contempt for this court?"
"I'm trying to hide it!"

- Judge Odlum trumps up the charges against Cheyenne

"I'm not an animal and I'm no slave. Nobody's puttin' chains on me."

- Cheyenne demands to be treated as a human being.

"This was supposed to be his last day. You can tell Stagge that it was."

- Cheyenne confronts Iris, Virginia and Les as he carries a murdered prisoner from the mine.

"You didn't think I'd fall for that deal business, did ya?"
"You got a better proposition?"
"You talked of fifty-fifty. You'll settle for a forty-five."

- Gunslinger Les Shore and Cheyenne come to an impasse.

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