» » Rawhide Incident of the Pale Rider (1959–1965)

Short summary

Having been forced to kill a man in self-defense in town, back at camp Rowdy is faced with an ominous new drover who looks exactly like the man he killed in town! Rowdy, Hey Soos and Calhoun were in town to pick up supplies and some wired money. John Day holds up Rowdy, shoots Calhoun and is shot dead by Rowdy. Three days later when the trio return to the herd, they find Favor's newly hired drover Rivers, who has all the clothes, mannerisms and eerie mood of the dead John Day, but he shrugs off all questions. First, Rivers disturbs Calhoun so much that wounded Calhoun has a deadly relapse. Next, he frightens superstitious Hey Soos so much, that he is severely injured backing off over a cliff. Then he taunts Rowdy into a fight, hoping Rowdy will kill him and hang for it. It turns out that he is a long-thought-dead brother of John Day, and his future plans had depended on moving to new territory with the brother Rowdy killed.

Author of the teleplay of "Incident of the Pale Rider", Dean Riesner later wrote five screenplays for his "Rawhide" star Clint Eastwood, but ironically did not write his film "Pale Rider".

Albert Salmi, in the role of John Day, sings lines from the traditional cowboy ballad Streets of Laredo. Later, after Day is shot dead by Rowdy, he reprises those lines in the role of the lookalike character Rivers. One passage, "Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly, and play the dead march as you carry me along," inspired the title of the baseball novel Bang the Drum Slowly. Published in 1956, the novel was first adapted that same year for the U.S. Steel Hour. For that production (and seven years before his appearance on Rawhide), Salmi originated the role of Bruce Pierson, the slow-witted and ill-fated catcher later portrayed by Robert De Niro (as Pearson) in the 1973 movie of the same name.

Episode cast overview:
Eric Fleming Eric Fleming - Gil Favor
Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood - Rowdy Yates
Paul Brinegar Paul Brinegar - Wishbone
Charles H. Gray Charles H. Gray - Clay Forrester (as Charles Gray) (credit only)
James Murdock James Murdock - Mushy
Steve Raines Steve Raines - Jim Quince
Rocky Shahan Rocky Shahan - Joe Scarlet
Robert Cabal Robert Cabal - Hey Soos
Albert Salmi Albert Salmi - John Day / Rivers
Fredd Wayne Fredd Wayne - Calhoun
Russell Thorson Russell Thorson - Sheriff
Jackie Searl Jackie Searl - Hotel Clerk (as Jack Searl)
I. Stanford Jolley I. Stanford Jolley - Doctor
Chubby Johnson Chubby Johnson - Sam Mayhew
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