TIMELINE: Friday, December 1 – Tuesday, December 26, 1871
Some time before: Carthew and his shipmates reach Midway Island in a small boat and light a signal fire.
Some time before: The Flying Scud finds Carthew and his crewmates marooned on Midway. Carthew's shipmates kill the crew of the Flying Scud to protect their pearl shipment while he lies unconscious. Carthew and his crewmates run the Flying Scud onto a reef at Midway.
Friday, December 1, 1871: Bart Maverick arrives at the Hotel Bossert in San Francisco and finds Brother Bret playing poker with Longhurst and members of the Ring. Bret wins membership into the Ring and is invited to an auction the next morning.
Saturday, December 2, 1871: Bret gets into a bidding war with Thomas Bellairs and buys the wreck of the Flying Scud for $21,000. Bart bribes Jamie Craven for the name and location of Jerome Braus. Bart sneaks into Braus' room at the Squarerigger Hotel and is knocked out by Carthew. Bart charters the Norah Creina to take him to the wreck of the Flying Scud at Midway Island.
Sunday, December 3, 1871: Bart sets sail for Midway Island aboard the Norah Creina.
Monday, December 11, 1871: Bret charters a ship to take him to Midway.
Tuesday, December 21, 1871: The Norah Creina arrives at Midway Island and finds the Flying Scud caught on a reef.
Wednesday, December 22, 1871: Carthew finds Elias Goddedaal's log aboard the Flying Scud. The crew of the Norah Creina discover opium hidden in the Flying Scud's cargo of rice. Bart and Carthew tie the Norah Creina's crew up, heave the opium overboard and escape in a jolly boat.
Monday, December 25, 1871: Carthew tells Bart the story of the Flying Scud.
Tuesday, December 26, 1871: Carthew writes a bank draft to Bret and Bart Maverick for $25,000. Bart and Carthew are rescued at sea by Bret's chartered man-of-war.
Shortly afterwards: Bret, Bart and Carthew return to San Francisco.
01. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
02. Maverick, The Wrecker (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
03. Maverick, Diamond in the Rough (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
04. Maverick, Dodge City or Bust (1960), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
05. The Wrecker; Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, — Charles Scribner's Sons; 1892
"Tonight, I'm going to show you the city of San Francisco, just so you can't say I brought you out here on a wild goose chase. …When this night's over, you're going to wonder why there are still any people living east of the Rockies."
No dates or other historical references are given in the episode. But Bret Maverick's invitation clearly indicates this was Brother Bart's first trip to San Francisco. We may also surmise it is Bret's first trip as well, although it is clear Bret had been in the city for awhile, long enough to have learned of the Ring, and to have become familiar with the glamour of the City by the Bay.
Obviously set early in the Maverick Brothers' careers, the best clue we have to the timing of "The Wrecker" lies in other episodes. We know Bart was still in San Francisco at the opening of "Diamond in the Rough." Since that story was a fictionalized account of the actual Diamond Hoax of 1872, we can easily place it in that year. The entire episode covered a good six months of Bart's life. As we see in "Dodge City or Bust," Bart was in Kansas by August of that year, so "Diamond in the Rough" must have begun much earlier in the 1872.
Assuming Bart's return to San Francisco at the end of "The Wrecker" led into the events of "Diamond in the Rough," and the length of time required for Bart to sail to Midway Island and back, we should assume the adventure of "The Wrecker" began late in 1871. With no other specific dates to draw upon, Maverick Trails commemorates December 1, the original airdate of the episode (1957) as the day in 1871 on which the story began.
The time required for the sea voyage from San Francisco to Midway Island is drawn from the narrative of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Wrecker," the novel on which the Maverick episode was based. The dates for the Flying Scud departing from China (December 8), Carthew joining the pearl-fishing expedition (November 26, a year before the events of the episode) the loss of his ship at sea (January 28) and her crew's landfall on Midway Island (January 29) are also taken from Stevenson's novel.
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