In March of 1863, Burchard Miller established a ranch in Tulare Meadow near Little Bend and hired Jim Hazlit as his ranch foreman. Soon, Hazlit and Miller's daughter Laura began a romantic relationship.
After Miller's death in March of 1867, Hazlit and Laura's relationship became strained. His formerly affectionate and loving girl was becoming obsessively vengeful against Jessie Hayden, the man she believed had murdered her father. Having inherited the ranch, Laura began to use any means necessary to exact revenge against Hayden, and thwart his plans for taking over all the ranches in the region.
On the night of August 10, 1867, Laura ordered Hazlit and Miguel, another Miller ranch hand, to ambush Bret and Bart Maverick and steal $1,650 in gold from them. She believed that by rendering the Mavericks flat broke, they would be forced to accept her offer to work as trail bosses for her cattle drive to Fort Adobe. This was nearly the last straw for Hazlit, hating how ambushing and robbing innocent men made him feel. He threatened to resign as Laura's foreman, but because of his love for her, he admitted he didn't have the guts to leave her.
As Hazlit worked the cattle drive, he began to see Bret as a threat to his relationship with Laura. Within a few days of reaching Fort Adobe, Bret discovered Laura had ordered Hazlit and Miguel to ambush and rob Bart and him back in Little Bend. Bret grabbed Laura forcefully to get her to return the gold. Hazlit intervened, but Bret retaliated and knocked him out. After Laura returned the Mavericks' gold, Laura stopped Hazlit from fighting Bret, telling him Bret had a right to do what he did.
The next day, Hazlit overheard Jessie Hayden bribing Bret to delay the herd so Hayden could beat the Miller drive to Fort Adobe. When Bret refused, Hazlit began to trust Bret and the two worked together to stop Hayden. Later that day, in a gunfight between the Miller and Hayden ranch hands, Hazlit shot Hayden in the chest. Believing Hayden to be dead, the gunfight ended and Hayden's men abandoned the race for Fort Adobe. Hayden died two days later in the fort's infirmary.
After delivering the herd to Fort Adobe, Hazlit offered to help Bret track down the Tall Man. Bret declined the offer, suggesting that Hazlit would have his hands full just keeping Laura out of trouble. With Hayden out of the way and his relationship with Laura repaired, Hazlit and Bret parted as friends.
See: Trail West to Fury
Portrayed by Gene Nelson
Maverick Trails is not endorsed, sponsored or affiliated with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. or the Maverick franchise.
Maverick™ and its various marks are trademarks of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., © 1957, 1994
©2014, 2015, 2016 Maverick Trails