"Stage West" was the first episode of Maverick produced that did not feature a poker game. Or was it? Although no cards were played, Bret Maverick drew from all his poker experience to save his life and that of Linda Harris and passenger agent Simmons. Through sheer cunning and cool bluffing, Bret bet his life, and even raised the stakes to $15,000 with a map to a gold mine he knew to be worthless.
At the Packsaddle Station, Wes Fallon spun to shoot Bret but Bret shot the gun out of his hand. Subdued, Wes took a seat next to Mart Fallon, but Wes had two pistols hidden in his boot. When Bret turned away, Wes and Mart both drew on Bret, but Rip Fallon called out a warning. Bret had time to react, shooting Mart in the shoulder. Wes fired at Bret, who ducked, rolled and fired back, hitting Wes in the stomach, killing him, again in self-defense.
Linda Harris came to the Packsaddle Station from Boston expecting to reunite with her husband, Sam, who had been prospecting out West for the last four years. Instead, she met Bret Maverick, who regretfully told her that Sam was dead and that he had buried him two days earlier. At first, she was shocked at the news, but once recovered, she expressed no sorrow. Since Sam had left her and their son four year's earlier, she had felt she had lost him long ago. She appreciated Bret's protection from the Fallons at the stage depot and felt herself becoming attracted to him. But when he started bargaining with their lives on the value of a map to her husband's mine, she lost trust in him. Eventually, Bret's plan became clear. He explained that the Harris Mine was played out and now worthless, but gave her the $15,000 Mart Fallon had paid him for the map. When she realized what Bret had done for her, her faith in Bret was restored. She suddenly kissed him passionately before hopping on the stage for Dodge City, and back to her son in Boston.
01. Maverick, Stage West (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
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