Festus sees Lambert, Emery and Sweet Billy Haggen on a farm outside of Dodge, grabs a well bucket, puts it over his head and starts running off into the fields for fear of getting his ear shot off; not the whole ear, just the little hangy-down part (refer to episode #364 "Eliab's Aim" for details). Sweet Billy shoots the bucket, they catch up to Festus, and then explain that the only reason they're there is to find Sweet Billy a wife. Festus reluctantly agrees to help and starts lining up local gals for Sweet Billy to meet. The one prerequisite that Sweet Billy has is that the woman he marries must be able to read and write. It happens that Pony Beal and his daughter Orabelle are in town, and when she sees Sweet Billy she decides to go after him. Sweet Billy is also quite taken with her and, when he finds that she can read and write, decides to marry her. With his three uncle's permission they go to see Orabelle's father, who also agrees, provided they pay him a $500 dowry. This don't set too well with the Haggens, but they agree. Now, not having $500, they decide to go into the freight hauling business to earn the money. The first thing they need is a team of mules to pull a wagon. The only place to get them is from Pony Beal, who inflates the price to capitalize on the Haggens as much as he can. Soon they are doing well and earning the money. Pony Beal sees this and tries finagle his way into owning half of their business. Then, while hauling a load of freight up to some minors, a severe dust storm comes up and they have to camp on the prairie for the night. The next morning they discover that their four-mule team are missing. When they see Pony Beal just happens to have another mule team to sell them, they're sure he stole them. Sweet Billy and Orabelle are beginning to wonder if they'll ever get married.moreless
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