Season 3 Episode 6

A Tale of Three Cities

Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Oct 18, 1959 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A Tale of Three Cities
Having been held up by a most unusual and intriguing robber, Bart finds himself penniless in a town where gambling is illegal. Help, however, comes from the most unlikely of sources - the local Ladies' Aid Society.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Bart is robbed at gunpoint by a beautiful damsel in distress, teams up with a straight-laced sheriff, and saves the day while getting the girl, as usual.

    This top-notch episode has it all. Bart find himself in hot water with the sheriff of Gold Flats after he first wins $800 from the town mayor, then is immediately robbed at gunpoint by a "shapely young lady" who is clearly not used to a life of crime. After being expelled from Gold Flats as a vagrant, he naturally runs into the young lady in question soon enough. She is a resident of the straight-laced town of Brotherly, and Bart soon finds himself offering to help her with a certain gambling debt incurred by her father. (She is very shapely, after all, and not a career criminal.) This is among the more humorous episodes, and is loaded with witty tidbits of dialog. E.g.:

    Stephanie: Bart! I don't want you to get hurt!

    Bart: That must be why I'm so fond of you. We have so much in common.

    The writers draw a nice contrast between the two sheriffs of Gold Flats and Brotherly, and the "by-the-book" Sheriff Hardy of Brotherly is skillfully drawn by the writers as a fully three-dimensional character. Viewers will be pleased with this fine entry.moreless
Ben Gage

Ben Gage

Sheriff Hardy

Guest Star

Ed Kemmer

Ed Kemmer

Sherwood Hampton

Guest Star

Barbara Jo Allen

Barbara Jo Allen

Hannah Adams

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Pappyism: Shun the roulette wheel as if it were the devil's own turntable.

      A "turntable" may sound like an anachronism, but in Maverick's time it was a railroad term for a rotating platform used for turning around locomotives and rail cars.

    • In his jail cell, Bart is reading the famous novel Lorna Doone (R.D. Blackmore, 1869) when Hampton confronts Sheriff Hardy. This action-packed romance novel has never been out of print since the year after it was first published, but it would have been relatively new at the time Maverick is set, in the 1870s. Like the episode, the novel deals with the theme of abuse of power, but ends happily.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Pappyism: Shun the roulette wheel as if it were the devil's own turntable.

    • Pappyism: There's only one way to throw dice and that's to throw them away.

    • Stephanie: (getting the drop on Bart) This is as far as you go, mister.
      Bart: That was a short walk.
      Stephanie: ( holding a gun to Bart's back) Now, keep lookin' straight ahead, and put your arms in the air, please.
      Bart: I'm glad you said "please".

    • Stephanie: (counting the contents of Bart's wallet) Is this all?
      Bart: You sound like you're the one that's being robbed.
      Stephanie: (dismayed) What kind of a poker player are you?
      Bart: I was considered quite good by the gentleman who used to own most of that $800.
      Stephanie: I expected a lot more.
      Bart: If I'd known you were waiting I might've stayed in the game a little longer. But if you're disappointed you can always return the money.
      Stephanie: I will eventually. I, I'm considering this a loan.
      Bart: Then I might warn you, my interest rates are high, six percent.

    • Bart: I came here as a law abiding citizen, Sheriff. I want to report a robbery.
      Sheriff Murray: You wanna' report a robbery? What do you call what you was doin' to the mayor last night?
      Bart: That was the mayor?
      Sheriff Murray: Yeah.
      Bart: You sure elected a very poor poker player, nevertheless I was robbed last night.
      Sheriff Murray: You was robbed.
      Bart: Yes, sir. By a young lady. A very shapely young lady as far as I could tell, but she took everything I had. So I came here to see if you wouldn't find her and get my money back.
      Sheriff Murray: We got dozens of shapely young ladies in Gold Flats. It'd take more'n a week to search 'em all.
      Bart: I can't think of a better way to spend the time.

    • Bart: She also forgot to leave me breakfast money.
      Sheriff: You're breakin' my heart.
      Bart: Now look, Sheriff, a man wins in an honest game a cards and then goes out and gets robbed and you do nothin' about it. You run this town like that Mayor plays poker!
      Sheriff: Maverick, you better stop yappin' or I'm gonna throw you in one a them cells there.
      Bart: Good. I understand you're on the American plan here, uh, meals with the room.
      Sheriff: But after thinkin' it over, jails too good for you. I'll just settle for throwin' you outta town.

    • Mrs. Adams: What brings you to Brotherly? Business, I presume.
      Bart: No, it's a … it's a legal matter really.
      Mrs. Adams : You're an attorney?
      Bart: No, but I have many dealings with the law.

    • Stephanie: (desperate) Look, I had to take your money. They were going to kill my father.
      Bart: Oh, serve it with violin music, Miss Malone. Who's gunning for your father?
      Stephanie: It's true. I wouldn't lie to you.
      Bart: You'd shove a gun in my back and take all my money, but you wouldn't lie to me, huh? You'd better keep talking.

    • Bart: 'Scuse me, Sheriff. Excuse me. Would you mind arresting me?
      Sheriff Hardy: You're Maverick, aren't you?
      Bart: Yes, but you've got to put me in jail.
      Sheriff Hardy: Well, from what I've heard about you, I'm surprised you're out.
      Bart: Listen, Sheriff, there's some men chasing me, and if I'm not in jail, they're gonna' kill me.
      Sheriff Hardy: Sorry, I can't oblige you. You ain't done anything.
      Bart: Oh, I could start a poker game, but there just isn't time. I'm sorry I have to do this. (draws his gun and shoots the barroom mirror)
      Sheriff Hardy: I'll take that gun. Disturbing the peace. Destruction of private property. That'll be ten days.
      bar owner: Mister, I paid a hundred dollars for that mirror.
      Sheriff Hardy: Ten days and costs.
      Bart: Well, it's a … (takes out wallet and hands him a $100 bill) It's a pleasure to do business with you, sir.
      Sheriff Hardy: All right. Get moving. (hustles Bart away)
      Bart: 'Night.

    • Sherwood Hampton: Get him, boys.
      Sheriff Hardy: Stand back. This prisoner's in my custody.
      Sherwood Hampton: We've got a score to even with him, Sheriff.
      Sheriff Hardy: It'll have to wait. He's a guest of Brotherly for ten days.
      Sherwood Hampton: Ten days? We'll be waiting, Maverick.
      Bart: You couldn't make it thirty could you, Sheriff?
      Sheriff Hardy: The law says ten. It'll probably seem like thirty to me. Let's go.

    • Sheriff Hardy: You run your Ladies' Aid, Mrs. Adams, let me run my jail.
      Bart: Thank you for your concern Mrs. Adams … but the Sheriff's right. And while you're running your jail, uh, how about a little breakfast?
      Sheriff Hardy: Well, you'll get it, but you won't like it. Place 'cross the street gets a dollar a day for serving prisoners. I got a suspicion they make a heavy profit.
      Mrs. Adams: Why that's terrible. Their food isn't fit for pigs.
      Sheriff Hardy: I agree. Eat there all the time.

    • Stephanie: Bart, you aren't going after those men alone, are you?
      Bart: Stephanie, I've got a brother named Bret who can outdraw me any time he wants to and he's known as the second slowest gun in the West.

    • Sheriff Hardy: All right. What's your deal?
      Bart: Just make me a deputy, that's all. And let me go along with your posse.
      Sheriff Hardy: Promise you won't try any foolish heroics?
      Bart: It's yours to lead Sheriff, and mine but to follow. As far behind you as possible.

    • Bartender: Hey, you didn't pay for the whiskey.
      Bart: Didn't drink it, remember?

    • Stephanie: Bart! I don't want you to get hurt!
      Bart: That must be why I'm so fond of you. We have so much in common.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Bart: It's yours to lead Sheriff, and "mine but to follow".

      Bart quotes from the epic poem, The Voyage of Columbus (1812), by Samuel Rogers. He is poking fun at Hardy's rather rigid world view.
      Canto VII:
      -- Yet if thou canst (not for myself I plead!
      Mine but to follow where 'tis thine to lead)

    • The title of this episode, A Tale of Three Cities, is a reference to the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Both stories feature a devoted daughter who saves her father following a grave injustice. In the novel, the daughter rehabilitates her father after he has suffered many years of wrongful imprisonment. Justice and the rule of law are central themes of this episode, which features two diametrically opposed Sheriffs, one who cares nothing for the rule of law, and another who follows the rules slavishly.