The Adventures of Jim Bowie

Season 1 Episode 1

The Birth of the Blade

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 07, 1956 on ABC

Episode Recap

The show opens with Jim Bowie riding home. He stops to drink at a pond and his horse suddenly becomes jittery. Jim soon discovers why when a bear emerges from the surrounding woods. He tries to shoo the bear away but when that fails, he is forced to shoot at the bear, but his flintlock misfires. The bear attacks and they wrestle. He tries to use his knife but it doesn't affect the bear. Jim finally escapes by rolling down an embankment. The bear runs off. Jim retrieves his rifle which fires when he picks it up. He says: "What a fine dependable weapon," and almost throws his rifle away but decides better of it.

He rides into a small town and inquires about the steelmaker, Mr. Black. He is told he has moved to the countryside. He also inquires about a doctor who happens to be at Yancey's Store making his monthly rounds. Yancey states that every time the doctor comes around there is a thieving bunch of riffraff come to town, especially Gypsy Joe and Louis.

Yancey asks Jim why he came to Yancey's Corner. Jim tells him after he had that fight with the bear he made up his mind to have a good reliable weapon -- a knife. That's why he came to see Sam Black. Yancey says that Sam has closed up his shop and taken up farming. Jim pays the doctor and Yancey and rides out to see Mr. Black. Gypsy Joe and Louis have seen the money that Jim is carrying and follow Jim out.

Jim arrives at the Black farm and asks Mr. Black to make him a knife. He tells him he wants a special kind of knife. "The knife I have in mind would be about this long (holding his hands about a foot and a half apart), it would be twice maybe three times as thick as an ordinary knife, and be curved toward the tip, and double edged so it cuts two ways, and it would be balanced for throwing, so it would have to be made of the very finest steel so the tip wouldn't break off when it hit something solid. I don't know maybe I am asking the impossible."

Mr. Black says that does fire his imagination and two years ago he would have done it but he can't see well anymore and it is just getting worse that's why he closed his shop. Mrs. Black says they are going to see the doctor and hope he can make some spectacles so Mr. Black can see again. Mr. Black agrees to make the knife if he can see to do it.

Jim stays for dinner and Mrs. Black fixes his torn clothing. Mr. Black goes out to get Jim's horse when he is ready to leave. When Mr. Black enters the barn he is attacked by Gypsy Joe and Louis, who mistake Mr. Black for Jim. They steal Mr. Black's money he has been saving for his spectacles. They ride off before Jim can get to the barn. Jim says to be at the store in the morning Mr. Black will get his glasses one way or another.

Jim rides back to Yancey's Store and makes a ruckus with Yancey to get the attention of Gypsy Joe and Louis so he can set them up. Gypsy Joe and Louis sneak in Jim's window and a fight occurs. Jim knocks out both would-be-thieves and retrieves Mr. Black's money pouch. They lock up the thieves in the woodshed until the sheriff can arrive.

The next morning, Mr. Black gets his new glasses and begins work on the knife. When the knife is finished they test it by throwing into a tree. Gypsy Joe and Louis have escaped and arrive just as the knife hits the tree. Gypsy attacks Jim with a knife but misses. Jim retrieves his knife from the tree and pins Joe's coat to the barn with his new knife. Gypsy Joe and Louis are returned to captivity and Jim rides off with his new knife. And that is how the Bowie knife was born.