Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive; he is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way.
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Season 1 Ep.1: Incident of the Tumbleweed Wagon
Gil Favor and Rowdy Yates take charge of a tumbleweed wagon of six prisoners en route to Fort Craig where they will drop off the prisoners for trial. The prisoners include a beautiful woman named Dallas Storm whose husband Luke Storm is in pursuit of the wagon. To further complicate matters two of the prisoners are constantly scheming and attempting escape.
Set in the 1860s, Rawhide portrays the challenges faced by the men of a cattle drive. There are 20-25 riders looking after 3,000 head of cattle. Gil (short for Gilbert Favor) revealed this is about the maximum manageable size for a herd of cows. The cattle drive begins in San Antonio, Texas, and makes its way along the Sedalia Trail (Sedalia, the final destination, is in Missouri about 50 miles east from Kansas City). The herd is estimated to be worth about $50,000–60,000 if sold at market and represents a pool of cattle from approximately 200 owners. The trail boss carries a considerable sum of cash for all necessities and all possible emergencies. Pay was a dollar a day and “all you can eat” for the drovers. Riding drag was often a punishment since it was behind the herd, so a rider would pick up all of the herd’s dust. Drives had a remuda, a pool of extra horses. If something happened to a man’s horse, he would be useless without an instant replacement.
Cast and Crew:
Director: Thomas Carr
Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar and Steve Raines
Original Air Date: 1959
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