The Benjamin Burns Story

by Candace RichComment — Updated August 3, 2023

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Benjamin Burns (episode #3.19) is the story of an old timer who swears he knows the location of a legendary source of water. Inasmuch as the train has come upon two dry holes and is rationing water, The Major decides to send a party out with Burns see if there is substance to the myth.

Though a disbeliever, McCullough, with Hawks leads the party into the dry desert. However, Burns becomes gravely injured and McCullough agrees to stay behind to wait, most probably for Burns to die. Burns’ future grandson-in-law, John Colter stays behind as well but is terrified as he is a city slciker unfamiliar with the rough terrain.

While hiding from an Indian hunting party, McCullough must attempt to kill a rattler to prevent the scared Colter from shooting it and alerting the Indians to their position. But he is bit by the snake and spends the next days delirious. Upon regaining consciousness, he is told that Burns and dead. Colter and McCullough return to the train, stumbling into the water supply on the way.

But Burns is not dead. And worse, Flint is accused of murdering him.

J. Carrol Naish as Benjamin Burns
James Franciscus as John Colter

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Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
Hiding from the Indian hunting party
Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
They see the rattlesnake
Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
Flint is delirious; his gun serves as tourniquet
Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
Flint discusses with the Major his fears about being the killer.
Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
Flint faces his accusers
Robert Horton - Benjamin Burns
Without spoiling the ending, Burns and McCullough remain friends.

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