Rawhide is an American Western series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. Spanning seven and a half years, Rawhide was the fifth-longest-running American television Western, exceeded only by eight years of Wagon Train, nine years of The Virginian, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke.
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Morgan Kane and his son Jethro hang two drifters who killed his son, Vance. Morgan kills Peters and seriously wounds Ian who tried to stop it. Rowdy takes Ian to Regis for medical attention. He tries unsuccessfully to get the law to investigate Peter's killing. Sheriff Blaine says the drifters broke Vance's neck. Blaine is blackmailing Jethro. The coroner's inquest finds the Kane's innocent. Rowdy tells Morgan he's taking him and his son to Wichita for a fair trial.
Mr. Fletcher offers Rowdy $6,000 to get 1500 head to Bent Fork in six weeks or less. There is a penalty of $30 for each head that doesn't make it. Lash Whitcomb, one of Fletcher's men is going along as Segundo (#2 man). Lash and Rowdy disagree on which trail to take. Rowdy checks his out. It leads to a box canyon. Rowdy's horse hits a chuckhole and he is thrown and breaks some ribs. Rowdy tells Lash to take over. Ten miles and three days from Bent Fork, Sheriff John Keeley, says there is a sixty day quarantine on Texas cattle.
A mine cave in traps Quince and Simon. New drover Ed says he's found some blasting gel and gun cotton. He and his buddy Jerry will blow them out for $500. It is a perilous journey hauling the unstable gel to the mine in a rickety old wagon.
Rowdy enlists the aid of eight Indians who have been trailing the herd to get to the Little Red River. Their leader, Yellow Sun, looks white. The drovers, particularly Wish doesn't like it. The other Indians, particularly Quadero doesn't like it.
Rowdy is held for ransom by a family of crooked horse traders. Quince, Jed, Wish and Simon try to dicker unsuccessfully. The family is led by Ma Gufler. Her two sons are Jesse and dim-witted Max. They prepare to hang Rowdy. Jed rides in to talk things over.
Colonel Emilio Vasquez ""buys"" 200 head from Quince, Jed and Simon in Mexico. Jed goes to town to see if the pesos are worth anything. The gringo who runs the town says they're just paper. Emilio's wife, Maria, was left behind and is in the bar. Emilio sneaks into town and kills the gringo, but doesn't get Maria. Jed escapes with Maria. Jed and Emilio argue over the terms of her return.
Rowdy must convince a young widow to allow the herd on her land to protect it from the a norther. She is involved in the suffragette movement. The saloon owner will do anything to stop women from getting the vote. The drovers are allowed to vote if they stick around. The saloon owner buys their votes, but Rowdy has second thoghts.
Jed is being pursued by Marshall Hanson Dickson, a well known lawman. Dickson claims Jed Is James Carothers wanted dead of alive for murder in Missouri. Jed says he was cleared of the charge.
The new drover, a young southern gentleman, Roman Bedford, has incurred the wrath of the ranch foreman they're picking up cattle from. Roman has paid attention to the ranch owner's daughter, with whom the foreman has intentions. The ranch owner has keep hidden his past from his daughter.
Major Buford who fought for the south ties his herd in with Rowdy's. He does this so he can cross Duke Aberdeen's land. Duke was a POW in a Confederate prison, and won't let Buford cattle cross his land. The major's son Court hates anything Yankee. Union forces burned the Buford mansion in Virginia, and soon after Mrs. Buford died. Duke sends out phoney stock inspectors that claim many of the cattle are someone else's.
An army lieutenant requisitions 100 prime steers and only offers a piece of paper in return. He pulls a gun and Rowdy wings him. Reinforcements come demanding the 100 head. Rowdy goes forty miles to the fort and the major says he can't pay him.
Rowdy hires Jonas Bolt to guide the herd to and across the river. Rowdy finds Jonas drunk and fires him. The saloon owner tries to trick Rowdy out of a 1000 head using Jonas.