Death Valley Days - Katherine Turner

Sherry starts out as a helpless passenger on this Wagon Train to Salt Lake City. After an Indian attack, she quickly gets the picture that the trail boss and his hired hands aren't going to be able to defend them all by themselves, and they are all going to have to grab rifles and pitch in when the Indians return.

The hard-bitten cowboy doesn't think the women will be much use in the defense of the wagon train. He calls Katherine a "peacock", and advises her to hide out in the wagons with the other women, and let the men take care of them. After Katherine demonstrates her skill with a shootin' iron, she hands it back to the trail boss with a smirk, and asks: "not bad for a peacock?"

That's DeForest Kelley lurking back there in the grey hat, and he is impressed! He's a gambler named Elliot Webster who's heading out to Salt Lake to try his luck. He sadly discovers that Katherine is going to marry Hampton Tillwell the third (of the St Louis banking Tillwells). He quickly decides that he would be a better match for Katherine!

"I was the only girl at Miss Lucy's school that didn't ride side-saddle, because Daddy taught me how to ride Western.."

And she shoots so gracefully, too! At the next Indian attack, she and Elliot fight side-by-side in front of the burning wagon.

Unfortunately, the trail boss gets shot in the attack, along with one of the young women. He hands over leadership of the wagon train to Katherine: "You got Ben Turner's blood in you, Kate"

All of the wimpy settlers try to talk Katherine into turning back, but SHE's in charge now..

"Seven people dead... a fine man like Seth, and now this young're going to get to Salt Lake if I have to WHIP you sniveling weaklings... and if those Indians attack again, and you don't defend yourselves,,
I'm gonna shoot you myself! "

This shot belongs in a John Ford western!

Kate puts on her work clothes, and now she's on horseback, wrastlin' the wagon train.. "get a move on there! are you drivin' that team, or is it drivin' you?!?! "

Elliot just put a big kiss on Katherine, and she asks him:
"I thought that I was too rich for your blood?"

He smiles, and tells her that "you're an acquired taste".

After the next Indian raid, they're at it again!

Elliot asks Katherine if her "deal" with Tilwell should fall through if she would give him a chance, but she says: "the wedding's all set".

He presses her: "but still, if something should go wrong.. is it a deal?"

and she says: "sure".

As the wagon train pulls into Salt Lake, Hampton comes out to meet his bride. He is shocked at her male clothes, and the fact that they are wet with sweat from all the hard work she's been doing as the trail boss. He also tells her that his mother is very ill, and "under the circumstances" he will not be able to get married to Katherine right away as they had planned.

Elliot jumps on this chance, now that Hampton is calling off the wedding, and snaps the horses' reins to go zooming off with lovely Kate, telling her that "a deal is a deal!"

As they ride off to their new life, Kate tells Elliot that "you're somethin' of a bull... and my father always told me to take the bull by the horns!" so she grabs him by his ears and lays a big kiss on him.

After they unlock, she tells him, "now it's your deal".

"Take the reins", he orders her, then he leans in, and says: "Dealer's choice!" as he gives her their final kiss.

This old western was great! It really showcased Sherry's talents as an actress, and she got to shoot rifles, pistols, and ride horses and drive wagons, too! But the romance between her and DeForest was what really made this episode so memorable. They really looked like they were having fun in this show.

What a shame that DeForest got so typecast into the "Dr. McCoy" role after Star Trek that he didn't get any more chances to play the rogue, or the villian, that he was so good at back in his old Paramount movie and television days.

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