Wagon Train (1957–1965)
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The Horace Best Story 

Adams' "distant" cousin Horace arrives hoping to be a wagon master. His trading skills allow him to steal the crew and vendors from Adams but when Adams confronts him with the decisions he must make on the trail, there are second thoughts.


Jerry Hopper


Jean Holloway




Episode cast overview:
Ward Bond ... Major Seth Adams
Robert Horton ... Flint McCullough
George Gobel ... Horace Best
Frank McGrath ... Charlie Wooster
Terry Wilson ... Bill Hawks
Joe Flynn ... Edwin Crook
Allen Jenkins ... Mr. Gillespie
Ken Curtis ... Pappy Lightfoot
Otto Waldis ... Otto Osterloh
Mary Field ... Mrs. Gillespie


Major Adams is back in St. Louis preparing to take a new group of travelers west and arguing with Flint, Bill, and Charlie, who are threatening to quit if they don't get raises. Along comes Horace Best, the Major's cousin, sort of, who wants to become a wagon master himself. He tells Adams he has $184.65 to begin his business which is not enough for passage to the west for himself. After tailing Adams as he sees each vendor about wagons, supplies, and horses, cousin Horace puts the lessons he learned in Tennessee on trading to make his own deals with the vendors preventing the Major from building his own wagon train. With plenty of ideas of his own to improve the trip across the west, he soon has signed up almost 100 wagons and Charlie, Bill, and Flint to boot. Now, can he get his wagon train to California? Written by bobbymaxwell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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Drama | Western








Release Date:

5 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


For some reason, Ken Curtis's character Pappy Lightfoot had a really bad voice dubbed instead of Curtis's real voice. See more »


Major Seth Adams: Yes sir, those barren hillsides where ya know there was gonna be grass - but there wasn't any grass... and then ya come on a dry creek bed where you was sure there was gonna be water - but there isn't any water. Your people are thirsty. All those moments of decision, Horace, those are the tough moments. You have to decide whether to cross the river at night or whether you're gonna wait till dawn... whether ya want to take the uncharted short cut or the long mountain trail that's safe... and all...
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It Takes A Worried Man To Sing A Worried Song
Performed by George Gobel
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User Reviews

The Major's cousin, a real Tennessee trader
1 December 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This Wagon Train episode has an accent on humor here as Ward Bond meets his southern cousin George Gobel. At least that's what Gobel claims and after a lengthy discussion of the family trees that's what they both arrive at.

Gobel arrives in Missouri as Bond is putting together his new Wagon Train for the year and he's among other things deciding salary arrangements for Robert Horton, Frank McGrath, and Terry Wilson. Gobel wants to be a wagon master like cousin Seth Adams. And as he sees Bond try to make arrangements for supplies, wagons, and guns&ammunition for the trip he catches on fast. Before long he's become Horace Best enterprises and he certainly has a flare for advertising.

Of course once the Wagon Train is put together getting it west is an entirely different proposition which Bond really lays out to Gobel in a classic scene. What happens afterward is for you to learn watching the episode.

Some fine character actors, Ken Curtis, Joe Flynn, Allen Jenkins, and Mary Field give this episode something extra special. And fans of Wagon Train will recognize the melody as a song that Ann Blyth sang in the Jenny Tannen Story episode a few years earlier. Only now it is part of the advertising campaign of Horace Best Enterprises as Go West With Horace Best.

This episode will make you a Wagon Train fan.

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