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The Return of Buffalo Bill Recap

Corky is washing Bimbo Jr. at the river and tells the elephant that they're only going to stay there for three days. They head back to the matinee and a horse runs up to Corky. Corky soon discovers that it's trained to do tricks and tells it to go home. The horse follows Corky to the circus and he takes it to get some hay. Joey and Tim are walking along and Joey thinks that he's seen the horse before. He remembers that it's McKinley and calls to the horse. It comes over and Joey explains that McKinley belongs to Colonel Buffalo Bill Cody. Joey traveled with the Wild West show for two seasons, and Tim remembers reading that Buffalo Bill closed down his show and settled down nearby.

McKinley leads them to Bill's farm and Joey introduces Corky to him. Joey asks when he's going to reopen his own show, and Bill says that he isn't and never should have gotten into show business. Joey goes up to the house to say hello to Bill's wife Louisa, while Bill and Corky put the horse away.

Louisa greets Joey and he invites her and her kids to the circus. She tells him that they lost their son Kit and Bill is taking it hard. Bill blames himself because he was away with the show at the time, and if he had been there then he figures it wouldn’t have happened. He doesn't want to be around people anymore, and Joey suggests that time will take care of it.

Bill hammers the corral shut and a bull comes out. Corky grabs a pitchfork to defend them, but Bill's daughter Irma comes out and says that the bull, Beulah, wouldn't hurt a fly. When Corky says that he's with the circus, Irma asks Bill to take her. Bill says that he'll never take her there, and Irma complains that he never takes her anyplace. He offers to take her to see Sitting Bull and invites Corky to come along to the nearby reservation. Joey agrees and they head back to the circus.

The circus rehearses its acts and Corky starts reading about Bill's history. Joey tries to get some sleep and tells the boy to read it to himself. Later, Bill takes Corky and Irma to the reservation where the Indians are riding around a burning wagon. He explains that it's a mock battle and the older braves are showing the younger ones what great warriors they used to be. Sitting Bull rides over and welcomes them. They watch the warriors demonstrate their prowess, and one of them asks to see Bill's prowess. One brave, Yellow Wolf, questions Bill's prowess in his older age. Bill accepts the challenge, lassos four braves simultaneously, and then shoots a number of targets while riding backward. Yellow Wolf apologizes afterward.

Bill, Irma, and Corky ride back to the farm, and Bill says that he did the tricks for Corky. He admits that having Corky with him was like having Kit back, and invites Corky up to the house. Bill shows him his old buffalo gun and asks Corky to keep it. He explains that he was saving it for Kit, but he wants Corky to have it because he'll grow up to be the same kind of man that Kit would have.

Later at the circus, Tim gives Joey and Pete their paychecks but admits that he could only pay them half salary because business has been slow. They offer the money back, and Tim tells them that all of the performers said the same thing. He figures that they need something show, just as Corky comes out with the buffalo rifle. Joey tells him to never point a gun at anyone, even if he thinks that it's unloaded, and Corky explains that Bill gave it to him. Pete suggests that they ask Bill to join up with them, but Joey says that Bill told him he wouldn't do it. Tim hopes that Joey can talk Bill into joining up, and Joey admits that it'll be tough.

They go to the farm and Joey tries to convince Bill without success. Corky offers to try to at least get Bill to the show, and goes over to where Bill is currying McKinley. The boy says goodbye to McKinley and tells Bill that he'll say goodbye to him at the show. When Bill says that he isn't going, Corky tells him that he trained bimbo a new trick for him and goes. After a moment, Bill tells him that he won't miss his act and agrees to go.

That night at the show, Bill, Louise, and Irma watch the show. Tim introduces Bill, who walks out. When Irma tries to go after him, Louise stops her. Outside, Joey and Corky are waiting with McKinley. Joey says that Bill has millions of friends and they want to see him. When Bill demands to live his life like he wants, Joey tells him that now Bill is part of America and a hero to children like Corky and Irma. If Bill rides in then the children there can tell their own children that they saw one of America's greatest heroes.

As Tim apologizes to the audience, Bill rides in on McKinley and everyone applauds.

Later, Tim tells Joey and Corky that he signed Bill for the rest of the season. Joey admits that what he said came from his heart, not his head.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 25, 2017

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