1966 - 1967
#31 - "The Legend of Midas Mantee"
This episode introduces Erik Hunter from Ranger Company A, who is assigned to go under cover to infiltrate Midas Mantee's gang of gold thieves.
NiteOwl Review: Although Erik never totally won our hearts as part of the Laredo company of players, this was an auspicious first episode for him. Wolders was added to the cast mainly to lighten the load on Neville Brand on whom the rigors the tv series grind had taken their toll. In this episode he was used to good effect. It was nice to see Chad with a rival in the competition for the fairer sex and Erik gave him someone with a literate vocabulary to spar with. We've heard from fans who for some reason didn't start watching Laredo until the second season that they liked Erik and missed him in the first season when those episodes were rerun.
Introducing Robert Wolders
as Erik Hunter
In Portrero, he tries to help the gang escape with a gold shipment but is thwarted by Reese who throws him in jail. Reese transports Erik to Val Verde in handcuffs to maintain his cover, but Erik turns the tables and leaves Reese handcuffed to his saddle. In Val Verde, while Joe and Chad watch the bank, Erik seduces Rita, a dentist's nurse. Rita is stealing nitrous oxide for Mantee and using it on the town banker to get the combination to the safe. Erik and Chad stage a gunfight in front of Midas' men in which Chad is "killed" so Erik will be accepted by Mantee.
When the Captain arrives, Chad's "body" is in the ice house, Reese is in the now empty bank knocked out with the gas, Joe has tracked the robbers but is captured and Erik has been introduced to Midas by Rita.
Midas Mantee
Reese is suspicious of Erik's
unorthodox approach to

Chad is concerned about
competition with the fair sex

Chad loses a staged
gunfight with Erik

He ends up stuck in an
ice house as a "corpse"

Joe retrieves Chad's body
Chad and Reese make it to Midas' fort just as Midas is ordering Erik to kill Joe. The four Rangers subdue the gang and pursue Midas and Rita who have raced off on the gold-laden camels Midas bought to escape across the desert. Joe, Chad and Reese haul everyone back to Val Verde except Rita who is Erik's prisoner.
Parmalee finds Reese passed out
Erik releases Joe
Chad picks off the bad guys
Joe, Chad and Reese in pursuit
Erik captures Rita
Original air date Sep 16, 1966
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
Written by Gerry Day
& B.W. Sandefur

Regular Cast
Neville Brand as Reese Bennett
Peter Brown as Chad Cooper
William Smith as Joe Riley
Robert Wolders as Erik Hunter
Phil Carey as Capt. Parmalee

Guest Cast
liff Osmond as Midas Mantee
Maura McGiveney as Rita Silver
Rex Holman as Greevy
Howard Wendel as Winston
K.L. Smith as Portrero Sheriff
John Truax as Val Verde Sheriff
on Locke as deputy
Chuck Roberson as Rafer
Buddy Van Horn as Hutch
Rory Stevens as David
Official Peter Brown Fan Site