In a nod to the true-life story of General E.F. Beale (as in Beale's Cut) and the U.S. Camel Corps, frontier gambler Bret Maverick (James Garner) unwittingly wins a camel in a game of cards in
a first-season episode of ABC-TV's "Maverick" (1957-1962).
In the 1958 spin-off comic book from Dell, the star declares: "A camel! One of the relics of Fort Tejon! The Army used to use them!"
That's about right, although those two facts are unrelated: The camels were relics of Fort Tejon, and the Army once used them (elsewhere).
In any event, Garner's character can't seem to get rid of the camel, and in the end, he doesn't want to. Just as the War Department in the 1850s thought the beasts would make good pack animals across the
desert because they stored water in their humps and didn't need to drink as frequently as a horse, Maverick (spoiler!) takes advantage of this trait to chase down a dastardly card sharp — and catches him
when his horse gives out.
Apparently the TV episode didn't use Fort Tejon for filming, but rather the Warner Bros. sound stages in Burbank. Vasquez Rocks was the location for the climactic desert sequence.
Fredd Wayne potrays the antagonist, Maxine Cooper is the love interest, and the rest of the cast consists of
Earle Hodgins and
Alan Austin. Uncredited: George Bell,
Harry Strang and
LW3521: From original comic book purchased 2019 by Leon Worden. Download original images here