Trying to affix dates to the episodes of 'Maverick' has always been a problem. For the most part they seem to be centered around the mid-1870's, and sometimes - as with "The Thirty-Ninth Star" - the specific date is locked in:
And on "The Day They Hanged Bret Maverick", we learned that he was born on April 7, 1847: (The hanging supposedly took place on September 21, 1876.)
But then you have to factor in all the time the various Maverick boys spent traveling from town to town in search of a game. Plus there was that time (in "Plunder Of Paradise") when Bart and Big Mike McComb spent a long time searching the wilds of Mexico for buried Spanish treasure.
The Toobworld Central position is that we can't treat the 'Maverick' TV series as happening chronologically per broadcast order. As we did with 'Wagon Train', each episode has to be considered separately when deciding where it goes on the Toobworld timeline.
But other chronology problems pop up. For example, there's "The Sheriff Of Duck 'n' Shoot" in which Bret gets blackmailed into serving as the town's sheriff for six months.
His deputy Billy Waker (a codgy old desert rat in the best Walter Brennan/Jack Elam tradition) has a picture of Pat Garrett hanging on the wall in the sheriff's office. It's an object of pride to Billy as he has elevated Garrett to hero status for killing Billy the Kid.
But when he sees the unorthodox methods used by Bret for keeping peace and order in Duck 'n' Shoot, Billy despondently turns to the portrait and tells Garrett "You can turn over now."
As in the phrase "turn over in his grave".
So Pat Garrett should be dead by this point. However.....
From Wikipedia:Patrick Floyd "Pat" Garrett (June 5, 1850 – February 29, 1908) was an American Old West lawman,bartender, and customs agent who became famous for killing Billy the Kid.
By 1908, questions surrounding the manner in which he killed Billy the Kid and Garrett's general demeanor had led to his becoming quite unpopular. He no longer had any local political support, his support from President Roosevelt had been withdrawn, and he had few friends with power.
Garrett and Carl Adamson, who was in the process of talks with Garrett to purchase land, rode together, heading from Las Cruces, New Mexico in Adamson's wagon. Brazel showed up on horseback along the way. Garrett and Brazel began to argue about the goats grazing on Garrett's land. Garrett is alleged to have leaned forward to pick up a shotgun on the floorboard. Brazel shot him once in the stomach, and then once more in the head as Garrett fell from the wagon. Brazel and Adamson left the body by the side of the road and returned to Las Cruces, alerting Sheriff Felipe Lucero of the killing.
Brazel did claim self defense saying that Garrett was armed with a shotgun and was threatening him. Adamson backed up Brazel's story. The jury took less than a half-hour to return a not-guilty verdict. W.W. Cox [Garrett's main creditor] hosted a barbecue in celebration of the verdict.
So on the face of it, this episode should have taken place after February, 1908.
Near the end of the episode, when Bret Maverick is in jail, his brother Bart shows up to allegedly help him get out. At least in Bart's case, we know that he was still alive by 1908 - or at least we hope so.....
Bart was last seen at a high-stakes poker game at the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco on April 17, 1906. By early the next morning, the game took a back seat to the great earthquake which nearly destroyed the City by the Bay. (Luckily (not that he knew it at the time), Bart had been forced to quit the game many hours earlier.
Toobworld Central likes to think Bart Maverick left town right afterwards while he still had his $1000.00 bill pinned inside his jacket.
But thirty years on, Bart had aged considerably.....
At the time of the happenings in Duck 'n' Shoot, he looked much younger:
Citing Occam's Razor, I'm going to go with the simplest splainin:
Deputy Billy Waker was mistaken when he thought Pat Garrett was already dead back in the 1870s. To paraphrase an oft-misquoted Mark Twain* (at least in the real world): “Reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated.”
I don't know where Billy got his information about Pat Garrett, but it probably stemmed from an incident soon after Garrett was elected sheriff in Lincoln County.....
Newly elected sheriff Pat Garrett is gunned down in the dark during an express office robbery. Deputy Johnny Swift believes the shooter is Billy the Kid. With Pat unconsious and the town out for blood, Billy must prove he is innocent. His only friend is his girlfriend Maria, and the two work on a daring plan to bring in the guilty parties.
At least, that's what happened in Toobworld. Meanwhile, back in the real world....
From Wikipedia:On November 7, 1880, the sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, Republican George Kimbell, resigned with two months left in his term. As Kimbell's successor, the county appointed Garrett, a Democrat and gunman of some reputation who had promised to restore law and order.
So I'm good with the idea that the events of Garrett's near-fatal shooting took place in the second or third week of November, 1880. That places it close enough to the basic 'Maverick' timeline to be believable when it comes to the age of the Maverick boys.
Deputy Waker just never got the news update regarding Garrett's survival....
* Wouldn't it have been great to see any one of the Maverick boys with the televersion of Mark Twain? (Preferably portrayed by Kevin McCarthy!)