It Happened at Four Corners

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#277: “It Happened at Four Corners”
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Proverbs 1:19

19Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.

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“Going Forth”
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It Happened at Four Corners

“It Happened at Four Corners” is episode #277 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on August 13, 1994.


An old prospector, a torn map, and a legendary gold mine interrupt Eugene and Bernard’s journey to California and infect them with gold fever.


Bernard and Eugene approach a place called Four Corners, Arizona. Bernard suggests they pass the time by telling stories. Eugene can’t think up one, so Bernard tells a tale about two guys who are traveling together across country. But as soon as he begins, a car suddenly whizzes around them. It nearly runs them off the road. The driver loses control of his vehicle. The car careens off the highway and tumbles down an embankment.

Bernard and Eugene make their way down to the car. They pull the man from the wreckage. He is badly hurt and nearly comatose. The man manages to tell them about a river of gold that flows underground. He pulls out the map that leads to it. Just before he conks out, he tears the map in two. He gives half to Bernard and half to Eugene. The man says they can have the fortune, if they stay together. When Bernard and Eugene are finally sure that the map is real, they get greedy. They each try to get to the gold first. Their chase leads them through some incredible twists and turns. Eugene and Bernard are left with a surprise ending and an important lesson on the evils of greed.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. What should Bernard and Eugene have done when they first got the map?
  2. How did greed take over Bernard and Eugene?
    • What should they have done to stop it?
  3. Name some examples of greed in the Bible, in history, or even in your life.
    • What were the consequences of that greed?
      • What could have been done to prevent it?


Role Voice Actor
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Logan Smiley Pete Reneday
Police Officer Pete Reneday
Radio D.J. Bob Luttrell


  • This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
  • The original version of this episode had Eugene (attempt to) tell the story of the Three Little Pigs. However, with that scene, the episode ran too long, so the story was cut and moved to "#298: “I Want My B-TV!”." Interestingly, some of Eugene's dialogue from this episode lamenting his poor storytelling abilities would also make its way to that episode.
  • This episode is (perhaps loosely) based on the movie It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, with the car crash, the old man and his death scene, and the hunt for wealth all coming from the plot of the film.
  • This episode also has similarities to the Frank Norris book, McTeague. While the overall plot of this episode is not at all the same as the book, the ending of the episode replicates McTeague's ending.
  • This episode marks the AIO debut of actor Pete Reneday, who in this episode plays both Logan Smiley and the officer who talks to Bernard and Eugene about the Smiler afterward.
  • This episode is not the first one to feature Eugene handcuffing Bernard: See #113: “Suspicious Minds”.
  • This episode's cast and characters are all male.
  • Eugene specified their distance from Four Corners as being 93.3394 km or 58 miles. The first answer specifies their position to within 10 cm, or 1/3 of a foot, which is not really possible to be correct while traveling on a highway, since in the time it takes to say the last digit it's no longer true. 93 km would have been the proper answer.
    • Perhaps we are to assume that it was labeled as 58 miles on the road atlas, and that Eugene then converted it to km. If so, the ratio used was 1.6093 km/mile. This conversion has only 4 significant digits (four instead of 5, since the first digit is a 1). Because there are only 4 significant digits, a direct conversion using a perfect 58 miles should still have ended at 93.34 km. A more accurate conversion rate is 1.609344 km/mile, which gives 93.3420km for 58 miles. One can immediately see that by ignoring significant digits, Eugene's conversion was inaccurate as well as unreasonably precise.
    • Most plausibly, Eugene looked at the map or a road sign and saw "58 miles." If he used his calculator to make the conversion, he (being Eugene) used 1.6093 as his conversion factor (because it is much more precise than 1.6). 58 divided by 1.6093 produces 93.3394, and (being Eugene) he read the entire result to Bernard by looking at the display on his calculator. Alternately (being Eugene) he did the entire calculation in his head!


Bernard Walton: I know. We'll do what the pioneers did when they traveled across the frontier.
Eugene Meltsner: Shoot bears?
Bernard Walton: No, tell stories.

Bernard Walton: This is it. This is it! An actual river of gold nuggets. It's even more beautiful than the old man said. I'm rich rich! I'm actually rich!
Eugene Meltsner: Actually, I'm rich!

Bernard Walton: Come down from that rope, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: "Fat chance", to borrow the colloquialism!