a hot day for a hanging
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

A Hot Day for a Hanging Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #04, Episode #04

Representing his father, Ben Cartwright, Hoss sets out to deliver a substantial sum of money to Dutchman Flats. However, upon his arrival, Hoss finds himself arrested by Sheriff Stedman (played by Denver Pyle) on a false bank robbery charge. While Sheriff Stedman knows of Hoss’s innocence, he is eager to prove himself to the townsfolk. Unfortunately, Stedman’s plans turn dark when the enraged citizens form a lynch mob.

The cast includes Olive Sturgess as Mary Ann, Roy Roberts as Fillmore, Terry Becker as Shukie, Kelly Thordsen as Larson, John Harmon as McCray, Rayford Barnes as Austin, and Lane Bradford as Tibbs. A Hot Day for a Hanging, written by Preston Wood and Elliot Arnold, premiered on October 14, 1962.

Explore the episode’s storyline, along with captivating trivia, or enjoy watching the entire episode provided below.

Watch the Full Episode of A Hot Day for a Hanging

Watch the Full Episode of A Hot Day for a Hanging:

Main Cast

In addition to the main cast, episode 4, “A Hot Day for a Hanging,” also showcases recurring and supporting guest actors. The complete cast for the episode includes:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright (credit only)
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright (credit only)
  • Denver Pyle as Sheriff Tom Stedman
  • Olive Sturgess as Mary Ann Wilson
  • Roy Roberts as Jesse Fillmore
  • Terry Becker as Shukie
  • Kelly Thordsen as Ned Larson
  • John Harmon as McCray
  • Gene Roth as Milton Conley
  • Rayford Barnes as Austin
  • Lane Bradford as Tibbs
  • John Mitchum as Bartender
  • Robert Carson as Elmer Horner
  • Walter Bacon as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sam Bagley as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Breen as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Herman Hack as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jimmie Horan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Eddie Juaregui as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Roy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Charles Sullivan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Max Wagner as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for A Hot Day for a Hanging

Hoss arrives in town carrying $12,000 in gold, only to find himself suspected of a recent bank robbery and murder committed by outlaws. Despite his innocence, the ineffectual sheriff succumbs to pressure from the townspeople, who demand swift retribution and the return of the stolen money.

A tense standoff ensues as the sheriff vacillates between upholding justice and appeasing the vengeful mob. Meanwhile, Ben’s arrival brings hope, but his pleas are brushed aside as the situation escalates into a lynch mob threatening Hoss’s life.

In a desperate bid to save his son, Ben offers a compromise, promising the town the stolen money in exchange for one more day to prove Hoss’s innocence. As tensions reach a boiling point, a gunshot disrupts the chaos, leading to a surprising turn of events that forces the mob to reconsider their actions.

Ultimately, the truth prevails as the mob disperses, apologizing to both Ben and Hoss amidst the chaos and confusion.

Full Script and Dialogue of A Hot Day for a Hanging

Sure is hot, Cartwright.

No relief in sight, either.

It's a scorcher all right.

That's what's worrying me.

Worrying about the
weather won't do any good.

Ah, the weather may...
may prevent my son, Hoss,

from getting here
with the cash on time.

Got till 5:00.

Mr. Horner, is
there any possibility


of extending that deadline?

I've told you, Mr. Cartwright,

we've already got another
offer for that land in cash.

Now, I can't risk losing
that to extend your option.

I could pick up that
option right this second

if you'd only accept my
bank draft for $12,000.

I don't understand you
being so stubborn about it.

Look, since the drought
set in, we've accepted

too many drafts that have
turned out to be no good.

Like this one here.

I've got a whole
drawer full of them.

I'm sorry, but my
clients insist on cash.


If it wasn't such a
good piece of land...


But it is, Mr. Cartwright.

And you know it.

Yes, sir, sure is a hot one.


All right, don't make a move.

Name's Stedman.

Turn around.

I'm the county sheriff.

Boy, I'm sure glad to see you.

Gettin' a little jumpy
with a lone rider

coming up on me out here.

What do you got
to be jumpy about?

Well, I mean, with the
drought being what it is,

there's quite a few hard
cases roaming around.


Sorry about the gun.

How about a cup of coffee?

What's that for?

I'd like to have a look
in those saddlebags.

Any objection?

Don't reckon I have
much choice, do I, Sheriff?

Move back.

You've got a lot of money here.

I'm delivering it to
Scottsberg for my pa.

It's a land deal.

You can prove that?

Of course, I can.

Suppose you come
with me and we do that.

Come where?

Dutchman's Flat,
about eight miles yonder.

Sheriff, look, I got
to be in Scottsberg

at 5:00 this aft...
You'll make it.

Unless we stand here
all day arguing about it.

What are you going
to charge me with?

I could charge you with
building a fire on range land.

Or something more serious.

Like what?

Like maybe you're
part of the gang

that held up the bank

at Dutchman's Flat
and killed a teller.

Now, you want to
get on your horse

and let's get this
thing over with?


Well, it sure ain't
much of a town, is it?

It's a hot one, I'll say that.

Think you could
stand a cold beer?


Morning, Milt.

Morning, Jess.

I can't remember it
being so hot for so long.

Too long.

Everything's burnt to a crisp.

Yeah, that's right.


Now, Milt, I know what
you're going to say.

I must ask you again.

If I can't extend credit,

the farmers and ranchers
are going to have to move out,

and I can't do
anything about that

unless you give me a loan.

Milt, you know as well as
I do that since the robbery,

the bank is almost
without funds.

Jesse, you've just
got to do something.

You're the banker in this town.

People depend on you for help.

Well, don't you
think I know that?

Well, then, why don't
you do something?

What are you just
sitting around for?

Now, wait a minute.

I'm getting sick
and tired of you

and everybody else in this
town blaming me for this robbery.

I lost as much, if not
more than anybody.

Remember, it was
my own son-in-law

who was shot and killed.

Now, if that's all you
have on your mind, Milt.

I'm sorry, Jesse.

It's just that I've got to
say no to all those farmers

that come to the
store all the time.

I told them I'd talk to you.

What they don't understand
is there's nothing I can do.

If I only had a
little more time.

I've tried to negotiate a loan

from every bank
in this territory,

but everybody is hit as hard
with this drought as we are.

Then I say this
town is going to die.

Just as sure as that dang
sun comes up every morning.

How's Mary Ann?

How do you think she is,
with her husband dead?

Good day, Mary Ann.

It's nice to see
you about again.

Well, Connelly?

I'm sorry, Larsen.

Wait a minute.
Don't give me that.

The bank just turned me down.

Look, I got a
house full of kids,

and I'm not going to
let them go hungry.

I can't give you
what I haven't got.

And I got it right from a feller

that talked to a feller
who knew the brother

of one of the men
that was right there.


Give us two beers.

Know what he told me?

I'll tell you what
he told me, son.

He told me there
was grasshoppers.

Millions of 'em, 50
miles north of here.

Just a-chewing up
everything in sight.

- All right, Tibbs.
- You know what?

Here's mud in your eye.

Them grasshoppers is going to
be down on us as sure as shootin'.

There ain't no grasshoppers
north of here, mister.

Who told you that?

There ain't nobody told us that.

We just rode through
there yesterday.

And I say there's grasshoppers
up there... millions of 'em.

And I say there ain't.

That storekeeper.

That no-good,
tightwad hypocrite...

He won't give
anybody any credit.

Well, it's the drought.

That's what's the trouble, Ned.

It's that bank robber
laid this town low.

I tell you, them robbers
got all our money.

Ah, there's nothing
being done about 'em.

Sheriff Stedman,
huh, he's riding

all around the
country finding nothing.

You... you-you-you
leave the sheriff out of it.

I work for him, and
he's a good man.

If he'd only let me wear a gun.

Yeah, I know, I know.

I was in the bank
the day it happened.

I could have prevented
the whole thing.

Ah, Shukie, it's too hot to
go through all that again.

Yeah, but, I mean...

I've heard it 900 times
in the last few weeks.

Yeah, but I still could've
prevented the whole thing.


Fight! Fight!

I'm coming!

Million grasshoppers?


Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

It's too dang hot to
fight about grasshoppers.

Oh, you're right.

Have a beer.

Not much of a fight.

Better than no fight at all.

Ah, at least it was a
little excitement, huh?


Come on, Tibbs, let's get
this place back together.

What you got there, Sheriff?

Not much.

Just hold it right there.

All right, get down.

All right, inside.

Yeah, it must be something.

Riding a $50 horse.

Gee, sure is a big man.

Oh, sure is, just
like the one...

Like one what?

Yeah, I got to give
the sheriff a hand.

What's going on, Sheriff?

What'd this fella do?

Caught him starting
a fire on rangeland.

Says his name's Cartwright.


All right.

Oh, now, Sheriff,
come on, will you?


Must be $15-20,000 here.

There's 12.

You think he stole it, Sheriff?

That's a pile of money.

Think he stole it?

The sheriff knows
where I got the money.

Look, Sheriff, I got to be
in Scottsberg in three hours.

The sheriff's too
smart to turn you loose.

You might be a bank
robber or some such.

Sheriff, look, all you got
to do is send a telegraph

to the land office
in Scottsberg.

My pa will verify my story.

You, you're awfully
fidgety for an honest man.


Yes, sir.

Go stable the man's horse,
see that it's rubbed down.

Right away, Sheriff.

- Hey, Shukie.
- Uh-huh.

Who was that the sheriff caught?

Says his name is Cartwri...

You know, he had $15,000
in gold in them saddlebags.

$15,000 in gold?

- Uh-huh.
- You think he stole it?

Wouldn't surprise me at all.

Of course he said he didn't,

but me and the
sheriff think he's lying.

We're going to hold
him in jail for a while.

Um, I got some things to do.

- See you later.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, barber.

- Barber!
- Hey, McCray, McCray, McCray, listen.

Stedman's caught himself
a good one this time.

You mean that fella he
brought in a while ago?

Yeah, he had better than
$20,000 in gold in his saddlebag.

Know who he is?

Well, his name is Cartwright
or something like that.

Listen, I'll see
you later, okay?


He must be the one...

Hey, make yourselves
at home, I'll be right back.

$20,000, huh?

Well, you're not in any
of these wanted posters.

That ain't too surprising.

Sheriff, are you going to
send that telegram or not?


I guess I'll send it now.

I wish it wasn't so blasted hot.

Oh, Sheriff.

What's on your mind?

I just wanted to
congratulate you.

About what?

Oh, now, don't be so modest.

Here, let's, uh, step in
out of the heat for a minute.

Sit down, Sheriff, take
a load off your feet.

No, thanks, I haven't
got much time.

Larsen tells me you caught
us a big-time desperado.

You mean that Cartwright fellow?

That's right, the whole
town's talking about it.

That was pretty slick, catching
him red-handed that way

without even
having to fire a shot,

and I hear he was
carrying $25,000 in bullion.

$12,000 to be exact.

Just about what they
took from the bank.

Just about,

but that doesn't make
him one of the robbers.

No, but if he did turn out
to be one of the robbers,

that'd be quite a
feather in your cap.

Might even change this
town's opinion of you.

I'm going to send a
telegraph to Scottsberg.

If they back up his story,
I'm going to let him go.


just having that
fella in jail has had

quite a stimulating
effect on this town.

Do you have to be in
all that hurry to send it?


Hey, Tom, I was
just telling Connelly

about that fella you caught.

- Yeah.
- Yeah, it sure sounds like he could be

one of the fellas
who robbed the bank.

All I know about him
is what he's told me.

You know, Sheriff, I
never thought you'd do it.

Do what?

Well, do something about them
robbers that ruined this town.


Well, we believe
you now, Sheriff,

and when the next elections
come up, we'll be remembering it.

We'll just do more than that.

We'll buy you a drink right now.

- No, I got some checking to do.
- Come on, Sheriff.

Come on, come on,
let's go get us a drink.

Oh, come on, - come on.
- Come on.

Well, howdy, Sheriff,
glad to see you.

Let me buy you a drink.

Yeah, Sheriff, you
deserve a free drink.

You know, it's all around
town that you're pretty sure

that Cartwright is one of the
gang that robbed the bank.

I didn't say that.

Well, you're not saying
he ain't either, huh?

It's all right, Sheriff.

Shukie said he recognized him.

Did Shukie say that?

Well, not in so many words,
but we knew what he meant.

Well, just having him in jail

makes me feel a lot better.

Me, too.

Got to hand it to you, Tom.


Thanks for the beer, men.

I got to send a telegraph.

Hello, Sheriff, I, uh, I
was just sitting here,

keeping an eye on things.

Thanks, Shukie.

Shukie, have you been
telling folks around town

that this fellow we got in here
is one of the bank robbers?

Well, I, I was in the bank
when it happened, you know.

You could identify
him as one of the gang?

Well, no, I-I-I didn't say that.

I just said that one of the
robbers was a big fella, is all.

If he was to go on trial,

would you swear before
a judge that he was there?

Yes, sir.

I could rightfully say that one
of the robbers was a big fella

and that he killed
Fillmore's son-in-law.

You could?

Sheriff, are you going
to hold him for trial?

I don't know, I got
to do some checking.

You stay here.

You mean... you mean
sit here and, a-and guard

a desperate killer
without a gun?

He's behind bars.

Oh, nevertheless it
ain't r... It just ain't right.

I know, I just know that if I
had a gun that day in the bank,

I could have prevented
the whole robbery.

Sure you could.


Mr. Fillmore...
I've been puzzling.

What did you mean when you said

not to be in any
hurry to identify

that prisoner?

Oh, it wasn't important, Tom.

I just, uh, figure that maybe
what this town needed was

a good kick in the britches
to get moving again,

and just having this fella
in jail might do just that.

It hasn't been proven that
he was one of the gang.

I know that, Tom.

But there's no harm in him
just sitting there, is there?


Tell me.

If it turned out that he was one
of the gang, what would happen?

He'd go to trial of course.

I know that.

What I mean is the money.

It would come back to the bank.

And that'd just about put
this town back on its feet,

wouldn't it?

It certainly would, and you
would be the man who did it.

Mary Ann, honey, you
shouldn't be out in this heat.

Mr. Connelly told me you caught
the man who killed my husband.

I'm afraid everybody's
jumping to conclusions.

Sure, I have a suspect,
but so far I haven't any proof.


Everyone in town knows
he's the one who did it.

Are you just going to sit
around doing nothing as usual?

Now, Mary Ann, the
sheriff has done all he could.

Has he?

Your husband was
a friend of mine.

Honey, I don't want
you to upset yourself.

These last few days you
seemed to be coming out of it.

I don't want you to
start brooding again.

I'm going over to the jail
and see the man who shot Ed.

Now, you heard the sheriff say

that he had no proof
that it was the killer.

Will you come with me or not?

Is this the man who
killed my husband?

I told you before, Mrs.
Wilson, we're not sure.

Ma'am... I ain't killed nobody.

Get Shukie Summers in here.

Now, Mary Ann,
don't make a fuss.

He was in the bank
at the time of the killing.

Maybe he can identify him.

I've already talked
to him about it.

Now, I think we ought to let
Shukie make his identification

at the proper time.

If we go dragging
him in here now

we're liable to scare him
into making a mistake.

Sheriff, my husband
has been dead for weeks.

Will you please
get Shukie in here

and let him prove whether
this man is the killer or not.

Get him, Sheriff.

He can tell you
I'm not the killer,

and maybe you'll
let me out of here.


Yes, Sheriff?

We want to see if you
can identify the prisoner

as the man that
killed Ed Wilson.

Sheriff, I... Shukie... come on.

- Just go right over here.
- Well, you see, Mrs. Wilson...

- Come on, Shukie.
- Well, Sher...

Take a good look at him.

Now, look.

Now, Shukie, you look at him,

and see if he isn't the man.

Look at him.

Well, it's... it's been
a little while ago.

Oh, Shukie...

you were the only one who
was in the bank at the time.

Don't you recognize him?

Well, I didn't get
a good look at him.

You never saw me
before today in your life.

Now you tell 'em that!


You be sure.

Oh, Shukie...

you're the only one
who can help me.

Now, please.

You know he's the man.

Please help me.

Yep. That's the
one I saw, all right.

I can't understand it.

Hoss should be here by now.

Maybe he never
got your telegraph.


I'd better check on that.

You know, you still got a
little time on your option.

Well, right now the option
isn't important, my son is.

And except for your
stubbornness about cash,

I wouldn't have to be
worrying about him now.

I'm sorry, but that's
the way it had to be.

Well, uh, I thought
I recognized him

when he first came into town.

Yeah, well, you sure did the
town a great favor, Shukie.

You sure did all right, Shuk.

You know, that means we
might get our money back.

Come on, I'll take you
down and buy you a beer.

Oh, no, no, I got
to stay here and...

Hey, wait a minute,
here, here, come here.

Come on, let the widow
through here, fellas. Come on.

Right through here.
Let the widow...

let the lady through.

Oh, Tom, uh, how about
letting us take a look at him, huh?

Yeah, how about it, Sheriff?

All right.

All right, now, boys.

Wait a minute, now!

Wait a minute,
now, wait a minute,

we got to do this orderly now.

All right, you go.

- Yeah, you go.
- All right.

You thievin' murderer!

Hey, don't talk to the
prisoner. Keep it movin'.

They're gonna hang you sure!

I said don't talk
to the prisoner!

Keep it moving now... let
everybody have a chance here.

When's the trial
gonna be, Sheriff?

Looks like the judge won't
be around for a few weeks.

That'll be something.

And the hangin'! I
don't want to miss that!

I'm afraid you won't
see that, McCray.

Why not?

It'll be held at a prison.

- Well, is that for sure?
- For sure.

Shoot. I was counting
on that hangin'.

Hm. What happens
to all that money?

Go back to the bank as
soon as the judge releases it.

Why can't it go to the bank now?

The town could sure use it.

'Cause it's the law.

That money stays

right in that safe until
the prisoner's found guilty.

That's a shame.

Seeing as how it's our money.

Hey, don't talk to the prisoner.

Yeah. That's a shame, McCray.

Why don't you get out of here!

Shukie! Get these
fellas out of here!

All right, now,
everybody keep moving.

Everybody out.


Come on, Arthur.

Just the thought of that
Cartwright makes my blood boil.

Him and that $50 horse.

Yeah, well, I been
thinking of Cartwright, too.

Can't you just imagine the
high life he's been living?

The liquor he's
drunk, the women,

the fine food he's been eating.

Oh, he's had it real
good, you can bet on that.

It just grabs me, though.

All that stolen blood money.

He won't get away with it.

No, he's probably gonna get off.

Why, the law wouldn't allow
a thing like that to happen.

Yeah, men like him
use the law, Ned.

He'll get a smart
lawyer and, uh...

Yeah, yeah, sure.

Now, why didn't I think of that?

Them outlaws know
all the ins and outs.

Why, they could even... they...

That's what I mean,
that's what I mean.

Why, he can't
get away with that!

It's up to the good people of
this town to see that he don't.

But nothing's gonna happen...

unless maybe, uh...

maybe you've got an idea, Ned?

Well, might have.


Yeah, just might have.

I never seen it so hot.

You know, Tibbs,
that old jail over there

ain't nothin' but an old,
broken-down cracker box.



Sure is a powerful lot of money.

It's a lot of more
than I've ever seen.

Me, too.

You thinking what I'm thinking?

When it gets dark.




Boys! Quiet down, now, boys.

Boys, Ned Larsen here has
got something important to say.

Yeah, I sure do.

Listen, that thievin'
murderer sitting up in our jail,

Cartwright fella's

gonna get off scot-free if
we give him half a chance.

He's right!

Ed Wilson was a friend of
yours and he's a friend of mine.

- Yeah.
- I say it's up to us

to punish the fella that
shot him down in cold blood.

I say we take care
of that fella ourselves!

That's right!

And we ought to do it now!

We gonna let him
get out of this?!

What's all the shouting about?

I ain't sure, but...

I got a pretty good idea.


Sh... Sheriff!

Sheriff, you gotta... you
gotta do something about it.

I mean, they're up there
talking about a lynching!

Lynching? Oh, that's
probably just talk.

It's not just talk!

They're gonna do it!

They're talking
about putting a...

putting a rope around his
neck and lynching him, Sheriff!

You gotta do something about it!

Shukie, you're drunk!

Now, you get inside,
get some coffee

and sober up...
I'm gonna need you.

And you! You get
over to that saloon

and try to talk some
sense into those fellas.

You're the sheriff,
Tom... Isn't that your job?

There's a telegraph
we didn't send

that just might have proved
that man in there's innocent.

Hey, what's all the
ruckus out there?

Uh, oh, noth... nothin'.

Just, uh, just
some of the fellas

whoopin' it up a little is all.


How come you
ain't whooping it up?

Oh, sheriff said he
wanted me to stay here.

- He said he needed my help.
- Hm. Your help, huh?

Like the way you
put the finger on me?

Eh, the least you can do is
give me a cup of that coffee.


Here you go.


Why did you do it, little man?

Cartwright, put him down.

Now, you go get some
sleep somewhere.

Ain't a man here
didn't know Ed Wilson.

There wasn't a finer man
in this town than Ed Wilson.

How many of you fellas got
hurt when this Cartwright fella

stole all your money
out of the bank?

- We gonna let him get away with it?
- No!

Well, I say we ought to string
him up right here and now!

Listen to me! Listen!

Oh, you shut up, Fillmore!

- I won't!
- Well, then get out of here!

Let's listen to
what he has to say!

Uh, men, we cannot take
the law into our own hands.

Oh, wait a minute!

You gonna listen to a man

who won't help
his own neighbors?!


Gonna listen to a
tightfisted money-grubber

that won't give any
of us any credit?!

I can't give you any credit...
I haven't anything left to give!

Now, Ed Wilson
was my son-in-law...

and if he were here now,
he would say to all of you:

"Don't stain my
name with blood."

I agree with Mr. Fillmore.

Now, you keep
out of this, Connelly!

Now, please, all
of you, go home...

before you do
something you'll regret

for the rest of your lives.


Come on, I'll buy you a drink.

That Fillmore.

Old moneybags.

They shouldn't
have listened to him.

He don't care if this town dies.


But forget it.

It's all over.

Might as well go home.

Buy you fellers one
more drink on the house?

Uh, all right, Ned?

Might as well... Nothing
gonna happen anyhow.

That Cartwright's gonna go free.

And tomorrow things are
gonna be just the same.

It's gonna be hot...

What happened,
Sheriff? What happened?

Two fellas busted in here
and tried to free that Cartwright!

- That true, Sheriff?
- We heard 'em comin',

and me and the
sheriff drove 'em off,

but one of them
winged the sheriff.

We'll organize a posse
and take after 'em, Sheriff.

Go on home.

We'll get some guns
and be right back, Sheriff.

I catch you with guns,

you're gonna be
right in there with him.

Shukie, go down to the saloon
and get me some whiskey

- for this arm.
- Right, Sheriff.

What were those shots?

Cartwright's gang tried
to bust him out of jail.

Yeah, I knew it was
going to happen.

I knew it was going to
be just a question of time

till somebody'd come up here
and try to bust him out of here.

Now you want to make
one of your fancy speeches

about the law taking its course?

Now, listen to me.

Don't you "now, listen
to me," moneybags,

and you keep out of this or
you're gonna wish you had.

Let's round everybody
up and meet at the saloon.

- Wait a minute, wait a minute.
- Oh, forget it.

You all right, Tom?

I'll live.

You think those
men were really trying

to get Cartwright out of here?

Well, it's a cinch,

they were trying to get
in here for something.

Well, that could prove that
he was guilty, couldn't it?

Could also prove that
they were after that $12,000

I got there in the safe.

Sheriff, I have no connection
with those two men,

and you know it.

You're a liar, a
dirty, rotten liar!

Mary Ann, I wish you
would stay out of this.

I can't stay out of it.

Now, listen to me.

Tom is still not
sure that we have

the right man.

Not sure?

Well, I don't care
if you're sure or not

because he's going to get it.

You're going to get it, big man.

You might be able to fool
my father and the sheriff here,

but not for long because there
are other men in this town...

Real men... and they're not...

You listen to me!

They're not going to
let you get away with it.

They're going to come in here

and drag you out
and they're going

to put a rope around
your neck for killing my Ed!

Mary Ann.

Don't touch me!

Hey, Sheriff, the men's
gathering around the saloon,

talking lynching again.

Shut up.

What's he talking
about, Sheriff?

What's all that
talk about lynching?

Just some of the boys
down at the saloon

got too much of this loudmouth.

I can handle it.

You can handle it.

Sheriff, you know I
ain't guilty, you know it.

I said I could handle it.

You got nothing
to worry about it.

Didn't me and the sheriff
drive off those fellas

that tried to bust
you out of here?

I told you I didn't have
nothing to do with them fellers.

Look, Sheriff, you and
me can sneak out of here

the back way and take a
little ride over to Scottsberg,

and my pa will prove
to you who I am.

Oh, you think he's gonna
go riding through the night

with you and let something
else happen to him?

Will you shut up?!

What kind of a man
are you anyhow, Sheriff?

A mob down there
talking about a lynching,

and you ain't even willing
to try to find out who I am.

Well, them men busting in here
proved pretty much who you are.

Shukie, shut up!

Go close the door and lock it.

Fillmore is just as bad.

Where's McCray with that rope?

Fillmore, you go home.

Please, Ned, we're
not sure he's guilty.

We're still not sure.

Well, maybe you're
not sure, but we're sure.

We've been sure all the time.

Listen, you're not bad peop...

Shut up, moneybags.

I told you to keep out of this.

Now, you go home.

Will you go home?

Go home.

Hey, I got a nice, thick one,
strong enough to hang a steer.

Are you ready?

Shut up, everybody.

This ain't a carnival.

We got a job to do.

So help me God.

All right, Shukie,
you're a deputy,

and here's that gun
you've always wanted.

W-What do you want me to do?

You're going to uphold the law,

and that includes
resisting lynchers.

Aw, I-I can't do that.

I mean, Larsen, McCray...
They're our friends.

When you're a deputy or a
sheriff, you got no friends.

I say hang him.

Who is it and what do you want?

Ben Cartwright... let me in.

You're holding my...

- Pa.
- The devil's going on here?

Get his gun, Shukie.

I want to talk to my son.

Hoss, you all right?

Fine, Pa.

What's happening here?

I just came by the saloon;
they're talking about lynching.

What did you do?

Pa, I didn't do nothing.

Their bank was robbed
here several days ago

and a feller got killed, and
the sheriff thinks it's me.

He put me in here and put our
money over there in that safe.

Now, Sheriff, this is my son.

Well, your son is
suspected of murder.

How do we know you
ain't part of his gang?

Two of them tried to bust him

out of here, shot the
sheriff in the arm doing it.

Shukie, shut up.

Go outside and
see what's going on.

Are you all out of your minds?

If your son's
innocent, he'll go free.

What about that mob out there?

Are they going to wait
for any proof of innocence?

What about them?

- We'll take care of 'em.
- Who, how?

You and your deputy alone?

Let's get it done.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

I say hang him.

Here they come, Sheriff.

You stay here, I'll talk to 'em.

Talk to them?

A simple telegraph could have
established my son's identity.

I got a telegraph from
somebody called Fillmore.

That's how I knew he was here.

Fillmore sent you a telegraph?

Yes, at Scottsberg.

Bolt this after me.

Now, just a minute, folks.

Where's he at?

We think we just
got proof that the man

we got locked up in there is
not the man that shot Ed Wilson.

Little late for that, Sheriff.

If he does turn
out to be innocent,

you're going to be sorry
about this tomorrow.

Quit talking, Tom,
get him out here.

I can't do that.

Now, you don't
get out of the way,

you ain't going to
be sheriff no longer.

But I am sheriff now...

so you folks go on home now.

Going to shoot us, Tom,

the people that
elected you to office?

Try me.

Tom, easy.

These are your
friends and neighbors.

Get those keys, McCray.

Hey, Bill.

You stand right still, big 'un.

- Come on, Pete.
- Come on, get him out of here.

Now, just give me one minute.

You want to take a man's life,

my son's life.

Now, let me tell you something.

You don't want to take his life.

You want the money that
was stolen from this town.

Well, in that jailhouse
there's money,

a lot of it.

It belongs to me, but
you can have it, all of it.

Just give my son one more day.

Let him stay in that
jail for one more day

while I prove his innocence
and then you can keep the money.

No strings attached.

Just give me the time.


That's all you think
about... The money.

No one thinks about my husband.

No one thinks about Ed.

Don't you see, this is a trick?

It's, it's a trick
to stall for time.

They broke that man
out of jail once today

and they're going
to try it again.

Are you going to let it happen?

Larsen, listen to me.

What this man has said is right.

You're all my friends
and neighbors.

I know how you
feel, but please...

don't do this terrible thing.

I say hang them,
hang both of them!

Cut him down.

Oh, you're all alike.

You're do-nothings,
you're cowards.

Well, I'm not.

The man who killed my husband

isn't going to get
away with this.

Mary Ann, no, no.

Somebody get a doctor.

All right, you satisfied?

Get on home.

You lie down easy now.

It's not a bad town,
Mr. Cartwright.

It's just that they quit
being people for a while

because they're
hot and they're dry

and they're broke.


I'm, I'm sorry, son.

Behind the Scenes of A Hot Day for a Hanging

Gene Roth, a guest star in this episode, had previously collaborated with Dan Blocker in the Three Stooges short “Outer Space Jitters” (1957). In the brief, Blocker portrayed an alien zombie, and interestingly, his billing was misspelled as “Don Blocker.”

Furthermore, Terry Becker, appearing as “Shukie” in this episode, later assumed the role of Chief Sharkey, a character with striking similarities in name, as a series regular in the classic sci-fi show “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1964).

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza presents wholesome entertainment suitable for watching alone or enjoying with family. A Hot Day for a Hanging marks the 104th episode out of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, encompassing 14 seasons.

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