A House Divided Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #18
Bonanza was one of NBC’s longest-running Western television series, following the fictional family living on the Ponderosa ranch, the Cartwrights, and their daily adventures. Its eighteenth episode, A House Divided, aired on January 16, 1960, and was written by Al C. Ward. Stacey Harris appeared as Regis, Marianne Steward as Lily, and Howard Wendell as a mine owner.
When Southern sympathizer Fred Kyle (Cameron Mitchell) arrives in Virginia City in hopes of raising funds for the Confederacy, he discovers the evenly divided loyalty of the citizens. Kyle then attempts to incite hostility for his benefit. The Cartwrights become involved when Little Joe’s longtime friend, Kyle, sways him.
Read its plot, including some trivia, or enjoy the entire episode below.
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Aside from the main cast, A House Divided, Bonanza’s eighteenth episode included several recurring and guest cast members. The episode features the following characters:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Cameron Mitchell as Frederick Kyle
- Stacy Harris as Regis
- John Anderson as Gorman
- Marianne Stewart as Lily Van Cleet Kyle
- Howard Wendell as Hennessy
- Dan Riss as Tom Madigan
- Mickey Simpson as Northern Miner
- Jon Locke as Southern Miner (as John Locke)
- Kenneth MacDonald as Sheriff
- Stafford Repp as Mine Owner (as J. Stafford Repp)
- Barry Cahill as Luke
- Sam Bagley as Poker Player (uncredited)
- Forest Burns as Henchman (uncredited)
- Bill Clark as Barfly (uncredited)
- Walt Davis as Barfly (uncredited)
- George DeNormand as Mine Owner (uncredited)
- Chuck Hamilton as Townsman (uncredited)
- John Indrisano as Townsman (uncredited)
- Rex Moore as Barfly (uncredited)
- Ron Nyman as Barfly (uncredited)
- Cosmo Sardo as Poker Player (uncredited)
- Carl Sklover as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line of A House Divided
A distinguished gentleman with only one arm named Frederick Kyle set foot in Virginia City. Upon checking into the hotel, he asks the clerk about the Cartwrights. Tom claims that everyone on the Washoe knows the Cartwrights. He also states that two of them, Adam and Little Joe, are in town, answering Kyle’s inquiry on how to get in touch with them.
Kyle comes in and watches Joe playing poker in the adjacent saloon. Unaware of his opponent’s cheating, Kyle steps in and stops Joe from fighting Gorman and his partner, Regis. Kyle delivered a great fight and won against Gorman despite battling only one arm. Joe, on the other hand, took care of Regis. Thankful for his help, Joe invites Kyle to dinner.
Gorman wants to follow Joe and Kyle as they leave the room, but Regis stops him as he remembers seeing Kyle back in Kansas as “one-armed trouble.” At some point, he tells Gorman that Kyle will give them their “money tree.”
Ben expresses his gratitude to Kyle for helping Little Joe over dinner on the Ponderosa. After a short talk, Kyle opens up about coming to the area to find silver ore suppliers. Joe offers to introduce him to the silver mine owners. They also discussed a bit about the North and South, leading to Kyle stating how sometimes ideologies go deeper than where an individual lives. The subject shifts to something else when Kyle accepts Joe’s invitation to meet the silver mine owners.
Hoss and Ben enter an ongoing argument about North and South in the saloon, so they attempt to calm things down.
Meanwhile, Regis and Gorman stop Kyle as he returns to his hotel room. Regis introduced themselves, explained they’ve checked, and knew he arrived at the city to get silver ore. They figure it’s for “the cause.” Regis tells him that some mine owners might not want to go along, but they’re willing to be his little army for $5,000. Kyle dislikes the duo but agrees in the end.
Adams enters the hotel in search of Joe. Tom, the clerk, informs him that Joe was out showing Kyle around, but Kyle’s alone upstares at the moment. However, Regis and Gorman appear, discussing the one-armed man’s temper. The two caught Adam’s curiosity, so Tom tells him who they are, including how the two recently got out of jail. On the other hand, he knows nothing about Kyle. He believes Little Joe would know about Kyle considering how they’ve got friendly, even pointing out how Kyle asked about Joe the minute he arrived in town.
Ben asked for Little Joe once Adam returned home. He then informs Ben about Kyle’s interest in Joe, stating that Kyle did not meet Joe by accident. Worried, Ben goes to town by himself.
In the saloon, Kyle and Joe meet with mine owner, Hennessy. Hennessy refuses to sell his ore to Kyle, saying he already has a contract with brokers in San Francisco. Later on, Hennessy reveals hearing about Kyle and his Southern sympathies.
Perplexed, Joe couldn’t understand Hennessy’s decision and how he brought political concepts into a business transaction. Kyle states how helpful it is to have a Cartwright on his side. Moreover, Kyle also mentions knowing Joe’s mom, Marie, back in New Orleans. He presents Joe with a pocket picture of Marie that he’s had for years. The gift deeply touched Joe’s heart, and to mask his feelings, he decided to offer to take Kyle to meet a few mine owners in the morning.
Ben walks into the hotel and asks Tom about Kyle. A woman overhears their conversation and states Kyle’s not in his room. She introduces herself as Lily Van Cleet, passing through Virginia City on her way to California. Lily hears that Ben has a ranch and three sons—Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe. Shen then states she also has a son named Joseph, but he and his husband died in a street fight over a year ago.
Kyle strolls to the hotel, surprised to see Lily talking with Ben. Ben then asks to speak with him privately. He seeks to know why Kyle sought out Joe. Kyle then admits to knowing Marie and shows Joe a portrait of her. Ben tells Kyle not to try seeing Little Joe again, regardless of his intentions.
Lily is in Kyle’s room the following day. Despite their marriage and her unchanging love, Lily, daughter of a Northern senator, still doesn’t believe in her husband’s cause as a Southern sympathizer. She complains about how this cause has taken their son’s life, Kyle’s arm, and marriage. Kyle’s still enraged that Northern hypocrites murdered their son but guarantees to go back to Lily when all this is over.
Hennessy sees Kyle in the saloon, telling him he knows Kyle’s objective in Virginia City. Moreover, he says he’s going to Washington to warn the proper authorities about his activities, to which Kyle responds with a threat. Kyle calls Regis over once Hennessy leaves. The two plus Gorman discussed the situation over a drink.
Regis and Gorman observe two passengers leave the lobby the following day. Hennessy and Lily board the stage. However, as the stage travels through a mountain turn, it suddenly tips over a cliff and breaks into pieces.
Cartwright’s foreman discovered the bodies and took them to the Ponderosa. Ben contacted Kyle upon learning the victims’ identities. Kyle asked what happened, and Ben explained that someone placed a boulder in the middle of the road, giving no time for the driver to stop the stagecoach. There were also footprints all around, depicting the involvement of two men. Seeing Kyle and the woman’s connection the other day, Ben assumed Kyle knew her. Kyle responds, saying she was a person he once knew.
Kyle returns to the saloon, where he meets Gorman and Regis. Holding them at gunpoint, he drags the duo into a small supply room. Kyle tosses the gun aside, brutally beating them both.
Kyle returns to the crash site, finds Lily’s cape, and caresses it. The sheriff agrees it was murder but wants to understand why Kyle thought Regis and Gorman were the suspects. Hoss and Joe emerge from the woods with the tools they discovered—one of which bears Gorman’s initials. Their evidence may prove the duo’s involvement, but Adam wants to know how Kyle knew. Joe and Adam argue, but Ben intervenes.
Ben had dozed off when Hoss and Adam woke him up to tell him of Joe’s quick arrival, packing a bag and leaving after. Ben is curious as to why Adam did not intervene. Adam, feeling guilty, says he will, then walks out. Hoss informs Ben that Adam was thinking of leaving too, so Ben chases after him.
Ben attempts to stop Adam, who’s collecting his belongings. Adam states he’s going to New England but hopes to let Joe know that he found himself saying things he didn’t mean and doesn’t even believe. Ben and Hoss ask him to stay. Adam responds, saying it’s not what he wants, but he can’t stand seeing his family divided because of different political views. Before leaving, Adam tells Ben that Joe needs him more than Adam.
Meanwhile, when Ben enters, Kyle and Joe meet with mine owners. He approaches them and orders everyone, to leave so he can speak with Kyle privately. Ben tells Joe to stay and hear his words to decide for himself afterward. Ben accuses Kyle of obtaining silver to support the Confederacy, even giving everything for his beliefs. Kyle does not see anything wrong with what he did, then asks Ben if he believes in anything. Ben responds, stating he believes in his sons but lost two of them that day.
Ben asks about Lily once more. Kyle declines to talk about her, even though Ben’s comments bother him. Pushed over the edge, Kyle was ready to hit Ben but could not complete the attack. He grumbles about Ben’s initial noninvolvement, stating it wasn’t his fight. However, Ben says Kyle made it his fight. Ben reminds Kyle that he’s lost a kid and now a wife. Kyle says he won’t allow anything to stand in his way and that it isn’t over. He claims that countless others will fight for the cause—that even rivalries between brothers and fathers will emerge. Ben dismisses his thought, stating it’s all useless.
Upon Kyle’s departure, Joe finally understands what he’s about to lose and asks for forgiveness from Ben. Joe sought to look for Adam, only to find him gazing out over the lake. Joe expresses his realizations to Adam. Adam does not look at him but continues to stare at the lake, inviting him to go home together. The two arrive at the Ponderosa, much to Ben’s relief.
Full Script and Dialogue of A House Divided
Yah! Come on, faster. I'll take your bags in for you, mister. The name is Kyle, Frederick Kyle. Yes, Mr. Kyle, we have your reservation. Thank you. By the way, would you happen to know a family here by the name of Cartwright? Who on the Washoe doesn't? How would I get in touch with them? That'll be pretty easy. Adam and Little Joe are in town right now picking up supplies. By Little Joe, would you mean Joseph Francis Cartwright? You call him that, you better be ready to duck. He's right inside. Thank you. Joseph Francis. See your five and raise you five. I'll see that and raise you five. Tens over fives. Hmm, three sixes. Maybe you'll do better next time, kid. All you need is a little luck. He'd be better off with a miracle. You care to explain that, mister? That routine of yours is older than the wheel. And your partner here gives bad signals. It's all right. Simmer down, young fella. It's a good thing to learn. You learned it cheap. Give him his money. I can fight my own battles. There's not going to be any battles. That's right. Give him his money. You think carrying one wing's gonna keep me from mopping the floor with you? Pick any reason you like. That was pretty nice work, mister. How much of this belongs to you? I got about $70 in here. $70. Uh-uh. Not all of it. When a man learns a lesson, he ought to pay for it. I'm Joe Cartwright. Kyle, Frederick Kyle. Say, sure would like to repay you somehow. Haven't had a decent meal since I left Kansas City. I could sure use a good steak. I think I can fix you up Ponderosa style. Put that thing away. What do you want to do, shoot the man that's going to give us the money tree? What? I've seen that one before... Back in Kansas. Can't be two men like him. Who is he? One-armed trouble. More trouble than this town's ever seen. Mr. Kyle, I'd like to tell you again how grateful I am to you for helping Little Joe. For a meal like this, I'd do it every day. It's a pity you didn't get here a few days earlier. Then maybe Little Joe might have had some money left over to spend the next time he goes into town. You've been cheated before, Little Joe? They don't have to cheat him to get his money, Mr. Kyle. He's the worst poker player on the whole Comstock. Well, I'd like to make up that deficit in spending money. You see, I'm in the business of exporting gold and silver bullion. You plan to buy silver ore here in Virginia City, Mr. Kyle? My intentions precisely. Well, you've certainly come to the right place then. We're sitting right on top of a whole mountain of it here. So I understand. But I must get to the various men who control that mountain of silver. To interest them in my proposition. I know them all, Mr. Kyle. I'd be more than happy to show you around. Well, I appreciate your kind offer, Little Joe. If you're looking for help in high finance, Mr. Kyle, I'm afraid you done picked on the wrong Cartwright. How do you mean? Well, you see, Little Joe's full of that hot Southern blood, that he can't get very interested in cold cash. Now, on the other hand, Adam over there... He's from New England. And he's just got a natural feeling for the jingle of cash. And how about you, Hoss? Well, sir, I reckon I'm sort of from in between. Hoss' mother and I were on the way out west when Hoss was born. Out on the prairie just west of the Missouri. You weren't alone, Hoss. Many good men were born on the prairie. Yes, sir. I just don't understand it. We're all from the same country here and yet there's still all this talk about North and South. Where's the dividing line? I'd say that the dividing line was in peoples' minds. Well, that puts me in the middle, all right, 'cause I ain't got no leaning either way. Well, you know, that's the trouble with you, Hoss. Now you take older brother over here. He's from way up north. Me, I'm from way down south in Dixie. Just blow the bugle when you want the war started. All right, now. We all have our roots and they're right here on the Ponderosa now. Sometimes a man's roots and responsibilities go deeper than where he lives. Isn't that sort of idea rather stale and old-fashioned, Mr. Kyle? When we came out west we left that behind. Can you ever leave behind an idea or an ideology? At any rate, Little Joe, I most appreciate your kind offer of help. Well, that's certainly the least we can do for you, Mr. Kyle. Thank you. Now, you're sure you won't have a cigar? Thank you, no. I don't want anything to spoil the memory of that steak. Well, I'll tell Hop Sing what you said. He'll be awfully pleased. So it's ranches like this where all that good beef comes from. Hm. Mr. Kyle, I know it's an overly- used expression, but you do sound like a city fella. Not by choice. But the cities are where one finds the houses of finance. Yes. Yes, you're right there. Sit down, Mr. Kyle. Thank you. I used to travel a great deal to the cities. Yes, you still travel I suppose? St. Louis, New Orleans, New York, all over. Nice, nice cities. Yes. What about this... this trouble that seems to be brewing between the states? Not trouble, Mr. Cartwright... It's a prelude to war. Civil war. Do you really think it will come to that, Mr. Kyle? There's already talk that some of the states are seceding from the Union. I hope we'll be spared all that grief out here. Where did you say you were from, Mr. Kyle? I don't believe I did say. But I'm from Kansas. And that's right in the middle of everything. Well, I think I'll turn in. Good night, gentlemen. I do appreciate your hospitality, sir. Our pleasure, Mr. Kyle, our pleasure. See you in the morning, Mr. Kyle. Hey, look at that express rider. He's coming in like a scalded cat. Just don't seem to me like people get as excited as they used to, Pa, when the pony rider comes to town. Well, you know, Hoss, RIDER: Hyah! People don't like to hear bad news. It's been getting worse all the time. Well, let's pick up our paper. You're a liar! Hey, hey, come on. Wait a minute, wait a minute. I'll kill that dirty Yankee! I'll kill him dead! Hold on. What's going on here? I'll tell you what's going on. This dirty reb said the North's not even fit to be in the same Union. Wait a minute, wait a minute. This is Virginia City. It's neither North nor South. Maybe all that's gonna change pretty soon. That might be true, but right now you're just gonna simmer down a little bit. That one of them papers just come in town? Yes, it is. Well, there won't be no truth in it... just poison. That paper comes from New York. Let's hear what it has to say, Mr. Cartwright. We don't want to hear no reading from a Northern paper. That right? What's the matter with you rebs? You afraid to hear the truth? Just hold on. If my pa wants to read the paper, I reckon that's what he's gonna do. Now you just simmer down a little bit. Well, the, uh... the news has been mostly about one thing. That's, uh, that speech that Mr. Lincoln made last month in Springfield. I guess what he wanted to say can be found right in the end of it here. It says, "The... the agitation "has not only not ceased "but augmented. "In my opinion," it says, "it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed." Then he says, "A house... a house divided against itself cannot stand." Beggin' your pardon, Mr. Cartwright, but what's all that mean? Well, Mr. Lincoln is saying that... people come together because of the things they have in common, like, uh, well, like friendship and love and... And, uh... I guess it means that when they get so blinded by their personal beliefs that hate creeps in, then violence can't be too far behind. All that's nothing but Northern lies. Ain't lies, neither. A nation ain't a nation if the states don't stick together. Wait a minute, Luke. What if a state don't want to stick together? Then we fight to make them stick together. For those of you who would like to have the news read from a Southern paper, I have here the Charleston Journal. "Mr. Lincoln's speech has been hailed as a Southern victory. "It is generally acknowledged that the first ten lines "of that speech have already defeated his bid for election. "Here was Mr. Lincoln's reply to that opinion... "If it is decreed that I should go down because of this speech, "then let me go down linked to the truth... Let me die in advocacy of what is just and right." You trying to tell us that a Southern paper would write a thing like that? If you can read, see for yourself. The South would never praise the thinking of a man like Abe Lincoln. A man who honestly knows what he believes, and has courage enough to act on it, is a man deserving of praise from all men. Now, we could have cut your heart right out, Mr. Kyle, but... we wouldn't want to do that. We just wanted to show you how handy we'd be to have around. What do you want? Well, our meeting before was a little informal. We thought we'd like to make it more proper. My name's Regis and this here's Gorman. What do you want? Well, I guess you could say we came round to enlist. Enlist? What are you talking about? Why, the cause. What else? I remember you from Kansas, Mr. Kyle. Frederick Kyle, leader of the Free State movement in the south. Oh, making stirring speeches all up and down the state. Swearing to die for the cause if you had to. Well, you were mighty persuasive, Mr. Kyle. So much so that I been thinking about you ever since. So, you can see how pleased I was to see you'd landed right here in Virginia City. Come in. Well, now, like I say, being a convert to the cause, I just naturally wanted to join up. And Gorman here, he always goes along with me. Goes along with you in what? Well, now, since Virginia City's sitting on a pile of silver, we thought maybe you were after some of it to help run the war. Any particular war? Well, let's say the one that's about to start. It don't much matter one way or the other. It don't make much difference to you, do it? Well, now, Mr. Kyle, it's your war, not ours. Yes. Thank you for reminding me. All right. Talk. We heard some of the mine owners might not want to go along. So we thought, uh, maybe we'd lean on them a little. Or maybe just keep you from getting hung from the highest tree. Now, we could be your own private little army, Mr. Kyle, for just, oh, say, uh, $5,000. Well, what do you say, Mr. Kyle? For the good of the cause? Don't talk to me about the cause. You dirty it every time the words come out of your mouth. You. You laugh again and I'll kill you. Gorman, now, you hold it, you hear? Now, look, Mr. Kyle. We didn't come here to fight. We just want to talk business. That's better. We talk business, not causes. Now we understand each other. Yes, sir. Yes, sir, we understand. Get out. When I need you, I'll send for you. Now, you can count on us, Mr. Kyle. Oh, Tom? Over here, Adam. Oh. Listen, Tom, you seen Little Joe around anywhere? He was out making the rounds with that Kyle fellow. Yeah, but he should have been home by now. Where's Kyle? He's up in his room. Alone. One arm of his don't slow him down much. I told you, he's trouble, the likes of which this town has never seen. What was that you said about him being our money tree? He will be. Just as long as we all ride the same track. I thought you said Kyle was in his room alone. Who are they? Names Regis and Gorman. They got a mean streak runs clean through. I hear they got out of jail just last week. Now, what would a man like Kyle be doing with their kind? Just what is Mr. Kyle's kind, Adam? Are you sure? Well, now, you got to admit, he plays his business close to his vest. Well, somebody ought to know. Well, my guess would be Little Joe. Mr. Kyle seemed to want to get friendly with him right from the start. What do you mean? Well, he was asking about Little Joe the minute he got off the stage. Thanks, Tom. Bartender. Gentlemen. This drink's on me. Well, thank you, neighbor. I'm Adam Cartwright. Cartwright. Well, ain't we stepping high on the wheat. My name's Regis. This here's Gorman. What about your other friend? What friend you talking about? Oh, the man with the money tree. Mr. Frederick Kyle. You know about Kyle? Easy, Joe. Here's a toast. What does he want with my brother? Like I said, here's a toast to, uh... small dogs and little old ladies. Well, I don't know about Mr. Kyle, but I know about you. Both of you. And what I know, I don't like. We don't much care whether you like us or not, Mr. Cartwright. You just stay out of our way. Your way or Mr. Kyle's way? Well, let's say him and us are on the same side, now. Come on, now. You'd be on any side that paid your price. You want to make us a better offer? No. No, I just want to be on the opposite side. Adam. Find Little Joe? No. That boy. He knows we've got that branding to do in the crest section. Well, he should be riding in pretty soon, I guess. He was with Kyle again today. I told him he could go. What is it, Adam? I met two gentlemen today. A Mr. Regis and a Mr. Gorman. We had a toast together. Yes? You sweep better things off the streets. But they also happen to be friends of Mr. Fred Kyle. What's on your mind? Kyle didn't meet Little Joe by accident. He was asking for him the minute he got off that stage. Who told you that? Tom Madigan at the International House. Mr. Hennessy, you sure you won't have a drink? I, uh, don't drink, Mr. Kyle. Well, it's a pity. It's one of the few indulgences a man has left. What did you want to see me about, Mr. Kyle? Well, I'm prepared to offer you a firm contract. I want to buy all the silver your mine produces. I already have a contract with my brokers in San Francisco. I know. But I'm willing to pay you a third more. I said I had a contract, Mr. Kyle. Say, Mr. Hennessy, aren't you passing up a pretty good deal? I think you'd best keep out of this, Little Joe. Oh, Mr. Kyle's a friend of mine. You didn't even hear him out. Forget it, son. I don't want to forget it. What's the matter with the offer? The man who's making it. I've heard of you, Kyle. I understand you have pronounced Southern sympathies. Well, my sympathies lie entirely in the other direction. Good day, sir. What did he mean bringing politics into this? I thought it was a straight business deal. And so it is. We'll forget about him. Well, Little Joe, today just about did it. Most of the mine owners I'm after have been invited to next week's meeting. I'm very grateful to you for your help. All I did was make introductions. Which was plenty. Out here, it pays to have a Cartwright on your side. How do you mean? Well, when I knew I was coming out here, I'd heard, of course, of the Cartwright family of the Ponderosa. So, I-I checked to see if it was the same family. The same family? Mm-hmm. I knew your mother, Little Joe. Back in New Orleans. A long time ago. She was a very beautiful, a very gracious woman. In many ways, you're much like her. So, I thought, perhaps, you'd like to have this. Where did you get it? Doesn't matter. I've had it many, many years. She was a very beautiful woman, your mother. She was. Oh, well, thank you for giving me this. Nothing at all, son. Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we'll, uh, we'll get back to the rest of the names on that list. Sure, Little Joe. Sure. Thanks again. And don't worry any about Mr. Hennessy. I think he'll come around. I think he will. So long, Mr. Kyle. Hello, Tom. Evening, Ben. Say, I was glad to hear your wife is feeling so much better. I'm looking for Mr. Kyle. I'm afraid he's not in his room. You're a friend of Mr. Kyle's? Well, uh, I know him. I see. Well, then, we have that in common. My name is Lily Van Cleet. Well, my name is Ben Cartwright. I believe you must be a stranger of Virginia City. Oh, just passing through. Are you a friend of Frederick Kyle's? Why? Well, he's a very interesting man. I'd like to know more about him. Well, then I suggest you ask him. Yes, I suppose I should. You must be tired after your journey. May I offer you some refreshment? Thank you. You say you're just passing through. I'm going to California. The West is such a wonderful land. Well, it used to be. Used to be? All of the trouble back east, it's seeping west. It doesn't belong out here. Hate and misunderstanding have no place anywhere, Mr. Cartwright. Oh, uh, coffee? Please. Two coffees, please. Well, I-I hope things will be different out in California for you and your husband. You are married, aren't you? Well, I-I was once. And you? Yes. I-I have a ranch. I live there with my three boys. Three sons. How wonderful. What are their names? Well, the oldest is Adam. The, uh, middle boy, we call him Hoss. Well, if you'd see him, you'd know exactly why. He's a pretty big fella. Thank you. And, uh, the youngest... the youngest and most impressionable... we call him Little Joe. I named my son Joseph, too. Well, if he favors you, ma'am, he's a fine-looking boy. It's past tense now, Mr. Cartwright. Pardon, ma'am? Joseph is dead. I'm sorry. What is happening in Virginia City happened in the east over a year ago. Joseph and his father were accidentally embroiled in a street fight. I lost them both that night. You are a very fortunate man, Mr. Cartwright. Be thankful for that. Hello, Fred. I told Mr. Cartwright we were friends. I was just passing through and decided to stop over and say hello. Mr. Cartwright. Mrs. Van Cleet. Kyle. I'd like to talk to you for a moment please. Wait please. When you came into town, you were looking for my son Joseph. Why? I had a photograph of his mother. I thought he'd like to have it. Where did you get it? I knew his mother. You don't believe me, Mr. Cartwright? She's gone now, so that doesn't matter anymore. But my sons do. Now I don't know what your intentions are, Mr. Kyle, nor what you're seeking to achieve here in Virginia City, but don't try to see Little Joe again. "Blind with thine hair the eyes of day..." "Kiss her until she be wearied out "Then wander o'er city and sea, and land." See? I still remember Shelley. I should. You read him to me often enough. You know, a few more years and you might have made a literate man out of me. Speaking of years, this is a sort of a special one for us. A man who can remember Shelley surely can remember his 20th wedding anniversary. I do. I do remember. 20 years. 20 years. And you introduced yourself to Cartwright as a friend. Whatever it is you're here for, Frederick, I didn't want to spoil it. There's nothing you can do to spoil it. The daughter of a Northern senator meets a lot of people. I don't think the cause of a Southern sympathizer would be enhanced in case someone were to find out I was his wife. Have you changed that much, Lily? That you could be interested in the cause of a Southern sympathizer? I still believe what I have always been taught to believe. No, Frederick, my beliefs haven't changed. Neither has my love for you. I was hoping that after... whatever it is you must do here, we could go to California together. Oh, we could be happy there. It's a new land. I heard that the day I arrived in Virginia City. But now I mean to take it into the camp of the Confederacy. Oh, Fred. What fools we are. Our son loses his life, you lose an arm. Then we lose each other. Why? Why?! Our boy did not lose his life. They took it. He was murdered. Murdered by a group of those self-righteous Northern hypocrites that your father so skillfully represents. There were secessionists in that group that night, too. We don't know which side it was that killed him. I guess we all had a part in killing him. Fred, this may be our last chance. You said that you believed what you were always taught to believe. Well, that's true with most of us. A man does what he has to do. And you used to quote another part of Shelley. "A glorious people vibrated again The lightning of the nations." The day that all this is over, I shall come to you. You're forgetting something, Mr. Hennessy. You don't drink. I been waiting for you, Kyle. You have? Why? I know why you've come to Virginia City. A number of the other mine owners have told me about your purpose here. And what is my purpose, as you put it? To force the silver mines into financing the rebellious cause of the South. Yes. Yes, that is my purpose. Well, you won't get away with it. You think you can stop me, little man? I'm gonna leave for Washington in the morning, warn the proper authorities about what you're doing. Don't you try it, little man! I'm warning you. Don't you try it. Regis. Yes, Mr. Kyle? Have a drink. Bartender. Hey, Regis, the stage is about ready to leave. I figured it's got to be about that time. Fellow over there, the one in the gray hat, is about as Yankee as a man can get. Only good Yankee is a dead Yankee. You know, I think that stage is gonna run into a barrel of bad luck. Hyah! Hah! Huh! Hyah! Hyah! My foreman found the bodies just before dark. Since... since you and the lady were acquainted, I thought you'd want to know. How did it happen? Someone placed a boulder on a blind curb... The driver didn't have a chance to stop the stage from going over the cliff. Who did it? Must have been two of them. There were footprints all around. Kyle... Who was she? You must've known her pretty well. Why don't you tell us who she was? What are you hiding, Mr. Kyle? I am not trying to hide anything. She was a person I once knew. You believe that, don't you? I don't believe you, Kyle. Who are you and what do you really want here in Virginia City? Look, what's got into you, Adam? You have not right to question Mr. Kyle like that. Haven't I? Well, he's got you pretty well fooled, hasn't he? Fooled about what? He hasn't got me fooled about anything. Tell him, Kyle! Tell him the truth! Stop it! Stop it! What's the matter with you? What are we doing? Shouting over the dead, fighting like animals. Come on, both of you. I'm sorry, Kyle. I... We shouldn't have behaved this way. I told you, Ben. She was a person I once knew. Give us two more. Well, evening, Mr. Kyle. I suppose you heard about the accident... That Yankee leaving on the morning stage. I heard. Well, then maybe, you'd be pleasured to buy us a drink. Put your guns on the bar. In the back room. Now, Mr. Kyle, there are definite signs this was a planned crash all right. But what made you think those men were the murderers? Well, Mr. Kyle? I think we can answer that, Sheriff. Hoss and I just checked up on the road. That slide was done deliberate. We found the pick they used to pry the boulder off on to the road with. It's got Gorman's initials burned there in the handle. Well, that proves those two men are guilty. But Mr. Kyle never answered the question. How did he know those men are guilty? Now, what difference does it make, as long as they're the men that did it? But it does make a difference, doesn't it, Mr. Kyle? What were those men guilty of, murder or just acting on your instructions? Oh, that's ridiculous. What reason would he have to do a thing like this? Well, maybe I can give you a clue. Which one did you want killed, Kyle, the man or the woman? Look, Adam, you've been riding Mr. Kyle ever since you met him. Now, stay out of it. Brother against brother? How dare you, either of you. Pa? Pa. Oh. Little Joe came in about 20 minutes ago. The maverick finally got home, did he? Well, right now, the three of you are going to have a talking to. Put an end to this nonsense once and for all. Little Joe? Pa. Little Joe, come in here. Pa. Pa, he came, but he didn't stay. What do you mean, he didn't stay? He just came to pick up a few things, Pa. He's going to stay in town for a while. Why didn't you stop him? I plan to. Pa, Adam says he's gonna go, too. Adam! Adam, wait a minute. Now... now, Adam, before you... This political trouble, it's a madness, Pa. Suddenly something screams at you inside and you find yourself saying things you don't mean... Things you don't even believe. Tell Little Joe I wanted him to know that. Try to make him understand. These things that are packed here, what's this for? Where do you think you're going? New England ought to be mighty pretty this time of the year. I think I'd like to see it again. Now, Adam, you can't be serious. Use your head. Oh, Adam, come on. Hoss, things can't be the same between us anymore. What are you talking about? What can't be the same? Why can't it be... It just can't, Pa! Adam! Adam! Adam! There's no other way, Pa, can't you see? No, I can't see. I'm not gonna stand by and watch my family flake away like rust off a wheel. Oh, use your head, Pa, not your heart. Can't you see the damage is already done. It's gotta be Little Joe or me. And he needs you more than I do. Adam. I don't want you to go. You think it's what I want, Pa? Or even what Little Joe wants? This thing has gone so far now there's just no stopping it. You can't have two different points of view in the same house, Pa. It just won't work and that's all there is to it! Adam, please. Oh, Pa, leave me alone, will ya? Pa, that newspaper you was reading the other day in the saloon about what Mr. Lincoln said about a house divided can't stand. I reckon he was talki" about folks like us. No. Not us, Hoss. Not us. Since I have already met and talked with most of you gentlemen, the main purpose of this meeting is to iron out any further questions that might have occurred to you. You've guaranteed to pay us well above the price we're getting in San Francisco for our silver ore. That's right. How do you expect to do this, sir? Those I represent need hard money... Gold or silver. So to get it, they're willing to pay more in drafts of trade. Drafts of trade, for what, Mr. Kyle? Easily marketable items... Such as cotton, tobacco... Gentlemen, I'd like to talk to Mr. Kyle in private. Will you excuse us? I asked if you will excuse us. I have something important to discuss with Mr. Kyle. It's not very ethical. Why should we be going... I suppose you'd like me to go, too, huh, Pa? You're a man now. After you hear what I have to say you can do as you wish. Mr. Kyle, this, uh... this scheme of yours with the mine owners, how does it work? The silver bullion and the letters of trade, which you give in return, are channeled through some foreign country, and the bullion ends up creating a war chest for the Confederacy. Isn't that it? You're a very astute man, Mr. Cartwright. A very astute man. No. Just a father. Something which probably isn't very important to you. Allow me to decide for myself what is important to me. You're a man of purpose, aren't you, Mr. Kyle? Everything for what you believe. Is that so bad? Or don't you believe in anything? I believe in my sons. Today I lost two of them. I should think you'd know better than anyone else alive how much that hurts. Me? Why me? That woman. That woman, Kyle, who was she? You leave her out of it. Can you? That night in my front yard when you were looking at what remained of her, I could feel the pain in the air. You loved her, didn't you? You loved her and you were willing to let her go without so much as a good-bye. I don't want to kill you, Cartwright, but I could change my mind. Who was she, Kyle? Every man has something he'll live for and die for. I want to find out what it is with you. How far will you go? How much are you willing to sacrifice, Kyle? Cartwright, I'm warning you. You let me alone. I talked to that woman. I saw the way she looked at you. I saw the way she held your arm as you walked up the hotel stairs. And then later I saw the way you were holding her cape. The cape that only a few hours before had warmed her flesh. Stop it, Ben! You hear me? Stop it! Was she nothing more than the party girl from Carson City? It isn't fair, Ben. You're not fair. You said that you... you wouldn't take sides, that this wasn't your fight. You made it my fight, Kyle. She was your wife, wasn't she? Yes. Yes, she was my wife. First your son, then your wife. Nothing must interfere with your mission. Nothing. Nothing. I will stop at nothing to ensure the success of my cause. Yes, I believe that. You will see. This is only the beginning. No sacrifice will be too great. There'll be countless others, men like myself, and worse... Brother against brother. Father against son. And when it's over, what a waste it will all have been. What a useless, damnable waste. I'm sorry, Pa. Brother against brother, father against son. You really think it'll come to that? I don't know. I do know that a tree has many roots and they run in many directions... But it has only one taproot. This is where yours is. I think I know that now. I thought you'd be a lot farther along than this by now, Adam. Don't worry, I'll get there. Well, maybe you will, maybe you won't. First I think we ought to get something settled. Now, just-just hear me out. Just sit and listen to me. Now, as long I can remember, you, uh... you always stayed up later than we did 'cause you were... well, you were older than we were. You always helped Pa settle the problems of the Ponderosa 'cause you were grown up. Well, that just isn't gonna set with me anymore. Not-not if Hoss and I have to run the ranch by ourselves. That lake sure gets under your skin, don't it? It sure does. Let's go home. ♪ ♪
Behind the Scenes of A House Divided
The character, Frederick Kyle, has only one arm. In a fight scene and some time when Kyle tosses a hat, there was an instance when the actor’s hidden arm under his coat was visible.
The episode’s story took place in July 1858. When Ben checks the newspaper account of Lincoln’s “house divided” speech, he notices the speech’s delivery “last month.” Lincoln delivered the famous speech on June 16, 1858, in Springfield, Illinois.
The episode’s title used Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark 3:25 (with parallels in Matthew 12:25 and Luke 11:17): “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln utilized these famous words in his June 16, 1858 speech to describe his divided nation.
Cameron Mitchell, who played Frederick Kyle, was only 41 years old when he played the role. Seven years later, Mitchell appeared as ranch boss Buck Cannon in The High Chaparral (1967 ), a series creator of Bonanza, David Dortort, created.
Frederick Kyle revealed Little Joe’s middle name, Francis, making his complete name: Joseph Francis Cartwright.
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