a house divided
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

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.

Watch the full episode of A House Divided

Watch the full episode of A House Divided:

Main Cast

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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.



This drink's on me.

Well, thank you, neighbor.

I'm Adam 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, I just want to be
on the opposite side.

Adam. Find Little Joe?


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?


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?


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.


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.


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.



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?


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, 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.


Yes, Mr. Kyle? Have a drink.


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.


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.




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, 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!




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.


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.


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, 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.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Watch the incredible Western series Bonanza, by yourself or with family! Production by NBC, Bonanza ran on their network from September 1959 to January 1973. The series lasted 14 seasons, making A House Divided its 18th episode out of 430. 

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