alias joe cartwright
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Alias Joe Cartwright Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #17

In Alias Joe Cartwright, a skillful blend of humor and tension, series regular Michael Landon plays a dual role, portraying both the beloved Joe Cartwright and the sinister Army deserter Angus Borden. A mistaken identity lands Joe in hot water, and he finds himself facing a firing squad under the stern gaze of Captain Merced (Douglas Dick). Despite knowing Joe’s innocence, Merced remains determined to carry out the execution, leaving Sgt. O’Rourke (Keenan Wynn) is suspicious. As the episode unfolds, Private Peters (Joseph Turkel), O’Rourke’s unwitting pawn, races to uncover Joe’s true identity. Adding to the intrigue is Dave Willock, portraying an overly obsequious hotel clerk. Originally aired on January 26, 1964, “Alias Joe Cartwright” was penned by Robert Vincent Wright.

Discover the plot intricacies and fascinating trivia, or indulge in the full episode below.

Table of Contents

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Main Cast

Alias Jo Cartwright, the seventeenth episode of Bonanza’s fifth season, featured some of the program’s recurring and supporting cast members. The cast of the episode includes the following:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright / Cpl. Angus Borden
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright (credit only)
  • Keenan Wynn as Sergeant O’Rourke
  • Douglas Dick as Captain Merced
  • Joe Turkel as Private Peters (as Joseph Turkel)
  • Dave Willock as Hotel Clerk Williams
  • Hugh Sanders as Mort Billings
  • Owen Bush as Dugan
  • Bill Yeo as Soldier
  • Bill Clark as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Soldier (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Alias Joe Cartwright

Little Joe finds himself in dire straits after being robbed and rendered unconscious by an escaped army prisoner who bears a striking resemblance to him. Despite his protests, he cannot persuade the fort commander that he is not the fugitive slated for the firing squad. His only ray of hope lies in a determined, career army sergeant who may hold the key to proving his innocence.

Full Script and Dialogue of Alias Joe Cartwright

Whoa, Cochise.

Easy, Cochise.

What's the matter? You smell
a wolf or something out there?

Ah, don't be afraid. Whatever it is,
it's more scared of us than we are of it.

Yeah. Don't you worry.

All right, sonny.

Turn around real slow or it's gonna
be the last turn you'll ever make.

And don't even wiggle a toe
or I'll turn you into a lead soldier.

I don't know who you are, mister,
but there's been a big mistake here.

The only mistake you
made was getting drunk

when you should've kept running.

- You don't understand. Will you listen?
- Shut up!

That's an Army saddle, right?

Army saddlebags?

You're nothing but
a lousy deserter.

You're the third one
we've picked up this month.

A deserter? How can I be a deserter?
I've never even been in the Army.

Then you stole Army property.
You're still in plenty of trouble.

Hey, sarge. Here's a paybook.
Name of Corporal Angus Borden.


you've never been
in the Army, huh?

Look, if you'll just
listen to me for a minute.

- I was asleep...
- Shut up!

I was asleep last night and
somebody hit me on the head!

Dugan, Rogers.

Truss this drunken
deserter up in that saddle.

Harris, take care
of the other horses.

It's just a short way
to Fort Meade, son,

and then we'll get
everything straightened out.

You'll be lucky if
you don't get shot.

Sergeant, if you'll just
listen to me for one minute...


Just one minute, listen...

Detail, halt!

Detail, dismissed!

What have you
got there, sergeant?

A deserter, sir.

According to the
paybook we found on him,

his name is Corporal
Angus Borden.

Did you say Corporal
Angus Borden?

Yes, sir. That's the name
that was on the paybook, sir.

Bring the prisoner
over here, sergeant.

Yes, sir.

- Where are you from, corporal?
- I am not a soldier.

Straighten up when
you're talking to the captain.

I'm not a soldier and
I'm not in the Army!

Shut up!

He smelled like a whiskey
still when we found him

and he still don't
make any sense.

Captain, if you will listen to me for
one minute, I'll explain everything.

Go into my office.

No, wait a minute, sergeant.

I think I want to speak to him
alone. Wait outside, sergeant.

Company, ten-hut!

Adams? ADAMS: Yo.

Floyd? FLOYD: Right.

All right. What
have you got to say?

My name is Joe Cartwright.

I was camped last night
on my way to Load City.

While I was asleep, a man,
evidently this man Borden,

knocked me on the head,

changed clothes with
me, switched horses.

This man you say knocked
you out, did you see him?

I just told you I was
asleep. How could I see him?

Wait a minute.

I got something
here that'll settle this.

All right, now, this is a letter to a
man named Billings in Load City.

That should prove to you
that I am Joe Cartwright.

Well, is that proof enough?

Sergeant? O'ROURKE: Yes, sir.

Sergeant, you've just
earned yourself a promotion.


This is Corporal Angus Borden,

deserter from Fort
Craig, Montana Territory.

Court-martialed and convicted
for the killing of a superior officer.

That's ridiculous! I just gave you
a letter proving exactly who I am.

That proves nothing.
You undoubtedly stole it,

as you have undoubtedly stolen
other things to avoid your punishment.

Have you forgotten I was at Fort Craig
when you were tried and convicted?

- I've never seen you before in my life.
- Stop lying!

I intend to wire Fort Craig

for permission to
execute the prisoner here.

Keep a heavy guard
on him, sergeant.

Yes, sir.

He must be crazy.
He can't execute me.

He can and he will, sonny, as
soon as he gets official permission.

- He's the commanding officer here.
- I'm not Borden, I swear to you.

He couldn't have seen me at
Fort Craig, he's lying about it.

He's a captain in the United
States Army and you're still drunk.

Now, get in there!

- Get in there.
- Sergeant, will you listen to me?

A letter I just gave the captain
proves I'm Joe Cartwright.

And like the captain
said, you probably stole it.

Give me a chance
to prove to you I didn't.

Come on, sergeant,
give me a break.

Now, look, sonny, the captain
put the big finger on you.

There's nothing you can do
and there's nothing I can do.

- Why not?
- Because I'm in the Army, that's why.

I'm a sergeant and the
captain's my commanding officer.

- What do you know about him?
- What do I have to know about him?

It's like I said, he's my
commanding officer.

He said he knew Borden
at Fort Craig, right?

- What about it?
- That means

he couldn't have been here long.

Right. He got transferred
here a few days ago.

Then you don't know
anything about him

and he could be lying about me.

Oh, look, son, no
sergeant in his right mind

is gonna think a thing like that
about his commanding officer.

You've been in the Army so long

you don't think for
yourself anymore?

All right, get in there!

Sergeant, a wire to
my father in Virginia City

will straighten this whole
thing out right away.

Look, if it doesn't, you're
not risking anything!

If it does, you save my life.

What do you mean
not risking anything?

Losing my stripes, that's all.

Losing your stripes?
Sergeant, I'm gonna lose my life.

Hi, sarge.


Dugan, I'm gonna tell you about
a little gal I met in town last night.

Sarge, I met me a bar gal in town
but was she kind of fat, she was, but...

Shut up.

Gee, sarge, all I wanna
do is just thank you

for the pass into
town last night.

I said, shut up! Can't
you see I'm thinking?

Oh, is that what you're doing?

Well, I guess I better bunk out

because I'm plumb
wore down to a frazzle.

- Peters?
- Yeah, sarge?

I got some real
good news for you.

Seeing as how you had such
a good time in town last night,

I'm gonna give you another pass.

Uh, heh.

Well, uh, gee, sarge, thanks,
but I guess I'd best turn it down.

What? Turning down a pass?

Well, like I said, sarge...

What kind of a soldier are you?
You're a disgrace to that uniform!

I'm all tuckered
out, sarge. I...

Well, all right, sarge,
you put it that way.

That's exactly the way I put it!

Besides, I want you
to do something for me.

If it'll make you feel any better,
son, I sent a man into town

and got that wire off to your father,
whom you claim lives in Virginia City.

You won't regret it, sergeant.

I'd better not. I stuck
my neck out about a yard.

- Thanks.
- Oh, shut up.

One thing I can't stand
is to see a man going soft.

Yeah, I can see that, sergeant.


Private Marsh, sir.

- What is it?
- I have a civilian outside your door, sir.

Insists on seeing you
but won't give his name.

- Send him in.
- Yes, sir.

You fool, Borden.
You wanna get shot?

What are you
talking about, shot?

I ain't nothing but a poor,
innocent civilian, captain.

What kind of a crazy game
do you think you're playing?

I ain't playing no game.

I planned this whole
thing out very careful.

Right from the first time I saw

that prisoner you
got locked up in there.

See, I said to myself, I said, "He's
about my height and about my weight."

So I followed him,
switched clothes with him,

left my Army equipment with him.

I was real smart about it.

Now, all you gotta
do is, uh, execute him.

- So that's all I have to do.
- Yeah.

See, you execute him,

and then I'm in the clear
and you're in the clear too.

Borden, you have a
genius for fouling things up.

First at Fort Craig
and now here.

- Now, you listen to me...
- No, now you listen to me.

You and your plans.

You're so stupidly careless,

you left this on the man
you switched clothes with.

"Pay to the order of
Joseph Cartwright, $5000."

Boy, that is a lot
of money, captain.

Forget it. It has nothing to do with
the predicament you've gotten us into.

It's not that easy to just
say, "$5000, forget it."

That's a lot of money.

All I got to do to collect $5000 is to
go right on being this Joe Cartwright.

You'll do nothing of the sort!

We're in enough
trouble as it is.

You're to get out of
this territory and fast.

You don't give me no
orders no more, captain.

You can't afford to.

Boy, you've forgotten what
happened back there in Fort Craig.

I don't think you could
forget a thing like it.

So I'm telling you

that I'm gonna
collect that money.

And I'm telling you,

you'll put us both in
front of the firing squad.

Oh, I can't believe
that, captain.

Ah. Captain, I don't think
that could happen at all.

So, uh,

you just get used to the
idea that I'm gonna do things

my way.

You know, come on, captain,
relax. Get a little smile on your face.

We've been getting away
with murder up till now.

Pardon me, captain, uh,
I've been waiting to see you.

What is it, sergeant?

Well, it's about that prisoner,

the one who says
his name is Cartwright.

Oh, Sergeant, I want
you to meet someone.

You know that letter
our prisoner had?

It was stolen from this
man, Joe Cartwright.

- Howdy, sergeant.
- How are you, sir?

Well, captain, I
wanna thank you again.

It was real fortunate for me I
came and reported this to you.

We're indebted to you, sir.

Now, I hope your
business will be concluded

speedily and successfully.

Captain, I got all the
confidence in the world.

- Sergeant.
- Goodbye, sir.

What was it you wanted to say
about the prisoner, sergeant?

Oh, nothing, sir. Sorry.

Ah, yes, sir?

You got any rooms?

Oh, uh, yes, if you'll
just sign the register here.

Uh, that's Room 4,
Mister, um, uh, Cartwright.

Joe Cartwright?

That's what I wrote
down there, ain't it? Why?

Well, you see, I've been awfully
busy around here, Mr. Cartwright,

and I haven't had a chance
to get off your telegram yet.

- What telegram?
- The one you sent in by the soldier.

It's right over here.

Oh, yes, there it is.

I'll get to that right away.

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, this telegram.

- Hey, friend?
- Mm-hm.

Friend, you don't have
to send this telegram.

No, everything's fine now.
I'd just as soon forget it.

Where's a man get
a drink around here?

Oh, uh, in the bar.

Oh, I'm the bartender too.

I'm just about everything
else around here.

Uh, right this way.

Forward, ho!


Napping on duty, huh?

Do you wanna get us
all scalped in our sleep?

I wasn't asleep, sarge, honest.
I was just resting my eyes.

Anyways, there ain't been no
Indian trouble around here in years.

Well, next time I catch you
resting your eyes on duty,

you're gonna wish the only
trouble you have is Indian trouble!

Morning, sergeant.

Hey, I said, good morning.

I feel pretty good this
morning thanks to you.

Well, that's just fine because
you haven't got many mornings left.

What's that supposed to mean?

You know, some of these
fuzzy-cheeked recruits around here

think I'm too old.

They think I ought to retire.
Well, maybe they're right.

Because I must be
getting soft in the head

to let myself get bamboozled
by a snake-eyed polecat like you.

Wait a minute, what's this all about?
Last night, you wanted to help me.

Sure, and late last night,
right here in this fort,

I saw the real Joe Cartwright.

How do you like
that, Corporal Borden?

What are you talking about?

Oh, wait a minute.

This man that you saw, was
he wearing a green jacket, uh,

- brown shirt and gray pants?
- Yeah, how'd you know that?

Because, sergeant,
those are my clothes.

I told you, the man hit me on the
head and switched clothes with me.

That was Corporal Borden.

What you're saying is

that the real Borden had the
nerve to walk right in this fort,

bold as brass, and get
buddy-buddy with Captain Merced?

Who's the only man in this fort

who knows what Borden
looks like, sergeant?

Sergeant, who is the
only man in this fort

who knows what
Borden looks like?

You're gonna have to get it
through that thick skull of yours

that your Captain
Merced is up to something.

You'll get all the proof you need
when my father sends that wire back.

Yes, Mr. Cartwright?

Hey, uh, can you tell me,

where the cattle exchange
is in this one-horse town?

I'm looking for a
man named Billings.

Oh, well, the cattle exchange
is about two doors up the street.

However, if you'd like to
speak to Mr. Mort Billings,

that's him sitting right
over there at that table.

Thank you.

Your name Billings?

Yes, sir. What can I
do for you, Mister, uh...?

Cartwright. My name
is Joseph Cartwright.

Oh, yes, Mr. Cartwright. Your
father wrote me several weeks ago.

Said he was sending his
youngest son to pick up a bank draft.

- Well, that's me.
- Mm-hm.

I got a letter here from my dad

- explaining everything.
- Mm-hm.

Now, I'd kind of like to get this
business over with real quick

so I can just get
right out of this town.

Don't you worry about that.

The check is waiting
for you in my office.

- A check?
- Why, yes.

No, see, I don't want no check.

I want the money right in cash.

But this is Saturday.

I'm afraid you'll have to wait
at least until Monday morning

when the bank reopens.

I can't wait that
long, Mr. Billings.

Then you'll have
to accept the check.

What kind of town is this?

All right, now, I want
that money then.

I want it bright and
early on Monday morning.

Of course, Mr. Cartwright.

Oh, won't you join
me in breakfast?

No, I'm gonna walk
around the streets

and see if I can do something

to keep me from
getting bored to death.

- First thing on Monday morning.
- Yes, sir.

- Mr. Williams.
- Uh, yes, Mr. Billings?

- I want to send a telegram.
- Oh, all right.

- Right away, if you don't mind.
- Oh, yes, sir.

Uh, if you'll just
write it out here, heh.

- This is to a Mr. Cartwright.
- Mr. Cartwright.

- In Virginia City.
- Virginia City.

But, Mr. Billings, you were
just talking to Mr. Cartwright.

- This is to his father.
- Oh.

And keep this one under
your hat, understand?

Yes, sir.

Forward, go!

Come on, Dugan, are you gonna
take all day shoeing that horse?


Well, I did what
you said, sarge.

I sent the telegram just
as soon as I got into town.

I was gonna come
right back here,

being as tired as I was,
but I ran into that bar gal.

I mean to tell you something,
sarge. She is a fat woman.

Will you shut up about
you and your fat bar gals?

Did you get an answer
to that telegram?

Now, lookie here, sergeant.

You didn't say nothing about
me waiting for no answer.

Why, you dull-witted,
fat-for-brains excuse for a soldier.

Do you have to be
told every little thing?

Well, ain't that just why I'm
an enlisted man, sergeant?

Except I don't have no
order to turn in. I am wore out.


You know what I'm
gonna do for you?

No, sergeant.

I'm gonna give you
another pass to town.

Dugan, you want to
go to town, don't you?

A soldier turning down a pass to town?
Why, you're a disgrace to that uniform.

You get back to Load City

and stay there until you get
an answer to that telegram,

and that's an order!


Soldier, you all right?

Little too much celebrating?

Yeah, too much celebrating.

You'd be better off
sleeping back at Fort Meade

than you would out here.

I'm going to sleep. You
better know I'm going to sleep.

Oh, hot dog, I got orders. I
got to see about a telegram.

What's that fella's
name? Joseph Cartwright.

Hey, soldier!

Hey, soldier, wait a
minute! Come on back here!

Did he say Joe Cartwright?

Sure thought that's what
he said. Joseph Cartwright.

What would a soldier
from Fort Meade

have to do with a
telegram about Little Joe?

I don't know. I'm
gonna catch him, Pa.

Yeah. I'll go over to Fort Meade,
make some inquiries there.

I'll see you in Load City.

Fine. I'll check out the
Billings' telegram too.

All right.

I am in command of over a
hundred men here, Mr. Cartwright.

Most of them are, uh,
well, an irresponsible lot.

I can't keep track of
all their movements.

Yes, but this man specifically
used my son's name.

Joseph Cartwright.

Joseph Cart...

Of course. He stopped
by here last night.

A most personable young man.

- Well, then, Little Joe was here.
- That he was.

He stopped to get
his saddle cinch fixed.

He said something about having
finished some business in Load City

and was most anxious
to get home, I believe.

That would be him, of course.

I still don't understand.

This man said he was
sending some wire for my son.

The soldier was probably
doing your son a favor,

wiring you that he was
delayed but on his way home.

I'm sure it's nothing
more than that.

Yeah, of course, that would be it.
Well, thank you very much, captain.

- I'll escort you to the gate.
- Thank you.

- Hey, uh, little buddy.
- Oh, heh.

Oh, ahem, yes, sir.

Uh, you got a Joe
Cartwright staying here?

A young fellow. Dark hair, dark
eyes, wearing a green jacket.

Oh, uh, yeah, we sure have. He's
in Room 4, but he ain't here now.

He stepped out
about an hour ago.

- Oh, he did, huh?
- Uh-huh.

Hmm, look, uh, how'd he look?
Was he...? He seemed to be all right?

Now, look, mister,

I'm just about everything
around here, but I ain't the doctor.

Well, he looked all right.
Why don't you try the saloons?

Yeah. Yeah, reckon
I will. Thank you.

- You sent for me, sir?
- I've heard from Fort Craig.

The execution of the prisoner is
to take place tomorrow at dawn.

Tomorrow, sir? But
tomorrow's Sunday.

I don't care if it's
the Fourth of July.

Corporal Borden is a killer

and as such, he deserves
no particular consideration.

But, sir, are you sure that Fort
Craig wants him shot tomorrow?

With your permission, sir,

I've been in the Army
a good many years.

I never remember a man
being executed on the Sabbath.

This is my decision, sergeant.

- Are you questioning it?
- No, sir.

Then we understand each
other. Carry out your orders.

Yes, sir.

Oh, and, sergeant? I'd
like a list of all men on leave.

Well, there's no
soldiers on leave, sir.

I sign all the passes myself.

Then there's one AWOL,

and I have knowledge he's
trying to help the prisoner.

- Check the roster.
- Yes, sir.

Did you get the
answer from my pa?

No, I didn't, son.

But I got orders
from Captain Merced.

You're gonna be lined up against
a wall and shot tomorrow morning.

That's just about
eight hours from now.

Yeah, but the telegram.

Well, your father better
send an answer pronto.

I got a man in
town waiting for it.

If it don't come, there's
nothing else I can do, son.




- Hi, Pa.
- Little Joe's on his way home.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

Captain Merced at the fort said
he was through there last night

and he's on his way
back to Virginia City.

Well, if he is, he left
all of his gear here.

- What?
- Yeah, he checked into this hotel,

room number four.

I went up there and
looked that room over,

his saddle bag, everything
he's got, it's all up there.

Well, that's funny, isn't
it? Did you see Billings?

No. He won't be back
in town till tomorrow.

- Oh. Little Joe left his gear here?
- Sure did.

I scouted around town
for him. I never did see him.

I figured he's probably holed
up in a poker game somewhere,

so I come back
here to wait for him.


Well, maybe we'd both
better check this town again.


Did you get an answer
to that telegram?

Now, you quit your jawing
and bellowing at me, sarge.

Don't you talk back to me,
Peters, or I'll have your stripes.

What stripes?

Besides, it was you that
goofed up in the first place,

sending me into town for an answer
to a telegram that was never even sent!

Say that again.

It was never sent, sarge.

I talked to that telegraph
man at the hotel,

he said it was
picked up by the man

whose name you signed
to it in the first place.

A fella named Joe Cartwright.

This Joe Cartwright said there
ain't no need in sending any telegram.

All right, boy, go get
a good night's sleep.

Well, what more proof do you
need, sergeant? You believe me now?

Yes, son, I believe you now.

All right, what are
we gonna do about it?

There's nothing I can do.

What do you mean
nothing you can do?

You're gonna go
ahead with the execution

even though you know you'll be
guilty of killing an innocent man?

An enlisted man is never
guilty for obeying orders, son.

He's only guilty for
disobeying them.

Oh, I see how it is, sergeant.

It's an order, so you don't have
to worry about your conscience.


Here's a list of men I want mustered
out on the parade ground at dawn.

- Full uniform.
- What's up, sarge?

Corporal Borden here is gonna face a
firing squad. Captain Merced's orders.

If I'm gonna get murdered,
sergeant, let's get the records straight.

Not Borden, Cartwright.

Cartwright? Hey, now
there's an odd one, sarge.

There was another fellow
who called himself Cartwright

here earlier this evening
while I was out on gate detail.

Big, impressive-looking
fellow, gray hair,

talked a bit with Captain
Merced and then left.

Sergeant, that's my
father, he was here.

Dugan, you keep your lip
buttoned about this, you understand?

I gave you orders,
carry them out.

Sergeant, you've gotta go
in town and find my father.

I can't go into town. The
captain will wanna know why.

I gotta send someone else.

There's only one
man I can trust.

Look, it's a long haul into Load City.
We've got a few hours left till sunup.

Now, you keep your shirt on.

Like I told you, I've got the
one man who can handle this.

Hey, hey, hey. Wake
up! Quick. Come on!

On the double. Get
dressed, put on the uniform.

What do you want, sarge?

You're about the luckiest
soldier on this post.

I'm giving you
another pass to town.

I don't want a pass into... I
don't ever want a pass into town.

What? A soldier
turning down a pass?

Why, you're a disgrace
to that... To this uniform.

Come on, get dressed.
On the double, come on.

We'd better go
look for him again.

Pa, we ain't gonna find him.

Like I said, he's probably holed up
in a poker game somewhere, hid out.

Well, when that boy shows up, I'm
gonna give him a piece of my mind.

Oh, Pa, he don't know
we're out looking for him.

If he's finished his business,
he should be on his way home.

- I thought that was Little Joe.
- Those are Little Joe's clothes.

Hey, barkeep, let me
have a little nightcap.

Right away, Mr. Cartwright.

That all-night poker
makes a man thirsty.

Oh, uh, by the
way, Mr. Cartwright,

these two gentlemen over here
have been waiting to talk to you.

Well, son, we thought
you'd never show up.

Yeah, I reckon you're sort of surprised
to see us, ain't you, little brother?

What are you so quiet about?

Ain't you got a big
hello for your family?

Now, what you
fellas want with me?

That's kind of a
silly question, ain't it?

We just want you to come
along with us, little brother.

Yeah, we just wanna have
a little family talk in private.

I ain't going nowhere
with neither one of you.

You keep a civil tongue in your mouth,
boy, when you're talking to your pa.

Now see here, gentlemen, I
don't want any trouble in here.

It's all right, Mr. Williams,
just a little family discussion.

Oh, well, I guess if it's all
in the family, it's all right.


Now, you come along
with us, little brother.

I ain't your brother
and you know that.

Then who are you?
And where's my son?

Look, I don't know nothing.

All I know is I won these clothes
and a horse in a card game.

What about my son's
name? Did you win that too?

All right. So I used his name. I
found a piece of paper in a pocket

said this Joe Cartwright could
go ahead and collect $5000,

so I tried to collect it.

It didn't work, but that's
all I know about him.

- Now, let me ride out of town.
- I asked you a question.

Where's my son?

He ain't gonna talk, Pa.

Now, you listen
to me, young fella.

Did you ride out to Fort Meade last
night and talk to a Captain Merced?

I've never been to Fort Meade.
I don't know Captain Merced.

You know, I'm beginning to get
the idea that you're lying to me.

Just like I'm beginning to get the
idea that Captain Merced lied to me.

Because how could my son
have concluded his business

like the captain said he did,

if you still got that
letter to Mort Billings?

That don't mean nothing to me.
I don't know nothing about that.

You got yourself
mixed up in this,

so you're gonna ride
out with us to Fort Meade

and we're gonna get
some very honest answers

to some very
pertinent questions.

Now, you got a choice.

You can come along
with us conscious,

or we'll take you unconscious.

Now get moving.

Mr. Williams, sorry to have
bothered you with our family problems.

Oh, well, that's all right, sir, it
sounded right interesting, heh.

Wish I had time
for that sort of thing.

Say, soldier, don't
you ever go to sleep?

Sleep? Please don't talk about
it. I almost forgot what it's like.

Well, quit cluttering up my
bar. Go sleep somewhere else.


I can't.

I've got to find Cartwright.

Do you know a fella
named Cartwright?

Which one?

What do you mean which one?

Well, simply that. There
are several, evidently.

Oh, no.

Look, do me a favor,

just tell me where I can
find any one of them.

Can't. Family
affair, very private.


I got to find... I got
to get some sleep.

No sign of them yet, son.

I'll stall it as long as I can,
but I can only do so much.

I know, sergeant.
It's not your fault.

I'm not holding any grudge,
I want you to know that.

You're a good soldier, son.

You see anyone
coming, anyone at all,

you let me know real
fast, you understand?

Yes, sir.

Detail, halt!

I guess I'm gonna die
without ever knowing why.

But you'll know,
won't you, captain?

You'll know until
the day you die.

I just hope you
can live with it.

Sergeant. O'ROURKE: Yes, sir.

- Carry on.
- Prisoner, fall in.

Detail, ten-hut! Forward march!

Right face!

Prisoner, forward!

Corporal Angus Borden,

you've been found guilty of
murder by a military court-martial.

As commanding
officer of this post,

it is my duty to see that
sentence is carried out.




What's that?

It sounded like rifle
fire from the fort, Pa.

All right, move.

Order, arms!

Sergeant, you
issued those rifles,

how do you account
for this incompetence?

I guess I made a mistake, sir.

I meant to load only
one of them rifles

with a blank like the regulation
book says, but I guess I...

You guess? Your stupidity
has just cost you your stripes.

Yes, sir.

This time you will reload yourselves.
And no blanks, you understand?

I tried, son. It gave us a
couple of more minutes,

but I don't know
what to do next.

You did all you could,
sergeant. Thanks.

Sergeant, move
away from the prisoner.

I'm sorry, sir, but
I'm not moving.

I've been in this man's army for 27
years and I never disobeyed an order.

But when you're gonna
kill an innocent man,

and I think you
know he's innocent,

then I gotta disobey.

Silence! Put the
sergeant under arrest.

Take him away.

We will continue.

You all witnessed a flagrant
act of willful insubordination.

I can only surmise that
Sergeant O'Rourke's

many years of service have
resulted in a breakdown.

We will continue.

Prepare to load!




What is this?

Mr. Cartwright, this
is a military post.

I know it is, captain,
and this is my son,

the one you said was
through here last night.

- Well, I thought he did.
- Did you? Then who's that?

I can tell you who that is.
That's the real Angus Borden.

The man who hit me on the
head and took my clothes.

That's the man who came by
here and said he was your son.

I'm glad you're
here, Mr. Cartwright.

You stopped me from
making a terrible error.

Put that man under arrest!

Why'd you try to have
me killed, captain?

I've already told you,
sir, it was a mistake.

Oh, come on, it was no mistake!

You know who I am
and you know who he is.

You never met me at Fort
Craig. You never saw me before.

- Well, in any event...
- Come on, now, captain.

There ain't no mistake
about it and you know it.

You're in this thing
right up to your neck.

See, he juggled the books
back there at Fort Craig

and I peddled the
supplies to the Indians.

- That's a lie, Borden!
- Shut up, captain, and let him finish.

Everything worked out real fine

until another officer
caught on to us.

And then I killed him
right in front of the captain.

After I was tried and convicted,

captain here snuck me
the key to guardhouse

to save his own hide.

We're partners, captain.

You gonna get it
just the same as I am.

Don't try it, captain.

Captain Merced, sir,
you're under arrest.

Take them both
to the guardhouse.

Pa, I'd like you to meet
Sergeant O'Rourke,

the man who saved my life.


I don't know how to thank you.

Mr. Cartwright, if he gives you any
more trouble, you just send for me.


Thank you.

So long, son.

Thank you, sarge.


That Williams fella
back at the hotel,

he wouldn't say

- nothing about them Cartwrights.
- Huh?

He said it was a family...

You know, Peters, you'd
make a pretty good soldier

if you wouldn't keep asking for those
passes to go into town all the time.


Hey, Peters?


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Bonanza offers delightful and wholesome entertainment suitable for solo viewing or family gatherings. Alias Joe Cartwright is the series’ 151st episode out of 430. NBC produced Bonanza, which aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, running for 14 seasons.

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