Blood on the Land Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #22
The Western television series, Bonanza, revolves around the Cartwright family—a family of four that resides at the fictional Ponderosa ranch. Robert E. Thompson wrote its twenty-second episode, Blood on the Land, first televised on February 13, 1960.
In episode twenty-two of Bonanza, a crooked sheepherder named Jeb Drummond (Everett Sloane) attempts to graze his flock on the Ponderosa ranch without permission.
Meanwhile, Ben Cartwright tells Jeb and his sons, Billy (Ray Daley) and Burton (Tom Reese), to leave the area. However, Jeb has other ideas, which involve kidnapping Adam, Ben’s son, to ensure his plan’s success.
Read the episode’s plotline, including some interesting trivia, or watch it below.
Table of Contents
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Blood on the Land, Bonanza’s twenty-second episode, features the main casts and some of the series’ recurring members.
The cast of the episode consists of the following actors:
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Everett Sloane as Jeb Drummond
- Ray Daley as Billy
- Ken Lynch as Collier
- Jerry Oddo as Wheeler
- Glen Holtzman as Sam Tucker
- Tom Reese as Burton
Full Story Line for Blood on the Land
Jeb Drummond, a sheepherder, plans to drive his herd of sheep across the Ponderosa. One of his men refuses to do so since it’s the Cartwrights’ land, and letting a sheep set foot on the ranch would mean death to them. Jeb draws his gun and shoots the man as he leaves, planning to continue what he intends to do with his herd.
The Cartwrights heard several gunshots as they were having a brief discussion on their land. They ride up to check where it came from and encounter Jeb Drummond, who wishes to drive his herd across the Ponderosa despite Sam’s warning shots. Ben politely asks him to leave, but Jeb requests permission to pass through to California. Still, Ben refuses to let them continue their trail. Jeb begins to get a little angry and puts his hand on his rifle. However, Adam, Hoss, and Joe pull their guns, causing Jeb to pull back his weapon. Jeb also declares that he’s willing to pay, but Ben isn’t interested in his money. Seeing there’s nothing else they can do now, he asks if he can camp out for the night instead. Ben sighs but agrees if they leave by the following day.
Little Joe takes care of Hoss’ hair back at their house. On the other hand, Adam talks to Ben about cutting a road across the northern section of Ponderosa, considering more people need a way to go to California. Ben told him he’d think about it and asked him to check if Jeb had already left. Ben also says they’ll have to clear him out if he hadn’t. Adam argues that it’s improper to take the law into their hands, thinking they’ll have to do so with every person who crosses their land to go to California. However, Ben says this wouldn’t always be the case unless the people they’ll encounter are Jeb Drummond’s kind.
Meanwhile, Jeb has decided not to leave the following day. He tells Billy, his young herdsman, that they will cross the land. He orders Billy to take two men and ride on guard for the Cartwright, killing the first one they see. However, Billy can’t imagine doing want Jeb wants him to do. Despite Billy’s refusal to do Jeb’s order, Jeb continues to shake him to do what he says.
Billy and Jeb’s two other men, Wheeler and Collier, stop for a moment somewhere in the Ponderosa land to position themselves for an ambush. Just when the two have chosen to quit working for Jeb, Adam comes across them. His sudden appearance surprised the two, and he drew his gun as he ordered them to drop their weapons. Instead of complying, Wheeler spins with a rifle in hand. Adam shoots him, and Collier flees as Wheeler falls to the ground. Adam watches Collier leave, then approaches Wheeler, heaving a sign.
Collier returns to Jeb, driving his herd, and informs him about Wheeler’s death. Jeb is furious that Collier didn’t kill Adam but develops a plan instantly. He only needs to get the herd into a draw ahead of the Cartwrights.
At the Ponderosa, Ben is angered by the news of Jeb not leaving as they promised. Adam volunteers to get the sheriff and let the law manage it, but Ben tells the boys to get their guns. Adam reluctantly follows along.
Jeb and his men arrive at the draw before the Cartwrights. Although Billy and Collier feel they’ll lose, Jeb creates a plan to deal with the Cartwrights. He orders Collier to take two men and hide on a ledge and Billy to return down the path to split them up. Moreover, his final order to Billy involves shooting the Cartwrights while keeping one of them alive.
Ben figured Jeb didn’t plan to leave the Ponderosa, considering they headed to the blind draw. However, it was also a suspicious move since there’s no pasture for Jeb’s sheep in that area. Adam suggests they hold their ground and starve Jeb out. On the other hand, Joe believes it’s best to finish it off. Ben doesn’t want all of them riding directly in as easy targets, so he tells them to spread out the area. He sends out Hoss and Joe on the left side while he and Adam ride up front. Adam believes another way to deal with the situation was to call the sheriff and let the law handle it. However, Ben thinks they should fight for it.
Ben and Adam reached Jeb’s position and started negotiating, ordering him to get his sheep out as promised. However, when Adam is helping them get the sheep moving, Billy jumps on him, and a shootout occurs. Jeb and his men eventually captured Adam. Ben asks Jeb what he wants to which he responds, saying he will drive his herd across the land and graze them. Moreover, Jeb also warns him they’ll shoot Adam if the Cartwrights try to stop him. Ben countered Jeb’s words, saying he’ll kill him if he does something to Adam.
Ben blames himself back at the Ponderosa ranch for what happened to Adam. He admits that Adam was right—that it’s better to have called the sheriff in the first place. Despite learning their lesson, Ben is still upset to hear Hoss recommending to go for a sheriff than trying to sort things out on their own. However, after Hoss reminds him of Adam being held captive, Ben changes his mind and sends Joe to get the sheriff. On the other hand, he and Hoss will ride into Jeb’s camp while waiting for the sheriff to arrive.
Jeb has decided at the camp that he doesn’t just want to cross the Ponderosa; he wants the land for himself. Billy asks how he’s going to accomplish his plan. Jeb gestures to Adam, thinking that Ben will beg them to give his son back in exchange for the Ponderosa ranch. He states that if you catch a man on his soft spot, you will most likely squeeze anything you want out of him.
Billy brings Adam food and asks why he didn’t shoot him when he had the opportunity. Adam states he couldn’t do it—something Billy did not expect, considering the statements Jeb told him about the Cartwrights. Adam asks how long Billy was with Jeb and how he met him. Billy replies that Jeb saved him from being hung by some drunk cowboys. Although he owes Jeb his life, Adam says he does not need to stay with Jeb. Billy slaps him, saying that, unlike Adam, his family, and their land, he got nothing but Jeb Drummond.
The next day, Ben and Hoss meet with Jeb, who’s driving his herd. They see Adam tied up in the back of a wagon, offering himself as a hostage in exchange for Adam. Jeb does not care since he desires the Ponderosa ranch, even handing Ben a piece of paper to sign. Ben says the sheriff is coming to deal with the situation, but Jeb is unfazed, saying he’s willing to take the chance to get away. Ben signs the paper. Then, Adam leaps off the wagon and takes on Jeb. However, Ben and Hoss do not have guns. Billy points a gun at Adam, and Jeb seethes.
Jeb Drummond asks Billy to hand him the gun as their dispute continues. However, Billy admits the Cartwrights haven’t done anything for Jeb to kill them. Jeb angrily replies, telling him to take what he wants, whichever way they can. He then complains that he must’ve let the wranglers hang Billy for taking three horses. However, Billy never mentioned it and started to realize that Jeb stole and sold the horses off. Jeb didn’t kill the men to save Billy: he did it to keep them from catching Jeb. Billy then realizes he does not owe Jeb anything. Hence, as Jeb moves forward, Billy pulls the trigger of his gun with his eyes closed. Jeb falls to the ground and orders Collier to kill Billy before he dies. Collier shoots Billy; then Hoss pulls him off his horse.
As Billy prepares to leave, Ben offers him some land in the Ponderosa to homestead, which he gratefully accepts.
Full Script and Dialogue of Blood on the Land
Jeb! Jeb! Jeb! Jeb! I got the lay of it just the way you told me, Jeb. It's good forage land, as far as you can see. With a clear pass through to the Sierras off to the left. Looks like our luck is running for a change, Billy Boy. Desert south, nothing but rock and bramble north. And right in front of us it's opening up like the Red Sea into the land of milk and honey. Right in front of us. That's the Ponderosa, Jeb. We can't cut through there. You don't understand, Jeb, that's Cartwright land far as your eye can see. You mean they own all that? Own?! A man don't own nothing unless he's willing to die holding onto it. I worked out this way. I know Ben Cartwright. Why, he'd kill every last one of us before he'd let a sheep set foot on the Ponderosa. Start bringing up that flock. Now! I come a long ways with you, Jeb, but I ain't riding against Ben Cartwright for you or nobody. Start bringing up them sheep, Burton. I'm pulling out, Jeb. And you ain't got nothing to say can stop me. Don't appear there's much I can do to stop you, either. No hard feelings, Jeb. But I just ain't gonna ride against Ben Cartwright. That's all. All right, you two, get them sheep moving. Leave him, Billy. He's past fussing. You got to learn to kill a man once you draw on him. But I shared second plates with him, Jeb. Just a few hours ago. Once a thing is dead, you gotta get clear of it. The scruffiest hole squirrel knows that. Sure, Jeb. You, uh, you're lettered, ain't you, boy? Yes, sir. I spell out some. All right. You read that to me, boy. "And Moses went up from the plains and the Lord showed him all of the land." I been near 40 years myself just like Moses. But the Lord has finally showed me my land. And I'm gonna take it to myself if I have to kill everything on it and burn it to the root. Ought to be an easier way to make a living than this. Yeah, there is. You know how, don't you? No. Marry a rich gal. Little Joe, you reckon how long it's gonna take us to clear out all this stuff out of this drain ditch? I figure, at the rate we're going, it'll, uh, take us about five or six years. Yeah. Hiya, Pa. Well... And I ask, you ever see such a pair of working fools? Adam, I wish some of that would rub off on you. Well now, Pa, the way I look at it, if man expects to get ahead in this world, he's gotta use his brain instead of his back. Adam, with a place like the Ponderosa, a man has to be able to use both. Now, come on, let's give the boys a hand. Who'd be over there? Must be Tucker. I put him out hunting strays. That don't sound like strays. Strays, all right, but the two-legged kind. Hyah! Hyah! That was just a warning. Where do you men think you're headed? Why, we're aiming to cross the Sierra. Well, you better find another way. Nobody goes through the Ponderosa. That's Ben Cartwright's orders. You figuring to stop us all with that gun? Maybe not all of you, but I'll drop the first man that tries to come through here. How much is Cartwright paying you, Mister? What's that to you? Is it enough for a man to get himself killed for? Look, we're coming through. Now, you can shoot me if you've a mind to, but as soon as you pull that trigger, you're the same as a dead man. All right, bring 'em through! And you better get out of the way, mister, before you get yourself trampled. I warned them, Ben. I give them clear warning. Nobody expects any more, Sam. You've been told you're on Ponderosa land. I'd be obliged if you turn the tails of those sheep and got them off. Are you, uh, Ben Cartwright? Drummond, Jeb Drummond is my name. We ain't bringing no trouble. We're just looking to pass through on the way to California. No more than that. Mr. Drummond, I'm sorry. I can't let you take those sheep across the Ponderosa. You mean you got all this here and you ain't willing for us just to cut through? That's what I mean. Why, you got enough land here to parcel out a state of your own and you're sitting fat right on top of it, ain't you? Let me ask you a question, Mr. Cartwright. What more right have you got to this land than me? It's mine. That's right enough. Every inch of this land is deeded in our name if that's what's bothering you, Mr. Drummond. Oh, a deed, huh? Why, a deed is only a piece of paper. Looks to me like all they got is some scribbling on paper. It's what backs up the scribbling, Mr. Drummond, that's what counts. How many of them you count, Billy? Five, Jeb, just five. Less than we got. Well, there's, uh, no cause to draw down. I was just, uh, just resting. Look, I'm, uh, I'm only trying to get passage through to California. And I aim to pay for it, too. Drummond, I don't want any of your money. Well, uh, it's getting on near to dark. You wouldn't mind if we was to camp here for the night? Well, all right. But you make sure you're gone by tomorrow morning. That understood? You won't find us here. I promise you that. Yes, sir, you can count on it, Mr. Cartwright. You won't find us here. Here you are, Billy. I saved you a chaw piece without no gristle. Well, that's out of your helping, Jeb. You best keep that for yourself. Oh, I had my fill for tonight, boy. You take it. Thank you, Jeb. You know, you could still use fattening up. If you was one of my sheep, rib scrawny like you are, I'd have sold you off for hoof glue before now. You did fatten up some though. When I first come on you and them wranglers was fixing to string you up, well, you didn't look like no more than a fence post. You been mighty good to me, Jeb. I appreciate everything you done. I only hope I can pay it back some time. There'll be a time come, boy. There's always a time. Well, you better get yourself some sleep before morning. What are we doing, Jeb? Going back? Well, I don't know yet. I got to think on it. You see, the way I figured it, we'd have made California just about spring market time. That flock would've been fat and woolly. Would've gotten a sight of cash for them. But... I don't know. Oh, uh, I got another blanket for you, boy. That's Burton's, isn't it? What difference does it make? Ain't no good to him buried. I-I was just asking. Good night, Billy. Good night, Jeb. Ooh! Dad-burnit, Little Joe, cut it, don't pull it. We wouldn't be having all this trouble if you hadn't gone and lost that chili bowl I always fit on your head. Just take it easy. It's getting thin enough up there like it is. Keep your head still. Are you still putting that salad oil on your hair? Hog lard. Oh. Don't know what you're so worried about. You ain't gonna look any different when I get done, anyway. Yeah, but I'll feel different. What's the matter? He's doing a good job, ain't he? Fine. Yeah. Hey, let me see that mirror. Pa, I got an idea. Ah, about what, Adam? Well, I've been thinking. The way the country's growing, more people coming west, California, we could cut a road across the north section of the Ponderosa. Not a bad idea. I'll give it some thought. Well, I'd, uh, like to start on it, Pa. Well, Adam, I said I'd give it some thought. Oh, by the way, tomorrow morning I want you to ride out and see if Drummond and those sheep of his have cleared out. What if he hasn't? Then we'll make sure he's cleared out. But why do we have to take the law into our own hands? Now, we're not taking any law into our own hands. What do you want me to do? Open up the Ponderosa to every scavenger that comes along? Drummond's kind turns the land to dust and then just moves on. Look, Pa, I'm not saying let Drummond in. But there's gonna be people after him. Farmers, traders, homesteaders. What are you going to do? Take a gun to them, too? Now, you know that isn't so, Adam. But I will take a gun to Drummond's kind. He'll grab anything he can get his hands on. Tomorrow morning, you go out there and see that he's gone. That understood? Yeah, all right, Pa, anything you say. Come on, roll out! Come on, hustle it up. Come on, we gotta be making tracks. Want me to get the flock shifted around and headed out, Jeb? I'll lead out the bell sheep if you want. I ain't taking them out. You ain't? You mean we're not crossing the Cartwright land? Oh, we're crossing all right. But I been thinking maybe we won't cross all the way. You heard what Ben Cartwright said. Cartwright! I'm through being shoved and hauled by his like. A man takes something, it's his. You gotta start learning that, Billy Boy. Yes, sir, but ain't we taking on a peck of trouble? Trouble? I'm an old man now, but I once had me a flock of sheep was like looking across a big white sea. I run 'em from the Snake River in the north to the Mexican border and back. Then the cattle come. Then the farmers plowing up the earth. Hmm. I been pushed so hard, Billy, there ain't hardly a corner I can squeeze myself into. But I'm through being pushed now. All right, hurry it up, you men! And get that chuck wagon loaded. Them Cartwrights'll be after us before it gets much lighter. Billy, you take them two and hang back to ride guard. And if them Cartwrights come tailing us, you let me know. All right, Jeb. And, Billy... you make sure you stop whichever one of 'em it is. You mean kill 'em, Jeb? Is that what you mean? That's right. And leave him out there like bait to stink a trail for the rest of 'em. I can't see doing that to 'em, Jeb. What they ever done to us? Why, them Cartwrights would kill us if they got the chance, every one of us. You know that, Billy boy. Now don't you shed no tears over them Cartwrights. They're the same kind as tried to string you up. Why, they got, and we ain't. And those that got ain't going to give it up unless you shake 'em until their britches pop. I'm telling you, Billy, they'd kill every one of us if they got the chance. Only... they ain't gonna get the chance. This looks like about as good a spot as any to set up. Set up for what, Billy? You talking about an ambush? You just do like I say. I been riding with old Jeb for a long time now. I know the way he thinks. How do you mean, Collier? That old buzzard. He's thinking about killing himself some Cartwrights. Now, you know I'm right, Billy boy. You spot yourself up there. Collier, you head on down a ways. I'll tell you, Billy boy, I don't want to get mixed up in no range war. Not for what we're getting out of it. You just do like Jeb says. Well, can't we maybe scare 'em a little bit? The Cartwrights? That kind don't scare. Maybe you feel like having Jeb flay the skin off you for not doing what he says. Jeb says shoot. Shoot to kill. Hey, Collier, what about all this? You mean about killing a Cartwright? I mean about getting strung up for Jeb Drummond. I don't plan to get strung up for Jeb Drummond or nobody! Come on, let's get out of here. All right, drop the gun. You win, mister. I... I lose again. Keep 'em bunched over to that side so they don't mill! And get them two moving there! We gonna make a new camp, Jeb? No, not here. It's too rocky. I'd like to get to that draw up ahead. No pasture up there, Jeb. That ain't no good for the sheep. No, not for the sheep, it ain't, but for what I got in mind, it's fine. Come on, get them sheep moving! Jeb! What? One of the Cartwrights come upon us, unexpected like. Well, did you kill him? No. He got Wheeler. There was nothing I could do about it, Jeb. He had position on me. He'd have finished me off, too, if I hadn't got clear. I give you a job, I mean to have it done right! Now, instead of the rest of them coming looking for him, he'll tail back and tell them which way we went. Well, maybe it's for the best. If we can get us to that draw ahead of them, might be they'd get a little surprise. Huh, Billy boy? All right, drive 'em! Hooeeeee! Run 'em!! I should have run that bushwhacker out for good last night. Want me to ride into town, tell the sheriff? I don't need any sheriff. With that flock of sheep, he couldn't have gone more than a few miles. We can get rid of him before dark. Now, wait a minute, Pa. Let the law do it this time. What's wrong with you, boy? You want to sit here and twiddle your thumbs while Drummond's sheep eat our land bare? By the time the lawyers and the sheriff and the court in Virginia City get through haggling with what should be done, the whole north pasture'll be torn up. Get your guns. We've got work to do. What kind of work, Pa? Get those sheep off our land. Now, look, Pa, I don't want you running after Drummond. Now, just settle down. You going soft, boy? Pa, you're just as bad as he is. I'm what?! You and Drummond both think you're a law unto yourselves, and you're not. Without the law, a man's no better than dirt. Now you listen to something from me. I cleared that land that Drummond's driving his sheep through. I worked it till my hands cracked open and the sweat blinded my eyes. And I planted that grass, and with the Lord's help, it grew. And I'm not gonna let a sheepherder who never did an honest day's work in his life ruin it! Now, are you coming with me or not? All in, Jeb. That's good. Now it's the Cartwrights who are gonna be in open ground. Jeb, you sure you ain't picking off a bigger piece than you can chew? This is a blind draw, Jeb. You let 'em come in here, it's us that's gonna be trapped. Well, if that's what they thought, might turn out just a bit different. It don't matter if they got us trapped, long as we get one of them, just one. You let 'em walk in here, what's gonna keep Ben Cartwright from killing off the whole lot of us? 'Cause Cartwright is the kind of guy that don't shoot unless somebody else fires the first shot. Well, I don't like sitting here like a treed squirrel. I say, we get out there and face 'em straight off. All right, go ahead. Well, what's the matter? You ain't going, are you? 'Cause you ain't smart enough to tackle a man like Cartwright. He'd chew you right up and spit you out on the ground. Any fool can go out and get himself shot dead. If you ain't gonna face 'em, what are you gonna do? You ever see Injuns go after a herd of buffalo? They dog out the strays one by one. And then, pretty soon, the rest of 'em are scared and running over each other. Collier, I want you to take two men and hide yourselves up there on that ledge over there. Billy, I want you to get back down the path by the draw there. Because if we split 'em up, that's where some of them are liable to run for it. Well, sounds good, don't it, boy? Yeah, I... I guess so. That ain't what you're thinking, is it? What are you thinking, boy? You're asking us to shoot those men down like they was nothing but a bunch of bounty pelts. Well... Well, sure I am. What's wrong with it? I didn't say nothing was wrong with it. That's good. Because I hope you ain't forgetting how I first come on you... Strung up for a horse thief. You didn't do it, but you had a rope around your neck anyways. Well, this ain't no different, and the Cartwrights ain't no different, neither. They'll kill you if you give them the chance. Maybe not with a rope, but they'll do it. What're you gaping at? Nothing, Jeb. Well, you get back there where I told you! Now, look, boy, I been pulling myself through this world for a long time, and when you get right down to it, it's a fact. You've got to fight back, whichever way you can, or you'll just get beat to the ground. All right, get back there where I told you to go. All right, Jeb. And boy, remember. Remember what I want. I want one of them Cartwrights... alive. Yes, sir. And put a jacket on, boy! There's a chill coming up. Well, what do you make of it, Hoss? I can't figure out why, Pa, but it looks to me like he took them sheep right up into that blind catch. That old scavenger. He isn't leaving the Ponderosa at all. He's planning to camp here. What makes you say that, Pa? Well, why else would he be heading up into that blind draw? Why, up there, he can protect his flock and have a good chance of standing us off. There sure ain't no sign of 'em anywhere else, Pa. Well, that's the way it appears. Except there's no pasture for his sheep in that draw. If he can stand us off, that means we can do the same to him... starve him out. Yeah, why wait for that? Why don't we just ride in, get it over with? Wouldn't Mr. Drummond love that? The four of us bunched up together like so many flies on fly paper. No. We're going to have to spread out and stay spread. Hoss, you and Joe... You move up on the left side. Adam and I'll ride straight in. Pa, there is another thing we could do. What's that? Well, you can stand watch on him while I get the sheriff. I thought we'd settled that. Well, we could pin 'em down, like Adam says. And wait for some judge to serve a paper on them? The court in Virginia City doesn't own the Ponderosa. We do. And if we're not willing to fight to hold on to it, we might as well turn it over to the first settler who feels like staking a claim. Collier! Take your men and move them out into the open! What for, Jeb? We got good position on them Cartwrights right here. Just do like I say! Take those men and move 'em out in the open! But, Jeb, them Cartwrights'll be sitting ducks from here! We can wipe 'em all out! I don't want to wipe 'em out! Or maybe just miss wiping them out. I just want one of them Cartwrights alive. Now, you take those men and move them out in the open where they can be seen! They're there all right. We'll ride in slow. Adam will come with me. You boys cover us from the rocks. Don't fire! I'll tell you when to shoot. You hold your ground right there. The first one breaks to run, I'll kill him all by myself. I hear you, Cartwright. My son and I are coming in there. You fire one shot, there won't be a one of you ever comes out of that draw alive. I ain't drawing. Drummond, I ought to let you and your sheep starve. Looks like I did work myself into a hole kind of. Drummond, you broke your word to me. You're not going to break it again. I'm gonna give you one last chance to get those sheep out of here! Maybe we can make ourselves a little deal. No deal, Drummond. Clear those sheep out. He don't give a man much space to twist in, does he? He means it. Either you get out or you get starved out. All right, boys! Put down your guns. I'll get my sheep out of here come morning. You get your sheep out right now. Sure beats me. Here you own half the world, and me, all I'm asking is the right to drive a few miserable sheep across a corner of your land. You'd think you could do a man that little good. You got a mighty unreasonable old man, boy. Now, Drummond, get those sheep out now. All right, boys, you got your orders. Adam, help them get those sheep on the move. Hey, uh, you look like a reasonable fellow. Maybe we can make us a little deal. You heard what my father said. All right, you men, let's get 'em moving. Take cover, men! That's good shooting, Pa. Adam's cut off in there. I've got to get to him. Pa, you can't make it down there. Joe! Yeah, Pa? I'm going to try to make it up along that ledge. Cover me! Pa, you can't make it. I got Adam in there, I'll make it. Joe! Yeah, Pa? Get Drummond, he's behind the wagon! I can't get a shot at him from here. You're cut off, boy! Throw down your gun! You heard him, drop it. Adam! Make for that path behind you! Come on, Billy, cut him down! Drop it, kid. You're gonna kill me, ain't you? Come on, kid, I said drop it! Now, get out of the way. I can't. I said get out of the way! I can't, Jeb gave me orders! Cover me! Drop your gun and put up your hands. All right, now, come on down here. Cartwright! Cartwright, can you hear me?! You call your men off or I'll kill your boy right now. Joe! Hoss! Hold your fire! All right, now, clear out! You're still trapped in that hole, Drummond. Am I? You got yourself an empire ain't you, Mr. Cartwright? Is it worth your boy's life? Well, is it?! What do you want, Drummond? You hear that, Billy boy? What I want, Mr. Cartwright, ain't that what you said? Well, I'll tell you flat out. First off, I'm gonna run my sheep across your land and I'm gonna graze them till they're full enough to bust. And your son is gonna be with me every step of the way. And if you try stopping me, I'm gonna put a bullet right in the back of his skull. It's been a long ways to here, Mr. Cartwright. A long ways and a lot of time. And if you got any doubt about my meaning what I say, well, you just make your play. All right, Drummond. I can't stop you. But you listen to me and you listen good. If you put a scratch on my boy, I'll find you and I'll kill you if I have to follow you clear to hell! Pa, we gotta do something. Maybe Adam was right. Maybe we should've called the sheriff in in the first place. I don't know. He was right. It's my fault. Oh, Pa, you know, you know we don't blame you for nothing. It's just the way things turned out. Hoss and I would've done the same thing if it were up to us. That's right. I made Adam do it my way. I let Drummond outsmart me. Pa, you heard Little Joe. Any of us would've done the same thing. I couldn't have done it any differently? Couldn't just let him in and asked him to make himself and his sheep at home in the best pasture? Pa, we know you couldn't do any such thing. Don't blame yourself. Should've thrown him and his sheep right off the property right away. I was soft. Pa, we've all learned our lesson. From now on, we'll know better than to try to fight this sort of thing ourselves. We'll go for a sheriff. You mean, from now on the Cartwrights don't fight their own battles anymore? Is that what you're saying? From now on whenever we get into any kind of trouble, we have to go begging for help? Not begging, it ain't begging! Well, then what is it if it isn't begging? It's asking. It's asking like other folks do when their rights are violated, Pa. It's asking folks who've sworn duty to us to uphold the law to come and help us. Pa, ain't that what you always tried to teach us? Pa, you know I've always wanted us to take care of our own troubles. But this time, they've got Adam. I just don't think there's anything else we can do. Yeah. Yeah. All right, you two saddle up. Ride into town, tell the sheriff what's happened. I think I can go faster by myself. Hoss... you and I, we're riding into Drummond's camp. I got an idea how to keep Drummond busy till the sheriff gets there. I don't trust him further than I can see him. Yes, sir. All set, Jeb. You look at them sheep? They're resting and quiet. Bet they ain't felt as good in their bellies in a month of Sundays. Grazing on all this nice, fat Cartwright grass! Sure is good pasture, Jeb. You know something, Billy, I been thinking there ain't nothing we can find in California as good as we got right here. Now, is there? I guess not, Jeb. Good land, lots of it. Why, we could raise ourselves the biggest, fattest flock of sheep in the whole country right here. And I'm gonna take it, Billy, all of it. How you gonna do that? I knew that Providence would show me a way. Him? You mean young Cartwright? Mm-hmm, before I'm done with him, Ben Cartwright is gonna be begging to give us the Ponderosa to get his son back. You remember one thing, Billy, you catch a man where he's soft and you can most always squeeze anything you want out of him. You better take care of him. I don't want nothing to happen to him just yet. I'll take care of him. Yes, sir, Billy, there ain't nothing at all in California we ain't got more of right here. Say, you must be clean hungry. Eat some of them beans before they're cold. See you in the morning, Billy. Night, Jeb. Night! Brought you some beans. I can't untie you. Jeb wouldn't favor that. It's all right. You coulda killed me yesterday when you had the chance. Guess I could. If you had, you wouldn't be here like this now. Yeah, I guess that's true. Why didn't you do it, then? Why didn't you kill me when you had the chance? I don't know. Just couldn't. That ain't like Jeb said. I mean about what you and your pa'd do to us. Oh, what'd he say we'd do to you? Kill us... first crack out of the barrel. How long you been with Drummond? Oh, a year, maybe a little more. I met him when I first left off farming and took to the road. Wasn't exactly like I met him. Some drunk cowhands was gonna hang me up for stealin' a pinto, but I never done it. How old were you? Nineteen. I guess that's how it happened. I didn't know much then... like now. I, I bought the horse off a peddler feller, but I never had sense enough to get-get no papers for it. Just dumb trustin' like. Now he's taught you not to trust anybody, huh? Jeb saved my life. That doesn't mean you have to live the way he does. I owe him. But I guess you wouldn't know what it feels like to have a rope strung around your neck... Not with a regular family and livin' the way you do. No, sir. Ol' Jeb, he'd just come by and scattered them trail hands off. And you think he did it for you. Haven't you been around him long enough to know he doesn't do anything for anybody except himself? That don't make no difference. Oh, I... I guess it weren't so much to save me as much as ol' Jeb's just got it in for cattlemen and cowhands and that like. He's bitter in his ways... like my pa was. What happened to him? He got himself killed fightin' over a few acres of bare, rocky ground back in Kentucky. It wasn't like I knew him much. Him or anybody. Mostly, I just sort of shifted around from one kin to the next. Doesn't mean you have to stay with him. He's always done good by me. Listen, he's no better than something that crawls after carrion. You want to plunder your piece of land bad enough to have his taint rub off on you? You talk mighty big, don't you, mister? That's 'cause you got it all, a family and regular livin' and all this good, rich land to hang on to. All I got in this world is Jeb Drummond. You remember that, mister. I got nothin' in this world but Jeb Drummond! Jeb. Some men on horses. Looks like the Cartwrights. Pull that wagon! I left my gun, Drummond. He ain't left his. Get that gun, Billy boy. Adam. Hello, Pa. All right, now suppose you dismount and say your piece. Drummond, let my son go. Take me instead. You? Did I hear correct? You hear correct. What're you figurin"? You want a hostage. Well, I'll be a hostage. No, Pa. Well, Drummond, what about it? Well, I'll tell ya, I don't care much which of you Cartwrights I hold as hostage. 'Cause I got me another notion. What's your notion, Drummond? I been thinkin' there ain't nothin' in California as you good as you got here. So I'm gonna take it, all of it, and claim it as my own. How you figurin" on doing that, mister? You plannin' on killin' us all? Ask your old man. I think he knows. Billy boy, give me that paper. Yes, sir, Mr. Cartwright, I got it all right here. The deed to 50,000 acres of your land. Now all you gotta to do is sign it and make it all legal. Drummond, do you think that my signing a ridiculous scrap of paper like that is gonna make anything legal? Well, the way I see it, I'm willing to take the gamble... Because I ain't got nothin' to lose anyhow, and you got something mighty important to gain. Well, what's he got to gain? You. 'Cause unless he signs this deed, I'm gonna kill you and let your body rot where it drops. Adam, there's something you ought to know, I sent Little Joe to town for the sheriff. Thanks, Pa. It looks like I've been wrong all along. No. No, you weren't wrong. And, Drummond, with the sheriff coming, how do you think you're gonna get away with all this? Well, like I said, I'm willin' to take the chance. Yes, that's what you said. What about you? You willing to take a gamble, too? Whatever Jeb says is good enough for me. You, too? I'm willin'. Look at him. You think he cares if you get skinned and hooked like some coyote meat... As long as he can use you to get what he's after?! All right, you had your say, mister. Now do you want to sign this deed, or do you want to bury your son? Don't sign it, Pa. He won't shoot! That's the difference between you and me, Drummond. I'm not a gambling man. Give me that paper. Pa, don't! 50,000 acres! It isn't worth it! Isn't it? Well, that's a mighty fine looking signature. Much better than I could've done... But then I never owned 50,000 acres of prime land before neither. And you don't own it now! Don't move! Adam. I was gonna make it an even deal... The land for your son. But it looks like I can't trust any of you Cartwrights. There's only one way to deal with you. Give me the gun, Billy. You can't just kill 'em, Jeb. Can't I? You just watch. They ain't done nothin' for you to kill 'em over, Jeb. You give me that gun! But, Jeb... Look, how many times I've tried to beat it into you, Billy? If you want somethin' in this world, you gotta get it whichever way you can... But you go right on being woman-soft. Maybe I should've let them wranglers string you up for stealin' them three pintos. Three pintos? Jeb, how'd you ever know they was lookin' for three of 'em? Well... they said, I guess. No, they never. They never said nothin' after you came. Well, that don't make no difference, boy! Don't it? Well, I think it does, Jeb. 'Cause you killed 'em straight off. I thought it just to save me. But that wasn't it, was it? Well, you knew there was three pintos, 'cause you was the one that stole 'em and sold 'em off yourself. Well, I guess I really don't owe you nothin', do I, Jeb? Now you know that ain't right, Billy boy. I mean, maybe I did lie to you about them pintos, but... I-I always done good by you and I taught ya things. Sure. Like shooting a man in the back. Like grabbin' and thievin'. Well, I learned good, Jeb. But I ain't learnin' no more. Now look, Billy... Billy, you're like a son to me. The only reason I want this land is because I'm gonna leave it to ya. I promise it! No, Jeb. You give me that gun! How many times I tried to beat it into you, Billy? Jeb. I... I should've let 'em hang ya! You no good thievin', dirty double-crosser. Shoot him, Collier. Kill him! Hey, Pa, how come Hop Sing got all this vinegar? Sorry, Pa, they didn't have no rutabagas. Guess I'll be leaving. I sure do thank you for all your help. For the shirt, Little Joe. You're welcome. Where'll you go now? I don't know exactly. Billy, do you ever think of taking up homesteading? You mean a place of my own? Yeah. Sure, but... Well, uh, we've got a lot of open land here in the Ponderosa. I figure that Adam here could probably help you pick out a good piece of it. You mean a piece of your land? Well, we got a lot of people coming out this way. I-I guess we'll have to make some room for more. Including the law. Well, Mr. Cartwright, I... I sure will try to live up to your faith in me. I... Well, Billy, you better, because if I catch you stepping out of line just once, why I'll... You'll, uh, go get the sheriff.
Behind the Scenes of Blood on the Land
The Ponderosa is 640,000 acres in size. The show’s pilot episode specified its size as 1,000 square miles. (1 square mile = 640,000 acres)
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Bonanza is an incredible Western television program to enjoy alone or with family. NBC broadcast the Bonanza television series from September 1959 to January 1973. There were 14 seasons in the entire show. Out of 430 episodes, Blood on the Land is the 22nd.
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