blood on the land
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

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.

Watch the Full Episode of Blood on the Land

Watch the Full Episode of Blood on the Land:

Main Cast

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.

Books Worth Reading:

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.

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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.

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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!



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?


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.



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.


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.


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?


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, 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.


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.


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.


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, 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.



All right, you two saddle up.

Ride into town, tell the
sheriff what's happened.

I think I can go
faster by myself.


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.


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?


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!


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.


Hello, Pa.

All right,

now suppose you
dismount and say your piece.

Drummond, let my son go.

Take me instead.


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?


'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, 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!


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.


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?


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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