death on sun mountain
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

Death on Sun Mountain Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #02

Bonanza is a top-rated Western television series created by Hollywood producer and screenwriter David Dortort. The program aired on NBC for 14 years, featuring a fictional family, the wealthy Cartwright family, who operated a made-up Ponderosa Ranch.

The Sun Mountain Herd, also known as Death on Sun Mountain, was Bonanza’s second episode of season 1. This episode of Bonanza, the famous television show, narrates a Native-themed story.

The Cartwrights take on two San Francisco men who intend to get rich by killing off antelope, which the Paiutes rely on for food, and also offering the meat to Virginia City’s swarms of gold miners.

Review its plot, including some fascinating trivia, or watch the full episode listed below.

Watch the Full Episode of Death on Sun Mountain

Watch the full episode of Death on Sun Mountain:

Main Cast

Besides the main cast, Bonanza’s second episode for its first season, Death on Sun Mountain, additionally featured several of the program’s recurring and one-off supporting actors. The episode’s cast includes:

  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Barry Sullivan as Mark Burdette
  • Karl Swenson as Carl Harris
  • Leo Gordon as Early Thorne
  • Bek Nelson as Glory
  • Harry Bartell as Chief Winnemucca
  • Ron Soble as Tukwa
  • Jeanne Bates as Stella Harris
  • Robin Warga as Michael Harris
  • Jay Hector as Harold Harris
  • Zon Murray as Miner
  • Arthur Berkeley as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Oscar Blank as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Nick Borgani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Danny Borzage as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jerado Decordovier as Indian (uncredited)
  • Duke Fishman as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Carol Henry as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rex Moore as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Danny Sands as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Tom Smith as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Charles Soldani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Barfly (uncredited)

Full Story Line of Death on Sun Mountain

Mark Burdette and Early Thorne offer native antelope meat to the “diggers of Sun Mountain,” the miners, at outrageous costs. Meanwhile, the scarcity of food triggers the Paiutes to steal Ponderosa beef.

The Cartwrights decide to sell their beef directly to the miners, hoping to lessen the tension with the Paiutes and keep their herd from being rustled. This situation hinders Burdette’s plan, so he informs Thorne to stop the beef from getting there in Virginia City. Thorne and his men complete this quest by disguising themselves as Paiutes and killing all but one miner, Carl Harris. Harris, who was left alive, proceeds to tell everybody the Paiutes assailed them. Thorne then disguises himself as a miner and kills Tukwa, one of the Cartwright ranch hands.

An Indian war impends unless the Cartwrights can get to the bottom of this. They talk to Harris only to discover that he is too stunned to identify anyone. The only individual who knows Burdette is guilty is a saloon woman named Glory Delacie. Unfortunately, Glory got kidnapped. They decided to track Burdette, Thorne, and their captives to the desert, where a gunfight bursts out. Burdette, who never approved of the killing, rejects to return fire.

Thorne shoots him in the back to stop their attempt to escape, later using Glory as a shield. Hoss attacks Thorne and engages in combat with him. Burdette, who isn’t dead, gets a chance to fire at Thorne, killing him in the process. Burdette then passes away in Glory’s arms. Adam wails that Burdette came seeking a bonanza, only to die in this attempt. Glory says Burdette found it right before his death, which’s better than not locating it.

Full Script and Dialogue of Death on Sun Mountain

Look over there.

So that's what's been
happening to our cattle.

It is as I have promised,
O, Winnemucca.

The cattle are in
the small canyon.

Your people are grateful.

Take them quickly. If
the Cartwrights come...

The Cartwrights are here.

You know what
happens to cattle thieves.

Shoot, Ben Cartwright! Shoot!

Tukwa, I trusted you.

I gave you a good
life on the Ponderosa.

Do you repay me
by stealing my cattle?

Do not blame my brother.

He but did the
word of his chief.

How long have the
Paiutes been cattle thieves?

Since the Washoe
antelope and deer are gone.

Since the pinon tree burns
in the fires of Sun Mountain.

Since our women and our
children and our braves sit hungry

in our tents, and
sicken without food.

What say you, Winnemucca?

The Washoe antelope
herds have fed the Paiute

since the long-ago dream time.

The diggers of Sun
Mountain eat antelope,

while the pots of
the Paiute are empty.

They are but three head, the
weakest of the Ponderosa herd.

Tukwa cannot see
his people starve.

What's the matter
with you, Tukwa?

Would the Cartwrights
let the Paiute starve?

Why didn't you ask us.

The Paiute is a man.

He does not beg.

Even now, Winnemucca
is called woman

by my young men
around the council fires.

Winnemucca is no woman.

He thinks of his people.

The ways of peace are good ways,

but because the
Paiute loves peace

does not mean he
cannot make war.

War brings nothing but wailing
in tents and lodges, Winnemucca.

For the Paiute and
for the white man.

You and I understand
these things.

Does Ben Cartwright
disregard the voices of his sons?

Even so, Winnemucca hears
the words of his young men.

They speak for war.

They see as I see

that the Paiute
walks the same trail

as the antelope, and
the antelope is dead.

The men who dig in the earth

are new to Washoe, Winnemucca.

They do not know
the ways of the land.

My sons and I,
we will ride to them

and make them understand.

They will listen.

The Cartwrights and the Paiutes

have long walked
the earth together,

but if there is war,
Ben Cartwright,

even the men of the
Ponderosa can die.

There will be no war.

And no more antelope will die.

I will see to it.

Tukwa always speaks the truth.

They must indeed be the
weakest cattle of our herd.

For our friendship, would you
drive them off the Ponderosa?

Help your people, Tukwa.

Pa, I don't like
all that war talk.

That new Virginia
City is full of fools.

You'd think even
fools would know

you can't push Indians around.

All they were thinking
about was food.

Food is one thing.

Destroying the balance
of nature is another.

If they keep this up, the whole
of Washoe will become a desert.

I saw it happen to
John Sutter's California.

All right, let's go.

Where, Pa? Virginia City.

Come on! Hey, hey!

Hey, Adam, you see
that little gal smile at me?

What makes you think it
was you she was smiling at?

You know, every
time I come in here,

I got to get used
to it all over again.

Remember when this was
nothing more than a jackrabbit run?

Yeah, I don't know but what

I liked the jackrabbits
better, Little Joe.

Whoa. All right,
you two country boys

get your fill of the city.

Adam and I will take
a little look around.

Let's go.

Hey, Hoss, did you ever see
anything like this in your whole life?

Yep, I seen a stampede last fall

up in Silver Meadow.

Only difference was

the stampede made more sense.

Come on before you take root.

Looks good, Ma.

Move over, boy.

Wish there was more.

Guess we've seen it all now.

The good and the bad.

Is this what they
call striking it rich?

Looks like all they've
struck so far is bad luck.

Pretty rough on
young ones like that.



That's not much of a
meal for growing boys.

That ain't much of
a meal for anybody,

but that's my
business, ain't it?

No offense intended, Mister...?

Harris. Carl Harris.

This is my wife, my boys.

Hello. Howdy.


You know, Mr. Harris, you
could be feeding those boys beef.

Yeah, if'n I had
wings, I could fly, too.

Mr. Harris, we're
the Cartwrights,

from the Ponderosa.

Now there's plenty
of beef in the valley.

I... I reckon so.

All I can do to fork
over $10 a pound

for that skinny antelope.

I couldn't afford beef.

You paid $10 a pound?

And lucky to get it.

A man come through last week

selling salt pork
for $15 a pound.

Least this meat is fresh.

We aren't starving, Mister.

We take care of ourselves.

I'm sure you do, ma'am.

But you don't have
to pay those prices.

We market our steers over
to Placerville for $25 a head.

We'd be making money
selling them to you for $20.

Twenty dollars?

That's right.

Are you joking me, Mister?

They're yours if you want them.

All you have to do

is come over to the
Ponderosa and drive them away.


I couldn't do much better than
that back home in Kaintuck.


You're a long way from home.

I got tired of seeing my family
starve on 40 acres of rock.

And I figured if we had to
starve, we might as well do it

somewhere where there's
a chance of striking it rich.

Nobody's going to starve
while we have cattle to sell.

Now get yourself
some men together,

and come over to the Ponderosa.

Well, by golly, we'll do it!

Did you hear that, woman?

We gonna eat
ourselves some beef.

Oh, here I am
acting like a Yankee.

Come on in, have
a cup of coffee.

Mr. Harris, you sure don't
know anything about us Yankees.

You're Yankees?

Oh, I didn't mean any...

Oh, it's all right.
It's all right.

Come on in, have some coffee.

Mighty kind of you.

Hey, where'd you come from?

You're cute.

Hey, now wait a minute.

Lady, you just mind
your own business.

Come on, Little
Joe. She isn't for you.

Stuff your eyes
back in your head.

They're about to pop out.

You know, Hoss, I could have
a good time if you weren't here.

Yeah, and get yourself
into a peck of trouble, too.

Hey, look at that, Little Joe.

Let's go! Come on! Let's go!

Hurry up! Let's go!

Antelope meat, $10 a pound.

Yeah. Looks like we're raising

the wrong kind
of stock, don't it?

Well, come on.

Hurry up! Let's go!

Come on now!

Here, let me try, Little, Joe.

Excuse me, men.

Excuse me.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

All right, get back
in line! Get back...!

Stay outta my
way! Get back there!

Get back in line!

Pound and a half, $15.

They must be out of their minds.

How so, friend?

Always like to hear the
other fella's side of things.

$10 a pound for antelope meat...

That make sense to you?

Depends on your point of view.

You see, that happens to be
my antelope meat they're buying.

The Paiutes might
argue with you about that.

I haven't seen you boys around.

Are you staking
out in Virginia City?

Mark Burdette's the name.

Joe Cartwright. This
is my brother Hoss.

Pleased to meet you.

Say, he's a big fella, isn't he?

Boys, do you have any
idea how many people

are heading toward
Virginia City right now?

Thousands. Yes, sir, thousands.

And every blessed one of
them with a belly he's got to fill.

Going to be a bunch of 'em, huh?

Ever since they found out
about that blue stuff being silver,

which assays at better
than $3,500 a ton,

they're heading here
from all over the world.


All that time, Comstock
and those other fellas

were chucking it away,
thinking only about gold.

Gold? Virginia
City's going to be

a hundred times the strike
the mother lode ever was.

And let me tell you
something, boys,

there's more than
one way to strike it rich.

Man can live without
whiskey and women

and clothing, even shelter,

but if he doesn't eat, he dies.

Hey, Little Joe, what
are you doing here?

Pa. Pa, I'd like you
to meet Mark Burdette.

He owns this place.

Proud to meet
you, Mr. Cartwright.


This is my brother Adam.

Adam. Howdy.

You've got a good
thing here, haven't you?

Takes a businessman to know
good business, Mr. Cartwright.

Is that what you call it?

I could think of another name.


you boys sound as
if you want to talk.

Well, one thing you'll
find out about me,

I'm always ready to oblige,

This way, gentlemen.

Here we are.

It's not very much,
but it's a beginning.

What I say is, let
them have their silver,

as long as I can
sell them their meat.

Your charging pretty
fancy prices for that meat.

It's the only meat in
town, Mr. Cartwright.

It costs me a lot to get it.

It's liable to cost
you a lot more.

Mister, you went out and
butchered the meat supply

of the whole Paiute nation.

You're risking an Indian war.

Oh, come now, friend.

I've got nothing
against the Indians.

What I always say is
fair game is fair game.

Hey, Pa, why don't we sell

some of our stock
to Mr. Burdette here,

and the Paiutes can have the
antelope to themselves again?

What stock you
talking about, son?

Don't you know
about the Ponderosa?

Joe! We got more
prime cattle than...

You have?

Real prime beef
east of the Sierras?

I'll tell you what I'll
do, Mr. Cartwright.

I'll take all you've got.

You can name your own price.

If you charge ten dollars
a pound for antelope meat,

what will you be
charging for beef?

All I can get.

If you think that's out of line,

take a look in the saloon, see
what rot-gut whiskey's going for.

Or a bag of flour.

Or a pick and shovel.

I just sold last side of
antelope, Mr. Burdette.

We're out of business.

Not yet, Thorne.

These gentlemen
are the Cartwrights

from the Ponderosa ranch.

Prime beef cattle,
as much as you want.

My assistant, Early Thorne.

How are you, gents?

Well, do we do business?

Why not, Pa? We're in
the business to sell cattle.

Mr. Burdette, we have our
own way of doing business

on the Ponderosa.

We pay an honest day's
wages for an honest day's work,

and we expect
the same in return.

Nothing more, nothing less.

You referring to us, mister?

It's all right, Thorne.

Let's be honest,
friends. I need your cattle.

I'm willing to pay you the
best price you'll ever get.

I have a cold storage
tunnel out there

full of ice from the Sierras.

It's the only ice in town.

If you're gonna
sell in Virginia City,

you'll have to
sell to me anyhow.

I say let's get together,
we'll both clean up.

We ain't hurting for
customers, Mr. Burdette.

Any miner in town can
come up to the Ponderosa

and buy all the meat he needs.

And we don't intend to
profit from his hunger.

Profit from their hunger?

You think I was twisting
those fellows' arms

to get 'em in here?

Every minute they can spare

they use to dig for silver.
I'm doing them a service.

My son is right.

The Ponderosa is a business,

but there's more
involved here than profits.

I'm sorry,
Mr. Burdette, no deal.

Why not?

I'm offering you top dollar.

And charging top dollar

to people who
can't afford to pay.

Maybe you need
taking down a peg.


It would be foolish, mister.

I've told you about your temper!

I'm sorry about this, gentlemen.

But we can't let it interfere
with our negotiations.

Our negotiations are over.

I want to warn you again.

Stop slaughtering
the wild herds.

If you don't want a
war on your hands,

you'll follow this advice.

The Paiutes can
be... unpleasant.

Come on.

I'm gonna kill me one
of them Cartwrights!

Thorne, when are you gonna learn

there's more than one way
of getting what you want?

Are you sure, Mr. Burdette?

I'm sure.

They'll sell to me
before I'm through

or they'll never sell
cattle to anyone else.

Whoa. Hi, there, Mr. Cartwright.

What do you think
of Virginia City?

Sure is growin' up, ain't she?

It sure is, Mr. Harris.

This place is busier
than a nest of hornets.

Where you fixin' to go?

Oh, I got a little diggin'
to do up Six Mile Canyon.

You know, back in Kaintuck,

I never thought
that I'd be living on

a mountain of solid silver.

Kind of takes a man's
mind off other things, though.

About them Cartwrights...
There they are.

Don't you let it take
your mind off those cattle.

You get some people
together and come on over

first thing in the morning,
and we'll fix you up.

By golly, I'll do that
first thing in the morning.

And I want to thank you all.

That's a real
neighborly thing to do.

I'll bet them two boys
make mighty good help

when it comes to digging,
don't they, Mr. Harris?

We sure do.

Yeah, well, they'll
be even better

when we get a little
beef on their bones!

We'll see ya. Bye, boys.

You heard what
they're fixin' to do?

Sure, the Cartwrights
are gonna sell beef

direct to the miners.

That'll wreck us, Burdette.

It could if those cattle
reach Virginia City.

Want me to stop 'em?

Let's just say I
don't look with favor

upon any unnecessary

If anyone's looking
for me, Thorne,

tell 'em I'm investigating

the pleasures of
The Bucket of Blood.


You were just about to
buy me a drink, weren't you?

Well... how did you guess?

I suppose I just have a
knack for certain things.

Uh-huh, I'm sure you have.

Oh, um, isn't there
some kind of a rule

about women frequenting saloons?

Didn't you know?

This is Virginia
City. Anything goes.

Exactly my
sentiments. After you.

Well, it isn't exactly the
Palace Hotel in San Francisco,

but it'll have to do.

The name is Glory DeLacey.

And it's all right, I've
been in here before.

Then you'll know the
kind of whisky to order.

It's all one kind: rotgut.

Well, let's see if you're right.

Bartender, a bottle
of your very finest.

Why is it that a new mining camp

always has the
worst kind of whisky?

And the worst kind of women?

That wasn't what I was thinking.

What were you thinking?

That you are the only
really beautiful thing I've seen

in Virginia City.

Why haven't I seen you before?

I just got in town
a few days ago.

Well, let's celebrate.

Thank you.

What's your name?

Burdette. Mark Burdette.

To Glory of the Comstock Lode.

To the Comstock Lode.

They say it'll be the biggest
and richest strike in history.

A bonanza, a real bonanza.

And I'm gonna
get my share of it.

You're not exactly
dressed for the part.

Hmm? Oh, you don't
think I mean to dig for it

like those fellows over there?

No, there's more than one
way of panning for silver.

Yeah, I know.

I didn't mean it that way.

Why are you here?

The excitement of a new camp.

I don't know.

Maybe the hope
that this one'll be it.

Anyway, there's
nothing left in California.

This is gonna be the biggest
thing that ever happened.

Make California
look sick, I can feel it.

And this time, I mean
to get my share of it.

How come you never
made it in California,

a smart man like you?

Oh, maybe I wasn't smart enough.

Come to think of it,

I could ask you the
same question, couldn't I?


To the future, when we
both have what we want.

You care to drink to it?

As long as you're buying
the drinks, Mr. Burdette,

I'll drink to anything.

I'm going to be rich.

The richest man in town.

Here's wishing you luck.

What I mean to say
is that from now on.

I don't want anyone
else buying you drinks.

You mean you want to
take care of... everything?

I'm gonna take
care of everything.

$20, $40, $60, $80,
$100, Mr. Cartwright.

And I sure want to thank you.

You can have more
cattle, if you want.

That's pretty near all
we can afford right now,

but as soon as I get a dozen
more feet down in my diggings,

I'll come back and
buy your whole ranch!

Hey, there comes ol' Tukwa.

I thought he was supposed
to be up on the rim.

He's riding like
there's some trouble.

Anything wrong, Tukwa?

More new diggers, Ben
Cartwright. Too many.

Like the trees of the forest.

He ain't a-fooling you
there, Mr. Cartwright.

I bet there ain't a hard-rock
man left in California,

unless'n he's too sick to walk.

Men who chase the mirage.

Maybe so, maybe not,

but somebody's
gonna hit it over there

to Virginia City, and
nobody knows who yet!

Well, my boys, we got 'em.

Thanks again.

And just wait till them
women see a square meal

walkin' in on the hoof.


Go ahead!

Hyah! Hyah!

What's the matter, Pa?

Those newcomers from California.

Adam, you double
the riders on the rim.

We'll start losing cattle.

I go back, tell 'em?

No, you've had a hard ride.

You go down to Steamboat
Springs camp for a while.

I'll put another
man up on the rim.

Pa, we could have got a lot more

than $20 a head
for those cattle.

We made a fair profit.

That's all the Ponderosa asks.

Yeah? Well, what
about the other ranches?

Pa spoke to the other settlers.

They won't boost
up their prices.

What do you want more
money for, anyhow, Little Joe?

You ain't going no place.

We're eating steak tonight.

Get ready.

Remember, I'll take care of
the one who's to be left alive.

Get 'em!

Don't shoot!


The-The, The kids...

What are we gonna tell the kids?

It's all over town, Thorne.

Fever's running high
against the Indians.

Did you have to kill like that?

Them cattle didn't get
to Virginia City, did they?

All right, they didn't,

but you could have
stopped short of murder.

You know any other
way, Mr. Burdette?

The Cartwrights
would've come around;

I'd have upped the price
until they had no choice.

Someday, you're gonna
learn it takes more than money

to make a real killing.

Thorne... you're a monster.

I never should have
taken up with you again.

You need me, Burdette.

Remember, we have a
murder charge hanging over us

back in St. Louis.

Or did you forget about
that prison guard I killed

so you could get to
be a free man again?

There you are... three kings.

All right, boys, party's over.

We got some more work to do.

I thought we done
enough, Thorne.

Our job's only half-done.

There's still the other half.

Yeah? What's that?

The town is plenty riled up

against the Indians
for killing them miners.

Well, they're getting the
posse together to go after 'em.

Yeah, I know. That's
why we gotta get

the Indians stirred
up against the miners.

That way, we put the
Cartwrights plumb in the middle.

What's on your mind?

Killing us some Paiutes...

for having massacred those
poor hardworking miners.

Why don't we let the
posse go after 'em?

Because the posse might stop
long enough to ask questions,

and I don't like questions.

You mean, like "Who
really killed those miners?"

What's the idea?

I told you I don't
like questions.

You really are smart,
aren't you, Thornton?

Smart enough to know
a dead man can't talk,

even to a posse.

What's the name of that Indian
that works for the Cartwrights?

Did you hear me?



All right, boys,
let's get moving.

We got to get to him
before somebody else does.

Get your hat.

It was the diggers
from Sun Mountain.

Some of my people saw them

as they drove the
cattle toward the waters.

Are you sure, Winnemucca?

The Paiute does not lie.

The diggers kill the
deer and the antelope.

They cut down the pinon tree,
and the Paiute has no bread.

And now he cuts
down my young men.

It's like California
all over again.

Whatever they touch, they kill.

Why would anybody
want to kill Tukwa?

Vengeance... some
strange notion of vengeance.

It just don't make sense, Pa.

Them miners was
all killed with bullets.

Paiutes use arrows.

I guess he didn't have
much chance to tell then that.

What will my young
men say when I tell them

of their brother's murder?

You must keep them
in hand, Winnemucca.

Let the Ponderosa find
the men who did this.

I am an old man leading
a thousand stallions.

Today I can stop
my young braves.

I do not know if I can tomorrow.

We will return for Tukwa.

Now let's find out who did this.

I know who. Who?

Mark Burdette.

Now wait a minute, Adam.

Don't you think you're
pushing this a little bit?

I know you don't like Burdette,

but you heard Winnemucca
say some miners did this.

Burdette's no miner.

At the moment he's the only
man who stands to make a profit

by starting trouble
between the ranchers

and the miners, not
to mention the Indians.

Pa, we've got nothing to go on.

If we listen to Adam,

we may ride into Virginia City

and hang an innocent man.

He has a point there, Adam.

We have no proof.

You've met Burdette. How
much proof do you need?

Enough to know that
we've got the right man.

Look, why don't you let
me go into Virginia City

and snoop around...
See what I can pick up.


Sure. If we all go in
together, everyone will see us.

I go in by myself,
I won't be noticed.

It might not be a bad idea, Pa.

Well, maybe.

Now you take care
of yourself, Little Joe.

Don't let Burdette sell you a
half-interest in his business.

Might not be a bad investment.

Little Joe, maybe I ought
to ride in with you, huh?

Hoss, I'd be less noticed if
I rode down the main street

with a couple of wild steers.

Don't worry, I'll
take care of myself.

How can anybody, even
a man like Mr. Burdette,

shoot down innocent
men just for a few dollars?

Not for just a few
dollars, Hoss... a bonanza.

Joe Cartwright
just rode in alone.

He's taking quite
a chance, isn't he?

Riding into Virginia City alone?

Especially if word gets around

that the Cartwrights are
siding with the Paiutes.

What do you think would
happen to him, if it did?

Who knows? Almost anything.

I wouldn't want him hurt bad.

I have a feeling that
Joe Cartwright and I

are going to be friends.

Yeah, good friends.

Hey, kid.

You talking to me, mister?

Yeah, I'm talking to you,
you murdering little skunk.

Come on. Yeah,
get up and hit him.

Get him.

Get up! Come on!

Yeah, get up. Get up
and hit him, boy! Come on.

Get up! Hit him.

You know who he is? No.

He's one of them Cartwrights.

And they're siding with those
murdering, thieving Paiutes.


Somebody get a rope.

No, don't do it. He
didn't do anything.

Let him alone!

Let him go! He
didn't do anything!

Let's hang him.

Come on, let's get him!

What is all this?

We're going to hang
ourselves an Injun lover.

Nobody's going to hang this boy.

We've got three men
dead over those Paiutes.

That don't say Joe
Cartwright here's any part of it.

Who started this... you?

Yeah, so what?

Thorne, you're fired.

I don't want to see you
around my place anymore.

Here we go.

Take him into my office.

Open up. Let 'em through.

What is this?

Anybody want to
argue about anything?

Did I hurt you?

Oh, I don't think you
could hurt me, ma'am.

I don't understand... those
miners out in the street...

They wanted to hang me. Why?

You don't know?

Well, the miners sent two
groups out to buy cattle.

One of them went
down to your place.

Yeah, that's right. We sold
them about half-dozen head.

The other went from Gold
Hill down toward Carson.

They found both groups murdered.

Cattle were gone.

What makes them
think it was the Paiutes?

One of the miners,
a man named Harris,

managed to stay alive.

He recognized one of the
Indians, a fella called Tukwa.

That's a lie.

Easy, Joe.

He said it, not me.

Anyway, that's why
this Tukwa is dead.

They would've hung him anyway.

Tukwa's not that kind of a man.

He'd never take a part
in anything like this.

Mr. Burdette, You helped
me out there in the street.

I-I kind of think
of us as friends.

You can believe me about Tukwa.

No, I don't want to believe it.

Drop it.

Drop it?

What do you mean?

What I said. It's all over now.

This Indian, whatever
his name was...

His name was Tukwa.
All right, it's Tukwa.

Anyway, he's dead now,
and he deserved to die.

He took part in that massacre.

But he didn't,
Mr. Burdette, not Tukwa.

I know. How do you know?!

Young fool, how do you know?

I told you, he was identified.

Yeah, that's right, you told me.

Thanks for the help.

A fella buy you a
drink someday, ma'am?

You know where to find me.

I'll find you.

You were pretty
nice to that kid.

That's my job,
being nice to people.

To paying customers, you mean.

He wasn't a paying customer.

And you are, aren't
you, Mr. Burdette?

You bought me three drinks.

Or was it four?

I didn't count.

Look, what's bothering you?

You, if you want to know.

What about me?

I don't want you fooling around
with anyone else, do you hear?

I told you I'm going to be
the biggest man in this town.

Then God have
mercy on this town.

I'm sorry, Glory.

I didn't mean that.

I'm glad you did it.

'Cause now I don't
owe you a thing

for those three drinks.

What's bothering you?

You act as though I've
done something wrong?

What have I done?

I'm not sure.

But if it's what I'm thinking...

What are you thinking?

That maybe, just maybe it was
you who ordered that massacre.

No, that isn't true.

You heard about
Harris identifying Tukwa.

I heard you identify
him, Mr. Burdette.

I didn't hear anything else.

I didn't hear
Mr. Harris say anything.

Well, there he is now.

About time.

Where you been?

We were worried about you.

Sit down and eat and
tell us what you found out.

Little Joe, what
they do to you, boy?

What happened to
your face? Forget it.

Who did it?

Now hold still a
minute. Now who did it?

Some miners in Virginia City.

I said forget it.

They beat you like this?

They'd have hanged me

if Mark Burdette hadn't
have stopped them.

Hanged you? For what?

For being a friend
of the Paiutes.

They saw Tukwa riding with the
men who staged that massacre.

That's a lie.

Yeah, that's what
I tried to tell them.

For what good it did me.

Who was the one
who identified Tukwa?

The only one that
came out of it alive.

That fella named Harris.

Adam, what are you up to?

I'm going to have a little talk

with our friend Harris.

No, wait, don't ride in there
alone; we'll go with you.

Where've you been?

Staying away.

After all, you fired me.

Don't be funny.

You look worried, Burdette.

Don't remember seeing
you look that way before.

You're seeing things.

There isn't anything
I can't handle.

Sure, sure.

Like that girl I seen
walk out of here.

That one named Glory?

Why do you mention her?

She doesn't have
anything to do with it.

She don't, huh?

Well, I'm real
glad to hear that.

Because I just seen her
going up to the Harris place.

The Harris place?

Suppose Harris
tells her the truth?

I thought you and me
came to Virginia City

to strike it rich,
not stretch a rope.

Well, hello, boys.

Ma'am. Hello, ma'am.

You're pretty busy, aren't you?

We are. We're
panning for gold, ma'am.

Gold? Does anybody ever find it?


You want anything here?

You're Mrs. Harris, aren't you?

Yes, I'm Mrs. Harris.

I'm pleased to know
you, ma'am. I'm...

I know who you are.

What do you want here?

I'd like to see your husband.

My husband?

You know my husband?

No, but I must talk with him.

It's very important.

How is he?

Since he was hurt out there,

he does nothing but
stare at the ceiling.

Sometimes he talks,
but mostly he just stares.


There's somebody
here wants to talk to you.

A woman.

Mr. Harris?

There's something I've got to
know about that Indian attack.

I thought I was
doing the best thing,

coming out west,
bettering myself.

We're worse off here
than we were back home.

Mr. Harris...

Mr. Harris, I've got to know
about that Indian attack.

What do you want to know?

That Indian, the one that
rode for the Cartwrights,

the one they called Tukwa.

Did you see him
during the attack?

I don't even know who he is.

Then you couldn't have
identified him, could you?

I couldn't identify anybody.

Thank you, Mr. Harris.

Thank you very much.

Thank you, ma'am.

I sure hope your luck
changes for the better soon.

Goodbye, boys; I sure
hope you find that gold.

We will.

We just got to keep
on digging, though.

She's pretty.

Hey, Mike, keep digging.

All right.

What are they doing
to her? I don't know.

We won't hurt you, Glory,
but you better go with us.

Why, you...

Thorne! Don't you
ever hit her again.

Who's going to stop
me, Burdette, you?

Get up there.

They're hurting her!

Ma! Ma!

Mark, why are you
doing this? Why? Be quiet!

What is it, Michael?
They're hurting her.

Who? The lady that
just left the house.

Carl, they've
taken that girl away.

I gotta get to town, get help.

It was just a bare rock farm.

A man had to take a chance...

for his wife, his boys...

You boys stay here in case
your pa needs something.

Mrs. Harris, we'd like to
have a talk with your husband.

The girl! They've
taken the girl!

The girl?

What girl?

I don't know her name.
She works in the saloon.

You mean Glory?

You've got to
help! They'll kill her!

Now, Mrs. Harris,
just try to calm yourself

and tell us what happened.

It was that man named
Thorne. They were beating her.

They? Who? Who was with Thorne?

The man he works for, the
one that wears the fancy clothes.

Two men beating up on a girl?

They rode out of town.

Thorne had the girl.

Adam, I was wrong
about him. I'm sorry.

Forget it, younger brother.

Now, what do we
do about the girl?

We find her.

Don't we, Pa?

Yeah, we find her. Come on.

Think I can run away out here?


Where's that line shack you
were talking about, Thorne?

Should be just over that hill.


Whoa... Whoa.

I sure would like to get
my hands on that Thorne.

You'll get your chance
as soon as we find the girl.

Hoss, you think you can tell
which way they're heading?

Pa, if I read the signs
right, it looks to me like

they're trying to make the
other side of Devil's Gate.

You think so?

Just the hottest,
driest strip of desert

in the Nevada territory.

All right. Let's go.

Now, this is Devil's
Gate, isn't it, Thorne?

Yeah, it sure is.

Where's the shack?
Just over the ridge.

You sure?

It wouldn't make much
difference if I wasn't,

would it, Mr. Burdette?

Why don't you
kill him, Burdette?

Now, where did
you get that idea?

I thought you were the
biggest man in Virginia City.

All right, prove it.

Kill him.

Think you can do
it, Mr. Burdette?

You're right, Hoss. They're
headed for Devil's Gate.

Wait a minute, Little Joe.

They can't be too far ahead,
with one horse riding double.

Adam, you and Little
Joe cut around that hill.

Hoss and I will plug
the gap from this end.

Sounds good, Pa. Come on!

You were lying, Thorne.
I should've known it.

Now, why would I do a
thing like that, eh? Come on.

There's no shack there.
There isn't anything there.

Well, there's plenty of space.

Long, dry, hot space.

Want a drink, miss?

Course, it ain't none
of that fancy whisky

like you're used to having.

I don't want anything from you.

Good. 'Cause that's exactly
what you're going to get.

Is that what you were
planning, Thorne?

To turn her loose in that
desert, without water?

She's the only thing

between you and me
making a real killing, partner.

I'm going to kill you, Thorne.

And just how do you plan
to do that, Mr. Burdette?

Take cover!

Sounds like Adam and
Little Joe found them.

You've got a gun.
Why aren't you using it?

You look worried, Thorne.

I don't remember you
looking that way before.

They'll kill you, you fool.
You want to get killed?

Get her.

She got away.

No, she didn't.

Use that gun.

Use that gun, Burdette!

You knew about me
all along, didn't you?

I didn't fool you for a minute.

Not very many men fool me, Mark.

I didn't, either.

That's what's important to me.

You saw what a fake I
was right from the start.

Not a fake.

Just a man reaching
for the moon...

or anything else a
million miles away.

A million miles...
a million dollars.

Same difference, isn't it?

You coward. You
fancy-pants coward, you!

He ain't good enough to
worry about; let him die.

I said let him die!

Let me go!

Come any nearer, I'll
shoot her in the back!

Why doesn't he shoot?

'Cause Thorne
can still kill the girl.

Now, you clear out of
here. Clear out of here!

Hoss... Hoss!

You all right?


Always said he
had a hard head, Pa.

He's dead.

He's dead, isn't he?

He came here to strike it rich,

find a bonanza,
and now he's dead.

He found it.

He found his bonanza.

He found it just as he died.

And that's better than
never finding it at all, isn't it?

Yes, Glory, it's better.

Much better.

One place or another, there
will always be a Mark Burdette.

And, for everyone
like him who makes it,

a thousand will fail.

But then, what are
thousand-to-one odds

for a man who
looks up into the sky

and sees a bonanza?

Behind the Scenes of Death on Sun Mountain

This episode marks Lorne Greene‘s very first voice-over for the series.

The episode mentioned the word “Bonanza” five times.

The ending credits displayed over the Ponderosa map showed a different instrumental variation of the “Bonanza” theme.

A rock seemingly “bounces” in one scene.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a fantastic clean show to watch by yourself or with family. Death on Sun Mountain is the 02 episode out of 430. Bonanza was produced by NBC and ran on their network from September of 1959 to January of 1973. The whole series lasted 14 seasons.

You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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