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.
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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. Howdy. Howdy. 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. 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. Whoo! I couldn't do much better than that back home in Kaintuck. Kentucky? 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. Silver! 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. Howdy. 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. Well... 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. Thorne! 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 competition. If anyone's looking for me, Thorne, tell 'em I'm investigating the pleasures of The Bucket of Blood. Right. 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? Don't. 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. Bye. 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! Hyah! 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? Tukwa. Tukwa. 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. Alone? 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. 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? Michael... 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. Carl? 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? Thanks. Where's that line shack you were talking about, Thorne? Should be just over that hill. Hyah! 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? Yeah... 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.
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