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Denver McKee Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #02, Episode #06

Millions of fans and casual viewers tuned in to watch the popular television series entitled Bonanza. The nontraditional Western program revolves around the Cartwright family and their weekly adventures. Fred Freiberger and Steve McNeil wrote the thirty-eighth episode of Bonanza, Denver McKee. At the same time, B-picture auteur Jacques Tourneur served as the episode’s director.

Denver McKee, played by Franchot Tone, is a former law enforcement officer. With his money, he aspires to give everything to his beloved daughter Connie (Natalie Trundy). McKee has secretly joined an outlaw gang to fulfill his wish, accepting large sums of money in exchange for his cooperation.

However, the father-daughter duo faces trouble. Connie returns home from a fancy Eastern school right when McKee goes out of town to apprehend the exact outlaws who offered him a partnership. When things couldn’t get any worse, Joe Cartwright falls in love with Connie.

Ken Mayer (Miles), Stephen Courtleigh (Harley), Bob Barker (Mort), William Fawcett (Pete), Jim Galante, Jack Lester (Johnson), Greg Rhinelander, and Pete Robinson (Fleming) join the cast in this episode. 

Apart from the entire episode, you can read the plotline, including some exciting trivia below.

Watch the Full Episode of Denver McKee

Watch the Full Episode of Denver McKee:

Main Cast

Aside from Bonanza’s leading actors, the second season’s sixth episode, Denver McKee, featured some of the series’ recurring and supporting cast members. The following actors appeared in the episode:

  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Franchot Tone as Denver McKee
  • Natalie Trundy as Connie McKee
  • Ken Mayer as Miles Briscoe
  • Stephen Courtleigh as Harley
  • Bob Barker as Mort
  • William Fawcett as Pete Redfern
  • Jim Galante as Party Guest
  • Jack Lester as Johnson (uncredited)
  • Greg Rhinelander as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Pete Robinson as Fleming (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Denver McKee

Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe are returning to the Ponderosa ranch when a gunshot rings from a distance. They found an older man, Pete, robbed of three years worth of work and shot, but couldn’t identify the robbers’ identity apart from their physical features. Hoss promises to get the doctor, but he dies before their eyes.

Ben pays Denver McKee, an old friend, a visit. Miles, Denver’s foreman, welcomes him as he hooks his horse to a buggy. Miles reveals that Denver’s daughter, Connie, is going home from her Eastern school, making Denver extremely anxious. Denver exits his home, dressed up to make a good impression on his daughter. He has changed a few aspects of their home to make it look decent and is worried Connie wouldn’t like her new surroundings. Ben invites Denver to a welcome home party for Connie at the Ponderosa that night, and Denver gladly accepts his invitation.

Books Worth Reading:

Back at the Ponderosa, the Cartwright boys inform Ben about the unfortunate news: the robbery and Pete’s death. The only clue they have is one of the burglars’ red hair. Ben puts Pete’s few personal belongings in a drawer and prepares himself for the celebration.

The party begins that night, and everyone is excited to see Connie return after four years. Denver and Connie arrive as Ben makes a toast for the two. Joe gives Connie a welcome kiss, but she slaps him on the face, telling him that’s how they greet people in the east. She greets the remaining Cartwrights with joy, not expecting a party for her return. Denver tells Ben he wants to offer Connie security, much like what Ben has provided to his sons. Ben assures Denver that although it hasn’t been easy for Denver, he has already done it.

Ben, Adam, and Hoss set forth to drop by Denver’s place in search of the robbers. They arrived when Denver was shooting a can around the yard. Denver informs Connie about Pete’s incident, but Connie believes Denver shouldn’t join their search, thinking Denver has had enough violence in the past. Ben assures her they’re doing it to help the sheriff and uphold the law. Connie can only tell his father to be careful because there’s nothing she can do to stop them.

Connie visits Little Joe at the Ponderosa ranch. Connie is initially teasingly hostile toward Joe, but her entire demeanor shifts after Joe brings up his gift for her. His present was a horse, and Connie expressed her delight and gratitude with a kiss. They ride off together, stopping by a pond to take a break. There they exchanged kisses and playful mentions about Joe’s so-called girlfriends. Joe asks Connie if she is returning to the East, but she is uncertain about it, including Joe’s feelings for her.

Ben, Adam, and Hoss ride to the canyon the next day, where Denver loses the robbers’ trail. They realize the robbers have doubled back to trick them. The Cartwrights lose track again after the course left by the robbers leads to a busy road. Ben realized that the killers weren’t strangers, maybe even one of their neighbors. At that moment, the Cartwrights hear gunshots from a distance and discover that three more people have been shot dead. Horses were running nearby, so Adam and Hoss went after them. Ben checks the bodies and hears a groan, revealing one of the three men, Corey, is still alive. He tells Ben that four men shot them, three of whom were wearing masks, one redheaded, and someone who looked familiar to him. Adam and Hoss return, failing to find the men. Although Corey couldn’t identify the men, his statement confirms that the robbers were people they knew.

Books Worth Reading:

At the robbers’ camp, Denver and Miles discuss the killing that occurred earlier that day. Miles is upset because he does not want to see anyone get killed. Denver is unbothered even if Miles brought up the Cartwrights. Miles also doesn’t wish for Connie to find out what they’re doing. On the other hand, Denver believes that since he’s in charge, everything will end up fine. Miles wants to leave the group, but the others don’t want anyone quitting, even threatening to kill the first man to flee.

Ben, Adam, and Hoss report the shooting and the trail to Denver. They also tell him they think the robbers are someone they know, but Denver finds it unbelievable. Denver insists he does not want to assist them anymore since he does not want to get hurt. He states he’s worn out and sick of helping other people for years. Denver wishes to focus on looking after Connie. Ben is surprised that Denver feels that way but doesn’t press him for any more assistance.

Connie and Joe arrive with Joe carrying Connie’s shopping packages. Denver invites Joe to dinner, but Connie assures his father that Joe will change his mind later. When Connie goes upstairs, Joe and Denver discuss the two’s relationship. Joe expresses his fondness for Connie, telling Denver that he’ll ask Connie to marry him. Denver is upset and outright refuses, stating he only wants Connie to be happy. Apologetic, Joe leaves.

Connie returns, asking about Joe. Denver is confused since he assumed Connie intended to travel east to find happiness. However, Connie tells her father that she no longer wants to leave. Denver could only tell her that all he ever wanted was for her to be happy, and they shared a hug.

At the Ponderosa, Joe is upset to hear Ben, Adam, and Hoss suspect Denver and Miles, especially since the latter wasn’t at the party when the Silverado payroll robbery happened. Joe couldn’t believe it. Ben asks Hoss to go to the McKee place to follow Miles in case he leaves the ranch.

Books Worth Reading:

Joe comes early in the morning to relieve Hoss from his duty. However, Joe sees something and asks Hoss to stay. They find Denver, Miles, a redheaded man, and a stranger gathering at the ranch. Joe and Hoss decide to get Ben and Adam. Denver tells them that the Cartwrights are onto them after gathering information. Miles feels they need to lay low for some time, but the redhead refuses, planning to sleep in the bunkhouse rather than outside.

The Cartwrights arrive at the McKee ranch. They find the redhead standing outside, then ask Denver if he knows him. The redhead draws his gun, but Joe quickly shoots him. Adam shoots the stranger who tried to fire back. Connie rushes out to see what the gunshots are about, but Denver tells Joe to assist her inside.

Still confused, Ben asks Denver why Denver’s involved with the gang. Denver reveals that he ran out of money and did what he had to do. Ben declares he has to take Denver in, but Denver refuses to surrender his weapon. Denver draws his gun and fires, and Ben shoots, hitting Denver in the stomach. Devastated to see his old friend dying, Denver assures him that he doesn’t have to blame himself.

Connie is ready to leave on the stagecoach. Waiting outside is Joe, who asks her if Connie truly wishes to go. Connie believes it’s what she has to do to get away and forget. She tells him she loves him and then enters the buggy to leave.

Full Script and Dialogue of Denver McKee



oh you two are a big help

you know i had that gal sweet talked

eating right out of my hand

you two have to bust in and hustle me

out of there oh you just be grateful we

got you out of trouble before it


you know what i think well it couldn't

be much it takes brains for thinking

yeah well i think you're jealous

just because i find the only pretty gal

in town who's not wearing some man's


did not tell you he showed on brains ah

but she was wearing some man's brand


and he was rounding up a few of his

friends and they were fixing to take you

apart but there was no talk about

putting you back together again

and me and adam being the charitable

fellows we are we just decided your hide

might be worth safe uh not that we care

but uh

paul might have been a little upset

45. sounds like it came from old pete

redford's place uh he don't know no 45.

peter they got everything

three years work gone pete

did you get a good look at him it was

wearing masks

one of them was a big redhead

a reddited man

hat fell off there was

farm pete don't you worry we're going to

get a doctor for you out of virginia


how is he


he's just fine oh he didn't hurt no more


hello miles uh noon this guy right

denver around yeah inside

walk about six foot off the ground

nervous as a wrestling church

he hasn't had this buggy out since that

school teacher left now don't tell me

he's getting married

oh ain't gonna get married don't have to

but i have a woman around the place

again connie's coming home yeah

bye gully four o'clock stage yeah yeah

you must have card right that man scared

to death

you know reckon since she's been back to

that eastern school going on four years

he figures she's a queen england

well you know she's going to see a lot

of changes in this place

yeah denver's done a good job with it in

four years

well for the love of zachary p taylor

that you denver yeah

that's me denver

where you preaching nowhere but i wish i


behind a pulpit i could take off these

doggone gators

but ben do you think a man's feet keep

on growing

well i heard that uh when a person gets

older his body shrinks i

don't know about feet though well i

haven't had these gaiters on since the

harrelson wedding but i

swear either they're a size smaller and

my feet are a size larger

then you think i look all right well you

know if i didn't know better

i'd swear you were a senator i'm going

in to meet connie i know

milestone yeah he told me sure i told


i ain't forgot how to talk doesn't seem

like four years doesn't

it does to me i tried to get the house

fixed up so kind of have a decent place

to come home to

i don't know you think she'll like it oh

it looks real nice i had some new

curtains made

for a room some kind of lace yeah

they're real pretty to me well then it

is real pretty

now what are you worried about that

little girl won't even know the place i


but she's grown up now 18 her last

birthday you make it sound like she's an

old maid

when she left here she was a kid what do

you know about it you old goat

who's an old goat i ain't more than two

years older than you are that makes you

an old

goat two cents i'd quit for two cents

i'd fire you

now hold on you two how long have you

known each other too

dang long since before connie was born

that's long enough

well denver if i were you i'd hold on to

miles as a foreman

you give me one good reason why i should

well if you don't

connie i'll have you hide


you better get going denver that stage

live will be early well it hasn't


yet but i suppose it could ben you


want to ride in with me would you well

no you

you two have a lot to talk about yeah i

guess you're right

four years is a long time well

you sure i look all right ben i told you

yeah like a senator

then you can't lie worth a hoot

well and uh like a state senator then

oh there is one thing yeah what's that

well you know i was thinking uh

it's a little short notice i know but

this is saturday night and uh

connie coming home i thought i'd like to

give a little welcome home party for

connie the ponderosa tonight

well that's fine ben if i can get these

gators broke in by that time

well if you want you can come barefoot

thanks ben connie'll like a party


well i guess i'd better get along home

and have the boys spread the word around

about the party

well i uh won't be able to make the

party miss conrad

somebody's got to watch the store oh

sorry about that miles

that's all we found on him paul

we followed the four men until we lost

their drill and we went back and buried


not very much to leave after a lifetime

of hard work is it

what could anybody expect to get robbing

old pete redfern

huh i don't know adam some people say

pete did fairly well with that mind of

his he could have had some money stashed

away somewhere

paul this seems to me like it's a like

it's an organized outfit this is a third

robbery in less than a month

no it's the first killing pete was

killed because he got a good look at one

of the men

on that side what'd he say about him

well not much except

except he had red hair

well i'll talk to denver mckee he might

be able to pick up the trail you boys


yeah he's probably good at that old

denver's about half bloodhound in here

well meantime you go ahead and pass the

word around about the party

i don't think pete would want to spoil

connie's homecoming

you keep quiet about this i'll talk to

denver right




hey is that you i smell a little brother

well it couldn't be you or rather you

two smell like horses

smells a bit like the wednesday

afternoon ladies society don't you think

yeah maybe maybe walsh's livery stable

and we felt let's take a long walk

like to china well our little brother

we'd be happy to but we got to hang

around here to

take care of your hide well i'll tell

connie mckee to be sure to thank you

oh joe uh remember don't mention

anything about

pete redfern at the party okay all right

did he have any kin

no no according to paul his wife died a

few years back and

that's how come he's out here manning

hmm well you boys see a red-headed man

at the party tonight be sure to shoot

first and talk about it later hey wait a


josh perkins come to that party tonight

he's red-headed and

the best dang barber in virginia city i

sure wouldn't want to shoot him

oh you know i would if i were you what a

haircut that gave you



hey charlie

wonder what's keeping denver mckee and

that daughter of his they're late

now listen fleming have you ever taken a

woman anywhere i'm being tired

little connie mckee you know the way she

used to ride that horse i thought she'd

break her neck before she got a chance

to go to school

i wonder whether she changed the east or

the east changed her i guess the east

dropped some rough spots off her but i

imagine she's still the same girl she


at least i hope so for denver's sake he

was shaking like a leaf when he went to

pick her up at the stage

here's to denver mckee the greatest

sheriff colorado ever had

here's to denver mckee the best indian

scout in the us army

here's to denver mckee the most

frightened father in nevada

ah there they come


it's gotta be connie cause she's with

old denver i don't know i don't look

like connie to me

hell you wanna know something fellas i

don't really care who that is

welcome home connie hello little joe

it's so nice to see you

hey wait a minute way to say hello to an

old friend

in the east that's the way we treat

freshmen looks like you two are gonna

take up just where you left off four

years ago still fighting

hello hoss it's so good to see you hi

connie dog gone it we we like not even

recognize you

you wait right here we got a real big

surprise for you all right

adam how are you oh connie you have

changed yeah not so you could notice

you still got that same old sweet temper

hello how are you

welcome home connie thank you i didn't

expect a welcome home party like this

it's so wonderful

oh i'd forgotten how beautiful the

ponderosa is well she put on a

best party dress for you denver she's

your daughter you better introduce it to

the guests

thanks ben folks

most of you remember my little girl but

for those who don't

connie mckee welcome home

oh it's beautiful but it's a shame to

cut it

well we can't either you do well just

make a wish first and then blow

he's a real beauty denver she sure is


i can say that because i can't take any

credit for it she's a spitting image of

my mother

yeah i only hope i've done right

that what connie how do you know about

girls ben

you see i didn't want her to grow up

here like a wild bronco marry the first

saddle trap that asked her

i got tired of the ranch and head for

san francisco to twist the town by the


i wanted to give her what you've given

me a boy security

background i wanted to have a chance to

see something besides steers and horses

and a kitchen stove well

you've done it and i know it hasn't been


here's a little piece off why don't we

call it a truce well seeing as you

started the war i accept

there'll be another war little joe if

you try to hog the guest of honor

uh connie why don't we go somewhere we

can draw up a peace treaty i have a

better idea

let's have some punch hey that is a good

idea why don't you two go ahead

well come on fellas connie and i are old

friends but connie wants to make new

friends don't you connie

since you've been east little joe is a

changed man connie

he doesn't seem any different to me

that's just on the surface

underneath he's wilder in a local steer

right more wilder sometimes

in virginia city they have what they

call the girls protective association

when little joe comes into town all

those mamas go into action

why little joe i had no idea miss connie

would you care to meet some of my


yes i'd love to oh connie i hope she

isn't really mad at little joe

no no she's not mad at joe just trying

to show him that he isn't the only man

in nevada

doing good

what's your mind little brother you

having trouble she looks like i got

typhoid fever or something

what's the matter with me anyway uh got

a couple hours i'll tell you

i'll never mind she's not the only girl

in nevada hmm

she's the prettiest

oh come on you're not gonna really eat

the rest of that it's too good of cake

let's go waste joe

thanks so much for everything all of you

that even includes you little joe

thanks man for a while there tonight you

made me forget connie'd ever been away

at all


well the short straw stays the rest of

us get denver see if we can pick up the

trail of the killers

well guess who's got it

get your state job

i still don't see why we all can't go

well somebody has to stay here

make yourself useful joe help number one

cousin with the dishes

that's pretty good shooting that amber

the useless way to spend money ben

i just started wondering if i still had

to touch well i guess it's a little like


man never forgets you ready to go yeah

i'm ready i guess we better get started

get started where connie i didn't want

you to be bothered with any of this but

you see

yesterday an old named pete redfern got

killed his life savings stolen

oh that's terrible well it's more than

that last night

two men got killed the silverado mine

payroll was taken

we're just going out scott around see

what we can find out

i see but why do you have to go

but connie i just told you three men

have been killed

i'd almost forgotten about the violence

in the west

and the fact that nobody is immune or

wants to be

we mean to try to put a stop to this

before there's any further violence

do you or do you enjoy it

we're just trying to do what we feel we

have to do

we'll leave my dad out of it he spent

most of his life with violence

it wasn't a game with him it was his

business and he's retired

can't you leave him alone connie these

are neighbors asking me to help because

i know about these things

connie last year 200 head of steer

vanished completely without a trace

and 50 men couldn't find him now we're

looking for four men

now the sheriff needs all the help he

can get

uh if we find them in and i hope we do

well it's not gonna make us feel good

not gonna make us feel big and brave

that's right connie none of us get any


out of this just something has to be


i'm sorry mr cartwright you will be

careful won't you dad

i didn't get this old being careless

connie you try not to think about it

where'd you leave little joel back at

the ponderosa

oh he's got a few chores to do uh not

too many

nice day for a ride if little joe wants

to see me he knows where i am

the only trouble is he can't leave the

ranch let him stay there

i certainly have no intention of running

after him

are you late don't tell me you were

expecting me

well pat didn't tell you had to stay

here and do a few things around the


i really don't remember because i really

don't care

oh well in that case you probably

wouldn't be very interested in a little

present i was fixing up for you

a present for me mm-hmm yeah if you

don't care there

really isn't much point to it did i say

that it was in you

well i may have but that was before you

mentioned a present

oh well they really taught you a lot in

that girls school back east how to be

mercenary in one easy lesson

you're so wrong little joe no woman

alive needs that lesson

she's born that way oh i just didn't

know they admitted to it

but since you did

how do you like him

oh little joey's beautiful


well if that's the way you say thanks

it'll just take me a second to wrestle

up about a dozen more just like him

never mind one beautiful horse like this

is enough for anybody

maybe so but i don't hardly think one

kiss is enough for anybody







why little joe i thought you had to stay

back at the ranch

and i want to have something better to

do like kissing my best girl

you mean kissing girls don't you any


well where in the world did you get that

notion it wasn't hard

almost everyone at the party last night

volunteered that information

and more oh you're not gonna believe

them well why shouldn't i not because

they're lying

i mean there's no such girl as uh joan


oh sure there's such a girl is joan but

she's a and uh

how about uh carol childress and judy

polk and uh

sally putnam

how do you do it you haven't been back

24 hours and you know every girl i've

ever talked to

i have only mentioned four would you

like me to tell you the rest of the list

no never mind of course uh you didn't do

anything when you were back east

except maybe and it sucks oh you know

very well i went to a girls school

yeah only the way i heard it there was a

boys school right down the block

how long is your list you'll die

wondering little joe

look connie those girls didn't mean

anything to me

they were just girls yeah that's right

they were just girls

well that's exactly what i am a girl

now you're very special here was

something i wanted to ask you

are you going back east well i'm not

sure why

i just don't want you to go back that's

all well that's hardly reason enough

because i think you're very beautiful

that still isn't much i like you very



i've only been back for 24 hours little


tell me the same thing in 24 days


now if we cut across the rim rock and we


come in through the brakes

i'll come you through your back so soon

we lost the trail

four horses how'd you lose a trail like

that it wasn't easy

they went into the flint canyons up near

the timberline rocks so hard there you

can drive a thousand head of cattle

through that part and never leave a sign

they gotta be up here in the sierra

somewhere i'm one of those high meadows

probably they they gotta have grass and


yeah but adam there must be a hundred

places like that up there we could ride

for a year and not find them all

oh you could find them the first day

they've had all the breaks so far it's

about time we had one

we're right out of dawn

uh yeah

i'm sorry i can't go with you oh

you mean there's a there's something you

prefer to the high sierras

well no it's just uh see i didn't expect

to be back so soon so i

promised connie i take her into virginia


hey joe aren't you afraid you might be

over courting that little gal

i mean you keep on like this and she's

liable to think you want to marry her

uh joe i think you ought to ride up into

the mountains with us it uh

well there's a lot of snow up there and

uh maybe it'd cool y'all

yeah what's your big rush anyhow joe

you've done without that little guy for

four years one more day ain't gonna hurt


if i want me to ride with you i will

no you you go ahead with your plans with

connie thank you

you know i think our little brother's

coming down with a real bad case

love it us mm-hmm never mind the levitis

let's get back to this

now look we get up through the high



oh i'm getting about half tired of this

canyon we must have been up here seven

or eight times

i'm not only tired of the canyon i'm

just playing tired

but this is denver lost the trail so

this is where we start hunting

start and finish above here there's a

half a mile of flint and wash rocks for

canyons and

all the points of the compass to choose

from poor

what if they ain't up there tall what if

they just come this far to make us think

they're going up there

with us behind them they'd have to head

for high country i just want to dine

what do you got in mind boy well sir a

fox will double back on the hound

how come a man can't i mean they could

lead their horses across the rocks and

get over into

in little branch canyon go all the way

back down the valley and then leave us

hunting up here in a big country

yeah that might be just worth looking





four or five horses paul they did double



well once your way to cover up your

tracks is it right down the busiest road

you can

and didn't take quite a chance though

they might have been seen yeah

well i'm thinking that they just didn't

care if they would what do you mean paul

he means that the killers aren't

strangers that's right

they could afford a double back i'm

beginning to think that

they could even be one of our neighbors

you can't keep your finger off that

trigger it wasn't my fault one of them

saw us coming

can still be easy i'll throw enough lead

into him to keep him busy

brennan can work around the back of the

cabin and drop a torch on the roof


come on leave it

let's go awesome


yeah sit on this barrel easy

come out of nowhere one minute is quite


church the next minute jess is done

and bullets are wasn't like bees that is


did you get a look at any of them saw

four of them

all mass but one hat on the

the back of his head uh red hair sean

i never seen him before but i'd known if

i ever seen him again

there was no use spa they had fresh

horses ours were done when we got here

what about the others cory mask like i


but there was one clothes maybe or

the way moved i i couldn't put a name to

him but i

i i swear i've seen him a dozen times

looks like he was right about him being

our neighbors paul

yeah let's get going to a doctor and

then we'll make a few social calls

is it good easiness


well the boys seem happy how about you

i don't like the way things are going


what's wrong there want to be no

killings we decided that when we started

all this

when you point a gun at a man sometimes

he has to go for his own

when that happens she's got to pull the


if i learned one thing as a sheriff it

was that

you never learn to shoot no man in the


harley's killing those two payroll guys

got this whole valley stared up

well maybe harley was a little hasty

won't happen again i'll take care of


meantime we've got a posse on our next

why worry about that

i've let other posses around in circles

till they get dizzy and quit

i can do it again this ain't other


this is ben cartwright and his boys they

ain't going to quit it was simple honest

cow man

from sun up till dusk just chasing

strays out of the drawers

denver they're not strays

any good cow man rides by he's going to

see you just drifting a few head up and

down the valley

now we've been in this a long time how

come you're getting sweat up about it

now thinking of connie like we both was

when we started

miles i know you loved that kid like she

was your own daughter

i know you're worried about her finding

out she won't

a couple of more jobs like the last one

we'll have everything we ever wanted for


i don't figure it that way don't wait a


you getting ideas about quitting me they

both till i quit denver

but i don't think we can what are you

getting at

first it was just you and me and you

sent me out at the colorado badlands

pick up a lot of hard cases giving big

talk about big pickens

hey they've had a taste of it

you can't expect them let go now i can

call this thing off anytime i want to

can you holly

brennan olia


we heard talk about some of you boys

wanting to pull out where'd you're alive

with the payroll we've piled up we

better than 30 thousand dollars now

that's nothing of what we're gonna do we

got more men coming in

good man

denver here was wondering how you men

felt about a man quitting with his chef

he wants to

why nobody better even think of pulling

out we come here to clean up

that sits real good with me and that's

what i'm aiming to do

not the way you feel about it boss

sure yeah miles and i just wanted to see

how you felt

don't worry boss the first man tries to

run out on is a kill

ben come on in

your fellas look as if you could use a

drink little water be right fine

trouble well they

they jumped wind clearing corey you know

they put up a fight

lincoln got killed and gordy got hit bad

well not too bad thanks

that on the shoulder he'll be all right

do you recognize any of them nope

like we ran across the trail of one of

them before

a redhead that red head had to be the

one that killed old pete redfern

ran across the trail of another one of

them corey tells me that he's

seen him before recognizing by his walk

instead of his shoulders

corey says he must have seen him a dozen

times somewhere lara's mask

be somebody we know might even be a

neighbor a neighbor

i find that hard to believe man well i

didn't want to believe it either but

we picked up that trail today they

doubled back on that tracks right down

the main road

didn't have to worry about being seen

because it's seen there every day

more killings every day that's why we're

here denver

i spent the better part of my life as a

peace officer ben

i was lucky i only caught one bullet you

got a sheriff you got all the men you


don't ask me to press my luck you

pressed it when you went out with us the

other day

we're all taking the same chance not

according to the odds

i've been riding a streak of luck for 30

years i don't intend to press it any


so far they've only got the miners and

the mine payrolls they might decide to

branch out

you could be helping to put out a fire

in your own house my own house

all right about time i started taking

care of my own house

taking care of other people's houses for

20 years what the devil would ever get

me a hundred dollars a month a lot of

plaques in the wall

pat on the back and a bullet in the


i had no idea you felt this way well now

you know

i'm sick and tired of taking care of

other people's troubles

don't you think i owe something to my

own kid

yeah well i guess you got it right to

your own way of thinking

not going to press you but we're going

out after those killers

come on boys

hey where'd i put these

i think i think she ran out of money and

i had to send in the hay wagon oh little

joe you know perfectly well i needed

every one of these things

i'm sure you did connie state of supper

uh no thanks i'm gonna show my face

around the ponderosa i'm gonna forget

them remember the family start charging

me room and board you change his mind

i'm gonna put these things upstairs then

i'll be down to cook's upper dad

you better stay little joel she's a

pretty good cook

hey you got a wonderful girl there mr

mckee that's what i always wanted it to


i uh i wanted to talk to you about

connie and me


what's on your mind what sir

connie and i have known each other for a

long time

haven't we sir yes you have quite a long


and i know you've probably heard a lot

of stories about

all about me and those virginia city

girls but i i just wanted you to know

that they didn't mean a thing to me not

any of them

i hope you didn't tell them that at the

time well uh

no no no sir not at the time i

well anyway that's not the way it is

with connie and me

i'm very fond of her sir um

and if connie i'll have me i

what i'm trying to say is sir i'd like

to ask her to marry me

well i don't think there's any way i can

keep you from asking him

does that mean you'd rather i wouldn't i

don't mean that at all

it's all i ever wanted was for connie to

be happy

have the chances other girls have

so that's what i mean to offer her

suppose i knew all along this had


i should have known i should have known


i'm sorry i upset you sir

oh you're getting on home now

tell connie i'll see you soon

little joe gone yeah he just talked to


i was hoping he would

like that is it yes it's like that

he mentioned marriage one thing at a

time dad

first you fall in love i thought you'd

done that already

uh-huh but you have to give it time to


to build dreams to be so filled with

happiness and the wonder of it that

you're about ready to explode

and then you get married you're all like

we talked about

selling all this heading east you were

so dead set on that when you first got


i know but i didn't realize then you

thought you couldn't be happy out here i

didn't think so either

that's what i didn't realize that

geography has nothing to do with


oh dad i know why you were talking about

selling out and going east and i'll

always love you a whole lot more because

you were doing it for me

but now you know

i know baby all i ever wanted for you

was happiness

well all right go ahead and say it what

do you want us to say

oh come on adam you've been walking

around it like it was a rattlesnake all

right it's somebody we know a neighbor

well come on say the rest of it you

think denver mckee had something to do

with it

uh nobody said that joe nobody's even

thinking it oh no

now why don't you tell me what denver

said about not wanting to help then you

drop it so fast i could hear the thud

when it hit

i only thought you hears your heart when

somebody mentions the name of mckee

well what do you really think well i'd

stick my life that

denver had nothing to do with it well i

hope you're right paw

but we have to face the truth there was

only one man that wasn't at connie's

party the night the silverado payroll

was stolen

that's right miles briscoe you know when

i was telling denver about the party

miles was with him he said he couldn't

go to the party because he had to look

after things at the flying end

right so he wasn't at the party does

that prove anything

no of course it doesn't joy

but it's worth looking into boss

why don't you uh ride out to the mckee

place have a look around and

if miles leaves the ranch trail them how

long you only stay paul

no one of us will leave you in the


ah come on don't look so worried


that just scared me to death you must be

avenged and you just plumb up on it

before i knew it

i didn't see anything not a thing i

think we wasted our time

man well we're young brother we got

plenty of time maybe sold with as low as

it went last night i feel like i'm 90

years old already

i'm gonna go get me some sleep right

breakfast already it is uh

then sleep's gonna be the second thing i


hey huss

take a look at that


it's a redheaded man stranger miles in


go let's go get paul on it

i'm telling you for the last time don't

you come around this ranch anymore

like red hair is like a latin you've

been seen

twice don't make any difference the two

that see me ain't doing any talking

well you're wrong pete redfearn

identified you before he died

and corey the miner you shot yesterday

he's still alive

i must be out of practice you're not out

of practice you're just out of brains

i think we ought to lay low for a while

things quiet down

you fellas sound like you're getting a

streak up your backs

you set up this play denver the rest of

us have been taking all the risks

sure we had to do a little shooting i

want you to clear out of here you think

i want my daughter to see you

no i don't think much about your

daughter one way or the other mr mckee

and i'm tired of sleeping up in those

rocks you got a bunkhouse back there

i mean to use it



good morning ben morning denver

you know this man sure he knows me ben

what about it

we've been looking for a redheaded man

you're the only redheaded man in the


other than a barber in virginia city

since when is being redheaded a crime

since we found out that a redhead killed

two men maybe two others

do you figure to do anything about it


you take connie back into the house all


come on kenny come on


now put away your guns boys you won't

need him

you're taking a lot of chances aren't

you ben i could not shoot you any day

you live

maybe so there's no reason for it to

come to that

why that staked my life you had nothing

to do with this

why that's very simple man i ran out of


i did what i had to do and i'm not

backing down from it

there are other ways what other ways

i did a good job as a marshal

when i needed money i turned to what i

knew best

i did a pretty good job at that too

denver i'm gonna have to take you in


and give me a gun huh no but

you got to take it oh he means it yeah

man i mean


no denver no

and now don't you go blaming yourself


the man pulls a gun on you you got to

draw your own

you got to pull a trick


he could outdraw me any day of his life

and he could shoot a lot straighter than



you're sure you want to go i have to go


i have to get away i need time to think

and time to forget


i understand

i love you










Behind the Scenes of Denver McKee

Little Joe stays home as Ben, Adam, and Hoss set forth to find Pete’s killers. As implied in the previous episodes, Hop Sing is still in Hong Kong. Adam tells Joe to make himself useful by helping “#1” cousin with the dishes. (Season two’s episode three featured the mentioned cousin, portrayed by James Hong.) Number-1 cousin never appeared in this episode, even during Connie’s welcome home party at the Ponderosa.

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Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Enjoy the adventurous tales of the Cartwrights in Bonanza alone or with family. All 14 seasons aired on NBC from September 1959 to January 1973. Denver McKee is the 38th episode out of 430 and the second season’s sixth one.

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

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