elegy for a hangman
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Elegy for a Hangman Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #04, Episode #17

Ben Cartwright plays host to Judge Whitaker, famously known as “Hanging Harry,” who has sentenced many to death, including Bob Jolley’s father. Bob, convinced of his father’s innocence, relentlessly pursues Whitaker, hoping to provoke a confrontation. As the narrative unfolds, Adam Cartwright begins to side with Bob, realizing that “Hanging Harry” bears significant responsibility. Elegy for a Hangman, penned by E.M. Parson and Shirl Hendryx, originally aired on January 20, 1963.

Explore the plot and intriguing trivia, or watch the entire episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of Elegy for a Hangman

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Main Cast

Elegy for a Hangman, the seventeenth episode of Bonanza’s fourth season, featured some of the program’s recurring and supporting cast members. The cast of the episode includes:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Keir Dullea as Bob Jolley
  • Otto Kruger as Judge Harry Whitaker
  • Kevin Hagen as Hobie Klinderman
  • Bill Zuckert as Senator Cal Prince (as William Zuckert)
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Ron Soble as Morton
  • Roy Engel as Dr. Paul Kay
  • Emile Avery as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Nick Borgani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Breen as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Albert Cavens as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Russell Custer as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Hendricks as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Lars Hensen as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Charles Morton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • William H. O’Brien as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Ray Spiker as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Stoney as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sailor Vincent as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Elegy for a Hangman

Bob Jolley, fueled by anger, confronts Judge “Hanging Harry” Whitaker over his father’s unjust death sentence. When an attempt is made on the life of the key witness, Adam begins to question if Bob’s accusations hold weight.

It becomes apparent that influential figures, such as a senator and a railroad, may have desired Bob’s father’s demise. Adam discovers that a hired gunman aims to silence Bob permanently. With the backing of his family, Adam must protect Bob and uncover the truth behind the sinister plot.

Full Script and Dialogue of Elegy for a Hangman

Hey, come on, come on, Hobie.

I told you, one sack at a time.

What are you doing?

You pulling for
foreman or something?

Day's work for a day's pay.

Now, there's a man
looks like he needs a drink.


There's... Hey, hey, Hobie!

Where's he rushing to?


I don't know. Reckon he's sore

'cause we don't let him
do his share of the work.

Would you mind
moving your horse?

The man driving that rig,

did he go into the saloon?

You gonna move your horse?

Adam, that dad-burned
Hobie run plumb out on us,

right through that store
and out the back door.


Hobie Klinderman?

Yeah, you know Hobie?

In a way.

If you catch up with him,

you tell him that it won't
do him any good to run.


And you tell him
that the Ponderosa

isn't large enough
to hide a murderer.

What did he mean by that?

I don't know.

Let's go have a talk.

I give you the health
of him who sits there

in lonely majesty.

Glad to see you
again, gentlemen.

You're just in time
to drink a toast.

To the honorable W.H. Whitacker,

magistrate of the commonweal,

sometimes affectionately
known as "Hanging Harry."

Well, the judge
is relaxing a bit.

Perhaps the judge will honor
us with his presence a bit longer.

Maybe we can get him to tell us

some of his more
sprightly stories

about some of the men he's
sentenced to dance on air.

Who are you, kid?

What do you want?

To track down an
elusive quarry, truth.

I'm a newspaperman.

Young, but very articulate.

I work for Horace Greeley's
newspaper in New York City,

and I've come out here to
gather in a little of the local color.

Oh, I see.

You ever think about picking
on somebody your own age?

Why now, you wouldn't
want to deny me

the right of free
speech, would you?

No, certainly not.

Not with a judge of the
commonweal listening?

You are listening,
aren't you, Judge?

Why don't you shut up?

Why should I?

Words are my only weapon.

Welcome, stranger.

Allow me to introduce you

to Hanging Harry Whitacker,

the most famous
judge in the territory.

I happen to know all about
the judge and his career.

Why, then you must know

that old Harry doesn't count
sheep like the rest of us do

when we can't sleep.

No, sir, old Harry
counts row after row

of dangling men,

kicking their lives away
at the end of a rope.

Well, there's nothing
like a whiskey mouth.

It's a little young, Judge.

Anything we can do for you?

Well, yes, yes,
as a matter of fact.

I'm looking for an old friend.

I wonder if you could
direct me to his place.

His name is Ben Cartwright.

Well, it just so happens
that we're his sons.

I'm Adam. This is
my brother, Hoss.


Judge Whitacker, I've
heard my pa mention you.

He would be mighty happy to
see you again, Judge, I'm sure.

Well, I don't suppose
he'd be expecting me,

because we haven't met
in years, you know, but, uh,

he has written more than once

to invite me to the Ponderosa.

Just happening to be
in the neighborhood.

He just happened to
be in the neighborhood?

Why don't you tell them
why you're really here?

Go on, Your Honor.

Tell the good people
the real reason.

Hoss, why don't you ride

with the judge on
back to the ranch?

- I'll bring the wagon in.
- Right.

Come on, Your Honor.

Now let's you and
me have a little talk.

One of the great and
mighty Cartwrights, huh?

What did you mean about hiding
murderers on the Ponderosa?

My name is Jolley, Bob Jolley.

It may help if I tell you that
my father was Carl Jolley.

A little over a year ago,

my father was hung by
the neck until he was dead.

The charge was

shooting a territory
agent down in cold blood.

Well, now, if my memory
serves me correct,

he was found guilty.

Uh, there was evidence and
I believe some witnesses?

There was Hanging
Harry Whitacker you mean,

so bloated with power
over life and death,

he had no time for anything
except keeping his reputation.

And so, an innocent
man paid with his life.

I was in that
courtroom in Pipesville.

Your father was guilty,

and he got a fair trial.

If you were there, then
you know he was railroaded.

I was there.

I was there, and I'm no liar.

You old enough to use that gun?

Well, what could I expect?

The great American West.

A haven for scum.

A paradise for killers
and gunslingers.

Where bullies become judges,

and good men's lives are
sold to a screaming crowd

for how many pieces of silver?

Why don't you just
leave it right there, huh?

You heard what he called me.


But out here, we don't
shoot men in the back

for just any reason.

About your father,
I wasn't at the trial...

Don't apologize.

He was only a poor homesteader,

not really worth
anyone's attention.

Boy, you know, it
wouldn't surprise me

if you didn't end this
day in a pine box.

Why not?

I think it goes rather nicely

with this law-abiding
part of the country.

The remark you made
about the Ponderosa,

now what was that
supposed to mean?

You know the meaning of it;
you hired Hobie Klinderman.

That's right, but what's
that got to do with it?

Hobie Klinderman...

swore my father's life away.

Judge Whitacker tied
the knot around his throat,

and today, both men find
sanctuary on the Ponderosa.

Now do you know what I meant?


you know, you don't seem to
have anything else on your mind

but going around
getting people all riled up.

I don't know what you're after,

but I would suggest that
you go about it sensibly.

Now, why don't you
sit down reasonably,

quietly, and speak
your mind just once.

Maybe then people will
know what's bothering you.


I don't know, maybe
you are on the level.

Here, this is a story
I sent back East

to Mr. Greeley.

It's about your father's
bosom friend, Judge Whitacker.

You read that, Cartwright.

Then you'll know
what's bothering me.

There you are, Harry.

Good and strong,
just the way you like it.

Well, thank you, Ben.

I think I still
prefer it that way.

Harry, it's really
good to see you.

Well, I can say the
same thing, Ben.

Old friends, sometimes
you need them.

You need them.

Yes, indeed you do.

Indeed you do.

Well, come on in, Adam.

You boys did yourself a
proud bit of work this morning

finding my old friend the
judge and bringing him out here.

How'd you, how'd you meet up?

Oh, we met in the saloon.

The young fella that was
there was insulting the judge.

What do you mean,
insulting the judge?

Oh, now don't let
it upset you, Ben.

The young fella's
name was Robert Jolley.

And I had the unhappy task

of sentencing his
father to death about...

about a year ago.


Jolley... Oh, yeah.

That's the man down
in Pipesville, isn't it?

That's the one. Carl Jolley.

He murdered a man because
he came onto his property

and wanted to talk about
buying a strip of land

for the railroad.

Well, Ben, you know how
this territory's been hurting

for a railroad.

Of course.

And of course there
isn't an inch of progress

to be made without it,
and the people knew that.

So they were going
to do something.

So, the legislature provided
the money for the land

and they deeded it
over to the railroad.

Oh, everybody was
happy and cooperated

for the territory.

All except Carl Jolley.

Well, he-he elected
to be stubborn.

So even when Senator
Prince sent a man down there

to plead with him,
he just shot him down.

Well, um...

Bob Jolley wrote this article.

He contends that his father
got anything but a fair trial.

Now that is a devilish lie.

Ben, my conscience is clear.

There were witnesses and facts.

Carl Jolley took a
life, and I took his.

That was my duty.

That was my... duty.

I think, Ben, I'd
better... rest a little bit?

Yes, of course.

You already get
that feed unloaded?

- Hmm?
- Yeah.

Yeah, Hobie gave
me a hand with it.

Oh, Hobie's back?

Now, how could he give me a
hand with it if he wasn't back?

Pa, did you know

that Hobie was the chief
witness at Carl Jolley's trial?

No, I did not.

Yeah, young Jolley
thinks it's kind of strange

that the man that swore
his father's life away

and the man that put
the noose around his neck

are both here at the same
time at the Ponderosa.

I'll tell you something else
about your friend the judge.

Must be something that
drives a man to the bottle

before the sun is
barely up in the morning.

According to young Jolley,

he hasn't sat in a courtroom
for six months now.

Just travels around from
town to town and bar to bar.

Joe... call in Hobie.

Hmm? Yes, sir.

Hey, Hobie?! Hobie?!

Adam, you do have a way

of sticking your neck
out for the underdog.

Well, there's nothing
wrong with that.


Take a look.

Put your hands up, young man.

Put 'em way up.

Come on.

Been fired?


I shot at a rattler
about a mile back.

Good. Maybe you
can show us that rattler.

I'm afraid I can't. I missed.


Sure seems like
you're always around

any time one of us Jolleys is
accused of shooting someone.

- Howdy, Ben.
- Roy.

- Judge here?
- Adam.

No. I got him a room up at
the hotel to use as an office.

He's gonna hold a
preliminary hearing.

Oh. Where?

Right here in my office.

That won't hold very many.

Well, I guess maybe
he prefers it that way.

What about them?

Ben, I'm a law officer.

I just hate a noisy crowd,

but I'm scared to
death of a quiet one.

Who riled 'em up?

Who knows?

All that takes is one voice
and a good argument.

Now inside I've
got the son of a man

who was hanged for murder,

and only yesterday, he
shot an innocent man.

Has anybody proved that?

No, but they all
believe that he did it.

We go inside?


Morning, Mr. Jolley.

Well, well, well, look
who's come to visit

the poor, dollar-a-column
newspaper fella.

Well, we thought we'd, uh, see

if you wanted us to
hire a lawyer for you.

A lawyer?

Well, I'm touched.

Really touched.

No, thank you, gentlemen.

They hired a
lawyer for my father.

A young man

who had just finished his
reading in a lawyer's office.

A young fella

who hadn't even seen
the outside of a law school.

My father was arrested,
tried and hanged

in three days.

Nevertheless, we thought
we might be of some help.

Gentlemen, let's
not be inconsistent.

You Cartwrights have the
chief witness for the prosecution

on your payroll, and you
have the hanging judge

in your house as a houseguest.

Come on, Adam.

We'll see you at the
preliminary hearing.

Preliminary to
what? The hanging?

You mind telling me
something, Jolley?

What's really eating you?

What's eating me?

Injustice, Cartwright.

Like an acid.

Eating my insides out.

You sure it isn't
something else?

Get out.


Looks kind of pale.

Well, Ben, you know
what a .45 slug can do.

However, Hobie's a
tough nut. He'll be all right.

Did you say a .45 slug?


Oh. Jolley wears
a .38, doesn't he?

Maybe that hearing
shouldn't be held.

I'd better tell Judge Whitacker.

No, wait. Hold up.

Why don't we, uh, hold off

telling the judge about
this for a little while, huh?

What's on your mind?

Well, maybe this will
give us a chance to find out

if he's willing to dig out
these new facts for himself.

All right.

This is a preliminary hearing

to determine whether the
accused shall be remanded

for trial on the charge
of attempted murder.

If the accused is so remanded,

I will disqualify myself and
refer the case to another judge.

All right. Let's get on with it.


Were there any
witnesses to the shooting?

Well, now, you know that
there wasn't, Your Honor.

Bob Jolley showed up
right after the shooting,

and, uh, well, his gun had been
fired not too long before that.

Now, he said that
he shot a snake,

but there wasn't
any proof of that.

Was the bullet recovered?

I think so. You got
it, ain't you, Doc?

Yes, I have it.

Describe the bullet.

Base metal, predominantly
lead, .45 caliber.

What caliber was
the accused's gun?

It's a .38, Your Honor.

Is there any proof that
the accused owned,

or had access to,
a .45 caliber gun?

Why, no. I just supposed that...

In the law, we don't suppose.

Until you get proof,
case dismissed.

Release the prisoner.

Harry, let's get back
to the Ponderosa.

Well staged, Your Honor.

Very well staged.

Jolley, I thought
you'd be satisfied.

I'll be satisfied

when I get your
friend, the judge,

and Hobie Klinderman together.

Your father was guilty.

I did the right thing.

I-I did the right... thing.


Ben, I... I think I
better get a... drink. I...

Well, there's
one thing for sure.

Boy in there has
got a lot of courage.

Oh, either that,
or a lot of gall.

Yeah. Gall or courage...
We better keep an eye on him

while he's in town.

He's not making any friends.

Well, that's for sure.


Well, look who's in town.

Wonder what he's doing here.

Keeps interesting company.

Harry, how are you?

- Ho-ho-ho-ho!
- Cal, what brings you here?

Well, Senator Prince,
how are you, sir?

Mr. Cartwright, tolerable.

- Well, Virginia City's honored.
- Thank you very much, sir.

I am not here on
official business.

I just happened to
be passing through,

and, Harry, I was wondering

is there somewhere
we could have a drink?

Uh, alone, I mean.

Well, I-I'm with
Ben Cartwright here.

Oh, excuse me, Mr. Cartwright.

Adam... Oh, Senator Prince,

I believe they have
some rooms back here.

But I want you to meet
my eldest son, Adam.

- Senator Prince.
- How do you so, sir?

How do you do?

Now, uh, would you mind?
You will excuse us, sir?

Certainly, certainly.

Harry, I have many
things to discuss with you.

Senator Prince.

Wasn't he the chairman
on that legislative committee,

the, uh, one that set
up that railroad deal?

I believe he was, yes.

Yes. Why?

Eh... funny.

Seems that everybody that had
anything to do with Carl Jolley

is all of a sudden
showing up in Virginia City.

I say a trial was too
good for your father.

I say they shouldn't even
have wasted the time...

Just stretched his neck
right there on the spot.

What is it they sing?

"He shot a man who came to help.

"He shot him cold
without a chance.

"But Hanging Harry
made him dance.

Carl Jolley..."

Go on.

Pull it.

Everyone's watching.

The world ain't
gonna miss this Jolley

any more than the last one.


This is my affair!

Don't do it.

You taking this up?


There's nothing to take up.

Hold it!

See, this is my business.

You ain't gonna
be using that hand...

but you use your feet
to clear on out of town.

You're out of business.

Well, who's guilty
in this case, Judge?

I don't know what you mean,

and I will not be
talked to in that manner.

I mean no disrespect, sir.

The man out there
was a hired gunman,

a professional killer.

He was hired to pick
a fight with Bob Jolley.

Now, it seems that
someone is very interested

in hushing up the Jolley case.

Now do you know
what I mean, sir?

This is ridiculous.

From riffraff I
could understand,

but from a Cartwright!

All that boy asked is the
right to question the judge

and the chief witness
for the prosecution

about his father's trial.

If you knew anything
about the law, young man,

you'd know that Robert
Jolley has no such right.

His father was tried,
the law has spoken,

and that is it!

Questions, Senator,
just reasonable questions

And how, I ask, can
we expect reason

from the son of a
convicted murderer?

And to ask Harry Whitacker...

our great judge... a
man who may one day

sit on the Supreme bench
of the United States...

to ask this man

to subject himself to the
so-called "reasonable questions"

of a boy weighted
down with the knowledge

that he is a cold-blooded
murderer's son? No!

Gentlemen, no!

As long as I have anything
to say in this territory,

our courts... our judges...

will not be subjected
to such indignity.

Thank you, Senator Prince.

A sensitive judge

can, I have learned,
be driven to distraction...

flooded with confusion
as to the validity

of his most honest decisions.

So... here and now I declare...

that henceforth I will
be responsible only...

to the law and to the
people of this territory.

And I will not subject
myself to the bias,

unreasonable inquisition

of a Robert Jolley
or any man like him!

Stand up.

Judge Whitacker!

Just one more question, sir.

I am not biased.

I am not vindictive
nor unreasonable.

And my name is
not Robert Jolley.

And my father has
not been accused,

arrested, tried,
convicted and hanged

in three days for murder.

Though maybe that's just
through the grace of God.

And I haven't been
forced to chase a judge

all over the territory
to ask him questions,

which I had a right to ask.

How dare you!

I dare, sir, because
I've lived in this territory

most of my life.

I have part of its future,
and I want to be proud of it.

So don't deny me that.

Now, Hobie Klinderman
is gonna be up and around

in a couple of days.

I am willing to meet
the both of you here

in this saloon Friday morning.

But I leave that
decision up to you...




Are they in there?

Yeah, they're waiting.

It's a long trip.

Had to ride all night.

Adam... did you...

did you get what you went
looking for in Pipesville?

I think so.

I've spent three days
gathering material

about something I wish
I'd never gotten mixed up in.

Go on.

Well, Judge Whitacker
is your friend...

but I don't believe he's
the man you think he is.

So I'm gonna leave it up to you.

You want me to go on with it?

You've got to
live with yourself.

You've got to do what your
conscience thinks is right.

All right.

About a year ago...

Carl Jolley, a farmer
down near Pipesville,

was tried in my court.

He was convicted.

I had to sentence him
to death by hanging.

Well, a few days ago...

a young citizen
of this territory

by the name of Adam Cartwright

demanded that he had
the right to question me...

And, uh, Hobie Klinderman,

who, by the way,
was the chief witness

for the people in the
trial against Carl Jolley.

Neither Adam Cartwright...

nor any other private
citizen has that right.

But for the sake of
community harmony,

and for the fear
that to do otherwise

might be a
disservice to the law,

I extend to Adam
Cartwright the privilege

to ask me any question
that he chooses.

Thank you, sir.

Bob... you told me
that your father was...

a poor, uneducated...

warm-hearted man who...

What's wrong with that? He was.

Well, I've just come
from Pipesville.

And Carl Jolley's
former neighbors...

told me that he was
the most stubborn,

cantankerous and argumentative
man that ever drew a breath.

Well, they're a lot of liars.

Isn't it true that he
argued with you constantly,

that he even picked
a fight with you

one Sunday morning in church.

Bob, isn't it true that
you hated the farm

and that you wanted to... run
away to New York, get away?

And that your father took a
gun and he aimed it at your head,

and he said that he'd kill you
if you dared leave the farm?

Now, isn't that true, Bob?

All right.

But my father didn't
really mean any harm by it.

He only pointed a gun at
me and told me I couldn't go.

And I said to him, "If you
want me to stay on this farm,

you'll have to kill me
and bury me here."

And I turned... and walked away.

I never looked back. Never.

Until it was too late.

Didn't you ever write him?

Often, at first.

But he never
answered, so I stopped.

I remember the first letter,
the only letter I ever got.

I had moved away
from the address he had,

so I got it four months late.

I shall never
forget that letter.

"My dear son..." I'm in jail.

"They say I killed
"the railroad feller.

"I didn't," but they're
going to hang me.

"I wish I could
kiss you good-bye.

"Respectfully... you father."

This is unfair. Grossly unfair.

Let's not forget that
Bill Hauser died, too.

Yes, and he died

with Carl Jolley's
bullet in his heart.

- That's been proved...
- Senator, Senator...

I think if you'll
just be patient, sir,

you'll get your turn.

I don't want my
turn, Cartwright.

I want this whole farce of
a trial stopped right now.

These, these
proceedings are ridiculous.

Your Honor.


Hobie, um...

You and the, um...

the man who was killed,
what's his name again?


Billy Hauser.

Yes, Bill Hauser.

The two of you worked
for Senator Prince

and his legislative
committee, didn't you?

That's right.

And it, uh... it was your job

to travel across the country,

from farm to farm,

and buy the strip of land

to be used for the...

right-of-way of
the railroad, right?


Would you mind reading that?

That's, um, part of your
testimony from the trial.

"Me and Hauser...

"tried to explain to Jolley,

"about the good
the railroad'd do,

"but before we could get
more'n a few words out,

"Jolley pulled out his
gun and shouted for us

"to get the heck off'n his land

"and never to cross it again.

"I always knew he was dangerous,

"and I was afraid.

"Me and Hauser
wasn't carryin' any guns,

"and this guy Jolley
had murder in his eye,

"so I..." took off
and started to run

"and then suddenly
I heard a shot.

"I turned back and...

"there was Billy
Hauser, "lyin' there dead.

I managed to get
out of there fast."

Now that is your testimony, huh?

Yeah, that's,
that's my testimony.

All right, thanks, Hobie.

Oh, and, uh, you
and Bill Hauser,

out there riding around
through the open country,

what'd you eat?

Mostly things along the way.

Sometimes a farmer'd feed us.

Sometimes we'd build
a fire, cook a rabbit,

squirrel, something like that.

Rabbits and squirrels.

How'd you catch 'em?

Well, we didn't
catch 'em, we, uh...

well, we get close
enough most times

for a good shot at 'em.

I don't understand.

"Me and Hauser wasn't
carrying any guns."

What'd you shoot 'em with?



Um... Sometimes we carried guns.


- Well, usually.
- Usually?

But not when you were going
to see a man that you knew

was dangerous?

At least, that's what you
said he was here... dangerous.

I don't know. You,
you... All I know is...

on-on that particular day
we wasn't carrying any guns.

Well, why not? That
doesn't make sense.

I don't know, I... Oh,
this is outrageous.

This would never be permitted

in a court of law

when this man, Cartwright,
won't accept the witness' answers.

Well, at least he
gave you an answer.

Judge, would you
accept that answer?

Yes, of course, you would.

You already have
accept it, haven't you?

Now, why did you?

Because in a court of law,

a witness has the right

to give any reasonable
answer to a question.

Judge, you're familiar
with this country,

its ways...

do you really believe
that Hobie and his partner

travelled around the
country unarmed?

Could be true.

Could have been?

Well, didn't you
question it even once?

I did the best I could.

Judge, Carl Jolley's only hope

in that courtroom was you.

The record clearly
states that he told you

time and time again
that Hauser was armed.

That it was Hauser
who drew on him first,

and that he had to
kill him in self-defense.

But you wouldn't listen.

You didn't even ask Hobie
the simplest of questions

to get at the real truth.

But why not, Judge?

Because you wanted
Carl Jolley to hang?

Because, like the rest of
the town, you hated him?


I despise people who
descend to hatred.

Maybe that's why
you've been running away

these past few months.

'Cause you're afraid of
examining your conscience.

'Cause you were afraid you'd
end up despising yourself.

But you're gonna have to face
up to it sooner or later, Judge.

'Cause that's the
kind of a man you are.

If you weren't, you
wouldn't be here today.

Why, you'd have
laughed at Bob Jolley

the first time he accused you,

or you'd have had him
arrested for disturbing the peace.

But you couldn't do it.

Because basically, you're...

you're what my
father says you are...

an honest, honorable man.

I would say this has
gone just about far enough.

Gentlemen, how can we sit here

and watch a great public servant

- hounded and degraded?
- No, no, no, no,

no, no!

I suppose, I...

I knew it all along, but
I just couldn't face it.

There were errors
in the trial, but...

I did not know that
they were deliberate.

Hatred? No.

I told myself it was love.

Love of the territory,
love of people.

I mean, they honored
me, they respected me,

they looked up to me,
and I dedicated my life

to them and their welfare.

But... why couldn't this man see

what a railroad would mean?

How couldn't he see,

standing on that
vital piece of land?

Heedless of his neighbors,

and stopping
every bit of progress

in the territory

just because he
didn't care to change.


He was a human being,

and he had a right to live.

Perhaps if I had known
more truth about Carl Jolley

he would've deserved
to die anyway.

But my crime was that I...

I didn't reach beyond...

enough to find the truth.

The people made me their judge,

and I tried one
of my fellow men,

and I failed to give him

the full protection of the law.

No judge... can
do a greater wrong.

No, Judge, It wasn't you.

It wasn't you who did wrong.

Keep your mouth
shut, Klinderman.

No, I won't. Not any longer.

I'm gonna tell the truth.

I lied in your court.

Hauser and me...

we was both
carrying guns that day.

Hauser drew first on Jolley.

Jolley had to kill
him... in self-defense.

Senator Prince told us...

that if we didn't get
rid of Carl Jolley,

Jolley'd block the railroad.

This is an outrageous lie.

This man is making
the whole thing up.

Surely you don't take
his word over mine?

There will be an
investigation, Senator,

not only of my judicial conduct,

but of the perjury
committed in my court,

and the procurement
of that perjury

which is now charged to you.


You'll never prove
anything against me,

you doddering old fool.

My hands are clean.

Oh, is that why you had
Morton, a professional gunman,

on your payroll?

Maybe now we'll find out
who tried tried to kill Hobie,

and, uh, who paid
to have it done.

You'll never prove anything.

Well, we'll certainly
try, Senator.


Come on, Hobie.

I'm sorry, Judge.

You will never
get away with this.

- Never.
- Come on, Hobie.

Thank you, Ben.

Will you do something for me?

Will you walk out
of here with me

to show these people
that at least in your eyes

I'm not a totally evil man?

I'd be proud to, Judge.

Well, I guess there isn't
much to say, is there?

I guess not.

I'm gonna give that land
to the railroad, Adam.

I think my father
would want me to now.

It's his way, and
mine, of saying...


I won't forget you.


I won't forget you either.

A little local color?

Bar's open, gentlemen.

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Bonanza offers delightful, family-friendly entertainment suitable for solo viewing or group gatherings. Elegy for a Hangman is the 117th episode of the series’ 430 installments. NBC produced Bonanza, which aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, spanning 14 seasons.

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