gift of water
Bonanza Western TV
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Gift of Water Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #21

Amidst a crippling drought gripping the territory, local farmers, led by Jason Gant (played by Royal Dano), seek access to the water supply near the Ponderosa. However, neighboring ranchers vehemently oppose this, forming a vigilante group to remove the farmers forcibly. Feeling a personal obligation to assist Gant, Hoss Cartwright steps in to mediate the escalating conflict over water rights. Majel Barrett, a future regular on Star Trek, takes on the role of Mrs. Ganther, with Pam Smith portraying Lindy. Penned by Borden Chase, Gift of Water originally aired on February 11, 1962.

Delve into the episode’s storyline and discover intriguing trivia, or enjoy it by watching it below.

Table of Contents

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Main Cast

Apart from the main cast, “Gift of Water,” the twenty-first episode of Bonanza Season 3 presents a diverse array of recurring and guest-supporting actors. The following individuals play prominent roles in the episode:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Royal Dano as Jason Ganther
  • Majel Barrett as Belle Ganther
  • Pam Smith as Lindy Ganther
  • James Doohan as Bill Collins
  • Kay Stewart as Mrs. Collins
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Paul Birch as Luther Kent
  • Bill Clark asMan WIth Collins Family (uncredited)
  • Betty as Collins’ Daughter (uncredited)
  • Harry Lauter as John Lane, Vigilante (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Gift of Water

Amid a brutal drought that has desolated the flat lands, Jason Ganther endeavors to excavate a well on his farm convinced that water lies just a few feet beneath the surface. Tragically, as Jason digs, the well collapses on him. Fortunately, Hoss happens to be passing by to water his horse and rushes to Jason’s rescue.

Moved by Jason’s plight, Hoss commits to assisting him, and they commence drilling for water. Soon, Adam arrives at the Ganther farm to lend a hand. As Hoss and Adam toil to deepen the well, Little Joe joins the effort. Amidst the labor, Jason’s daughter, Lindy, finds herself smitten with Joe, clumsily attempting to assist him with humorous outcomes.

Meanwhile, ranchers residing in the high country form a vigilante group to deter families from departing the flat lands and settling where water is abundant. Although the Cartwrights are approached to join this group, Ben staunchly refuses. Disgusted by the vigilantes’ actions, the entire Cartwright family, including Ben, stands in solidarity with the Ganthers, aiding in their quest to unearth water from the depths of the earth. Tensions escalate between the two factions as the Cartwrights race against time, striving to locate water before violence erupts.

Full Script and Dialogue of Gift of Water

(fanfare plays)


Yes, Daddy.

(horse nickers)

Howdy, ma'am.

Ma'am, could I step down?

Surely, stranger, step down.

Hope you have some
luck with that well.

Yeah, so do I.


Ma'am, I don't want
to bother you none,

but wonder if you could
spare a little of that water

over there for me
and my old pony here.

We've been riding
dry since yesterday.

We're down to just
a few inches now.

Hardly enough left for a week.

Less than a week.

But I can't turn
you away, though.

Thank you, ma'am.

There's, there's
them that could.

I came by several
ranches this morning.

They don't have any
more water in their tanks

than you got in yours,
and they turned me down.

Well, I'm sure
they didn't want to.


Please don't blame them.

I don't blame them, ma'am.

I'll tell ya, long
as I've been riding

through this flat country,

I never seen it
this dry. It's bad.

Real bad.

Look, you take what you
need for you and your horse.

But please be sparing.

Thank you, ma'am. We sure will.

The well, it's caved
in! It's covering Dad!

- The sand's covering him!
- Jason!

Get out of here!

Get out of here! It's
gonna bury you, too!

Ain't gonna bury
nobody. You just hang on.

- (Jason coughing) -Lady, send
me down a rope and hook! Hurry!

Just hang on for a minute.


You may have some
busted ribs there, mister.

Okay, little girl, take
the end of that rope

and go out there
and throw a dally

over that saddle horn of mine!

Jump up on the horse,
make him back up for you!

He'll back up real good! Hurry!


Oh, my ribs!

Pull him all the way!

(theme song playing)

(Hoss spluttering)

He's the doggone, stubbornest
man I ever run into, Pa.

He's gonna be out there
digging in that well again

before the week's out.

Lot of good men
down in the flatlands.

They're sure gonna
have a rough time of it.

That's for sure.

If they don't get water
down there there pretty soon,

there ain't gonna be
a head of livestock left.

No humans neither.

This fellow Ganther's only
got a few head of cattle.

Why don't we let him move
'em of up on the Ponderosa,

at least till the
drought's over?

That shouldn't be any trouble.

Afraid you're wrong.
It means big trouble.

Why's that?

Well, last time I was in town,
I heard the people talking.

They're worried, really worried.

They think there's gonna be

a mass migration
from the flatlands.

All of those families,
hundreds of 'em,

they're gonna come up
right into the high country

and bring all their cattle
with them... what's left.

I'm only talking
about one family.

I don't see what
trouble that is.

Ain't no use in arguing, Joe.

This Mr. Ganther, he, he
just ain't the moving type.

He's gonna stay right
down there that place of his

till he finds water
or dies trying.

Why, even while Mrs. Ganther
was in there patching up

his cracked ribs, he was
trying to tell me something

about an artesian well.

An "a" what?

An artesian well. Seems
like all you gotta do is

just dig a hole down to the
water down through the earth,

and when you once tap it,

it'll just come busting out
like a fountain or something.

You ever hear of one, Pa?

No. I've heard of them.
But they're shallow wells.

This part of the country,
the water's about

a hundred, maybe 200-feet deep.
They wouldn't work around here.

Pa's right. It won't
work any more

than this auger is
through this hard wood.

Now I've got to
sharpen that thing again.

Hey. Hey, wait a minute.
Give me that thing a minute.

Doggone it. Pa, I
can do it with this.

This auger'll do
it. You ain't got

to have to be big,
just a little hole.

Just big enough to let
that water come busting up

once you tap it.
Doggone it, it'll work!

LITTLE JOE: Are you loco?

You can't drill a
well with an auger.

Yeah, especially through
a hundred feet of earth.

Maybe that water ain't
a hundred feet down!

What if it's only 40 or 50?

I can do it, Adam. I can
reach it with this auger.

It's finally happened.

The sun's fried his brains
so he doesn't sense anymore.

Yes, I do make sense.

And you'll see how
much sense I make, too,

once you see that water come
busting up out of the ground!

Well, how are you gonna
keep the sand from pouring in

after you pull the auger out?

I ain't gonna pull it out.

I'll Just adding
steel to the top of it

until I reach that water.

Oh, sure, you will.

It's amazing what the
sun will do to a man's head.

Now wait a minute. I'm not
saying this is gonna work.

Personally, I don't think
it's a good idea at all.

But if he wants to try it,
give him a chance to help.

When do you, uh,
when do you expect

to ride down to the
Ganther's again?

First thing in the morning, Pa,
if you'll let me have a wagon.

You can have one.
Keep up your good work.


Oh, dad-burnit.

It's bent again.

I'm afraid it's just gonna keep
on doing that, Mr. Ganther.

We can unhook the top
section and straighten it.

Done done that three times

and straightened the
other a couple times.

Just ain't gonna
work, that's all.

But we can't stop now.

I know the water's there!

Just a few more feet,

and it'll come gushing
up and fill the water tank!

Mr. Ganther, you've
been saying that all week.

I wish I could agree
with you, but I can't.

We can't push that
thing down another foot.

It just ain't gonna
work, that's all.

Sometimes a man's just
gotta admit when he's licked.

Not my man, Mr. Cartwright.

If you'll just help me pull
the shaft, I'll straighten it.

I'll do all the work myself.

If you'll just help
me pull the shaft.

I'll help you, Daddy.

Now, dad-burn it, don't
you go making me look bad.

It ain't the work.

I don't mind the
work, Mr. Ganther.

It's just ain't gonna
work, that's all.

The thing's gonna keep
twisting. Every time it does,

the sand's gonna run in
there just like Adam said.

I meant good, but... it
just ain't gonna work.

We know you meant good, Hoss.

I wasn't meaning bad.

You, you really think it'd
just be couple of more feet?

I not only think, I believe.

For the sake of
my family, I believe.

Hey, pigtails! Where
you think you're going?

Come on back over here
and help me and your Pa

pull this thing out.

We're gonna
straighten it out again.

Haven't see you
boys in a long time.

Well, nice to have you visit.
Come on. Sit down, sit down.

Sorry we haven't got
time for a real visit, Ben,

but we've got a few
more stops tonight.

Oh? You know my
son Joseph, of course.

- Yes, how are you, Joe?
- Fine. How are you?

Well, what kind of
stops you talking about?

We're forming a vigilante group.

We'd like to make
you an officer.

Like to sign on your boys, too.

We need good guns.

What for?

We just got word
from the flatlands.

About a dozen families
are gathering their cattle,

getting ready to move
up here into the highlands.

Yeah, I heard about that.

They've been pretty
hard hit by the drought.

Well, we shouldn't have
any trouble finding room

for about a dozen families.

No, Ben, we can't!

That would just
be the first of them.

If they make it, dozens
more will follow them.

Maybe hundreds more!

You know what that means.

No, Luther, what does that mean?

If we let them move in,
they'll take over completely.

Well... what you
say may be true,

but, uh, you know,

you can't stop a man from moving

if his cattle are dying
off and his land is burned.

We know there's
no law against it.

We took it up with the sheriff
before we formed the vigilantes.

What'd he say?

He said there was no
law against them moving.

If they try to settle
on any man's land,

he can evict them,
that's all he can do.

We've decided that's not enough.

Well, Luther's right.

It's hard to evict a man.

It's a lot easier just to
keep them from coming in.

- You know that, Ben.
- LUTHER: We all know it.

And you folks here
on the Ponderosa stand

to lose more than anybody else.

So, you're, uh, you're
gonna turn them back?

Yes, we are.

And suppose they
won't turn back?

Well, then some of
them are going to die.

Some of them are gonna die?

John, you talk as if these
people were invading us

from some foreign country.

They've been having
a rough time of it,

the drought's hit
them pretty hard.

They're people, human
beings, just like you and me!

You're asking us to turn
our guns against them?!

That's what we're asking, Ben.

And before you
answer, let me warn you,

we're going ahead
with or without your help.

Well, then, gentlemen...

I guess it will have
to be without my help.

There's just one thing
more that I'd like to say.

The Ponderosa is our land...

to do with as we see fit.

Well, how'd you make out
with the brave vigilantes?

Just fine.

Sometimes I'm proud
my name is Cartwright.

Adam, there's gonna
be a lot of serious trouble.

All that energy
wasted on talk of killing.

Why can't people be
constructive about things?

At least Hoss is trying to find

some kind of solution
to that water problem.

Yeah, it's just too bad he
doesn't have a better idea

than trying to drill a
well with an auger.

I wonder how he's doing.

How do you think he's doing?

It's like you said, that...

sand's gonna pour
back in that hole

faster than he can drill it out.

But you know brother...
Always the hard way.

Yeah, sometimes he
can be real stubborn.

Well, there's one
thing I do know...

If Luther Kent and
his vigilante friends

have their way, some good
men are gonna get killed.

Hey, wait a minute,
wait a minute.

Did you ever think maybe
a gun had some kind of use

- other than killing?
- Hm?

What do you mean by that?

Didn't we order some
three-inch pipe a few months ago?

Yeah, about six lengths.

Gonna pipe some water into
the kitchen from the spring. Why?

Still around?

Yeah. Why?

I'm not quite sure.


That's my big brother, Adam...

Gee, he's not
near as big as you.


Hey, Adam!

Doggone, I'm glad to see you.

- Brung us some water, huh?
- Yeah, a few barrels.

Grab hold of the end
of this pipe, will you?

What you doing
with all that pipe?

We ain't even got water yet.

So I notice.

The auger isn't working, huh?

Nah, that son of a gun
keeps twisting on us.

Sand runs in there
every time I pull it out.

I don't know what we're
gonna do with it, Adam.

Yeah, we'll soon
take care of it.

Hey, Mr. Ganther, Mrs. Ganther,
this here is my brother, Adam.

He brung you some
fresh drinking water.

(laughs) Well, how
do you do, Adam?

- We sure can use that water.
- Glad to know you, ma'am.

- Mr. Ganther.
- Mr. Cartwright.

(panting): I'm afraid we're
not quite ready for pipe yet.

We still have a... well, a
couple of feet more to go

before we hit water.

I-I cleaned the sand from
up on top of that shaft.

You got lock joints on
the end of those shafts?


Do you mind if I tap one of
those barrels on the wagon?

See, it's been quite a while
since any of us around here

have had any sweet water.

Help yourself;
there's plenty there.

Any luck at all,
we'll have water

coming right up
out of the ground.

Thank you.

Uh, Lindy, come
help me find a bucket.

Gee! The only time
anybody remembers I'm here

is when they want
me to do something.

Hi. I'm Lindy Ganther.

- And it's nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, Lindy.

(sighs) Mr. Ganther, I
wonder if you could help us

put the end of this pipe over
that shaft down there, huh?

- I'll be glad to, but why?
- Well...

I got the idea
cleaning my rifle.

But I think we'll save a
little time if I just show you

rather than try to
explain it to you.

We better do it his
way, Mr. Ganther...

He's generally right
in a situation like this.

(quietly): All right.

(Jason groans)

Listen, you get that bent shaft
straightened out over there,

- get it over here, will you?
- Yeah.

- All right, heads up.
- Now, easy. Easy.

- Got it?
- I got it.

There we go.

Now, just drop it over the
end of the shaft down here.

There she is. Yeah.

JASON: All right, now, come on.

- All right.
- Easy does it. Easy.


JASON: Come on.

All right, Mr. Ganther, lock
that into place down there.

Where's your crossbar?

Right here.

(Jason panting)

I still don't understand.

(exhales) Well, it's a long
chance, but it may work.

You see, as the auger
bites into the ground,

it sends the coring
up through the pipe,

and then the pipe drops down
lower and lower, and we kind of

help it along by hitting it

every once in a
while with a hammer,

and then we just keep
adding new lengths of pipe

and new sections of shaft.

Now, let's give it a try.

Move the board over.

(Jason panting)


Well, we may have to send
a little water down that pipe.

Not much, just enough
to keep the corings wet.

It might work, Adam.

Doggone it, you're still the
brainiest one in the family.

LINDY: Handsomest, too.

Ha-ha. That's the nicest thing
a young lady ever said to me.

You're kind of pretty yourself.

HOSS: Now, look here, Linda.

I thought you was sweet on me.

Why, he's ten
times too old for you.

'Course, if you'll
settle for me,

I'll wait around for you
for eight or ten years.

(wagon approaching)

Hey, neighbors of yours?


That's the Collins family.

Bill and Fred and their wives.

They got a couple of places
about 20 mile east of here.

They got even less
water than we got.

Thought you might be better
fixed for water than us, Jason.

We were going to ask if
we could water our stock.

- We won't.
- I can spare a little.

Enough to take you
a couple of days.

- How far you going?
- Up to the high country.

What about your land?

And all the years
you've put into it?

You're just gonna
go away and leave it?

It's dying.


Either we move or we die, too.

It won't be long before
the others'll follow us.

Ain't a family in the flatland
any better off than we are.

How much longer you...
figure you'll last, Jason,

with that puny
little bit of water?

A week? Two weeks?

No, you better make your move

while your stock
can still travel.

No, Ellen.

This is my land...
and I'm staying on it.

And I'll tell you
something else.

There's water down there.

A few more feet, and
it's waiting to gush up.

It'll be all the water we need.

Folks have been saying
that about the rain...

"Just a few more days
and the drought'll be over."

But the rain didn't come, Jason.

Could be it never will come.

Could be there ain't any
water down in that hole, either.

But there is in
the high country,

and that's where we're going.

(sighs) Come on, Bill.
Get the cows ready.

Look us up when
you make your move.

We'll have some kind
of shelter built by then,

and... you'll be
welcome to share it.

Let's go.

Wonder what's gonna happen.

You know as well as I
do what's gonna happen.


(men panting)

I'll get some more water.

Well, we're down about
60 feet, Mr. Ganther.

I think that water is further
down than you thought.

It can't be much further.

Just a few more turns and...

and the water will
spout into that pipe and...

it'll leap like a
fountain up into the sky.

I-It will.

I tell you, it will.

Well, we all been
saying that for days now,

but we could be wrong.

What do you think, Hoss?

(exhales) I don't know, Adam.

I thought we'd hit
water any minute.

Now, I... I just don't know.

It's-it's got to be there.

With all that runoff
from the high country,

it's been soaking
into this ground

for thousands and
thousands of years.

It has to be there.

I'm not gonna argue that
point with you, Mr. Ganther.

The question is, just
how far down is it?

We only got a couple
of pieces of pipe left

and just a few
sections of shaft.

Even if we went down
just ten more feet,

I don't think we
could turn the auger.

Nah, I think I'll ride on back
and tell Pa what's happened.

I'm sure he'll find a place
for you on the Ponderosa.

(panting): No.

This is my land...
and I'm going to stay.

Jason, you can't stay
here if you can't find water.

Or if... if we can't.

What about it,
Adam, you want to...

you want to just give up, quit?

Eh, we'll go on
down a few more feet,

at least till we
give out of pipe.


pushing, big brothers!

Go on, keep on pushing.

Hey, you know, it's always nice

to see a man using his
back instead of his head.

Hi. Nobody'd tell you,

but my name's Lindy Ganther.

How are you, Lindy?
Nice to see you.

ADAM: How long you been here?

Just long enough to see my
brothers behaving like mules.

Anything the matter?
Does Pa need us?

No, everything's fine.

Eh, what's all the
talk about mules?

We might as well talk about 'em;

after all, you two
are thinking like 'em.

Hey, go right ahead and
push; don't let me stop you.

You've got any better ideas?

Yeah, at least one.

Yeah, come on, little
brother, you tell us

how we're gonna get that auger
down there to go round and round

without somebody
standing up here on top

turning it round and round.

Well, even all the
way back in Egypt

they knew enough to
hook a long wooden arm

to one of their grindstones
and let the oxen grind wheat.

Just take down that frame,

fix yourself up a walking beam

and let the horse
drill the well.


You know, it's
such a simple idea,

I'm surprised I
didn't think of it.

Hm. That's funny, I'm not.

Don't you dare hurt him!

Hey, wait a minute, Linda,
honey, I didn't really hurt him.

We play like that
all the time, baby.

That's right, that's how
he polishes his boots, dear.

All right, enough
of this nonsense.

Listen, I like your
idea, but what we need

is a real strong beam... I
think maybe we can use

one of those rafter poles
over there on the shed.

So you put away your
horse, and we'll get started.

W-Wait a minute, wait a minute.

I don't build things
like walking beams

and things like that...
I just do the plans.

- See, take that rig down...
- Little brother,

there's plenty of
work for everybody.

We're all gonna join in, so...

- come along.
- (grunts)

Don't you dare, Linda.

You put him down!

You really want
me to put him down?



All right.

Ahh! Oops!

(Hoss snickering)


(Little Joe groaning)

Mr. Cartwright,
I'm Jason Ganther.

Nice to see you.

Pa sent some food.

He figured Hoss had had your
cupboard cleaned out by now.

Well, thank you.

I'd like to meet
your pa someday.

He's raised three fine boys.

Thank you, sir.

Here. Get that in.

All right, give it a lift.


See, we'll slot the
main beam here,

make an iron collar for it,

and that way, that steel
shaft can move up and down it.

I like it. Let's build it.

Hoss and I will
take down the frame.

JASON: I'll give you a hand.

Lindy, you fire up the forge.

Oh, I'd love to!

(paper crinkling)

What are you doing?

I was just trying to help.


Let me do it myself.

Thank you.

Is this what you want?

Huh? No, no.

I want the, I want the
little small hammer.

The little short one.



Oh, I'm sorry.

I'll get you the other hammer.

No, no, no, I'll, I'll get it.

Just tell me where it is.

Right there.




Will you leave that alone?

I'll get you the saw.

I can saw real good.

I don't need anything
sawed right now.

you to leave that alone!

Will you please leave it alone?



Oh, you've burned yourself!

Let me see it!

I know what to do with burns.

You put grease on them.

I'll go get a bandage
and bandage it up for you.

Now, wa-wait a minute.

Now, wh-why don't you
find some tin soldiers

and then play with them.

Girls don't play
with tin soldiers,

and I'm a girl.

Yeah, well, you're
also a nuisance!

Now, if you leave
me alone, later on,

I'll cut you some
paper dolls, all right?


(stifled groaning)


(wagon approaching)

ELLEN: They turned us back.

They had guns.

You knew that would
happen, didn't you?

I was afraid it would,

but I thought they
might get through.

Called themselves vigilantes,

and they were guarding the roads

that led to green
grass and water.

We were desperate
enough to fight.

But two men can't
stand against 20 guns.

Did you try and talk to 'em?

We talked.

We pleaded with
them and we begged.

I saw my man drop
down on his knees.

And he ain't never done
that before, except to the Lord.

Where are your cattle?

Why bring them back to die?

We turned them loose.

At least up there,
the cows will live.

And we're going to live, too!

BILL: We're going to gather

every able men
in the low country.

20, 50, I don't know
how many, but they'll fight!

Any man will fight

before he lets his women
and his children die!

Don't do it, mister.

You'll meet you three to one.

Then we'll kill
three to our one.

It's no use, Hoss.

You can't talk to a man
who has nothing to lose.

They lose their lives!

Somehow, I have a feeling

that doesn't really
matter to them right now.

You hear what they're gonna do?

They're gonna fight
their way through.

I heard them.

Well, what are we
gonna do, just stand here?

I'm going to ride to Ponderosa.

Pa can stop them vigilantes.

Well, he's tried, but they
wouldn't listen to him.

LITTLE JOE: Adam's right.

Pa and I rode into
town the day before I left.

The vigilantes were
having a meeting.

Pa tried to talk to them, asked
them not to block the road.

They wouldn't listen.

Well, what'd the sheriff say?

Told them they were wrong.

They told him if
he tried to interfere,

they'd lock him in his own jail

You know how these things are.

You're either with them
or you're against them.

What did Pa have
to say about that?

He didn't have to say anything.

They knew he was against them.

No sense in talking about it.

Let's see if we can
get down to that water.

How's that walking-beam
coming along?

It's coming along.

I'll get back to work.

What are you doing with my gun?

I was just going
to clean it for you.

Didn't I tell you before
to leave my things alone?

I won't come near you, ever!

Hey, Linda, don't you
pay no attention to him.

He thinks he's terribly
grownup, don't he?

You know what I call him?


Come on.

(hoofbeats thudding in distance)

Well, now do you
believe me, Ben?

Who gave them
authority to patrol my land?

It's Luther Kent's doing.

He heard that every
man in the flatlands

is getting ready to ride
up here, prepared to fight.

So, if they do, Kent's
vigilantes will meet them

in a head-on, all-out
fight to the finish.

Now, look, Roy.

I'm gonna give every
one of those families

from the low country
a piece of land

right here on the Ponderosa.

Once they're settled in on the
land which I have given them,

they can't be evicted
legally, can they?

Well, you're absolutely right,

but that is, legally,

how do you figure to get
those families up here?

Well, I've thought of that.

There's a way of getting
out of the Ponderosa

without using any
of the existing roads.

It's a long, hard trek, mostly
over burned-out grassland,

but I know the trail,
so I can lead them.

Ben, you can't
handle this alone.

Hmm, I can handle it alone,

as long as I have my three sons.

But those vigilantes out there
are your friends and neighbors.

They're my neighbors
and they're my friends...


but friends or no friends.


That's the last piece of pipe.

And there's only a
little more steel left

to extend that drilling shaft.

Where is it?

In the forge; Little Joe
is putting the joint on it.

Ah, let's stop this mule.

JASON: Whoa, son.

HOSS: Whoa. Whoa,
mule, whoa, whoa, whoa.

(creaking and clanging)


Hoss, give me a hand
with that rigging, will you?

- Yeah.
- Why?

Well, I'm gonna yank the shaft.

Have them check the auger.

How come? Ain't it cutting?

Well, we've been going for
quite a while; we haven't checked.

I want to see if the
blades are chewed up any.

I'll unhook the mule.

Hey, Joe, give us a
hand here, will you?

All right, all right,
I'll be right with you.

As long as you couldn't
make any paper dolls for me,

I thought I'd make
something for you.

It's a pinwheel.

(Little Joe chuckles)

You can play with it.

Well, it's very,
very pretty, Lindy.

I'll let you mind it for me
till I get my work done,

then we'll both
play with it, all right?


How far down are we?

Well, about
hundred feet, I guess.

How far down do you want to go?

I've only got 25 feet
of pipe and shaft left.

Well, there's plenty
more pipe in town.

I can get a wagon,
go in and get it.

More pipes isn't gonna
do any good to you.

We can't drill with a dry auger.

There's only about a
barrel of that water left.

We won't need any more pipe.

Just what we have.

The water is down there.

All right, Mr. Ganther,

we're gonna keep trying.


Let it down.

(Little Joe and Hoss sigh)


Hey, lookit, that's mud!

I thought it's
supposed to be dry.

Adam, we struck
it... That's water!

The steel's supposed to be
dry; it's wet... we got water, Joe.

What's the matter?

We got water down there, Adam.

There's water all right, but
it's over a hundred feet down.

Hey, Mr. Ganther,
I thought you said

that water's gonna just bust
out of the ground like a fountain.

Well... it looks like...

this land is different from
where they get artesian wells.

Hey, Pa, we found it.

We found water down there.

We just gotta figure out
some way to pump it up.

Seemed like them
artesian wells are...

Well, son.

You must be Mr. Ganther.

Mr. Cartwright,
proud to know you.

Sorry about the trouble here.

Well, it was a long chance,
but it was worth the effort, Hoss.

But Pa, we found the water.

It's down there. We got it!

We just gotta figure out
some way to get it up.

Can we put a pump
on it or something?

ADAM: I'm afraid not.

Take an awful lot of
pumping to pull it up that far.

Have to pump clear
around the clock

just to wet the
bottom of that tank.

Maybe we can hook that
pump to the walking-beam.

The horses will
pull enough to help.

ADAM: They couldn't pull up
enough to keep themselves alive.

Wait a minute.

If we hook that pump
shaft to a... to a windmill,

that will pump around the clock.

Why not, Pa?

Windmills have been
used all over the...

all over the world
for hundreds of years.

They've been turning
every grindstone

and ever mill in
Holland for centuries.

Well, how come we
ain't never used 'em?

We never had any use
for them here until now.

But, uh, you know,
with God's help

we could bring water
to this dried-out country,

and maybe that will be
a way of stopping people

from killing each other.

Now, look, here's what
I think we ought to do.

Uh... young lady, would you, uh,

- would you get me a claw bar?
- Yes, Mr. Cartwright.

Or something.

Let's try that.

- Oh, hey. Yeah.
- That's pretty good.

Secure it up around in here
and along here and back here,

- and I think we've got it.
- Yeah, and watch the angle.

Not too much; just enough
to catch some of the wind.

Yeah, all we need now
is about a dozen more.

Oh, Mr. Ganther, would you
pull the rear axle off that buggy?

We'll put it atop the frame
and tie it in with the main shaft.

Fine. But we're gonna need
a cogwheel or something.

Oh, we'll need three,
but we'll have 'em

as soon as Hoss and
Little Joe get back.

Boy, I hope Hoss doesn't
forget that foot valve.

Told him to unhook
the bar and pump

and pull that shaft.

He was so excited, I think
he was only half listening.

Oh, he'll get it.

Just hope it's the right size.

My real worry's whether or not

Joe can get that main gearwheel.

I know they use them
down at the mines,

but the question is, do
they have any extra ones?

They'd better, or Joe'll
take the one they do have.


What's all the
commotion, Mr. Kent?

We didn't know it was you, Hoss.

We saw the wagon coming
and decided to stop it.

Thought it might be some
people from the flatlands.

Well, that's mighty
neighborly of you, Mr. Kent.

Now, if you'll get out of
our way and let us through.

I don't think I have to
remind you you're on our land.

We know where we are.

You'll find plenty more
of us on your land.

There's men blocking
every road and trail

from the low country... you
can tell that to your father.

Well, why don't you
tell him, Mr. Lane?

I'd like to see you
stand up to my Pa

and tell him just that.

Now, we're not
looking for trouble, boy.

We can't let your father
bring those people up here.

They take over everything.

You've got to admit, a man
has a duty to protect his own.

Look, I'm getting tired
of this talk, Mr. Kent.

You either tell these men to
get out in front of this wagon,

or I'm gonna run
these horses over 'em.

Hyah! Hyah!

- Hyah! Hyah!
- (neighing)

You want to send some of
the men along behind them?

What for?

The Cartwrights might
be planning something.

Could be they expect
to hit us in the back

when the others
come up the road.

There are only four Cartwrights.

Ten times as many of us.

They won't give us any trouble.

BEN: Adam?

That dust cloud.

Been traveling this way
for the last couple of hours.

Your eyes are better than
mine... What's underneath it?

Riders, wagons.

Another dust cloud
behind that one.

There's more riders and wagons.


More guns.

What's keeping those
brothers of yours?

Don't worry, Pa,
everything's gonna be all right.

Sure, everything's
gonna be all right.

Suppose they didn't
get the gearwheel.

Suppose they
couldn't get the cogs.

Well, if they forget anything,

we'll just send them
back, make another trip.

There isn't time
for another trip.

Those flatlanders are already
moving up to the high country.

And don't tell
me to take it easy.

Sorry, sir.

(Ben sighs)

Eh. It's just that
I'm worried if...

if they ever get into
a fight with Kent,

a lot of people are
going to get hurt.

Whoa, whoa.

We got it, Pa.
Everything we need.

We rode right through
'em without firing a shot.

Yeah, but only because we
got out of there when we did.

This one here was about to
start something with Mr. Kent

- and that feller Lane.
- Where'd you run into them?

Up on our own high road.

Yeah, Kent's the leader, but
that Lane's a troublemaker.

One of these days I'm gonna
have a session with that man.

You just stay out of his way.

Come on, let's unload the gear.

What's a session?

- What's a what?
- A session.

You said you were gonna
have a session with that man.

You wouldn't understand.

Is it a fight?

Yeah, well, suppose
it is, pigtails?


I just wouldn't
want you to get hurt.

Well, that's funny, I
didn't think you liked me.

I don't.

BEN: Come on,
get the other stuff.


(horses approaching)

You're Mr. Cartwright?

Yes, I am.

We told your neighbors
we'd be coming back.

We're going through this time.

Going through to
green grass and water.

What is your name, sir?

Bill Collins.

Mr. Collins, don't try it.

You won't get through.

They must have about 50
men guarding that road, and if

you do try to get through,

well, some of you
are bound to get killed.

Maybe, but we'll
do some killing, too.

Mr. Collins, it won't work...
Me and Little Joe saw 'em.

They got the woods full of
men, behind every bush and rock.

They got you
outnumbered two to one.

There are more coming,
and we'll get through.

The Lord didn't mean
for some to have water

and others to have none.

That's true enough...
He didn't mean that.

And I'll tell you,
there is water

and there's green grass
enough for all of you,

and it's yours...
On one condition.

We thank you, but, uh...

what do you mean by a condition?

It's yours if you let me
lead you to the high country.

Now, it'll be a long, hard ride
over some pretty rough trails,

but there won't be
any men to stop you.

What happens if they try to
drive us off once we get there?

Well... you'll have my boys
and myself fighting on your side.

We're very grateful
to you, Mr. Cartwright,

but... we don't want to cause
trouble for you and your boys.

Well, don't let that
worry you none.


Well, that's about as
right as it's ever gonna be.

- Want to try it?
- Let's give it a try.

Throw the lever.

Is it gonna work?

Oh, honey, let's pray it will.


Hey! Look at it, Joe!

Adam, look at the rod...
It's going up and down!

It's working! It's pumping!

It's not pulling yet.

Come on, pull,
pump, please pull.

Please, please...

Did you prime it?

- (snaps fingers)
- (quietly): Dad-gone it!

I forgot to prime it, Joe.

Some water left in
the house; I'll get it.

- Here it is.
- Hey, pigtails!

How'd you happen
to think of that?

Come on, cup it...
You're spilling some of it.



Look at it.



(Little Joe whoops)

Hey! It's working!

Look, Adam! It's bringing up
water right out of the ground!

Don't just stand there gawking!
Get some planks from the shed.

We got to extend that
trough over to the water tank.

Joe, ride out and tell
Pa we found the water!

And get those people back here!

We've got enough
water for everybody!

Now everybody in the
flatlands can build a windmill

and have all the
water they need!

Yeah, but wait a
minute, wait a minute!

I started this whole
thing, and I'm gonna get

- to tell 'em about the finish!
- All right, get out of here!

Come on, Adam,
I'll buy you a drink!


- Whoo! Look at this!
- Whoa-ho!

(Little Joe whoops)

Hey, Pa!

Pa, we found it! We
found the water, Pa!

A whole ocean of
it at the Ganthers'!

All we got to do is
pump it out of the ground!

We'll help you fellers
build your windmills!

That's wonderful,
son! Wonderful!

Did I hear you
say there's water?

Water for everybody?

That's just what you
did hear, Mr. Collins.

And you were right...
The Lord did not mean

for some to have water
and others to have none!

You hear that, men?
You're going back!

You'll have all the
water you'll ever need!

You're going back
to your own land!

(cheering, whooping)


How does a person say thank you

for a gift as
wonderful as water?

Well, ma'am... it was really
Hoss's idea in the first place,

and... your husband's faith
that kept us working at it.

We knew there was water there
all the time, didn't we, Jason?

Sure did, Hoss.

Sure you did.

With just a little
help from casings,

walking beams - and pinwheels.
- Mmm...



Here, boy. Maybe you'll
have time to play with this now.

Oh, well, thank you, ma'am.

Yeah, come on, boy,
no playing for you.

Plenty of work at home.

Yeah, come on, little buddy,

we'll make you
a little red wagon

- so you can help us.
- (laughing)


Behind the Scenes of Gift of Water

It is the sole television series, besides Star Trek, in which both Majel Barrett and James Doohan made guest appearances together in a single episode.

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Bonanza offers wholesome entertainment suitable for individual viewing or family gatherings. Gift of Water is the 87th episode out of 430. NBC produced Bonanza, which aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, spanning 14 seasons.

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