square deal sam
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

Square Deal Sam Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #08

Ernest Truex makes a guest appearance as Sam Washburn, an experienced con artist. Sam’s latest targets are the Cartwrights and their cook Hop Sing, whom he persuades into a fraudulent land deal. However, Sam and his wife Martha (played by Nydia Westman) find a chance at redemption thanks to a group of innocent orphans. Sandy Kenyon also stars as Gibson. Originally aired on November 8, 1964, Square Deal Sam was penned by Jessica Benson and Murray Golden.

Explore this episode’s intricate plot and intriguing trivia, or enjoy watching the full episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of Square Deal Sam

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Main Cast

Besides the main cast, “Square Deal Sam,” the eighth episode of Bonanza Season 6 highlights various recurring and guest-supporting actors. The following are featured 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
  • Ernest Truex as Samuel T. Washburn
  • Nydia Westman as Martha Washburn
  • Sandy Kenyon as Charlie Gibson
  • Bing Russell as Deputy Clem Foster
  • Danny Flower as Danny Sipes
  • Sydney Smith as Judge (as Sidney Smith)
  • Victor Sen as Hop Sing
  • John Barton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Russell Custer as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Shug Fisher as Barney Shanks (uncredited)
  • Charles Fogel as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Lars Hensen as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Billy McCoy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Ernesto Molinari as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Paul Ravel as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Rice as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Clint Sharp as Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Olan Soule as Telegrapher (uncredited)
  • Bruno VeSota as Bartender Andy (uncredited)
  • Sailor Vincent as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Square Deal Sam

The Washburns, newcomers to town, are in search of employment. Upon learning about their hardships, Hoss kindly offers them lodging at the Ponderosa.

However, things twist when the Cartwrights discover that the Washburns have been less than honest about their intentions, particularly after convincing everyone at the ranch to invest in a copper mine. Yet, this revelation only scratches the surface of the elaborate tales Samuel is prepared to weave.

Full Script and Dialogue of Square Deal Sam

Howdy, Clint. You've got
a bundle up there for me?

- Yes, sir, Hoss, I think so.
- Good. I've been waiting for it.

Thank you.

Hey, come back with that.

Kids are getting plumb
out of hand. I'll get it for you.

Oh, never mind, young man.

There were just some
sandwiches in it, that's all.

Permit me to introduce myself.

I'm Sam Washburn and
this is my wife, Martha.

I'm happy to meet
you. Just call me Hoss.

Oh. Where are you
folks planning on staying?

Well, we haven't decided
yet. You could suggest a place.

Yeah, yeah. The
Palace Hotel down there.

It's the best place in town.

Oh, Sam, I'm afraid that's
a shade too expensive.

Martha, don't look on
the dark side of things.

As the poet says, "It's always
darkest before the dawn."

I'm sure in a town this size
that I can obtain a position

that's worthy of a
man of my talents.

- You gonna try to get a job here?
- Well, why not?

I hear this is a very
prosperous town.

Not anymore, it ain't.

See, we had a couple of real bad
mine disasters a few months ago,

created a bunch
of widows in town.

They got no means
of support, no money.

As a matter of fact, some
of those kids right there

are probably from
some of those families.

Oh, how sad.

We're doing what we can for
them, even trying to find work

but there just ain't
enough jobs to go around.

Sam, whatever
are we going to do?

I tell you what, ma'am, you're
mighty welcome to come out

and stay at our place until you make
up your mind what you wanna do.

Thank you, just the same.
But we can't accept charity.

Do like you want to, sir.

If you change your
mind, and I hope you do,

I'll be down here in the general store.
There's plenty room at the Ponderosa.

Did you hear what he said?

The Ponderosa, that's
the name of his ranch.

- Do you know what that means?
- What?

We're in luck.

The Ponderosa is the top outfit
in the whole Nevada Territory.

Young man.

Well, sir, we've
changed our minds.

Well, good.

I have a feeling that lady luck is
about to smile on us, eh, Martha?

I hope so, Sam.

Well, ma'am, we'll do what
we can to help her smile a little.

Hi, Pa.

I want you to meet some
friends I brought in from town.

This is Mr. and Ms. Washburn.

This is my pa and my
brothers, Adam and Little Joe.

- Mr. Washburn.
- Pa, is...? Where's Hop Sing?

Oh, he's, uh, in
his room, sleeping.

Good. There is gonna be no more
complaining about the food, Pa.

What complaints?

Ms. Washburn here, Pa, is one of the
finest cooks this side of the Mississippi.

Yes, sir.

I reckon you folks are tired.
I'll show you on up your room.

Could I take a peek
at the kitchen first?

Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.

Uh, look, Joe, you take Mr. Washburn
up and show him the room.


Just do like I say, take the bags,
take him up and show him the room.

You can go right on up.

Come right with
me, Mr. Washburn.

You just make yourself right at
home in there, Mrs. Washburn.

- What's this all about?
- I can explain everything.

- Don't get sore.
- I'm not sore.

This poor old couple were
stranded in Virginia City,

they was flat busted,
had no place to turn, Pa.

He lost all of his money
in some bad investments.

And they needed work,
Pa. What else could I do?

- But, Hoss...
- Pa, just a couple of weeks.

Hoss, don't you understand, Hop Sing.
He doesn't like anybody in his kitchen.

Yeah, I know. Dagburnit, that
does worry me, I guarantee you.

Adam, you're better at
this sort of thing than I am.

Why won't you talk to Hop Sing
and explain it all to him, huh?

No, I'm sorry, brother.
You got yourself into this.

So you'll have to
get yourself out.

What a heavenly kitchen.

All those shiny pots and pans.

Oh, I just can't wait
for tomorrow morning

to try out my special
recipe for popovers.

Aah. If you only knew what it
means to me to be in a real home,

even if it is only for a little
while. Thank you, Mr. Cartwright.

Good night, all.

Well, here I go again.

I'll talk to Hop Sing.


Hop Sing, we could use
a little more of that jam.

Hop Sing not cook. Hop
Sing just silver polisher.

You got new cook.
You let her get it.

I'll get it, Pa.

Oh, Mr. Washburn
had his breakfast yet?

Oh, yes, hours ago.
He's outside sawing wood.

Sawing wood?

He doesn't have to be
doing that at his age.


- Mr. Washburn.
- Oh, good morning, Mr. Cartwright.

Good morning, Mr. Washburn,

but you must stop
this immediately.

Well, I guess it won't
hurt to relax for a while.

Mr. Washburn, sawing
wood for, uh, uh...

It's much too hard for you.

Oh, I fully intend to
earn my own keep, sir.

I'm not a man to sit idle
while my wife is working.

- Well...
- Sam. Sam,

why don't you come in and have a
cup of coffee and some popovers?

Uh, later, Martha. Later.

You know, my little wife
wouldn't be working now

except that I overextended
myself financially.

Yeah, Hoss mentioned
something last night

about some unlucky
investments that you've made.

Oh, he did, huh?

Well, the truth is I
invested all our savings,

even mortgaged our little home,

in a small but very promising
copper mine back in Utah.

Now, to make a long story
short, in no time I ran out of money,

and the joke of it is

that all I needed was $200
to buy proper machinery

and I'm sure we could
have hit pay dirt by now.


- Two hundred dollars?
- Yeah.

What would you say if I
offer to lend you that $200?

That's very
generous of you, sir.

Well, not generous at all.

As the poet says, "Neither
a lender nor a borrower be."

No, Mr. Cartwright,
thank you kindly, sir.

Well, uh, Mr. Washburn,
if you change your mind,

that offer still stands.

Oh, Sam.

I'm so glad you
didn't take that $200.

Two hundred dollars.

That's chicken feed compared
to what I have in mind.

I was merely baiting the hook.

Oh, Sam.

Well, it's getting late, Sam.
Are you coming to bed?

No. No, dear. You run along.

Are you gonna sit
out here all night?

I don't believe so.

My infallible instinct tells me that
the fish will soon be rising to the bait.

Well, mine tells me that maybe
all you'll catch out here is a cold.

- Evening, ma'am.
- Evening.

- Mr. Washburn.
- Evening, Hoss. Uh.

Mr. Washburn, I'd like to
talk to you a minute if I could?

Good night, Martha.

- Good night, Hoss.
- Good night, ma'am.

Well, what's on your mind, Hoss?

Well, Mr. Washburn,

it's, uh, about
that copper mine.

How'd you know about that?

Pa told me all about it.

Oh, I shouldn't have shot off my
mouth to him about my troubles.

No. No, sir, I'm glad you did.

As a matter of fact, I
have been thinking about it

and, well, it's...

It's sort of hard for me
being a stranger and all.

Well, Hoss, you a
stranger? Ha, ha.

Only this morning I was
saying to Martha, if I had a son,

I'd want him to be a fine,
upstanding, young man, just like you.

Now, you just feel
free to speak your mind.

Thank you, sir. Well...

- Mr. Washburn...
- Call me Sam.

All right.


I've been thinking
about that $200...

Now, stop right there.

I know what you're going to
say and I don't wanna hear it.

Sam, you promised me
I could speak my mind.

Yeah, heh, I'm sorry, go ahead.

Well, the fact is, Sam,

if you listen to reason,
I've got a little proposition.

See, I have been saving some
money and I got a little bit of my own.

And what I'd like to do

is I'd like to loan
you that $200.

Well, since you're
like a son to me,

I got half a mind
to accept your offer.

By George, I will, but I
must impose one condition.

What's that?

That we become
equal partners, 50-50.

Sam, that's crazy.

I mean, after all the time,
work and efforts you put in

- to develop that property?
- Then the deal is off.

Now, come on,
Sam, be reasonable.

Well, I tell you
what I'm going to do.

I'll give you 25 percent,
uh, nothing less.

And tomorrow
morning, partner, heh,

you're getting a
deed to make it legal.

Now, is it deal?

- It's a deal.
- Ha-ha.

Uh, just one thing
more, partner.

If you'll permit an old man to
retain just a bit of his false pride,

don't tell your father and
your brothers about this.

Well, I'd feel terribly embarrassed if
they knew that I had borrowed money.

- It'll be our secret, Sam.
- Thank you, heh.

- Well, goodbye, Ben, heh.
- Bye, Sam.

I can't remember when I've
had a happier two weeks.

I'm gonna miss
you all very much.

Well, I hope it's not long before
you're back to see us again.

Martha, if you don't
hurry, we'll miss the stage.

- All right, Sam. Bye-bye.
- Bye-bye.

Well, there go two nice people.

Yeah, I'm sure gonna miss them.

Bless you all.

We'll never forget
what you've done for us.

- Goodbye.
- Bye.

Mr. Cartwright.

- Mr. Cartwright.
- Yes, Hop Sing.

Hop Sing giving notice.
I quitting at end of week.

You're quitting?

Oh, now, don't tell me
that you're still angry

because that poor, sweet woman
did the cooking for a couple of weeks?

Oh, heh, no, Mr. Cartwright.

- We very big friend.
- Good.

And Mr. Washburn, he going
to make Hop Sing rich. See?

This is deed to landmine.

I pay him $50 for it.

Then he give me 10
percent of his copper.

Oh, so sorry.

Hop Sing promise not to tell,
not even you, Mr. Cartwright.

I don't understand.

All he needed was
$200 and I gave him that

for 25 percent of
his copper mine.

I don't understand.

Well, I think I do.

Did he also insist that this be a
private affair, his and your secret?

Yeah, he said he would
be embarrassed if...

He'd be caught

because he felt that if you told
me, then he wouldn't get my $200.

Oh, he made the
same deal with me.

Old Sam left here $450
richer than when he came.

Six hundred and fifty.

He told me I was gonna get rich
on my small but sound investment.

Well, at the rate
we're shelling out,

I think Sam Washburn's the
only one who's gonna get rich.

Well, Pa, at least you didn't
get hooked in this swindle.

Count me in.

Sam Washburn ain't
getting away with it.

I brought him here, I'm
gonna bring him back.

That old rascal.

Do you realize that we
are now the proud owners

of a hundred and 10
percent of a copper mine?

Shake, partners.

First, you sell us a hundred
and 10 percent of a copper mine

and then it turns out
there is no copper mine.

Sam Washburn, do
you know what you are?

You're a low-down swindler.

That's a harsh
word, Mr. Cartwright,

an exceedingly harsh
word, entirely unwarranted.

As the poet says, "To err
is human, to forgive divine."

Well, so you forgive me.

Well, what the devil
would you call a man

who comes along and
swindles his friends out of $800?

- Eight hundred fifty dollars.
- Eight hundred and fifty dollars.

I would be inclined to withhold
judgment until I was sure of my facts.

Come on, out with it, Sam.

And please, Sam,
without the poetry.

As you will. It began
a short time ago.

Martha and I were looking
forward to secure our sunset years,

and innocent babes that we were,

we fell into the clutches of
a smooth-talking operator.

He gave us a glowing
account of a mine

that was supposed
to have copper in it.

So we swallowed his
story hook, line and sinker.

Whereupon he departed
for parts unknown,

along with our lifetime savings.

So, uh, since
somebody swindled you,

you figured why shouldn't you
swindle somebody else, like us?

Oh, please, Mr. Cartwright,
don't be too hard on Sam.

Never mind, Martha.

We cannot expect
Mr. Cartwright to believe

that I borrowed the
money temporarily.

Borrowed? That's
a new word for it.

Well, new or old,
that's the truth.

With this money, I intended
to open a small business

in San Francisco,
to recoup our losses.

I anticipated returning the money
shortly with considerable interest.

Martha knew
nothing about my plan

until we were well on
our way to Virginia City.

She begged me to turn back,

but, heh, if I'd only
listened to you, sweetheart,

I wouldn't be facing
a jail sentence now.


Oh, no.

Don't worry, Mrs. Washburn,

we're not gonna
send him to jail.

And we're doing this
for her, not for you.

We got our money back

and well, maybe, Sam has
learned his lesson by now.

Thank you for being so lenient.

I guess we better go, Sam.

Wait a minute.

Where are you gonna go?

Don't know.

Things look hopeless now

but if we're lucky, maybe someday,
we could start a small business.

Hey, I got an idea.

- Pa, listen to this.
- Hmm?

How would you like to have a
business right here in Virginia City?

Oh, that would be
wonderful. Wouldn't it, Sam?

Uh, yes. That'd be fine.

But that isn't possible, is it?

Well, I think might just be.

I happen to know that old
man Baxter wants to sell

his general store and retire.

Now, why don't we let the
Washburns borrow back the $800?

Eight hundred and fifty dollar.

Eight hundred and fifty dollars

and start off all new
right here in Virginia City?

Oh, you folks.

I just don't know what to say.

Hoss, you know,
it might just work.

And it certainly would give Sam,
uh, sort of a chance to redeem himself.

What do you say, Sam?

Thank you, Hoss. Thank you all.

Oh, if there was just some way
I could repay your generosity.

Sam, there is.
Just do a good job.

Oh, no, that's not enough.

I know, I'll give you all some
of my land in Utah as collateral.

Sam. Sam, that isn't necessary.

The store itself is
sufficient collateral.

No, sir. I insist that each of you
accept 10 percent of my holdings

as security for your
$200 investments.

What I get for my $50?

You, Hop Sing, you get
the same, 10 percent.

Now, let's make it legal.

Gentlemen, if the
store is successful,

I insist that you
consider this land a gift.

Never let it be said

that Sam Washburn
ever forgets past favors.

Yes, sir, folks, take a good
look at that name up there,

Square Deal Sam's.

And remember, because
not just today but every day,

the man behind that
name will be offering you

such dazzling merchandise
at such rock-bottom prices,

why, you'll think I've
lost my mind, heh.

And as the poet might say:

"When you enter that store, you'll
discover what's in store for you."

And to celebrate
this great launching,

you men are asked to come up
and have free beer on the house.

For ladies, there's Martha's
famous coffee and sandwiches.

Come on and help us
celebrate. First come, first served.

Well, you gotta hand it
to old Sam, he's generous.

Well, he can afford
to be with our money.

It's like Sam says, you
gotta give a little to get a little.

We'll, I've heard all I
wanna hear. I'm leaving.

Me too.

What do you think
you're doing, boy?


Then take back those
sandwiches. That's stealing.

What's the trouble, sheriff?

Oh, Danny here's
stealing sandwiches again.

I wasn't stealing nothing.

You ain't gonna let him
take me to jail, are you?

He said everybody could take
a sandwich. Didn't you, mister?

Sam, don't you go getting
soft-hearted with a kid like Danny.

Just let him think he's
found himself a sucker

and he'll take you for
everything you've got.

Hmm, well, like he said, I told
everybody to come and get it.

Let the kid go, sheriff.

All right.

Maybe you made a mistake
letting the boy off so easy.

Then again, maybe you didn't.

All I know is if you saw the
conditions under which these kids lived,

you'd understand why
Danny and the rest of his gang

are always on the streets.

Been trying to persuade this town
to do something helpful about it,

all of a sudden
everybody's deaf.

Oh, it's a real problem.

That was a real
kind thing to do, Sam.

I'm beginning to believe that
you like kids as much as I do.

Martha, kids get on my
nerves as much as ever.

Only the law gets
on them even worse.

I hope it was
worth it, Hop Sing.

You look like you need
about a week's sleep.

Last night is a very
bad night for Hop Sing.

This Charlie Gibson, he's
a very smart poker player.

You mean to tell me
you were playing poker

with a professional
gambler like Charlie Gibson?

Did you lose your
wages again, Hop Sing?

More. Much more.

This time I lose all wages and
deed to land Mr. Sam give to me.

Well, giving up that deed
isn't such a great loss.

That's what I figure.

He said, Mr. Gibson,
he not so smart.

He pay Hop Sing $100 for
deed to pay off poker debt.

I make $50 profit.

Pay you a hundred dollars?

Hop Sing, did you tell him
there was copper on that land?

Sure, how else he buy it?

He believed me when I tell
him all Cartwrights own land too.

Pretty smart businessman.

Oh, yeah, you're real smart.

What do you think
Gibson is gonna do to you

when he finds that there's
no copper on that land?

Even so he get bargain, you
each paid $200 for your deed.

Hop Sing,

don't you realize you can
be put in jail for what you did?

Pa, maybe I should ride into town,
try to buy that deed back from Gibson.

Gibson wouldn't sell
you back that deal,

not if he thinks there's
copper on that land.

What you might do is send a
telegram to the land office in Utah

and then when they send you the
information that there isn't any copper,

show that to Gibson as proof.

Yeah, well, I'm
going after breakfast.

I hope I can get to Gibson
before he starts any trouble.

Well, Hop Sing, you think
you've learned your lesson?

What's wrong? Hop Sing
have beautiful straight.

How he know Charlie
Gibson have full house?

- Good morning, Mr. Washburn.
- Yeah.

- Good day, Mrs. Washburn.
- Good day.

Yes, sirree, the woman's touch is
sure what this place needed, heh.

- Thank you, Mr...?
- Gibson, ma'am. Charlie Gibson.

And this here is my
pal, Barney Shanks.

- Howdy, ma'am.
- How do you do?

Now, I come in for half
a dozen twists of tobacco

for this, here, special pipe

and, uh, a pound of 10-penny nails,
some twine. I forget anything, Barney?

A lantern.

That's right, a lantern.

We've been working
copper diggings.

Such as there are around here.

I, uh, understand

copper mining is one of your
interests too, Mr. Washburn.


Heh, now, come on, Mr. Washburn,

I happen to know that you've
got considerable copper holdings

in the territory of Utah, even
sold part to the Cartwrights.

Is that a fact?

Well, I see you like to play it pretty
close to the vest, Mr. Washburn.

Now how about
dropping your little act

and selling me the rest
of that copper mine?

The only thing I own in the
state of Utah is some empty land.

Well, then, seeing as how I already
own a part of your empty land:

"Be it known by these
presents that for the sum of $50,

the bearer is hereby
declared owner

of 10 percent of the Ogden
Valley Real Estate Holdings.

Signed, Samuel T. Washburn.
Witness, Ben Cartwright."

Well, I'll be hornswoggled!

Well, I sold this deed to the
Cartwrights' cook, Hop Sing.

How do you happen to have it?

He paid off a poker
debt last night.

What beats me is how you got the
idea that there's copper on that land.

Copper or no copper, you
wanna sell any more of it?

I might be interested
if the price is right.

We're not interested
in selling anything

but the merchandise
in this store, Mr. Gibson.

Your purchases amount
to, uh, $1 and 3 cents,

unless you don't happen to
have that much money on you.

If you care to change
your mind, Mr. Washburn,

you'll find me at the saloon.

Why did you have to
butt in like that, Martha?

They were begging for it

and I could have gone
onto something really big.

Oh, Sam, you're always
on to something really big.

Uh, I'm so tired of these
big things that never turn out.

I suppose you think

that Sam Washburn would rather
end his days as a petty shopkeeper.

Well, my dear, you've
got another thing coming.


- What'll it be?
- Give me a whiskey.

Changed your mind, huh?

All right, boys.

Here's the lay of the land.

That parcel is all I have
left of my choicest holdings.

I'll sell it all to you
for a thousand dollars.

Oh, it's a bargain
at double the price.

A bargain. Why,
it's highway robbery.

How come the price went up?

That's my proposition.

Take it or leave it.

He just wants to do a little
horse trade. Go on, call him back.


Will you come back here
for a moment, please?

Got a counter-proposition
for you.

Don't cost nothing to listen.

Now, why don't you sell shares in that
there valuable parcel of land of yours?

Let's say, as a starter, a
thousand shares at a dollar a share?

That way folks not
rich like the Cartwrights,

could afford to get in and
make a little money too.

Say, that's a brilliant idea.

I wish I'd thought of it myself.

Now, uh, I'll tell you what
I'm going to do, Mr. Gibson.

Since it was your idea, I'm going
to give you ten shares free and clear

if you start the ball rolling.

- You got a deal.
- Heh.

All right, men.

Listen to me, I got
a proposition for you.

For 1 dollar, 100 cents,

you can buy a share in
the richest copper land

in the whole Utah territory.

Now, here it is, right
here, on this here map.

- I'll take five shares of that.
- Five shares.

Barney, would you
assist me, please?

- Put Andy down for five shares.
- Andy for five.

All right, men. Now,
gather around me.

Come on, all around me.

Now, this is the chance
of a lifetime, men.

A chance to invest
in America's future.

If you want to
get rich, this is it.

Martha, how long will
it take you to pack?

Oh, Sam. What did you do?

I told you I'd make it
big someday, didn't I?

Where did you get
all that money, Sam?

Well, now, let's just say

that I, uh, came out ahead
in a little stock transaction.

Sam, what about the Cartwrights?

We'll send them a
postcard from Paris.

Now, you start packing.

Oh, it's some customers.

Oh, well, cover that, cover it.

- Well, what can I do for you, my boy?
- It's all on the list.

You feeding an army?

- It'd take me half a day to fill this.
- What'd you expect?

There's eight more of us
kids besides ma and me.

Well, I haven't got time to fill
this now. Come back later, huh?

Maybe they need it now, Sam.

Hmm. Nine children.

It must be wonderful to
have such a large family.

They ain't all family. I got
only one brother, Tim here.

Ma, she takes care of
other kids, like Jesse here,

whilst his ma's out
looking for work.

Martha, we haven't got time
to listen to the story of his life.

We got more important
things to do. We got...

Martha, we haven't time.

Here's your answer, Hoss.

"In re your inquiry
land ownership,

no evidence of any deed
recorded to Sam Washburn

or Ogden Valley
Real Estate Holdings.

Land you describe
owned by the territory

and occupied by
the territorial prison."

Oh, boy.

That's just great.
Thank you, Norm.

- What's the hurry, Hoss?
- I gotta go see Sam Washburn.

Well, if you're looking to get in
on your friend Sam's big land deal,

it's too late. A little
while ago in the saloon,

I had to put down some mighty
mad folks who lost out on it too.

Way they were fighting
to give him their money,

you'd have thought he was
offering the whole of Utah free.

Well, he dang near
was. Read that.

You don't have any money.

How did you expect
to pay for all this?

Well, we kind of figured

since Mr. Washburn here
give us all them sandwiches,

we was chancing maybe
he'd let us take all this stuff

and wait till we could pay him.

All right. All right. Let them have
it. Let them have the whole store.

We don't need it anymore.

You mean it, mister?

Take everything you can carry
now and come back for the rest later.

You know, the sheriff said that big kid
would try to make a sucker out of me.

Yes, sir, you gotta
hand it to that boy.

He's got the makings
of a real con man.

I'll take care of
that money, Sam.

Oh, no, no, here now, sheriff,
that money belongs to me.

You see, I got it because I
sold the rest of my land in Utah.

Come off of it, Sam.

There ain't no land in
Utah and you know it.

Well, I, uh...

Well, well, well,
caught in the act.

Heh, gentlemen, I'm forced to
confess that I'm a sentimental, old fool.

Like you, sheriff, I
was trying to find a way

to take care of our
unfortunate urchins in the street.

And only today,

right out of the blue,
came the answer.

A foster home.

- What?
- Oh, brother.

By using a slight
diplomatic deception.

What you pulled was
an outright swindle.

Don't be so technical, sheriff.

I raised the money, didn't I?

And as the poet says, "The
end justifies the means."

Well, I don't think the
judge will say that. Come on.

Oh, uh, Sheriff, I'll
sue you for false arrest.

That money was collected
to try and get decent shelter

for our ragged lambs,
our unfortunate orphans.

Now, that was the wildest
one I've ever heard yet.

Why does he make up
those yarns, anyhow?

That's Sam.

Before they reach the jail
Sam will be believing it all.

You'll see, he'll convince himself
he's crusading for the children.

Ma'am, he just invented that story
just then to cover up his swindle.

That's right, Hoss.

But that's the difference between
Sam and a genuine swindler.

A con man knows he's
lying, but Sam doesn't.

The only successful
swindle he ever pulled

was to bamboozle Sam Washburn
into thinking he could be a swindler.

Well, ma'am, why
does he keep trying?

How come he ain't satisfied
to stay here with the store?

Don't you see, Hoss,

Sam wants to be a big man,
but he doesn't know how.

He always bungles, like today.

Well, ma'am, he's in
bad trouble this time.

Hoss, he's too
old to stay in jail.

And he can't get along without
me, even if he won't admit it.

What am I going to
do without my Sam?

Oh, you've got to help
me, Hoss. Please help me.

Well, ma'am, I'll do what
I can, that's a promise.

Oh, if only he won't try
that wild story on the judge.

That's right, Your Honor.

With these funds, I intended to
build a home away from home

for the deprived
waifs of our area.

To provide them with shelter,
sustenance and supervision.

Such a foster home
would not only return them

to the paths of righteousness,

but would make them
into useful citizens

to whom all Nevada
would point to with pride.

And what's more,

it would put Virginia City on the
map as a community with a heart.

Put him away, judge!

Give him life!

I'm touched with the nobility
of your motives, Mr. Washburn.

In my 20 years as circuit judge,

never have I heard
a more moving story.

For a moment there you
almost had me believing you.

Had there been a grain
of truth in your testimony,

I might have been inclined
to lighten your sentence,

- but as it is...
- Your Honor,

there might be some
truth in what Sam says.

If you'll allow it I've got a
witness I'd like to bring in.

Now? After the prisoner has
already pleaded guilty to the charges?

Well, If I can prove that
his idea is a good one,

will you consider that
when you sentence him?

Very well.

You may step down while the
court hears the new witness.

Your Honor, this little
fellow's name is Danny Sipes.

I'd like to ask Danny
some questions, if I may?

Go ahead.

Danny, supposing there was
a decent home here in town

so you and the other kids
could have a place to stay

while your mamas were out
working or looking for work,

- would you be willing to do that?
- Sure.

As long as it's got real windows
and a roof that don't leak.

If there's enough
food to go around.

I don't think you'd
have to worry about that.

That's what you think, mister.

Until Mr. Washburn
here came to town,

nobody ever cared
if we ever ate or not.

I just want to ask
you something.

Supposing there was this home,

if Mr. Washburn has to go
to jail, who'd run the place?

Some skinflint who wouldn't
even give a hoot about us?

Well, sir, I don't know, Danny,
because we ain't got that far yet.

We still gotta
collect the money.

Yeah, that'll be the day.

All right, Danny.
You can go now.

Oh, Sam. Those poor kids,
I wish I could help them.

If I may, Your Honor, I'd
like to say a few words.

Well, whatever Sam
Washburn's motives were,

and I'm not saying they were
honest, he did prove one thing.

That is that the only to get any
money out of the folks in this town

is to appeal to their
greed and their selfishness.

Been a lot of talk
these last months

about helping some
needy families in this town.

That's what it's
been, just a lot of talk.

Because when it
came to raising money

we couldn't even
raise a plugged nickel.

But let some complete
stranger come into this town

with a crazy
get-rich-quick scheme

and the folks in this town
almost get themselves killed

in their hurry to part
with their money.

Of course, the
saddest thing of all is

these children,

because they did
have their hopes raised,

foolishly or not, with all
this talk about a foster home.

Now these kids' hopes have
been dashed to the ground.

Thank you, Mr. Cartwright.

Uh, Your Honor,
if it's not too late,

I'd like to put in a week's
pay to help build that home.

And I'll throw in one
week's take from my saloon.

Your Honor,

I'll match dollar-for-dollar any
money raised to start that foster home.

I guess we're all ashamed
for what we've done.

What do you say we put the
whole kit and caboodle of that money

into a fund for the foster home?

Sure. What do you say, folks?

Sure. What do
you say, folks, huh?

Until order is restored, there
will be a 15-minute recess.

That might give us all time to
come to terms with our consciences.

Hoss Cartwright,
I want to see you.

I have been informed that
enough money has been collected

to build the proposed home

as well as to sustain it
for some years to come.

I congratulate you.

However a criminal
case is being tried here

and I have yet to
pronounce sentence.

Will the prisoner please rise?

At the suggestion
of Hoss Cartwright,

I am going to give
you, Sam Washburn,

a chance to use
that lively imagination

and ingenuity to
some constructive use.

Since these children
seem to like you,

I hereby put you on
probation for five years

as custodian of
that proposed home.

But I'm warning you now,

if you betray their
faith and trust,

you'll be punished to
the full extent of the law.

Your chickens, Sam Washburn,
have come home to roost.

Court is adjourned.

Sam, I'm so happy.

Well, you got your wish, Martha,

- all the kids that you can handle.
- Yes.

And it'll be so good to
settle down once and for all.

Settle down? Martha,
you just can't think big.

We ain't got time to settle
down, our work is just beginning.

You heard what the judge said
about imagination and ingenuity?

Martha, I gonna make this home
famous throughout the United States,

maybe throughout
the whole world.

I know you will, Sam.

Well, we did it.

- Congratulations, Sam.
- Thanks.

Don't worry. Those
kids get out of line,

I'll be around with a club.

You better be
careful, young man,

that new home might turn
out to be a good place for you.

Especially if I
throw away the key.

Oh, I don't know
how to thank you all.

You're the nicest
family I've ever known.

Sam, it's $2,000 here
and more is pledged.

- Oh, that's fine.
- Sam.

Remember, you're on probation.


Hoss, my eternal gratitude.

That was a brilliant idea,

bringing Danny and the kids
in just at the crucial moment.

How did you ever
happen to hit on it?

Well, Sam, as the poets say,
"Necessity is the mother of invention!"

Oh, come on, children.

- Can we get some ice cream?
- Oh, sure.

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Bonanza provides wholesome entertainment, perfect for individual enjoyment and family get-togethers. Square Deal Sam is the 176th episode among the series’ total of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network screens from September 1959 to January 1973, captivating audiences over 14 remarkable seasons.

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