The Dream Riders Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #02, Episode #32
During its prime, millions of people enjoyed watching the mighty adventures of the fictional Cartwright family in Bonanza. The Dream Riders, the second season’s thirty-second episode, initially aired on May 20, 1961. Jack McClain and James Van Wagoner co-wrote the episode.
Major Cayley, an old Army friend of Ben Cartwright, is played by Sidney Blackmer as a balloon ascensionist. Cayley operates his latest experimental flight at the Ponderosa with Ben’s permission. However, Ben is unaware that the major intends to use the flight as a distraction as his accomplices rob the Virginia City bank. Another twist comes through as Cayley’s beloved daughter, Diana (Diana Millay), arrives unexpectedly, clueless of her father’s scheme.
Burt Douglas and Stuart Nisbet join this episode’s cast members as Kingsley and Sgt. Hines.
Read more of The Dream Riders or see the full episode below.
Watch the Full Episode of The Dream Riders
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The following actors appeared in The Dream Riders, the second season’s thirty-second episode:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Sidney Blackmer as Major John F. Cayley
- Burt Douglas as Private Bill Kingsley
- Stuart Nisbet as Sergeant Hines
- Diana Millay as Diana Cayley
- Jonathan Hole as Hershell
Full Story Line for The Dream Riders
Major John F. Cayley, Ben’s old Army friend, visits the Ponderosa to conduct his latest hot air balloon experiments at the Ponderosa. His ambition is to build an ocean-crossing airship. Meanwhile, his Army men, Private Bill Kingsley and Sergeant Hines, are in a hotel in Virginia City. Adam meets the two Army men, offering them a room at the Ponderosa. However, they insist on staying in the hotel and visiting the Ponderosa instead.
Accidentally flying in the hot air balloon made Hoss fascinated by the possibility of flying in an air balloon. Ben is skeptical about John’s ambition, especially since it’ll require a ton of money to make his dream come true. However, John assures him that he’ll fly no matter the cost.
Diana Cayley, the major’s daughter, suddenly arrives in town from the east to surprise his father. Adam and Private Kingsley accompany her as they all head to the Ponderosa.
Once they arrived at the Ponderosa, Private Kingsley requested to visit the site, and Ben accompanied him. Meanwhile, Diana was against his father building his dream, thinking it was impractical. Regardless, John is determined to make his dream airship come true.
Later, it appears that John and his army men are planning to rob a bank in town and use the balloon ride out on the Ponderosa as a distraction. The money they’ll get will serve as Major John Cayley’s funds to build an airship fleet.
Kingsley and Diana reunite outside the Ponderosa house. Diana asks Kingsley about his father, considering she found that the Army has no idea of his whereabouts. Kingsley kept the plan a secret, telling Diana it was an important experiment.
The following day, Adam stayed at the Ponderosa house while the rest of the Cartwrights visited the balloon site. There, Adam asked Diana about John’s plan. Diana tells him that John’s on a secret mission for the Army, but Adam knows something’s off. He tells Diana that Kingsley went to Virginia City bank despite being closed. Understanding something’s wrong, Adam and Diana head to Virginia City to find the truth.
Sergeant Hines and Private Kingsley threaten Hershell to fill their bag with money. After getting what they wanted, Hines knocked Hershell out and left. However, in their hotel room, Hines expressed dissatisfaction with obeying Major John’s orders. They engage in a brief scuffle, ending with Kingsley on the ground and Hines leaving with the bag of money.
Once Adam and Diana arrive in Virginia City, Hershell tells them that two Army men robbed the bank. They find an injured Kingsley at the hotel, informing them that Hines got the money. Diana asked Kingsley about the truth. Kingsley reveals that the money will serve as the fund for building the Atlantic Queen, Major John’s dream airship. Together, the three head to the balloon site to stop Hines.
Hines tells John they should leave immediately since the plan didn’t go as expected, leading to Kingsley’s death. They board the hot air balloon while the Cartwrights assist in setting the airship up to the sky. Adam, Diana, and Kingsley arrive in time before Ben can cut the role of the balloon. There, Adam tells the Cartwrights about John’s plan. Hines pulls his gun, aiming at Kingsley. John stops him but can’t avoid the bullet from Hines. Adam manages to shoot Hines dead.
John apologizes to Ben, accepting his death. The rope tied to the hot air balloon suddenly cuts loose, flying free skywards.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Dream Riders
[Music] [Applause] [Music] oh sergeant hines sergeant heinz yeah major dream is at hand sound revolution hey soldier boy kingsley rivoli we're here we've arrived at virginia city ripe and ready you did it sir that's right major you got us here just like you said you would now me and soldier boy here we're gonna do our job and we sold your boy fine now you know every detail the operation hotel you're staying at the man you're to see and uh sergeant for the insurance of our success stay away from mr barley corn how do you mean major booze sergeant booze stay away from me everything will go like clockwork sir i'll see to it yeah you just do that soldier boy hey major this ponderosa you're going to you sure you can crush them cartwrights that's the most painful part of all they trust me [Applause] [Music] hey paul huh here's that army friend you've been looking for oh johnny johnny [Music] could any of you sheep herders direct me to the ponderosa ranch estate come on out there you will go i can get a good look at you give me a yeah bye gully it's good to see it's been a long time seems a century man yeah i want you to meet my son hoss horse this is major john f kaley one of my oldest and probably wildest friends how are you sir are you us hand is the closest you'll ever get to a human bird in your lifetime horse fly does he fly by gully's probably got a pair of wings stowed in that in that wagon right now better than wings benjamin has the siteman selected for my experiment oh yeah i picked out a a clearing as you requested what kind of experiments is the army having out here anyway all in good time ben all in good time all right bye golly come on i want you to meet my two other boys [Music] fines get up heinz what do you want soldier boy heinz this is the bank get it now don't make a mistake that's real consider to you soldier boy that ain't bad drawing boy not bad at all you know when i get to be rich and famous maybe i'll let you paint a picture of me just keep sober long enough for us to carry out the major's plan now oh john the major here he just stood on this high bluff or like a young atlas with this pair of homemade wings strapped to his shoulders waiting for a strong wind to come along well what happened bro well he just stood there waiting and he waited and he waited and he waited what about two hours john that's right you stood there waiting and then suddenly that strong wind come along and just blew him right off the bluff did he fly did he fly broke both legs [Laughter] i assumed that was your last flight oh no that only served to whet my enthusiasm boys i'm convinced that someday we'll be up there we'll be up there we'll have an access to the skies that even the birds and the angels will end me john how's that beautiful little girl of yours although i guess by now she must be a beautiful big girl and married eh diana no she's back east ben in the family home now wine thunderation didn't you bring her along with you oh ben the fact is my daughter and i have been poles apart my head's been in the clouds and she like her mother god rest her soul has had both feet firmly planted on the ground well john it's it's awfully good to see you even though you didn't have to push that team of yours halfway across the continent by yourself i have a couple of army men with me i sent them on a head to the hotel in virginia city now why did you do that they should be right here in the ponderosa with you oh i wouldn't think of it i couldn't impose better impose adam you're going into town this morning aren't you no he could he could bring him back no i think it would be better bendy please nonsense it's all taken care of yeah john whatever this wild scheme of yours is we'll help you oh thank you ben let's have some more comments i sort of like to see what that experiment's all about myself wouldn't you joe well it has to do with jumping off a cliff and trying to fly i better get doc martin right away i'm private kingsley sir yes private i have some official army papers here from major john kaley who's staying at the ponderosa we'd like to deposit it in your safe for a few days oh yes ben mentioned that the army was planning doing some work out here that's right sir i'll be glad to keep them for you i'll be back for those papers in a day or two that'll be fine come on in you want something mister i'm adam cartwright from the ponderosa so a major kaylee's already out of the ranch and uh well we'd like to have you and your friend come out there and stay well that's real nice of you mister but how orders are to stay right here in town and the major mentioned that but it really isn't necessary we have plenty of room mister i've been in this army a long time major gave me in order to stay right here i'll leave when the major orders me to leave sergeant i was supposed to see the major this afternoon anyway good to have you show me the way sir i'll find out from the major what he wants us to do sergeant yeah you just do that soldier boy in the meantime i'm going to find out what the inside of a virginia city saloon looks like don't mind a sergeant sir his old line army hasn't got much imagination i don't believe we've met formal i'm private kingsley adam cartwright can i help you with anything no i don't believe so it's nice artwork very professional you do it yes it's one of my hobbies the army uh takes such use of your artistic talents brahm i've done some drawing for major kaley artwork wagons full of equipment experiments just what is the army doing at the ponderosa the major didn't tell you no i came here just as they were heading for the uh testing site that's just like the major probably wanted you all to see it before he said anything see what he's going into the sky mr cartwright right up into the sky [Music] all right grab the ropes hold her down [Music] [Applause] that's it ben that's fine hold it steady good boy little joe stay with it [Music] hang on to it huss put your weight behind it that is don't let go now hold it steady that's it [Music] that's fine hold it steady good [Music] stay boy it hang on to it huss put your weight behind it that is don't let go now hold it steady that's it that's it ben more fast now boys just about got it all right let go we'll let the winch do the work johnny never seen anything like this before it's fantastic hey shouldn't shouldn't horse let go of that thing us let loose [Music] boys boys come on down here [Applause] [Music] johnny [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] how do you like being carried along hey paul just like a big bird i'll help hey boys hang on tight now hang on tight how do you stop this good captain take it easy van you know i wouldn't let anything happen to you boys hang on let go [Music] [Applause] [Music] i know just how you feel loss that boy is a born balloonist oh it's just like a big bird you got to try it sure just like a big bird you got to try it well this flying may be all right for little youngsters like you johnny but you'll change your mind ben once you've tried it no i tried it i'm not gonna change my mind joe you're too young to be that old and you got no no adventure in your soul oh sure i got a venture in my soul it's my body i'm worried about don't you worry heist don't worry we'll show em tomorrow we're really gonna fly hot dogs hey johnny i think we ought to have one of the boys guard this contraption overnight no it's perfectly safe ben no wind i wasn't thinking about the window just think about the neighbors you know they come along a see a contraption like this think of some kind of sky demon or something start emptying their guns into it now one of you boys stay i'll stay paul on second thought i think we'll feel safe if little joe stays here hey don't worry hoss it'll be safe i'm 11. not a flyer [Applause] this man is my dream wow look at the size of that balloon ball 400 000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas you have to build them big if they're going to carry passengers across the ocean across the ocean yeah that ocean's mighty wide look i i i don't want to sound naive but what would you do if something happened to the balloon these two auxiliary balloons set us down on the water light as a feather then what swim float boy float yeah that george it does look sort of like a boat don't he it is a boat and these two collapsible masts now if anything should happen to the queen and she's forced down all you do is pull these out and slip on the sails look at the inside of that thing clark's place here's a virginia city hotel yeah it sure is john i is this practical what dream was ever practical then when you dreamed of building the ponderosa was it practical but you achieved it because you believed in it ponderosa is different john anyway i had my sons to help me build that and and providence providence hasn't smiled on me the winds are rising and the ears hang heavy on my shoulders oh what are you talking about you you're a major in the united states army you have the respect of a fine circle of friends i'm a pioneer ben i'm standing on the fringe of a new frontier without limits can't you see it skyways around the world continents are just waiting to be linked by airships airships and the army is backing you in this idea well not exactly they were intrigued enough with my designs but i'm afraid they found them too visionary well john i i'm sure you know what you're doing i know what you're thinking ben a lot of other people are skeptical even my own daughter thinks i'm a silly old fool oh john i'm sure that isn't so oh it's true it's true she never could summon up one ounce of faith in my dream my my plans well i'm i'm gonna go check on a little joe on that that balloon see you in a minute john john i no i'm i'm not doubting you but how are you gonna do all this i'll build the atlantic queen ben i promise you that nothing will stand in my way well but you you said yourself the army isn't backing you where are you going to get all the money i'll get the money my backers have already been selected man will fly ben no matter what the cost man will fly [Music] you there wait wait wait bill bill kingsley oh who's that do you know her i don't know anyone in this town hadn't we better get going bill bill kingsley uh diana i didn't recognize you what are you doing here in virginia city where's my father he isn't going to like it when he finds you here where is he uh private kingsley why don't you introduce me to the young lady i'm sorry this is diana keeley the major's daughter diana this is adam cartwright i do cartwright that's where my father is the ponderosa you've been cartwright's son aren't you please take me to my father i must see him uh private kingsley why don't you get miss kaley's luggage uh you and private kingsley uh know each other i take it we knew each other it's all over now i'm gonna get the feeling this is gonna be a long cold ride [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] ah [Music] [Applause] [Music] hey [Applause] me [Music] [Applause] [Music] people [Music] [Applause] [Music] rock-a-bye jolly way up in the sky hey horse come on let me down hey joe i didn't know you used to find a ballooning how high you want to go what i don't want to go any higher now let me down they ought to be something around here i could cut that rope with how high did you say you wanted to go joe hey cut that out you say cut it and no no don't cut it [Music] the harder you go joe the prettier it is [Applause] [Laughter] [Music] [Laughter] [Music] [Laughter] oh [Laughter] you should [Music] [Applause] [Music] hey [Music] oh oh [Music] private kingsley sir here to see major kaley oh yes of course ben cartwright private i'm very glad to have you here the uh major's inside won't you go in adam uh i'm diana oh uh that's right well i'm ben cartwright how do you do mr cartwright diana diana kaylee diana kaley well your father said you were back east does he know you're here well not yet i thought i'd surprise him well he'll be surprised how did she find out where we were as i said sir i don't know everything in town is ready good don't you think her being here might complicate things don't worry son i can handle her i'm glad somebody can johnny you old w were keeping her as a surprise weren't you i'm afraid that father is just as surprised to see me as you are mr cartwright cause i'm delighted to see you diana but now father it's quite simple i was dusting your study and on your desk i found your letter from mr cartwright welcoming you to the ponderosa so i decided that since i'd never been west this was the perfect opportunity and here i am i hope it's all right oh how you can bet your booze it's all right i'm very happy that you're here and i'm sure my sons are happy you're here too a major if you don't mind i'd like to go on out to the balloon site make sure everything's in good working order you have my permission well uh robert kingsley i'll i'll show you the way would you like to come along danny oh goodness no i think i've seen enough of father's old balloons i think i'll just stay here and freshen up a bit well of course now uh you just make yourself right at home the ponderosa is yours come on father all right father why did you come here you read the letter ben cartwright my friend offered me a piece of land upon which to conduct my experiment i also read some letters from the adjutant general's office i didn't know they'd missed me so soon what did you expect father you're in the united states army you can't just go wandering off whenever you feel like it they told me to select a site yes in pennsylvania not two thousand miles away and in nevada i am in command of that balloon and i will select the site the army was willing enough to utilize my experience in developing observation balloons but when i presented my real plan to the top generals then nearsighted fools couldn't turn it down quick enough father we've been over all this before and what does this have to do with your being here now they want to know where you are don't you understand that they'll find out soon enough don't you understand nobody wants your plans they are impractical the winds are rising my daughter and i must move skyward just once will you try to listen to me please your atlantic queen is never going to be built never now please please accept that fact i can't accept it i will never accept it my airships will fill the sky over every ocean over every city of every land man will find his destiny through the air and my atlantic queen will lead the way [Music] private kingsley good evening sir how did you find things at the balloon site everything's ready sir good now you have your orders you'll be able to withdraw the papers from the bank in the morning yes sir now what about sergeant hines is he ready don't worry sir he'll be at the bank in the morning as scheduled and you are you ready i'm more than ready sir you know that good bill good i think we'd better be at the balloon site crack of dawn we'll fill the balloon to capacity that'll give you time enough to get to virginia city and get your job done there yes sir i think we'd both better turn in early bill tomorrow's going to be a most momentous day i'm afraid i'm too excited for sleeping now sir i thought i'd take a little walk first maybe a long time before i have my feet on the ground again i understand good night sir good night bill [Music] [Applause] [Music] bill bill i want to talk to you i [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] diana diana diana [Music] i've been so lost without you no one to turn to bother acting so strangely major kelly will be all right diana you shouldn't worry but i do worry why is father here without the army's consent whatever gave you that idea letters from the army asking his whereabouts well that's easily explainable it's just that the experiment is a secret it's a matter of utmost importance naturally the army wants to cover it and how long will it remain secret until tomorrow tomorrow you'll tell me tomorrow you'll know [Music] the gondolas real plushy and it's shaped a whole lot like like a ship anyhow up above it he's got this one great big balloon and then he's got two lillians on either side in case of bacon pops he's going to call it the atlantic queen wow that sounds pretty elaborate i'd like to see those drawings well pod horse already signed up for the first trip across the ocean yeah that'll be pretty exciting i wonder if he'll ever get a chance to build it well if i know john kaley he'll build it come on let's go out to the side and give him a hand there's one thing i don't understand what knowledge can the major gain by taking the balloon up here that he couldn't have learned back east gee i don't know i never thought of that maybe the winds are better i'm the balloonist come on come no come out later with diane after she comes down all right come on boys from what i've seen at diane i wouldn't mind switching jobs with you yeah me too she's cute in a buggy she is out both of you oh wait a minute how come the older members of the family get all the privileges yeah how come well precisely because we are older and wiser yeah so uh let's go [Applause] [Music] good morning good morning where is everyone they all went on to the balloon site uh have some breakfast oh no thank you just some coffee all right sit down i'll get it for you well you're gonna fly the balloon today yes bill kingsley told me what else did he tell you i don't know what you mean diane what's your father really doing here apparently he's on some secret mission for the army what kind of secret mission he couldn't say you know that what they're doing here is wrong but the army hasn't given its approval at all i may not agree with my father but i know he'd never be part of anything that was wrong are you sure i'm sure you know where bill kingsley is he's at the test site with father helping him get ready for the flight no he's not he borrowed a horse this morning to ride into virginia city to pick up some important papers from the bank at the bank today's sunday the banks are closed i know adam what do you think's going on well that's why i'm going into virginia city to find out adam i want to go with you all right [Music] [Applause] [Music] mr herschel private kingsley isn't it yes sir i'm sorry to bother you this morning sir but i've been ordered by major cayley to pick up those papers i left at your bank the other morning i think it can wait until tomorrow private this is sunday i'm on my way to church i'm very sorry sir orders uh sergeant hinds is waiting at the bank for us now those papers must be mighty important they are sir believe me they are very well private we'll get them [Music] [Applause] commercial sergeant hines how do you do sir i do sergeant [Music] so [Music] oh what's the meaning of this sergeant fill it with you you'll never get away with it turn it up [Music] turn around turn around [Music] [Music] about full major she's taken at the ropes more ballast little joe right that ought to do it 30 000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas gentlemen i don't want to take you clean around the world major it might just do that hoss listen if them soldiers don't show up you reckon you can make room for me hey major where are those men they ought to be here any minute now how's it look at the bank not a stir it's quiet as an empty bank safe now remember let's walk out of here slowly then we'll get the horses we'll right out slowly we haven't got a thing to worry about money's concealed just be a couple of soldiers going out to the ponderosa let's go i'm going soldier boy but you're staying right here i just put that away soldier boy i'm getting mighty tired of taking orders from a runny-nosed private now you hand over that saddlebag i'm taking this money to the major you ain't taking nothing soldier boy but i am the mage's whole life is in this saddlebag and i'll die before i'll see you put your filthy hands on it sweet dream soldier boy [Music] [Applause] what's holding everybody up adam and diane should be here and don't worry pat i'll be along i wouldn't miss this for anything [Applause] he got the money what's all the excitement mr herschel the bank's been robbed somebody got the sheriff well do you know who did it of course i know it was those two soldiers they got me to open that safe on some pretense about army army papers yeah somebody [Applause] [Music] bill gotta stop hines where's the money heinz got it gotta stop him why why did you do it it was to build the atlantic queen the may just take everything on getting this money you got to get me to him before he takes that flight please before heinz gets to him well let's get started before the sheriff gets here [Applause] [Music] [Applause] uh [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] sergeant eins reporting sir i have the documents where is young kingsley can i speak you uh hello in a minute sir excuse me mrvin major we gotta leave here right now where is private kingsley he ain't coming what do you mean not coming he caught a bullet sir he's dead dead well major we ain't got time to worry about him we gotta leave while the levin's good but how how what happened what went wrong it was planned it was all carefully broken i got enough money here to build that balloon of yours now let's get in that basket and get out of here anything wrong john we're going up ben what about private kingsley he won't be making this voyage give us a hand with the basket you boys mind releasing those secondary ropes [Music] is also carefully planned release those ropes johnny you ready yes man it's time release the ropes [Applause] [Music] i cut that winch roll [Music] what is it adam the major's been using us his men just robbed a bank what the balloon's just a scheme to get away with the money kingsley what happened at that bank seems the sergeant had a dream of his own i'll make no difference now major all right cockroad cut that rope don't do it man don't do it [Music] i'm sorry man i only meant to borrow the money just until the atlantic queen could be built i was going to pay it back every cent with interest you'll be all right sir we'll take care of you no bill it's the end of me and and the dream oh nonsense johnny it'll be right as rain as soon as dr martin gets out here to have a look at you the wind is rising ben i mustn't fail i must ride the wind hey look [Music] bon voyage johnny [Music]
Behind the Scenes of The Dream Riders
This episode was director Robert Altman’s favorite among those he directed for the series. Robert Altman and Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright) became close friends, which lasted until Blocker’s untimely death.
This episode marks Sidney Blackmer’s first of two appearances in the series as Major John Cayley. His second appearance was playing the corrupt politician Samuel Endicott in “The Late Ben Cartwright.”
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza is an American Western television program you can enjoy alone or with your loved ones. Its popularity made the show last for 14 seasons, with the NBC network airing each hour-long episode from September 1959 to January 1973. The Dream Riders is the 64th episode out of 430 and the thirty-second for the second season.
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