the dream riders
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

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

Watch the Full Episode of The Dream Riders:

Main Cast

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





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


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


hotel you're staying at the man you're

to see

and uh sergeant for the insurance of our


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



hey paul huh

here's that army friend you've been

looking for

oh johnny johnny


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


all in good time ben all in good time

all right bye golly come on i want you

to meet my two other boys


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


broke both legs


i assumed that was your last flight oh

no that only served to whet my


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


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


well john it's it's awfully good to see


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


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


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


and the major mentioned that but it

really isn't necessary we have plenty of


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


artwork wagons full of equipment


just what is the army doing at the


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


right up into the sky


all right grab the ropes hold her down



that's it ben that's fine hold it steady

good boy little joe

stay with 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 fine hold it steady good


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


boys boys come on down here









how do you like being carried along hey


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




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


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


this man is my dream

wow look at the size of that balloon


400 000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas

you have to build them big if they're

going to carry passengers across the


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


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 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


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


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 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


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



















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


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


the harder you go joe the prettier it is









you should









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


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


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


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


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


not two thousand miles away and in


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


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


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


and my atlantic queen will lead the way


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


i'm afraid i'm too excited for sleeping

now sir i thought i'd take a little walk


maybe a long time before i have my feet

on the ground again i understand

good night sir good night bill





bill i want to talk to you







diana diana


i've been so lost without you

no one to turn to bother acting so


major kelly will be all right diana you

shouldn't worry

but i do worry

why is father here without the army's


whatever gave you that idea

letters from the army asking his


well that's easily explainable it's just

that the experiment is a

secret it's a matter of utmost


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


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


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


yeah how come well precisely because we

are older and wiser

yeah so uh let's go



good morning good morning where is


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


apparently he's on some secret mission

for the army

what kind of secret mission he couldn't


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


i know

adam what do you think's going on

well that's why i'm going into virginia


to find out adam

i want to go with you all right




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


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



commercial sergeant hines how do you do

sir i do sergeant




oh what's the meaning of this sergeant

fill it with you

you'll never get away with it turn it up


turn around turn around



about full major she's taken at the


more ballast little joe right

that ought to do it

30 000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas


i don't want to take you clean around

the world major it might just do that


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


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



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


he got the money what's all the

excitement mr herschel the bank's been


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



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









sergeant eins reporting sir i have the


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


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



is also carefully planned

release those ropes johnny you ready

yes man it's time release the ropes



i cut that winch roll


what is it adam the major's been using


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


i'll make no difference now major all

right cockroad cut that rope

don't do it man don't do it


i'm sorry man i only meant to borrow the


just until the atlantic queen could be


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


the wind is rising ben i mustn't fail

i must ride the wind

hey look


bon voyage johnny


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.

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

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