the fear merchants
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The Lone Writer  

The Fear Merchants Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #20

Bonanza kept its viewers hooked to the show through the diverse topics and social issues it covered for 14 seasons. For example, its first season’s twentieth episode, written by Fred Unger and Thomas Thompson, covered the negative results of bigotry.

Gene Evans acts as Andrew Fulmer, who runs for mayor of Virginia City. Fulmer campaigns on a “hate all outsiders” platform, believing Virginia City belongs to its locals. Backed up by thugs, Fulmer targets the town’s Chinese population for his most heinous persecution. The hostility reaches its peak when protecting Sally Ridley (Pat Michon) from the two of Fulmer’s men (Ray Stricklyn, Christopher Dark) leads to accusing Jimmy Chong (Guy Lee) of murder and assault.

The episode, The Fear Merchants, first aired on January 30, 1960, with Helen Westcott playing Amanda Ridley.

Read its plot and some trivia, or view the complete episode below.

Watch the full episode of The Fear Merchants

Watch the full episode of The Fear Merchants:

Main Cast

Here are the cast members of The Fear Merchants, the twentieth episode of season one. The list includes regular cast members, recurring characters, and special guest stars.

  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Gene Evans as Andy Fulmer
  • Helen Westcott as Amanda Ridley
  • Frank Ferguson as J.R. Ridley
  • Christopher Dark as Jesse Tibbs
  • Guy Lee as Jimmy Chang
  • Ray Stricklyn as Billy Wheeler
  • Philip Ahn as Mr. Lee Chang
  • Victor Sen Yung as Hop Sing
  • Patricia Michon as Sally Ridley (as Pat Michon)
  • Arthur Space as Cyrus Hammond
  • Gregg Barton as Sheriff Halstead
  • Alexander Campbell as Judge
  • Peter Chong as Chinese Elder
  • Forest Burns as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Spencer Chan as Chinese Elder (uncredited)
  • Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Frank Cordell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Walt Davis as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rudy Doucette as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Al Haskell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Dick Johnstone as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Paul King as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Ron Nyman as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Joe Phillips as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob Terhune as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Red West as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Chalky Williams as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Fear Merchants

After a couple of men assault Hop Sing in Virginia City, the Cartwrights realize the spread of prejudice against the Chinese population.

The Cartwrights arrive at Virginia City not to exact revenge for Hop Sing. They fear that any action they make will stir up more trouble and may even endanger the lives of the local Chinese.

Meanwhile, Ben and Adam encounter Lee Chang as he leaves Hammond’s shop. He desires to celebrate Jimmy Chang’s birthday the American way, so he seeks to buy 18 small American flags. Adam tells him to give him a cake with candles. Lee says he didn’t know it must be candles and not flags. Ben realizes Hammond denied his requested goods inside the shop. However, Lee doesn’t want to initiate any conflict, so he keeps moving.

Books Worth Reading:

Ben and Adam enter the shop to request American flags. Hammond says he does not have any little flags, despite Ben’s not specifying the flag’s size. Another customer, a sleazy man named Jesse Tibbs, asks if Ben meant the little ones. Adam does not like Jesse, so he firmly tells him to stay out of their business. On the other hand, Hammond pretends he located the little flags and sells them to Ben.

The two leave the shop, and Ben tells Adam not to let Jesse bother him. Outside, they discover a marketing sign for Andy Fulmer, who’s running for Virginia City mayor. Ben concludes: Jesse Tibbs works for Fulmer, who is a bigot.

Ben visits Fulmer and asks for Fulmer’s platform as a mayor aspirant. Fulmer states he desires to return Virginia City to the people who made it what it is, making it “Virginia City for Virginia City.” Fulmer believes that foreigners are taking all the jobs in town. Ben asks if Fulmer meant the Irish, Welsh, or Chinese. Fulmer responds by saying he’s fighting for the rights of the Irish and Welsh. Fulmer refuses to hear more of Ben’s speeches on prejudice, saying Ben can’t even vote since Ben lives outside the city, so it’s not his fight. Ben ends their conversation by threatening to drag Fulmer up and down Main Street if he finds out about Fulmer’s involvement in his cook’s beating.

Hoss and Joe run into Jimmy Chang as they get his surprise birthday present. He anticipates their appearance at his party. Hoss looks forward to it but is more concerned about the bird’s nest soup they’ll be eating. Jimmy chuckles at his remark.

Sally Ridley dismounts in front of her dad’s livery, approached by Billy Wheeler, who greets her inappropriately. She rebukes his remark before taking her horse into the stable and handing it off to Jimmy. Billy continues to urge Sally to tell him who was with her last night. He then tries to force Sally to kiss him, knocking Jimmy to the ground when he tries to stop him. Billy warns Jimmy about the regrettable mistake he made and then left. Sally kneels beside Jimmy to tend to his wounds. Sally’s father, J.R. Ridley, suddenly arrives and discovers the two. Unaware of what happened, he believed Sally disgraced herself with a heathen, then pulled a gun to threaten Jimmy. When it goes off, Sally falls to the ground, dead in her attempt to take the gun from him. Jimmy goes to her. Shocked, Ridley drops the gun near Jimmy. Sally’s older sister, Amanda, walks into the scene, followed by Billy, who alerts Jimmy about his mistake.

Books Worth Reading:

Jimmy’s absence caused worry for everyone at his birthday party celebration. He rushes in, beaten. He tells Hoss, Joe, and Lee Chang about the accident, stating people chase him because they believe he killed Sally. Jesse Tibbs calls from outside, asking for them to send out Jimmy. He also said they would take the boy to jail or hang him. Hoss and Little Joe take Jimmy themselves, and Jimmy agrees, believing that a man is innocent until proven guilty in America.

The Cartwrights and sheriff Halstead believe Jimmy. However, for fairness, there will be an inquest. The sheriff warns them that Fulmer has been waiting for this kind of thing to happen since he declared his candidacy for the mayor position. Ben assures Jimmy that staying in jail doesn’t mean he’s guilty and that it would be for the best, especially with their situation.

Meanwhile, Andy Fulmer summons Ridley to his office. Fulmer talks to the shocked Fulmer about how the town and his friends sympathize with him during this tragedy. Ridley confesses it wasn’t Jimmy who accidentally killed his daughter, but him. However, Fulmer continues to convince him that the accident wouldn’t have happened if she was with an American boy. He also tells him that grief and tragedy may have affected his mind, causing him to forget or imagine things that never occurred in the first place. Fulmer’s words work in his favor as Ridley believes Jimmy is to blame for Sally’s death.

Billy lies at the inquest, stating he discovered Jimmy and Sally carrying on with Sally Ridley, so he informed her father, Mr. Ridley, about it. Amanda claims that Jimmy Chang killed her sister Sally. The judge replies by saying everyone wants to hear facts. Amanda responds, stating that everyone knows what kind of girl her sister was, carrying on around boys. The judge asked her again to tell them what she saw. Amanda says she heard a shot, so she ran to the stable where she discovered Jimmy next to her sister with a gun at his side. Ben stands up to raise an argument, asking how they confirmed it was Jimmy Chang’s gun. However, the judge tells him he wouldn’t put up with his outbursts anymore.

Ridley finally takes the stand but only states that Jimmy caused his daughter’s death. The inquest ended, and Billy is happy, confident they’ll hang Jimmy. Fulmer says it’s tough to tell with a jury trial. Jesse implies it’s better if there’s no trial, and Fulmer likes his thinking.

Books Worth Reading:

Fulmer persists in spreading out the poison. At a meeting in Hammond’s shop, he states that letting a “Chinaman” get away with murder is equivalent to saying they don’t care about what happens to their wives and daughters. He believes they need to do something to stop it from happening again.

The Cartwrights remained in the jail, worried about a lynch mob fueled by Fulmer’s words. The sheriff assigns them as deputies, and the Cartwrights agree. Adam thinks he should talk with Amanda about her statement at the inquest. He leaves, and the crowd outside lets him go.

Amanda allows Adam into the house, where he talks about the gatherings they hosted before. She says they haven’t entertained people since their mother’s death, saying she needed to take over and keep the household together. Adam sympathizes with her situation, but she complains that Sally is making things complicated and has no respect for anything. Adam responds by telling life hasn’t passed her by and to stop feeling sorry for herself. Amanda tells him to mind his own business, but Adam argues, saying it’s everybody’s business now that a boy’s life is at stake. She wonders if she should go to Jimmy Chang and say it was all a mistake. Adam approves, only if it was a mistake. He also appreciated her courage to stand up for what was right. She sobs and falls into his arms, asking Adam what she should do. He replies, saying she should tell the truth.

Ridley walks in and tells Adam to leave them alone. Adam firmly insists that Jimmy deserves a fair trial, which will only happen if Ridley talks to Fulmer. He accuses Ridley of hesitating to face Fulmer, but Ridley says he’s not afraid of anyone. Amanda states she’ll accompany him to Fulmer.

Adam, Ridley, and Amanda visit Fulmer at his office, but Adam has to wait outside as the three talk privately. Ridley expresses his desire to speak the truth, only for Fulmer to brainwash him again.

Books Worth Reading:

Amanda and his father leave the office, and Adam asks them about what happened. Amanda says she’ll make his father understand the right thing to do, and Adam reminds him of how important it’ll be for Jimmy.

Adam returns to jail and informs everyone of how things went with Amanda. If Amanda fails to convince her father, they’ll need to deal with the lynch mob alone.

Meanwhile, Amanda continues to convince her father to tell the truth. Ridley states her sister died and that she disgraced their family. His remarks helped Amanda realize that Ridley isn’t trying to punish Jimmy Change; he did this because Sally brought disgrace to their name. She asked if this was all an accident or if his father pulled the trigger on purpose. Ridley swears it was an accident. She advises him to tell the truth. Otherwise, they’ll be guilty if Jimmy Chang dies.

Fulmer has the mob prepared for lynching. The Cartwrights shoot over their heads, spreading them as they approach the jail.

Ridley rushes to Fulmer, telling him he will let the sheriff know the truth. Fulmer calls Jesse to get Ridley as he walks turns towards the jail. Jesse shoots Fulmer in the back, and Fulmer suddenly accuses Jesse of murdering his best friend. The baffled Jesse has the lynch mob turned on him as Adam orders him to drop his gun. Jesse turns and fires at Adam, who shoots back, killing Jesse on the spot. Amanda rushes to his father and informs the sheriff that they lied on the witness stand and that Jimmy didn’t kill Sally.

Books Worth Reading:

Ben asks Fulmer if the death of the three individuals satisfied him. Fulmer refuses to take responsibility for the killings. The crowd, nevertheless, turns its back on Fulmer, removing his campaign signs on the street. He chases them frantically, trying to recover their votes.

Meanwhile, Hoss and Joe freed Jimmy Chang from jail.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Fear Merchants

Not many men are
so privileged as we are

to see a new civilization
born before our own eyes.

There are times, in the
streets of Virginia City,

when I question the use
of the word "civilization."

It is always that way
with the new, Hop Sing.

A diamond, before
it is polished,

seems no more
than a clod of dirt.

Is this the American way to
toast an American occasion?

To your son on
his 18th birthday.

To my son Jimmy's
American birthday.

To the joining of the
past and the present


to create a finer future.

You have honored my house.

And now there is much to do.

You are fortunate to know

the Cartwright family
so well, Hop Sing.

It pleases me to know
that here in America,

the affection and respect
of the sons for the father

is as strong as it is in
the land of our ancestors.

The Cartwrights have great
respect for you, my uncle,

and admiration for your son.

I am happy the younger
sons will honor us

with their presence
at the birthday party.

And do not worry, Hop Sing.

Your friend Hoss will be fed


as well as if you
yourself did the cooking.

Hey, you!

You speak to me?

Yeah. You and me work
good together, Billy boy.

We're gonna have to clean a
lot more of this dirt out of here

before Virginia City
is a fit place to live.

Little Joe? Hmm?

Is it sure enough true we're
gonna have bird's nests

for dinner at Jimmy
Chang's birthday party?

That's what Adam told us.

I ain't for sure I'm
gonna like that.

Oh, well, it's something to eat.

You'll like it all right.

Hop Sing.

Pa! Adam! Come out here, quick!

Hop Sing.

What happened to you, boy?

What happened to you, boy?

Can you talk, Hop Sing?

Looks like he's been
in a pretty bad fight.

Yeah. Pa. Pa, let me
help him in the house.

You forget about it.

Hop Sing all right.

This Chinese business only.

What did he mean by that, Pa?

You don't think he was tangled
up in one of them tong things

we heard about, do you?

No, I don't, son.

The tong is a
protective organization

composed of civilized people.

I wonder how much more
of this has been going on?

A lot of it, particularly in
the California gold mines.

I didn't think any of it had
spread over the mountains.

Well, why would anybody
want to do a thing like this?

Because Hop Sing is Chinese.

That's the craziest
thing I ever heard of, Pa.

I feel like going in there

and tearing that town
apart board by board.

No, you won't, son.

You'll go to Jimmy Chang's
birthday party tomorrow,

just as you planned.

I suppose we just
forget about the fact

that somebody beat
up on Hop Sing?

We're not going
to forget about it,

but we're not going
to stir up more trouble

for the Chinese than
they already have.

Hoss, you sure you
got enough money?

Oh, yes, sir, Pa. We done
paid for Jimmy Chang's present.

We're just gonna go pick it up.

All right. We'll see you later.

Come on.

What was it you
wanted, Lee Chang?

Oh, today is birthday of my son.

Oh, ain't that nice?

I would like to buy 18
small American flags.

All right.

Why, um,

you're plumb out of them
flags, ain't you, Hammond?


Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's right.

I-I forgot.

I don't have any American
flags, Chang. I'm sorry.

What are you sorry for?

I don't have any.

You'll have to go
some other place.

Uh, thank you.

I will try Campbell's
on C Street.

He don't have none, either.

And neither does
anybody else in town.

Lee Chang, my friend!

Ah, Mr. Ben. Mr. Adam.

It would seem my unworthy nephew

feeds you the food
to bring good health.

It would seem Hop Sing
feeds my brother Hoss

a few extra servings, too.

It is a big day in
your life, Chang.

You can be mighty
proud of that boy of yours.

Mr. Cartwright, could I
ask you a question, please?

Well, of course. Anything
you want. You know that.

There are customs of your
people I do not understand.

I had wished for my son
an American birthday party.

I wouldn't worry about it.

Just give him a
cake with candles.

Oh, yes. It must be
candles and not flags.

Well, what do you mean, Chang?

I had thought to put
American flags on the cake,

but I understand
it is not permitted.

Who says so?

Oh, it's no matter.

Chang, did Hammond refuse
to sell you American flags

to put on Jimmy's cake?

I did not understand.

I do not wish trouble.

Adam. Ben. It's good to see you.

And what can I do for
my favorite customers?

We'd like to buy
some American flags.

I don't have any of
them little ones, Ben.

And how did you know we
wanted some of those little ones?

Yeah. Maybe we
wanted a great big one.

Well, do ya?

You running the
store now, Jesse?


No. I just take care of
my own affairs, that's all.

Well, then, stay out of ours.

You pack a grudge
a long time, Adam.

Well, how about it, Hammond?

I'm just sure we
don't have none.

Now, why don't you
take a nice, hard look?

They were right here.

Well, here's some of 'em.

I didn't know I had any left.

See, that's three,
four, five, six, seven...

How many of 'em did you need?


They're to be put
on a birthday cake.


There's a few extra.

That'll be a dollar.

Thank you.


You shouldn't let Jesse Tibbs

get under your skin that way.

I can't help it.

He's nothing but a cattle
thief and a hired gun,

and yet he walks around loose.

He'll trap himself in time.

Andy Fulmer?

Well, this town's
getting pretty hard up

for somebody to
run for mayor, isn't it?

Adam, is Jesse
Tibbs still foreman

of that ranch that Andy Fulmer
bought out south of Carson?

As far as I know.


Hop Sing, the business with
the flags with Lee Chang...

Yeah, that sounds just
about like the kind of tactics

that Fulmer would use.

First the Irish and
now the Chinese.

"America for the Americans."

It's a pretty tired platform.

Adam, do me a favor, will you?

Take these flags
over to Lee Chang.

Tell him that Hammond
just misunderstood him.

What are you up to?

Somebody I want to talk to.

Come in.

Ah. Ben Cartwright.

I'm rightly honored.

To what do I owe the pleasure
of this visit, Mr. Cartwright?

You don't have to go through
any of the formalities, Mr. Fulmer.

We've known each
other for some time.


What school did
you get that from?

School of hard knocks.
Same one you went to, Ben.

Only I don't call
myself a lawyer.

Folks get in trouble, they
come to me for advice.

Ain't nothin' in the law

says I can't charge
a fee for helpin' 'em.

Now, just what did you
have on your mind, Ben?


I understand you're
fixing to run for mayor.

That's right.

Andy, what's your platform?

Virginia City for Virginia City.

Short, sweet and to the point.

You like that?

Well, that depends
on what it means.

It means Virginia City belongs

to the folks that
made it what it is.

It means we don't
want outsiders.

Well, now, what's
your definition

of an outsider, Andy?

Well, now, Ben, you
live outside the city.

You can't vote for me
anyhow, even if you would,

but I'll be glad to spell
it out for you, anyway.

It means our town's
being overrun by foreigners

who are willing to
work for nothing,

and they're takin' the bread
and butter out of the mouths

of folks like us who
built this country.

Now, by foreigners,
Andy, who do you mean?

The, um, the Irish?
Or the Welsh?

Or the Chinese?

Now, before you start
givin' me any high-flown talk

about prejudice, you
just stop and remember

this camp's full of those
same Irishmen and Welshmen

and Cornishmen,

and those are the very
people I mean to protect.

I wasn't going to give
you any high-flown talk

about prejudice, Andy.

I just wanted to know
where you stood.


Does that mean
you're against me, Ben?

Well, Andy, it means that...

if I find out that you
or any of your boys

had anything to do
with beating up my cook,

I'll tie a rope around you

and I'll drag you up
and down Main Street.

Now, Ben,

like I said before, you
don't live in this city,

and you can't vote for me nohow.

So why don't you just
stay out of this campaign.

I guess you just
invited me in, Andy.

Hoss. Little Joe.

Doggone that Jimmy Chang.

Just when I got his
surprise birthday present

right out in the open, we
would have to run into him.

I didn't expect to
see you till tonight.

You are coming to
the party, aren't you?

Sure we're coming, Jimmy.

What's the matter, Hoss?

Uh... we really
gonna eat bird's nest?

My father said he
felt the same way

about the first piece of
apple pie he ever saw.

See you later.

I got to get to the
stable and get to work.

Take it easy, Jimmy.

He's a good kid.


Made up his mind
to go to college,

and he'll do it, too.

You reckon he knew this
was his birthday present?

If he couldn't figure that out,

he sure has no
sense going to college.

Hey, good looking.

You know better than to
say a thing like that in public.

You didn't seem to
mind it so much last night.

Why, Billy Wheeler, I wasn't
even with you last night.

Then who were you with, Sally?

Tommy Gaines or Ned
Wilkins or-or the Pierce kid?

Or maybe him?

What if I was?

If I didn't know you
was making fun,

I'd slap your mouth.

Let go of me.

Suppose I tell your
daddy what you just said.

What do you think old
J.R. would do to you, huh?

Now you just be
nice and I won't tell.

Let go of her.

Let go of her!

Why don't you try and make me.

Boy, you just made the
biggest mistake of your life.

Biggest mistake
you'll ever make.

Oh, Jimmy.

Oh, let me look at that cut.

That's all right, Miss Sally.

Leave me alone.

All I did was bathe your face.

A girl would do that for anyone.

Yes, anyone.

I didn't mean it
the way it sounded.

That's all right,
I'm used to it.

Here, I'll put some
more water on it.



Get into the house.

But, Father... Did you hear me?

Why, what have I done?

You've disgraced my name,

flouting yourself in
front of this heathen.

I was just helping Jimmy.

Billy Wheeler hit him.

And I thank Billy
Wheeler for that.

Father, how can you say that?

Jimmy didn't do anything.

You get into the house
before I thrash you.

I'm not afraid of you, Father.

I haven't done anything wrong.

Every time I look at
a boy, you see evil.



You keep away from her.

You shouldn't have
done that, Mr. Ridley.

Why, you... Oh,
Father, no! No, Father!


You've killed her.




I told you it was the biggest
mistake you ever made.

Boy, I sure told you.

I wouldn't be too worried

if I was you, Lee
Chang, about Jimmy.

He'll be around in a minute.

Old man Ridley probably gave
him a few extra chores to do.

You know Mr. Ridley,
he's tougher than nails.

Oh, Jimmy not mind.

He work hard.

He do what Mr. Ridley tell him.

What do you think, Hoss?

I don't know.

That boy's so dang anxious
to make his college money,

he done forgot his
own birthday party.

He's almost an hour late.



Jimmy, what happened to you?

Hop Sing, get some water
and some towels, quick.

What is it, my son?

They were chasing me.

Who was?

I had to fight 'em off, Hoss!

They wanted to kill me!

Why? What did you do?

Little Joe, I
didn't do anything.

Well, something
must have happened.

Sally Ridley is dead.

Her father shot her.

It was an accident.

They think I killed her.

Now look, Jimmy, I want
you to tell me the whole story

right from the very beginning.

It was an accident, Joe.

I liked Sally.

I wouldn't ever hurt her.

We know he's in there.

Send him out.

Send him out or we're
coming in to get him.

Somebody will get hurt.

Just keep calm.

Ain't nobody
gonna hurt that boy.

We'll handle this thing proper.

Little Joe, you come cover me.

First man that tries
to come in this house

is going to have
to climb over me.

We're not looking for any fight.

We want the boy is all.

Well, you ain't getting him.

He killed somebody.

And he's gonna get
what's coming to him.

Now that's a bit hasty, Billy.

Suppose we give him a choice.

Either we take the boy in jail

or we get a rope.

What about it?

You wait here.

Will they take my son?

No, Lee Chang, if anybody
does any taking around here,

it's gonna be Little Joe and me.

But you believe Jimmy?

Look, don't worry, Lee Chang.

Sheriff Halstead's a
fair and honest man.

He'll know the truth
when he hears it.

Father, in America, a man
is innocent until proven guilty.

Isn't that right, Hoss?

That's right, Jimmy. Go on.

Let's go, Hoss.

Hop Sing, Adam's
gonna stop by for us.

Tell him we're down at the jail.

Why did you let them have him?

We could have strung him up.

Billy, Billy, Billy.

Don't you remember
what Fulmer said?

What we do is let it boil.

We just let it boil.

Now you've told
me the whole truth?

You sure you've
left nothing out, son?

I've told you just
the way it happened.

Well, I'm inclined
to believe him.

How many other folks
will, is the question.

Well, I believe him.

I've known Jimmy and
his family a long time.

They're good people.

Sure they're good people,

but that doesn't tip the scales.

Not with some who
have political ambitions.

You mean Andy Fulmer.

Yeah. He's been waiting
for this kind of thing to happen

ever since he
declared for mayor.

Come on, boy.

Jimmy, everything's
gonna be all right.

This is for your own
protection, Jimmy.

You'll be better off here
than you will at home.

I understand, Sheriff.

See, Jimmy, this doesn't
mean that you're guilty.

Even an innocent man, if
he's suspected of murder,

can't be allowed
to roam the streets.

I know.

You'll be all right here.

All right, Billy, send him in.

How are you, Mr. Ridley?


Won't you sit down.

All of our sympathies
are with you, Mr. Ridley.

We all want you to
know how deeply we feel

for you in this hour
of your great loss.

Thank you, Andy.

It's a tragedy, Mr. Ridley.

It's a real tragedy.

And if we hadn't let the
bars down in the first place,

a thing like this couldn't
ever have happened.

Now you know me, Mr. Ridley.

I speak my mind plain.

Your daughter went out with
lots of American boys, didn't she?

Sure she did.

Pretty little thing like her.

And did any of
those American boys

ever act any way other
than decent with her?

Of course not.

Would an American boy have
shot her down in cold blood?

There's something I
think you should know.

That boy didn't
kill my daughter.

It was an accident.

I had the gun.

The gun went off.

The boy didn't kill
my daughter, Andy.

I did.

Now you just sit
there, Mr. Ridley.

You had a very trying day.

Jesse, haven't you
got some work to do?

Sure. Sure, Andy.

You know, sometimes when
a man suffers a great tragedy

it can affect his mind.

You understand that,
don't you, Mr. Ridley?

Yes, yes, I understand that.

And in his grief, he-he
might forget things

or even imagine things
that never really happened.

Yes, yes, that's true.

I'm sorry to say
this, old friend,

but I see signs of that in you.

In your eagerness
to do what's right,

you're willing to shoulder
all the blame for Sally's death.

Well, shouldn't I, Andy?

Now, now let's face the truth.

Didn't that boy,
that James Chang,

didn't he provoke whatever
caused Sally's death?

As the Lord is my judge,
that boy caused Sally to die.

Yes, and our city's overrun
with these undesirables.

And that breeds the sort of
thing that happened to you.

And every decent
citizen in this town

wants to see that that
don't never happen again.

Now ain't that
right, Mr. Ridley?

Yes, yes, Andy.

All right then.

Now let's you and me sit down

and examine what's
really right for Virginia City.

You ask me to order
members of our tong

to fight if need be,
to protect your son.

My son has not killed anyone.

He has committed but
one crime... He is Chinese.

Is James Chang Chinese?

Has he not given up the
ways of his ancestors?

Has he not taken the dress and
the custom of another people?

He is ambitious.

He desires to educate
himself in this new land.

He knows that one day
the Chinese will their place

alongside other people who
have come from many other places

to make this great country.

Young eyes can
see great distances,

and risk is the
privilege of youth.

Your son has
accepted the new ways

and with this, he
has accepted the risk.

He is my son.

And they talk in the
streets of killing him.

It is written, it is better
to sacrifice one lamb

than to cause the
slaughter of the entire flock.

Some men will fight
even to save a lamb.

Order. Order, please.

Now I don't want to
have to remind you folks

this is an official inquest

and I expect order.

Continue, Mr. Wheeler.

I said I seen this Chinese
boy carryin' on with Sally Ridley,

so, naturally, I went
and told her father.

You know the rest.

Now, Your Honor,

aren't we taking an
awful lot for granted here?

Now surely, Your Honor,

Ben Cartwright's been
around long enough

to know the facts
when he hears them.

But this is not a trial, Andy.

It's an inquest.

Is that all, boy?

Well, ain't that
enough, Your Honor?

Don't get smart with me, son.

Now you just get down, and
let's have the next witness.

Miss Amanda Ridley.

Now, Amanda, just
tell us in your own words

what happened last night.

Jimmy Chang killed my sister.

Order. Order in
the court, please.

Order. Order, please.

Amanda, we're not
passing judgment here.

We're just trying
to get the facts.

Well, what did you expect?

Everybody in town knows
what kind of a girl my sister was.

Always flaunting
herself, fluffing her hair,

and mincing around boys.

What's the matter with her?

She's jealous of her own sister.

Um, please, Amanda.

I know how hard
this must be for you.

But all we want to
hear is what you saw.

Well, I heard a shot.

I ran to the stable.

There was Jimmy Chang,
bending over my sister.

There was a gun next to him.

My poor father
was standing there,

just staring.

And the gun was by Jimmy Chang?

It was right by him.

Right where he dropped it.

Now, Your Honor,

how do we know that
was Jimmy Chang's gun?

Who saw him drop
it there? Now, Ben...

Now, Ben, you're
not trying to tell us

that gun just fell out
of the sky, are you?

Ben Cartwright,

I'm not going to put up with
any more of your outbursts.

All right, Amanda. That's all.

Mr. Ridley, will
you take the stand?

Mr. Ridley, do you feel the
testimony you've heard here

is substantial to the
way it happened?

As the Lord is my witness,

that boy caused the
death of my daughter.

Thank you, Mr. Ridley.

You may step down.

Jimmy Chang, stand up.

It is the finding of this
inquiry that you, Jimmy Chang,

stand trial for the
murder of Sally Ridley.

Inquest adjourned.

I sure don't want
to miss that trial.

They'll hang him for sure,
won't they, Mr. Fulmer?

Ah, that's hard
to tell. Jury trial?

Sometimes you just
can't depend on a jury.

It's like I told
you boys before,

when I take over this
town, I want it clean.


Maybe we ought to see to
it there ain't no trial, boss.

Jesse, I sure like
the way you think.

We owe an obligation
to this town, boys.

Andy's right.

We're all merchants.
We all earn our living here.

If we let the Chinese take over,

our property would be worthless.

You never spoke
truer words, Cyrus.

That's my way of
thinking exactly.

And if it wasn't
my way of thinking,

I wouldn't be running for mayor.

One thing, Andy.

I ain't a man to jump
into things, you know.

Well, you ain't a
man to stand by

and watch your own
house burn down

without tossin' on a pail of
water, either, are you, Cyrus?


If we let that Chinaman get
away with killin' that white girl,

it's just the same as
sayin' we don't even care

what happens to our
own wives and daughters.

Well, what do you think
we ought to do, Andy?

I think we ought to put
a stop to it right now.

Looks like you're a little off
your game today, Little Joe.



They're holding a meeting
over at Hammond's store.

I don't like the looks of it.

Andy Fulmer in the
height of his glory.

A so-called cause

and a hotheaded audience
to listen to his ranting.

What do you think
it will come to, Pa?

I don't know.

But if Fulmer can fire
up that crowd enough,

they'll sure enough try
to break Jimmy out of jail.

Oh. Don't you think
we can hold 'em off, Pa?

No. I got no right to
ask you Cartwrights

to get mixed up in this thing.

You got no help,
either, have you?

Oh, you want to
get rid of me, Sheriff,

you're going to
have to throw me out.

Jimmy Chang's a friend of mine.

Well, Sheriff?

Well, I won't lie

and say that I'm
not pleased, but...

Well, to make
this thing legal-like,

I'd better swear you
all in as deputies.

That's good.

Always did want to wear one
of them deputy badges, anyhow.


Looks like you were right.

I don't think there's any
more doubt about it, Sheriff.

There's only one
way to avoid trouble

and that's by getting
that boy out of town fast.

But I can't rightly
do that, Ben.

Well, you can't rightly
let them come in

and lynch him, either, can you?

Ben, Jimmy Chang has
been indicted for murder.

It's my sworn duty
to uphold the law.

And it's also the sworn duty
of you and your sons now.

What are we supposed
to do, sit here and wait?

That's the way it is.

Look, Pa, even if
we get Jimmy out,

we got to get him
past those men.

Yeah. I suppose nothing
would make Fulmer happier

than to kill Jimmy Chang

while attempting to break jail.

Now, look, Ray, there's no law

that says a deputy can't
walk out of here, is there?

No, there isn't.

If you boys want to
change your mind,

I can release you
from any obligations.

No, that's not what I meant.

I just don't like the idea
of sitting around here

while Andy Fulmer
calls every turn.

What's on your mind, son?

Well, Pa, I can't help
thinking about Amanda

and the way she behaved
on the witness stand.

Now, I've known her a long time.

I just don't believe
she's turned that bitter.

You think you might
want to talk to her?

I'd like to try.

Oh. It's worth a chance.

Maybe through her, you
could break down Ridley's story.

I don't like the idea of you
going out there, though.

Hoss and I can cover him, Pa.

No, that would be playing
right into Fulmer's hands.

Then there'd be
three less guns in here

for him to worry about.

I'll get through all right, Pa.

I wasn't thinking of you
getting through, Adam.

I was thinking of
you getting back in.

You know, don't
sell Fulmer short.

He's got Ridley on his side

and he's going to do everything
in his power to keep him there.

Well, I'm gonna risk it.

Mm-hmm. All right, Adam.

Good luck, Adam.

What's the matter, Cartwright?

The stink of that woman killer

get too thick for you in there?

You get out of my way.

You sure are proddy, Adam.

Ain't no law says we can't
stand out here in the street.

Yeah. Why are you
Cartwrights so nervous?

We ain't doin' nothing.

Well, just keep on doing it.

May I come in?

I suppose it would be all right.

My father isn't home.

Well, it's really you I
wanted to talk to, Amanda.

Would you like to sit down?

Thank you.

Well, all of us used to have

some mighty good
times in this house.

We haven't entertained
since mother died.

Seven years?

It must get kind of
lonely for you sometimes.

I had obligations

and I assumed those obligations.

Have to be at such a high price?

Do you think it's been easy,
keeping the household together

with mother gone?

No, I don't. I...

I watched my own
father do it for years.

Yes, but Sally did
everything she could

to make things difficult.

Yeah. Pa had his
moments with all of us, too.

She had no respect for anything.

Not for me or for my father.

Look, Amanda, stop
feeling sorry for yourself.

Life hasn't passed you by.

Why can't you Cartwrights
mind your own business

and let us mind ours?

Because it happens to
be everybody's business

when a boy's life is at stake.

You can stand there
and say that to me

when my sister's been murdered?

What do you expect me to do?

Go over there to Jimmy Chang

and tell him it was
all a big mistake?

If that's what it was, yes.

Jimmy Chang said
he didn't have a gun.

He said it was an accident.

Now, look, Amanda,
I've always admired you

because you had the
courage to stand up

for what you thought was right.

Sally was just exactly
the way you used to be.

No more and no less.

You don't need to
pretend with me, Amanda.


Adam, I... I've been so alone.

What should I do?

Tell the truth.

What are you doing in
my house, Cartwright?

Is no woman safe in this town?

How dare you
persecute my daughter.

It's not your daughter
that's being persecuted.

There's a young
boy over in that jail

who's just about
to face a lynch mob.

That boy is a murderer
and a heathen!

He has been
indicted for his crime!

Indicted but not convicted.

Or don't you think Jimmy
Chang deserves a fair trial?

James Chang
will have a fair trial.

Not unless you tell Andy Fulmer

that's what you
want him to have.

Well, Mr. Fulmer is
an honorable man.

He doesn't need me
to tell him what to do.

What's the matter, Mr. Ridley?

You afraid to face
up to Andy Fulmer

and the principles
you value so highly?

I fear no man.

Well, then, talk to him!

I'll go with you, Father.

What right's he got
to stand trial, anyway?

He ain't even no citizen!

We gonna let those Cartwrights
tell us how to run our town?

They don't live
in Virginia City.

And this town is for us that
lives here, for us Americans.

There are only three
Cartwrights in there.

Adam left.

And we'll see to it he
don't get back in again.

I say rush the jail!

Sheriff Halstead
will be on our side

when he sees we mean business.

What are you up to, Cartwright?

Just out for a walk with
some friends of mine.

What's the matter, Jesse?

You seem nervous.

Mr. Ridley, is-is Adam
trying to force you

to do something
against your will?

No man forces
me against my will.

I want to talk with Mr. Fulmer.

You wanted to talk to me, J.R.?

I've got to talk to
you about everything.

About those people out there.

Why, certainly, J.R.,
not a man in this town

can't speak to me
whenever he wants to.

You come right on
in. Miss Amanda?

Let's, uh, step into
my private office.

We can talk freely there.

I'll wait out here.

Won't you sit down, Amanda?

Thank you.


Now, then...

what was it you wanted
to say to me, J.R.?

I want those people out
there to know the truth.

I want to tell them what
I told you this morning.

Mm-hmm. And what did
you tell me this morning, J.R.?

Why, that Jimmy
Chang is innocent.

That my daughter's
death was an accident.

And what did I say
then, Mr. Ridley?

I just don't remember.

Didn't I say that I
wanted to help you?

Didn't I say that the
people of Virginia City

were behind you 100%?

Did you see all those
people out there in that street?

Why do you think they're there?

They're there because
they're your friends, J.R.,

just as I'm your friend.

Because we both believe
in the same principles.

We believe in
honesty and decency...

and the American way.

Now, ain't that
right, Mr. Ridley?

Yes. I suppose so.


Now, you don't
suppose; you know.

Those people are out there
because they're your friends.

They're out there to honor you.

They're there to honor a man

who stood up in his
hour of great tragedy,

not for his own sake,

but for the sake
of an entire city.

Now, are you gonna
let them down, J.R.?

Are you gonna let your
daughter die in vain?

They're waiting for
you out there, J.R.

Well, Mr. Ridley?

I have no right to stand
in the way of my friends,

the people here
in Virginia City.

Like I say, J.R.,

I like your ideas fine...
You talk to me anytime.

The door's always open.

What happened in there?

Adam, it was horrible.

It's as if my father
has no mind of his own.

Well, I'll change his mind.

No, Adam.

Let me do it.

I can make him understand
that he's got to tell the truth.

All right, if you think you can.

Remember, Amanda,
Jimmy Chang's life

depends on your
father telling the truth.

I realize that now, Adam.

Come along, Amanda.

Just where do you think
you're going, Cartwright?

Now, why don't you
leave those folks alone?

Boys, boys, what's
going on here?

Cartwright here
seemed to be in a hurry.

We figured he was planning to
pester the Ridleys some more.

Now, you boys put
those guns away.

Jesse, you know we're
not men of violence.

You go right ahead,
Mr. Cartwright.

Just do whatever you like.

I'll do just exactly
that, Mr. Fulmer.

You sure you don't want
me to stop him, boss?

Now, why should
you do that, Jesse?

Just when we got things
right where we want them.

Little Joe, did you
ever taste anything

like these jailhouse beans?

Yeah. Yeah, but I'm
trying not to remember it.

What you mean to say is,
you... you don't ever remember

tasting anything
as good, don't you?

Yeah, that's what I mean.

It's almost worth breaking a
law to get this kind of chow.

Jimmy, you ain't
eat a bite of yours.

Why don't you try to
get some of that down.

Thanks, Hoss,
but I'm not hungry.

Hungry? What's
that got to do with it?

You think the only time a man
can eat is when he's hungry?

Yeah, you haven't got any kind

of fool idea like
that, do you, Jimmy?

I didn't kill Sally.

You believe me, don't you, Hoss?

Jimmy, you ought... you
ought to have more sense

that to even ask
such a question.

But there are some people
in this town who think I did.

How can they, Hoss?

Jimmy, don't you worry none.

You got lots of
friends in this town.

Friends that aren't
gonna let you down.

Here he comes.

Let him in.

I really thought they'd try to
stop you from getting back in.

Well, Fulmer's so sure of
himself, he figured he didn't have to.

Well, what about Amanda?
Did you find out anything

from her? Oh, I sure did.

Anyway, I've convinced
her she should tell the truth.

I thought we had
Ridley convinced,

and then we got
over to Fulmer's, and...

I don't know, Fulmer's got some
strange kind of hold on the man.

He's... he's like so
much clay in his hands.

Anyway, Amanda's
still working on him.

Well, do you think she'll
get anywhere with him?

Well, if she doesn't,

we've got a lynch
mob on our hands.

Oh, Father, how can I
make you understand

what I'm saying to you?

I'm on the side of right.

Right! You're just doing what
Andy Fulmer wants you to do.

That boy's gonna die!

Your sister died,
too, didn't she?

Yes, she did.

Until now, I...

I don't believe I really cared.

But now I know you don't care.

How dare you
speak like that to me!

I dare speak like that
because it's the truth.

Your sister brought
disgrace on us.

Then it isn't really Jimmy Chang

you're trying to punish, is it?

You're trying to punish Sally.


was her death
really an accident,

or did you pull that
trigger on purpose?

Is that why you're
afraid to talk?

Amanda, as God is my witness,

it was an accident.

Then go out there and tell them.

Oh, Father, we've
both lied to ourselves.

We never really believed
the things we said about Sally.

And if we let Jimmy Chang die,

we'll really be
condemning Sally.

You and I, Father,
we're the guilty ones.

Now, boys, you all
know where I stand.

I'm just interested in doing
what's right for our city!

Are we gonna let those
Cartwrights stand between us

and what we know is
right? I say let's rush 'em

and get 'em out of
that jail! Come on!


Here they come.

Let's put a few shots
over their heads.

That should scatter them.

Here, stop that!

Stop it, everybody! Stop!


Yeah, it looks like she
convinced him. Stop!

Stop! Stop it, everybody! Stop!

Get in here, J.R. Those
Cartwrights'll kill you.

It isn't the Cartwrights this
town needs to fear, Fulmer.

Aw, J.R., we
understand each other...

That won't work again, Andy.

I'm gonna tell Sheriff
Halstead the truth.

Now, we've been
through this before.

I'm going to tell him the truth.

Get him.

You fool.

Why did you kill him?

Wha... What are you saying?

You-you told me to kill him.


You filthy murderer!

Get him!

He just killed my best friend!

Jesse, drop the gun.



My father wanted
to tell you something.

I know what it was,

because I was part of it.

We lied on the witness
stand this morning.

My sister's death
was an accident.

Jimmy Chang didn't have any gun.

My father killed Sally.

That's what he
wanted to tell you.

Well, Fulmer... three dead.

You satisfied?

You trying to make a
murderer out of me, Ben?

You tried to murder this town.

You still want this
man for your mayor?

No! No!

Hold on, wait a minute,
folks. Hold it, hold it.

Now, this is a...
this is a terrible thing

that's happened here
today, and we sure don't want

anything like that to
happen here again.

Folks! Folks!

Listen, you know how I stand,

what I believe in.

I just want to do what's
right for Virginia City!

I'm afraid you're at
liberty, Mr. Chang.

Come on, Jimmy,
didn't you hear him?

Or, don't tell me you done
got to where you like it in here?

But-but what...

But what? I thought you
were the one who had

the fine ideas about
going to college.

Yes, I do, but...

Well, if you're gonna
go to college, Jimmy,

you got to bust out of this
jail before you can start.

It's all right, Jimmy.

Come on.

You can go home.

It's all over now.

Go on!

Behind the Scenes of The Fear Merchants

The story happens on Jimmy Chang’s eighteenth birthday. However, Jimmy Chang’s actor, Guy Lee, was 32 years old during the filming period, making him older than Michael Landon and Dan Blocker, who were 23 and 28 years old at the time.

One of the corpses on the street reacts when an actor unintentionally steps on his hand after the showdown.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Enjoy the Western television series Bonanza, by yourself or with family. NBC produced the program, airing it on their network for 14 seasons, from September 1959 to January 1973. The Fear Merchants is the 20 episode out of 430.

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