the gentleman from new orleans
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The Gentleman from New Orleans Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #18

In this episode of Bonanza, the central character is a middle-aged Frenchman portrayed by John Dehner, who claims to be the infamous pirate-patriot, Jean Lafitte. Stirring up trouble in Virginia City with his extravagant assertions, “Lafitte” finds himself behind bars until Hoss Cartwright intervenes, believing in the stranger’s authenticity. However, both Hoss and the Frenchman face a dilemma when a man named Amos Whittaker is murdered with “Lafitte’s” knife. The cast also features Sheldon Allman as Betts and Jean Willes as Molly. Penned by William Bruckner, The Gentleman from New Orleans originally aired on February 2, 1964.

Explore the plot intricacies and captivating trivia, or indulge in the full episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of The Gentleman from New Orleans

Watch the Full Episode of The Gentleman from New Orleans:

Main Cast

In the eighteenth episode of Bonanza’s fifth season, titled “The Gentleman from New Orleans,” several recurring and supporting cast members appeared. Notable members of the cast include:

  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright (credit only)
  • John Dehner as Jean Lafitte
  • Jean Willes as Molly Travers
  • Sheldon Allman as Atty. Walter A. Betts
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Harry Swoger as Amos Whittaker
  • Bern Hoffman as Bartender Sam
  • Joan Connors as Sally
  • Victor Adamson as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Cowboy Helping Mr. Betts (uncredited)
  • Russell Custer as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman Betty (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Mathew McCue as Barfly with Black Hat (uncredited)
  • Ernesto Molinari as Barfly (uncredited)
  • John Rice as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Arnold Roberts as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Sammy Shack as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Barfly (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Gentleman from New Orleans

Reliable Hoss encounters a colorful, sword-wielding inebriate who boldly claims to be the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte. Trusting in LaFitte’s self-proclaimed identity and recalling his historical reputation as a patriot for his role in the Battle of New Orleans, Hoss extends hospitality to him at the Ponderosa.

As Ben remains skeptical and reaches out to acquaintances in New Orleans to authenticate LaFitte’s claims, trouble arises when LaFitte becomes a murder suspect. Now, Hoss is tasked with uncovering the actual culprit and unraveling the mystery surrounding the enigmatic figure known as Jean Lafitte.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Gentleman from New Orleans

Howdy, Miss Betty.

Whittaker, are you all right?

What do you want?

Mr. Whittaker, you
got an appointment

to meet with my pa
over at Lawyer Betts'.

Don't worry, Hoss.
I'll get him there.

- Howdy, Hoss.
- Howdy, Sam.

- What can I get you?
- Oh, give me a tall cool one, Sam.

I'm killing a little time till
Joe and Pa get to town.

And now, mon amour,

it is time for another dance.

Hey, Hoss, look at
that old man over there.

He's been in here drinking and
dancing with Molly all afternoon.

Most any man half his age
would be under the table by now.

What are you doing with my
boyfriend, you man-stealing witch?

What do you mean your boyfriend?

Now, you listen to me, Sal, I'm gonna
give you one minute to get out of here

and then I'm gonna pull that
dyed hair right out by the roots.

I heard how you lured
him over here, you thief.

- Oh, it is not true.
- I had to see it for myself to believe it.

So now you've seen. Now
get out, this is my territory.

You do not send her away.

No, of course, she
is charming also.

- Charming?
- Well, I'm not...

You should see this woman
when she gets out of bed.

She's enough to
make a strong man die.

- Now, ladies, please.
- You stay out of this, honey.

I have to teach this crowbait
to stay away from my man.


Take that back,
you decrepit old bag.


Think we ought to break them up?

Yeah, before they start
breaking the fixtures.

No, please, gentleman, no, no,
no. Let the ladies have their little fun.

I will be willing to pay whatever
small damage they cause.

- You witch!
- You thief!

Sure you don't want
us to break them up?

Certainly not. That would
be the height of disrespect

since it is me they
are fighting over.

Stop it, you... I hate you!

This is getting to be quite a list,
mister. You sure you can pay?

Don't worry, my
friend. Do not worry.

But I am worrying.

What is your name anyway?

Lafitte. Jean Lafitte.

Hey, there was a famous
pirate named Jean Lafitte.

You ain't by chance
related, are you?


My dear friend, I
am that Jean Lafitte.

Sorry we're late, Hoss, but, you
know, we ran into old Jim Lane.

You know the
way he likes to jaw.

Pa, listen, can I
talk to you a minute?

Well, Hoss, we're late for Lawyer
Betts' meeting now. Can't it wait?

It'll just take a minute, Pa.

Well, Joe, will you tell the lawyer
that we'll be along in a few minutes?

- All right.
- Now, what is it?

Look, Pa, come along
with me a minute, will you?

- Pa.
- Yeah?

You remember one time telling
us about having met Jean Lafitte

when your ships were
at the same harbor?

Yeah, when I was an
apprentice seaman.

- Down in New Orleans somewhere.
- Mm-hm.

Now, let me ask you something.

How old would he be now?

According to reports,
he died a long time ago.

Yeah, but that's
according to reports.

Now, if he is still alive,
how old would he be?

Oh, well, I don't know. I
guess maybe about 70.

- Seventy, huh?
- What's all this about?


He's over there in Roy
Coffee's jail right now.

He says he's Lafitte?

What's he doing in that jail?

Oh, there was a
ruckus over at the saloon

and a couple of women
got in a fight over him.

A couple of women
got in a fight over him?

Seventy-year-old man?

Pa, wait till you see
this 70-year-old man.

Howdy, Ben. BEN: Roy.

Did you come over to
identify our prized prisoner

like Hoss here said you could?

Well, Roy, I come over to
have a look at a 70-year-old man.

I don't know if I
can identify him.

I was a kid when I saw
Lafitte in New Orleans.

Besides, I heard he
died a long time ago.

Now, do you really
think that could be him?

Well, it could be.
After all, he's in my jail.

Ben, what I've heard
of this Jean Lafitte,

he was a pirate and a
smuggler and a swindler

and just about every
kind of a rascal known,

but this fellow sure answers
that description, ha, ha.

He was also a war hero, Roy.

Ever since Pa first told me about
him when I was just a young'un,

I got interested in him
and I did some research,

and I found out if it hadn't
been for Jean Lafitte,

we'd have lost the War of 1812
at the Battle of New Orleans.

Of course, that's right, Hoss.

But he was a pretty bloodthirsty
pirate, and then he became a war hero.

Then he went back
to pirating again.

Well, let's have a look
at this ghost anyway.

Oh, come on, but I
don't think he's no ghost.

I think he's just a plain crook.

In fact, Sam the bartender
is gonna testify at the trial.

Well, old man, we got somebody
here who knew you in the old days.

Most interesting.

Is this the man?

Yeah, that's Ben Cartwright.

He once knew the
real Jean Lafitte.

No, you are not old enough
to have known me in my prime.

Oh, well, I was just a pretty young
apprentice seaman at the time.

Oh, I see. Well, I'm afraid my
memory is not that good, uh...

Young girls I remember.

Young apprentice seamen, no.

Well, yeah, I don't know. I
understand you're in jail here

because of, uh, a
little woman trouble.

It was worth it. Those girls
were absolutely delightful.

And, after all, what is there
left for a poor helpless old man

but to try to enjoy his
few remaining years?

Helpless old man.

Why, you old reprobate,

you're just about as helpless as
a two-headed sidewinder, ha, ha.

Roy, I don't think
that's quite respectful,

to talk to an American
hero like that.

Him, a war hero?

Hoss, all these confidence men
try to get you to feel sorry for him,

Now, don't let
this one fool you.

Yeah, well, I'll tell you
how much he's fooled me.

I'm gonna bail him out.

I'm gonna pay all the damages.

You what?

I'm gonna bail him out.

Look, Hoss, you don't have
to get yourself involved in this.

Now, Pa, you were the one that
told me about the War of 1812

and about Jean Lafitte.

Now, if this man
happens to be Jean Lafitte,

it'd be a crying shame for him

to have to spend the last
remaining days of his life behind bars.

Hoss, you're letting this
imposter play on your sympathies.

But, Roy, I ain't for
sure he is an impostor.

That's just the trouble.

I'm gonna pay his damages.

Well, all right, I got an
itemized list here somewhere.

Look, Hoss, we're already
overdue at the lawyer's,

so let's go over there,
you can settle this later.

- Pa, you go ahead. I'll join you later.
- All right.

- See you later, Roy.
- All right, Ben.

There you are.

Well, here's your stuff.

- Your cane.
- Ah, my walking stick.

- Your bag.
- Yes.

- You know something?
- Oh, yes.

That's the darndest
knife I ever seen in my life.

That, my friend,
is a pirate's cutlass.

As necessary to my
profession as a plow to a farmer.

- Well, what do you use it for?
- Slitting throats.

I never know for sure whether you're
joshing or whether you're on the level.

Do you know I am
never certain myself?

Joe and I have been
having a nice chat.

- Well, good.
- What did Hoss want, Pa?

Oh, I'll tell you about
that later. Where's Amos?

He won't be here.

Well, how are we gonna
settle anything without him?

Well, the truth of
it is, he was here,

but, uh, he was so drunk, I
had his foreman take him home.

Now, look, Walter,

I think we've waited
just about long enough

to get paid for that herd.

Amos Whittaker swears that
you were paid in full and in cash

when you rode out to his
place a week ago Tuesday.

Well, then, he is drunk.

Has he got a
receipt to prove that?

He says he and your
father are such old friends

that they never bothered
with, uh, receipts and such.

Well, that's true enough.

But what's he trying to say?

That I'm cheating him by asking
him to pay twice for the same herd?

It's a lot of money, Ben.

Now, come on, Walter. You don't
think I'm trying to pull some trick on him.

Well, of course not,
Ben. I trust you implicitly.

- Well?
- Well.

Well, the thing is, I trust
Amos Whittaker implicitly too.

Oh, he's a difficult
man when he's drinking,

but, well, I've never heard of him
doing anything even slightly dishonest.

Well, I'm gonna
tell you one thing.

Amos better be
sober in the morning.

I'm riding out there
to have a talk with him.

Oh, Ben, let me deal with it.

Now, I've handled both
your affairs for a long time.

I promise I'll get
to the bottom of it

if I have to put aside
everything else on my calendar.

All right. Thank you, Walter.

Well, I'm not being
entirely unselfish, Ben.

If people are gonna stop
talking and start shooting,

how's a lawyer
gonna make a living?

- So long, Mr. Betts.
- Goodbye, Little Joe.

- Ready to go, Hoss?
- Oh, hi, Pa.

What do you got there?

It's, uh... It's a
diamond. Ain't it pretty?

Mr. Lafitte gave it to me.

He said he, uh, he got
that off of a Greek princess.

Yeah, Pa was telling me about
that new friend of yours, Hoss.

He, uh, talk you into
buying that thing?

He gave it to me.

It's a pretty big diamond.

What did you give him in return?

Just a couple of drinks
over there at the Gold Lily.

I bet I know. Then
you talked him

into taking every bit of
money you had on you.

Yeah. I'd have done that
anyhow, even without this.

You know, Joe, they
say if you take a rock, see,

you put a diamond on
top of it, you just tap it,

now, if it's a real
diamond, it won't break.

Of course, uh, if it isn't a real
diamond, it shatters into little pieces.

- A rock like that?
- Yeah.

I ain't... I ain't for sure
I even wanna find out.

Well, it's up to you,
Hoss, of course.

You mean, you really thought that
man was the famous Jean Lafitte?

Oh, such a long walk.

Mr. Lafitte, hi. You hoof
it all the way out here?

Well worth it to see my good
friend Monsieur Hoss again.

What can I do for
you, Mr. Lafitte?

Oh, yes, I have
another gift for you.

A most magnificent...


- A ruby, huh?
- Yeah, now hold it up to the light.

You see how it
glitters in the sun?

Do you know how I got that ruby?

I myself, I tore it from the
finger of a Spanish grandee

after boarding his boat
in the straits of Lascuarre.


Well, it's, uh, beautiful.
It's mighty, mighty pretty.

Accept it from me, please.

I appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

Now... Now, what
can I do for you?

Yes, uh...

Monsieur Hoss, I will
go hungry and homeless

unless you see fit to
extend the hospitality

of the Ponderosa for a few days.

Mr. Lafitte,

what'd you do with that
money I gave you yesterday?

All foolishly squandered
on beautiful women.

If there is one
thing Lafitte enjoys,

it is foolish squandering
on beautiful women.

I mean, dad burn it, if
you ain't got more gall

than any man I
ever met, Mr. Lafitte.

Yes, I find it very useful.

Well, I'll have to talk
to my Pa and brother.

- Mr. Lafitte, are you all right?
- Help me.

Sit down. Sit down here.

If you will please
explain to them

that a footsore old war
veteran is waiting outside.

Tell them that the hero of
the Battle of New Orleans

awaits their decision
as to whether or not

he will have food this day.

You ask them that,
Monsieur Hoss.

It may take some
time to convince them.

Monsieur Hoss, old
soldiers have patience,

and I have great faith in you.

And if he turns out to really be
Lafitte, we're gonna feel pretty foolish

turning him away, him
being an American war hero.

Oh, a war hero my foot.

He's a swindler. He's a phony.

Look, can't you un...?

What do you got there?

It's, uh, another little
gem he gave me.

Oh, you've gotta be kidding.

Look at that. It's
another phony gem.

What do I have to do to get
it through that skull of yours?

It just proves Mr. Lafitte's
got a bunch of phony jewelry.

Oh, well, forget it. You
try and talk to him, Pa.

Yeah, ahem, well, uh...

it's highly improbable that
he's the Mr. Lafitte, the war hero.


But it's not
entirely impossible.


So I suggest we compromise.

Let's have him here in
our home as our guest

for the next couple of days,

but let's keep a very careful
eye on all the silverware.

Oh, Pa.

If Adam was here right
now, he would agree with me.

Well, he ain't. He's
in San Francisco,

and Mr. Lafitte's staying,
and that's all there is to it.

Hey, Pa, you mind if I, uh, take
a look at those books of yours?

You wanna look at books?

Yeah, I thought I might, uh,
read up on the War of 1812.


Johnny boy, I never had
so much fun in my life.

Oh, the most beautiful young
lady will have even more fun.

The evening is just beginning.

Mr. Lafitte, you and me are
gonna have to be going home now.

A man your age has
gotta have his sleep.

- Nonsense.
- All right, all right, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Well, then, a man my age
has gotta have his sleep.

His age. No.

All right, we'll have
one more round,

but then we gotta go
home for sure, you hear?

One more round, Sam, on the tab.

Okay, it will be.

Better get cash, Sam.

- Cantankerous old codger.
- Especially when he's drunk.

He never really remembers
what he does or says,

then has to go around
apologizing when he's sober.


Mr. Whittaker.

What's on your mind, boy?

Well, sir, you know
my pa well enough,

or you certainly ought to,

to know that he ain't
one to try to cheat you.

He took my money
and he swears he didn't.

Now, some folks
call that cheating.

Well, it's some sort
of misunderstanding.

Sir, if you two could
get together, talk...

There's nothing I'd like better
than to talk to Ben Cartwright.

I've been looking
forward for a long time

to tell him exactly
what I think of him.

Well, why weren't you
in shape to do just that

at Lawyer Betts'
office the other day?

Lawyer Betts?

What are you talking about?

This is the first I've been
in town in a long time.

Mr. Whittaker, I seen
you with my own two eyes

come out of this saloon Friday.

Lawyer Betts said you
showed up at his office

so drunk you couldn't
talk and he sent you home.

Well, sometimes I don't remember
when I get drinking pretty heavy.

That's my business, not yours.


- Mr. Whittaker...
- Look, why don't you let me alone?

Isn't it enough that you've
lied to me and cheated me?

Monsieur, do not talk like
that to a friend of Jean Lafitte

or you will find you have
no throat to talk through.

Mr. Lafitte, please.

I can take care of
this, I assure you.

Very well, if you insist.
But, you, remember.

I'm sorry about that. He's
just a harmless old man.

What I was about
to ask you was...

had you been drinking hard

that day you claimed that
you paid my Pa for that herd?

My foreman was there.

He saw me hand
your father that money.


Then Tully told you
about it the next day, huh?

Mr. Whittaker, I've
never known you to lie.

And certainly not my Pa.

But, I'm sorry, I can't say
the same thing for Tully.

My Pa would be more than happy

to ride out to your place
at your convenience,

any time you want,

talk this thing over with
you and try to get it settled.

Beautiful breakfast.

Beautiful breakfast.

But, you know, this coffee
should have a little chicory in it

in the style of New Orleans.

I will tell Hop Sing the secret.

For a man who ain't had no sleep,
you're mighty chipper this morning.

Yeah. How do you do it?

- Clean living, my boy.
Clean living. HOSS: Oh, heh.

It's all very pleasant.

I gotta go to see
Amos Whittaker.

- Don't lose your temper.
- Okay.

Hello, Roy, come on in. Come in.

I'm sorry, I'm just
leaving, but, uh, you go in

and have some
coffee with the boys.

Well, thanks. Uh,
where you heading, Ben?

I'm going to see Amos Whittaker.

- You can save yourself a trip.
- Hmm?

Amos is dead.


What happened to him, Roy?

Somebody slit his throat.

With this.

My cutlass, of course.

During all the gaiety
at the saloon last night,

it was either lost or stolen.

And that must have been
after you threatened Whittaker.

Oui, I first noticed it was missing
after Monsieur Hoss left for home

around, uh,
midnight, I should say.

Then you two weren't
together all evening?

No, sir.

Mr. Lafitte stayed at
the saloon after I left.

Mr. Lafitte, we figure

that Amos Whittaker was
murdered about 3:00 this morning.

Now, where were
you at that time?

I cannot compromise a lady.

If you cannot come up with something
better than that, you're in real trouble.

Sheriff, before you start
making any charges,

maybe you ought to check...

Find out where Amos
Whittaker's foreman was

at 3:00 this morning.

I know where Tully was.

He was getting
his throat slit too.

On my honor,

as a soldier who was decorated
by the American government,

I had nothing to do
with these killings.

Just the same, you're gonna
have to come along with me.


We'll see that you
have a defense lawyer.

You are most kind.

Would you look at that?

Broiled lizard tongue.

A very interesting dish.

Now, what are you talking about?

That's the most tender chicken
there is to be had anywhere.

Then what is your secret recipe

that makes it taste like
broiled lizard tongues?

Hi, Johnny boy.

Oh, just in time.

Mr. Lafitte, Molly here says

that she was the one you
was out with the other night

right during the time
the murder took place,

so I reckon that clears
everything up, Roy.

That's right.

Johnny boy and I went for a
buggy ride after we left the saloon

It was very romantic.

We must have stayed out
till almost 2:00 in the morning.

No, it was much later
than that, ma chérie.

You remember the beautiful
sunrise as we returned?

Sunrise? What sunrise?

The sunrise.

The one you and I watched
this morning together.

Just, uh, tell the truth, Miss
Molly, exactly as you remember it.

Well, the truth is

it was just before 2:00 when I
got back to my room at the hotel.

Well, that would have
gave Johnny boy here

plenty of time to ride out
to Amos Whittaker's ranch

before 3:00 in the
morning, wouldn't it?

I, uh, think that'll
be all, Miss Travers.

I'm sorry, Johnny boy.

It's been fun up to now.


- Johnny boy.
- Molly.

Right in there.

She is lying.

It is her word against mine.

Uh, I mean no
offense, Mr. Lafitte,

but as your lawyer, it
is my duty to point out

that yours is the word of a pirate
with an extremely spotty record.

Lawyer Betts,

you think that Mr. Lafitte's past
will have any influence on the jury?

Jurors are only human.

I think it might make
a very big difference.

In that case, gentlemen...

I have a small
confession to make.

I am not Jean Lafitte.

You ain't Jean Lafitte?

And you spent all this time
convincing folks you were?

Let us say I am an old man
who enjoys his little joke.

Making fools out of folks,
is that your idea of a joke?

I am sorry, Monsieur
Hoss. I am very sorry.

I have lied to you often,

but this, I swear
to you, is the truth.

I did not kill Monsieur
Whittaker or his foreman.

And I reckon you're willing
to swear that on your honor

as a great American hero, huh?

I do not blame you for
no longer believing in me.

Hi, Pa. I'm gonna take
this bag in to Mr. Lafitte,

or whatever his name
is. I'll be right back.

I'm sorry, Hoss.

You know, I reckon
I'm pretty stupid,

but for some reason, Pa, I
can't keep from believing him

when he tells me he
didn't kill them two men.

Now, why should you
think that makes you stupid?

He, uh... He happens to be
a man who lives by his wits.

You happen to be a fellow
who lives by your heart.

And, you know, I think
I like your way better.

Well, it don't make no difference, I
reckon, because I've had it with him.

All his tall tales and his
lies and his fake jewelry.

I mean, really, Pa,
I've had it with him.

Oh, how kind of you
to bring me fresh linen.

That's all right, Mr. Lafitte.

Eh, Monsieur Hoss.

I hate to ask, but when a man's
life is at stake, he will risk anything,

any humiliation.


Just one last small favor.


The very beautiful Mademoiselle
Molly will be in her room

at the hotel right now.

I would appreciate it very
much if you would talk to her

and ascertain why
she stole my cutlass.

Mr. Lafitte, why are
you so all-fired sure

that it was Molly that
stole your cutlass?

Because I know women.

Now, off with you to
Mademoiselle Molly

before she leaves
for the dancehall.

Dad burn it. I reckon I'm some
kind of a dang fool or something.

Monsieur Hoss, just please believe
me innocent of those murders,

whatever else you
may believe of me.

So you think I swiped
Johnny boy's cutlass

while he and I were
dancing together, huh?

And then after that, I suppose
I slipped it to a Confederate

and took Johnny boy buggy
riding until dawn, is that it?

Oh, no, Miss Molly.

- It ain't what I think. It's...
- Heh.

You know, Hoss, that two-faced old
rascal's really got you bamboozled.

If you'll excuse me,
I gotta get to work.


Mr. Lafitte.

Mr. Lafitte, put that thing
away. What are you doing?

Not until I have sliced
this so-beautiful little lady

into not-so-beautiful
little pieces.

Hoss. Hoss, he's just
loco enough to do it.

You will die by inches.
You will die slowly. Slowly.

Aah! MOLLY: Aah!

- Mr. Lafitte! Mr. Lafitte!
- Ha, ha. No, I will...

I must follow her. Please. I
must find out where she goes.

You're going right back
to jail where you belong.

If Lafitte gives you
his word of honor

that he will return to the jail
cell at once, will you follow her?

Yeah, but you ain't Lafitte,
remember? You're a fake.

Even an imposter has honor.

There, you see? Come.

She runs down the street.

Does she run to the
sheriff's office? No.

She runs in the opposite direction
to her unknown accomplice.

You must follow her. You must.
Or forfeit me to the hangman.

All right, but if you're
making a fool out of me...

Back to the jail
cell, I swear to you.

All right. I'll follow her. But
you, back to the jail, you hear?

Psst. Monsieur Hoss.

What are you doing here?
You're supposed to be in jail.

Did not Lafitte keep
his word as always?

Did I not return to my cell?

You must not have
stayed very long.

What are you doing with
Roy's hat and coat on?

It is a disguise.

Now I'm an accomplice
to a jailbreak.

Take heart, Monsieur Hoss.

All will be straightened
out in due course.

Now, what about
Mademoiselle Molly?

That's something else. She
didn't go to no Confederate.

She went to her lawyer.
That's where she went.

So, what lawyer?

Same one you got. Walter Betts.


She didn't get to see him.

There's a note on his door said
he won't be back till after supper.

Wait a minute. Where you going?

Lafitte is counting on his good
friend for one last small favor.

What more do you
want from me, anyhow?

My whole defense
depends upon it.

Now follow me.

What's interesting about
Mr. Betts' back door?

Looks like any other door to me.

Would you mind keeping
your eye on the street

while I make my
examination, please?

Well, make it snappy. Mr. Betts
gonna be back here in a minute.

How long are you gonna have
to study that door, Mr. Lafitte?

Mr. Lafitte?

Dad burn your ornery hide.

How come you didn't tell me
you was gonna break in here?

- Would you have allowed it?
- I wouldn't.

- You see?
- Oh, my...

What do you figure
on finding in here?

Evidence that Lawyer Betts is
Mademoiselle Molly's accomplice.

If that ain't the silliest
dang thing I ever heard of.

Oh, is it?

Lawyer Betts is
honest clean through.

Oh, Monsieur Hoss, did I not fool
you into thinking that I was Jean Lafitte?

You sure did.

Then is it not possible that
Lawyer Betts could have fooled you

into thinking that he is
honest clean through?

Yeah, but what makes
you suspect him?

It could be nobody else.

He made a brief appearance in
the saloon that night after you left,

and Mademoiselle Molly could very
easily have slipped him my cutlass.

There is no other explanation.

Oh, yes, there is. There's one.

Oh, indeed? What? What? What?

That, uh, you could still
be the murderer after all.

Could I look you in the
eye if that were true?

Yup. And pick my pocket
while you was doing it.

Well, since you
understand me so well,

you must know that I could not
have murdered those two men, huh?

Thank you, Monsieur Hoss.

Now, please, one small favor,

would you continue
looking for evidence?

Hey, wait a minute.

Mr. Lafitte, how am I gonna find what
I don't even know what I'm looking for?

Now, wait a minute.
Wait a minute.

Wait just a dang minute. What
do you think you're doing anyhow?

This safe, it was
behind the picture.

You can't do that.
That's burglary.

Mm-hm. Everything
will be all right.

You wait and see, Monsieur Hoss.

Thousand dollar bills.

Almost exactly the same
amount Mr. Whittaker claimed

to have given your father.

Hey, wait till the
sheriff sees that.


It would be a mistake
to give it to the sheriff.

A man as shrewd as Mr. Betts

would no doubt have
some explanation

as to how he came
by such a huge sum.

What are we gonna do then?

Several things.

One, we can return
the money to the safe...

and lock it up.

Two, we can put the picture
back in place on the wall

so that Mr. Betts will not know
that his secret has been discovered.

And, uh, three,
three, three... Ah.

- Ahem. Can you see me here?
- No.

Then, three, I will hide here.

And for you, I suggest, uh...

The closet.

We gonna hide out till
the lawyer gets back, right?

Exactly. Then we find out what
Mademoiselle Molly has to say to him.

Yeah, but what if he catches us?

Always you look
on the gloomy side.

Why cannot you be more cheerful?

You will not have to remain there
more than one hour at the most.

Molly, what are you doing here?

What am I doing here?

Did you know that Lafitte
bound and gagged Sheriff Coffee

in his own jail
and then escaped?


Good? The old buzzard's
threatening to kill me.

No, I'll ask the sheriff to
appoint a deputy to guard you.

You'll be safe.

And Lafitte's escaping will be
considered an admission of guilt.

You know, you're smart, Walter.

So smart you sometimes worry me.

You get people
trusting you and then...

And then?

And then... Like Tully.

What about Tully?

Tully played square with
us all the way through.

You paid him off
with a slit throat.

Isn't a two-way split
better than a three?

And what happens to me if you
decide a one-way split is better than two?

I rode all the way
to Morgan City today

to make the arrangements
to buy a dancehall

with the money from this deal.

You're gonna run it with
me as a silent partner.

Now, does that sound
like a double-cross, hmm?

He heard every word we said.

Unbuckle the gun belt.

Drop it.

Where's Lafitte?

I don't know.

You never were a
very good liar, Hoss.

He's around here somewhere.

What makes you so sure?

Hoss isn't tricky enough to pull
something like this on his own.

Where is he?

I said I didn't know.

No place here he
could hide, except...

Come on out, Mr. Lafitte.

That unscrupulous,
deceitful, conniving old...

How long were
you in that closet?

About an hour.

Your Honor, may I
address the court?

I came home from a business
trip and found a prowler in my office.

It was dark, and I shot him

before I realized it
was Hoss Cartwright.

And to this day, I have no
idea what he was doing there.

Well, Your Honor?

Killing Amos Whittaker
was bad enough.

Tully was even worse.

But Hoss?

I suppose you'd rather
the law hung both of us?

Hold still.

Would you hold still?

You hurt?

No. Somewhat
out of breath is all.

When one reaches the age of
70, it is time to give up acrobatics.

And here.

Never, never put such
temptation in my path again.


Look, here, uh, Mr. Lafitte, you
could have got away with that.

How come you didn't?

Because you believed in me.

You were my friend, and
Lafitte never abandons a friend.

Uh, at least not very often.

I don't know why he started.

Now, before you leave, you
must do us one small little favor.

- Certainly.
- Now, tell us who you are.

- Who...
- I mean, who you are really.

Who I am really?

I'm Jean Lafitte, of course.

But, Mr. Lafitte, when you
were in the jail cell you said...

Because, at that time,
it was inconvenient

for me to be Jean Lafitte.

But now, with the charges
against me being dismissed,

I am free to resume
my true identity.

I see.

Well, uh, where are you
gonna go now, Mr. Lafitte?

Where will I go now?

Where the music is gay,
where the wine is good,

and where the
women are beautiful.

Here we are.

Monsieur Hoss, one small
last favor, if you please.

I thank you very much.

You know, I don't think
he's ever gonna change.

No, I guess not.


Look what the old phony
gave me. Another diamond.

Hey, no, another one?

What did you give
him in return this time?

The horse he's riding,

the second best saddle I own
and every penny I had to my name.

But, Pa, it was worth it.
The stories the old guy told.

- I know.
- He was telling me one the other day.

- Yeah?
- See, he was boarding this ship alone,

- single-handedly, he had his sword...
- Hey, Hoss, this is a real diamond.

Yeah. So he ju...

Hey, you don't
suppose that really is...?

Behind the Scenes of The Gentleman from New Orleans

Remarkably, Lorne Greene is only approximately nine months older than John Dehner, who plays the role of Lafitte in the episode.

During a particular scene, Molly fires Hoss’ six guns eight times without reloading, a detail that defies practical firearm capacity.

Furthermore, striking a diamond with a rock is not reliable for testing its authenticity, as natural diamonds are firm but also brittle.

Books Worth Reading:

In the pilot episode, Joe claims that his grandfather knew Jean Lafitte. Yet, this detail should be mentioned when Lafitte becomes a topic of conversation between him and his brother Hoss. Joe either embellished the truth, or the tale was a childhood story passed down by his mother.

Additionally, given Ben’s extensive experience sailing, it is reasonable to assume he would have been aware of Jean Lafitte’s historical timeline. Lafitte was born around 1776 and died in 1823, playing a significant role in the War of 1812 and gaining notoriety as a pirate. Thus, considering Lafitte’s historical context, it seems unlikely that he would have been alive during the period depicted in Bonanza.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza provides excellent, family-friendly entertainment for solo viewing or enjoying with loved ones. The Gentleman from New Orleans marks the 152nd episode out of 430 in the series. NBC produced and broadcasted Bonanza from September 1959 to January 1973, covering a span of 14 seasons.

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

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