The Gift Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #02, Episode #27
Bonanza, a Western series that initially aired back in the late 1950s, tells the story of the fictional Cartwright family and their connection with the surrounding community. The fifty-ninth episode, The Gift, written by Denne Petitclerc and Thomas Thompson, aired for the first time on April 1, 1961. However, its first appearance was supposedly on March 18, 1961.
Joe Cartwright travels to Yuma, Arizona, determined to capture a white Arabian stallion for his father’s birthday. Unbeknownst to the young Cartwright, it will be a dangerous trip for him. En route, renegade Indians attacked Joe, which led his life to the hands of Emeliano (Martin Landau), the mercurial Mexican who raised the horse he’s going after.
Jim Davis plays Sam Wolfe, Jack Hogan plays Cash, and Joe Yrigoyen plays Cayetano.
Read The Gift‘s plotline, including behind-the-scenes information, or view the episode below.
Watch the Full Episode of The Gift
Watch the Full Episode of The Gift:
The Gift, the twenty-seventh episode of Bonanza’s second season, featured the following actors:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Martin Landau as Emeliano
- Jim Davis as Sam Wolfe
- Jack Hogan as Cash Wolfe
- Robert Christopher as Lieutenant
- Joe Yrigoyen as Cayetano
- Felipe Turich as Jail Guard
- Bob Miles as Chet, Wounded Soldier
- Eumenio Blanco as Comanchero (uncredited)
- Bill Clark as Comanchero (uncredited)
- Jaye Durkus as Comanchero (uncredited)
- Kay Koury as Townswoman (uncredited)
- Daniel Nunez as Townsman (uncredited)
- John Quijada as Comanchero (uncredited)
Full Story Line for The Gift
Hoss and Adam wake up in a hotel room, discussing the surprise birthday gift, a white stallion, that Joe has to get from Yuma, Arizona. Ben is outside when a rider arrives at Fort Tyson with an arrow in his back. The citizens gather to hear the man as he reports about the renegade Indians assaulting and killing all whites they find at the fort and Yuma.
The news worries the Cartwrights, especially Ben. He prepares his things, planning on going with the army to look for Little Joe. Adam and Hoss try to calm him down, but Ben can only rant about his sons being stubborn, putting themselves in danger. Adam and Hoss reveal that Joe went to Yuma to get him the birthday present they’ve planned since the year before. It’s their way of saying they loved their father since they couldn’t find themselves saying the words directly. Ben says, “Old fools make poor dads,” overwhelmed with emotions, then leaves with his jam-packed saddlebags.
Meanwhile, Joe and Emeliano, the Mexican care owner of the stallion ( which he calls The Big White One), try to evade the renegade Indians as they travel in the desert. They eventually run out of water, so Emeliano suggests they go to Sam Wolfe and his group of ruthless Comancheros. Emeliano reveals that he used to ride with the group until Colonel Greene gave him a job. Although they both know it’ll be dangerous, Joe agrees to give it a shot.
Meanwhile, the Lieutenant in Fort Tyson couldn’t organize a search for Little Joe as he needed his troops to guard the fort. Ben has no choice but to find Joe himself. Adam and Hoss couldn’t let their father search for their youngest alone, so they joined him despite his initial hesitance.
Once they’ve reached the camp of the Comancheros, Emeliano asks for water, which Sam immediately grants to his old friend. As for Joe, he’ll need to give all his money and the stallion to get water. Joe refuses, then punches Sam, but the gang members knock down him and Emeliano. They have the two locked in a shack while Sam and his younger brother Cash enjoy the beauty of the white stallion.
Sam offers Emeliano a chance to rejoin his gang. Meanwhile, he plans to use Joe as the turkey in a turkey shoot. Emeliano asks about the white horse, to which Sam replies as his property. Emeliano tells him that the horse means a lot to him, so Sam gives him time to consider his offer.
When Sam leaves, Joe suggests Emeliano take Sam’s offer to keep himself alive. However, Emeliano believes he’d rather die than surrender the horse to a beast like Wolfe. Emeliano also thinks that Joe giving the white horse to his father moved his heart, considering Emeliano has always wanted a son too. He then lures a guard over the shack. Although the guard recognized his escape attempt, Emeliano managed to stab him in the back, allowing them to escape.
Joe and Emeliano head to the corral to get their horses. Joe finds Cash whipping the white stallion tied to a post. The two engage in a fight. When Joe gains the upper hand, he hits Cash towards the stallion, who stomped him multiple times. Only Emeliano was capable of calming the horse down. Before the other bandits chase them, Joe and Emiliano ride away with their horses. Sam heads out of his shack after hearing the commotion. Seeing his young brother’s dead body made him furious. With all his Comancheros, Sam heads off after Joe and Emeliano, determined to avenge his brother’s death.
Joe and Emiliano head for the rocky part of the canyon to get away from the Comancheros. Emeliano makes Joe take the stallion, as it’s fast enough, and believes they’re worthy of having the horse rather than Sam. Joe refuses to leave him, so Emeliano forces him at gunpoint. With no choice, Joe leaves, assuring Emeliano that they’d take care of his white stallion.
After Joe leaves, the other half of Sam Wolfe’s men arrive, shooting Emeliano. They see Joe running through the desert, so Sam orders his men with the fastest horses to give them his horses as he chases after Joe.
Meanwhile, Ben, Hoss, and Adam find Emeliano lying face down on the ground. With his remaining strength, Emeliano tells them about a boy on a white horse. Ben tells him that it is his son, allowing Emeliano to understand that they are his family. He had no chance because his horse was tired, so he let Joe ride the faster white stallion, believing the horse would be happy at the Ponderosa. Tearful, Emeliano eventually falls to his death.
Sam’s other Comancheros reach the Cartwrights, pinning the Cartwrights to a gunfight. Ben runs off alone to follow Joe, leaving Adam and Hoss to finish with Sam’s bandits.
Seeing the white stallion moving farther, Sam had no choice but to shoot the horse down. The horse isn’t dead but is slowly dying. Joe uses his last bullet to put the great horse out of his suffering. Little Joe starts running while Sam watches him with a fresh horse from afar.
The heat of the desert sun and lack of water caused Joe to stumble, falling to the ground. He falls on the dry brown grass, discovering a nearby stream that has allowed the crops to grow. Joe rushes towards the water with excitement, but Sam gets him with a lasso, tying his limbs so he wouldn’t get to the water.
Sam heads for the stream to fill his container of water. Shadow tips over him, not knowing it is Ben Cartwright, the father of the man he just tied. Upon seeing Ben’s cold demeanor, Sam claims Joe is a horse thief. However, Ben declares Joe is his son. Sam immediately draws his gun, but not fast enough to shoot Ben, who shot him dead. Ben rushes to untie Joe and helps him drink water. Joe tells Ben about the horse and Emeliano, and Ben informs him he knows everything. Ben also sadly declares Emeliano’s death. Joe lets Ben know that the horse was supposedly his present, but seeing his youngest alive is enough gift for Ben.
Adam and Hoss arrive shortly after and help Joe to the horse. Ben kneels near the stream to fill his canteen, stares at the heaven above, and says, “Thanks.”
Full Script and Dialogue of The Gift
[Music] bye [Music] [Applause] throw me that towel where's papa you're there who are they like did you hear him i think he's still frightened about little joe yeah i know he uh he was asking we were driving the horses in yesterday why joe went to yuma you didn't tell him did you no sense of spilling the beans at this point yeah even so i showed her heat to see paul's worried you know you know what anything could have happened little joe do you know he can take care of himself don't worry just think i was going to be when he rides in the town and passes what he's brought in yeah i ain't talking much else all week [Music] corporal check where did it happen it's two days south of here sir cochise has got the whole apache nation stirred up burned our wagons [Applause] a patcher between here and humor right he knows anything about little joe i don't know what i'm gonna ask hey you're two men get under the company doc be careful lieutenant i'd like to ask the scott my youngest son is in human he's two days overdue getting back they just told me there isn't a white man between here and humor that's left alive now [Music] so [Music] [Applause] there [Music] you're planning on going with them yes i am planning on going with them in that case are we you two will stay right here and keep an eye on those horses we bought it's quite enough that one of my sons wouldn't do as he was told paul adams and me been throwing it over and we think there's something i never raised a pack of stubborn mule headed stump brain ah i told him once i told him ten times wait here at tyson wells i said wait here i said oh no he's gotta run off somewhere can't stay put does my words mean anything around here anymore what paul me and adam want to tell you something if you're calm down i am calm you're shouting i'm not shouting what is that you want to tell me we want to tell you why joe went to yuma well it's about time somebody started telling me something around here poi was a kind of a secret between adam and me and joe and now will you two make sense we're we're trying to paul you joe went to human to buy a horse a horse jumping jerose of it haven't we bought enough arizona horses in the last week to keep the ponderosa overrun with horses for the next 10 years paul this wasn't just any horse it was a it was a gift for you a gift for your birthday we uh we've been planning it since last year we even wrote ever every horse breeder from here to kentucky yeah you see we wanted it to be the greatest horse we could find we wanted him to want him to say something that we just couldn't say what was it you couldn't say paul we i reckon we we just didn't know how to say we loved you fools make poor fathers [Music] um [Music] apache they destroy everything always did you know these people see a good man his wife two little girls [Music] they had a good place here we gotta find some water ow the apache between us and fortnite the horses are so thirsty and ah my young friend is thirsty too here have a drink a big drink now look i had my share i'll go ahead we'll split it you first thanks i felt like i drowned on all this water um maybe we can ride around the apache there's no writing around him cochise and his men are everywhere they will not stop until the army stops them probably get pretty thirsty waiting for that getting thirsty if we try to go back [Music] you're pretty sorry i left colonel green uh no wherever the big white one is that's where i belong that's all the water you got oh that's all right i had my share it's better for him than me you really think a lot of that horse don't you he is my life amigo we understand each other this horse and me better to have a horse like this than to be born rich well rich or poor only last another day in the sun see but the horse is sworn amigo i know where there's some water how far is it right in here very dangerous perhaps too dangerous the apaches huh no voice comancheros bandits these men do not fear your apache they're great with them they have a camp in those mountains over there they sound like real nice playmates how do you have to know where the camp is because i was once one of them you were a comanchero some call it that some say i was a bandito but whatever you call it whenever they catch one they put a rope around his neck see i was caught it was conor green who caught me down give me a job i have not been back to that camp in the hills since oh what chance do you think we have with him does the kangaroo mouse have a chance with a rattlesnake well perhaps a little one um our rattlesnake is a man called samwolf you know that name sure i've heard the name samwolf but i thought it was a legend not a real man he is a king here cruel cunning delhi is a desert even cochise fears him i wish there was some other way well there's one other way what one is an amigo can i ask the apache for some water [Laughter] well we go this way to see the bandidos [Music] the indians are still raiding some isolated ranches and settlements if they decide to raid tyson wells i'll need every soldier i have here i'm sorry but my hands are tied i appreciate your position lieutenant good luck and as soon as i can i'll put my troops at your disposal thank you lieutenant [Music] you weren't figuring on leaving without us were you [Music] i thought i told you two to stay with the horses you hear him tell us that i don't recall hearing nothing like that looks like you're gonna have some company whether you want it or not if all three of us right out of here today it's likely that none of us will ever get back our place is with you no matter what happens paul you you can't ride out here without us don't you understand what i'm trying to tell you yes sir we understand but we also understand that little joe's in trouble he might even be dead i i don't know but i do know one thing whatever has happened to little joe's happened to all of us and we're still a family yeah yeah we're still a family let's go no no don't like surprised they've been watching us for half an hour pretend we're expected that's a little tough to do when somebody's shooting at you we're safe for a while they will not harm us at least not until they take what they can get from us who have your rifles [Music] [Applause] [Music] look at that white horse sam yeah that's it sam i gotta have that horse prettiest animal ever saw him my whole life i've seen it before it's colonel green's horse [Music] and if i'm not mistaken that's emiliano there with it milano put that thing away boy milano was a good man might be again with a little persuading [Applause] well if it ain't my old friend emiliano como stanley go this is my friend senor joe carter of nevada i'm sam wolf this is my camp here not much of a camp but it's all we got actually all we wanted was some water for ourselves and our horses what makes you think you're going to get any you stay out of this so you want water huh that's right well i got water oh it's kind of hard to come by in this country you know we've got money we're willing to pay for it what do we want with your stinking money could kill you and take it just that simple remind this cop to whom he speaks amigo i never like him he's off and you take it easy you know what i'd do to anybody who ever touched my little brother if you want him to stay on touch tell him to keep his mouth shut well you sure ain't changed now and have emiliano i thought colonel green would have beaten the backbone right out of you by now takes a great deal to change your mind senor i am thirsty my horses are thirsty my friend is thirsty bring me some water you ain't gonna do just as i tell you sam wolf never let a friend of his go thirsty in the desert only they're just one thing mr cartwright this year camp gun out of the way you know might expensive bringing in supplies business ain't been too good lately yeah how much you want all you got [Applause] well now this is mighty nice must be several hundred dollars in here only ain't enough well that's all we've got not all friend you got something there that's better than money i'll take that there white horse and you can have all the water you can drink nobody touches that horse i'm sorry you ain't got no choice i got him sam i got here good night matt harsh kid now i seen him first i said get away he's my horse and don't you forget it [Music] [Applause] oh [Music] another one across the street but he's asleep i have observed him how tough it'd be to get the one outside the door well it would be difficult but our friends were very careless and i'm kind of glad you're on my side emiliano no it is are you unfortunate someone comes get back to me well there's a wolf fear the rabbit soul emiliano you're the only rabbit that i ever saw that could bite i accept a compliment amigo i met it as one how's your friend will leave not for long tomorrow we'll have a turkey shoot and he'll be our turkey we will make excellent targets amigo i didn't mean you emiliano i'm giving you a chance to live you're a good man i always liked you i want you to come back and join up with us emiliano i'll split with you sam before what if this one i'll give you the first shot if you're a friend of his be over with quick and the white horse uh-uh that one's mine this horse means much to me amigo watches your life perhaps i'll give you until noon to take it over meliano adios there's a nice fella turkey shooter this is his favorite sport they let a turkey run across the desert and shoot at them with rifles how does the turkey ever get away it has never been known to happen amigo i'll give you a run for your money me muchacho you got the first shot i did not say i would take it look he offered you your life what is that life without honor you know my father used to read me a passage from the bible when something like it's better to be a living dog than a dead lion you got to think about it look at me amigo look at me outside in the quran is a great horse tell me have you ever seen such a horse no i haven't but and this horse this speaks to me sings to me you understand yeah i understand now do you do you think i will let a a pig like this a beast like this wolf have this horse no i would rather die first look at me amigo i have always wanted a sun my own all my life i am too ugly to even have a wife to think my voice will be a gift from a boy to his father this moves me amigo fear nothing amigo i feel for you like i'm with my own son let's see if i get out of here then what do you want little toads some of that was your drink for a favor ugly one who are you to ask a favor of me uh i have money here on my hand let me see your money your first bottle come on give me the water no i know i know all brother of toads you want to escape you want to go ahead try it i'll kill you [Music] get him out of sight right any trouble no difficulty your former owner will not be needing this you know where the horses this way [Music] oh you got pretty good senior yeah well i went from an expert i'm gonna find that horse i'm not gonna leave here without him i'm glad that you say that neither am i like we'll split up and meet back here later all right [Music] come on [Music] oh [Music] chill out here [Music] [Music] uh hold on oh hold on oh we got plenty trouble now amigo crocodile you take the big one stop firing right arrows [Music] [Music] [Applause] no no [Music] get my horse cayetano see heffy take him in the house every man rides [Music] how many count this and this yeah i got the same the horses are tired i think we should fire some shots have them scatter then we ride on right [Music] what do you make of that ah it's an old trick they have split up there's a way around this mesa if four of them ride fast they can be waiting for us when we come out of the canyon we just can't sit here and wait for will from the others to catch up to us you got a plan suppose we ride down through the canyon go as fast as we can to the other end and wait for them the big white one you can make it that fast my horse too slow too tired all right you follow me get there as quick as you can what are the others behind you i guess he'll be long that's what i like about you amigo you do not worry about tomorrow until tomorrow gets here let's just hope it gets here [Music] hold on back with a couple of shots [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] um so you're a good general amigo they come to surprise you and you surprise him huh yeah still three of them thanks name was rafael i always plan to kill him someday anyway well that leaves one more must be cayetano he was always a good friend to me i will hate to have to kill him sometimes i just can't figure you out of milliana why i'm a simple man i have my loves my ace mostly i look out for my own hide they will be coming from our back soon yoni we're not going to be here let's go no show that cayetano is the best shot of them all easy easy rest amigo rest we'll be riding out soon [Music] hey you know when we get back home first coal from that big white one's gonna be yours oh no i'm eager that is too much no insist you cannot do that this horse belongs to your father when i like it no he's not gonna mind that's a promise you're gonna get the first cold your father must be a very rare man amigo yeah i think so i think you'll think so too [Music] when one is young there is always hope amigo when one gets older and tired he does what he must do well let's get here i'm sorry you're a good man amigo i wish things could have been different what's this all about get on the big white one amigo and right there's a chance i'd rather let you have them give them to some wolf what's the matter with you you think i'd ride off and leave you you have no choice someone could not offer you a job a job we killed his brother you know i haven't got a chance back yes i do i will become a bandito again it is a good life amigo you take care of this horse amigo or i will come for you myself the ponderosa is not that far away or i'll kill you now it'll make me stand big in the eyes of some wolf you take your choice amigo [Applause] [Music] don't worry i'll take care of him right [Music] adios white what [Applause] ah [Music] that's the most powerful horse i ever saw take at least three horses to run him down you two got the fastest horses get off and give me the reins leave the canteens on might take me two or three days to run him down oh the brother i should have known you are a close family you saw my son see stay here he ride to the desert they chase him if you hurry what are you trying to say there was no other way my horse was tired but alone and the big white one there was a chance you did this reload joe see see i'm the big white one he is a fine horse amigo your son he tell me of the pandora's the big horse he will be happy there i yeah i'll tell them [Music] stay there adam i gotta get a little joe paul you'll never make it i gotta spin down tight about half tired of this yeah it's not getting us any closer little joe either yeah listen adam why don't you cover me and i'll try you're too big a target [Music] paw [Music] [Music] there's one left he's over there behind that rock all right i drive him out and you nail it okay wait wait wait okay [Music] so so [Music] so [Music] [Music] [Music] huh hmm i'm sorry [Music] hmm um [Music] hmm [Music] my [Music] you [Music] [Applause] [Music] huh uh [Music] uh [Music] [Applause] well howdy friend i uh i just finished me off a horse safe caught him stealing my horses last night you're a liar now lucky friend that kind of talk's gonna get you into a lot of trouble like i said he's a heart safe he's my son that's enough for now but i tried to get through never mind that nelson i had to talk it was a vaquero with me emiliano i know i i talked with him but he's alive that no i he wanted you on the horse to get through emiliano he was a good friend like he really loved that horse he was such a beautiful horsepower read his heart out for me i know son already we wanted to get me that horse [Music] i tried not to lose it what would i give them to you as a gift i have my gift son joe he's all right boys let's get him home [Music] [Applause] thanks [Music] so [Music] you
Behind the Scenes of The Gift
Seeing the horse dying in agony, Little Joe uses his “last bullet” to kill the white stallion to end its pain. He shoots the horse and throws his pistol, which he renders useless now. However, the audience can see the back of his gunbelt full of bullets as he walks toward the horse. (Joe doesn’t have any ammunition on his gun belt; those were only evenly-spaced rivets.)
When Little Joe and his friend, Emeliano, escape from the shack, Joe drags the right-handed Commanchero inside, then emerges with a left-handed pistol belt.
The top of the background set piece is visible when Sam Wolfe tries to take the white stallion, causing the horse to rear up in aggression.
The Bible verse Little Joe claims his father, Ben, taught him comes from the second half of Ecclesiastes 9:4.
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza, the iconic Western television program, is an excellent series to binge-watch alone or with the people you love. NBC was behind the production of this show, televising all 14 seasons on their network from September 1959 to January 1973. The Gift is the 59th of 430 episodes and the twenty-seventh for its second season.
You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>