The Guilty Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #23
Ben Cartwright is a witness to the horrifying event when ex-convict Jack Groat (played by Charles Maxwell) fatally shoots the son of Ben’s longtime friend Lem Partridge (portrayed by Lyle Bettger). Given that Groat had previously served time for the murder of Lem’s wife, Lem is bewildered as to why Ben didn’t intervene during Groat’s latest violent act. Feeling abandoned by everyone, including Ben, Lem resolves to seek vengeance for the deaths of his wife and son alone. However, as the events unfold, it becomes evident that there is more to the situation than initially meets the eye. Anne Benton takes on the role of Caroline, while Edward C. Platt appears as Wade. Penned by Clifford Irving, The Guilty originally aired on February 25, 1962.
Explore the episode’s storyline and uncover fascinating trivia, or enjoy the whole episode by watching it below.
Table of Contents
Watch the Full Episode of The Guilty
Watch the Full Episode of The Guilty:
In addition to the primary cast, “The Guilty,” the twenty-third episode of Bonanza Season 3 showcases a range of recurring and guest-supporting actors. The episode features the following individuals:
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Lyle Bettger as Lem Partridge
- Charles Maxwell as Jack Groat
- Anne Benton as Caroline Partridge (as Ann Benton)
- Edward Platt as Wade Colly (as Edward C. Platt)
- Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
- Jack Easton Jr. as Jimmy Partridge
- Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
Full Story Line for The Guilty
The Tucson gunman, Jack Groat, harbored a deep-seated grudge against Sheriff Lem Partridge, blaming him for his imprisonment. A decade earlier, during a drunken street brawl, a bullet from Groat’s gun tragically claimed the life of Sheriff Partridge’s wife. Now released from prison, Groat tracks down the retired Lem Partridge in Virginia City, where he holds Lem’s son, Jimmy, and Ben Cartwright, a close friend, hostage. As the situation escalates, Ben is forced to confront the grim reality and reconcile with Lem, attempting to reassure both Lem and himself that there was nothing he could have done to prevent Groat from fatally shooting Jimmy in the back.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Guilty
(fanfare plays) Whoa! Well, here we are, safe and sound. (laughs): Safe and sound? Joe, you drive too fast! Well, I'm just trying to bring a little excitement into your life... I think taking care of your pa and brothers made you too serious. Do you think breaking my neck driving with you will cure that? No, but I think I could think of another cure for you. I wonder where Dad and Jimmy are. Dad and Jimmy? Caroline, don't you have any romance in your soul? They really should have been back by now. Yeah, well, don't worry about 'em. You know, it takes a little time to look at a thousand acres of land. You should have gone up, too. - Jimmy went with them. - Well, Jimmy's a good son, and I'm no good. I'm kind of shiftless and irresponsible. I think you know what I mean. Are you looking for somebody, stranger? Yeah, a man called Partridge. You know him? Lem Partridge is my father. Is he here? You got some business with him? Yeah, kind of... Him and me's old friends. He's not here now. He's up in the hills surveying a piece of land with Mr. Cartwright. You could wait for him. Yeah, well, I'll catch up with him later. You just tell your daddy an old friend from Tucson dropped by. Tell him Jack Groat said... said hello. Caroline, what's the matter? Tell me what's the matter? That man outside, you knew him, didn't you? No, no, I didn't know him. My father did. Who is he? Jack Groat from Tucson. (Caroline sighs) That's my mother. You know, my father said once, if it hadn't been for Jack Groat my mother'd be alive today. (theme song playing) Hi, honey. Well... for a young couple supposed to be enjoying themselves, you're both looking mighty serious. Oh, that's really fine land up there, Little Joe. This time tomorrow, your father and I are gonna own it. How about staying for supper? Try some of Caroline's cooking. Dad... there was a man looking for you. Oh? What man? Jack Groat from Tucson. Jack Groat. Dad, isn't that the man that... Yes, that was the man. He said he'd be around for a while and he'd see you. I guess I always expected he would. Well, Dad, what are you gonna do? Do? What's there to do? Well, you've got to do something. Don't worry about it, son; I'll handle it. Mr. Partridge, I... I know it's none of my business, but... is it true what Caroline said, that this... this man Groat was responsible for the death of your wife? Yes, Little Joe, it's true. Happened about ten years ago in Tucson... one sunny, peaceful day. Their mother had gone out shopping, trying to find a bolt of cloth to make a dress for Caroline. There were two men, both ugly drunks, started shooting up the street, trying to kill one another. When she came out of that shop one of their bullets hit her. A dozen men standing by just watching. When I got there, she was dead. And one of these two men was Groat. I was sheriff of Tucson at the time and was sworn to uphold the law, so the only thing I could do was to... send them both to prison, which I did. But I made a sad mistake that day. I should've killed them in the street like a pair of mad dogs. Instead, I arrest them and gave them a fair trial. I tried to convince myself that I had done the right thing. But that's mighty small comfort when you're burying your wife. Well, Dad, what are you gonna do now? I guess I'll just have to wait to see what he means to do, son. Now, stop worrying. I've handled plenty of men like Jack Groat. Let's have some supper, honey. You'll stay, won't you, Joseph? Well, no, thank you, Mr. Partridge. I wish I could, but I-I'd better be getting back to the ranch. Well, you tell your father I'll meet him at 9:00 in the morning - at the land office, all right? - Yes, sir. Good day, Caroline, Jimmy. LEM: Uh, Caroline. ♪♪ Yeah, Lem told me the same story some time ago. What do you think this fella Groat intends to do? Do? When you've been sitting in jail for that long a time, stewing inside and building up a poison against the man who put you there, you might do anything. You'd think it would be Partridge who'd have all the hatred. Yeah, well... I guess when... when his wife was killed, Lem kind of sickened on his job. You know, he never even taught his boy how to handle a gun? Seems all the things he's been running from these years are... about to catch up with him, don't it? Pa, why don't you go to the sheriff? Well, Lem Partridge is a grown man. I'm having a meeting with Lem and Wade Colly about that land deal in the morning. I might try to persuade him to go see Roy. Hoss, you ride in with me? Sure, Pa. Whoa. - How long you gonna be, Pa? - Oh, just as long as it takes for Lem and me to haggle with Wade Colly over the price and then sign our names. You load up the buckboard. And, oh, don't forget, make sure that that side meat... I know, I know, the side meat's nice and lean. (chuckles): All right. I'll meet you back at the store as soon as we're finished. Right. Hi, Wade. Hello, Ben. Jimmy. Where's your father? Caroline and I talked him into going to see Sheriff Coffee. Good. Good. Well, Wade, I hope you haven't changed your mind about selling that land. I'm no rancher, Ben... I'm far more comfortable operating out of an office here in town. There are days when I wouldn't mind changing places with you. I see you got the deed all ready. Hey, you didn't put the price down, did you? We still got some dealing to do, you know. I'm just waiting for Lem Partridge. Well, you'll sell your land, don't you worry, now. Well, I'm not worried, Ben. I... - Oh, here he is now. - Good. You looking for someone, mister? Well, I was told I'd find a man named Lem Partridge. My name's Partridge. Well, you ain't the Partridge I'm looking for, sonny. You want my father. Oh, yeah, well, I guess old Lem would have a boy about your age now, I guess he would. Who are you, mister? What do you want? Oh, I just want to say hello to an old friend from Tucson. You're Jack Groat. Well, now, sure does make a man feel at home to have folks know his name. What do you want with my father! Easy, Jimmy, easy. Ben, be careful! Yeah, be careful. This ain't none of your business. This is strictly between me and Partridge. The boy asked what you wanted. Yeah, he did, didn't he? (clicking tongue) His daddy should've taught him better manners. You shouldn't be so nosy, boy. He's gonna kill him. He swore he would, 'cause dad sent him to prison! I been waiting ten long years in Yuma Prison for this day, and when Lem Partridge walks through that door, I'm gonna put a bullet right in the middle of his belly. And there ain't none of you that's gonna raise even a little finger to stop me. Not even you, boy. Suppose you just ease that gun out... real slow. Uh-uh. Over there on the table. BEN (whispers): Keep quiet. Now, look, Groat... all this happened such a long time ago... Why bring it up now? And don't forget, last time you were lucky. You got away with a few years in prison. This time it'll be the rope. So why don't you just ride quietly out of town and forget the whole thing. Last time was an accident. This time I know what I'm gonna do. This is gonna be a fair fight. He's gonna draw and I'm gonna draw, and I'm gonna walk right out of here. Well, I guess there isn't gonna be any fight. Partridge hasn't worn a gun in ten years. Partridge knows I'm in town; he'll be carrying a gun. He's unarmed. You shoot an unarmed man, you won't get 50 yards from that door. If I know Partridge... and I do... - He'll be armed. - (footsteps passing) Over there. You, too. Come on, move! Sit down, boy. (gunshot) (woman screams) What happened, Pa? What did he do? Killed Jimmy Partridge. I should have killed him. Take him to the sheriff's office. I got to tell Lem. Sheriff, I think I'm gonna be very comfortable here. It's better than I'm used to. Yeah, it's a real nice little jail. Inside. Well, I never got Lem Partridge, did I? But I got his boy. Now let Partridge suffer like I done for ten years in Yuma. You're gonna hang, mister. Oh, I don't think so. No, that boy went for a gun. That makes a fair fight out of it, and I got two witnesses to prove it. You got a couple of witnesses that heard you say you was out to get Lem Partridge, too, buster. Big boy, they don't hang a man in this territory for what he meant to do. (chuckles) Got a real dandy there, Roy. I see ya. That boy never touched a gun in his whole life. I never let him. You all knew that. Lem, there was nothing we could do. Nothing you could do? I tried to stop him. What was that for? The man's son is dead. I know that. Was he trying to call us cowards? No. Wasn't anything like that. I guess what he was saying was that... if one of us had taken the risk of trying to stop Groat, we stood a better chance. Sure, a chance to get our heads blown off. I don't want to be a dead hero. Where's he going? I don't know, Pa. He just turned and walked away. Howdy, Lem, I'm... All right, Roy, where is he? Lem, this is foolish. You're just asking for trouble. Open it up. Why don't you... I said, "Open it up." All right. Come on, Roy, hurry it up. This is the way you fight, huh? When you're the only one that's got the gun? I should have killed you ten years ago. Well, I'm not gonna repeat that mistake this time. BEN: Hold it, Lem. Let go. Lem! Haven't you done enough already? If you kill him like this, you'll be no better than he is. - No, come on, let go. - Go on home, Lem. Let go. (sighs) And him? He'll stand trial; you know that. That's right, Partridge. I'll stand trial; you know that. Lem! Give me a chance, Ben. A chance, that's all I ask, a fair fight. Now, we can't do that. Lem, you're forgetting you was a sheriff once. Now, go on home and settle down. You're just stood there and let my boy die, and now you're protecting him. (door opening) If it was one of your own sons, Ben, you'd have done something. But you didn't. You're guilty. Both you and Wade just the same as if you'd pulled that trigger. Old Lem didn't mean what he was saying. As soon as he simmers down, give him his gun back, huh? Now, come on, Pa, let's go home. Pa? I don't know what to say. I got no words. He was a good boy, never did any harm. 18 years old. Why, he never even had a chance. Sorry we're late, Lem. We want to pay our respects. A little late for respects, isn't it? Dad... You're a big man around here, Ben Cartwright. But from now on, to me, you're a small man. Small man. Who stood by and let my son die. It's not Mr. Cartwright's fault that Jimmy's dead. A man that stands by and lets evil happen, he's as guilty as the one who does the evil. You can't salve your conscience shedding tears at this boy's grave, Ben. Because you're not wanted here. Lem, I'm your friend. Not anymore. You stopped being my friend when you let my boy go for that gun. I never, ever seen Pa like this before. He's taking it terrible hard. (sighs) Well, he's known Lem Partridge for quite a long time. He was like an uncle to Jimmy. Yeah, but he's acting like it was... it was his fault the boy got killed. I don't get it. Well, he's upset about what Mr. Partridge said. Yeah, but he must know that he wasn't responsible. Well, not for what he did. He's thinking about what he might have done. Yeah. Looks like there was something we could do or say or something. Maybe there is. Maybe we can prove that he couldn't have stopped him. Pa? We've been talking, and, uh, I got an idea. Adam, talking isn't gonna help anything. Don't you realize there wasn't anything you could do about it? I don't know. I just don't know. I don't think I'll ever know. Well, there's a way to find out. What do you mean? I think I know how to take the doubt out of your mind. Hello, Wade. Hello, Ben, Little Joe, Adam. What can I do for you? Well, it may seem a little strange to you, Mr. Colly, but, uh. we want to go over what happened yesterday. We'd like to go through it the way it actually happened. Well... With empty guns, of course. Now, where were you standing, Pa? Over there by the corner of the desk. Joe, get over there. And where was your gun? That table just on the side of it. Joe. Where were you, Mr. Colly? Well, I was over there by Ben. What's the sense of all this? Well, you-you'll understand in just a minute. Now, where was Jimmy? He was sitting in that chair. An, uh, Groat? Groat was right here by the window. Adam, I don't... I don't like this. Pa, it's the only way. Now, uh, what actually happened now? (sighs) Well, Groat stepped up to the window where you are, had his gun in his hand. And, uh, he just moved over to the window 'cause he heard someone coming; I guess he thought it was Lem. And he began to pull down that shade. That's when it happened. Jimmy went for my gun, and... All right, let's see what happens. You see, Pa, you wouldn't have made it. Well, maybe Groat wouldn't have been as quick as you. And you wouldn't have been as quick as me, Pa. I don't know. I'll never know for sure. I didn't go for that gun before Jimmy. Pa, that's not the point. We just showed you, if you went for the gun first, you would have been killed; you didn't have a chance. You don't understand. You weren't in my shoes. Well, what more proof do you need? (sighs) Thank you. Joe, look, you... You go on back home. Something I've got to do. Bye, Wade. Is your father here, Caroline? No, he isn't. Where is he? I don't know, Mr. Cartwright. I don't know. What's the matter, Caroline? It's my father. I've never seen him like this before, Mr. Cartwright. (sobbing) Now, Caroline, come on, now, pull yourself together. Now, tell me what's wrong. Well, after the funeral yesterday, My father rode away and he didn't come back until dark. He wouldn't eat any supper. He sent me to bed. But I could hear him pacing all night long. - All night? - Yes. I dozed off and on, but I could still hear him. Early this morning, I couldn't stand it anymore, so (sighs) I walked into the room and found him cleaning a rifle. I'm sorry to be such a baby. Oh, Caroline. You've had a terrible few days. Did your father say anything to you? No, he didn't. He just... When I saw him with a gun... I just rushed over and tried to take it from him. He pushed me away. Mr. Cartwright, that's the first time my father has ever touched me in anger. Oh, dear. You know, men sometimes say things or do things in anger which they really don't mean. Well, he didn't even look like my father. He just glared at me and turned and left the house. I heard him ride away on his horse. When was this? This was a couple of hours ago. (both sigh) I-I'd better be going now. Mr. Cartwright, please, tell me something. (sighs) I-I don't understand. When... when my mother died, my father put up his guns. Now, when my brother dies, he puts them back on. Caroline, sometimes when a... When grief piles up on a man, his thinking gets blurred in spite of himself. But why does he have to kill Groat? Oh, no one's going to kill Groat. Groat's in jail. Now, Sheriff Coffee and I are your father's friends, so don't worry about anything. Oh, thank you. Have you eaten today? You'd better fix yourself something. (Caroline sighing) Roy, the man left his place with a loaded rifle. In his frame of mind he's capable of doing anything. That's right. You reckon he's coming here? Well, I don't know where else he'd go. There's the man he wants. But you ain't gonna let him take me, are you, Mr. Cartwright? No, sir, 'cause you know your duty as a citizen. Don't you, Mr. Cartwright? And you, too, Sheriff. You can't let that man come in here and kill an unarmed prisoner, now, can you, hmm? Oh, look at that big man. Yes, sir, ain't he a big man with a gun hanging from his belt? But you wasn't so big yesterday, was you, Mr. Cartwright? (snickers) We'd better find Lem Partridge, Roy, try to talk some sense into him. Yeah. Hey, wait a minute. You can't take off and leave me alone here. He'll kill me. He's right, Ben, we can't go off and leave him alone. My deputy's taking a prisoner down to Carson. You mind spelling me off while I have a look around and see if I can find Lem? (sighing): All right. If you do find him, go easy on him, will you? Yeah. Oh, it sure does give a man a good feeling to know he's being guarded by the chief witness for the defense. Well, let me tell you something, Groat. When I testify at the trial, it'll be against you, not for you. Well, you got to tell the truth, don't you? I mean, a big, upstanding citizen like you ain't gonna lie, now, is he? You'll hang, Groat. One way or another you'll hang. What do you mean? (door opens) Now, put up that rifle, Lem. Now, you step aside, Cartwright, 'cause I'd just as soon kill you, too. Now, look, Lem, I can't let you do this. All right. You got a gun. Try and stop me. I'm gonna count, and when I get to three, you better be out of the way, or go for your gun. One. Don't be a fool, Lem. Two. Use your head. Three. The jail. Now, the next time it's going to be for keeps. You'd better shoot for keeps. (footfalls approaching) (gunshot) (Lem grunts) SHERIFF: Lem! He tried to kill us, he tried to kill both of us. Ben, are you all right? I'm all right. Yeah, it's only a flesh wound. Ben, he meant to kill you. Well, he could have killed me and he didn't. Even though he thinks you and I are guilty? Well, maybe we are guilty. How could we be guilty? Guilty of what? We're guilty of what we did yesterday... Or didn't do... In the land office. That's only human. Are you saying we're guilty of being human? (door closes) Ben, you all right? Yeah, I'll live. Where's Lem? Well, he got away. This is pretty serious. You know, it's one thing to want revenge on the man that killed your own son. But it's another to go around with a gun just shooting at people. What are you going to do? I'm going out to get a posse together and send them out to look for him. I don't reckon he'll be home after this. Roy, Lem Partridge is an old friend of mine. Don't hurt him. Let me go look for him, will you? Ben, you just do whatever you want, but I got a job to do. Now, he's wounded one man and tried to kill another one. I got to bring him in just any way I can. (coyote howling) (coyotes baying) ♪♪ Hello, Caroline, has your father been here? No, Mr. Cartwright. Oh. Well, thank you. - Good-bye. - Good-bye. You fellers want me to whip up a batch of eggs? It's way past suppertime. Nah, I'm not hungry. I still say we ought to be out looking for Pa. Now, we've been all through that. It's not going to do any good for all of us to go running around the landscape. If Pa wants us, he'll come for us here at the ranch. Well, it's just not like Pa to go this long without sending word. Well, ain't no use in sitting around, worrying about it. We might as well eat. - How do you want your eggs? - I said I'm not hungry. I don't know what you're going to do; I'm gonna look for Pa. Well, now, wait, there's no sense in all of us going out, looking for him. Hoss, stay here just in case. Why don't you check all the ranches west of here and see if anybody's seen him? I'll ride into town to see if I can find him. Ah, don't look so worried. Eat some of your eggs and it'll take your mind off your troubles. (dog barking) Hey, Sheriff. Sheriff, why don't you stop that paperwork and put some wood in the stove? I'm freezing. By the time I get this paperwork finished, you're going to be on your way to a place where you're never going to get cold again. Oh, you and that Cartwright. If you ain't a pair of big men in a small puddle. Well, you, listen, old man, I'm going to have myself a trial and then I'm going to walk out of here free. You think so? Yes, I think so. That boy was shot in self-defense, and you know it as well as I do. Well, let me just tell you something about this small puddle. The folks that live here are the folks that is going to try you, and every one of them knows that Jimmy Partridge never handled a gun in all his life, and the witnesses are going to say that you threatened to kill Lem Partridge. They say Jimmy went for you, all right, but to protect his pa. And you shot him. In self-defense, in self-defense, you old goat. He dove for the gun. Now, how are you going to convince a jury of that? He never reached the gun, did he? He dove for it, and I got two witnesses... Very highly thought of in this small puddle... that are going to testify to that. Ah, you talk too much. All right, all right, why would the boy try to reach me when he knowed I was going to gun him down, huh? - Why? - Yeah. Because he loved his pa enough to take that chance, and all the people in this small puddle are going to know that, too. More beautiful words from the big man. Well, it don't mean nothing. You just stand back over there and I'll give you your hot grub. Now, look, Sheriff, I told you I was freezing. You're such fine, upstanding people in this town. Is this how you treat your prisoners? You freeze 'em to death? Oh, all right. Here, wrap yourself up in that and shut up. I ain't gonna wrap myself up in this thing. It's crawling with bugs. What are you talking about? That blanket was just washed. All right, look, it's crawling. You can't show me a bug on that... Thanks for the lecture, big man. Everybody's a big man. What kind of a blasted sheriff are you, anyway? How could you do a stupid thing like that? I'm asking you, what kind of a sheriff are you? Well, right now I'm a pretty sick one, and that infernal talking of yours ain't helping me out one little bit. Oh, my head. Oh, the devil take your head. What about my life? You and your, your papers and your talk about witnesses. Oh, calm down, will you? I was only doing my job. I just can't understand it. I was sitting in my office, minding my own business, and now, just a day later a man is all fired up to kill me. Oh, Wade, nobody is going to kill you. - Is that so? - (Ben sighs) Well, that's what you think, Ben Cartwright. Do you know what happened? Do you know what our smart sheriff did? Oh, Roy, I-I couldn't find him. Was the posse ab...? What's wrong, what happened to you? That's what I'm trying to tell you, Ben. This idiot let Groat escape. Oh, no, Roy. He's right, Ben. I'm a stupid idiot. I let that Groat maneuver me into a position where he hit me over my head with my own gun. After all the years I've had of handling assorted criminals. That's not the important thing right now, Roy. Groat's free, and Partridge is running around those hills with a rifle, and... there's gonna be shooting, and there could be killing. Never mind about them. We've got to think about ourselves now. They're not the only ones who could be killed. Others could be killed, too, like you and me! What are you talking about? I'll tell you what. He knows we would be witnesses against him. Now he'll want to kill us. Oh, nonsense, Wade. - Nonsense? - Yes, nonsense. Groat's not gonna bother with us. Why not? He's a killer. We're the only witnesses. That's exactly the point. He needs us alive. He's after the man, uh, he came to kill in the first place. That's Lem Partridge. Yeah, that's Lem Partridge. And the first place he'd look for him would be Lem's place. Caroline is there... alone. Yeah, Ben, we got to get out there. Oh, Roy, you're in no condition to go anywhere. You get yourself to the doctor. Wade, you come on with me. Walk in between two men out gunning for each other? Not me! (Ben sighs) (hoofbeats approaching) (clicks tongue, horse sputters) What are you doing here? I mean, I'm worried about you, and I went in town to look for you. Oh. Did, uh, Sheriff tell you about Groat? Yeah. He told me you were headed this way. Did you see anybody on the way up? No, not a soul. Seems quiet enough around here. Check the barn. Oh, there's nothing there but Partridge's horses. Yeah. Well, Caroline seems to be all right. Looks like your fears about Groat were a little unnecessary. CAROLINE: Who is it? It's me. It's Ben Cartwright, Caroline. Are you all right, dear? Yeah, yes. What's the matter? Nothing. My father's not here right now, Mr. Cartwright. Wait here. ♪♪ It's all right, Adam. What's troubling you, Caroline? I'm troubling her, big man. And I'll just trouble you to slip that gun out, put it on the table. You, too. Go on. Easy. Now get over in the corner, both of you. He's waiting for my dad. He's gonna kill him. Say, she's as smart as her brother, ain't she? And prettier. Groat, you already killed the man's son. How much more blood do you want? Just his, and I'm gonna spill some of it soon as he comes through that door. I might just as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Oh, I might... I might let him crawl a little bit first, so's I can see the look in his eye. Yeah, I think I'll let him beg a little bit. How do you know he'll be back tonight? Mister, I got all the time in the world. (horse neighs) Get back in the corner, all the way. Go on! Hello, sweetheart. What are you doing here? Drop the rifle. Go on, drop it. (thudding) Oh, I've been waiting for you. I should have figured Coffee's jail wouldn't hold you. There ain't no jail gonna hold me until I settle with you final. Get over by the fireplace. Away from the gun. I don't want this to go too fast. Not after waiting all this time. I want to taste it a little. Come over here, sister. If this ain't the most stubborn family. You know, you're gonna bruise just as easy as your brother, honey. Do as he says, Caroline. Ain't this interesting? Now this is really getting interesting, ain't it? Just like yesterday when you walked into the land office, huh? Yeah, just like yesterday. Who are you, and what do you know about it? He's my son. I told him. Oh, your father, the big man here. Well, did the big man also tell you how he sat tight? You know, since I've been to this-this lovely little town, it-it's kind of got to me. Yeah, it-it's made me want to be a solid citizen, too, like the big man there. Well, just how big a man does it take to shoot a boy in the back? You don't bother me, sonny. That was self-defense. Your daddy knows that. You were there, Pa. Would you call it, uh, self-defense? Well, I don't know. I always figured that self-defense was facing a man, not a boy's back. Suppose we let old Partridge here have an even chance? Suppose we let him go for a gun, huh? ADAM: Even chance, huh? Just like you gave the kid. You don't even know what the words mean. You got a big mouth on you, boy, like your pa. You got some ideas of being a big man, too? Well, now, what do you think, Pa? Are we as big as solid citizen, there? Well, maybe if the tables were turned, he wouldn't be talking so tough. Well, you try me. Come on, try me! (laughs) Well, talk is easy, ain't it? Now you two listen to me. This is the way it's gonna be. You open your mouths again, and this little girl is gonna get it. You filthy, murdering animal. Ten years in a prison will make an animal out of any man. You'd shoot her in the back just like Jimmy, wouldn't you? You know it, Cartwright. You was there. Now I understand, Ben. I didn't realize how it was yesterday, but I do now. Shut up, Partridge! Make your move. Groat, you've already killed his wife and son. It wasn't my bullet that killed his wife! Yeah, I was a little drunk, but it was an accident! And I never would have gone to prison if it hadn't been the sheriff's wife. If she hadn't been the sheriff's wife, you wouldn't be alive today. You got off lucky! GROAT: Lucky, yes. Ten years lucky? Well, let's just try your luck! (glass breaking, gunfire) Groat! Hold it! All right. What are you waiting for? Go on and kill me! Adam, ride into town and get the sheriff. Good man, Lem. Good man. Say, Ben, I thought that wild young son of yours was supposed to take my daughter riding this afternoon. Yeah, I guess he is. (Caroline laughs softly) Oh, morning, Wade. Morning, Ben. Here are the deeds for that land. And at the right price, Lem. Good. Here they are, made out right and proper. Thank you. Well, that looks pretty good, doesn't it? Yeah. Man has a lot to be thankful for. Lot to mourn maybe, but... a lot to be thankful for. Not the least of which is a good friend. Thank you, Lem. Why don't you ride out and have a look at your new land? Oh, I'm gonna do that. Caroline. Thanks for coming out, Wade. Not at all, Lem. Ben, do you still think we were guilty of anything? Well, as you said, Wade, perhaps of being human, hmm? Oh, and Caroline, don't keep my son out too late. (Lem laughs)
Behind the Scenes of The Guilty
Groat’s statement, “I’d just as soon hang for a sheep as the lamb,” was likely intended to be “I’d just as soon hang for a sheep as for the lamb.”
This suggests a preference to face punishment for killing the father rather than solely for killing the son.
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza is an exceptional family-friendly series perfect for both individual and group viewing. The Guilty stands as the 89th episode out of a total of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network from September 1959 to January 1973, covering 14 seasons.
You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>