the guilty
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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:

Main Cast

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?


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.


- 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.


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.


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.


(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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


And him?

He'll stand trial;
you know that.

That's right, Partridge.

I'll stand trial; you know that.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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 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?


We'd better find
Lem Partridge, Roy,

try to talk some sense into him.


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?


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.


Don't be a fool, Lem.


Use your head.


The jail.

Now, the next time it's
going to be for keeps.

You'd better shoot for keeps.

(footfalls approaching)


(Lem grunts)


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.


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?


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.


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.


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!


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)


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.


Here they are, made
out right and proper.

Thank you.

Well, that looks
pretty good, doesn't it?


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.


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>>

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