the gunmen
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Gunmen Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #19

Among NBC’s longest-running Western television series was Bonanza, which aired for 14 seasons. The nineteenth episode of Bonanza’s first season, The Gunmen, features a star-studded supporting cast that includes Ellen Corby as Lorna Doone, Henry Hull as B. Bannerman Brown, and George Mitchell as Jubal. Written by W. Carey Wilbur, The Gunmen first aired on January 23, 1960.

At the height of the bloody feud between the McFaddens and the Hadfields, Alonzo McFadden (Douglas Spencer) hires the notorious Slade brothers to murder Anse Hadfield (Jonathan Gilmore). As it happens, the Slades bear a striking resemblance to Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright.

Read its plot, including some behind-the-scenes trivia, or view the full episode below.

Watch the full episode of The Gunmen

Watch the full episode of The Gunmen:

Main Cast

The Gunmen, Bonanza’s nineteenth episode, features well-known actors consisting of recurring and guest stars in addition to the main cast.

The episode features the following personalities:

  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright / Big Jack Slade
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright / Little Jim Slade
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Henry Hull as Sheriff B. Banneman Brown
  • George Mitchell as Jubal Hadfield
  • Douglas Spencer as Alonzo McFadden
  • King Donovan as Twirly Boggs
  • Dennis Holmes as ‘Black’ Alonzo McFadden
  • Ellen Corby as Lorna Doone Mayberry
  • Ann Graves as Amanda McFadden
  • Jenny Maxwell as Clara Lou Kinsey
  • Bill McLean as Bartender in Kiowa Flats
  • Jonathan Gilmore as Anse Hadfield
  • Jody Fair as Lisabelle Jones
  • Dorothy Neumann as Ouisey McFadden
  • Dorothy Crehan as Susan Hadfield
  • Bill Clark as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Jaye Durkus as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Man in Saloon (uncredited)
  • Jack Perry as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Carl Sklover as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sid Troy as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Chalky Williams as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Ken Williams as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sally Yarnell as Townswoman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Gunmen

In this episode, Hoss and Joe are mistaken for the two outlaws called Slade boys. In reality, the McFaddens hired the Slade boys in their bloody feud against the Hatfields in the small Texas town of Kiowa Flats.

The episode starts with the Slade bros drinking and frightening the locals in a Texan town bar. Big Jack Slade shoots someone who ran into him on accident. On the other hand, Little Jim shoots someone in the back who attempts to climb up the stairs. The Slades use the winnings from the card game to cover their bar tab. After the scene they caused in the bar, they leave to head to Kiowa Flats to perform their task.

The actions of the townspeople confuse Hoss and Joe as they ride into the Kiowa Flats. Unbeknownst to them, the locals received a warning that the Slade boys were on their way. Once inside the saloon, Hoss asks Joe if there’s something wrong with him or if he smells something. Joe replies, stating he smells about the same. Hoss then asks the bartender, Sully, if there’s anything wrong with them. Sully nervously responds, “No, sir!” When Hoss remarks on a nice day, Sully is almost in tears as he nervously agrees. Hoss and Joe cross paths with the sheriff as they leave the bar and head to the hotel. The brothers are unaware of the townspeople following and watching their movements. Meanwhile, Hoss’ look at Sully still makes him chill with fear.

When Hoss and Little Joe return downstairs, a group of young, attractive women stops them. The group includes an older and wiser woman, the leader named Lorna Doone Mayberry, who begs them to refrain from killing their men as there aren’t enough of them in the town. The brothers continue to find the townspeople’s behavior strange but make a promise not to kill anyone unless necessary.

As the boys step outside, gunfire starts to blow in their direction. They seek safety in the town bar. Believing the shooters mixed them with somebody else, the brothers complied with the orders and threw their weapons outside.

The Hatfields take Hoss and Joe captive, hitting them until they admit they’re the Slade boys. Despite their statements, Jubal Hadfield believed they lied about coming from Nevada and traveling to Texas to purchase cattle. Fortunately, Sheriff Brown arrives and advises them to wait for Twirly Boggs to confirm the identity of the Slades. For their safety, the sheriff takes Hoss and Joe to jail.

While in jail, Hoss thinks the town is “being tetched” from eating the weed they call “loco weed.” Suddenly, a rock with a note falls from the window. The message came from Black Alonzo, the Red Handed Avenger, who states that rescue is at hand. Hoss checks the window to see a little kid fleeing.

The women of Kiowa Flats march into the jail, where Lorna recites her poem to Hoss and Little Joe. As Lorna continues, Joe states that their situation is worse than hanging, while Hoss is almost in tears.

When the poem is over, the girls complain about the lack of men in their town, only to lose more by hanging Hoss and Joe. As the young women argue over who is holding on Joe’s hand, the cell’s back wall collapses. Alonzo McFadden came to bust them out of prison, and Hoss and Joe eagerly accepted the opportunity to escape without hesitation.

The McFaddens took the two brothers back to their home. They believed Joe and Hoss were the Slade boys they hired, even when the two insisted they weren’t the Slades. Alonzo McFadden, the father, locks them in a room for the night.

As the two discuss their situation, a young boy named Alonzo climbs up through the window. Hoss recognizes him as Black Alonzo, the Red-Handed Avenger. He explains how his father hired them to kill Anse Hatfield before they kill the rest of the Hadfields, stating it’s a feud. Hoss and Joe refused to tolerate their actions. As Alonzo threatens to call for help, the boys tie him up before climbing out the window. Unfortunately, Hoss trips over a milk bucket as he goes down, the noise he made alerting the McFaddens to their escape. After the shooting, the McFaddens prepared to collect the bodies, only to discover Hoss and Joe on the ground.

By morning, Hoss and Joe refuse to take the guns and shoot the Hatfields. However, the boys quickly picked up the guns when Alonzo showed they’ll have to hang them. Tired of the people not believing them, Hoss eventually persuades Alonzo to ride into town and allow Twirly Boggs to tell them they’re not the Slade boys.

Twirly Boggs is the town drunk telling everybody about his school days with the Slade boys. Everyone rushes out when the sheriff announces the arrival of the Slades. Twirly then introduces them as the Slade boys. Twirly’s statement was enough for the McFaddens, who demand that Hoss and Joe fulfill their task.

Hoss and Joe ask the sheriff how the feud started. It appears that thirty years ago, the Hadfields’ hog turned up missing. Upon Hadfield’s search, the McFaddens, who didn’t own a hog, were roasting pork for supper. The sheriff tried to stop the feud several times, but nobody paid attention to him. The sheriff later confesses that he knows they’re not the Slade boys and returns their horses and guns.

As Hoss and Joe prepare to live, little Alonzo marches by with a rifle and reveals he will kill some Hadfields. Looking at each other, Hoss and Joe understand what they need to do. They return to the saloon to speak with the sheriff, who already has an idea in mind—one of which involves Lorna Doone Mayberry.

Hoss then approaches Lorna to speak with her. He starts by stating a bunch of killings are about to happen. Hoss believes it would be a shame to lose more men, considering how the town only has a few men. He claims that women have a way of convincing men to do what they want. After hearing his remark, Lorna believes Hoss isn’t as dumb as he appears.

Just as the fight in the street is about to commence, the girls march between the two sides. They refuse to move or perform wifely responsibilities until the menfolk call off their ridiculous feud.

Amanda McFadden, a lovely young lady, then speaks to Anse Hadfield, telling him not to come after her with a gun in his hand. Anse drops his weapon and approaches her, followed by everyone except Jubal and Alonzo. Hoss, Joe, and the sheriff shake hands, seeing the success of their plan. Meanwhile, Twirly Boggs approached Lorna to show his appreciation for what she did.

Left in the street, McFadden offers to buy Hadfield a drink, which he accepts. McFadden admits it was a mistake to hire the Slade boys to kill the Hadfields over the feud. They held the Slade boys responsible for stirring trouble in their town and the rivalry between their families.

Later, the women continue to admire and cling to Little Joe, showing their sadness to see him go. The sheriff returns Hoss and Joe’s hats and guns, encouraging them to get moving. As they travel along the trail, they bump into the Slade boys, who ask them where they can find the Kiowa Flats. Hoss tells them it’s only a couple of miles away. Minutes later, they hear gunfire and assume the locals of Kiowa Flats had opened fire on the Slade boys.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Gunmen

Hey, what's the
matter with you...?!

Hey, that's good
shooting, Little Jim.

As clean a back shot
as I ever seen in my life.

Calls for another one.

What a shame.

He had a full house.

Well, you can't win 'em all.

Drinks are on him.

Them was the meanest,
toughest killers I ever saw.

Who are they?

Why, them's the Slade boys.


Didn't you know that?


We're sure lucky
they didn't plug us, too.

The Slade boys.

I'm sure glad they're
riding on through.

Do you know where
they're heading?

I heard 'em mention a
place called Kiowa Flats.

Slade boys. Kiowa Flats.

Remind me to ride clear
of that place, will you?

Come on, give me a drink.

Yeah. I'll have one with you.

Hmm? Sheriff? Sheriff?

What? What? What?
What? What? What?

What...? What? What?!


They're coming. What?

I seen 'em up by
the Forks, Mr. Brown.

Hold on. Hold on.

One of 'em's
about nine foot tall.

Well, hold on. Who's coming?!

Who...? Them!

You say one of 'em's
a great big, tall man?

About nine foot tall
and half as big around.

And the other fella...
he's a little bit of a fella?

About half as
big as his brother.

And mean-lookin'?

Meaner'n rattlesnakes.

It's them, all right.

It's them.

Now, Sonny, you
get in off the streets.

Get in the house. You hear me?

Keep off the streets!

Now, go on, get!

Ain't no sense
looking for trouble.

Durn thing never
was no good no how.

They're coming!

They're coming!

They're coming.

They're coming, ladies.

They're coming.

Hey, Frank, oh!

They're-They're coming.

He's showing good sense.

They're coming!

They're coming.

They've came.

Now, don't nobody start nothing.

Hey, Hoss?


Let's wash some
of the trail dust out.

That's a good idea, Little Joe.





Twerly Boggs, get up, get up!

Huh? Get up, Twerly!

Uh, all right, all right,
all right, all right, all right.

Good morning, Sheriff.
Morning. Morning.

Well, don't mind if I do.

Who's buyin'?

You're always talking

about how well you knew
them Slade boys, huh?

That's right. That's right.

Well, just how... just how
well do you know them?

Sheriff, me and them Slade boys
was practically weaned together.

I am their bosom friend.

Yeah. That's right.

Well, your bosom
friends just rode into town.

Yeah. What...?


Yeah, yeah, all right.

You say that again?

Your bosom friends
just rode into town.

Well, why would those
two murderous villains want

to come to a miserable
hole like Kiowa Flats?

Because Alonzo
McFadden hired them

to kill off all the
Hadfield boys, that's why.

Oh, that's right.

Well, wh-where... wh-where...
where are they now?

In the bar.

Oh, no! That-That...
That's terrible.

They'll... No, Sheriff.

That's the only bar in town.

bust the place a...

Never mind. Never
mind. Never mind...

What do you mean, never
mind? You listen to me!

They'll ruin... All right, all
right. Go to the livery stable.

Get a horse, hire it,
charge it to me. Right.

And ride out and
tell old Jubal Hadfield

not to come into
town for quite a spell.

Jubal Hadfield.

Then when you come
back, look me up,

because I'll need you to
identify them two fellas.

All right, right. Well,
I'll do it right a...

Yeah. And look, look, look.

Look after the bar,
will you? Look after it.

Yeah, I will.

Hey, Little Joe, got
something wrong with me?

Do I smell or something?

No, you smell about the same.

How about me?

About the same. Hmm.

Say, mister.

Yes, yes, sir?

Is there something wrong
with us or something?

Oh, no, no, sir. No, sir.

No, you're, you're just fine.

Just fine.

Bring us another beer.

You want another beer?

Yeah, this is fine here.

Nice day, ain't it?

Ain't good enough to drink,

ain't good enough for sheep-dip.

I say, it's a nice
day, ain't it?

Oh, yeah, yes.

It's a fine day.

Uh, I mean, it's a nice day.

About, uh, about as nice
a day as we ever had.

I can't remember a nicer one.

It was, well, maybe
back in '47 or '48

We might've had some better.

I-I don't remember

Well, it's-it's kind of warm.

Well, uh, it's not too warm.

Maybe a little
on the chilly side.

Well, it all...

Any kind of weather's
all right with me.

So long as it don't
bother, bother you none.

Oh, I guess it's a nice day.

I don't know.

I reckon they ain't
used to strangers

or something, Little Joe.

Yeah, something.

Let's get out of here.


Howdy. Howdy.

Don't look like nobody's here.

You know, I don't like this.

Let's get out of here.
Oh, no, Little Joe.

I just don't like it.

There's something funny
about the people around here.

Well, I'm too tired
to argue about it.

Just sign our name
and get a room.

How're we going to get a room?

There's nobody here. Just
sign our name and pick one.

One with a lock.
Hang the expense.

Now, they're going upstairs.

They're going
to stay, all right.

Oh, did you see the way
they looked at me? Yeah.

Oh, gentlemen, there
was death in them eyes.

Sudden death.

Oh, I tell you, when they
took that swallow of beer,

and the big one
made that face. Yeah.

And he looked
dissatisfied and uneasy-like.

Oh, I tell you,

I could hear them Pearly
Gates a-jarrin' open.

Uh, if you gentlemen
will excuse me,

I... I feel considerable shook.

And I, uh... I'm a
mite shook up myself.

Uh, Miss Lorna Doone and ladies,

if I was you, I'd
get in off the street.

It's apt to be a mite dangerous.

B. Bannerman Brown...

Well, there's some in this
town have a sense of duty

if others that ought
to, ain't. Yes'm.

Now, where are they?

They're, uh, there.

Stand aside, B. Bannerman Brown.

I, I, I... Will you
get out of the way?!

Come, ladies.

Great Jumpin' Jehoshaphat.

Repent sinners!

The day of
retribution is at hand.

Yes'm, I reckon it is.

Us poor, frail, females

have come to throw
ourselves on your mercy.

You come to do what, ma'am?

We want you to spare us our men.


Well, there ain't enough of
them to go around as it is.


Well, don't you
worry none, ma'am.

We, we'll spare your men if...

if they're worth sparing.

Hey. What do you reckon
they meant by all that?

Beats the heck out of me.

Hey... Somebody's
shooting at somebody.

I think it's us.

What the heck did we do?

Dang if I know, but
I'm gonna find out.

Oh, Hoss, I paid
two dollars for this.

It sure ain't worth much now.

Man, wasn't that good shooting?

Look, next time, will you use
your own neck cloth, please?

I just hope there's
gonna be a next time.

Hey, you in there!


We know who you are
and what you're here for.

You can die now or later.

If you want a chance
to make your peace,

throw out your guns!

Hey. They got us mixed
up with somebody else.

I sure hope so.

Well, why else would they be
shooting at total, innocent strangers

if they didn't have us
mixed up with somebody?

I don't know. This
is Texas, though.

Yeah. Reckon we better go
ahead and do what he says.

Throw our guns out, and then
go out and see what it's all about.

Come on.

All right, let's try it again.

What are your names?

And what are you doing here?

We done told you
and told you that.

Our names is Cartwright,
and we're down here to...

We're down here to buy cattle.

Anse. Go on, boy.


I told you not to lie to me!

We ain't lying!

'Course you ain't.

You just come down
here to buy cows.

Texas cows.

Now, who in his right
mind is going to believe

anybody come down here to
buy Texas longhorns, I ask you?

I told you.

We're going to take them
back up to our ranch in Nevada,

and cross them with our own
herd so's we'll have a heartier breed.

And you two are going
to drive them cows

clean across West Texas,

right on up through a
hunk of New Mexico,

all the way to the Nevada
Territory, just the two of you?

Yeah, that's what we said.

It's a fine lie, gents.

A fine lie.

It's the kind of noble,
inspired lying that

does credit to the
folks that raised you.

But it don't wash out here.

Now, I'll tell you who you are.

You're them two low-down,
gun-slinging, murdering,

hydrophobic skunks of Slade boys

that was hired by
Old Man McFadden

to wipe out us Hadfields,

because he
couldn't do it himself!

N-now, look, we never
heard of the McFaddens.

And we never heard
of the Hadfields.

And that's the truth.

Ain't they the living
wonders, though?

Anse, take 'em out and
do what has to be done.

Come on.

Come on!

Hey! Hey! What in time
is going on here anyway?

What are you fixing
to do to these fellas?

Kill 'em.

They're the Slade boys.

You can't do that.

You ain't sure
they're the Slades.

"Ain't sure"? "Ain't sure"?

You see 'em, don't you?

Sure, I see them.

But I never see'd
the Slades in my life.

And neither did you.
He's right there, Pa.

Yeah. Twerly Boggs,
he says he knows them.

He says he's known them
a long time back in Austin.

Oh, Twerly? Yeah.

Fine. Fetch him in here.

Let him identify them

and then we'll kill 'em if
it'll make you any happier.

Well, you see, Twerly ain't
exactly around right at this moment.

Oh... Anse, take them out.
Come on. Now, wait a minute.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute!

Won't do no harm to
wait till morning, will it?

Where are we gonna
keep them until morning?

Pa, why don't we just
stick them in Brown's jail

and let him take
responsibility for them?

You leave me and
my jail out of this.

Anse, take them out.

Wait a minute! Wait a minute!

All right! All right!

Just get somebody to help you

get them over to
the jail, that's all.

B. Bannerman Brown...
On your way, on your way.

You make sure they're
there come morning.

Or I might just take it into
my head to vacate your office.

I'm getting sick of you.

Little Joe, I got
a funny feeling

the law in this town is
sure easily influenced.

Yeah, all you
need is a Navy Colt.

Oh, uh, you fellas
comfortable and happy?

I mean, uh, can I
get you anything?

A bottle of whiskey, a
couple of steaks or something?

When are you going
to let us out of here?

Well, tomorrow morning.

One way or another.

What do you mean
"one way or another"?

Well, if I can find Twerly Boggs

and he says you ain't
the Slade boys, I'll...

I'll turn you loose.

Yeah, but... what's going to happen
if you can't find Twerly Boggs?

You get hung.

I just about got it figured out.

Yeah? What?

This whole dang town is tetched.

Oh, come on.

Who ever heard of a
whole town being tetched?

A fella told me one time
they got a weed down here,

and they call it "loco weed."

When the horses and cows eat it,

they get wilder
than all get out.

So? People don't eat weeds.

Yeah, but they eat
beef, don't they?

One of them critters
gets all filled up

on that there loco weed,

it'd kind of salt the
meat down, wouldn't it?

Yeah, that makes
sense. Sure it does.

Little Joe, you don't reckon

they're really gonna
hang us, do you?

I don't know. If
they're joking us,

they're sure
pushing it pretty far.

"Hang on. Don't blob."

Blab. Oh, "don't blab.

"Rescue is at hand.

Signed, Black Alonzo,
the Red-handed Avenger."

Little Joe, even the
kids have been affected

by that loco beef in this town.

Sheriff Brown!

Oh, good evening,
Miss Lorna Doone.

Evening, ladies.

I have fetched my tribute.

Yes'm, I... I guessed as much.

Me and the ladies of the
town have come to comfort

them poor sinners
in their final hours.

Yeah. Well, the Good Book says

we should forgive our enemies."

We are told to bring
solace to the afflicted,

even though they are a couple
of low-down, murdering skunks.

Yes, well, here,
uh... here's the keys.

You go in and, uh, console them
"low-down, murdering skunks."

Them-them poor, lost sheep

Me, I got work to do.

Good night, ladies.

"Oh, poor, doomed prisoners,

"it ain't too late.

"Down on your knees as
you face your awful fate.

"Repent your crimes

"before that trap is sprung.

And you, like a side
of beef, are hung."

Poor soul.

If you come up close and
scooch against the bars,

you could kind of rest your
poor head on my shoulder.

It ain't fair, hanging men

when there ain't enough
to go around as it is.

If'n you don't mind,

I'd like to finish my little
tribute whilst there's time.


Did you have many more of those?

No, just ten or 12 more verses.

Well, I didn't have enough
time to do a real good job on it.

That's a shame.

"Now your poke is spent
and you can take my word.

"We'll remember the
gent that went riding herd.

"A-fighting and
shooting like desert rats

"To come to their
end in Kiowa Flats.

Now, toll the bell,
their souls are fled..."

Is there going to be
much more of this, Hoss?

Shh. "Them two poor
boys are hanging dead.

Somewhere their
kinfolk weep and pray."

Oh, this is worse than hanging.

"For them that got
hoisted up today."

Did you really like it?

Ma'am, I thought it
was prime, just prime.

Well, it ain't often I get a
chance to recite my tribute

to the dear departed
before they're departed.

No, ma'am, I don't
reckon you do.

I suppose you'd like to
have it buried with you.

Most folks do.

Oh, Clara Lou, stop that noise.

I can't help it.

There ain't enough
men to go around,

and here they go wasting
two at the same time.


It's a woman's place
to endure, Clara Lou.

Well, I don't mind enduring

if I got a man to put up with.

Speaking of which,

Lizabel, I notice
you been hanging on

to a certain hand
half the livelong night.

Clara Lou Kinsey!

Well, I can't help it.

She's just a selfish
thing, that's all she is.

Well, I never!

I guess a certain
person can hold

another person's
hand if they choose.

Well, a certain
person didn't have

to choose the way another
certain person grabbed onto it.

I wouldn't act like such
a hussy if I was you,

Clara Lou Kinsey. Well, at least

I ain't a flibbertigibbet
like some Lizabel Jones.

Shake loose from them
pesky females, boys,

and get a move on.

We're busting you out.

Who are you?

Alonzo McFadden, you dang
fool, the one that hired you.

Well, come on!

Alonzo McFadden!

Bring them back here!

Come on, boys.

Women... I want you
to meet my friends.

My good friends, Big
Jack and Shorty Jim Slade.

Boys, say howdy, my wife
Ouisey and my daughter, Manda.

Howdy, ma'am. Howdy.

Mr. McFadden, you're
making a terrible mistake.

You see, we ain't really...

Never mind that now.

We'll talk in the morning.

Yeah, but, look, Mr. McFadden,
we're... Thunderation!

How you boys go on and on!

Dad-burn it, Mr. McFadden,
we ain't the Slade boys.

You ain't?

No, we ain't. That's what we've been trying
to tell you all the way in from town.

We're the Cartwrights...

What's the matter? You scared?

No, we ain't scared,
and we do appreciate you

busting us out of that
jail, Mr. McFadden.

Dad-burn it, if it make
you feel any better,

I almost wish we
was the Slade boys,

but we just ain't.

So if you don't mind,

we'll just mosey on
back. Bye, ma'am.

In the house.

First one side don't believe us,

and then the other. Yeah.

We got ourselves in the middle
of something, and I don't like it.

That's for sure. Oh, boy...

What do you think we
ought to do about it?

Well, I'll tell you, Little Joe.

I done been hauled
up, hauled down,

threatened with a
hanging, and thrown in jail,

and busted out of jail, and
poetized at, and shot at...

Rid halfway across the
state of Texas in the dark.

I'm gonna get some sleep.

I don't know what
you're going to do.


Great day in the morning.

Who are you?

Turn him around, Little Joe.

Yeah. I thought I
recognized that patch.

You wouldn't be Black Alonzo

the Red-handed
Avenger, would you?

I was gonna bust you out.

Only Pa and the
boys got there first.

Yeah, well, just how was
you figuring on busting us out?

Figured to dig a tunnel.

That's a good way to
bust out of dungeons.

Hmm. Yeah, you, uh...

You pretty well posted
on things, ain't you, fella?

You just bet I am.

I'll bet you even know what
we're doing here, don't you?

Shucks, half the country knows

Pa hired you to
kill Anse Hadfield.

Now, just why are we
supposed to kill Anse Hadfield?

He's the fastest gun
around here, ain't he?

None of us McFaddens
can hold a candle to him.

We got to get rid of him

before we can kill the
rest of the Hadfields.

Well, how come you got
to kill all them Hadfields?

Don't you fellas know anything?

It's a feud!

He's kind of dumb, ain't he?

Why, you little...

You just touch me
and I'll holler for...!

Now, Black Alonzo, you tell your
Pa that we hate to leave like this,

but we just ain't the
Slade brothers, you hear?

You thank him for busting
us out of jail, all right?

Let's go.

Who's there?

Rush out, boys!

The Hadfields is raiding again!

What the heck are you doing?

It's thirsty getting shot at.

All right, hold your fire.

They ain't shooting back.

Come on.

Let's go collect the bodies.

Hey! Slade boys?

On your feet!

Look, we're not the...

Never mind.

I want you two to
listen and listen good.

I hired you to do a job for me

and last night you tried to
run out on your obligations.

Now, Mr. McFadden...
Shut up and listen!

I'm giving you
fellas a fair choice.

Now, you can take
them guns and do the job

you're supposed to.

You got another choice.

Name your poison, boys.

Dad-burn it, Mr. McFadden,
don't you folks

ever think of any other
use for a rope around here?

First the Hadfields
wanta hang us for being

the Slade brothers, now you
want to do it 'cause we ain't.

I'm getting awful tired

of hearing that
same old, tired lie.

All right, boys, hoist them up.

Now, hold on just a minute!

Dad-burn it, Mr. McFadden,
I'm getting sort of tired

of being called a liar, too.

We ain't the Slade boys.

All you got to do
is ride into town

and look up a fella
named Twerly Boggs.

Sheriff Brown told us that
he knew the Slade Boys,

and he can tell you right
quick we ain't them. That's right.

All right, boys, if it'll make
you feel better, I suppose,

to do the work you was
hired for, we'll all saddle up

and ride into town.

We'll look up Twerly Boggs.

Take their guns, boys.

Morning, horse.

♪ ♪

I know'd there wasn't a jail
that could hold them Slades.

See, I know them boys.

I know them real good.

I went to school with
their Aunt Emmeline, see?

I tell you, those boys
would gouge your eyes out

if they thought you looked
at them in the wrong way.

They would shoot you if they
wanted a little target practice.

Why, them boys...
Who's buying, gents?

Them boys, they had a
man for breakfast every day

of their life from the day
that they put on long pants.

Yes, sir. They had
two on Sundays.

Never touched me, though.

No, sir.

They liked me.

You see, they
liked me real good.

But I, I-I...

Aw, come on! Now,
somebody stole my drink.

Let's have a drink here.

I tell you, them two Slade
boys is two curly wolves.

They're the big
wind off in the prairie.

They walk in blood.

And where they breathe,
they leave behind them ruin.

Well, get ready for ruin right
now, 'cause here they come.

Oh, hallelujah!

They look mad.

I'm getting out of here.

Now, wait a minute!

Wait a minute,
fellas, wait a minute!

Wait a minute... Help
me save the whiskey.

Wait a minute!

Wait a minute! Wait
a minute! You know...


Brown, where's Twerly Boggs?

Come out of there, Boggs!

Wait a minute.

Now, wait, wait, wait...

Wait a minute, now.
Now, take it easy.

Not go massacring
Twerly Boggs now.

I ain't never done
no harm to nobody.

Come here, Boggs.

Yeah, I'm right
here. I'm right here.

Take a look at these two.

Are they or ain't
they the Slade boys?

Well, uh...

Are they or aren't they?!

You just go right ahead
and answer, Mr. Boggs.

Tell him the truth. Ain't
nobody gonna hurt you.


Ain't nobody gonna hurt you.


They're the Slade
boys, all right.

I seen a lot of them
down in Austin.

Hiya, boys.

What's the matter,
boys? Don't you know me?

I'm Twerly Boggs.

Remember? I-I
used to go to school

with your old Aunt Emmeline.

That does it!

Take these and do the
job you're supposed to.

Or you won't be around to
taste air come tomorrow morning.

Thanks a lot, Mr. Boggs.

Howdy, boys. Howdy.

Howdy, Mr. Brown.

Anybody comes riding into this,

they gonna get slaughtered.

Yeah, they got guns
planted in the windows,

and up on the roof and whatnot.

Yeah. Maybe the Hadfields
won't ride into town after all.

They'll ride in all right.

They got the news.

Seems a terrible
shame, don't it?

All these folks
killing each other.

How'd a feud like this
ever get started, Sheriff?

Over a hog.

Over a hog?

Yep, just a plain, common,
ornery razorback hog.

I'll tell you boys all about it.

But first, I've got to,
uh, get a little potation

to loosen up the vocal chords.

I'll tell you the
whole, sad tale.

Come on.

Hi, Charlie.

Thanks, son.

You gentlemen care for
some more sheep-dip?

Uh, I mean, beer?

Yeah, give us a couple of beers.

Yeah, well, as I was
about to tell you out there.

These here Hadfields and
McFaddens, they've been

slaughtering one
another, man and boy,

for the last 30 years.

Yeah, well, how did the
hog get mixed up in it?

Well, come on. Sit down, boys.

I'll tell you all about it.

See, Gramps Hadfield,

he was fattening him
a razorback shoat.

You see, for his winter meat.

Well, one morning that
there shoat turned up missing.

So, uh...

So he, uh, got his
gun and saddled up,

and went out looking
for her; couldn't find her.

But as he was passing by
the McFaddens' cabin, he, uh...

pork roasting.

So he went in and
of course, naturally,

they asked him
to stay to supper.

And low and
behold, they brung in

a great, big mess
of fresh roast pork.

He knowed the Hadfields
didn't have no pig.

So he accused
them of stealing his.

And then the shooting started,

and it's been going on
ever since for 30 years.

All that killing over one
dad-burned, old, fattening hog.

Now, look here, Mr. Brown.

You were sheriff then,
how come you didn't stop it?

Aw, shucks, I tried
two or three times,

but it didn't do no good.

See, nobody, nobody
pays much attention to me.

They... I don't know.

Maybe it's because
I'm getting old.

Or maybe just...

Maybe it's because I'm
getting a little cowardly.

I don't know.

You... you boys
don't look so dern old.

And you sure don't
look like cowards.

All right, well, Sheriff,
you're not suggesting

that we do something
about the feud?

I mean after all, we're supposed
to be the Slade brothers.

Shucks, I knowed
you weren't gunmen

the minute I laid eyes on you.

I can tell a killer a mile off.

Besides, that Twerly
Boggs is the biggest liar

in the whole great
state of Texas.

And that, sons, is just
covering a heap of territory.

Well, if you knew, why
didn't you say something?

First the McFaddens
were gonna hang us,

and the Hadfields
are gonna shoot us.

Well, I... I kind
of thought maybe

I was holding a
hand I could draw to,

but never mind.

By the way, I snuck your
horses out of the livery stable

and tied 'em back in the alley

and your guns are in my office.

Sheriff, we sure
do appreciate this.

Come on, Little Joe,
let's get out of here.

Thanks. Thanks
an awful lot, Sheriff.

It's all right, boys.

Hey, Button.

Hey, Button, come here, boy.

Where... where you
going with that rifle?

I'm gonna kill me
some Hadfields.

Yep, even the kids
are thinking like that.

Seems like a shame, doesn't it?


Well, let's go.

Come on, who you joking?

That's what I like about
us as a family, Little Joe.

Pa always taught us
to never do nothing

the others would be ashamed of.

I'd like to keep it like that.

I just wonder if there's
anything we can do

like B. Bannerman Brown said.

Well, I don't
know, but let's try.

Come on.

You boys changed
your minds about going?

Well, sir, you-you might say
we had our mind changed for us.

I don't know what
we're gonna do,

but whatever it is, I think
we better get started.

Hey, listen, you got
any ideas, Sheriff?

Yep, got one.

Lorna Doone Mayberry.

Lorna Doone Mayberry.

See, my grandpappy
always told me, he says,

says he, "Son, you get
the women on your side,

and the battle's won."

Excuse me, ma'am.

Me and my little brother
are in a peck of trouble,

and well... Come on.

Tell me what it's all about.

Come on.

First of all, ma'am,
there's just about to be

a bunch of killing
out there in that street.

There's always
killing in that street.

Well, yes, ma'am,
and that, seems to me

like it's a terrible waste.

I mean, there not being
enough men to go around

for all you ladies like it is.

There ain't a woman living
can keep men from fighting.

Ma'am, I beg to differ with you.

You see, sometimes womenfolk
can sort of get around menfolk

in little ways, and I
figured maybe if you ladies

tried right hard, you might
be able to get around these.

You ain't as dumb as you look.

What do you want me to do?

Well, ma'am, here's our plan.

We figured if...

All right, hold your fire, men.

Hold it. Get that wagon!

Hold your fire.

Hold it.

Hold it...

Lorna Doone Mayberry,

dag nab it, you get them
women off of this street!

We're staying right here.

Lorna Doone.

Have you lost what
few wits you ever had?

I've got my wits,
Jubal Hadfield,

and that's more
than you can say.

Us women got a
few things to tell you.

And you can start your
fighting after you hear us out.

All right, ladies.

Well, they got to listen to you.

I got something to say.

You all know me.

I'm Ouisey McFadden.

My man is Alonzo McFadden.

He's over there behind
them barrels and things

with the rest of the McFaddens.

Alonzo, I want
you to listen to me.

I can't have no more chillin'.

But I ain't gonna cook
for ya nor wash for ya

nor do anything a wife's
bound to do for her man

till you put down that
gun and come out of there!

Alonzo, I mean it!

I'm Susan Hadfield.

I guess you all know
who I'm talking to.

What Ouisey says
goes for me too, Jubal.

I won't be the kind
of wife I should

till you stop this fightin'.

I'm talking to you,
Anse Hadfield.

You heard your ma talk,
and you heard my ma.

You're on one side
and I'm on the other.

Here I am, Anse.

But don't come after me
with a gun in your hand.

Boy, you get back here.

You hear me?!

You men want to hear some more?

Just a dang minute.

What in tarnation's
going on here?

Hey, confound it, get back here!

This ain't no way to run a feud.

And it was such a
nice day for it, too.

Hadfield, I'll buy a drink.

A drink?

All right, I'll
accept your offer.

And I'll buy another.

Fair enough.

Whiskey. Whiskey.

Lorna, that was a mighty
fine thing you just done.

Uh, Lorna, 15 years
ago you said to me

that if I ever... if...

Hey, hey, Little Joe.

Little Joe, I think we done
hung around here long enough.

We better be just riding on

and tending our business,
and that's buying cattle.

Oh, Hoss, take it easy.

A guy has to have a
little chance to relax.

Boys, here's your hats
and here's your own guns.

Now take an old man's
advice and get riding.

There you are, sons.

Well, Sheriff, we were just
beginning to enjoy this town.

Yeah, but don't forget

there's still a heap
of folks around here

that still thinks
you're the Slade boys.

Now word to the wise.

You've had plenty
for today, Little Joe.

Come on.

Jubal Hadfield,
you put 'er there.

Alonzo McFadden,
you're a good old sot.

Thank you, Jubal.

The best... except
for one thing.

What did I do wrong, Jubal?

Bringing in them hired
killers to settle a dispute

between two Texas gentlemen.

I'm ashamed of you.

Jubal, I'm a dirty dog.

Oh, now, don't take on.

I'm a dirty dog.

Jubal, this has got to
be wiped out... in blood.

All right.

Whose blood?

Whose do you suppose?

Those two dirty,
miserable killers

that came along into our
peaceful little community

trying to stir up trouble

between us two
peace-loving families.

That's what I like
about you, Alonzo...

You think the same as me.

Let's go round up a
couple of the boys...

Just in case.

Hey, how far is
it to Kiowa Flats?

Just a couple of miles
back down the road.

You don't suppose that...?

I think so.

Come on, let's get out of here.

You don't reckon...?

I think so.

Behind the Scenes of The Gunmen

The Hadfields and McFaddens subtly depict the infamous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys in 1863 and 1891 along West Virginia and Kentucky. Lysistrata, an Ancient Greek comedy play by Aristophanes, also influenced the lighthearted plotline of this episode.

This episode of Bonanza was one of the few where Little Joe (Michael Landon) and Hoss (Dan Blocker) played dual roles.

Dorothy Crehan appeared alongside Michael Landon in the 1957 film “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.” Guy Williams, who also starred in the film, made five appearances in Bonanza (all in 1964).

Nobody from the Cartwright family has ever visited Texas before. Hence this marks the family’s first time in the mentioned place. In this episode, Hoss and Little Joe are in the “Lone Star State.”

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

If you’re running out of series to watch alone or with family, check out Bonanza! NBC produced the show, running it on their network for 14 seasons, from September 1959 to January 1973. The Gunmen is its 19th episode out of 430.

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

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