The Hanging Posse Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #12
Bonanza is the second longest-running Western in history, focusing on the daily adventures of the Cartwright family. It was among the most influential Western shows during its time and the first Western series in color.
Carey Wilbur wrote Bonanza’s twelfth episode, The Posse, which first appeared on November 28, 1959. The plot of this episode is an adaptation of the 1943 movie “The Ox-Bow Incident.” It also features actors Adam Williams and Arthur Hunnicutt, who played Blackie and Piute.
The story starts when Adam and Joe hesitantly join a mob of angry citizens who want to hang the three men responsible for killing Vannie Johnson. Paiute Scroggs and Flint Johnson, the dead lady’s husband, run the posse. After a fight, Adam and Joe split up and try to find the three men before the townspeople.
Read its plot, consisting of some great trivia, or enjoy the complete episode listed below.
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Apart from the main cast, The Hanging Posse, the twelfth episode of Bonanza’s first season, features the series’ recurring and guest supporting actors.
The actors in the episode are:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Arthur Hunnicutt as Paiute Scroggs
- Adam Williams as Blackie Marx (as Andy Williams)
- Onslow Stevens as Flint Johnson
- Alan Reed Jr. as Charles ‘Blue’ Buford
- Ron Hagerthy as Billy Johnson (as Ron Haggerty)
- Robert Griffin as Deputy Jeb Clinton (as Robert E. Griffin)
- John Harmon as Schuster
- Ray Hemphill as Buck Timmons (as Roy Hemphill)
- Bob Kline as Kirk (as Robert Kline)
- Dick Rich as Shoehoffer
- George Sawaya as Posse Member
- Evelyn Scott as Vannie Johnson
- Barbara Pepper as Lil McSween
- John George as Townsman (uncredited)
- Augie Gomez as Townsman (uncredited)
- Chuck Hamilton as Townsman (uncredited)
- George Sowards as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line of The Hanging Posse
Blackie Marx, Kirk, and Sheister went to a cabin together. Blackie requests materials from a lady who, despite being hesitant, states she’ll get the supplies he needs. While Kirk and Schuster tend to the horses, Blackie breaks into the cabin to attack and kill the woman. Despite Schuster and Kirk’s noninvolvement in the situation, they fled from the place to avoid getting caught.
When Flint Johnson and his boy, Billy, bring Mrs. Johnson’s body to town, Flint states a prospector saw three men leaving the scene. Since the sheriff is absent, deputy Jeb Clanton asks Adam and Little Joe to join them on the posse instead. They hesitate, but Jeb begs, and Adam eventually complies. “Paiute” Scroggs will be their tracker. Adam isn’t sure about the three guys assumably killing Vannie but goes along to make sure Flint doesn’t do something wrong.
“Paiute” Scroggs follows the men and learns they’re traveling through a dry terrain. He wants to stop at McSween’s Tavern to get supplies before continuing his quest. Flint does not want to waste any time, but Scroggs guarantees him that the men will tire and the posse will catch them. Flint asks Adam for his stance. Adam claims the townspeople will still be challenging to manage even if they don’t get drunk at the pub. Hence, Flint decides to go to the tavern.
Most people enjoy themselves at McSween’s, but Billy dislikes it, and Adam and Joe do not even enter.
The next day, Adam insists Jeb control the posse instead of letting Scroggs and Flint take charge. Jeb isn’t sure, even saying Scroggs has great deals of experience handling a group of people. However, Adam states Scroggs has lots of experience hosting lynching parties. Jeb meekly shrugs. Joe states they are ensuring the posse remains legal. Scroggs threatens Adam, but he and Joe quickly draw their weapons, forcing Scroggs to pull back. Now, it’s evident that there are two opposing sides to this posse.
The three guys have reached the desert, but Kirk does not understand why he’s fleeing, as he didn’t do anything. Blackie and Schuster say the posse won’t wait long enough to hear his side of the story, but Kirk chooses to go back.
As the posse makes camp, Scroggs informs the men that the murderers may not get hanged even if they catch them that night. He’s seen it occur before and sends a thoughtful glance at Adam and Joe. He’s trying to work them up into a lynch mob. As everyone falls into a deep slumber, Joe asks Adam what they’ll do if the posse wants to hang the killers. If they have to, Adam states they’ll fight them. Joe dislikes the idea of friends fighting. Adam reminds him that they still aren’t entirely sure about the men’s involvement in Mrs. Johnson’s murder.
The next day, the posse lost the trail and decided to disperse. Flint and Billy see a man coming their way. It was Kirk, declaring that he was giving himself up. Billy orders him to drop his weapon. Flint shoots him dead as Kirk prepares to put his gun done. He then informs Billy that he will need Billy’s support in his claim of self-defense.
Flint wishes to keep going as Adam and Joe bury Kirk’s body. Adam blames him for killing Kirk deliberately. They decide to split off from the posse. As the people continue to track the remaining men, Adam asks Joe if there’s a shorter route to the next watering hole. Joe says it will be a rough ride but decides to take it anyway.
Blackie and Schuster come to the watering spot, but a shot rings out as they get close to the water. It appears that Adam and Joe arrived before them. Blackie and Schuster hide in a cabin, welcoming Adam and Joe with a brief gunfight. Blackie becomes injured. When Adam and Joe enter the place, Schuster declares he doesn’t want to shoot the woman and begs for permission to get a drink. Adam allows him to proceed but is dead as soon as he kneels at the water. It appears that the posse has gotten there, and Adam sees that it was Flint who shot Schuster.
Flint insists on seeing the third man, but Adam says he will ensure Blackie’s survival to get a fair trial. A few of the men leave, and the posse retreats. In the cabin, Blackie thinks it’s amusing that Kirk and Schuster are dead, yet they didn’t have anything to do with the killing. Regardless, Adam will secure Blackie’s survival despite being the killer. Since there were no witnesses, Blackie believes he won’t get hanged. Joe fears that Blackie’s statement might be correct and it’d be much better to let the posse have him, but Adam disagrees. Joe knows, but he does not need to like the idea.
Scroggs encourages the posse to overpower the Cartwrights and put Blackie to death by hanging him. Flint agrees and tells Adam, stating he’ll let Adam keep the detainee but wishes to shake on it. Scroggs knocks Adam out once Adam goes out to shake his hand. The posse rushes in and strikes Joe, dragging Blackie away to hang. Blackie makes a life-saving plea. Just as they will execute him, Joe fires a shot and warns them that he’ll kill the very first man to pull on the rope. He assists Adam up and takes Blackie back. Jeb, Scroggs, and many others who realized the execution would not proceed as planned eventually quit the posse. Billy departs despite his father’s pleas to execute Billy’s mother’s killer. Only two young men stayed with Flint.
Adam realizes it’s over once he sees everyone leave. He and Joe take Blackie out of the cabin. Flint requests for Blackie one more time. Joe and Adam remembered that Flint’s son left him, most likely growing sick of looking at a man who led a lynch mob. Flint finally gave up, and Adam and Joe returned with Blackie for a trial.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Hanging Posse
Morning, lady. Uh, me and my friends, we ran out of grub and water. Wonder if we could get a few supplies. There's a town five miles back the way you came. Why didn't you stock up there? We didn't go through town, ma'am, we went around. That's right... we're on the run. Oh, now don't scare the lady, Marks. It's like he says, ma'am, only, uh, we ain't real bad. It's just that town got kind of sick of us, and, uh... What do you want? Some grub, water... a couple of baits of grain for the horses. You'll find grain in the barn. I'll fix some food for you. No! Don't come in the house. Fine-looking woman, Kirk. Don't you pay no mind to the woman. Let's just load up... Load up and git. Why don't you and Kirk take the horses down to the lake... Water them. I'll be right along. Mind that you are. Yes, sir... Real fine-looking woman. What happened? What'd you do? What do you think happened? She's dead. If we get caught, it means hanging. I'm riding out and you better come along. Oh, wait a minute. We didn't do anything. No. No, we never done nothing. And you tell them that when they put a rope around your neck. Hey, Adam, lend me two bits, will you? What for? Oh, to get me some of that sweetening. You don't want any of that truck. What's the matter with that truck? Hey, Pa. Not now, Hoss. But, Pa, I... Not now, Hoss. Hey, Little Joe, I left all my money in my other pants. Let me have two bits, will you? Hey, what for? I want to get me some of that sweetening. Sweetening? You're gonna get fat, you start eating that stuff. Oh, two bits worth of it ain't gonna make me fat. The heck it won't. You'll founder your horse. You'll break him right down the middle, you load up on that kind of stuff. I ain't gonna break my horse down. I ain't gonna founder no horse. Give me two bits. All right, but don't blame me if you get in trouble. Thanks so much. Thank you, Jack. Hey, Jack? Yeah? Give me about a dime's worth of them jelly beans. All right. Better give me about a dime's worth of them red hots. All in the same sack? Yeah, just put it all in there together. Better give me about a nickel's worth of them molasses over there. Them molasses is good for you as tonic. You're going to need one. Little Joe, you get yourself a haircut while you're in town. Oh, I just got one a couple months ago, Pa. More like three months ago. Now, you just get your hair cut. Here, partner. Go ahead, take it. What'd you do that for? I don't want to founder my horse. Ain't you going with us? No, he's staying in town to get himself a haircut. Now, Pa? Right now. Don't want any son of mine going around looking like a cheap, riverboat gambler. Now, you get it cut real short, do you hear? - Adam, you see to it. - Hyaw! Haw! There ain't a proper barber in this town. They're all a bunch of Injuns. Boy, they're going to really scalp me. So he scalps you. Adam. Whoa, whoa. What's the matter? My wife. Vanny? How'd it happen? Three men did it. A prospector down by the creek saw them leave. Joe, get the sheriff. Yeah. Boys inside are talking posse. Johnson's gone to see about burying his wife. He sent his boy to find Paiute Scroggs. Guess Paiute's about the best tracker we got around here. Paiute Scroggs is a gusty, old windbag. Who's heading the posse? Guess I am. Don't want to, but I'm not the sheriff. The sheriff's out of town, so I guess it's up to me. Adam, why don't you and your brother come along? No, man-hunting's not our kind of work. I know that, but the Cartwrights have always been real friendly with the Johnsons. Maybe you can talk some sense into 'em. You don't think if they find them three fellas, they're going to bring them in alive, do you? Well, now, it's your job to see that they do. Well, I can't... not alone. Help me, will you? All right, get the horses. Then you're going? Well, I hate to see Flint Johnson do something he'd be sorry for later on. Are you coming with us, Adam? Yeah. Good. Well, Paiute thinks we ought to pick up their tracks down by the creek, where the prospector saw them. Flint, you sure these the men you want? What do you mean? Well, I mean, just 'cause a prospector saw them near your place doesn't mean that they're the men that killed Vanny. They're the ones. You about ready? Soon as I wet my dry. All right. We'll be leaving right away. ♪ ♪ Say, what do you think'll happen with them three fellas when we catch up with 'em? Sho' man, you mean you don't know what'll happen? Well, I'm asking, ain't I? Well, I guess we'll kill 'em. Doggone. I ain't never killed nobody before. No, me, neither. Well, I guess there has to be a first time. Yeah, I guess. Say, uh, my name's Timmins. Most folks call me Buck. Charlie Buford, my friends call me Blue. Howdy, Blue. Howdy, Buck. Looks like they're heading for the ridge up yonder. Well, let's get after them. ♪ ♪ They cut off here. They heading for the drylands. I got a shine to mosey on down to McSween's roadhouse. We can water and bait up there. We're not going to waste time in that hog ranch. They're already six hours ahead of us and riding hard. Listen, Mr. Johnson. I've led more posses and hung more men than you can count on both hands. Let me tell you about them fellas. They're running. They know we're after 'em. They're pushing hard. They're wearing their horses out. They're wearing themselves out. We'll just take it easy, and we'll catch up with them in plenty of time. Adam, what do you think? I don't like it. The longer we keep these men on the trail, the harder it's going to be to handle them when we catch up with what we're after. They get whiskey at McSween's, it's going to be worse. Maybe Paiute's right. I think we'll lay over a little while at McSween's. Seems like me and you are thinking alike. Um, it's going to be hard to bring them men back alive. All right. Lead out. Hey, Lil! Got some friends with me. Why, Paiute, you old dog. Come on in! Looks like we got company. Come on, Lil, give us some whiskey. Come on, girls. Let's get going, huh? Come on, let's go! Keep moving! You're going to kill the horses if you keep running them like this. Look, I'd rather kill the horses than me. Now, let's go! Now, wait a minute, Blackie, the kid's right. We get set afoot this part of the country, we're all finished. And besides, there ain't nobody chasing us yet. Don't fool yourself, Shuster. They're behind us, all right. I told you we should've killed that prospector. I'm sick of killing. I'm getting pretty sick of you, too. I got a good notion to turn around and go back. All right, go back. See what it gets you. A rope around the neck, that's what. You think those fellas are gonna take us back? Listen! I've ridden on a few posses in my time. They get all liquored up. And after awhile when they catch up with whoever they're chasing, they're snake-mean and ready for hanging. I know. I been there! He's right, kid. Come on, now. Let's go! Come on. Now, you take the Palmer brothers. They killed a storekeeper out in the California diggings. I led that posse just like I'm leading this one. Took us four days just logging... jogging along before we finally caught up with them. Time we did, everybody was so hot and saddle-galled, and sick and tired of the whole business, just hung them right on the spot. How does it feel to hang a man, Paiute? Oh, it feels prime. You feel all dreened out, good and lazy. You'll find out. When we catch them three up ahead, huh, Paiute? You tell 'em, young 'un. Hanging's too good for 'em. When I think of that poor Mrs. Johnson... Like I always say, "Men ain't nothing but dirty brutes." Well, ain't they? Yes, ma'am, I, I guess so. You boys got mothers, ain't you? Yes, ma'am. Where would a man be without his mother? That's what I want to know. Where? I don't know, ma'am. Mothers is the Lord's sweetest gift on this Earth. That's what. And mothers is women, too. Don't you forget it. No, ma'am. You just remember that the next time you go around beating up on women. Why, we ain't beat up on no women yet, ma'am. Leastwise, I ain't. Well, me, neither. Why, I wouldn't think of doing such a thing. Ah, now. You are good boys, ain't ya? I declare, I wouldn't mind being your mom myself. Yes, ma'am. Come on, Lil, let's have another drink. Okay, hon. I kind of wish I hadn't come on this picnic. Wonder if Paiute was right, the way you feel when you hang a man. I guess we're going to find out. Yeah. Hey, Sheriff! What's wrong? Sheriff, let's get going! I don't know. What are we waiting for?! I was just listening to that lynch-talk in there. I don't know what makes men act like that. Yeah, they can get mean pretty quick sometimes. The liquor they're drinking doesn't help any. Sometimes it's a pretty sorry thing to be a man. Where do you think we stand? I don't know. I think Flint's got a lot of poison building up in him. When we catch those three men, it won't take much to turn this into a lynching party. That Paiute Scroggs is sure working them up for a hanging. Yeah, here's to you. Hope I have another meeting. I tell you, Pa, it ain't right going on like this. We got to stop it, Pa, and get these men out of here. We'll get 'em out. When I think they're ready. Ready for what, Pa? Ready to take care of your ma's murderers the way they ought to be taken care of. Hey, Sheriff! Sheriff, let's get going! Jeb? Yeah, Adam? I think it's about time we had an understanding. You are in charge of this posse. Why, sure I am. You know that. I don't know any such thing. You've been hanging back and letting Paiute Scroggs and Flint Johnson take over. Paiute's had a lot of experience in this kind of thing. Paiute's had a lot of experience leading lynch mobs. Well, what do you want me to do? I want you to take charge of the posse. You don't really think they're going to let Jeb take over? Oh, might as well let them know where we stand before we go any farther. Now, you Cartwrights don't like the way things are being run you can pack out. We don't like the way things are being run, but we won't pack out. This is a lawful posse. Yeah, and we're going along to make sure it stays that way. You're trying to pack a lot of weight. We're used to packing a lot of weight. Yeah, well, you're not the Lord Almighty. Any man can go under. Well, you put me under, Paiute. Now, ease off, boys. Adam, we've been friends for a long time. Don't spoil it. Don't push me too hard. I won't push you now or any other time, Flint. But I won't back off, either. Now, Jeb, I want you to take charge of the posse. You want me to try him, Flint? Yeah, you try it! You've got a long life of sin and wickedness ahead of you, Paiute, if you take care of yourself. Right now, you're being just plain foolish. I won't fight both of you... now. All right, boys. Have it your way. Clanton, you take charge. ♪ ♪ It looks like we shook them for a spell. Won't be for long. Probably got somebody reading our sign right now. Can I have a-a drink of water, Blackie? Get your dirty fingers off that water bag. I never seen a man go through water like you. First you drink yours, now you're trying to drink mine. Can't help it if I get thirstier than most, Blackie. It-it... it's a condition. Doctor back in Virginia City told me. Said I got a real bad condition. Well, you can wait for water till we get to Pennell Springs. Pennell Spr... Blackie, tha... that's ten mile away. I-I can't... Then suck on a pebble. Think about water till we get there. What's the matter with you? Where you going? I just quit running, Blackie. Are you out of your mind or something? I was, but I ain't anymore. I must have been out of my mind to start running from something I didn't do. What are you going to do, just sit here and wait for them? Maybe. Maybe I'll ride back, meet 'em. Maybe they'll listen to me when I tell 'em I had nothing to do with killing that woman. Maybe they'll hang you first. Be ready to listen when you're dead. I'm tired of running. Then you must be tired of living. I don't kill as easy as that woman, Blackie. You going with him or you want to stay? Blackie's right, I... I don't aim to try my luck with that posse. Both of you, on your horses. Ride out. Good luck, kid. I'm bushed. I know how you fellas are suffering. I'm suffering along with you. I'm just as tired and dirty and saddle-galled as the rest of you. Smell just as bad and maybe a little bit worse. What makes me suffer more is thinking that maybe it's all for nothing. Don't you think we're going to catch 'em, Paiute? Sure, we'll catch up with them. It's what comes after that makes you sick to your stomach. What comes after, Paiute? Ah, they'll turn them over to the deputy and take them ba-back to Virginia City for a trial. And you got to have a judge for a trial. Circuit judge won't be around for four or five months. Man, won't them fellas have a time waiting for that trial! All them women coming in there, bringing them pie and cake, white bread and all that stuff. All you fellas don't have but once a year, and maybe that's at Christmas. And them preachers... Man, will they shine. They'll be praying and exhorting all over the place. And them town women will come down there, and they'll be singing hymns, telling them all about their ma's and their sisters. About two days before the trial, they'll be converted. I tell you. It'll take more than a jury to convict them after a thing like that. You mean they'll let them go? Bless you, boy. Them murdering devils would've killed half the women in the territory, and scalped them to boot. Nobody's said nothing about it, 'cause people forget to get mad enough to hang people proper. Of course, oh, with Deputy Clanton here, and, uh... three or four others I don't care to mention, we can't... well, we're just not allowed to do that. Billy? Get out of here. Are you crying for your ma? Can't a man cry without somebody poking at him all the time? Sure he can. It's just that sometimes it helps to talk about it. Well, I can't talk to you. You and your brother are against Pa and me. No, we're not against you, Billy. We're just going along to make sure everything is done right. Well, you tell me, is it right to let free the men that killed my ma? Look, nobody's going to let those men go free. Yeah, well, that ain't what Paiute says. Paiute's a liar. Look, we're just going along to make sure those men are punished according to the law. Well, that ain't enough. Look... look, it's my ma that's dead. And it's Pa and me, the ones that's going to fix them that killed her. And you ain't going to stop us, Little Joe. 'Cause if you do, somebody's going to get killed. Please, go away. Will you? Go. Adam. Easy. What's wrong? Nothing exactly, I just wanted to talk to you. Oh, man, I'm bone tired. Let me sleep, will you? Adam, this is important. All right. What is it? Where is all this going to lead us? What do you mean? Suppose we catch up with those men. Suppose Flint Johnson wants to hang them, then and there. What do we do? Fight. We fight against Flint and his boy that have been friends and neighbors for years? If necessary. Yeah, well, I just don't think it's necessary. All right, I'm listening. Vanny Johnson was a good woman. The men that killed her were rotten. Now, I just can't see going up in a gunfight against friends to save men like that. How do you know the three men we're chasing are the ones that killed Vanny? Everybody knows that. Nobody knows anything. Vanny Johnson was killed. Three men were seen riding away from the Johnson place. Now, that doesn't prove they were the ones that killed her. Look, what if we knew they were guilty? Suppose we knew for sure that they were the men that did it? Nobody knows anything for sure. Now, get some rest. We got a hard day. What's it look like, Paiute? Well, it looks like they're mixed in with a bunch of wild mustangs. I can't make out them tracks. What do you figure we ought to do now? We ought to split up. Some of them take the draws and some of them, the ridges. When you see the signs of the tracks of a shod horse, let out a whoop or shoot a gun. Oh, that makes sense. All right, you men, split up and do like Paiute says. You better come along with me, Paiute. I ain't such a good tracker. Here, Pa. Here! Here's where they turned off. That's a shod horse track if I ever saw one. Wait. I was just going to signal the others. I don't know who you are, but I'm giving myself up. Now, just don't shoot. All right, come on. But drop your gun first. Pa, he was giving up. He was coming in to surrender. He was going for his gun. He's only a kid. He ain't much older than me. Yeah. He won't get any older. We came up on him, he went for his gun. I had to kill him. That's what I'm going to tell them. You're going to back me up. He's one of the men who killed your ma. Like you say, Pa. He went for his gun. All right, that's enough. You're wasting time. The man deserves a decent burial. I said that's enough. Why'd you kill the boy, Flint? He started to make a fight of it. I think he was coming in to give himself up. I think you shot him deliberately. I still say you Cartwrights don't swing much weight around here. All right, we're leaving the posse. But we won't be responsible for anything you do. Come on. Let's mount up. You and Hoss hunted this country, didn't you? Yeah, what about it? Where's the nearest water from here? Where we watered last night. No, I mean in the direction those other two are heading. I thought we were going home. No, not yet. I'm going to try to reach those other men before the posse gets to them. Judging from this man's canteen, they should be pretty low on water. Yeah, well, that'd be, uh... That'd be Pennell Springs. That's about 11, 12 miles from here. Is there a shortcut? Yeah, over the ridges and through some lava country; it's pretty rough on the horses. We'll give it a try. We could rest up here awhile. There you go. That ain't the coldest water I ever drank, or the best tasting, but it sure is wet. Just... just a little, Blackie? I always figured you were a selfish old man, Shuster. First, you drink your own water, and now, you want to drink all mine. Just to... wet the lips. Now, no, no. I told you already. No. Blackie, you... You're the meanest man I ever did know. You're worse than a hydrophobic skunk. You ain't fit to live! You getting any ideas, Shuster? I never meant it that way. Well, I think I better take your gun. No... Now, you ride on up ahead. I can't. I can't go on without no water. My condition... You'll move on, or your condition is going to be dead. Whoa. What do you make of it? Here is where they spelled their horses. Them tracks are pretty fresh. They'll be needing water. The nearest is Pennell Springs. How far? Oh, about ten miles the easy way through the coulees and draws. About half that distance across the ridges. That's too rough for a ride. Uh, we'll take the short route. Well, you're the boss. Shuster, there's your nice, cool water. Look. Right there. That one was over your head! The next one's for you. Now, drop your gun! All right, come and get me, if you can! Hold it. I got to have water. You'll be dead before you reach it. Get in here. Are you coming out, or do we have to shoot you out? What have I got to lose staying here? A few more months of living. You come out now and I promise you a fair trial. That's big talk with a hanging posse right behind you, mister. Who are you? I'm Adam Cartwright and there's no posse. Just me and my brother. Do like he says, Blackie. Listen, it'll be my neck that'll go into that noose, not yours! No deal, Cartwright! Come and get me! Get on down behind them rocks. Cover you from there. Don't, Blackie! They'll get us both! Move and I'll kill you. See how bad he's hit. You don't want me, mister. I never killed that woman... he did. I... I got to have a... I got to have a drink of water. I got a condition, a bad condition! All right, get it! That's far enough. We want that third man. You can't have him, Flint. I don't believe you'd fire on a friend to protect a murderer... I'm getting him. You make one more move, and I'll blow you right out of the saddle. What are you trying to do? This man's my prisoner... I'm riding him into jail, and I'll fight any man who tries to stop me. Jeb Clanton is the authority here. Jeb Clanton hasn't got the courage or the will to protect this prisoner. We'll be riding out at dusk. You'll never make it. Well, where do you stand, Jeb? Well, I-I'm asking you to turn over the prisoner, like Flint said. Shuhofer? Well, I'm for law and order, but... I ain't taking up gunplay against my friends and neighbors just to protect that killer. I'm quitting and riding out. Good luck. What's the matter with you? I heard your speech. Sounded real good. You think you can back your brag? It was no brag. Is it so funny? I think it's funny. Kid brother tells me they killed the boy back on the trail, right? So? And Shuster, Shuster got it right outside, going after that water he was always yammering about. You know, I told him, I told him that thirst was gonna kill him, and it surely did. I'm waiting for the joke. The joke? Both of them dead who didn't do nothing, and me, I'm alive, and I done the killing. They wasn't even there. Just me. I'm alive. And you... you're gonna keep me this way! I think that's funny. Yeah, I'm gonna keep you alive, so I can see you hang... legal! Are we fixin' to sit around here all day? They said they were taking off at dusk. I say we go in and get 'em. Them Cartwrights won't dare open up on us. You don't know much about the Cartwrights, do you? I ain't afraid of any Cartwright that ever walked. All right, Paiute... you go on in, we'll follow. Well, now, maybe we don't see eye to eye about this. Uh, I ain't bloodthirsty. Um... I'd hate to see them two misguided boys get hurt. You're gonna watch me hang, you Cartwrights, huh? You ain't gonna watch nobody hang, you hear? Don't you think I got friends? Oh, I got lots of friends. I been in lots of trouble before this. I always get out of it. You know why? No witnesses, Cartwrights. No witnesses. They had to let me go. I've had just about enough out of you. No, you ain't. I got my rights, Cartwright. I can talk. I can talk as much as I want! Is it true what he's saying about maybe going free? I don't know... It's up to a jury. If he's found guilty, he'll hang, won't he? Yep. And we know he's guilty, don't we? Just what are you getting around to? I was just thinking how much easier it would be if we just gave him to those men out there. But we can't do that. Yeah, I know. A man can wish, can't he? Cartwright? Cartwright? What is it, Flint? Let's call it off. You can take the prisoner into town. We'll come along just to see he doesn't escape. How do I know you'll stand by that agreement? Well, I'll give you my word and hand on it. Jeb Clanton backs me up. That's right, Adam. Shake hands with Flint. Save us all a lot of trouble. Well, before I come out and take your hand, I think you ought to know something, Flint. The two men you killed were innocent. They had nothing to do with killing your wife. How do you know that? The man in here's the killer; he admits it. The other two had nothing to do with the murder. Now, you'll have to face a hearing on those killings. I'll make sure of it when we get back to town. I'll stick to my word. Look out! Look out! Let me alone! Take him over to that tree. Hold him down! I don't want to die...! I don't want to die! No! No! I don't want to die! No...! I don't want to die! I don't want to die! No! No! No! All right, put him up! I'll kill the first man that puts his weight on that rope. All right, turn him loose. Marks, get over here. All right, get inside. Now, like my brother said, we're taking that man back at dusk. Don't try to stop us. Should be anytime now. Where do you think you're going? I've had enough... I'm pulling out. Me, too. They lost the edge, Flint. You can't hold 'em. I think I'll mosey along. You, too? Mr. Johnson, I'm an old man. I wouldn't be no use in a shooting match with them crazy Cartwrights. I'll see you around, maybe. Get the horses... I think it's all over. Now, you're a couple of good boys. If you'd known my wife, you'd know what kind of a woman she was. Well, you think I'm right, don't you? Well, I guess so, Mr. Johnson. And you'll stick with me? Yes, sir, I guess we just about have to. Don't we, Buck? Yeah, I guess so. There, you see, Billy? We got a couple of friends. We're gonna get the man who killed your ma, just like we planned to. We're gonna get him, and we're gonna kill him. Son... wait. I guess I've had enough of killing, Pa. I seen two innocent men killed. That was enough for me. All right, come on. Wait a minute, now, they're waiting out there for us. Well, now, you should've known sooner or later there'd be a day like this. Let's go. All right, here he is, Flint... Take a good look at him. Where's your boy? Never mind him. I want that man. You'll have to kill us to get him. There's been enough talk. Get mounted. Where's your son, Mr. Johnson? I said leave Billy out of this. Why'd he ride out on you, Flint? Boy had any feeling for his pa, he'd stand with him at a time like this. Why'd he leave you? Maybe he got sick of looking at a man that led a lynch mob, huh? All right, Cartwright... this is the end of any friendship between us. Two men dead, friendships broken, a man parted from his son. I hope you boys remember that. Look, don't blame us, mister. We just came along to see the fun. Well, you've seen it.
Behind the Scenes of The Hanging Posse
The Ponderosa home (inside and out) in this episode is “made-over” to become madame “Lil McSween’s” place. There was nothing else like it.
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza is an incredible Western television series you can watch alone or with your family. NBC produced the well-loved show, running its 14 seasons on their network from September 1959 to January 1973. The Hanging Posse is the 12th episode out of 430.
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