the lonely house
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The Lonely House Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #04

In “The Lonely House,” wounded outlaw Track (played by Paul Richards) seeks refuge at the home of widow Lee Bolden (portrayed by Faith Domergue). Among Lee’s other guests is Joe Cartwright, who soon recognizes Track as a wanted criminal. Initially inclined to expose Track’s true identity, Joe hesitates as he observes Lee developing feelings for the injured outlaw. The cast also features Jim Beck as Gavin and Vito Scotti as Pooch. This episode, titled “The Lonely House,” originally aired on October 15, 1961, and was penned by Frank Chase.

Follow below for a detailed plot summary and intriguing trivia or to watch the entire episode.

Watch the Full Episode of The Lonely House

Watch the Full Episode:

Main Cast

Alongside the primary cast of Bonanza, the fourth episode of the third season, “The Lonely House,” featured a lineup of recurring and supporting actors. The cast comprises:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright (credit only)
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright (credit only)
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Paul Richards as Trock
  • Faith Domergue as Lee Bolden
  • James Beck as Gavin (as Jim Beck)
  • Vito Scotti as Pooch
  • Ray Hemphill as Banker
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Lonely House

Joe is caught in a robbery while conducting business at the Virginia City bank.

Later, at Widow Boden’s residence, one of the robbers, Trock, and his accomplices arrive, taking Joe and the widow as hostages. Surprisingly, Trock finds himself developing feelings for the captivating widow.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Lonely House

Here's your bank draft, Joseph.

I can still think of six good
reasons why I shouldn't go.

I can think of one good
reason why you should.

Yeah, what's that?

I asked you to.

There go my six good reasons.

Now, you know what to do.

Yes, I ride to Platt City,
cash the draft in the bank,

and bring the money
to Mrs. Bolden.


I wrote and told her
that you were coming,

so she's expecting you.

Tom Bolden's a real
good friend of mine.

Doctor, you know.

Oh, by the way, if the widow
needs any-anything done

around the house,
you know, help her out.

Yes, sir.

That, uh, that bank
draft represents

Tom's share of an investment
that we made together.

- Oh, really?
- Mm-hmm.

That's funny, Adam told me

those investments
were a complete loss.

Never you mind.

She needs that money, Joseph.


All right, Pa, I'll
be your errand boy.

Ought to be back
in about three days.

Yeah, that should do it.

Now, you take
good care of yourself.

Yes, sir.

Good morning. Can I help you?

Yeah, my name's Joe Cartwright.

I believe a wire was
sent ahead of me

about a bank draft
I wanted to cash.

Oh, yes, sir, Mr. Cartwright.

Came in yesterday.

Are you familiar with
the Bolden place?

Lee Bolden?

Yeah, that's right.

Sure am. She's delivered
milk and eggs in town

the past three years.

You a friend of hers?

Yeah, sort of.

Is her place far from here?

No, about, uh, 20 miles.

You just stay on the main
road north till you see her sign.

I got nine thumbs and a
big toe for fingers today.

Town's losing a
bachelor tomorrow

and I'm gaining me a wife.

Oh, congratulations.

You mind telling me
what you're doing?

Not at all, son.

I'm going to rob your bank.

Stand away from the cage.

You, put your hand on the bars.

Gavin, get in here.

Don't fiddle around.

Just get in and get out.

What's the matter,
you scared, little man?

Well, I was born scared.

You know, it's part of me.

Come on, Gavin, come on.

Pooch, you stay with the horses.

Just take the bills, never mind
the hard stuff, and do it fast.

We can't leave
this behind, can we?

Stay loose.


Must be close to 10,000 here.

There is.

I'll take it.

All right, whatever you say.

Now, let's go.

Turn around.

- I said, turn around...
- Hold it!

He could break a man's
skull real easy that way.

You know any reason
why he shouldn't?

Sure, you got the money,
that's what you want.

What we want is
to get away with it.

Come on, give the kid a break.

He's going to get
married tomorrow.

We'll give you five minutes.

I don't like it.

Well, I do.

All right, kid.

You've got yourself a deal.

Outside, Gavin.

Still don't like it.


Now, remember, five minutes.

Count slow.

Stay away from the door!

Three of them out there!

I should've killed you both.

They don't hang a man for bank
robbery, but they do for murder.

Trock, we're leaving!

The whole town's coming!

Wasn't even his money.


Just stay where you are.

Now, what do you want?

As-as a starter, I'd like you to
point that in another direction.

I'll decide where it points,

soon as I find out
what you're doing here.

My name's Joe Cartwright.

Ben Cartwright's son?


Oh, why didn't you say so?

Yeah, well, you didn't give me

much of a chance to
say anything, ma'am.

Look, I'm alone out here.

Too many saddle
tramps pass this way.

It pays to be careful.

I'm sorry.

I got your father's
letter a few days ago.

Well, then you
know why I'm here.

Yeah, that money sure will help.

I'm sure it would have.

Would have?

Yeah, I was at the bank this
morning when it was robbed.

They took the bank's money.

They took the money
I was carrying, also.

Oh, no.

Did they get away?

Yeah, the posse's out
looking for them now.

Oh, I could have
used that money.

Look, when I get back
to the ranch, I'll talk to Pa.

I'm sure he'll do
something about it.


When things go wrong,
they manage to go all the way.

Yesterday, my hired hand
was taken to the doctor.

Was it anything serious?

Well, it was a pulled muscle,

but when you're 64,
anything is serious.


Hey, look, maybe
I could, I could do

a few chores for you
and earn my dinner.

It's a long ride back to
town on an empty stomach.

You're welcome
to stay for dinner.

Well, thank you.

I'll just, uh, put my horse
in the barn and wash up.

I think we'll be
more comfortable

in here, Mr. Cartwright.

Here, let me help you with that.

You set a fine
table, Mrs. Bolden.

Well, I don't get much
chance to show off my cooking.

And Gil, my hired hand,

would eat an old harness
if I fried it long enough.

Has he been with
you a long time?

He's been with me three years.

Ever since Tom died.

And he's the only help
you have here, huh?

He's all I can afford.

The money I earn
selling milk in town...

It barely is sufficient to
keep body and soul together.

Seems like a pretty
tough chore for a woman.

Why don't you move into town?

Because I...

Because this is my
home, Mr. Cartwright.

It's just that simple.

I can understand that.


The Manual of Surgery.

Are you interested in medicine?

I'm afraid, only when I'm sick.

My pa told me your
husband was a doctor.


Tom was a fine doctor.

When a typhoid
epidemic broke out in town,

he worked day and night.

On the third day, it got him

and he just didn't have
any strength left to fight it.

I thought to get rid of that.

And this.

I don't know.

Somehow, it brings me
a measure of comfort.

Oh, I guess it's wrong to
seek comfort from the past.

No, I don't think it's wrong.

I think it would be a mistake
to make it a way of life.

Well, better be on my way.

I don't like to
ride in the rain.

It's 20 miles back to town.

The storm will break
before you get there.

I'm afraid you're right.

My hired hand has a
place set up in the barn.

You're welcome to
spend the night out there.

That's very kind of you.

Thank you very
much, I think I will.

Is, uh, is there anything I
can do for you before I go?

Not a thing.

Oh, then I'll say good
night and good-bye.

I'll probably be gone before
you're up in the morning.

Take your hands off me!

You turned around
so fast, I didn't...

I know.

I know you didn't.

It's just that I...

I get so sick and
so tired of men

who come here and think
that because I'm a widow,

they can behave like animals.

And that I should be grateful

for any favors
they might give me.

Ma'am, you know why I came here.


I'm sorry.

I was very wrong.

Just that I...

I get so accustomed to
the other kind of men, I...

I forget there are decent
people left in the world.


Well, there's lots of them.

Just have to take time to
look for them... that's all.

Good night, ma'am.

You can toss that
over here, son.

Keep running into each other.

Yeah, and I like
it less each time.

You all alone here?

That's right.

Just you and the woman, huh?

Well, I thought I might
need a place to hold up in,

so I checked this one
out a couple of days ago.

What are you, her hired hand?



Well, uh, what are you
sleeping out here for?

Look, I'm cold and I'm hungry,

and she's got food
and a fire in that house.

I need them both, so let's go.

Where's your two friends?

This ain't a very good
time to answer questions.

Now, come on.

Come on, boy.

Hold it.

What are you going to
do about the woman?

Listen, boy,

last thing in the world I
need right now is a woman.

Let's go.

Is that you, Mr. Cartwright?



Close the door.

Get over there by the table.

Sit down.

Give me the gun.

Get over there with him.

You got any more
guns in the house?


You're lying.

And I could still cause you
trouble before you got me.

You're not important
enough for me to lie to.

Son, you tell her who I am.

Maybe it'll make
me more important.

One of the men
that robbed the bank.

Figure the posse is
about two steps behind us.

Step and a half,
but they're big ones.

Storm will give me an edge.

You still got the bullet in you.

Oh, yeah.

And it don't let me forget it.

How long ago did that happen?

Too long.

Couple hours
rest, I'll be all right.

Few hours, and you'll be dead.

Now, you seem
pretty certain of that.

I am.

My husband was a doctor.

I worked with him
many times as his nurse.

That bullet will cause blood
poisoning before morning

if it doesn't come out.

Uh, you know, the
way my insides feel, I...

I kind of believe you.

But I got no choice.

Oh, yeah, you got one.

What's that?

Ride into town, give
yourself up and get a doctor.

No. No.

You see, prison life
never did agree with me.

Besides, I'd get about one
mile and fall flat on my face, so...

Think you can
get that bullet out?

Perhaps, but why should I?

For one reason, he's
going to die if you don't.

For another, he could have
killed the clerk in the bank,

and he didn't do it.

- You mean Grant?
- Yeah.

The pain... you'll
never be able to stand it.

You let me worry about that.

All right.

Clear the table.

Hold it.

Wait a minute.

All right.

Do like she says.

Clear the table.

Just a minute.

You got any
whiskey in the house?

There's a bottle
in the cupboard.

Give it to him.

He's going to need something.

I never been cut before.

Don't like people touching me.

Now, we're just
going to take it easy

until this whiskey
begins to work.

No tricks.

'Cause I'll kill you both.

This time for sure.

He's good and drunk now.

It's not just the liquor.

It's the shock and fever.

He's delirious.

Got no choice.

Uh... I tell you,
that's the... that's...

the trouble with...

We can get started it now.

Okay. What can I do to help?

Hold him still so I can
probe for the bullet.

- Help me get him up.
- Right.

Keep him in the chair.

He's better off not to be moved.

Can't trust him.

That dirty... That... rotten...

I think we'd better
keep him talking.

Okay, if you don't
mind the language.

No, I don't mind the language.

A man can say a lot of
things when he's delirious.

It's not important.

Just rotten...

I've never... Easy.

I've never known
your kind before.

Kind who takes things by force.

What makes you do it?

'Cause it makes things easier?

What is it you want,
lady, my whole life history?


Is that what you want?

Back to the time when
my folks died in a fire?


Back to the county farm

when they sent a kid
that nobody claimed?

Is that what you want?

Lots of children
grew up orphans.

Is there a woman in
your life someplace?

There was.

Yeah, there was for a while.

Went sour, though.

I don't know.
Maybe it was, uh...

It was my fault.

She was, um... just
like you, awful pretty.

Made my...

Joe, you got to keep him still.

Look, I'm doing the best I can.

- Sue.
- Come on.



Sue, I...




Sue, don't go away.

Sue, don't leave me.



You keep talking to him.

I'll probe the bullet.

He'll listen to you.

Sue, kiss me good
night like you used to do.

Kiss me good night...
like you used to.

Go ahead, kiss him...
It'll keep him quiet.

I got it.

You did a real good job on this.

Look, if you can manage,

I'd like to ride into
town, get some help.

That would be useless.

Storm like this, the river
becomes impassable.


That's not so good.

Well, why? He's no trouble now.

It's not him I'm worried about.

Those two friends of his.

They just might
decide to meet here.

Wouldn't that have
happened already?

That's too hard to say.

Here, I'm going to go outside
and have a look around.

You take this.

I know he's no trouble.

It's just in case.

All right.


Where's the boy?

Gone to get the sheriff?


As soon as the storm eases.

$10,000 down the drain.

Well, it almost worked.

Was it worth it?

Who knows?

Might have been.

How do you feel?

Oh, the, uh, wound
doesn't hurt much,

but... my head.

No wonder.

Do you know you drank
a half a bottle of whisky?

I did, huh?

Did I talk much?

I know your whole life story.

Including Sue.

Don't you remember
what you said?

I remember the last part.

What about you?

What would you like to know?

Your name, for a starter.


Lee Bolden.

That's a nice name.


You said your
husband was a doctor.

He's been dead for sometime now.

You have somebody else?

No, Mr. Trock.

Like yourself, I'm quite alone.

I think I'd better get
some food in you.


It's still damp.

That's all right.

Thing hasn't been
washed in about a week.

Is that you, Joe?

Joe, is that you?

We saw him coming
out of the barn.

Never knew what hit him.

You could've killed him.

So what?

I've seen this guy before.

At the bank, with that clerk.

What's he doing here?

He's a friend of mine.

What took you so long?

The storm.

Where's the money?

Talk to you about that later.

- I want mine now.
- You do?

That posse's going
to pick up our trail,

soon as this storm lets up.

I want to be long gone by then.

He's right.

Let's divide it up
now and get going.

All right.

I'm sorry, boys, but I
couldn't make it ten feet.

You don't have to.

Just tell me
where it is, I'll get it.

I got shot in the
shoulder, not the head.

Now, what do you mean by that?

I mean, we get the sack
and we divide up the money,

and what happens then?

We get out of here,
that's what happens.

And then I sit here and
wait for the sheriff, right?

We could get nasty.

You know better than that.

Now, put that thing away.

He's got us on the hook.

We got to go along with him.

All right.

You got till the storm lets
up, but that's all you get.

Pooch, come on, help
me up those stairs.

I'm gonna get some rest.

Open the door.

Hey, we're hungry.

Get us some food.

Wait a minute.

What'd you do with the
gun you took off the boy?

He didn't have one.

That's all right, I can do it.

But watch them, close.

Hey, Gavin, what you
going to do with your share?

I'm going to get as far away
from here as possible, Pooch.

Know what I'm going to do.

I'm going to get me
a case of whiskey,

an arm full of woman
and destroy myself.

And then, if I have
any of the 3,500 left,

I'm going to
spend it foolish-like.

What would you do with $3,500?

I'd buy some disinfectant

and scrub every place
you put your hands.

Oh, now.

How do you know
what my hands are like?

Lots of girls thought
they were real gentle.

Take your hands off me.

Course I will.

But first I want to show
you that they're not as bad

as you make them out to be.

Want it rough, huh?



I can keep this up
all night, hardhead.

Make it easy on
yourself; stay down.

The only way to keep him down
is with a bullet through his head.

That can be arranged, too.

No, Joe!

Put it away, Gavin.

He's begging for it.

Leave him alone.

Why should I?

What's he to you?

Let's just say I
owe him a favor.

Yeah, well, I don't.

I'm going to take him.

No, you're not.

Oh, no?

It's just as easy to pull
a trigger twice as once.

No, you won't do that, 'cause
then you'd never find the money.

That money's
important to you, Gavin,

more important
even than killing.

Now, it's $10,000.

You came close.

Awful close.

I'll stand watch outside,

or I might be tempted
to change my mind.

We're even now.

Good morning.

Coffee's on the stove.

How's your head?

How should it be?


Where's Gavin?

Still outside.

Well, get him in here, quick.

Hey, Gavin!

Come on here!


- Yeah?
- Now, in the barn,

in the back right-hand corner
under the straw is the money.

Get it, then see to our gear.

And don't bother to count it.

I don't want to count
it, I want to spend it!

Where's he going?

He'll be back.

What do you want me for?

I want you to watch them.

I need some coffee.

You ain't going to give us
any trouble, are you, little man?

Oh, uh, Mrs. Bolden,

I'm afraid this needs
a woman's touch.

If, uh, you don't mind.

A man of your talent,

seems to me you could
pour a cup of coffee.

I suppose.

Thank you.

Truth is I, I wanted
to talk to you...

to say good-bye and thank
you for all you've done.

You're welcome. Good-bye.



What do you want?

I was thinking about some
of the things you said...

about your being alone.

Tell me, it doesn't
bother you, does it?

Your being alone, I mean.

Yes, Mr. Trock, it bothers me.

I think you know just how
very much it bothers me.

But it hasn't made
me a hunted animal

that can only run and hide

until it's finally
caught and destroyed.

Why couldn't I have
met you before?


where's my gun?

The $10,000 you
said was in the barn?

- Yeah?
- It ain't.

Did you look in the
corner where I told you?

I looked in all four of them!

There's no money,
Trock! No money!

Try again. Maybe this
time, you can come up

with the right answer, huh?

All right, son, now where is it?

- Speak up, little man!
- Wait a minute!

Now, look, I don't want
to turn him loose on you,

but I will if you push me to it.

I'm waiting.

No, it's no use, Trock.

But why?

I can understand you
risking your life for that, that

clerk at the bank, but
for pieces of paper?

Oh, that's right.

That's right, that's all they
are, just pieces of paper.

You know, to some people,
they represent a lot more.

They represent work
and sweat in the fields;

they represent the
savings of a lifetime,

and I'm not about to turn
it over to pigs like this!

Now, does that
answer your question?


Yeah, it... it answers it.

It don't answer mine, and I
don't like being called a pig!

Hold on there. Hold on.

This'll take all day, and
we ain't got that much time.

You got something better?

You remember last night?

Huh? That'll make him talk,

'cause he's such a
real little gentleman.

Yeah, that's right.

All right, it's up to you,
little man, and I don't think

you'd like what'd I could
do to your lady friend.

You touch her again...

I'll break your spine.

Now, you listen,
and you listen good.

We're fed up to here
with this, huh, Poochie?

So I'll tell you how
we're gonna play it.

I'm gonna count to five.

If I don't get the right answer,

then I'm gonna ride out.

But I'm gonna leave
three dead bodies behind.





I'll show you
where the money is.

All right.

Pooch, you stay here with them.

You... Let's go.

Watch them close, Pooch,

and remember,
10,000 spends better

when it's split only two ways.

Like I said, Trock,
you're too soft.

One of these days you're gonna
get killed, maybe even today.

Let's move.

You get one chance,
hero, so guess right.

Where is it?

It's up there.

Get it.

And move slow and
easy when you do.


Smart move, but
it only gives you

a couple extra seconds to live.

Pooch! Pooch!

Pooch, out here!

Come on, Pooch!


Someone's coming
out of the barn.

It's Joe.

You want to do
anything about it?

Uh... like what?

Like your gun.

I can get it for you.


I better go.

You were right
about a lot of things.

I just wish that
there was time to...

Good-bye, Mrs. Bolden.

You need some help with that?

No, I don't need
any help with it.

Joe, he doesn't go with you.

The money, yes, but not him.

Leave it alone.

All you need is your horse.

Now you take it and
you get out of here.

No, you're... wrong.

Well, I need you.

Like we need each
other, don't we?

Come on.

Come with me.

We could start a whole new
life with what's in that sack.

We would be building
on a rotten foundation.

We'd never make it.

This is my home,
and here I stay!

Now, you get out of here and
don't you ever, ever come back!

Do you know why, Joe?

Yeah, I think I know why.

I'd been letting the
memories of the past become

a way of life.

It was all I had to
cling to... till now.

In a few short hours, but he
filled them with more meaning

than I had known in three years.

He was a lucky man,
if only for a few hours.

Might be the sheriff.

Let me talk. I'll handle it.

I'm not gonna let
you take the blame.

You have no choice.

Please, Joe.

I said I'll handle it.

I didn't know where to go.

Or what to do when I got there.

Like he says... they never...

hang anybody for robbing a bank.

You think this place could
use a reformed gunman

in about five years?

I think he'd find a job
that could last him...

all his life.

You do?

May I kiss you?

A man like me usually
doesn't get a second chance.

You're one of the lucky ones.

I know it, son.

I know it.

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Bonanza provides wholesome entertainment suitable for both individual enjoyment and family gatherings. The Lonely House stands as the 70th episode out of a total of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network screens from September 1959 to January 1973, boasting 14 seasons.

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