the magnificent adah
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Magnificent Adah Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #10

Bonanza, a classic television western that aired between 1959 and 1973, portrays the story of the Cartwright family, owners of the fictional Ponderosa ranch.

Donald S. Sanford wrote its tenth episode, The Magnificent Adah, which premiered on November 14, 1959.

Adah Isaacs Menken (Ruth Roman), a legendary stage actress, brings her honorable Mazeppa troupe to Virginia City. Ben Cartwright seizes the chance to renew his long-standing friendship with the “lady in pink tights,” but his sons Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe believe Adah is attempting to seduce their father into marriage.

Don Megowan also appears in the episode as a guest, acting as John Regan, Adah’s persistent would-be suitor.

Read the plot and some interesting trivia, or watch the full episode below.

Watch the full episode of The Magnificent Adah

Watch the full episode of The Magnificent Adah:

Main Cast

Apart from the regular cast, episode 10, The Magnificent Adah, also features recurring and guest stars. The episode’s cast includes the following:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Ruth Roman as Adah Isaacs Menken
  • Don Megowan as John C. Regan
  • Hal Smith as Durwood Watkyns
  • Victor Sen Yung as Hop Sing
  • William Mims as Mineru (as Bill Mims)
  • Fay Roope as Castellan
  • Nancy Root as Actress portraying Olinska
  • Arthur Berkeley as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Phil Bloom as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Michael Cirillo as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Jaye Durkus as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Mauritz Hugo as Hotel Manager (uncredited)
  • Roy Jenson as Sledge (uncredited)
  • Kermit Maynard as Audience Member (uncredited)
  • Billy McCoy as Barfly (uncredited)
  • William Meader as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Jack Perry as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Chalky Williams as Audience Member (uncredited)
  • Sally Yarnell as Saloon Girl (uncredited)

Full Story Line of The Magnificent Adah

The episode’s opening scene features Menken’s business manager attempting to nail a play’s advertising poster on a Ponderosa tree. The three Cartwright brothers caught him in the act, making him think they would hang him for trespassing. He then offers some tickets for the best seats in the house for the play that evening, only to drop them out of fear as Hoss scans a tree branch to where he can hang him. After the man has fled for his life, Joe tucks the tickers into his gunbelt, believing that he has kept Adam from finding out.

Joe and Hoss carefully left the house that evening to see the play. However, upon their arrival at the opera house, they discover Adam waiting for them. Rather than dragging them home, Adam has come to join them to watch the play, The Mazzepa. Adah Menken plays the lead role, briefly dressed in just a body stocking to feign nudity at one point. The scene intrigues Hoss in particular.

Books Worth Reading:

The boys are shocked to see Ben enter the saloon with Adah Isaacs Menken, believing that Ben would be upset that his sons would attend such a play. Adah is startled as she sees John Regan, her ex-boyfriend and the former heavyweight boxing champion, emerge from the crowd as she throws her garter to a group of adoring men. He smirks as he raises her band. She then insists that Ben take her to her hotel immediately because she is exhausted.

Ben speculates later on the cause of Adah’s sudden departure from the place. As Adah’s old friend, he’s well aware of her history with Regan. Ben suggests she forget about Regan, reminding her of how Regan treated her in the past. However, she asks Ben not to interfere, only for him to leave to make plans to stay in town to protect her.

Hop Sing tells Joe their father stayed in town and Adah will attend dinner that night. The news concerned the Cartwright boys, claiming that Menken “sure works fast.” Ben has no experience with women like Menken, so the brothers decide to have a chat with their father. The boys wanted to talk privately with him that evening after dinner.

Hoss finally expresses the boys’ concerns when Ben keeps asking them what is wrong by saying, “She’s an actress!” Ben reassures his boys that he can take care of himself. Unconvinced by their father’s remark, Adam decides he needs to speak with Menken after her evening performance.

Adam tells Adah that he can tell her everything he wants to say to her without using words, giving her a passionate kiss after his statement. Adam runs into his worried younger brothers as he leaves the theater. He responds, “None of your business,” when they inquire about what transpired.

Books Worth Reading:

Joe concludes that his older brother didn’t fare as well as he thought, so he goes to meet Adah. Joe approaches the actress with flowers and champagne and starts to court the starlet. She calls his bluff, however, and presents herself as someone who will educate him a little. Her statement scared Joe to death, as Adah throws Joe to the ground and corrects him for arriving with his preconceived notions of her. Adah declares that Joe has received adequate punishment, and the two part ways, with Adah praising Joe and describing them as a family.

Adah and Joe believe it is Ben knocking, so Joe quickly exits the back door. Unfortunately, the knock came from Regan, who arrived to beat Joe to pulp the moment he saw Joe come. Regan receives some jewelry from Adah to appease him and persuade him to leave town. Regan takes the jewels, then asks if Ben has asked her to marry him. Adah claims he has no such intentions, only for Ben to insist that is what he intends. Ben orders Regan to leave at gunpoint even though he wants to fight. Regan could only leave a parting remark, “I hope you know what you’re doing, Cartwright.”

The two then have a heart-to-heart conversation. Ben hears Adah say that she won’t marry him and would “rather have half a life than come between you and your sons.”

When Regan arrives at the street, she discovers Joe getting ready to mount and ride home. Regan asks if he’s a Cartwright, and when Joe confirms that he is, he identifies himself and advises the much smaller man to tell his father when he inquires. Joe shrugs and replies, “sure,” before turning to leave. However, Regans hits him from behind and throws him into an alley, where he beats Joe until he is almost dead. Later on, Hoss finds his unconscious sibling, bringing him into the hotel lobby just in time when Ben is getting ready to check out.

After learning what happened to Joe, Adam makes his way to the hotel. The doctor informs Ben that the injury can lead to Joe’s blindness. When Joe awakens, Ben asks him to blink twice to see if he can see him, and Joe painfully and slowly complies. The Cartwrights leave Joe with the doctor and make their way to the saloon. Adam asks Ben who did this to him, but Ben tells him he knows.

Books Worth Reading:

Ben challenges Regan to a gunfight after the Cartwrights come across him in the saloon. Regan says that he couldn’t pull the trigger and that if he wants to atone for what he did to his son, he will have to do it with his fist. Regan exhibits his bruised hand, which resulted from the numerous blows delivered to Joe. Ben begins to take his gun off in response to the challenge, with Hoss following after and nods to Adam to hold Ben back so he can fight Regan, who is at least as big as Hoss.

Ben is unhappy to see Hoss going up against Regan, and it initially doesn’t seem like Hoss has much chance. Adam yells to wrestle him rather than try to box Hoss after being knocked down numerous times. However, Hoss grabs Regan around the torso, stuffing him out. Hoss then strikes Regan several times, repeatedly knocking him to the ground, picking him back up, only to hit him again. Adah rushes into the saloon and shoves Hoss away as Hoss shouts breathlessly at Regan to “Get Up!” Regan receives an embrace from Adah, assuring him that everything will be fine.

Hoss expresses how he can’t understand why Adah would be with a man like that as Ben wipes blood from his face. Ben claims that there are various types of love, including Adah’s love for Regan. After that, they proceed to the hotel to check on Joe.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Magnificent Adah

Don't shoot! I'm not armed!

I'm not armed... arm... Oh!

Don't shoot! I'm not armed!

Don't shoot a defenseless man!

Fix him a rope, Hoss. Right.

What are you...?

Oh, y-y-you...

You're not, you're
not going to hang me?

Just a little bit, friend. Oh...

Why? What have I done?

Well, you completely ignored


a "No Trespassing" sign, mister.

This is the Ponderosa.

You think he was spotting
cattle for rustlers, Adam?

No, no, that's not true.

L-Look, my-my name
is Durward Wotkyns.

I am the agent for Miss Adah
Isaacs Menken's Company of players.

We open tonight
in Virginia City.

Ticket... tickets...

Look, look, here... tickets.

The best in the house.

Pl-Please, be my guests.

Ain't it funny how a man
will lie right up till the time

you stretch his neck?

No, no... I don't know, Hoss,


you think that limb's
strong enough to hold him?

Yeah, I think so.

He looks to me like
he's most all blubber.

Yeah, I think
it'll do all right.

Long as you don't
flop around too much.

This is barbaric!

I demand a trial.

Hey! Come back here!

Come back here! Hey!

That's enough, fellas.

Well, I bet he remembers

the next time he sees
a "No Trespass" sign.

Hey, look at this.


Hoss, you get rid of that thing

before Pa sees it.

Ain't that somethin'?

Now, you heard
what I said, Hoss.

What are you doing?

Oh, uh, nothing.

I, uh, I was just
getting this rope, Adam.

It's, it's an awful good rope.

All right, boys, let's go.

We got work waiting.

What took you so long?

Adam's door was open.

Yeah, you didn't have to
take half the night. Come on.

You're lucky. You live all the way
down at the other end of the house.

Sometimes Adam
can be worse than Pa.

Hey, Pa didn't see you, did he?

No, he ain't even home yet.

Here, help me into
this dang blasted thing.

All right.

How come you ain't got
no button on this shirt?

Well, I just ain't
got one, that's all.

Little Joe, Pa catches
us at a show like this,

he'll skin us alive.

You don't reckon anybody
will recognize us, do you?

Well, you got your
brand-new suit on, don't you?


You got your hair
slicked down real nice.


Got your boots polished?


Who's gonna recognize you? Yeah.


Anybody else here want to bet

my friend can't
bend this horseshoe?

Let me try. You
try, buddy, go on.

Who else wants to try?

Go ahead, friend.

How about a little wager, huh?

I got ya.

Fine. You try, buddy.

Want to try? Go ahead.

How about you, friend?

Want to give it a try?

Okay. Come on, Sledge.

Here, show 'em how it's done.

Come on.

You just stay
right there, honey.

I told you he could do it.

Come on, Sledge.

How about that, friends, huh?

Do you know who I am?

No, sir, don't think that I do.

I'm John C. Reegan.

That's right, former heavyweight
champion of the world.

Have a drink on the house
and be on your way, Reegan.

I tell you what, I'll lick
the best man in the house

for all the liquor I can drink.


Outside, Reegan.

You wouldn't shoot
an unarmed man.

John C. Reegan, is it?

Former champion.

You never was champion, Reegan.

Your manager
had to stop the fight

to keep you from getting killed.

What are you talking about?!

Nobody ever stopped
one of my fights!

You've been flattened by
every tramp pug in the business.

I'd lick you myself if I
was still in one piece.

You do your fighting
with your mouth, mister.

You got a friend that
can do it with his fists?

I'm buying Mr. Reegan
all he can drink,

just as soon as my partner
here gets finished with you.

Sledge, this fella says
you're a dumb mud walloper.

You ain't got no more
sense than a suck-egg mule.

Now, is that right?

He says you're too stupid
to even know how to fight.

Now, is that right?

Honey, I'll be right back.

Get back, girls.

Why don't you sit down,
Sledge. Leave him alone.

Why don't you take
a little walk, huh?

Sledge don't know
no rules, Reegan.

Get him, Sledge.

Give it to him.

Hey, sounds like a
good ruckus in here.

Hey, listen, you want
to go to the show,

or do you want to fight?

Well, I hate to
miss a good fight.

But I hate to miss
that show, too.

Well, then come on.

Stop it! Stop it, Reegan!

Sledge, Sledge,
are you all right?

You didn't have to
go that far, Reegan.

Sledge, Sledge, you all right?

Somebody get a doctor. Quick!

Bet this is going to be good.

You sure you got them tickets?

Sure, I got them
right here, don't worry.


What-what are you
doing here, Adam?

I'm waiting for you two. Oh.

Adam, Adam, we-we
can explain everything.

Yeah, well, you're going to
have a lot of explaining to do

if the best seats are gone.

Come on, let's go inside.

Yeah, let's go!

Olinska. Dear Olinska.


Who goes there?

All is silent.

All is silent!

He don't see her.

Olinska! Dear Olinska.

Ere yet the envious
daylight robs my soul

of this sweet privilege of
drinking from thine eyes

deep draughts of
the bright liquid fire,

which, as from the
twin stars of love,

stream through my enraptured
heart, appear, dear life!

Appear, dear life... Appear!

Cassimir, thou here?

Oh, hence, hence!

Wert thou discovered,

think how fearfully my
father's wrath would fall

on the clandestine
suitor to his child.

What can Cassimir dread,

ennobled and
emboldened by thy love?

A thousand tyrant
fathers I would brave,

from all their wrath
my lov'd Olinksa save

Or earn an early,
but an honored grave.

You tell 'em, Cassimir!

Bring on her old man out!

But see, the dawn advances;

the moon has sunk
beyond the hoary hill;

the glimmering lights are
one by one extinguished

and the hum of busy menials
speaks approaching day.

Away, my love, away!

She don't look nothing like
this girl here on the poster.

Yeah, well, see, this
is kind of mixed up.

See, the girl that's on this poster
is playing a man in the show.

How come she wants to do that?

I don't know. That's
just the way they do it.

Is my will obeyed and
the wild horse secured?

All is as my lord commanded.

Good. Bring forth the miscreant.

I knew it!

I knew he was going to
catch up with him... with her...

Shut up.

Oh, my father, pardon for him!

Unworthy girl!

All of the powers of this earth

were ineffectual to
assuage my vengeance.

Bring forth the untamed steed.

Hey, what are they
gonna do to her, Little Joe?

What are they gonna
do? I don't know.

Now bind the traitor to him.

And let scorching
sun, wintery blast

devouring hunger and
parching thirst rend the traitor!

Dearest father, in
thy mercy, save him!

Plead not for me, Olinska.

Perish as I might,

it is sufficient glory
that I die for thee.

Now bind the traitor to him.


He sure was a girl, wasn't he?

He sure was.

Hey, boo! Boo! Shh!

Come on! No, no, no!
Shh! Come on, Hoss.

Shh! Come on now.

Launch the traitor forth

and let the story of his fate
strike terror throughout Poland!

No! No! No!

No! No!


Give us a little beer, Charlie.

Coming right up.

Boy, I sure thought
she was a goner

when they put her on that horse.

I could have told
you not to worry.

They never kill off the hero.

Well, I'll tell you this:

Be a big mistake to
kill off anything like that.

I'm with you, Hoss.

Hey, Little Joe. Hmm?

Listen... was she or wasn't she?

Was she or wasn't she what?

You know.

No, I don't know. Ask Adam.

Adam, was she or wasn't she?

Was she or wasn't she what?


Well, now, you,
uh, you got eyes.

You saw her.

Yeah, but exactly
what did we see really?

She was wearing tights.

Besides, what
difference does it make?

What difference does it make?

Ladies and gentlemen,
the highlight of the evening!

One of you lucky gentlemen
will take home the garter

worn by Miss Adah Isaacs Menken.

Hey, it's Pa.

Here you are, boys.

And may the best man win.

Come on, throw it, throw it!

Over here. Come on, over here.

Now, what's the matter, Adah?

Nothing, Ben.

Just get me out of here.

Well, I'm sorry, boys.
There'll be other times.

How about a beer,
please? Coming right up.

I hope the next time you...

Right away.

What happened down there, Adah?

Nothing, Ben.

Ben, don't look so severe.

Suddenly, I feel tired.

That's all.

You're sure?


You don't mind if an old
friend worries about you a little?

Please don't ever stop.

Ben. Pheasant, lobster.

And my favorite champagne.

You remembered.

I had it shipped in
from a Boston importer

when I heard you were coming.

It isn't often that
I have a chance

to entertain such
a beautiful lady.

You're lonely, Ben.

Oh, uh, I have the Ponderosa...

and my boys.

They keep me
pretty well occupied.

And, uh, every once in a while,
a dear friend passes through.

To... the incomparable
Adah Menken,

more beautiful than
I ever remembered.


All right, out with it.

What's wrong?

It has something to do
with Reegan, doesn't it?

I'm a good listener, Adah.

Ben, you know most of the story.

Well, when Reegan
returned from England,

he was broke and
finished as a fighter.

Even his manager deserted him.

Somehow, he
found me in St. Louis.

I... I gave him money.

All I had and what
I could borrow.

He promised he'd
never bother me again.

You saw him tonight in
the saloon, didn't you?


He's worthless, Adah.

He's never drawn a sober breath.

Please, Ben.

I'm sorry, Adah,
but when I think

of the way the man
has treated you,

the way he's beaten you...
I don't want to talk about it.

What are you going to do?

See Mr. Reegan out of town.

Make sure he never
bothers you again.

No, Ben, don't interfere.

I can handle him.

Can you?

Please, keep out of this, Ben.

I won't make any promises, Adah.

I'm sorry.

Uh, we'll celebrate our
reunion some other time.

Good night.

Ben... I'm sorry.

I know how you must have
looked forward to this evening.

Forgive me?

There's nothing to forgive.

Good night.

Good night, Ben.

How did you get in here?

That rube that just left...

Could he make
you feel like that?

Get out of here before
I call the manager.

Now, that would
only lead to trouble,

and you don't want any
more trouble, do you, Adah?

Who was he?

Ben Cartwright, an old friend.

It won't work again, John.

Ben's an old
friend, nothing more.

Well, seeing you
two at the door,

I got a different impression.

If you have any idea
of blackmailing Ben

or getting any more
money out of me, forget it.

Ben'd kill you first.

I'm broke, John.

That's why I revived
the Mazeppa.

Well, I understand
you're on top, Adah.

Oh, you should never
have retired from the stage

and denied your public.

Oh, I saw the way those miners
were looking at you tonight.

You filth!

Now, you look here, Adah, I
won't be bought off this time.

You're never going
to get rid of me again.

Get out of here!

Well, when you change
your mind, I won't be far away.

Brought your horse
over from the livery stable,

just like you asked,
Mr. Cartwright.

Oh, thank you, Billy.

Uh, go take him
back to the stable,

bed him down for the night.

I've decided to stay
on in Virginia City.

Watch it, Adam.


I've been thinking about
Pa and that woman.

Well, what about
Pa and that woman?

Well, I don't like it none.

Pa ain't got no experiences
with them actresses.

Leastwise, none
he ever talked about.

Well, I guess he can handle it.

I thought I told you
to bring Pa along.

Pa didn't come home last night.

Just now Hop Sing
sent his clothes into town.

What for?

He's move into the
International House.

Where that woman's
staying? Yeah, and that ain't all.

Last night, they had champagne
in her rooms, and tonight,

Hop Sing says Pa's having
her over the house for supper.

What did I tell you, Adam?

What do you make of it, Adam?

Well, she sure works fast.

Guess we'd better have
a little talk with our pa.

Oh, it's a man-sized
spread, the Ponderosa.

Over a thousand square miles

of the finest timber
and grazing land

west of Salt Lake.

At last count, we had more
than 10,000 head of cattle

grazing in the lowlands.

It's an empire, Ben.

And to think, it
all belongs to you.

And the boys.

They're very fine boys.

You should be very proud.

Oh, they'll do.

I envy you Cartwrights.

It must be wonderful
living so close to the land.

Well, we have our problems.

Protecting what's
ours from outsiders.

You do that very
well, I imagine.

Yes, ma'am.

It was a delicious
supper, Hop Sing.

Really superb.

Oh, you lady got sense.

Hop Sing all the time
break back, cook fancy grub.

Nobody appreciate.

You come supper all the time.

Well, that makes
it official, Adah.

You're part of the family now.

Oh, I'd better get
you to the theater.

Hop Sing, bring the carriage
around to the front, please.

No eat desert?
Hop Sing fix special.

Well, Miss Menken has a
performance to give tonight.

Now, come on, get
the carriage around.

Rush, rush. All the time,
rush around lickety split.

He's delightful.

He needs a woman's discipline.

We all do, eh, boys?

Good night, Adam,
Little Joe, Hoss.

We'll be seeing each
other again soon, I hope.

Good-bye, Miss Menken.

Hey, Pa?


Oh, Pa, we...

We want to talk to
you, Pa, private-like.

Well... can't it keep?

No, Pa.

I'll wait for you in
the carriage, Ben.

Well, what is it?

Well, out with it.

Pa, promise you ain't
gonna get mad, now.

Well, what's on your mind?

Speak up.

Well, it's, uh...

It's about what's been
happening to you, Pa.

Yeah, Pa, we know you're
still a young man and...

Well, you must get
lonely sometimes and...

Well, I know you're sick
and tired of having us around,

but... Well, we...

You know what your brothers
are trying to say, Hoss?

Now, Pa, you
promised not to get mad.

Then speak out plain.

Well, Pa... she's an actress.

I see.

So, that's what's been
troubling you three all evening.

You don't think Miss Menken
is good enough for your father.

Well, let me tell you something.

Adah Menken is all the
woman that a man could want,

and I'm very proud to
be seen in her company.

Yeah, but, Pa, she's just...

Now, don't say it, Adam.

Now, don't you boys think

that I'm old enough
to take care of myself?

Pa, we... we're just
doing it for your own good.

Well, thank you.

Thank you very much.

An now, with your permission,

I'll accompany Miss
Menken back to town.


Oh! Miss Adah, I
told him not to go in,

but he went right
in anyway, and I...

Find Ben Cartwright.
Tell him not to wait.

That you'll escort me back to
the hotel. But, Miss Adah, I...

Never mind. Just find him
and tell him. Yes, ma'am.

Adam, I didn't know you were
coming to tonight's performance.

I didn't come to see
the performance.

I think you know why I'm here.

Yes, I think I do.

Don't you think your
father is a wise enough man

to take care of himself?

Look, Adah, you have your
way of life. We have ours.

Do you also speak
for your brothers?

In this case, yes.

Tell me, Adam.

When did you first decide
I was a bad woman?

When you saw me
with your father or...

Or when you saw me on the stage?

What are you afraid of, Adam?

What makes you think I'm afraid?

You came here to
say something to me.

Why don't you say it?

I don't think words
are necessary.

You know what I mean.

Well, now, at least, we
understand each other.

Adam, what happened?

What did she say?

None of your business.

Hey, what's eating him?

Oh, I guess older brother
didn't make out so well.

What are we going
to do, Little Joe?

We... we got to help Pa.

Yeah, well, you know, it
takes a red-blooded man

to persuade a woman.

Yeah, but where
we going to get one?

Hey, where you going?

To get a shave and
some clean clothes.

This is no way to meet a lady.

See ya, Hoss.

Who is it?

Room service.

Well, you must be mistaken.

I didn't order anything.

Compliments of Mr. Cartwright.

How sweet of Mr. Cartwright!

"To a lovely lady,

clothed in the light
of her own beauty"

Joe Cart... Joe Cartwright?

At your servant, Miss Menken.

Little Joe.

Just Joe, ma'am.

You Cartwrights have a
flair for the unexpected.

I think when you get
to know this Cartwright

a little bit better, ma'am,

you won't be
surprised at anything.


And, uh, you take, uh,

you take my brother Adam...

Now, he's the dependable one.

He's a worrier.

And then there's Hoss.

Well, Hoss is just plain Hoss.

And what about your father?

Well, Pa?

Pa never changes.

He's... he's the same
year in and year out.

You've got everyone pretty
much figured out, haven't you?

I guess Pa's had his day, but...

of course that was when
he was much younger.

And now you think
he should be retired

into the background, is that it?

We don't have to
talk about him, do we?


We don't.

Why don't you pour
the champagne.

Yes, ma'am.

You're a very handsome man, Joe.

Oh, I don't know.

Do you have many girls?

Yeah, quite a few.

Are they wild about you?

Yeah, some of them are.

They're fools...

Letting you out of their sight.


Here, let me fill your glass.

Well, there's plenty of time.

We've got the whole
evening ahead of us.

Hey, how would you like me
to get you something to eat?

At a time like this?

You're wonderful, Joe.

You make a woman feel at ease...

Yet wanted.

I'm glad you came.

Hey, boy, you
know, it's really...

It's getting hot in
here now. It's perfect.

Hey, Miss-Miss-Miss Menken...

Adah. Yeah, A-Adah...

Adah, look, I don't want
you to get the wrong idea

about why-why I came here.

Oh, I haven't got
the wrong idea.

I know exactly why you're here.

And I won't disappoint you.

You'll get everything
you deserve.

Hey, what was that for?!

Teach you a lesson
you obviously needed.

Hey, now, Miss
Menken, I can explain.

I ought to have
you horsewhipped...

Coming in here with
the ideas you had!

Listen, I only did it for Pa.

To show him what kind of a...

What kind of a woman I am?

Yes, ma'am.

Uh, no, I mean, no, ma'am!

I... well, I...

Let me tell you, Little Joe.

Your father moved
into this hotel

to protect me from
someone out of my past.

And for no other reason.

I'm, I'm sorry, ma'am.

I-I didn't know that.

This is something between
my Pa and you and, uh,

I'm sorry I made a
fool out of myself.

You Cartwrights
are quite a family.

Is that Pa?

He usually checks
to see if I'm all right.

You'd better go.

Through here.

What-what about the
champagne, the flowers?

Don't worry. I won't
tell him you were here.

I wasn't thinking about myself.

You're sweet.

Hurry. Oh, here.

Just a minute, Ben.

All right, where is he?!

Where'd the Cartwright kid go?

I know he's here.

You're drunk.

Well, you always did
know, didn't you, Adah?

Look at yourself...

Brawling in saloons
and the back alleys.

All right, don't
change the subject.

Where did the kid go?

He isn't here.

Why do you do it, John?

Why do you act this way?

You could still be champion
of the world if you wanted to be.

Well, that's all in
the past, so forget it.

I can't forget it.

I remember what you were like.

What... how things
used to be between us.

Now I have to listen to them
say you're all washed up.

Oh, I could still handle myself.

You ought to see the
respect in their faces

when I finish beating
up one of these rubes.

You're still the big
man, aren't you?

Well, I'm all the
man you'll ever have.

Now where did the kid go?

John, I don't have
much left... a few jewels.

I'll give them to you if you
promise you'll leave town

without causing any trouble.

Take them.

You know, I, uh...

I was never able to court you

with champagne, Adah.

But then I didn't
have three sons

to do my lovemaking
for me either.

Get out of here.

Must make you feel
like a queen, Adah.

Ben Cartwright
propose to you yet?

He hasn't any
intentions of marrying me.

That's not quite true, Adah.

Make a move,
Reegan... so I can kill you.

Well, I'm not armed, Cartwright.

Don't interfere, Ben.

I'm asking you to
be my wife, Adah.

That gives me every
right to interfere.

Now, Reegan,

you be on that morning
stage to Salt Lake...

or get yourself a gun.

Now get out.

I will settle this, Cartwright.

My way.

Oh, you won't shoot
an unarmed man.

I'll give you the same
chance you gave that minor.

That was a fair
fight; ask his partner.

Ask anybody in the bar.

Get out.


I hope you know what
you're doing, Cartwright.

Little Joe! How'd you make...

Now don't say anything
else about Adah Menken.

Little Joe, I-I ain't
even open my mouth.

Yeah, well, just don't.

Go on finish your beer.

I'll see you outside.


Yeah, that's right.

My name is Reegan.

John C. Reegan.

Remember that when your Pa asks.



Ah, you're one of those
Cartwrights, aren't you?

Yes, sir, most people
just call me Hoss.

I don't think I've
had the pleasure.

A drink for the house
on John C. Reegan.

Yes, sir!

All right! Come on, over here!


Well, I've known
you a long time, Adah.

You know, I've...

I've thought of you often.

Read about you, wondered
what had happened to you.

Seeing you here...

Ben, you're a lonely man.

Maybe you're mistaking
loneliness for love.

What about you?

Now, how long
will you be content

to go on running
away from yourself?

From Reegan?

What do you think
your sons would say

if you married the
notorious Adah Menken?

My sons?

What do my sons
have to do with it?

You're a very close family, Ben.

I wouldn't want to change that.

Well, my boys need a woman

around the house
as much as I do.


They're not boys,
Ben, they're grown men.

Maybe Little Joe or Hoss
would accept me, but...

but Adam...

Well, Adam is hardheaded
but he's my son.

Yes, I know.

What do you mean?

He came to visit me backstage.

He's very much your son.


You're a very
desirable woman, Adah.

Thank you, Ben.

You're a wonderful man.

But I'd rather settle
for half a life than...

than come between
you and your sons.

Half a life.

That's all you've ever had.

Maybe that's all I understand.

Maybe it's best I'm leaving
tonight for San Francisco.

I wish I'd been able to ask you

before those little
boys became men.

I'll be checking out shortly.

Would you prepare
my bill, please?

Yes, sir, Mr. Cartwright. Pa!

Pa, somebody might near
beat Little Joe to death.

Lay him down on the settee.

How is he?

Got a gash over
his optic nerve...

Your brother may
be blinded, Adam.

Anybody know who did it?

Little Joe couldn't say.

He's coming to.

Easy, son. Now
don't try to move.

Can you see me?


Don't try to talk.

going to be all right.

If you can see
me, blink your eyes.


Easy, son.

If you can see me

blink your eyes two times.

That's good, son.

That's good.

Everything's gonna be all right.

Your Pa's right here.


You just rest easy.

Come on, ask him who did it.

I know who did it.

The greatest heavyweight
that ever toed the mark.

That's my friend,
John C. Reegan.

Fought all the comers
and he licked them all!

Never knocked out in 37 fights.

He still would be champion
if he hadn't been robbed.

Old dirty thieving
crooked referee!

Give him your gun, Adam.

Do as I say.

Reach for it, Reegan.

Reach for it!

With this busted up hand?

I couldn't find the
trigger, Cartwright.

Now, if you want to settle
for what I did to your boy,

you're gonna have to shoot me.

Or do it with your fists.

Pa, let me do it.

Keep out of this, Hoss.

Pa, you gotta let me do it.

Little Joe and me, Pa, is...

You just gotta let me do it.

You just stand aside, Hoss.

Let go of me! MINER:
Ah, no gouging

or biting, men and no kicking
the other fellow when he's down.

Adam, let me go!



I ain't whipped yet, Pa.

Don't try to fight
him, wrestle him!

Get up!

Stop it, stop it!

Don't hit him again.

I'm sorry, Adah.

Help me, help me.

It's all right, John.

It's all right, John.


I'm all right, Pa.

I just don't understand.

How can she?

She's a woman in love.

With a man like that?

Well... It's hard
to figure, isn't it?

She could have
any man she wants.

As I think you found out.

Beats me.

Woman as beautiful
as that in love with a...

There are many
kinds of love, Hoss.

As many kinds as
there are women.


Let's go see Little Joe.

Behind the Scenes of The Magnificent Adah

Backstage, Adam and Adah share a kiss in front of an arrangement of flowers that includes daisies, pink roses, and possibly blue lupines. Later, Adah’s hotel room received the same floral arrangement, only from Little Joe. The daisies and roses emerged as a floral arrangement (minus lupines) in Cartwrights’ dining room, displayed when Adah visits Ben earlier in the story.

The title of this episode was initially “The Naked Lady.”

Books Worth Reading:

This episode is the first of the many in which Pernell Roberts is dressed entirely in black.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a fantastic Western show you can enjoy alone or with your family. NBC produced Bonanza, having it run on their network from September 1959 to January 1973. The entire series lasted 14 seasons, and The Magnificent Adah is the 10 episode out of 430. 

Find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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