the many faces of gideon flinch
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The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #07

In this comedic tale, Gideon Flinch, a mail-order swindler played by Ian Wolfe under the alias Homer T. Cranston, dupes ornery Bullethead Burke, portrayed by Harry Swoger, out of $5,000. Seeking vengeance, Bullethead arrives in Virginia City. Gideon’s resourceful niece, Jennifer, played by Sue Anne Langdon, cleverly shifts blame onto Little Joe Cartwright, convincing Bullethead that he’s Flinch. Arnold Stang co-stars as Jake the Weasel, with Burt Mustin and Clem Bevans playing supporting roles akin to a Greek chorus. Penned by Robert Vincent Wright and airing on November 5, 1961, The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch stands as one of several Bonanza episodes helmed by Robert Altman.

Explore its plot, enriched with captivating trivia, or watch the entire episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch

Watch the Full Episode of The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch:

Main Cast

Besides the main cast, “The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch,” the seventh episode of Bonanza Season 3 highlights various recurring and guest supporting actors. The following are featured in the episode:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Ben Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Sue Ane Langdon as Jennifer Flinch
  • Arnold Stang as Jake ‘the Weasel’
  • Ian Wolfe as Gideon Flinch
  • Harry Swoger as William ‘Bullet Head’ Burke
  • Joe Turkel as Thug #1
  • Bobby Jordan as Thug #2 (as Robert Jordan)
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Robert Foulk as Clem
  • Clem Bevans as Jeb
  • Burt Mustin as Burt Lucas
  • Rickey Kelman as Sammy – Little Boy (as Ricky Kelman)
  • Charles Horvath as Cowboy
  • George Dunn as Rocky
  • Owen Bush as Hotel Clerk
  • Nick Borgani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Roy’s Prisoner (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Ethan Laidlaw as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • John Rice as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Alex Sharp as Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch

In this comedic scenario, Bullethead Burke arrives in town seeking Gideon Flinch, the mail-order fraudster who conned him out of $5,000. However, before Bullethead can confront him, Flinch’s niece intervenes, persuading Bullethead that Joe Cartwright is the culprit. With his sister supporting the deception, the ruse deepens.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch

Wonder what's brung the
two Cartwright boys to town.

Ol' nosy, himself.

Body can't ride
in or out of town

without your long
nose starting to itch.

Nothing wrong taking an
interest in your neighbor.

Ah, I always was one
to keep to my own affairs,

but ol' Jeb, here, he's sort of
been bit by the curiosity bug.

He's wondering what
brung you fellas to town.

Well, I reckon I can
tell you two fellas.



See them two horses down there?

They brought us.

You just had to get
nosy, didn't you?




Hey. Come on, Joe.

This here paper work is
gonna take us an hour.

Now wait a second. I want
to see the stage coming up.



Thank you.



Hmm. Hey, you know,
Hoss, uh, the idea of sitting

in that musty ol' office all day

kind of makes my
stomach flutter, you know.

Yeah. I know what
makes your stomach flutter.

I seen her, too. Come on here.

Oh, wait a minute,
wait a minute.

Pa said you were gonna take
care of all that paperwork and stuff.

Now you just hold down the fort.

I'll be back in a minute.

Now, ma'am, we, uh,
we kind of pride ourselves

on our hospitality
here in Virginia City.

That's why we always
have a gentleman

meet the young
ladies at the stage.

Oh, how nice!

Where is he?

Well, my dear, we'd
best check into the hotel.

"Where is he?"

There they go... uh, uh, room?

Y-Yeah, two rooms,
as a matter of fact.

Uh, one for myself
and one for my niece.

Uh, uh, where does your
sheriff generally hang out

this time of day?

Well, if you're avoiding
him, stay off Main Street.

If you're looking for him,
his office is down the street

a piece.

Rooms ten and 11.

Hmm. Can't exactly make out

your name here, uh...
Is it, uh, Cranston?

Y-Yeah, that's
my name all right.

Uh, Homer T. Cranston.

Look, Charley, look at this.

Kind of reminds me
of a refreshing breeze

right off'n the prairie.

And you two remind me
of a gale from the barn.

Now, if you don't mind.

If I didn't know
better, I'd think

you was trying to avoid us.

Now you wouldn't
do that, would you?

Not to two nice fellas like us.

Now listen, you two back-pasture
Romeos, out of my way!

Can't a lady walk in this
town without being bothered by

two low-down, miserable,
fat-brained, lop-eared cows?!


Yes, lop-eared!

- Hey!
- You want to play games now?

- All right, we'll play games!
- Hey! Oh, you can't...

- But I'll make up the rules.
- Give her here!

Charley... Uncle Gideon!

Uncle Gideon!

Wait! Wait.

I don't know who you
are but I reckon I owe you

a heap of thanks.

Aw, it wasn't nothing, ma'am.

Uh, Miss... Flinch,

but you can call
me Jennifer, Mister...

Well, thank you, ma'am.
My, my name's Cartwright,

but you can just call me Hoss.


I like that.

Do you?

A-And it's easy to see
why you're named that,

'cause, 'cause you're stronger

than a whole team of
Percherons at sunup!

Yes sir, you got muscles
stronger than a mule.

While you're at it, Hoss, why
don't you show her your teeth?

Uh, allow me to present
myself again, miss.

Joe Cartwright at your service.

Cartwright? Well,
that's your name.

Uh, sad but true. Uh,
blood is thicker than water.

H-He's my older
brother. Much older.

Now, look here, Joe...

And that disgraceful
incident I just witnessed...

street brawling.

Street brawling? Joe...

them two liquored up bums
was trying to bother Miss...

Miss Jennifer.

Now you stop teasing
your brother, Joseph.

It was just wonderful, the
way he came to my rescue.

Why, he's the strongest
man I've ever met.

W-Well, n-now that
you've seen his talents,

how would you like to
see a little more refined part

of Virginia City? Say, uh,
luncheon at Garson's Restaurant?

Sure! Why, I'm hungrier
than a passel of polecats

before a spring thaw.

Uh, I mean...

I would be delighted to
have luncheon with you...

if, uh, Hoss... will
accompany us.

Oh, ma'am, I'd, I'd be happy to.

Now, H-Hoss, did you get
all that paperwork finished?

Dad-burnit! I got to
get that done, too.

Maybe I can join
you later, ma'am.

- Please do.
- Yes'm.

And, uh, don't you
hurry now, Hoss,

'cause, uh, h-haste makes waste.

Thank you again.


Let me tell you
about the ranch I run.

W-We call it the Ponderosa.

How's it going, Rocky?

Not too good, Little Joe.

Lumbago's stiffened
me up something awful.

I can't ride no more.

I, uh, was sort of
wondering if, uh, well, uh...


There you go, Rocky.

Bless you, lad.


And you run the
Ponderosa all by yourself?

Well, of course, Hoss helps
me with a few routine matters.

Of course, then there's Pa and
Adam, that's my older brother.

T-They have a few minor
chores to take care of but I,

I do take most of
the burden myself.

Well, that's enough about me.

W-What brings
you to Virginia City?

Well, I came with
my Uncle Gideon.

He's in the investment
business over in Placerville.

He had some sort of a
deal here so I twisted his arm

to take me along.

Hey, they got sauerkraut
and hog knuckles.



Thank you.

Wow! That feed would
pop the corset stays

on a schoolmarm.

Oh, I-I mean, the, uh,

the luncheon was delightful.

Oh, I'm glad you
enjoyed the cuisine.

No, I had the hog knuckles.


Hey, uh, look...

why don't we, uh, why don't
we go down the livery stable,

I'll rent a buggy,
go for a little ride,

and I'll show you
the countryside.

Uh, well, that would
be very nice, but, uh,

don't you think we
better wait here for Hoss?

No, no, I-I think he's gonna
be tied up for a long time.

Oh, oh.

So I'll just pay the check
and we'll be on our way.

What's the matter?

My wallet's gone.

That's funny. I had it outside
when I gave Rocky that money.

I was careful to put
it back in my pocket.

I haven't been
close to anybody...

except you, Jennifer, honey.

That was a pretty funny joke.
You had me worried for a minute.

Let me have it back
so I can pay the check.

I didn't take your ol' wallet.

Well, look, a joke's a joke.
Come on, give me it back.

Let me tell you
something, Mr. Cartwheel!

- Cartwright.
- I am not the kind of a girl

that goes around lifting
men's wallets, even for a joke!

Well, if you didn't
do it for a joke,

you must have done it for
real, and if you don't give it back

I'm gonna take it back.

You call yourself a gentlemen?

Why, you mealy-mouthed,

mangy renegade
cousin to a second lobo!

All right, that's about enough!

All right, Miss
Pocket-Picking Flinch!

I'm taking you to
the sheriff's office.

Oh, no, you're not!

- Oh, yes, I am.
- You put me down,

you snake-eyed sidewinder!

Oh, yeah?

You put me down!

By grannies, lookee there!

And you wanted to sit
down by the general store

t'other end of the street.

There's been more
doing here this morning

than I seen in three
weeks at the Alamo.


Off me!

Get your big paws off me!

Put me down!

You put me down!

Sheriff, oh, this town's
getting big enough

to attract all
kinds of riffraff...


D-Don't let this pretty
face fool you, Sheriff.

She's nothing but a
sneaking pickpocket.

At least search her...
She's got my wallet-wallet.

What this-this jackal
says is a dirty lie, Sheriff!

I never touched his
moth-eaten old wallet.

And if you touch me,
I'll scratch your eyes out!

Now, you simmer
down, the both of you.

Little Joe, I've known
you a long time,

and if you say that this little
lady stole your pocketbook,

then I got to believe that you
think you're telling the truth.

On the other hand, while
she's a total stranger,

she don't have the
look of no pickpocket.

Spunky, yeah, but...

a winsome-looking little thing.

Well, yeah, yeah.

And-and that's all
part of her bait, Sheriff.

Yeah, to-to gull an innocent
man like myself into-into letting

my guard down so she can
stick her hands in my pockets.

Now, you search her;
she's got my wallet on her.

You just go ahead
and try, Sheriff,

and you'll end up with a
mouthful of sheriff's badge!

We got to start being
more careful, Sheriff Coffee.

This town's beginning to get

all kinda riffraff
and sneak thieves.

I caught this here
hombre red-handed.

As a matter of fact, I caught
him with his hand in my pocket.

Low-down pickpocket.

Here, I found these on him.

He had a busy morning.

Wait a minute!

Come on.

I wouldn't want to touch
the ugly old thing, Sheriff,

but, uh, if I'm not mistaken,

that wallet belongs
to Mr. Cartwheel.


Uh... Miss-Miss Jennifer, I...

I-I don't know what to say.

You bet your sweet life
you don't know what to say.

You've said enough already!

May I go now, Sheriff?

You may.

That is for the hog
knuckles and sauerkraut.

Good day, Sheriff!

Good day.



I'm sorry to interrupt, but my
name, sir, is Gideon Flinch.

Now, I take it that
you're the sheriff?

I am.

Oh, excuse me.

Roy Coffee's the name.

Is there something
I can do for you?

Uh, why, yes.

Uh, may I speak with
you privately, Sheriff?

Yeah. Excuse me, boys.

You see, Sheriff, I'm being
pursued by a madman.

Here, just you read this.


"Gideon Flinch, general
delivery Placerville, California..."

It says, "I will break
every bone in your body..."


- "horsewhip you..."
- Oh!

"and then shoot you."


Signed by a Mr. Burke.

Now, who's he?

Uh, William Burke.

They call him Bullet Head Burke.

Bullet Head Burke.

Yeah. You see, I run a
small investment house

over in Placerville, Sheriff.

Now, this Burke
entrusted me with $5,000

for speculative investment.

Well, naturally, I do the
best I can for my clients,

but I can't be
right all the time.

Well, of course not.

And this $5,000 of Mr. Burke's,
that's been wiped out?

Unfortunately, yes.

Except for my
commission, of course.

Well, yeah, of course.

A man can't lose
his own commission.

Well, somehow this Burke
got the idea that I cheated him.

Now, where in the world
did he ever get that idea?

Oh, you've got to help me.

He might be riding into
Virginia City right this minute.

Now, you just calm down
and give me his description,

and I'll keep an
eye peeled for him.

I can't describe him.

He did all his business
with me by mail.

But I've heard he's
big, strong and mean.

Now, if you can't describe him,
ain't nothing I can do for you.


Say, friend.

Uh, me?

Got a light?


Well, where's your smoke?

Well, I figure if you
don't mind lighting me,

you wouldn't mind
supplying the stogie.

May I have my key, please?


Uh, they stole the...

May I have my key, please?

Good afternoon, Miss Cranston.


Uh, I'm afraid you
got my name mixed up.

It isn't Cranston, it's Flinch.


I-I don't think I understand.

Your uncle registered you in
as Miss Hepzibah Cranston.


Let me see that.





Really, Uncle Gideon!

Uh, I-I thought it was
kind of a nice name.

Do I look like a Hepzibah?

Well, I'm not going to
look like your Uncle Gideon

if Bullet Head Burke
catches up with me,

which he'll probably do,
now that you made the clerk

put my right name down
on the hotel register.

Well, I didn't know, Uncle.

I thought you were
here on business,

not running away from a man.

Well, I didn't want
you to worry, my dear.

But the die is cast.

I-I'm trapped and no way out.

Oh, m-maybe you're
just imagining it.

Maybe he isn't
chasing you at all.

Well, I didn't conjure this up.

No, sir.

You just take a look at that.

Oh, if I were only
young and strong,

I'd stand up to this
Burke and whip him.

Of course you would.

But I'm not young and strong.

Uncle, do you remember
on the stage this morning,

we passed that
old deserted cabin

about three miles from here?

I noticed a shack by the river.

That's the one.

Now, look, you sneak
out the back way,

I'll buy some grub and rent a
buggy and take you out there.

No. No.

Won't work.

Burke would just
find out I've been here

and track me down like a dog.

But I thought you said
he'd never seen you.

Well, that won't stop him.

No, Jennifer, I've heard
stories about this Burke.

I understand he can
lick any two ordinary men,

and... and I'm
not even ordinary.

That's it!

What's it?

I'm not gonna have my
favorite uncle get beaten up.

You are gonna
hide out in that cabin.

Only, Burke, when he gets here,

isn't gonna come looking
for you, 'cause he's gonna find

somebody here
whom he'll think is you.

But I don't understand.

I mean, you can't find someone

who's willing to take my
place and get beaten up.

To get beaten up, no.

To take your place, yes.

If I can trick him into it.

And I think I can.

Hi, Rocky.

What, you lose your smoke?

Yeah, not only that,

Lumbago's stiffened
me up somethin' terrible.

I can't ride no more.

Hoss, I kind of hate to
do this, but, uh, well, uh...


Here, here, Rocky.

- Thank you.
- Don't mention it.

Thank you.

Now, you're safe, Uncle Gideon.

You got plenty of
food and firewood.

Well, now I still don't
like this idea, not one bit.

Oh, well, it's better
than being horsewhipped

and beaten and every
bone busted in your body.

Now, I've got a
little plan worked out.

And unless I'm
losing my touch...

Come on, horse.

Hoss, I just can't get over
the way that you handled

those two men that were
bothering me this morning.

Oh, they was, they was
kind of puny, Miss Jenny.

Anyhow, they needed a bath.

Oh, I just bet that there aren't
two men anywhere could take you.

Oh, sure there is, Miss Jenny.


No, no, Hoss.

You're the kind of a man
that a girl feels safe with,

you know, that a, that
a girl can depend on.

Oh, yeah, you can
depend on me, Miss Jenny.

Anything you want, you
just ask me, you hear?

Oh, oh, oh, no, no, Hoss.

You've done more than enough.

More than enough.

Uh, of course, there
is one small favor

that I'd like to ask of you.

Why, sure, ma'am.

Well, you know, my Uncle
Gideon has been tired

and exhausted
from the trip and all.

He doesn't feel up to showing
an out-of-town client a good time.

So, so, I-I was just
wondering if you, uh...

Uh, Miss Jenny, I-I ain't much
at good-timing with a stranger.

Oh, oh, oh, Hoss,
you'd be wonderful!

And there's no problem,
'cause this client, Mr. Burke,

he's-he's never seen my uncle.

Miss Jenny, I don't know. I...

Oh, it's simple, Hoss.

All this Mr. Burke
will want is maybe

a free dinner and a few drinks.

Why, I have a hunch
that after he sees you,

he'll only stay for
a minute or two.

Dad-burn, Miss Jenny,
them-them big business deals...

I'm-I'm about as clumsy
as a one-legged spider.

But, you know, if you, if
you really want me to, I...

Oh, Hoss, I-I
really want you to.

All right.


Now, now, let me
get this straight, Hoss.

Now, Jennifer wants you to
just play-act the part of her uncle,

sort of have a little
talk with this Mr. Burke,

- maybe buy him a drink?
- That's right.

I'm on my way up there
right now, Joe, to meet him.

Fact is, since I'm gonna
be here all evening,

there ain't no use in
you hanging around.

You might as well just ride
on back out to the ranch.

No, no, I-I better
stay with you, Hoss,

maybe give you some
help or something.

Oh, no, you don't.

Fact is, Joe, you done had
your chance with Jennifer.

You ride on back
out to the Ponderosa

and tell Pa I ain't gonna
be there for supper.

- Bye, little brother.
- Hey...


Why, hello there,
fella. Do you want me?

I do if you're Miss Flinch.

I am.

Well, this here fellow from
the stage office give me a nickel

to ask you to come down
there right away, please.

He said there was some
sort of mix-up with your ticket.

Honest to Pete! These,
these ticket offices!

All right.

Here you go.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.


What's the matter, boy?

I come as fast as I
could! It's the Ponderosa!

Heap of trouble! You gotta go!

What sort of trouble, boy?

Fire! It's burning
like a can of coal oil!

Here, you tell this lady in
here what happened, you hear?


Great land o' Goshen!

Glory be!

I did just like
you said, mister.

You sure did, Sammy.

Now here's that other
nickel I promised you.


What are you, some kind
of a crook or something?

He wins a game, he
gets another week off.

Why'd you make that move for?

What did I make the...? You
told me to make the move!

You so smart, you go ahead
and you play him yourself.

- Go on.
- All right, I will.

Come on. Set 'em up.

You gonna lose me so many games,

this fella's gonna
get out of here,

and I won't have nobody
to play with but you.

Show you how this
game should be played.

Yeah, yeah, I
suppose you invented it.

Over here.

Come on, one more.

All right, now, which
do you choose?

Clark is faster than you
are with them handcuffs on.

All right, you go first.


Don't touch us.

Well, it's awful
nice of you fellas

to come all the way from Chicago

just to help me out.

The boss said there's
nothing too good

for Bullet Head Burke.

Do you really think the
pigeon is here, Bullet Head?

Well, there hasn't been a stage
out of town since he arrived,

and this is the only hotel.

Boy, I've been looking forward
to this for a long, long time.

Now, you fellas go
in the alley in back

just in case Mr. Flinch
tries to make a break for it

out the back way.

Now, easy and quiet,
don't cause no commotion.

Bullet Head, do
you think this is

the first time we've
pulled an out-of-town job?

Sorry, boys, forgot
where you were from.

All right, which do you choose?

Over here.


Thought he'd fall
for it, didn't you?


You lose this game,
he gets out today.

- You already lost me seven games.
- Hmm.

See there?

That's why you're a deputy.

Come on, I'll let you out.

Doggone mule-head
flea-bitten biscuit binders.


Why, Jennifer, what
a pleasant surprise.

What have you done with Hoss?

What are you doing
here, you, you...?

Don't, don't... no, no,
no, no names, Jennifer.

Now, you called me enough
names to last me for a whole year.

I just wanted an opportunity to
tell you how dead wrong I was.

Well, you'll be plain dead
if you don't get out of here.

Oh, well, d-don't
stand in that draft.

I'll bet that you had something
to do with sending me

on that wild goose chase
to the stage office, too.

Hmm, sort of, yeah... oh, a-and I
sent Hoss back to the Ponderosa.

Oh, no.

Oh, honey, look, a-all's
fair in love and war.

And this isn't
exactly war, is it?


Aw, come on, don't be like that.

I'll be like what
I want to be like.

Uh, excuse me.


I'm looking for a man.

Can't describe him, but he goes
by the name of Gideon Flinch.

Of course, room ten.

You mean he's here
using his own name?

Now, when he checked in

he called himself
Homer T. Cranston.

I may look pretty stupid,
but not much slips by me.

Yeah, room ten, huh?


Now, look, y-you wanted
Hoss to be Gideon Flinch,

so now I'll be Gideon Flinch.

You can't be Gideon Flinch.

Why can't I?

Now, look, I-I know Hoss has
got the muscles and the brawn,

but, uh, I just feel
that I have the ability

to make a much better
impression on Mr. Burke.

That might be Mr. Burke.


Oh, Jennifer, will
you stop worrying?

Look, I just want a chance to
show you I'm sorry, that's all.

I'll be the best little old
Gideon Flinch you ever saw

and I promise I'll make
a good impression

on Mr. Burke if it kills me.


Hey, don't forget
to call me "uncle."

Are you Gideon Flinch?

Well, yes, you
must be Mr. Burke.

Very nice to meet you.

So you're the one that cheated
me out of my $5,000, huh?

You know, I kind of thought
you'd be an older man,

but I'm glad you're not.

I'd hate to beat up an old man.

Well, Bullet Head was right.

The little pigeon did try
to sneak out the back way.

Yeah, you gonna go
along quietly, Flinch?


Oh, oh, you made a
mistake, a terrible mistake.

My name is Jake...
Jake the Weasel.

Come on, don't give us that.

Jake the Weasel's
doing time in Detroit.

Oh, th-that must be
another Jake the Weasel.

You say you're Jake the Weasel,
we say you're Gideon Flinch.

You calling us liars?

Let's just take a look here
and see what we can find.

Look... well, now, this
wallet's got all kinds of cards

with the name Gideon Flinch.

This watch... there's a name
engraved on it... Gideon Flinch.

I-I found it.

M-my name's Jake...
Jake the Weasel.

- No.
- You know, you're, you're lying to us,

and you hurt our feelings.

You know, we're sort
of sensitive about that.

You know, we may even
end up massaging your throat.

Like I said, Flinch, nobody
cheats Bullet Head Burke

out of $5,000 and
gets away with it.

Oh, but I'm not going
to work you over here.

Me and my boys are going
to take you for a little ride

out in the country and
do the job real proper-like.

You see, Mr. Burke,

there's, there's, there's
been a nasty mistake.

Oh, you're so right,
and you made it

when you cheated
me out of my money.

Now, now, now,
hold it, Mr. Burke.

Now, I-I didn't cheat
you out of... Oh.

I, I-I didn't cheat
you out of anything.

See, the fa-fact
of the matter is,

I-I'm not even Gideon Flinch.

Sure, sure, you're
in Flinch's hotel room.

And you try the old oil on
me, just as big as brass.

Well, it won't work, Flinch.

Uh, J-Jennifer, you, you own up

and, and tell, tell Mr. Burke
here who I really am.

Yeah, you do that, honey.

You taught me never to
tell a lie, Uncle Gideon.

Uncle Gi...

Oh, hey, now, look,
this is, this is just a plan

she's got to protect her uncle.

Now, I ne... I never, I never
cheated you out of anything.

See, the f... the fact is,
my name is Cartwright...

Joe Cartwright.

You got something on you
to prove you're this here, uh...

What do you call
it... Cartwheel?


Sure, sure, I got a
lot, I got a lot of proof.

I've got...



See, I, I, I had the, the proof.

I-I left my wallet in
the sheriff's office.

Of course you did.

Everybody leaves their
wallets with the sheriff.


Now, Mr. Gideon Flinch,

unless you want to test
my shooting at five feet,

you'd better stand real quiet

while I tie up the
little lady here.

We don't want her running
after the law after we're gone,

now, do we?

J-J-Jennifer, can you please
tell Mr. Burke who I really am?

I already have, Uncle Gideon.


Wonder what's keeping Burke.

He must know by now
the pigeon ain't in the hotel.

We've got him.

B-But, fellas, I tell you,
I'm Jake the Weasel.

Are you boys down there?

Yeah, Bullet Head, we're here.

Good, now, stand by.

I'm coming down the ladder

and I'm bringing this
no-good, low-down skunk

of a Gideon Flinch with me.

You've got him?

Then, then wh-who have we got?

Like I've been
telling you, fellas,

my name's Jake the Weasel.

Pa, how come you
ain't out fightin' the fire?

Hmm? What fire?

The only thing burning
around here is Pa.

Beat him three games straight.

Pa, you... you didn't
send a little boy in,

about... about that
high, to get me?

You been out in
the sun too long?

Better warn him about
chewing that locoweed.

That dad-burnin' Little Joe.

I should've known
it. I'm gonna kill him.


Pa, it's like this.

This pretty little gal came
into town on the stage today.

Little Joe took her to lunch,
only-only she picked his pocket.

The-the fact is, he just
thought she picked his pocket.

And she wanted me
to be Gideon Flinch

'cause her uncle
wasn't feeling too good...

He was there in town... and
he didn't feel like meeting Mr...

I'll explain it all later, Pa.

I'm gonna kill that Little Joe.

Uh... m-maybe we
better find out what...

Uh, it's your move.

Okay, hold it up right here.

Come on, boys... This
is the end of the ride.

This thing don't drive like
the ones we use in Chicago.

Now we got to decide which
one of these two hombres

is the real Gideon Flinch.

Oh, I keep telling you,
I'm Jake the Weasel!

Shut up!

One thing's for sure...
One of you's lyin'.

Well, Mr. Burke, why
don't you just ask somebody

who lives around here
and they'll tell you who I am?

Got an idea, Bullet Head.

Why don't we take
care of the both of them?

That's right... the boss said

nothing's too good
for you, Bullet Head.

Well, I appreciate that, fellas,

but Bullet Head
Burke's a fair man.

There's a cabin up ahead there.

We'll ask one of
the local yokels.

If they can identify one
of you and not the other...

Come on.


Dad-burn, you little
flea-bitten biscuit burner.


Miss Jennifer,
Joe do this to you?



No, Hoss, it... it was Burke.

I-I lied to you, Hoss.

Burke came here to
beat up my Uncle Gideon.

I thought that after he saw you,
he wouldn't make any trouble.

But then Little Joe
took your place,

and-and-and now
Burke's taking Little Joe

out to beat him up somewhere.

He-he thinks Little
Joe is my Uncle Gideon.

Jennifer, you was
here all the time.

How come you didn't tell
Burke Joe wasn't your uncle?

Oh, I'm so ashamed, Hoss,

but I was afraid he'd
really find my uncle,

and I was so mad at Little Joe

for calling me a
pickpocket and ruining my...

All right, well,
that's all right, now.

Everything's all right,
honey. What's done's done.

What we got to do
now is find Little Joe.

And quick.

Well, look at this letter.

You see, why,
Burke is really mad.

Look at that.


Must be a half a dozen
roads out of Virginia City.

I'm gonna go down on
the street and scout around

and see if I can find anybody
that saw them leaving.

Okay. Oh, and-and
I'm gonna rent a buggy

and go out and check
on my Uncle Gideon.

Thank goodness he's safe.

Hey, that's...!

Shut up!

Oh, howdy, neighbor.

I take it you're a
native of these parts.

Uh, why, uh, yes.

Well, good.

Uh, maybe you can help
me solve a little problem.

Oh, let me introduce myself.

My name's Burke... some
folks call me Bullet Head Burke.

And I'm a stranger
in these parts myself.

And I need someone to identify

one of the local
boys for me, Mr., uh...

That's the real Gideon Flinch!

I tell you, Burke,
that's Gideon Flinch!

I seen him in the sheriff's
office and on the stagecoach!

Why don't you shut up!

You'll try anything, won't you?

Now, what did you
say your name was, sir?

Why, uh, Cranston.

Yeah, Homer T. Cranston.

Mr. Cr... Cranston?!

That's the name the hotel
clerk told me that Flinch used.

Uh, th-that's
right, Bullet Head.

This is the man I saw get
off the stage this morning.

Now we've got three Gideon
Flinches to take care of.

What difference does it make?

One, two, three.

The boss said there's nothing
too good for Bullet Head.

All right, now all you
Flinches get into that cabin.

I'm gonna get to
the bottom of this!

Now, this much I know:

one of you cheated
me out of $5,000.

Now, once and for all, which
of you is the real Gideon Flinch?

I'm Jake the Weasel.

And I-I'm Joe Cartwright.


H-Homer T.

Somebody coming
out there, Bullet Head.

Well, see who it is!

You scruffy, mangy
polecat knaves!

Get your...

I guess we all know who that is.

Off me!

Get your big paws off me!

Hey, you let me go!

Let me go! Hey!

- Let go of the door.
- Let me go!

- Let me...
- Let go!

Put me down! Put me down!

So you managed to get
yourself untied and follow us, huh?

All right, sister,
now, for the last time,

which of these
galoots is your uncle?

It's gonna be that way, is it?

All right.

Now, I'm gonna give you
people just three minutes

to produce the
real Gideon Flinch.

Me and my boys will step
outside while you talk it over.

Now, remember,
just three minutes.

I ain't fooling.

Either one of you gets
beat up, horsewhipped

and maybe shot
or all three of you!

Now, is that clear?

Oh, I can't let you two
take punishment for me.

I ought to own
up to Bullet Head.

But I can't.

Oh, that's all right,
Uncle Gideon.

We'll think of something.

Say, how did you all
get out here, anyhow?


How did we get out here?
How did you get out here?

How do you think?

Hoss came back and untied me.

Hoss knows about this?

Yes, I-I told him the truth.

I even gave him that letter that
Burke wrote to Uncle Gideon.

You gave my brother the letter?


Then he must have it on him.

You know, I think maybe
we can all get out of this.

I... I'm willing.

Oh, anything.

This is gonna be good.

Hmm. Come here.

You see, my brother's
got the letter...

Time's just about
up, Bullet Head.

Where'd you get the watch?

Oh, this is Flinch's.

I figured, when you
got through with him,

he wouldn't be needing it.

So you're the
real Gideon Flinch!

I knew it!

No, no, now hold it, Burke.

W-We decided to tell the truth.

I'll give you ten seconds.

Ten seconds.

Well, we... see, we-we think
this farce has gone on far enough,

and, well, the th-three of us
decided not to take a beating

just to protect the
real Gideon Flinch.

You mean there's
another Gideon Flinch?

Oh, yeah.

Four-four Gideon Flinches.

Four Gideon Flinches?

Yeah, s-see, that
was part of the plan.

See, we-we wanted to protect
our old pal, Gideon Flinch.

W-Wonderful guy.

And, uh, we thought
maybe we'd confuse you

and then you'd leave town.

What kind of flummery
you trying to hand me?

Now, you listen, Burke.

Now, I can lead you
to the real McCoy.

I mean, Flinch.

And he's right
back there in town.

And I can prove it;
he's got a letter on him

that you wrote to him.
Now, am I right, or am I right?

The U.S. Mail does not deliver
letters to the wrong people.

If this is a trick, I'm gonna
have your hide, Flinch or not.

Hey, Rocky, you ain't
seen Little Joe, have you?

No, Hoss, I ain't see
him since this morning.

My lumbago's killing me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, Rocky.

Hey, you didn't see
my pipe, did you?

There goes one of 'em.

Yeah, I wonder
where's the other one.

There he is.

One and only Gideon Flinch.

Boys, bring them in.

That's him.

If that's really
him, Bullet Head,

looks like you're gonna
have your hands full.

Well, the bigger they are...

Besides, you always got the
bulge on a man when he knows

that you're right
and he's wrong.

And if you got him outnumbered.

Boy, you better be right

about him having
my letter in his pocket.

Oh, yeah, he's got it.

You come with me.

Put that thing away.


Keep your eye on them.

Howdy, stranger.

Oh, hi.


It's the real Gideon Flinch!

I got you at last.

I take it that you're
Mr. Bullet Head Burke.

Now, just so's there
ain't no mistaking,

my name is Hoss Cartwright

and you got my little
brother, Little Joe.

You're Gideon Flinch!

- Hey, come on! Excuse me.
- Sure.

- Hey, come on, Hoss! Come on!
- Come on, Bullet Head.

- Come on, Bullet Head!
- Come on!

How you doing, Hoss?!


Now, Mr. Flinch...

Mr. Flinch, if that punch didn't
hurt you no more than that,

ain't no need in us fighting.

Well, good work, brother.

Oh, Hoss, you were magnificent!

Please tell me, which one
of you is Gideon Flinch?

Confusing, ain't it?

I guess I owe you two
a great deal of thanks.

Shouldn't we get
the sheriff now?

That's gonna be
kind of hard to do.

See, the sheriff and the deputy
rode out of town this morning

looking for a little sneak
thief that busted out of their jail

named Jake the Weasel.

That's me!

I keep telling you,
I'm Jake the Weas...

I guess he really
was Jake the Weasel.

I-I want to go back to Chicago.

Please, I just got to know.

Which one of you
is Gideon Flinch?

Bullet Head, this here is the
only Gideon Flinch there is

or there ever was.

Don't let him hurt me.

Oh, don't worry none; he
ain't gonna hurt nobody.

Well, if you're willing to
let bygones be bygones...

No, you take my word for it,

I don't ever want to see
any of you ever again.

Hey, uh, now that all
the excitement's over

and seeing that
Garson's is still open,

how would you like
to have a late supper

with the more charming
of the Cartwright clan?

Why, I'd like that a whole lot.

If the more charming member
would consider taking me.

Yes, sirree, it's been
a mighty tiring day.

I'm plumb tuckered out.

Me, too.

This sure has been more
exciting than the Alamo.

Yeah. Well, let's go.

Behind the Scenes of The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch

This marks the initial of four credited appearances by Burt Mustin in the series. He shares the screen with Clem Bevans, portraying fellow “old-timer” town characters, roles emblematic of their later careers.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is an exceptionally wholesome series perfect for watching alone or with family. The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch is the 73rd episode out of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network from September 1959 to January 1973, enduring through 14 seasons.

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

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