the paiute war
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Paiute War Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #01, Episode #04

Lasting 14 seasons and over 400 episodes, Bonanza is among the longest-running Western television series of its time. The program aired on NBC from 1959 until 1973. The show revolves around the wealthy and respected Cartwright family, who live nearby Virginia City, Nevada, bordering Lake Tahoe.

First broadcast on October 3, 1959, Gene L. Coon wrote Bonanza’s fourth episode, The Paiute Battle. Episode 4 drew a basis from the factual event that occurred in May and June of 1860.

Trader Mike Wilson mistreated two of the Paiute Indian women, earning punishment from them. He tries to escape from the Paiute Indians by blaming Adam instead. A fierce battle between the Paiutes and the California militia pursued, and the Paiutes held Adam hostage.

Awe-inspiring battle scenes appeared in this first mini-epic of the show. This episode did all it could to convey the real thing from the 50 Indians to the 50 cavalry actors and extras. The production took three days to shoot on location. Moreover, this episode incorporated the greatest actors and the most pricey stunts.

Read its plot, including some interesting trivia, or watch the episode below.

Watch the full episode of The Paiute War

Watch the full episode of The Paiute War:

Main Cast

The Paiute War, the fourth episode of Bonanza, features some of the series’ main, recurring and special guest cast members. 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
  • Jack Warden as Mike Wilson
  • Anthony Caruso as Chief Winnemucca
  • Michael Forest as Young Wolf
  • Walter Coy as Captain Kelley
  • Douglas Kennedy as Bill Stewart
  • Howard Petrie as Maj. Ormsby
  • Peter Coe as Major Hungerford
  • George Keymas as Ring Nose
  • Mike Ragan as Vern Wilson (as Michael Ragan)
  • I. Stanford Jolley as Turner
  • Gregg Martell as Bruno
  • Bill Borzage as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Clem Fuller as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Leonard P. Geer as Settler (uncredited)
  • Chuck Hamilton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Al Haskell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Pickard as Capt. Kelley (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Bartender / Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Paiute War

Mike Wilson and his brother Vern held 2 Bannock women captive. One of the ladies’ husbands, Numta, finds Adam and explains to him what happened. He and Adam then released the women, taking them to the Ponderosa.

Meanwhile, the other Bannock husband returned to the tribe to seek help. In retaliation, the Bannock killed Vern, including several unrelated inhabitants along the road.

Mike flees to Virginia City. He embellishes his side of the story, blaming the Paiute without stating his participation in the kidnapping. Virginia City citizens are ready to fight back. Having heard all this, Ben finds the story unbelievable, then attempts to call the town leader, Bill Stewart, to talk sense into the people. Bill is less concerned yet consents to speak with the men in the early morning. Ben then returns house, where he finally discovers the truth from Adam.

The following day, previous Army Major Hornsby rallied his “troops.” Fewer locals are willing to fight in the light of day and sober. Bill and Ben encourage them to negotiate with Paiutes. The Paiutes anticipate their appearance, and Chief Winnemucca’s child, Young Wolf, wants to engage in a fight with them. However, Winnemucca knows that if Ben is there, they only come to discuss things.

When they meet up, Mike intends to combat and shoots the Paiutes. In the scuffle, they captured Adam and had Ben knocked out. A handful of men return to Virginia City, and Ben thinks Adam is dead.

Young Wolf desires to kill his old close friend, Adam, back in the Paiute camp. However, Winnemucca prevents this from happening.

In Virginia City, Ben felt relieved learning that Adam was still alive. However, Mike declares Adam went willingly with the Paiutes. Winnemucca meets with Ben, telling him that if the white man returns with the army, many, including Adam, will die. Adam, who’s present, tells Ben to ride to the Bannock and persuade Ring Nose to speak the truth.

Ben and Joe ride hard to arrive as quickly as they can. However, Virginia City has already sent out Mike to request help from the army, marching toward the Paiutes. Ben and Joe reach Ring Nose, a respectable man. He recognizes the trouble and worst-case scenario he’ll face for killing the whites. However, he can’t allow the Paiutes to suffer the consequences of his actions. They tried hard to reach the marching army before they came to the Paiutes.

Unfortunately, they do not arrive in time. Young Wolf has Adam tied up behind the rocks, intending to kill him first. However, Adam has freed his tied hands, leaving the place after. Young Wolf is right behind him when Mike shoots Young Wolf.

The battle commences. Adam takes Young Wolf’s knife, only to find Mike aiming at him. He tosses the knife and kills Mike. Ben and Joe arrived at the place, and after checking Adam’s condition, they rode on to stop the army.

However, the battle reached its end. Men from both sides lie dead. The truth comes out, and they all understand the loss was all for absolutely nothing. Winnemucca sits grieving his kid and all his Paiute sons. The army marches quietly past, dipping their flag in respect.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Paiute War

♪ ♪

You think I'd trade you
this, this beautiful cloth

for them few measly skins?

Not many beaver
left in mountains.

Too many hunters.

Well, that's your
problem, Injun.

You want some more cloth,
you bring us in some new skins.

Good skins, savvy?

But I told my wife here that
I'd get her new, bright cloths.

Oh, get out of here.

I got no time, no
nothing for Injuns.


Take these skins with you.

No, wait a minute, Bern.

Party's been kind of dull
the past couple of days.

Well, Brother Mike, you
found some more booze, huh?

Yeah, I found some more booze.

We go now.

Oh, what's your hurry, friend?

You can have all
the cloth you want.

Just give us some good pelts,

and we'll keep your
squaws till you bring 'em in.

No, these wives.

I don't care what they are.

We'll just hold onto 'em till
you bring in the pelts, huh?

No, Mr. Wilson!


You get out of here, Indian.

You come back here
again and I'll kill you.

You heard what my brother said.

We'll kill you!


That's a little better, huh?

Now we got a
little more privacy.

Now, you boys have a
good time in San Francisco,

and be careful of
that Barbary Coast.

Don't want either one
of you shanghaied.

Pa, you just relax.

Yeah, Hoss gets in any trouble,

I'll take care of him, Pa.

You just make sure

one of those spangly
woman don't take care of you.

And get back as
soon as possible.

Now, business is business,

but we need you back
here in the Ponderosa.

Now, git!

Hope they make out.

Ah, don't worry, Pa.

San Francisco's no
worse than Virginia City.

I'm gonna check
on those new steers

down at the bottom camp.

I'll see you at dinner.
Yeah, well, don't wait for me.

I got some business
in Virginia City.


What happened to you?

Ah. Who did this?

They took my wife.

Your wife?

Wilson's... Wilson's Station.

They are drunk, them.

They have guns.

Numta's wife, my wife.

And they did this when
you tried to stop them?

My wife... they have her.

They will... You
don't have to tell me.

We'll get 'em.

Can you ride?

Numta ride to
Ringnose... for braves.

Ringnose is a hothead.

Why didn't he go to Winnemucca?

This is Paiute
land, not Bannock.

Numta say Shoshone
people not coward like Paiute.

He say Bannocks
ride, kill Wilson men.

If they attack Wilson's Station,

this whole country'll
go up in flames.

Come on, Bruno, we
got to beat them there.

Adam Cartwright.

Ringnose calls braves,
Adam Cartwright.

Then we still have time.

I don't know what's
the matter with them.

You'd think we weren't
treating 'em right

or something.

I've tried to be friendly.

I even offered 'em
some of this good booze.


All right, squaws, come on out.


We're going to teach
you some manners.

Come on.

Come on, what are you...?

Come on.

Come on, you're
going to have a drink.


Look, when a white man
offers you a drink, you take it!

Let her go.


What are you doing here?

I said let her go.

I wouldn't try it.

Now, drop it.


Now kick it over here.

You, too.

What's all this fuss
over a couple of women?

Indian women.

Bruno, get 'em back
to the Ponderosa.

We'll take care of 'em there.




I'm sick.

That Cartwright stole our women.

Let's go get him.

Go on.

I'm sick.


Phil, wake up.

Dirty squaw stealer.

Teach him when I get him.

Dirty Indian lover.

We'll see about that
Adam Cartwright.

Look inside.

No, no...!


We head for Sun Canyon.

We go.

Quiet down, quiet
down, quiet down.

Give the man a chance.

All right, Wilson.

I heard that holler

and there was hundreds
of 'em all over the place

coming right at me, all
painted up and naked.

Who was it... Winnemucca?


Yeah, that's who it
was... Winnemucca.

Old Winnemucca hisself.

Well, I had to git.

I started to ride.

I saw some of 'em
break into the station

and drag out Bern and Phil.

I heard 'em scream.

My own brother and my partner,

and I couldn't do
nothing to help 'em.

It was awful.

But why?

Why Winnemucca of all people?

Hey, them Paiutes
are running wild.

Killed seven or eight
men over in Sun Canyon.

Seven or eight men.

Do you know who they were?

Not all of 'em, but
they flat butchered

Joe and Ellie Lawrence
right outside their cabin.

Killing women.

I don't need to know no more.

Let's go get 'em!


Hold it, hold it!

I agree the Paiutes
must be punished.

If it's war, it's war,

but you just can't
stampede out the door.

We've got to get organized.

Maybe you're right, Major.

You go ahead and
start organizing.

Well, I agree.

I wasn't a major in
the Army for nothing.

We'll do this the army way.

We'll get as many men as we can.

Oh, we'll get you
close to a hundred!

Don't reckon we'll
need that many

to handle a mangy
mess of Paiutes,

but anybody who wants to
join us, tell 'em to come along.

We'll march at daybreak.

Yee-ha, yee-ha!

Stewart, you carry a lot
of weight around here,

more than anybody.

They say you're the first
citizen of Virginia City.

Now, you and I... we haven't
always seen eye to eye,

but we both know

that an Indian war
would be disastrous.

Ben, I just don't believe it's
as serious as you make out.

You didn't see them down there.

Ormsby's raising an army.

It's hysteria.

Well, Ormsby's no drunken fool.

He's a good soldier,
at least he used to be.

That has nothing to do with it.

We just can't stand
by and let them march.

Did you talk to them?

With no chance of being heard?

Anyway, I'm not the man for it.

I need someone like you.

Someone from town,
someone they know.

All right, Cartwright,
I'll be there at daybreak,

but I don't believe there'll
be much of an army

once our brave
soldiers sober up.

Hmm, well...

doesn't take much of an
army to start an Indian war.

They'll be all right now.

They're in good hands.

I think it might be a good idea

if you were to
stay here tonight.

Thank you, Adam Cartwright.

Fools... everybody's
gone mad. What's wrong?

Oh, the Paiutes ran wild.

Wiped out Wilson's Station,

killed seven or eight
people in Sun Canyon,

and now Virginia
City's gathering

an army to go after them.

Well, it wasn't the Paiutes,
it was the Bannocks

or the Shoshone tribe,
Ringnose's people.

What makes you say that?

Bruno, Numta...

Their wives are
inside being cared for.

Why? What happened?

Ah, Wilson and that
drunken brother of his,

they held them prisoner
and mistreated them.

So that's the
truth of the matter.

Well, why would Wilson

accuse the Paiutes
for what happened?

Shift the blame from himself.

Protect his own dirty skin.

Pa, we can't let them attack
Winnemucca and the Paiutes.

We've got to stop them tonight.

Oh, not tonight.

Dozens of them were
gathering when I left there.

Drunken, loud, boisterous...

Nobody could talk
to them tonight.

Well, what about Bill Stewart?

They listen to him. I've
already talked to Stewart.

Oh, he'll reason with
them in the morning.

But we better be along, too.

Nobody will believe
it wasn't the Paiutes.

Oh, I felt like killing those Wilsons
myself when I saw their women.

But why did Ringnose
have to kill those people

on his way back
to the mountains?

Oh... they're
primitive people, son.

Primitive and proud.

Once they've tasted blood...

Turner, Wilson.

Yes, sirree, General.

This is a sorry army.

Where are all those
men you promised me?

Well, you know
something, General?

Overnight, most of
them boys sobered up.

Ah, we got enough.

All I want to do
is get out there

and shoot me some Indians.

You may have your
chance, Mr. Wilson,

with a few dozen men
against the Paiute nation.

All right, you
men, listen to me!

Listen to me!

What do you want here, Stewart?

I want to stop you from
making fools of yourselves.

Ben, Ben Cartwright
knows Indians

better than any man in Nevada.

Now, he tells me that the
Wilson Station massacre

was not done by the Paiutes.

But it was done by the Bannocks

of the Shoshone tribe
higher up in the Sierras.

That's a lie.

Well, I was there, wasn't I?

You were there, all right.

Maybe they ought to
know what you did there.

Listen to him. Wasn't
for Adam Cartwright,

this whole thing
wouldn't have happened.

It were his fault.

What do you mean, Wilson?

He come in just
before it happened

with one of his Indian friends.

Said he wanted me to
sell the Indian some booze.

When I said I wouldn't do it,

he said he'd have the whole
Paiute tribe down on me.

And I saw it.

I was there and I saw them
Paiutes with my own eyes.

They took my brother
and they took my partner,

and they tore them
up in little pieces.

Now are we gonna
let them get away?


All right, now.

No time to stand here and argue.

If you men go out
drunk and disorganized

against Winnemucca's
warriors, you'll be destroyed.

I tell you, the
Paiutes are innocent.

Cartwright, that massacre
took place before noon.

Within an hour, there
wasn't a Paiute in town.

And Wilson didn't get
back here with the news

until late afternoon;
explain that if you can.

The Indians have
ways. I thought so.

Murder has been done by Indians.

We move to punish them.

All right, men, let's go!

Just a minute!

All right, Ormsby, go
out to Winnemucca.

But go seeking a
parley, not as a war party.

Find out what the Paiutes
have to say about all this.

You going to ride
with us, Mr. Stewart?

No, I'm not.

I can do more for you by
staying here and keeping in touch

with the authorities
in Washington.

We'll go along with
you, Major, my son and I.

All right, we need every man.

Those of you with
horses, mount up.

The rest of you, fall in.
- General.

Fall in what?

With this, I go
to fight Indians.

Major! Hold up!

Whoa! Oh!

Look there.

Signal fires.

They've heard us
coming for miles.

Forward, ho!

We do not know
how many there are,

or what their purpose is.

Paco will tell us.

The figures from
Sun Mountain come.

How many are there, Paco?

Maybe three tens.

Ben Cartwright and his son,

the one called Adam,
ride at their head.

Must Sharp Peak itself

fall upon my father
to make him see?

I see nothing but
a great mistake.

It is a mistake that
will kill your people.

Even your friend,

Ben Cartwright, rides with them.

Ben Cartwright rides to talk.

With a rifle in his hand?

Would my young war
chief see his people die?

I will protect them.

Since when is war a better
protection than peace?

We have asked for no war.

We have killed no one.

But the white man's
army moves not

toward the sky home
of the Bannock people.

They come toward us.

Though we want only peace,

we would be fools if we did
not think that war might come.

This we will do.

My son will take the
warriors of the tribe

to the Place of Tall Rocks.

Each brave will have a
white man in his gun sights.

But do not fire unless
we are fired upon first.

I and the other elders
will meet below the rocks.

We will take council
with the whites.

We will speak for peace.

But should there be war,

you are the war chief
of our people, my son.

Defend them.

Ho! Ho!

He's got a lot of brass.

It's a call for parley, Major.

It's too late for a parley.

We'll take him
in. I wouldn't try it.

What'd you say?

Take a look around.

One behind every rock.

Treacherous devils.

What'd you expect,
a welcome mat?

Come along, Major.

We'll parley.

Cover them! They're
going to parley!

It is an evil thing to see
Ben Cartwright ride to war.

I ride for peace, oh,
Chief of the Paiutes.

Then my eyes fail me,

for I see men ready for battle.

Let's stop beating
around the bush.

Now look here, Indian...
Shut up, Ormsby!

Do you want to
get us all killed?

The Paiute wants peace.

We want peace.

Will we talk?

We will talk.

Talking to them
murdering devils.

If I had me a clear
shot at one of 'em,

I'd show 'em how to talk.

Mike, look!

I got a Paiute for you.


Well, this one's for my brother.

Stop your firing!

Stop shooting!

Stop firing! Stop it!

Enough Indians for you, Mike?

My son... No time for that!

My, my son! Come on!

They're everywhere!
Let's get out of here!

♪ ♪

Good Lord. All these men!

Ormsby, too. It's a massacre.

My son is dead.

Dead... They're
stampeding out there.

They're out of their
heads with fear.

We've got to do something.
Yeah, well you better do it quick.

There's a couple of
thousand Indians out there,

and they on their
way here by now.

Instead of cleaning him up,

you better put a
rope around his neck.

What do you mean?

He led us into a trap,
that's what I mean.

Everybody knows
him and the Paiutes

are thicker than blood.
They killed his son.

His son ain't dead.

Soon as the shooting started,

I saw his son run
off with the Indians.

Talk, Wilson, but you
better be telling the truth.

Well, I saw old Winnemucca
dragging him off himself.

From the looks of things, it
didn't take much dragging.


Is this true? I wouldn't
count on it, Ben.

If Adam is alive,
it'll just mean

that a lot of people
will ask questions

as to why he was
the only man spared.

I don't care what
questions people ask.

Just as long as he's alive.

Ben, go back to your ranch.

Go on now.

If the word gets around,
it'll just mean trouble.

Now go on!


You're letting him
get away with murder.

Shut up, Wilson.

Well, we need
help, that's for sure.

Charley Hungerford commands
a battalion and a militia

on the other side of
the Sierra at Placerville.

We can send messengers there.

I'll go.

All right.

We'll send a couple
of men along with you.

Come up to my office, and
I'll make out an official request.

I know what to tell 'em.

I'd rather put it in
writing if you don't mind.

Winnemucca, have you gone mad?

Be silent!

Why does our enemy yet live?

There are many weapons.

Some take lives.

Some save them.

We have beaten them.

Everywhere they run before us.

Even now, the diggers cry
in fear over what awaits them.

Before morning,

their Virginia City
could be ashes.

If we were to move now.

It is plain to see the son
of Winnemucca thinks

he was sired by a fool,
for he talks like one.

Adam Cartwright,
but for my hand,

you would have long
ago have fed the fires.

Answer me in truth.

If I can.

Now that we have beaten
them, what will the diggers do?

You know that as well as I do.

Tell them with your lips.

They will send to California.

The militia will come.

The army.

How many?

One hundred tens.

He lies! Let me kill him now!


Are you a woman?

Did not his father kill Grey
Bear before your very eyes?

My young wolf grows
careless in his howling!

Winnemucca, speak to my father.

There are men of
honor in Virginia City.

There can yet be peace.

Can there be peace,
Adam Cartwright?

But there has to be peace.

You can't fight the
California troops.

They are as trees on the
Ponderosa without number!

They cannot fight.

Did we not destroy them?

Did not the remaining
handful run back

to their caves
like cringing dogs?

You fought a bunch
of half-drunken miners

out on a picnic, a lark.

But next time,
you'll fight soldiers,

and they'll outnumber
you two to one.

Tell them, Winnemucca.
I speak the truth.

He speaks the truth.

But Ben Cartwright's words hang
heavy on the ears of the whites.

He will stop the army.

He can't do that. Only you can.

We will send word to him.

We will meet him.

He will know it from
Winnemucca himself

that if the army from California
moves on the Paiute nation,

his son will die.

Winnemucca has said it.

Take him to his tepee.

Little Joe.

We heard about the
trouble in Sacramento.

Decided Hoss ought to
go on up to San Francisco,

I'd come back and see if I could
give you and Adam any help.

Where is he?

holding him prisoner.


Was he all right?

Well, I received word
through a messenger last night.

Winnemucca's bringing
Adam to Truckee Rock.

I'm to meet him there.

Yeah, well, how
did this whole...?

Not now. I'll tell
you all about it later.

Come on! Hyah!

Where's my son?


Are you all right, boy?

I'm all right, Pa.

Vigilantes run you
out of San Francisco?

Do the soldiers come
from across the Sierra?

They've been sent for.

Then you will stop
them, or your son will die.

Winnemucca, we're friends.

You must not do this.

My people are my friends.

Did not Ben Cartwright
shoot a Paiute brave

even as we parleyed
at Sharp Peak?

He would have killed my son.

I have a hundred sons.

But you will stop the
soldiers, Ben Cartwright,

or you shall have
no more than two.

How do you expect
us to stop an army?

Pa, Bruno.

Bruno and Ringnose.

If Ringnose were to tell the
truth about Wilson's Station,

perhaps the army will
not attack the Paiute.

But you must give us time
to ride to the high mountains.

We will attack no one.

But we will defend
ourselves and our homes.

Winnemucca, I
would talk to my son.

You may talk.

Looks like you got
yourself in a little hot water

this time, older brother.

Yeah. Me this
time instead of you.

Hate to leave you this way, boy.

I'll be all right, Pa.

Junior here'd like
to cut my throat,

but Winnemucca won't let him.

Said that Young Wolf
and Adam Cartwright

used to ride the Washoe
together as brothers.

Children do foolish things.

But they become men.

We'll be back with Ringnose.

What makes you think
he'll want to come?

He'll come whether
he wants to or not.

Good-bye, Pa, Joe.

♪ ♪

Ho! Ho!

Ben Cartwright.

Major Hungerford.

I didn't expect you so soon.

We got here as soon as we could.

Captain Kelly!

We'll take a few
minutes rest. Yes, sir.

Lines down! Troop dismount!

What Mr. Wilson says, we
couldn't get here too soon.

You know Mr. Wilson?

Oh, yes. Yes, I know Mr. Wilson.

My son, Adam, told me
what happened at his station.

Hungerford, ask him
how come his son, Adam,

is with the Paiutes alive.

When the rest of the men they
caught were chopped to bits.

He and his whelp
led us into a trap.

Major, it was not the
Paiutes that raided his station,

it was a party of Bannocks,
part of the Shoshone tribe.

Cartwright, you're a liar.

Mr. Wilson.

Major, I was there.

I saw my own brother
killed right before me.

Winnemucca and some Paiutes,
they came in and shot up my place.

It was not the Paiutes,
it was the Bannocks.

And the reason they killed
your brother is because of what

you and he did to a
couple of Bannock women.

The husband of one of
them worked on my ranch.

Look, everybody
knows that he's been

on the side of the
Paiutes right along.

Ormsby and his men were
killed by Paiutes, weren't they?

The Paiutes were
defending themselves.

They didn't attack Ormsby.

My son, Adam, is being
held hostage by Winnemucca.

That's why we're riding to
the Bannock Chief Ringnose.

He can prove that I'm telling the
truth. Suppose Ringnose won't talk?

He'll talk. WILSON: Look, he's
not telling you a word of truth.

I was there! I saw it all
with my own... Mr. Wilson...

You open your mouth once
more and I'll have you gagged.

Ben, I prefer to
believe your story.

But I'm under express
orders from the governor

of the state of California
to attack the Paiutes

and punish them.

This much I can do.

If you can bring me proof
that it was the Bannocks

and not the Paiutes that
attacked Wilson's Station,

then I'll parley
with Winnemucca,

and try to make peace.

You must give me time, Major.

I'll march to Pyramid
Lake by the longer route.

I'll stop once an hour to rest.

More than that I can't do
for you, your son or any man.

I'm a soldier, Ben.

I'm under orders.

I hope you get to Ringnose.

And get him back here in time.

Thanks, Major.

You don't believe him, do you?

If what he says is true,

you go back to Sacramento
with me, Mr. Wilson.

In irons!

Captain Kelly!

Leave us.

It'd have been
better if you'd lied.

Then the soldiers are coming.

You will never see them arrive.

Stay your hand!

Already, the soldiers march.

It was your word that
Adam Cartwright die.

They are not yet here.

Leave us, my son.

Is there not a battle
to make ready?

Do you remember this knife?

I remember.

My father gave it to you.

Yes. I go to return
it to him now.

Once the wild bear knew Washoe.

Now he is gone.

The white man killed him.

That is so.

And then the antelope, who
is the friend of the Paiute...

he, too, is gone.

White man killed him.

That, too, is so.

And now, the great Sun
of the Paiute weakens.

And as it crosses
the sky, even today

it will drop behind the
mountains and be gone.

Perhaps my father
will return in time.

Soldiers already march
along Chief Truckee's river.

Your father's in the
land of the Bannocks.

I would like to see your father.

A man should see his
friends on the day of his death.

At the head of the California
soldiers rides a man named...


I know him.

He's a soldier.

Is this the same Hungerford

who defeated Shining
Brow of the Cheyenne?

It's the same.

100 tens of men and
more, and a cannon.

All this to defeat an old man,

his son and 30 tens of Paiutes.

Do our small lives mean
so much to your people?

Don't fight them, Winnemucca.


Surrender if you must,

but give my father time
enough to return with Ringnose.

There will be no more
talk, even though I willed it.

If we must die, we must die,

for the ways of the wild
things are the Paiutes' ways,

and the wild things,
too, are dead.

I am sorry for you,
Adam Cartwright,

for you are a friend
and the son of a friend,

but the first shot that is
fired by the California soldiers

will be a signal to my son...

and you will die.

And even as you die,

it will be like a small part
of myself that dies with you.

We will talk with Ringnose.

You are brave to ride

into the camp of the Bannock.

Well, Bruno,

is this the way the
Bannock repays his friend?

If you have anything
to say, say it to me.

The acts of the Bannock people

are the acts of their chief.

My son will die if the
California army attacks.

But more than that, the
whole Paiute people will die

if Ringnose allows
them to take the blame

for the raid on
Wilson's Station.

War is war, Ben Cartwright.

Do you ask that the Bannocks
walk into the white man's rope?

My son brought back the wives

of Bruno and Numta
from the dark land.

I ask the Bannock to
do the same for my son.

What about us, Ben Cartwright?

What will happen to us?

I don't know.

The debt must be paid.

Get Numta.

We ride.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Ho! Ho!

Indians up in the rocks, sir.

There's a lot of them.

Mr. Kelly?

Yes, sir?

Any sign of Ben Cartwright?

No, sir, the rear guard
is looking for him.

We can't delay any longer.

Have the men from Fort Alcatraz
cut around to the high ground.

I want a flanking
fire on the Indians.

Have Sergeant O'Banion
move his field piece

to the high ground
on the other flank.

Deploy your companies on
both sides of the trail as foragers.

Send the bugler to me.

We'll advance at my command.

Return fire if fired
upon, but otherwise,

let no man fire without orders.

Move your men out.

Very good, sir.

Sergeant O'Banion,

move your fieldpiece
to the high ground.

First platoon, give him
support to his position!

Then dismount and
form as foragers!

Do not fire unless fired upon!

Move them out,
Sergeant. Yes, sir.

First platoon, forward! Ho!


Do not fire unless fired upon.

Dismount and form as foragers.

Carry out the order.


There are many.

I told you there would be.

Many eyes to see you die.

Corporal Hollister, deploy
your men on the high ground

to the right of that big rock.

Carry on!

Follow me!

Come on, men!
Foragers form! Fall in!

Come on, fall in, way up there!

Up there, hurry up! Hurry up!

Fall in! Take an interval!

Take your interval, men!

Form as foragers!

Come on, men!

Form as foragers! Fall in!

Come on! Fall in, way up there!

Up there! Hurry up! Hurry up!

All ready, sir.

Very good, Captain Kelly.

Form as foragers.

Bugler, sound the advance.

Follow me!

Stand on the rock.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Don't fire! Don't shoot!

Get back!

Don't shoot!

Fire at will!

I've been waiting
for this, Cartwright.

I'm going to kill you.


Adam, are you all
right? I'm all right.

Pa, we've got to stop them.


They've already stopped.

God help us. What have we done?

Is it true, Major, that
it was all a mistake?

Yes, Captain Kelly, it's true.

Then I'd better
not tell the men.

You tell them,
Mr. Kelly, loud and clear.

I want every one of them to
know what happened here today.

And why it happened.

Yes, sir.

What about the Bannocks?

I appreciate your honesty.

That took courage.

You will go to
California with me.


What will happen to them?

I don't know.

They'll have to stand trial.

I'll do what I can for them.

There's been too
much killing already.



Your son lives.

We mourn your dead son.

I do not mourn for my son.

I mourn for all my sons.

Behind the Scenes of The Paiute War

The production cost for this episode was $139,000, featuring more than 100 stars and extras representing Indians and cavalry members.

The opening credit scrolled over the Ponderosa map in this episode uses a different instrumental version of the “Bonanza” theme.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a fantastic clean show to watch by yourself or with family. The Paiute War is the 04 episode out of 430. Bonanza was produced by NBC and ran on their network from September of 1959 to January of 1973. The whole series lasted 14 seasons.

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

Leave A Comment

book cover mockup for Western Writing

Looking for an Epic Western Adventure? Look No Further!

How would you like to ride hell-bent for leather into a world full of adventure and heroism?

Get Your Free Copy Today>>