the pure truth
Bonanza Western TV
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The Pure Truth Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #23

Afflicted with a severe “spring fever,” Hoss Cartwright finds himself tasked with picking up a prisoner in Rimrock. However, he mistakenly arrives in the wrong town and is promptly mistaken for a bank robber, landing behind bars. After a daring escape, he seeks refuge in the shack of local eccentric Loulabelle, commonly called “Looney,” for a good reason. Stanley Adams and Lloyd Corrigan briefly appear as Sheriff Tate and Mr. Simmons. Penned by Lois Hire, The Pure Truth aired for the first time on March 6, 1964.

Explore its plot intricacies and fascinating trivia, or enjoy the full episode below.

Table of Contents

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Main Cast

In the twenty-third episode of Bonanza’s fifth season, titled “The Pure Truth,” several recurring and supporting cast members appeared. Notable members of the cast include:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Glenda Farrell as Lulabelle ‘Looney’ Watkins
  • Stanley Adams as Sheriff Tate
  • Lloyd Corrigan as Jesse Simmons
  • Jay Lanin as Ward
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Raymond Guth as Stagecoach Driver Al
  • Olan Soule as Herman, telegrapher
  • Maudie Prickett as Middle-aged Woman in Bank
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Brunette Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Herman Hack as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Al Haskell as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Bank Clerk (uncredited)
  • Hans Moebus as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Danny Sands as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Phil Schumacher as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Pure Truth

On the first day of spring, Ben administers a dose of sulfur and molasses to Hoss, aided by Adam and Joe, to alleviate his exaggerated case of “spring fever,” which has plagued him since childhood. Afflicted by this condition, Hoss becomes clumsy and poses a danger to those around him.

Accompanied by Joe, Hoss ventures into town to procure supplies, with Joe assuming most of the workload due to Hoss’s tendency to doze off from the effects of the spring fever tonic. While there, Joe engages Sheriff Coffee in conversation and persuades him to allow Hoss to assist in his duties while his deputy is absent.

While working in the sheriff’s office, Hoss inadvertently injures Sheriff Coffee’s hand by slamming it in a drawer, leaving the sheriff unable to fulfill his obligation of retrieving a prisoner from another town. Feeling responsible, Hoss resolves to fetch the prisoner from Rimrock to make amends despite his clouded judgment due to his severe “spring fever.”

However, Hoss’s impaired reasoning leads him to the wrong town, where he is mistaken for a bank robber and promptly imprisoned. After escaping, he seeks refuge in the eccentric hut of a local woman named Loulabelle, affectionately dubbed “Looney” by the townsfolk, who believes in his innocence after candidly sharing “the pure truth” with her.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Pure Truth

Gentlemen, you
know what day this is?


This is the first day of spring.

Hey, Pa, I got a vacation coming.
I think I'm gonna head for the hills.

You stay right here and
suffer with the rest of us.

You sure?

Right here, black and white.

A whole year gone by
already. I can't believe it.

Yeah, me neither.

My leg still aches from
when he broke it last year.

These exaggerated
attacks of spring fever of his,

ever since he was a boy.
You'd think he'd grow out of them.

There's been an earthquake
or he has just fallen out of bed.

I'll get the sulfur
and molasses.

Damn. I should have
known this was coming up.

You know, the last couple of
days I've been watching him.

He gets that look on
his face, you know,

that far-away look like he hears
wild geese flying, you know?

That's the most
dangerous time of all.

That's when he can tromp
on you without even knowing it.

Yeah. BEN: Well...

- Ugh.
- Well...

let's get it over with.


- Hoss.
- Aah.

- What, Pa? What's the matter?
- You know what time of year it is.


You know what
time of year it is.

Yeah, it must be
at least 7 or 8:00.

Hoss, it's the
first day of spring.

Oh, no, Pa.

No, Pa, not that.

Pa, I promise you,
I'll be more careful.

I'll be real careful, Pa.

Don't give me that medicine.

It ain't never done no
good before, anyhow.

Well, we just can't take a
chance that it won't do any good.


Get him, Adam.

Oh, no.

Dad-burned spring.


Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Back. Back, back.


What are you doing?

I'm sorry, Joe.

You sort of flushed me
there all of a sudden like.


How come you didn't wake me up?

You done done all the work.

Hoss, believe me, I feel
a lot safer with you asleep.

Well, Little Joe, it's that
dad-burned tonic Pa gives me.

It just keeps me
tuckered out all the time.

Listen, I just want you to
keep taking that tonic, all right?

You keep taking that tonic
till you get rid of the fever.

Now, listen. Listen, listen.

I gotta go over to
the sheriff's office now

and deliver a message
from Pa. All right?

Come on over here. I
want you to sit down here

so you'll be out of the way
and out of trouble, all right?

Okay. Whatever you say.

Okay, let me just help you
right over. You'll be all right. Aah!

Come on, right over here,
big brother. Just sit down here.

There you go.

Now, listen. Listen to
me for a minute, huh?

I want you to sit here,
take it easy, relax,

stay out of trouble and sit
and watch the women go by.

- Yeah, anything you say, Joe.
- Right.


Hey, here comes one now.


Hey, Shirley was
nice, wasn't...?


Sure hope I never
have to take that tonic.

- Howdy, Roy.
- Hi, Little Joe.

- What brings you into town?
- Just getting supplies.

Pa wanted me to tell you he was
sorry he couldn't make that poker game.

- We were kind of busy.
- Well, I imagine with the fire and all.

Did it do much
damage to the house?

No, we managed to
get it put out pretty quick.

How in tarnation did Hoss manage

to set that house afire
in the middle of the night?

Well, I'll tell you, Roy,
near as we can figure,

he was downstairs frying some catfish
and greens and the skillet turned over.

Frying catfish and greens
in the middle of the night?

You know, he gets pretty funny
appetites when he's got that fever.

- Got the fever?
- Yeah.

Oh, spring, huh? You didn't
bring him into town, did you?

Yeah, but don't
worry about it, Roy.

I got that tonic in him. He's
half asleep in front of the store.

Joe, I don't think it was very
fair to bring him into town.

Now, I know that Hoss can look
and act as natural as anybody else,

but all of a sudden,
boom, and he's in trouble.

You remember what happened last
year over back at the saloon there,

when he got tangled up with all them
barrels and stuff? Man, what a mess.

What are we gonna do, Roy?
Really, what are you gonna do?

You can't lock a man up until he's
over the fever. You just can't do that.

Well, I don't know.

It's in the public
interest, the public safety.

You know, maybe we got a point.

- What do you mean?
- About locking him up.

Hey, your Deputy Clem. Clem,
he's on vacation now, isn't he?

Yeah, he's on
vacation, but what...?

You ain't thinking what
I'm thinking you're thinking.

Well, why not? You're gonna
need help around the office.

- So you can take care of your duties.
- Well, yeah, sure, but not Hoss.

Well, why not Hoss?
He can do the work, Roy.

And besides, he'd
be safe in here.

And then, at night, when
it was time to go to bed,

just let him go in a
cell, flop down on a cot...

and you lock the door.

Be kind of like having
a pet, wouldn't it?


But the responsibility
would be...

Roy, responsibility is your job.

This badge makes it
your responsibility, Roy.

The responsibility of the
safety of this whole town.

Look, visualize for a minute what
would happen if my brother Hoss

was left running
loose for two weeks?

I'll give you some of that
tonic, he sleeps half the time.

- The tonic?
- Sure.

Listen, here's
what we'll tell him.

We'll say, "Hoss, because of..."

- You all right?
- Yeah. Oh, hi, Roy. Yeah.

Anything happen
while I was gone?

Nope, not a thing.

Roy, you sure you
need me around here?

It seems awful quiet to me.

What's this?

God danged if I know.

It's a wire.

Dang messenger
must have snuck in here

when I had my back
turned and left it.

Hey, it's from Rimrock, Utah.

Hoss, you remember
that Earl Tusher,

that fella that sawed his
way out of my jail last fall?

Yeah, terrible shame.

Well, the sheriff over there is
holding him and I gotta go pick him up.

Phew. It's a terrible long
ride from here to Utah, Roy.

Yes, sir.

Well, I better go and
arrange the passage and...

- Say, Hoss.
- Yeah, what's the matter, Roy?

I was just thinking, I'll
be gone several days

picking up Earl Tusher and...

Now, Roy, don't you
worry about nothing here.

I'll take care of everything.

Yeah, I know, but I was just
thinking maybe you better get back

to the Ponderosa.

Your pa might need your help.

Roy, I promised you
I was gonna help you,

and that's exactly
what I'm gonna do.

Yeah, I know, but I didn't figure
that I was gonna be out of town.

And it's a big
responsibility running this...

I'll tell you what.

We'll ride out to the ranch and
see what your pa thinks, huh?

Anything you say, Roy.

All right, I'll just get the
keys and we'll lock up... Ow!


Roy. Roy.

You busted my hand.

Roy, I'm terrible sorry. Let
me help you over to the doctor.

I don't need no help to the doctor. I
didn't bust my foot, I busted my hand.

It was my gun hand too.

I gotta think of that Earl
Tusher, and I gotta go up there,

and then if I get off...

Howdy, Herman.

Well, Hoss.

You, uh, going somewhere?

Yeah, I'm going to, uh, Utah.

I gotta go over there
and pick up old Earl, uh...

- Tusher?
- Yeah, Earl Tusher.

Yeah, well, Earl
ain't none too bright.

I figured he'd get himself
caught sooner or later.

But, uh, how come you're going?

Well, you know, Roy couldn't
go on account of his hand.

You know, he... You know.

No. I didn't know
Roy hurt his hand.

Well, I reckon he
knows what he's doing.

Where they holding Earl?



Reckon who she is?

That's the prettiest
red hair I ever did see.

Hoss, you say
Rimrock or Redrock?

Yeah. Red.

Real red.

Yeah. Yeah. Here it is, Redrock.

Yeah, you gotta
change at the junction.

Yeah. Went in
Grundy's store, huh?

All right, here's your ticket.

I've been aiming to
drop in on old Grundy.

- I gotta buy me a new sa...
- Hoss?

- Huh?
- Here's your ticket.

Oh, yeah. Thank you, Herman.

That'll be $10.

Well, that's a
powerful lot of money

to be spending on a
man like old Earl, ain't it?

- Thank you, Hoss.
- Yeah.

Herman, you got a piece
of paper I can borrow?


There you are.

Roy, I can't tell you how
sorry I am about that.

That Little Joe and his tricks. The
moment I get my hands on that...

Now, Ben, it weren't altogether
his fault. I went along with the idea.

I thought it was a
good one at the time.

- Really hurts, huh?
- Yeah.

It's my gun hand. It's busted.

Now, I can't take a chance
on going after Earl Tusher.

I just gotta get
somebody else to do it.

Of course you do.

Well, look, Roy, I'll go after him
or one of the boys will go after him.

Not Hoss.

No, not Hoss.

Where is Hoss?

Well, I don't know, he wasn't here
when I got back from the doctor.

Maybe he went home. I hope.

Howdy, sheriff. Ben.

Herman, what have
you got there, boy?

A note for you.

It's from Hoss.

He says, "Roy, I sure am sorry
about all the trouble I caused you.

So I figure the least I can
do is to go get Earl Tusher.

Wire them I'm coming. Hoss."

- When'd he give you that?
- Just a little while ago.

Just before he
left on the stage.


Whoa, whoa.

- Good evening, Al.
- Howdy, Mr. Simmons.

- Any passengers tonight?
- I got one.

Reckon he must
have fallen off to sleep.

Look at that. Huh?

Oh, yeah. Well, folks are never
at their best when they're asleep.

Sure ain't.

- Yeah. Well, good night, Al.
- Good night, Mr. Simmons.


- Eh?
- Redrock.


Ah. Hey, can you tell me
where I can find the sheriff?

Home in bed, but
I'd advise against it.

You mean, there ain't
nobody over there in the jail?

Can't say.

Well, who's looking
after the prisoners?

Well, in the first place, I
don't know if we got any.

In the second, if we do, they'd be
in bed asleep like everybody else.

This is a real lively
little town you got here.

Well, I don't know what
you're expecting. It's past 9:00.

You mean you ain't even got no
passengers waiting or nothing?

It's the end of the line.

Yeah, it sure is.

In more than one way.

- Huh?
- Look, where can I spend the night?

There's a boarding
house across the road.

Bang on the bell real hard

because it takes a heap of
banging to wake up old Smithers.

- Look, are you sure the sheriff...?
- Look, mister.

Whatever your business is,
it'll have to wait till morning.

Bank's been robbed, all right.

Safe door swinging wide open.

Ah! Do tell.

- How much did they get?
- Every penny.

I don't know what to say.

Now, Jesse,
nobody's blaming you.

I'm sure you took
every precaution.

Well, I thought I had,
and I still feel responsible.

Sheriff, I want you to
know that I'll do everything...

I reckon we all
know that, Jesse.

Why don't you go get
yourself a cup of coffee?

Yeah, I think I better
get a cup of coffee.

Or maybe something
a might more bracing?

Yeah, thank you. I still
wanna help, you know that.

We know that, but
there's nothing you can do.

- Take him along, will you, Jed?
- Thank you.

- That's all right.
- Thank you, sheriff.

Bearing up beautifully.

All right, all right. Let's
get down to brass tacks!

Now, anybody hear
anything unusual last night,

any kind of a commotion?

Did you see anything suspicious,

anybody lurking around
the bank or something?

Any strangers in town?

I brought in a stranger
last night, sheriff.

You did?

Come to think of it, that
fella acted mighty peculiar.

He wanted to know
where the sheriff was

and if there was
anyone down at the jail.

What did you tell him?

I told him his business would
just have to wait till morning.

Appears like it didn't.

I don't know, sheriff,
on second thought,

that fella didn't strike me as
being brainy enough to rob a bank.

Well, he could have
been pretending, you know.

He didn't strike me as being
brainy enough to pretend either.

A law officer is a
better judge of that.

- Which way did he go?
- Over to the...

There he comes now.

All right, let's go.

- Morning.
- The nerve.

- He ought to be hung.
- How's that?

Look, sheriff, I've been
looking all over town for you.

You're under arrest!

Let's string him up.

- For what?
- For robbing the bank, that's for what!

- Me?
- Yes, sir.

You better come
along peacefully, boy.

- Wait a minute!
- Get a rope, men!

Wait a minute, you're
making a big mistake.

Hold on, now! What's
he doing with the rope?

They ought to let you
pull the rope, sheriff.

Sheriff, this ain't right.

Well, to tell you the
truth, here, now, uh,

this is the first crime
we've had in 10 years.

I don't rightly
know what's proper.

Stand aside, sheriff, we'll
handle the whole thing.

Now, come on,
fellas, get him up now.

Come on. Come on, now. Get
him up on the horse. Come on.

Now, wait minute! You
can't hang that man! Hold on!

Stand back.

Hey, watch him now. Hold him.

Now, wait a minute,
now. Come on.


Don't shoot! We wanna
get our money back.

Get your horses.
Get your horses!

From the racket you're
making, I know you ain't no Injun.

Come on out from behind them
rocks, now, and have some coffee.

I must say I'm a might curious
as to what you're doing here.

You're too far off the
trail to be sightseeing.

Well, much obliged.

You two go around
that way, boys.

I'll go around this
way and meet you.

They after you?
Hightail it into that tent.

Howdy, sheriff. Get down
and have a cup of coffee.

Oh, can't stop now. Hot
on the trail of a bank robber.

Great big fella. Named
Hoss Cartwright.

Can't say I know
anybody by that name.

You wouldn't know him, just
thought you might have seen him.

Big fella like that?

If he was in my camp, I
sure would know it, wouldn't I?

Yeah, I reckon you would.

Yeah, well, I've
been here all day.

Yeah, I must have figured wrong.

Caught his horse back there

and figured he might
have headed this way.

You're welcome to
look around, sheriff.

Maybe he's in the tent.

Eh, no. If he was here,
you would have seen him.

From the size of
that belly, sheriff,

stooping over and looking in a
few tents wouldn't hurt you none.

You got a provoking way of
saying things, Miss Looney.

Ain't no wonder you're out
here alone living by yourself.

Come on.

You can come out now.

Ma'am, I don't mind telling you, you
scared the daylights out of me in there.

I'd dang near soon hang to
death as be scared to death.

Oh, I knew he wasn't
gonna look in the tent.

One way to confound your
enemies is to tell them the truth.

Did you ever notice how little
attention people pay to the truth?

Oh, yeah.

Now that you mention it.

Oh, ma'am, in that case, how come
you didn't tell him that I was here?

Well, now, he didn't actually
come right out and ask me.

Besides, I figured I'd kind of like
to know why you was getting away.

Well, they think
I robbed a bank.

- Well, did you?
- Oh, no. Certainly not, ma'am. No.

Then why did you run away?

Well, you see, they
were all so excited,

they wouldn't listen to me,
they wouldn't let me explain

that I'm Hoss Cartwright
from Virginia City.

And they all got to talking about
ropes, and lynching and hanging and...

Well, I just didn't figure there was
much future in me hanging around.

How come you didn't keep
riding till you got clean away?

Well, I, uh...

Well, I...

I fell off my horse, ma'am.


Well, it's a good thing you
stumbled into this camp, boy.

You ain't safe out
there alone, you know.

Well, first thing in the morning, I'll go
into town and see what I can find out.

- You mean you believe me?
- Well, of course I believe you.

But, ma'am, you don't
know nothing about me.

With all the
experience I've had,

you think I don't know the
pure truth when I hear it?

Well, I'm certainly
obliged to you, Mrs., uh...?

My name's Lulabelle.
Miss Lulabelle Watkins.

Folks around here
call me Looney.

Looney? Looney, that don't
sound much like Lulabelle, does it?

It ain't.

It is short for lunatic.

Oh, well, come on,
let's get some shut-eye.

Yeah, I'll just bed
down out here.

No. Come on, you're
gonna stay in the tent.

- Ma'am, I...
- Come on, don't argue with me.

You're gonna be safer in
there. Come on, get in there.

I don't wanna take
your tent, ma'am. I...

Now, don't worry, boy.

Come and get it, grub's ready!

What's the matter with you, boy?
You almost knocked that tent down.

Oh, ma'am, it's
the fever. It's on me.

The fever? What do you mean?

Well, ma'am, it seems like
every year at about this time,

I get the fever,

and I do some of the
most exasperating things.

You got the spring fever, boy?

- Yeah.
- Oh, got it bad?

Real bad.

I got just the
thing for you, boy.


Now, here, you take
a good slug of this.

I had a mule once who had
the fever, this cured him just fine.

Sulfur and molasses?

No, no. It is my own concoction.

Go on. Go on. Drink it.

Takes a little time to take effect,
but when it does, bam, you're cured.


Hey. Hey, that ain't half bad.

Like I said, cured
my mule just fine.

Now, you go on and
keep swigging that

and I'll go to town
and scout around.

Now, boys, you gotta admit,

$500 reward ought to
make it worth your while

to catch this here
fella Cartwright.

But remember one
thing, we want him alive.

Somebody gets
careless and kills him

before we find out
where he hid that money,

why, we're gonna be in a fix.

Sheriff, you offering
$500 for Cartwright

or the fellow that
robbed the bank?

Looney, don't you ever get tired

of asking them fool questions?

You know Cartwright was
the only stranger in town

when the bank was robbed.

- Looney, don't you think he done it?
- Nope.

- Well, how come?
- He told me so.

All right, fellas, now,
you know what to do.

Can't you do nothing right?

- Now, Ward...
- Now, Ward, nothing.

While I'm out hiding the money,
you're just sitting here messing things up.

Well, how was I to know

that Cartwright would
bust out and run away?

When he run, why
didn't you shoot him?

Well, you know I don't
hold with violence like that.

Two years, we've
been sitting here

waiting for a stranger to
come along and be our pigeon.

And now you let him run away.

Shh. Will you
keep your voice...?

The sheriff's out
looking for him, isn't he?

And if he finds him and
don't find the money,

a finger could point at us.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

I just gotta find
that Cartwright.

You know,

there's something
about that Looney.

Now, I said that I'd go
along with you, didn't I?

Oh, I didn't mean it that way.

I think I'll mosey on up to her
place and have a look around.

Oh, dear. If she's mixed up
in this, we're in real trouble.

Oh, she can bleed
just like anybody else.

Oh, please, Ward, will you...?

Boy! Boy, boy, you all right?

Oh, you all right here.
Now... Now, take it easy.

Oh, you must have been playing
with that blasting powder, boy.

- What happened?
- You tell me.

That powder I had in the
tent must have went off.

That's it. I went into the tent to get
me some more of that tonic and I...

- And you lit a match.
- And I...

Yeah, I lit a match.

Boy, for a body with
as big a head as yours,

you make mighty
little use of it.



Gold! Look at this. Gold!

Why, this is the highest grade
of ore I've found around here

in 20 years of prospecting.

You mean... You
mean that that...

You found yourself
a gold mine, boy.

It's not mine,
ma'am, it's yours.

No, after 40 years,

you come along and prove I've
been sitting here on it all this time.

Well, ma'am, I'm sorry. I just can't
get too interested in gold at the moment.

You ain't interested in gold?

What good it's gonna do me?

All I can do is go out and
buy myself a fancy funeral

after they get through
stringing me up.

Oh, now, I'm not gonna
let them string you up, boy.

How you gonna prevent it?

Well, now, first off all, we
gotta get our finances straight.

Do you know anything
about mining gold?

Not a thing.

I figured I'd let you
handle all of that.

Well, that's the
ticklish part of it.

I don't know nothing
about mining gold neither.

I thought you just told me you'd
been prospecting for 40 years.

Well, prospecting means
looking for gold, not finding it.

You know, a rich vein like this
runs clean through this mountain.

It's gonna take a lot of
know-how to get it out.


Sort of like finding
counterfeit money, ain't it?

Looks like there ought to be some
way we could profit from it, though.

Oh, there's bound to be, boy.

- Let's sleep on it tonight, huh?
- Yeah.

Maybe we'll dream up an answer.

Come on.

Boy, it's a good
thing we struck gold.

It takes money to afford
an appetite like yours.

Yeah. You dream
up anything last night?

Well, first off, we gotta
file a claim on the land.

I can do that in Redrock.

Yeah, you know,

anybody sees them samples,
if they're rich as you say,

they're gonna dig this mountain
plumb out from under us.

Nobody's gonna find out about
the ore. I don't need to get it assayed.

There's gotta be some reason for
a prospector filing a claim on land.



All right, so we file a
claim, then what do we do?

Well, you don't know
nothing about mining

and I don't know
nothing about mining.

How do you feel
about selling it?

Suits me.

There's just one hitch.

Yeah, I figured there
would be. What is it?

Money. You got any?
Filing takes money.

I lost my wallet when the
posse was chasing me.

- Ain't you got none?
- Nope, not a cent.

Well, it sort of looks like
we're out of business, don't it?

Not exactly.

We still got one valuable asset.


Well, let's use it. What is it?

You. You're worth $500.

Miss Looney.

You want me to go to jail
just so we can get the reward?

Well, now that's a
hard way of putting it.

But with you in jail, the real robber
would feel safe and give himself away.


Well, you do make it
sound sort of simple at that.

Then you'll do it?

Dad burn it.

I've been thinking I ought
to turn myself in, anyhow.

Might as well kill two birds
with one stone, I reckon.

Ha, ha. Have some
more tonic, boy.

You're thinking better.

Mm, ma'am.

We got company.

Well, you're in luck, Ward.

Another five minutes
and we'd have been gone.

You don't need to go pointing that
gun at us, ain't nobody unfriendly here.

Oh, yes, there is. Me.

What do you mean?

Well, you might say
I'm representing the law.

Taking in a wanted man.

I got a feeling he's
talking about me, ma'am.

You're feeling right.

Well, just keep in mind
that I'm worth $500 alive.

It might be you're
worth more dead.

What do you mean by that, Ward?

You in on that bank robbery?

Now, I'm just doing my duty as
a citizen, taking in a wanted man.

Hand me that rifle.

Now, let's go.

And you, old woman,

you make sure you stay right
here. And don't try nothing foolish.

Oh, he'll be right as rain,
except for a little headache.

And that's a lot kinder than
he would have been to you.

He probably would have shot you,
told everybody you was trying to escape.

He probably would have.

Ma'am, I'm much
obliged to you again.

Oh, that's nothing.

Well, I'll be doggone.
Where'd you find him, Looney?

He found me, is more like it.

Oh, come on.

Stay here, Nelly.

Right in there, big fella.
- Yeah.

Well, looks like we're all
gonna get our money back.

Now, you boys, clear out,
tell the folks to quit worrying.

Go on. MAN: All right.

Yes, sir. Heh.

Gonna have a little
talk with that prisoner.

Ain't you forgot
something, sheriff?

Oh, the reward money.

Well, it's right here, just
like I said it would be.


One, two, three, four, $500.

I'm surprised the folks in this
town could raise that much cash.

Well, folks didn't have to.

Old Jesse Simmons felt so
bad about his bank being robbed,

he just put up all the
reward money himself.

Oh, well, now, wasn't
that nice of him?

- You thinking what I'm thinking, boy?
- Huh?

How come that robber
didn't get all the money

out of Jesse Simmons' bank?


Hey, what are you doing?

I'm putting my money in a safe place.
I got a mighty low opinion of banks.

Why is it I always
keep forgetting

you ain't the most sensible
woman in the world?

What you gonna
do with the money?

Thought I might file a claim
on that land around my camp

and settle down here permanent.

Settle down when you got
the most grubstake money

you ever had in your life?

Yep, seems like a
pretty good notion.

I guess I'll go over
there and file right now.

You got your tonic, boy?

All right, son, sit down.

You and I are gonna
have a nice little talk.

Well, it's high time.

Of course, the most important
thing now is where you hid the money.

Nope. The most
important thing is,

how come you put me in
this jail cell in the first place?

Now, lookie here, big fella,

you don't expect to go around
robbing banks and not get put in jail.

I ain't robbed no bank.

Well, what'd you run
for if you wasn't guilty?

Well, I didn't figure it
was fitting to sit there

and argue with you all day long
about it with a rope around my neck.

Well, I admit that feelings
was running kind of high,

but that ain't no reason why
we can't sit and chat about it now.


I'm Hoss Cartwright
from Virginia City.

Now, Roy Coffee sent me
here to pick up Earl Tusher

on account of he
accidentally hurt his hand.

You hear me?

Oh, I heard you all right,

but what's all that gotta do
with, uh, where the money is hid?

It ain't got nothing
to do with money.

Like I told you, I'm here
to pick up Earl Tusher.

Who's Earl Tusher?

Earl Tusher, your prisoner.

Now, son, you can see,
you're the only prisoner I got.

Look, you sent a telegram
to Roy Coffee in Virginia City,

and you told him you
was holding Earl Tusher.

Who's Roy Coffee?

Who's Roy Coffee?

Why, Roy Coffee, the sheriff
in Virginia City, Nevada.

Like I told you, he
hurt his gun hand

and I'm down here to pick
up Earl Tusher in his stead.

Uh, can you read and write?

Well, not the best in the world, I
reckon, but, uh, why do you ask?

Well, it's a shame a
fanciful fella like you

ain't putting that stuff
down for folks to read.

Looney, you mean to say

you filed claim on
that mountain of rock

you been camping
on all these years?

That's the right of it.

What crop you figuring
on getting out of it?


Oh, howdy, Mr. Simmons.

Well, good afternoon, gentlemen.

- Oh, Miss Looney.
- Howdy.

Hey, I understand that you
delivered the culprit to the sheriff.

I brought in Hoss Cartwright.

Well, good for you.
What about the money?

- Wasn't any.
- There wasn't any?

Oh, well, that's bad.

We may not be able to find the
place where he hid it, you know.

Oh, Looney figures maybe
Cartwright didn't do it.

Well, now that's interesting.
How does she figure that?

Well, says it'd be pretty
hard for a man to rob a bank

in the middle of the night
without making a speck of noise.

Unless he had a key.

But that's ridiculous.

Nobody has the key
to the bank but me.

That's what we told her.

Well, perhaps Miss Looney
will solve the mystery for us.

Yeah, Looney, who done it?

He did.

For a minute, I thought
you took her seriously.

Well, anything for a laugh.

Oh, Looney, you are
the one. You are the one.

You get me as far
as accepting violence,

and then Looney walks
into town with Cartwright

just as pretty as you please.

And she blames me
for the bank robbery.

I know. I know.

What are we gonna do now?

The smart thing.

Take the money and get out.

Oh, just like that.
Without a word.

Yeah, that's right.

I'll ride out now
and get the money.

Tomorrow, we'll leave on
the stage. A business trip.

No. I just don't know.

Hey, uh, what is that stuff?

It's tonic.

You wanna try a little of it?

Much obliged.

That ain't bad.

Now, lookie here, boy.

Folks have had
a time to cool off

and now they ain't so much
concerned about what happens to you

as they are about
getting back their money.

So if you just tell me
where you hid the money,

things will go a
lot easier on you.

Sheriff, like I've
been trying to tell you,

there ain't no way I can
tell you where that money is

because I don't know
where that money is.

And I ain't had nothing to
do with no bank robbery.

Then what were you doing here?

Like I said, I was here
to fetch Earl Tusher.

Look here, the folks just
ain't gonna believe that story.

Now, you'd be a sight better
off if you'd just, uh, come clean.

Howdy, sheriff.

- Uh, you wanna see the prisoner?
- No, sheriff, I come to see you.

Well, what do you want?

Well, I figure it's high time
you got down to business

and put Simmons and
that Ward fella in jail.

Now, see here, Looney, you
going around talking like that,

people gonna think you're...

Well, just don't
go talking like that.

How many times I gotta tell you?
Simmons robbed his own bank.

It don't make no difference how
many times. It just don't make no sense.

Any young'un would tell you it's
the only thing that does make sense.

Well, I got no time to argue,
I gotta go home to supper.

But that stage leaves in the
morning. You gotta arrest them tonight.

No, I don't. I gotta get home.

Ain't you afraid
they'll get away?

I'm more afraid of Emma.

Besides, she's having pot roast.

Well, appears like if there's to
be any sheriffing done tonight,

it's up to me to do it.

I see. And just
what would you do?

Well, first off, I'd let that
poor innocent boy out of jail.

Well, shucks, now, we don't want
no innocent folks in jail, do we?

And then me and the
boy here would go out,

round up them rascals red-handed
and take back the money.

Well, now that strikes me
as a pretty sound program.

Why don't you do that, Looney?

You take care of that and I'll go
home and take care of the pot roast.

- Come on, boy.
- But, Miss Looney,

- wait a minute.
- What's the matter?

I ain't too anxious about getting
shot over breaking out of jail.

You ain't breaking
out of jail, boy.

You heard what the
sheriff said, word for word.

But didn't it strike you a little
peculiar the way he said it?

If a body held off
doing something

every time something
sounded peculiar,

it's hard to say what
would ever get done.

Yeah, I reckon
you're right at that.

- But just walking out of jail like...
- That ain't no way to talk.

Besides, we got them worried.

- We have? What happened?
- Yeah.

Well, just like I said, Simmons
and Ward robbed the bank.

- How'd you find that out?
- I overheard them talking, come on.

There's a light in Simmons'
office. They're in there, all right.

Well, let's go in
there and get them.

Hold it, boy.
Remember your fever.

You go around front.

I'll go in this way
and scare them

so they'll bust out the front
way. Then you can catch them.

It seems a might more likely to me
that they'll bust out this back door.

Well, I'd feel a sight easier in my
mind if I knew you was out front.

- But, ma'am, if...
- You gonna stand here jawing all night

- or are you gonna do like I said?
- Yes.

- What was that?
- What?

Well, I thought I
heard something.

I'll take that gun.

Now, as long as you're so nosy

to find out what's going
on in there, go on in.

Here's that noise you heard.

Oh, dear, now what do we do?

I'll kill her like I
should have before.

Well, you don't think I
come here by myself, do you?

- Well, you did, didn't you?
- Of course not.

- She's lying.
- No, no, no. No, she ain't.

One thing I found out
about this old woman,

she always tells the truth.

You gotta ask her
things just right.

How many people are out there?

Seven hundred and
forty-three, last count.

That's the population.

I know, I know.

How many people are outside
waiting for us to come out?

Well, now, if you mean...

Now, you know perfectly
well what he means.

How many men came with you?

Come on, come on.

You figuring to shoot
me or poke me to death?

Don't poke her. Don't poke her.

Well, I ain't particular
about details,

but if I don't get a
straight answer quick,

I'm gonna start
something right soon.

Now, for the last time,

how many men came with you?

The pure truth.

- One.
- One. One.

- Where is he?
- Well, like I told you, he's outside.

I know he's outside. Is
he in the front or the back?

Of the bank?

Of course of the bank.

- This bank.
- I wanted to get your meaning clear.


Well, what?

Shoot her.


Is the man who came with
you in the front or the back?


Boy, boy, was I glad to see you.

Yep, I reckon I got
here just in time, huh?

How'd you happen
to come after me?

Well, I figured you was in trouble
when they didn't come busting out.

You figured that
out all by yourself?

And you got in here without
making a speck of noise.

Yup, I was standing out there
in front, and just like you said,

bam, the fever left me.

I declare, boy, there just
ain't no end to wonders.


Well, that is the wildest
story I ever heard in my life.

Yep, but everything turned
out all right. I got the two crooks.

That's right. You caught double
the number you started out after.

Yeah. I sort of feel bad
about old Earl Tusher, though.

I'll ride into town first thing in
morning and tell Roy about it,

and I'll get right on
my way after him.

Oh, I don't think Roy will
appreciate that offer too much, Hoss.

Yeah, but why, Pa?

This tonic that Miss Looney gave
me, why, it cured my fever just like that.

Now, any time I feel it coming
over, I just take a big swig of it.

Well, uh, we'll talk about
that in the morning, huh?

Let's all go to bed now.

Back to sulfur and molasses.

Dad burn it.

Behind the Scenes of The Pure Truth

According to Nielsen Media Research, this particular episode is the highest-rated installment of the series, a fact corroborated in various literary works. Some scholars speculate that the surge in television viewership following the shocking assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 prompted audiences to seek solace in the escapism offered by television programming to an unprecedented degree.

In the climactic scene, as the Cartwrights ascend the stairs, Hoss lingers behind, depicted as he navigates past the blue chair while sipping his tonic. Yet, in a sudden turn of events, the subsequent shot captures Hoss tripping over the same blue chair he had seemingly just cleared, adding a comedic twist to the scene.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza offers fantastic, family-friendly entertainment for solo viewing or gathering loved ones. The Pure Truth is the 157th episode out of 430 in the series. NBC produced Bonanza, which aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, running for 14 seasons.

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

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