the quality of mercy
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Quality of Mercy Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #9

In the aftermath of a mine cave-in, Joe Cartwright stumbles upon his friend Seth Pruitt standing near the lifeless body of Seth’s future father-in-law. Seth, portrayed by Richard Rust, admits to the killing, revealing that the victim, severely injured in the cave-in, pleaded for a swift end rather than face a life of disability. Seth implores Joe to keep his confession secret, citing concern for the feelings of his betrothed, Sara, played by Nancy Rennick. Throughout the episode, Joe wrestles with the moral implications of his silence, questioning the righteousness of his decision. A surprising twist concludes Peter Packer’s compelling script. Originally aired on November 17, 1963, The Quality of Mercy holds a special place among Michael Landon’s preferred episodes of Bonanza.

For further details on the plot and intriguing trivia, feel free to read the synopsis or enjoy the episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of The Quality of Mercy

Watch the Full Episode of The Quality of Mercy:

Main Cast

Besides the main cast, “The Quality of Mercy,” the ninth episode of Bonanza Season 5 highlights various recurring and guest-supporting actors. The following are featured in the episode:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Richard Rust as Seth Pruitt
  • Nancy Rennick as Sara
  • Kitty Kelly as Mrs. Gibbons
  • Ed Prentiss as Minister
  • Bob Miles as Card Player
  • Bill Clark as John Dagliesh / Sara’s Father
  • Bob LaWandt as Poker Player (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Quality of Mercy

During a mine collapse, Seth Pruitt, Joe’s friend, stands beside his future father-in-law’s lifeless body, confessing to the killing. Seth claims the man was suffering immensely and pleaded for release from his agony. After swearing Joe to secrecy, Joe grapples with the ethical dilemma of mercy killing and keeping the truth concealed.

However, Joe’s suspicions grow, leading to a confrontation where he learns Seth’s true motives. Seth intentionally murdered his future father-in-law after discovering a lucrative silver vein in the mine and facing disapproval from the deceased. A physical altercation ensues at the mine, resulting in Joe overpowering Seth.

Subsequently, Seth is arrested and stands trial for his crime. Despite justice prevailing, it’s a poignant moment for Joe as his friend Sara mourns the loss of both her father and her intended husband.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Quality of Mercy

I had to kill him, Little Joe.

- Why, Seth?
- Because I had no choice.

I was back there
when the mine caved in.

When I got to him, he
was lying just like that.

His back was broken
and he was screaming.

I tried to get him out,
but he wouldn't let me.

He just kept screaming and
crying that he couldn't stand it

and that he didn't want to live.

I wanted to go for help, but he
wouldn't let me. He begged me.

He begged me, Little
Joe, to finish him off.

He wouldn't let go of me.

He forced me to do it.

Little Joe, you know I wouldn't have
done it if I'd had any other choice.

You do know that, don't you?
You'd have done the same thing I did.

You wanna tell Sara or
do you want me to tell her?

I was thinking about her
too. It's my duty to tell her.

But I'm not gonna
tell her what I did.

I'm just gonna tell
her the mine caved in.

And you gotta do the same, Little
Joe. Not only to Sara, but to everyone.

It was an accident.

Seth, you can't do that.
You can't lie about this.

Do you think I could tell
her what really happened?

Do you think I could tell anybody?
How is she going to take being told

that the man she's going
to marry killed her father?

Seth, you can't lie
to Sara about that.

All right, then you tell her and you
be there to see what it does to her.

You know her. She'd
never be able to live with it!

I got to live with it.

I know what you're thinking, that
it's like shutting your eyes to murder.

- That's right.
- Well, that's not what it was.

It was being merciful to
him to do what he asked.

And there's only one person in
the world it's gonna hurt if it's told

and I don't want her hurt.

But if you think I should take that
chance, I'll go tell her right now.

For as much as it has
pleased almighty God

to take unto himself the
soul of our brother departed,

we have borne his body
to the place prepared for it

that ashes may return
to ashes and dust to dust

and the imperishable spirit
may be forever with the Lord.

Now may the peace of God,
which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.

And the grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ and the love of God

and the communion of the Holy
Spirit be with you all and always. Amen.

Sara, if there's anything that
my boys and I can do for you,

all you need do is
ask. Anything at all.

Thank you, Mr. Cartwright.

I don't know what I'd do without Seth
and friends like you and your sons.

Well. Come here.

I called you a couple times
for breakfast this morning.

- Wasn't you hungry?
- No.

Come on, Beaut.


He'll soon be good as new.

- You're wasting your time.
- What do you mean by that?

He'll hobble around like
that the rest of his life.

Aw, come on, Joe.

Why, he'll be running around that
pasture as good as new in no time.

Well, look at him, can't
you see he's hurting?

I see he's trying to get
around like a normal horse.

- What's eating you, anyhow?
- Nothing.

Got him all bandaged up.

He looks like he's
gonna be all right.

Yeah, to me and you it looks that
way, but to our little brother here,

he don't figure
he's got a chance.

Well, he better be wrong

because I spent $100 of Pa's
good money for that horse.

What's that got to do with it? Why
should the animal have to suffer

just because he doesn't
know what to do about it?


Well, he may be hurting a little bit, but
it's worth it if he gets well. Isn't it?

I don't know. Forget it.

Well, let's, uh, go in the house
and rustle up some grub. I'm hungry.

- Yeah, me too.
- Come on.

So, uh, what's
happening in town?

Well, there's one whale of a poker
game going on at the Silver Dollar.

- It's been on for about 24 hours.
- Yeah? Who's the big winner?

Seth Pruitt from
the looks of things.

- Seth Pruitt?
- Yeah.

He's playing poker?

So, uh, what's the
matter with playing poker?


Let's go get that grub.

I call.

- Cards?
- I'll play these.

So will I.

I call.

Full house, gentlemen.

Hi, Little Joe.

Hey, what you doing here
so early in the morning?

Heard about the poker game.
Just wondered how you were doing.

I'm hotter than a pistol.

Oh, I know what you're thinking.

That I shouldn't be here. That I
should be with Sara. Is that right?

I'm not your judge. What
you do is your own affair.

It don't look right to
you finding me right here

in the middle of a
poker game, does it?

- Like I said, it's none of my business.
- Well, the game's an accident, Joe.

I came in yesterday to catch
the stage for San Francisco.

It was late, so I decided to
sit in a hand to pass the time.

I got lucky and I've
been here ever since.

Why are you going
to San Francisco?


Just business, Joe.

I'll catch the stage
this afternoon.

Hey, listen, do me a favor,
will you? When I'm gone?

- Yeah, what's that?
- Go out and see Sara.

She's been, uh, awful
moody since her pa died.

Maybe you can help
snap her out of it.

I'd rather not, Seth. I...

I just don't want to see her.

Because you think
what I done was wrong?

Well, let me tell you something,
Little Joe. I was the one that did it.

And I don't sleep so good
at night thinking about it.

Well, me neither. I keep...

I keep thinking, "What
if he might have lived?"

Oh, yeah. He might have
lived with a broken back.

And never a minute when he
didn't need Sara right beside him.

She'd never have
a life of her own,

watching him struggle
with pain till his dying day.

And all those years
of taking care of him,

don't you think sometimes
she might pray that he'd die?

I don't believe that of Sara.


You think you know
her better than I do?

- I know her pretty well.
- You knew her when we were kids.

When the three of us were kids.
When we were out hunting jackrabbits

and trapping coons in the woods
and swimming and things like that.

She's a grown woman now.
And she's going to be my wife.

I got no choice but to
keep it from her, Little Joe.

So you'd live your
whole life a lie?


And a lot of people do.

Only most of them don't have
the good reasons the way we do.

Now, Sara and me are getting
married when she feels better.

I'm gonna do everything I can to
make her happy. She'll be all right.

Hey, come on and go
out and see her, will you?

She said she wanted
to be by herself,

but I think if she saw you,
it might do her some good.

- Hello, Little Joe. Won't you come in?
- Thank you.

- How are you, Sara?
- I'm fine.

- Won't you sit down?
- Thank you.

- I just picked these.
- They're very pretty.

He always liked to have
flowers in the house.

He liked poppies, but these
marigolds were his favorite.

- In the wintertime...
- You'd have pine boughs.

Why did you come
here, Little Joe?

Just for a visit.

I don't need sympathy, you know.

I thought I did at first, but though I'm
grateful for it, it doesn't really help.

You have to find
your own strength.

- By being alone?
- There's no other way, really.

I've learned that.

- So if you came because...
- I just came here to see you.

Since when do I need an
excuse to come over and see you?

I remember when I used to ride
up here and thump on the door

and yell for you
and there you'd be.

- I'll give you some coffee.
- Sounds good.

Oh, let me help you with this.

Oh! I think you'd
better let me do it, heh.

- Heh, I think you're right.
- You just go and sit down.

I didn't think I would be, but
I'm glad you came, Little Joe.

So am I.

You don't really want
to be alone, do you?

Only because I believed
that what I felt, others couldn't.

- Not even Seth?
- Seth loves me. I know that.

He said he wanted us
to get married right away.

He thought it would be
the best thing for both of us.

But it just wouldn't be fair to
him until I can let go of the past.

- Do you understand, Little Joe?
- Yeah, I understand.

It's not so bad being
alone, really. I...

Sara, you shouldn't
stay out here by yourself.

It's my home, Little Joe.

I'm fine. Really, I am.

Look, why don't you come out to
the Ponderosa and stay for a while?

- No.
- No, we got plenty of room.

Pa would love to see
you out there again.

- Uh, I'm fine here. Really, I am.
- Please.

We're not gonna feel sorry for you. If
you wanna be alone, you'll be alone.

If you wanna be with friends,
you'll be with all the friends you want.

Any way you want it.

Please. Give it a try. If you don't
like it, you can always come back here.

I just think it'll give you a
chance to straighten out.

All right.

Well, come on, then.
How about a little smile?

Oh, don't you remember

Sweet Betsy from Pike

Who crossed the big
mountains With her lover, Ike

With two yoke of
cattle A large yellow dog

A tall Shanghai rooster
And a one-spotted hog

One evening, quite early
They came on the Platte

'Twas nearby the road
On a green, shady flat

When Betsy, sore-footed,
Lay down to repose

And wondering Ike gazed
on His Pike county roads

They soon reached the
desert Where Betsy gave out

And down in the sand
She lay rolling about

While Ike, half distracted
Looked on in surprise

Saying, "Betsy, get
up You'll catch sand

In your eyes"

- Very good, Adam.
- That was a wonderful song.

- We know a bunch of them.
- Hey, wait a minute. No more tonight.

We got a lot to
do in the morning.

- Oh, it was a lovely evening.
- That was fun.

You've all been
so wonderful to me.

So kind and considerate.
I'll never forget it.

That's what friends
are for, Sara.

- Good night.
- Good night. Have a good sleep.

- Thank you.
- Sara?

I thought maybe tomorrow we
might take a ride around the ranch.

Oh, yes, I'd like that.

I'm so glad you
persuaded me to come.

- Good night, Little Joe.
- Good night.

I think she's feeling a
lot better now. Don't you?

I think so too. I sure hope so.

Ah, it's a good idea,
bringing her here.

Heh, kind of like the old
days when we were kids.

Heh, yeah. She was
always over here, heh.

And she's sure become
a fine young lady.

I just hope she can get over
the shock of her father's death.

Yeah. Well, it was sudden.

If ever there was a man
that really wanted to live...

What's the matter?

Pa, there's nothing the matter.

Hey, what do you say we
stretch our legs for a while?

All right.

Here we go.

Oh, Little Joe, the
Ponderosa's so big and beautiful.

You know, I never
thought about it before,

but it's almost like having a
whole world all of one's own.


Pa never lets me forget I gotta take
care of every square mile of it too.

Down there, isn't that where
we found that bear cub?

Hey, that's right. In
the big cave down there.

Uh-huh. Do you remember
when we saw its mother coming,

we dropped the cub and
ran for our lives? Ha, ha.

Seth didn't want to
run. He wanted to shoot.

- That's right.
- Heh, I'm glad you didn't let him.

As I recall, it wouldn't have
done any good anyway.

We had a couple of
crow guns that day.

Ha, ha. You know,
when I told my father

about being so frightened

he said that it served me
right for being such a tomboy.

Sometimes I just can't
believe that he's dead.

It all happened so quickly.

Some mornings, I wake up

and I expect to hear him in
the next room fixing breakfast.

If only it just hadn't
happened so quickly.

Well, nobody can be
prepared for accidents.

I know, but it was so sudden.

Sara, don't you think it was
better that it happened quickly?


If he'd lived for
just a few hours,

I would have been able
to say goodbye to him.


Please don't.

Please, I can't
bear to see you cry.

I'm all right. I'm all right.

I don't know what I'd
do without you, Little Joe.

Sara, if there was any
way in this world that I...

I brought you out here
to make you forget.

I'm not doing a
very good job, am I?

Yes, you are.

Come on. Let's go.

I understand you've
been to San Francisco.

- Yes, I had some business there.
- Oh, I envy you.

- That's a beautiful city, isn't it? Yeah.
- Yes, it is.

Uh, I hated to leave
Sara, but it was important.

Oh, she was fine here.

- Seth!
- Hello, Sara!

Oh, this is such a surprise. I
didn't expect you. You didn't write.

- I wanted to surprise you.
- Oh, you did.

Oh, you look beautiful. It's
been good for you, being here.

- Yes, it has.
- Mr. Cartwright, uh, Little Joe,

- thanks for taking care of her for me.
- It was the least we could do, Seth.

We'll, uh, leave you two alone.

Mr. Cartwright, now that Seth
is back, I think I'd best go home.

You know, Sara, I kind of
had a feeling you'd want to.

- Are you sure?
- Oh, yes.

If you wanna stay
here, it's all right with me.

- No, no.
- I'm just glad knowing

you've got good friends
taking care of you.

No, Seth. I want to go
home. I want to go home.

Well, there must be something
that you boys can talk about,

even if it's only to complain
about Hop Sing's food.

Adam, how's the grazing
in the north pasture?

Oh, it's pretty nearly finished.
They're beginning to stray.

All right, so she's gone.

Now, it was very nice having
a girl like Sara here for a time,

but she's got a life of
her own to make and...

Would it help to talk?

No, I'd...

I'd like to go away by myself,
if it's all right with you, Pa.


It's all right with
me, of course.

If you think that going
away would help solve

whatever it is
that's troubling you.

I just have to think
it out alone, that's all.


Uh, well, if you don't mind
combining a little business, uh...

well, there's some trees
I'd like you to look at...

You go wherever you want.


Pa, I want to think it out for
myself, but even if I go away,

I don't think I can do it.

Well, son, I don't know what it is,
uh, so I don't know if I can help you.

I'll try, if you want me to.

It's not the kind of thing I
ever thought about very often.

It's the sort of thing that you
can't decide the right or wrong of

until it happens.

And then it happens,

and you think you've
done what's right,

you think you've done the only
thing that you could do. The only thing.

And then it starts.

And you start thinking
that maybe you were wrong.

Well, you know, men generally know
the difference between right and wrong.

Of course, when they're
wrong, they don't always admit it.

But that's just it, Pa. I
don't know anymore.

I don't know right
from wrong anymore.

Well, surely you don't
want me to decide for you.

I know I have to make
the decision myself.

Look, may...

Maybe you could tell me what you
would have done in the same situation.


This is the kind of thing that
could happen to anybody.

I mean, it could
happen to anybody, Pa.

Any one of us could be in the
same thing and have to decide.

All right.

See, now, a man is badly
hurt and he's in a lot of pain.

And his friend knows
he's in a lot of pain.

And the man knows he
only has a short time to live.

But even those last few moments of
his life are gonna be filled with agony.

I understand, go on.

So he asks his friend

if he would end it.

If he would put him
out of this misery.

But his friend can't bring himself
to do it, but he won't let him alone.

He keeps begging and
pleading with him for mercy.

Just to be able to die.

And he keeps at him and keeps at
him until there is nothing he can do

except do what his friend asks.

And he kills him.

Was that so wrong, Pa?

Don't you know?

Help me, Pa. I'm not sure.

Well, I am sure. I
am very sure, son.

That was wrong.

How can you be so sure?

How can you be so definite

when I told you what the
friend was going through?

Well, it's not up to the
friend to make the decision.

No matter how
much pain the other...

The injured man
was going through,

not up to the friend to decide.

Can't you understand?
He did it out of pity!

He thought it would
be more merciful to...

He couldn't watch
this man die in agony.

He couldn't watch
this man die in agony?

Well, how about the injured man?

Don't you think that
perhaps, in his suffering,

he was trying desperately
to live? Not to die?

He begged him
to help him to die.

Sit down.

Come on.

Sit down.

I've always believed that
when a man is badly hurt,

I mean really hurt
badly, his body's broken,

nature tries to pick up the
pieces and make him whole again.

Now, I don't know how much
nature thinks about the pain

that she's causing the man
while she's mending his body.

Her main purpose
is to preserve life.

To nature, life is sacred

whether the body
is whole or crippled.

And that's why I think
that no one has the right

to end someone else's life.

Nature doesn't give up that easily.
She's always working for survival,

not for destruction.

She doesn't always
know when she's licked,

but when she finally
does admit to it,

I guess there's nothing man can
do except yield to the inevitable.

But until that moment,
until that moment,

no man has the right,
morally or legally,

to snuff out a man's
chance to survive.

Then you let him suffer?

I'd help him all I could.

I'd do everything I
could. Get all the help.

I'd try to ease his pain
as much as possible.


Have you ever seen a
man in this condition?


Well, I have.

I saw a man fall to the deck
of a ship from the crow's nest.

I saw a man trampled
in a stampede.

Oh, I've seen a lot of men
trampled in stampedes.

None of them died right away.

They were in terrible pain.

But none of them wanted to die.

See, a man, when
he's in bad pain,

really doesn't know
what he's saying.

His body is
fighting for survival

and his mind isn't
always aware of that.

It's suffering the pain.

So he begs to die.

But he shouldn't be listened to.

A friend should listen
only to the pulse of life.

Fight with it. Not against it.

Well, you think about it, Joe.

You, uh...

You still want to go away?

Tell you what, why don't you,
uh, ride out with Adam tomorrow?

Try to round up
some of our strays.

Seth! Seth, no!

No, Seth!

Seth, no!



You all right?

Yeah, Adam. It's...

It's nothing, Adam.

You know, you haven't
said two words all morning.

Last night got
anything to do with it?

What's that mean?

You were, uh, having a nightmare
and yelled out something about Seth.

Remember that?

No, I don't.

You're still friends
with him, aren't you?

There any reason
why I shouldn't be?

You can answer
that better than I can.

Just because I mentioned
his name in a dream

doesn't mean I've got
anything against him.

- I know that.
- All right, then don't talk about it.

All right, Joe,
something's bothering you,

- so why don't you just tell me about it?
- He killed him.

Sara's father.

He didn't just die in the
cave-in. Seth killed him.


His back was broken,
he was in agony.

He begged Seth
to finish it for him.

So Seth killed him.

- Were you there when it happened?
- I got there right afterwards.

I went along with the story
because I didn't wanna hurt Sara.

I don't know what that
would have done to her.

Anybody else know about this?

I talked to Pa last night. I
didn't mention any names,

but he could guess.

I wanted to find out if what
Seth did was right or wrong.

- Pa said it was wrong.
- Well, I agree with him.

Joe, it's never too
late for the truth.

I think Sara and the law should decide
just how wrong or how right Seth was.


Anything I can do?

No, thanks.

- Oh, excuse me, I didn't know...
- Oh, it's quite all right.

I'm Mrs. Gibbons, the
dressmaker. Won't you come in?

Thank you.

I, uh, was looking for Seth,
I thought he might be here.

Oh, he's not here now, but I think...
- Who is it, Mrs. Gibbons?

Sara, it's me, Little Joe.
- Oh, good.

Come in, Little
Joe, I'll be right out.

Hello, Little Joe. I wanted
you to see my wedding dress.

I don't think it'll be bad
luck for Little Joe to see it.

- Do you, Mrs. Gibbons?
- I don't think so, Sara.

I'll go fix the veil.

I'm glad you came by.

I didn't mean to bust in on you
like this. I was just looking for Seth.

Well, he's down at the mine, uh,

clearing away the
debris from the accident.

If you 'd like to wait,
I'll give you supper.

No, thank you. I haven't
got time. I best be on my way.

You look lovely.

If you see Seth, uh, don't even
bother to tell him I was looking for him.

- It was nothing important.
- All right.

Oh, Little Joe? I think Seth
wants you to be his best man.

If he didn't, I'd punch
him right in the snoot.


- Where you going?
- Away.

- You see Seth?
- No, I didn't.

- Why not?
- Because I changed my mind.

I think you and Pa are wrong.

Sara's father's dead and
there's nothing we can do about it.

Seth is gonna marry Sara
and he's gonna make her happy

and that's all I care about.

Why'd you change your mind?

Look, I changed my mind and
that's all there is to it, all right?

I told Pa.

I didn't think I was giving away any
secrets. He half-guessed anyway.

You couldn't even wait for me to
tell him myself, could you, Adam?

- If Pa's told Sara...
- Now, wait a minute, Joe.

If you'd been so sure
that you were right before,

you wouldn't have
had to tell Pa or me.

No, I think you're trying to convince
yourself that two wrongs make a right

and they don't. It's gotta
be told. You know it has.

Good boy, Beaut. Good boy.

Danged old leg did get
well, didn't it? Sure did.

Hey, Joe, see how that
leg healed? He... Hey.

Why, I thought you'd
gone to tell Sara.

Do you really think I'd do something
like that without talking to you first?

- I guess I wasn't thinking.
- Hmm.

- Pa, you have to understand...
- I do understand, Joseph.

I understand it's not a simple
problem and there's no simple answer.

But there is an answer and
I think it's time you found it.

- Pa, I don't wanna hurt...
- Look, Joseph,

there's no time for talk now.

- Hello, Seth.
- Hi, Little Joe.

- Did you come by to give me a hand?
- No, I wanted to talk to you.

Yeah? What's the matter?

Come on, sit down.

What's on your mind?

Seth, I've been
doing a lot of thinking.

You're gonna have to tell
Sara about what happened.

Maybe if you tell her, explain
why, maybe she can understand.


Why do you want to dredge all that
up now, when it's over and done with?

Seth, it's never gonna
be over and done with.

You can't live the rest of your
life with Sara living a lie like that.

You know how you told me you
have trouble sleeping at night?

It's the same way with me.

I keep having the same
dream, night after night.

I see you standing over
him with a club in your hand.

You can't back out on
me now. You promised.

Seth, I know I promised,
but I was wrong.

Just as I believe you
were wrong in what you did.

- You have to tell the truth.
- I can't. Not now.

- Seth, you're gonna have to.
- Do you know what's under you?

Just a few feet down?

Silver. Blue clay worth a
fortune. I had it assayed.

- Did Sara's father know about this?
- No, all we did was scratch off the top.

Why didn't you tell him?

Because he and I weren't
getting along so well.

He even objected to me marrying
Sara. I wasn't gonna tell him anything.

But now everything
worked out all right, didn't it?

You've got Sara and
you've got the mine.

Listen, Little Joe,
let's share this.

As soon as Sara and I are
married, I'll make you a partner.

It'll be just like old times. The three
of us together again. Remember?

Oh, yeah, I remember,
Seth. But you're not the same.

You're not the
same person at all.

This is all that's important to you,
isn't it? The mine and the money.

That's the important
thing, isn't it?

You think the Cartwright's are the only
ones that have a right to have money?

You've had so much and you've
had it for so long, you don't care.

Well, I never had anything. I
never had a family taking care of me.

Ever since I was a kid, I was
scratching for a dollar all by myself.

Sure. Sure, I want the
money and the mine.

- Why not?
- Well, now you've got it.

But was it worth it, Seth?
Was it worth murdering for?

- What are you talking about?
- You know what I'm talking about.

You weren't getting
along with Sara's father,

didn't want to tell
him about the silver.

He didn't want you
to marry his daughter.

Come on, Seth, tell
me. I'm your friend.

Did you plan the accident or just
take advantage of it when it happened?


What could you prove, Joe?
What could the law prove?

I don't know, Seth, but
we're gonna give it a try.

- I'm taking you to the sheriff.
- No, you're not.

No, you're not. Now
throw your gun away.

Joseph? Someone to see you.

Hello, Little Joe. How are you?

- I'm fine. How you feeling, Sara?
- All right.

I just came to tell you that
I'm leaving for San Francisco.

It's gonna be real good for you

to be with your
uncle and his family.

It's not that I'm running away,

it's that I just don't think I could
bear to be here during Seth's trial.

Oh, I understand that.

Look, I want you to
stop worrying, you hear?

I want you to go to
San Francisco and rest

and try to forget
what's happened.

I'll come see you as soon
as we've sold the mine.

Thank you, Little
Joe. For everything.

I don't like to
interrupt, but, uh,

that stage usually
leaves on time, Sara.

- I'll drive you to town.
- Oh, good.

Behind the Scenes of The Quality of Mercy

The episode’s title draws from a passage in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” Act IV: “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

Interestingly, this episode aired during the same week President Kennedy was tragically shot in Dallas. It coincidentally aired in parts of Britain and was promptly taken off the air following the announcement of his death there.

Books Worth Reading:

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is an excellent choice for solo viewing or family entertainment. The Quality of Mercy is the 143rd episode out of 430 in the series. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, spanning 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>>