the saga of squaw charlie
Bonanza Western TV
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The Saga of Squaw Charlie Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #14

Charlie, played by Anthony Caruso, is portrayed as an elderly and weathered Native American enduring constant ridicule and mistreatment from the judgmental townsfolk. Despite his hardships, Charlie finds solace in the company of just two individuals: Ben Cartwright and a young girl named Angela, portrayed by Vicki Ros. However, tensions reach a boiling point when Angela suddenly disappears, resulting in Charlie being wrongly accused of her murder. Enhancing the drama, Virginia Christine, celebrated for her unforgettable portrayal as “Mrs. Olsen” in Folger Coffee commercials, graces the screen as Martha alongside former B-western star Don Barry, intensifying the intrigue. Originally aired on December 27, 1964, The Saga of Squaw Charlie was penned by Warren Douglas. This episode delves into themes of prejudice, friendship, and the quest for justice.

Explore the plot details, along with intriguing trivia, or enjoy watching the complete episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of The Saga of Squaw Charlie

Watch the Full Episode of The Saga of Squaw Charlie:

Main Cast

Besides the main cast, “The Saga of Squaw Charlie,” the fourteenth episode of Bonanza Season 6 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
  • Anthony Caruso as Squaw Charlie
  • Don ‘Red’ Barry as Bud Claggett (as Donald Barry)
  • Virginia Christine as Martha Hale
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Vicki Cos as Angela Hale (as Vickie Cos)
  • William Tannen as Lem
  • Myron Healey as Buck
  • John Barton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jimmie Booth as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Albert Cavens as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Coontz as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rudy Doucette as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Art Felix as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Herman Hack as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Billy McCoy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rod McGaughy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Mitchum as Hank (uncredited)
  • Ernesto Molinari as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred Rapport as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Saga of Squaw Charlie

Apart from the Cartwright family and a young girl, Squaw Charlie finds himself isolated due to his Indigenous heritage.
When the girl disappears, the entire town turns against him even though the evidence implicating him is solely circumstantial.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Saga of Squaw Charlie

Hey, hey, Jimmy.
Jimmy, come here, look.

Look, it's old lady Charlie.
Come on. Grab some nuts.

Come on, let's go.

Oh, come on, Charlie. You
can move faster than that.

- Old lady Charlie.
- Old lady Charlie.

Hey. BOY 2: Come on, Charlie.

- Come on, move. BOY
1: Old Charlie's about

the bravest dang Injun
in the whole Paiute tribe.

Leastwise, he's the fastest
runner in the whole territory.

Old lady Charlie.

Old lady Charlie.

Old lady Charlie.

- Old lady Charlie.
- Charlie!

- Angela, you come back here!
- Stop that. Do you hear me?

- Angela.
- Stop that.

Old lady Charlie.

You stay away from
my friend Charlie.

Will you stop it?
Will you stop it?

You're just coming
along with me, young lady.

Bye, Charlie.

Old lady Charlie.
Old lady Charlie.

- Old lady Charlie.
- All right, you kids, break this up.

Old lady Charlie.

- I told you before, you break it up.
- Old lady Charlie.

- Old lady...
- Shut up!

You kids ought to be
ashamed of yourself,

acting like a
bunch of jackasses.

Now I'm gonna tan me some hides

if you ain't off this street
by the time I count five.

One, two, three, four...

All right, Charlie, they
won't bother you no more.

Leastwise, not today.

Taking care of Charlie is
taking up a lot of your time.

Well, maybe so, Adam.
The white man sure is funny.

Now, if an Indian chooses to
fight him, he's a murdering savage.

If he don't, he's a
yellow-livered coward, a squaw.

Kind of hard to
understand, ain't it?

He was judged by
his own people, not us.

Well, it's none of our
business. Still owe you a drink.

No, thanks. I got work to do.

Don't do it, Lem.

You are nothing
but trouble, are you?

Now, you want to go in that
saloon and get a drink, you go on.

Go on. Get your hat and go on.

Adam, like you say, it's
just ain't our problem, is it?

I'll say one thing
for you, Charlie.

You know a good
horse when you see one.

Sure. It's a good horse.

I don't think that's what
Little Joe meant, Charlie,

I think he meant to say

that when you steal
one, you steal a good one.

Charlie no steal horse.

No? What were you
doing? Just exercising him?

Or didn't you see the brand?

Charlie, if you'd wanted a horse,
how come you didn't ask us for it?

- Why did you just take it?
- Charlie not steal horse.

Find horse stuck
in mud, free him.

- I don't see no mud on him now.
- Charlie clean him good.

Then take him to friend Ben
Cartwright, after take reeds to hut.

Are you sure you didn't
have any other plans for him?

No. Charlie tell truth.

Oh, having a meeting?

Found Charlie taking
one of our horses.

- Hello, Charlie.
- Hello, Ben Cartwright.


Does Ben Cartwright believe
Charlie steal horse of friend?

No. He would not believe it.

You make Charlie feel good.

Charlie, I think the boys
made an honest mistake.

Yeah, maybe so.
Just an honest mistake.

Why don't you
boys ride on ahead?

Charlie and I, we've
got a little visiting to do.

Ben Cartwright, you come with
Charlie. I show you mud hole.

No, Charlie, you don't have
to do that. I believe you, heh.

Please, I show you
where horse stuck in mud.


See? Moccasin,
horse, broken reed.


Yeah, no wonder
the horse got stuck.

Haven't seen the
water this high in years.

All that good rain we've
been having, Charlie,

that means the grazing will
be the best I can remember.

The land is beautiful.
Big and beautiful.

Charlie must go.

Take reeds to little girl. I
teach to weave Paiute basket.


Go on, I want you to
have that horse, he's yours.

Charlie not take. Please.

Thank Ben Cartwright
but not take horse.


You and your people, you
believe that if you save a life,

for the rest of time you're
responsible for that life, isn't that so?

Well, you saved that
horse's life, didn't you?


Charlie, what a beautiful
horse. Where did you get him?

Hello, little one.
Horse is gift from friend.

Now we can take rides together.

Can't we, Charlie?
Let's take one now.

As soon as you finish
your basket. Now, come.

Now, let us see what your
little fingers will remember.

You know, Charlie, I wish I
didn't have to go to school.

I learn much more
just being with you.

What Charlie can teach
you is of no use in your world.

That's not true, Charlie.

Besides, my world's gonna
be just the same as yours.

Little one,

your world and my world
can never be the same.


I thought I'd find you here.

How many times do I have to tell you
to stay away from that filthy savage?

He isn't a savage! He's
Charlie. He's my friend!

Just go get in that buggy
right now, young lady.

- Go.
- He's my friend!

- Get in that buggy. Get...
- He's my friend!

You dirty, low-down animal,

you leave her alone
or I'll horsewhip you.

Mrs. Hale, Angela.

When are you men
gonna do something

about that filthy
Indian back there?

I beg your pardon, ma'am?

Look, I'm just a widow woman,

but if I was a man, I'd have run him
out of the territory a long time ago.

Charlie been
bothering you, ma'am?

Well, he's a bad influence,
especially on children like Angela here.

Look how he lives back there
in that hovel like a savage.

- Charlie's my friend!
- Will you shut up?

We agree with everything
you say, Mrs. Hale,

but unfortunately there ain't
no law against being an Indian.


Well, if I were a man, I'd make
one. Come on, giddyap, let's go.

She's sure riled
up, ain't she, boss?

Yeah, a lot of people
feel like that about Charlie.

Like you said,
there ain't no law.

Ran into Mrs. Hale
down the road, Charlie,

said she's got a
complaint against you.

Says you're a bad
influence on the kids in town.

Say, where did old Charlie get
a good-looking horse like that?

Look at that brand. That's
Cartwright's Ponderosa.

So now it's horse
stealing, huh, squaw?

Answer the man, squaw.

Where did you get
the horse, squaw?

Horse is gift from friend.

A gift. Well, that's
a likely story.

You know, Injun, there, uh...

There is a law
against horse stealing.


Maybe a little exercise
will get the truth out of him.

Try him.

How about it, Injun? You
wanna tell us about the horse?

Like I say, friend...

Once more around, Bud.


You come with me
to the sheriff, Charlie,

we'll file a complaint against
these fellas and make it stick.

Complaint? That
Injun had this horse.

- Look at it. It's got your brand on it.
- I know. I gave it to him.

- You gave it to him?
- That's right.

Now, why don't you ride on?
You're beginning to make me feel sick.

- Look, Cartwright...
- Shut up.

Now, be reasonable, Ben,

we were only trying to
look after your interests.

Sure you were.
By trying to kill him?

Well, what's he to you? We
should have chased him out of town

and back to his
tribe a long time ago.

What's the matter, Claggett?

Does it bother your conscience to
see an Indian sitting on some land

that once used to
belong to his people?

You graze the land and
drink the water too, Ben.

Yes, I do.

And I also belong to a committee
that's trying to get Washington

to give the Paiutes
back some of their land.

- Give it back?
- That's right.

We didn't take
the land from them.

No, you didn't.

But you sure act as if you knew
it didn't belong to them anymore.

All right. All right,
Indian-lover, that's up to you.

But it's a good
thing for the territory

that most people think
like I do than like you do.

Let's move.

I'm sorry, Charlie.

After you left I got the feeling
you'd probably have some trouble

riding into Virginia City on
a Ponderosa brand horse.

I made out a bill of
sale for you. Here.

Those men will make
trouble for you, Ben Cartwright.

Charlie does not
wanna cause you trouble.

No, they aren't gonna
make any trouble for me.

You stay out of their
way for a while, you hear?

Ben Cartwright.

You know, we gotta do
something about that Injun.

Well, who pays any real
attention to old Charlie?

Ben Cartwright for
one, Sheriff Coffee.

And as you should
remember, Adam Cartwright.

Yep. I ain't forgotten
that Injun-lover.

You know, that Charlie is real
cunning, never fighting back,

talking about the land of his
ancestors, impresses some people.

Well, a dead Charlie ain't
gonna impress nobody.

Don't be stupid. There's
other ways of handling him.

Now, who gets picked up

and blamed for everything
that's missing in Virginia City?

- Yeah. Huh, Charlie.
- Well, that's right, Squaw Charlie.

I've made you trouble.
Haven't I, Charlie?

Oh, no.

Since Charlie come
live with your people,

you have made the sun
shine in Charlie's heart.

Why do people pick on you?
Why don't they love you as I do?

Maybe it's like book say,

"Only pure heart
can see no evil."

Heh, maybe only children.

But those children in
town were yelling at you.


Oh, those children
don't listen to their heart.

They try to be like their elders whose
eyes grow blind as they grow older.

Well, I won't be like
that when I grow up.

I'll still love you.

And I will help your people
just like you're trying to do.

It is good, little one.

And you will help my people.

Now you must go.

But I'll come back!

You must never
come back here, ever.

Why? Why?

Why can't I be your
friend forever and ever?

Little one, you
can be my friend.

But you must
understand one thing,

as you grow older,
sometimes to be friend

you must hurt a friend.

Now, go.

- Little one?
- Yes, Charlie.

You will finish basket?

Yes, Charlie.

I will finish the basket.

Look, Pa, we're sorry
we jumped on him so fast,

- but he looked suspicious.
- He looked suspicious.

Well, that's the whole point.

Anytime anything goes wrong,
anytime a crime is committed,

you take one look at Charlie,

he looks suspicious
so he must be guilty.

Pa, we're sorry. We
didn't mean no harm.

Incidentally on the practical side, how's
the Indian Committee coming along?

Oh, should be hearing from
Washington any day now.

I'll get it.

- Howdy, Ben.
- Hey, Roy. Come on in.

What are you doing
around here this part of day?

Ben, Little Angela
Hale has disappeared.


And there's a hot-headed mob in
town that's blaming it on Charlie.

Blaming Charlie?

They ought to know better than
that. He wouldn't harm that little girl.

But they're sure it was Charlie.

On account of Angela's mother
really ripped into him today

with some kind of hard words.

A search party's out now, but
come dark and they ain't found her,

I'm gonna have an awful tough time
keeping that mob away from Charlie.

I believe I better pick
him up for safekeeping.

That's what we were
talking about. Exactly.

Something goes
wrong, blame Charlie.

You better pick him up.

- I'll see you in town.
- All right, fine. Thanks, Ben.

I'll saddle the horses.
I'm going with you.

All right.

We'll go along with you too, Pa.

No, I think you boys better
join the search for Angela.

She's probably riding that little
pony of hers, should be easy to track.

All right, Charlie, now.
Let's try it once more.

Was there anybody around when
she left that could have seen her?

Charlie see her leave.
Charlie send her away.

Something bad happened
to her. It is Charlie's fault.

No, it's not your fault.

Probably nothing
happened to her, anyway.

So she was upset when she left?

There was much
unhappiness, much sorrow.

Maybe she just ran off
to be alone for a while.

No. No, something bad
has happened to little one.

Charlie feel it here.

You let me out, Ben Cartwright.

There's a crowd gathering
out there, they'll tear you apart.

She is Charlie's friend.
Charlie find her, bring her back.

- You let me out, Ben Cartwright.
- I can't.

Well, they're gathering
over at the town hall.

Charlie. Charlie.

I told you, they'll tear
you apart out there.

I'm gonna have to lock you
up for your own protection.

- Come on, Charlie.
- You're not Charlie's friend.

Roy, we better get over there
before they come over here.

Keep an eye on Charlie.

Excuse me, would
you, Armand? Thanks.

Excuse us, let us
through, please.

Why don't you let us through,
will you, boys? All right.

All right. Let us through,
Billy. All right, thank you.

Thank you.

Folks, I want you
all to go home.

None of you know for sure that
anything has happened to little Angela,

for all we know, she just
wandered off into the woods.

You know, I've known
most of you for a long time.

And for as long
as I've known you,

you've always been fair and
just and honorable people.

- Get to the point, Cartwright.
- All right, I will.

The point is that you
are convicting a man

without a shred of
evidence that he's guilty.

Well, if he's so innocent,
how come he's in jail?


Wait a minute,
folks. I'll answer that.

Charlie's in jail to protect
him from a mob like this.

Now, I suggest that we all go home
and let Sheriff Coffee handle this.

- I'm asking you as a friend.
- Friend?

It's your friendship for the squaw
man that's caused all this, Cartwright.

It's your friendship that's kept him
out of jail a long time before now.

I say we try the
Indian. Try him now.

- Cartwright.
- Now, wait a minute.

I'm gonna warn you all.
If there's any violence,

I'll blow the man in half
that's responsible for it.

We want that Indian, Roy, one
way or another, we want that Indian.

I would like to hear what
Mrs. Hale has to say about this.

Mrs. Hale?

I don't wanna see
no lynching, Roy.

But I want to see justice done,

and I want to see it done now.

You'll see justice done, believe
me, with a judge and a jury.

But first, we've
got to determine

whether or not a crime
has been committed.

She said now, Roy.

What does that mean? You
want a trial right here and now?

- That's right.
- Well, that's ridiculous.

There is no proof that anything
has happened to Angela

or that Charlie had
anything to do with it.

And even if you did have proof,

Charlie would certainly be entitled
to time enough to prepare a defense.

What defense did my child have?

How much time did she
have to prepare herself?

Mrs. Hale, I think you're
being a little unreasonable.

There are search parties out
right now looking for Angela.

You might at least give them
a chance to get back here

with some kind of news.

Why don't you shut up,
Cartwright? This trial is simple.

If he's innocent, we
find him innocent.

If he's guilty,

we hang him.

Now, listen, Bud. Now, listen,

Charlie is staying in my jail
and nobody is touching him

until I get some real proof.

Oh, no.

Oh, dear God in heaven. No.

Oh, no.


- Where did you pick these up?
- Down by the marsh.

The marsh where
Charlie gets his reeds.

I hope you're satisfied now.

Roy, they said to tell you they're
ready, whether you are or not.

Thanks, Bob.

If things get out of hand, will you
let Charlie go before they get to him?

Ben, if I did a thing like that,
that mob would tear us apart.

That's exactly what they are,
a mob, capable of anything.

It's Charlie's only chance. He could
track Angela down, you know that.

He deserves that chance
and we better give it to him.

- Well, I'd like...
- Listen to me, Roy.

If those search parties find Angela
alive and well, and Charlie dead,

we won't be able to live
with ourselves, you know that.

- Ben, I gotta think about that.
- You think about it hard and deep.

Adam, you stay here.

Now, keep an eye on
me, I'll give you a signal.

If I take my hat
off, you let him go.

Mrs. Hale.

Mrs. Hale, did you
see me this afternoon?

Down on the south road.

Down on the south road.

You was on your way
home from Squaw Charlie's.

You had little Angela with you.

And you was upset about
something, what was it?

Squaw Charlie.

You told me he was a bad
influence on the children in town,

especially little Angela.

Did you recognize
these, Mrs. Hale?

They belong to my little girl.

And this basket?

That's the one she was working
on down at Charlie's today.

Mrs. Hale, did little Angela take this
basket home with her this afternoon?

That means that sometime between
the time that little Angela disappeared

and Buck found these,

she went back to Squaw
Charlie's to get this basket.

And he was the last
person to see her alive.

Mrs. Hale, that's only
circumstantial evidence.


An innocent little girl,

beloved by her mother, is gone.

Her blood stains these articles.

They were found
down by the marsh.

I told her time and time again
not to go down there with him,

but she didn't listen.

And now she's dead.

There's no proof of that.

We've got all the proof we need.

I'm not a vindictive woman,

but a brutal crime has
been committed here.

A little tiny girl has
been destroyed.

And my heart is just
as dead as my child's.

I'm gonna turn
you loose, Charlie.

If you don't find her, we're
all in trouble, big trouble.

Do not worry.
Charlie will find her.

There can only be one verdict.

And it's up to you, good people
of Virginia City, to deliver it.

Now, I think I know
what it's gonna be.

But you tell me.


Hold on, folks. Hold on.

Hold on! Hold on, folks.

I don't recognize anything legal
about these proceedings at all.

Claggett, you think
you can take Charlie,

you're coming through my gun.

And mine. Come on, Roy.

You've got till
sundown, do you hear?

Then we're coming
after that Indian

and you ain't got
enough guns to stop us!

Dag burn it, nothing, Joe.

Well, let's try on
down by the lake area.

It'll be sunset in an hour.

May be our last if
Charlie doesn't get back.

The Injun's gone.

- You sure?
- No one in the cell.

That's them Cartwright's doing.

- They'll pay, and they'll pay plenty.
- Wait a minute. Where you going?

To tell the crowd.

Don't be a fool, what
good would that do us?

We want Charlie dead.

And that crowd can't
hang him if he's gone.

I got a hunch Charlie's trying
to track that kid down himself.

And we can't have Charlie or
that kid to get back here and talk.

Oh, we can't kill a kid, boss.

Look, we're in this up to here:
Now, would rather it be you?

Lem, get out to that shack
before Charlie does. Go on, go on.

Let's quiet that crowd down a little
before they find out Charlie's gone

and start rushing around trying
to find him before Lem does.

Lem, over here.

The kid in the shack?

She ain't going
nowhere. She's sick.

She's lying in there
like she's half-dead.

Claggett better hurry up
and get this thing over with.

That's what I'm here for.
Now, the Indian's escaped.

It will take him a while to track us
down here, but he will, being Indian.

And when he gets here,
Bud wants him killed.

- Meantime, I'll take care of the kid.
- Hey, now, wait a minute.

I don't want no
part of killing a kid.

But it looks like you
got no choice, Hank.



Little one.


Where are you?


Here they come.

Lem should be back by now.
What could have happened to him?

All right, Roy.

The sun's going down, you gonna
give us our hanging or ain't you?

We ain't gonna
wait any longer, Roy.

We ain't gonna
wait any longer, Roy.

You're gonna have to wait.

There isn't gonna be any hanging
because there's no one here to hang.

Charlie's gone.

We let him go.

You let him go?

That's right, Martha.
We let him go.

You didn't give us any choice.

Oh, God, no.

The man says there
isn't anyone here to hang.

The man's wrong, ain't he, fellas?
- Yeah!

Wait. Listen to me, please.

My baby. My baby.

Well, there he is, fellas,
what are we waiting for?

I said, wait.

What are we gonna do now?

We're gonna shut his mouth,
that's what we're gonna do.

You filthy, dirty,
murdering savage.

She's not dead.

Little one sick.

It's too much for her.


Angela. Angela.

Oh, Angela.

Pick up that gun.

- No, Ben.
- Go for it.

I didn't know, Ben, I
thought he killed her.

- Go for it!
- I'm sorry, Ben. I'm sorry.

You knew, Claggett.

You knew if she was dead, it wasn't
Charlie that killed her, it was you,

because Charlie found her at
your line shack before we got there.

No, honest. I didn't know.
I'm sorry, Ben. I didn't know.

All right, come on.

You don't deserve it, but
you're gonna get that legal trial

that you tried so hard to
deny Charlie. Come on, Buck.

I'm sorry, Charlie.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

- Let's get him to a doctor, quick.
- No.


Squaw Charlie almost no more.

There never was a Squaw Charlie,

only a good, honest,
brave Red Eagle.

I'm proud he's my friend.

Red Eagle?

Red Eagle.

Charlie has not
heard in long time.

Charlie sorry he cannot do all
things he want for his people.

I promise you.

I promise you that your people
will get some of their land back.


Will good friend Ben Cartwright

tell Charlie one more time,

Great Spirit

and the green grass
and valley and still water?

The Lord is my Shepherd,

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures:

he leadeth me
beside still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,
for thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy...


goodness and
mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell

in the house of the Lord


Behind the Scenes of The Saga of Squaw Charlie

This episode was never aired on German television but can be accessed through the Sixth Season DVD box set.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza offers wholesome entertainment suitable for solo viewing or family gatherings. The Saga of Squaw Charlie marks the 182nd episode out of 430 in the series. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on the network from September 1959 to January 1973, spanning 14 seasons.

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

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