The Savage Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #02, Episode #12
Bonanza was one of the longest-running Western television programs that millions of people loved watching during its prime. Due to its popularity, the mighty adventures of the fictional Cartwright family continue for 14 seasons. Cowritten by Joe Stone and Paul King, The Savage, the second season’s twelfth episode, initially aired on December 3, 1960.
Adam Cartwright sees the dead bodies of two white trappers who dared to endeavor a Shoshone burial ground. Despite the apparent violation made by the trappers, Chief Chato (Hal Jon Norman) refused to scalp the dead bodies, as their priority was to find the “White Buffalo Lady.”
Later, Adam rescues a white Shoshone captive long thought to be a “spirit” woman because of her capability to heal the ill.
Read The Savage‘s plotline, including some interesting trivia, or see the full episode below.
Watch the Full Episode of The Savage
Watch the Full Episode of The Savage:
Aside from Bonanza’s main cast, the second season’s twelfth episode, The Savage, also featured some of the series’ recurring and one-time guest members. The cast includes the following:
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Anna-Lisa as White Buffalo Woman / Ruth Halversen
- Hal Jon Norman as Chief Chato
- Victor Millan as Dako
- Bob Wiensko as Kaska
- Frank Sentry as Iowa
- Maurice Jara as Tolka
- Henry Wills as McGregor
- Larry Chance as Haddon (uncredited)
Full Story Line for The Savage
Despite seeing the lances set by the Indians as a warning, two white trappers continued venturing into a sacred burial ground. Arrows fly to each trapper as they cross the place, instantly killing them. Chief Chato refused to scalp the trappers, reminding his sons that they arrived not to take scalps but to find the spirit of the so-called “White Buffalo Woman.” He orders one of his sons, Dako, to go beyond the Forbidden Stone, and Tolka volunteers to join his brother.
At the Ponderosa, Ben and Adam argue about Adam wanting to see Ira Fairbanks’ windmills, hoping to develop the same framework to get the water up on the north section of the ranch. Ben believes there’s no need to do so, as they know nothing about Ira Fairbanks, and Adam going for a short trip to Nevada City will leave them short-handed. However, after seeing Adam’s frustration, Ben allows Adam to go as soon as he returns as soon as he can.
En route to Nevada City, Adam reaches the area where the Indians set the lances and finds the dead bodies of the trappers. He suddenly heard a voice from a distance, then followed to see the alleged “spirit woman.” Dako asks her for medicine, stating that people in their village are dying in their lodges. However, the woman declared that she could not do anything for them. Dako insists she helps them, then grabs her arm to stop her from leaving. By then, Dako realized she was not a spirit as they thought, but a white squaw whose presence at the burial ground brings shame and desecration. Dako is about to kill her when Adam interferes, but Tolka shoots him with an arrow, and Adam falls from the mountain. The woman approaches the injured Adam and introduces herself as the White Buffalo Woman. She tends to his wounds and removes the arrow stuck on his leg.
Adam wakes up at the White Buffalo Woman’s camp. There Adam finds a book that reveals the lady’s name as Ruth Halversen. Ruth stops him from reading further, reminding Adam that he’s there because he helped her. Adam can stay until he feels better, but Ruth warns him to keep away from her.
Although displeased, Ruth starts to answer Adam’s questions about her. She revealed that his father never returned after leaving the wagon. A Bannock hunting party found her by springtime and took her to their village. However, white hunters attacked them, killing those that refused to oblige. Ruth fled to the Mountain of the Dead (the sacred burial ground). That’s where a Shoshone found her, believing she was the White Buffalo Woman, a great spirit woman raised from the grave.
Chief Chato’s sons, Dako and Tolka, haven’t returned, so he believed they failed to fulfill their task. He goes to the Mountain of the Dead with a couple of men.
Meanwhile, Adam’s horse returned to the Ponderosa. Joe finds no marks on the horse, and Hoss believes no one has ridden it for a while. Ben tried to shrug it off, assuming the horse went down for water. However, after a moment, they set out to search for Adam.
Chief Chato orders Tiowa and Kaska to find the White Buffalo Woman’s camp. Adam encourages Ruth to return with him to where she belongs, telling her that the mountain will never be her home since she’s living there alone. However, Ruth continues to refuse. Ruth reveals that when two men caught and tried to hurt her, she got her hand on a knife and wounded the man’s face, so she ran to hide. Adam reassures her that she can forget about it, and the two share a kiss. Chief Chato suddenly arrives with his men, offering a tribute to the Great White Buffalo Woman. He requests for her to join them back to their village to cure the sickness of his people, but Ruth refuses, stating she must remain at the mountain with the ashes of the past. Chief Chato and his men leave with a plan in mind.
Meanwhile, Ben, Hoss, and Little Joe arrive at the mountain, where they find the bodies of the trappers. They believe Adam did not die but have no choice other than to go further.
Adam gives Ruth a ring, proposing to her. Ruth accepts to be her wife, then excuses herself for a moment to get something. However, once Adam was alone, two Shoshones arrived, forcing him to join them back to Chief Chato. Adam tried to fight his way out, killing one of them in a fight, but eventually had no choice but to join the other. Ruth returns and finds the Shoshone’s body, worried about Adam.
Chief Chato held Adam hostage—a part of his plan to force the White Buffalo Woman to come to their village willingly. Adam argues that they took the wrong bait. However, Ruth arrives, ordering Chief Chato to release Adam, or they will die. Chief Chato insists they return with her. Ruth offers a deal: they spare Adam’s life, and she’ll heal their people. Chief Chato accepts her offer, but Adam opposes, causing the Shoshone men to strike him. Seeing she has no choice, Ruth tells Chief Chato that she’s ready to join them. Chief Chato orders his men to take Adam to Ruth’s camp, where he’ll find his way back.
The Cartwrights find Adam at the camp, severely injured. Adam wakes and tells them that the Shoshone took the woman who saved his life. Joe gets the Bible, and they find the ring Adam gave her. Adam realized that Ruth willingly joined the Shoshone to save his life. This realization further fueled Adam’s determination to go after her. However, Ben thinks it’s time for him to let her go, assuring Adam that they’ll meet again someday.
Full Script and Dialogue of The Savage
[Music] those pig stickers mean what i think they mean yeah indian for barbed wire why oh graves indians here bob believe their ancestors are buried yonder they call it the mountain of the dead sort of a sacred burial ground yeah i guess you might say that even the indians won't go much past here hey wait a minute we're not going in there are we of course we're going in there burial ground or no burial ground that's the best fur trap in country west of the [Applause] missouri [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] happy so no the white trappers past the lances they set foot on the mountain they were punished we are not here to take scalps but to find the spirit of white buffalo woman [Music] darko you are my son but i ask that you go beyond the place of the forbidden stone to seek the spirit [Music] if my brother is to go beyond the forbidden stone i will go with him my father you know that you go to your death we know father [Music] marco tulka by these tokens of my medicine the spirit woman will know you my sons you must not fail our lives are pledged [Music] father let the lances remain as a warning to [Music] others [Music] so [Music] i wouldn't because we've got cattle to move that's why we've got fences to build timber to cut what do you mean right now this is yorktown bunker hill and valley forge all rolled into one i'll say this just once more this is no time for a trip to nevada city paul's winning the only time if i miss ira fairbanks this trip who knows when i'll get another chance to see his windmill listen anytime adam's talking like that he's winning now you know as well as i that we have roundup facing us next week and you talk to me about windmills yes windmills and you know as well as i that it'll take a miracle to get the water up on that north section and fairbanks windmill might be it fairbanks windmill all this man has is a theory we know nothing about him or his reputation now you can't leave a shorthanded just to go to talk to man it's probably a crackpot crackpot crackpot a long time ago a man fooled around with a thing he called a cotton gin his name was switney and they called him a crackpot too and they said the same thing about a man called what until his steam engine made history and before that there was a man who thought the world was round you missed one who in between those last two gentlemen you mentioned there was another man who rode around looking for windmills and his name was don quixote and he was a crackpot you and your education education is progress now what have you got against it i don't have anything against education as long as it doesn't interfere with your thinking all right let's get back as soon as you can thanks bob [Music] hey adam what nice day for a ride [Music] hey poor i'd bet you to won that argument windmills guess the mind just has to do something about them foreign [Music] [Applause] hmm listen to me you must hear my word come down spirit woman i carry the medicine of the shoshone and the power of our shaman my father chat our people die in their lodges we have need of your medicine i'm sorry that your people are sick but there is nothing i can do for them i have already watched my life my people wait i'm sorry i promise to bring you back you are flesh you you are as i as other people even as a young squavar tribe please you must not do that you must not touch me [Applause] i touch you and i live my father would not believe that i don't care about you father let me be i will take you to my father he must see that you are nothing but a white [ __ ] that you cannot help the shoshone that your very presence here on this mountain of our dead is a shame and a desecration get away from me i don't care about you superstition stand up for me i know what would happen in your village you would kill me [ __ ] i would kill you here and now put it down i said put it down [Music] okay who are you help me come back [Music] [Applause] [Music] ah hmm [Applause] who are you i couldn't hurt you if i wanted to if i wanted your life i would not have [Applause] returned will you tell me who you are i'm called white buffalo woman white buffalo woman spirit woman of the legends of the plains indians i hope you know what you're doing don't move thanks the great white warrior wow oh [Music] wow [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] bye hello [Music] hello anyone here [Music] you [Music] foreign ola halverson born 1810 bergen norway married elizabeth carr bridgeport connecticut 1838 daughter ruth born august 3rd 1840 wife died 1846. july 14th we left saint joe this morning soldiers said it was too late in the season to start but daddy laughed at them he is not afraid for at home in norway he was used to hard winters and heavy snow in the mountains october 8th our axle is broken and daddy left yesterday in the morning and hasn't come back yet it is cold and we can hear the howling of the wall that blade would not have missed in the launch of a bannock and in the home of ruth halverson you heard my name a white buffalo woman is a myth but ruth halverson is or was real go remember this you are here because you helped me stay until you can travel but keep away from me or i'll forget i owe you anything in other words welcome aside from your many other accomplishments i see you also run a trap line i trade the pelts for supplies well now i'm a fair hand with hides um could i help until i can travel you're gonna have to put up with me now there's no reason why we can't try to understand each other how we could start with ruth alverson ruth halverson was a child what happened after your father left the wagon i never saw him again in the spring a bannock hunting party found me they took me to their village i stayed there as one of them until the hunters came white hunters they wanted our furs and when we refused they attacked us all the braves the women the children they killed [Music] i i found my way here to the mountain of the dead so shawnee saw me told his people he had seen white buffalo woman raced from the grave to them i'm a great spirit woman [Music] until today they've left me in peace here in my own world to live my own life ruth the only real life for you is with your own people since the bannocks died i have no people [Music] shaman where are my sons we waited at the place of the forbidden stone there is no sign of daco or tulka they would have returned by now if they could my sons have failed but perhaps where a son fails a father can succeed i will go to the mountain of the dead we shall go with you shaman [Music] [Applause] [Music] they call this the mountain of the dead [Applause] what do you want uh uh nothing uh it doesn't matter wait is something wrong with you no there's uh nothing wrong with me that's just it then what is it you want well i uh oh there was a razor with your bible i uh well i can wait why do you want a razor well for shaving shaving uh well you can't remember it it's uh it's a little difficult to describe you see most men that i know i remember watching my father i'll get it for you no no no no no wait there is something the matter what is it [Music] um my education uh just interfered with my thinking for a minute um but it's all right so oh hmm paul adam's horse just came in adam's horse yes sir he still got the satellite there's no marks on me puff no nothing oh it seems to be all right yeah nobody's ridden him for a while either yeah full boy probably got down for water come on pie you know better than that well i think we'll go after joey get some food ready all right us settle up the horses better bring a [Music] spare [Applause] my father had a big strap to make his razor sharp does it hurt a little has to be done though otherwise a beard be down here some men let the beards grow but uh others share them all ouch [Laughter] i think you would be better off would you bear down to here you know i think maybe you're right very nice when you smile you've done enough i can finish it looks much better naturally it takes a real engineer anytime sit down building a roof with one leg man has turned his keep not with a wound like this do you know what your name means my name ruth means compassion pity until now i never believed it you will be able to leave very soon why are you afraid of me i fear no man ruth you forgot this [Music] so no kaska no do you two wish to be struck down by the medicine of the white buffalo woman as my son was her powers are greater than all the medicine and the that is why she must go back with us only she can save our people from the great sickness find her camp then return to me and a certain man of bethlehem judah went to sojourn in the country of moab he and his wife and his two sons you read very well the old testament book of ruth like you she uh she'd gone into a strange land and the name of the man was elie miller and the name of his wife naomi and treat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee a long time ago my father used to read it to me that part of my life died with him [Music] finish the quotation for be the thou ghost i will go and wear thou lot just i will lodge and thy people shall be my people and thy god my god ruth come back with me bye where where you belong leave white buffalo woman where she belongs with the graves of the past [Music] i found peace here the people who are buried here have found peace what you found is a hiding place what can your world offer me that i don't have right here people of your own kind i know nothing but evil of my father's people look ruth you say this is your home where you belong it can't be why can't it be because you're alone i have a stubborn father and two hard-headed brothers to me they're home no matter where they live well i i have no one on this mountain you're a legend and a legend leads a lonely life in the world out there you wouldn't be alone music books sound of laughter all you have to do is is come back and let me do the rest ruth come back with me no no let me be you can't keep on running whatever you're hiding from must be faced and now it can't please let me go tell me ruth tell me now what really happened two of those men caught me i fell and they were they were there laughing they grabbed me and one of them one of them hit me i got my hand on a knife his face he screamed and i broke away and ran and ran and now you can forget it [Applause] huh [Applause] [Music] brings you tribute i accept your tribute shadow but not your presence here with your warriors only the spirit of the great white buffalo woman can conquer the sickness that has come to our lodges my heart cries for you people but a white buffalo woman must stay here with the ashes of the past the ashes of the past are the lies of a white man to the spirit woman chateau all men are brothers it is for me to judge who is welcome on the mountain of the dead you have my answer take your warriors [Applause] you must go not without you but adam don't you understand they'll kill you i won't go without you then we'll find a way pastor shoshone together wait here and watch when the white man is alone take him alive she will hear my words or watch him die [Music] dear lord accept these souls into heaven may they rest in peace forever and ever amen [Applause] from the signs adam got this far but it didn't meet the same fate these two trappers did yeah where do you think he'd go from here must have gone into the mountain adam know better than that and maybe he had no choice well we're not gonna find him standing around [Music] here hmm you weren't asleep at all didn't you ever hear of the spider in the fly [Music] now i know why they gave me my name my folks must have known that i belonged in the garden of eden i wonder if they knew about me [Music] and they shall a shoshone ruth we'll leave tonight [Music] i want you to have something [Music] when a man is betrothed to a woman [Music] he gives her a ring and as long as she wears that ring [Music] they belong to each other adam i will be your wife i love you very much love honor and obey i kind of like that last word that last word mr cartwright we'll talk about when i get back [Music] adam it's a beautiful ring [Applause] [Music] and now [Music] focal [Applause] um [Applause] [Music] [Applause] oh [Music] adam [Music] [Music] aah [Music] joe ah [Applause] i must have missed something there's only one thing to do we'll go back to where we buried those trappers and start all over again turn over every rock if we have to [Music] shall i bring the spirit woman now no koska the spirit woman must come to us willingly she won't come here she will for you it won't work you get the wrong bait [Music] she is here [Music] ruth get out of here [Music] foreign you dare violate the sacred lodge a white buffalo woman you would not hear my words and this one did the shoshone make war with the wounded my people must have the medicine of the spirit woman or they will die and a white man he will die unless you go with us release him or you will die now by the hannah white buffalo woman then destroy us now we will not go without you my people need you ruth don't [Applause] stop spare his life and you shall have the medicine a white buffalo woman cut him loose [Applause] run go for with the thou ghost i will go [Music] i'm ready shaman when we are beyond the mountain of the dead take him to the camp of the spirit woman he will find his way back to his people i'm ready shaman we must hurry spirit woman already too many of our people lie dead even your sons even my sons we will do all we can for the shoshone who still live [Music] hey that going adam looks like you tingling with a grizzly and got beat shoshone took ruth who girl that saved my life she lives here yeah fever she's not imaginary she's real name's ruth halverson there's a bible in the hut how come the shoshone he took her adam i thought she was a spirit reincarnation of one of their gods i'm going after it i gotta find her you try to stop me i'll walk all over you both of you huh found the bible some writing in the front the olef halverson daughter ruth born 1840. there's something inside marking the page i gave her this ring [Music] i wanted to marry her if she left this ring behind then she must have gone of her own free will she did it to save my life that's why i've got to go after her if you do that you sign her deathborn for sure oh she she's a girl she's not a spirit woman that's true the shoshone belief she is if you destroy that belief in her you destroy her you destroy them too that's right adam if they believe in her that strongly then maybe she'll be able to give some help to him you gotta let her go for nothing maybe someday come on let's get some food [Music] so [Music] you
Behind the Scenes of The Savage
The episode’s title in German is “Die Frau des weißen Büffels,” which means “The White Buffalo’s Wife.”
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza is an American Western television program worth watching alone or with family. Due to its popularity, the show lasted 14 seasons, with the NBC network airing it from September 1959 to January 1973. The Savage is the 44th episode out of 430 and the twelfth for the second season.
You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>