the scapegoat
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Scapegoat Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #06

George Kennedy makes a guest appearance as Waldo Watson, a perennially unlucky individual contemplating suicide. Moved by sympathy, Hoss Cartwright hires him as a ranch hand at the Ponderosa. Unfortunately, Waldo’s clumsiness and ineptitude not only hinder his work but also endanger the lives of the Cartwrights when a group of reckless Eastern gamblers, eager to collect a longstanding debt from Waldo, enters the scene. Other notable cast members include Sandra Warner as Nancy Collings and Richard Devon as Weaver. The Scapegoat, penned by Rod Peterson, originally aired on October 25, 1964.

Discover the intricacies of its plot, along with captivating trivia, or watch the complete episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of The Scapegoat

Watch the Full Episode of The Scapegoat:

Main Cast

In addition to the primary cast, “The Scapegoat,” the sixth episode of Bonanza Season 6 showcases a range of recurring and guest-supporting actors. Featured in the episode are:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • George Kennedy as Waldo Watson
  • Sandra Warner as Nancy Collings
  • Richard Devon as Weaver
  • Jon Lormer as Collings
  • Troy Melton as Reese
  • Bill Catching as Pitts
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Hoss’s Dance Partner (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Scapegoat

Hoss patrols the area, vigilant for any signs of trouble. His attention is drawn to a noose hanging from a tree. Investigating further, he discovers abandoned belongings nearby but no one in sight. His curiosity leads him to a rigged rifle, its trigger tied to a string. While pondering this peculiar setup, he hears the sound of falling rocks and ventures closer.
There, perched on the cliff’s edge, he encounters a man who urges him to stay back, revealing his intention to end his life by jumping. Despite Hoss’s attempts to dissuade him, the man insists on his fate. He confesses to being pursued by those trailing his debts, and Hoss realizes he’s been tracking him for trespassing on their land. Despite the man’s protests, Hoss refuses to leave him to his own devices, sitting beside him.
As they converse, Hoss learns the man’s name is Waldo Watson. Offering support, Hoss shares his name and knows that Waldo has no family or friends. Moved by compassion, Hoss extends a hand in friendship, but as Waldo reaches out, Hoss pulls him back, causing them both to fall. Knocked unconscious, Waldo is brought back to the Ponderosa by Hoss.
At the Ponderosa, Waldo consumes his meal voraciously, displaying an urgency that catches the attention of Ben Cartwright. Despite attempts at conversation, Waldo remains reticent about his origins. Hoss, trying to ease the tension, asks Waldo to pass the milk, but Waldo’s clumsiness leads to a spill. Despite assurances from Hoss, Waldo retreats from the table.
Concerned, Hoss shares with his family that Waldo seems burdened with troubles. Joe marvels at Waldo’s appetite, while Ben questions whether Waldo indeed intended to end his life. Hoss reflects on the incident, wondering if Waldo’s precarious position on the cliff was accidental and expressing sympathy for his lonely plight. Adam suggests that they’re the friends Waldo needs. Hoss proposes offering Waldo temporary work, sensing a kindred spirit in him despite his clumsiness.
Ben agrees to let Waldo stay but insists on learning the cause of his troubles. Hoss approaches Waldo, urging him to share his burdens. Waldo laments his constant failures and expresses a desire to move on. Hoss offers him a job and a chance for companionship, promising to watch out for each other. Reluctantly, Waldo agrees to stay for a few days to regain his strength.
The next day, Adam encounters Hoss and Waldo working together in the stable. As they labor, Adam shares news of Nancy Collings, prompting a nervous reaction from Hoss. Despite Adam’s teasing, Hoss remains focused on their task, enlisting Waldo’s help in repairs. However, Waldo’s clumsiness leads to another mishap, leaving Adam tangled in a horse collar as he exits the stable.

Joe is busy repairing the water pump near the trough when Waldo approaches from the corral, swinging a large piece of lumber and inadvertently slamming the gate open, striking Joe and sending him tumbling into the trough. Meanwhile, Hoss emerges from the stable carrying a hefty sack of grain. Startled by Joe’s predicament, Waldo swings his lumber again, accidentally hitting Hoss, who falls to the ground. In a comical sequence of events, Waldo’s swinging lumber repeatedly connects with Hoss, causing chaos. Eventually, Hoss directs Waldo to handle the grain while he manages the lumber, but their attempts only lead to further mishaps, with Waldo inadvertently striking Hoss with the grain sack.
Over at the corral, Ben is puzzled by the chaos and questions Waldo about the situation. Waldo, unable to offer a satisfactory explanation, admits to losing control of the horse they were tending. Hoss elaborated, explaining that Waldo became distracted while returning the horse and allowed it to escape. Despite Hoss’s offer to track down the horse, Ben decides to handle the matter himself, expressing frustration with the situation.
Later, Hoss is sharpening a knife while Waldo chops wood nearby. As Waldo prepares to chop one last piece, he accidentally sends it flying through a window. Hoss hastily repairs the damage, expressing regret for the day’s events. Ben suggests setting up a fund to assist Waldo in starting anew, prompting agreement from Joe and Adam. However, Ben decides that Waldo should not participate in the upcoming roundup, fearing for his safety. Hoss reluctantly accepts Ben’s decision and informs Waldo. At the same time, Ben mentions a message regarding lumber pickup from the Collings.
Inside Waldo’s room, Hoss discovers Waldo seemingly engaged in conversation with someone unseen, only to realize that Waldo is distressed and delirious. When Waldo suddenly attacks him, Hoss struggles to calm him down. The commotion draws the attention of Ben and the others, who rush to intervene. Ben reassures Waldo while Hoss attempts to understand his distress, but Waldo insists it was merely a dream and refuses to divulge further information.
The following day, as the stagecoach arrives in town, three men disembark, discussing their pursuit of Waldo and their intent to kill him once they locate him.
Later, the Cartwright brothers and Waldo head to town to pick up lumber. Despite Hoss’s reluctance due to Nancy’s advances, Adam and Joe encourage him, suggesting that Nancy’s attention toward Waldo may divert her affection from Hoss. As they work, Nancy approaches Waldo and requests his company, to which Hoss reluctantly agrees. As they part ways, Nancy expresses a growing fondness for Waldo.

At the Ponderosa ranch, Hoss teaches Waldo to dance, employing a broom as a makeshift partner in the barn. However, Waldo’s clumsy attempts result in him tripping over Hoss, leading him to believe dancing isn’t his forte. Despite this, for Nancy’s sake, Waldo persists in his dance lessons, prompting Hoss to suggest practicing the Virginia reel. Although Joe wishes to join in, Adam insists they continue practicing alone, and they retreat to the house.
Meanwhile, three men from the stagecoach arrive at the Ponderosa searching for Waldo, hearing Hoss’s voice from the barn. They spot Waldo inside and, assuming he is their target, open fire. Waldo and Hoss manage to evade the bullets while everyone rushes out of the house to assess the situation. Amidst the chaos, one of the men emerges from the barn and fires at them, sparking a shootout. After the assailants retreat, Hoss is found tending to Waldo, who has been grazed by a bullet but will be fine.
Later, as Hoss tends to Waldo’s injuries, Ben presses for the truth behind the altercation. Waldo reveals that he had taken up a job at a lumber yard but was coerced into participating in rigged fights by his manager. Despite his reluctance, Waldo won the fights, leading the gamblers to pursue him for the bribe money they had lost. Hoss and Ben assure him of their support, but Waldo decides to leave to spare them further trouble. However, Ben refuses to let him go and vows to protect him from the gamblers’ threats.
Waldo attempts to sneak away the following morning, but Hoss intercepts him. In a heart-to-heart, Hoss admits he was wrong to doubt Waldo’s courage and encourages him to stand up to the gamblers. Despite his initial hesitation, Waldo resolves to stay and face the situation alongside Hoss.
Later, as everyone dresses for the dance, Nancy eagerly anticipates Waldo’s arrival. However, their moment is interrupted when the gamblers arrive and hold them at gunpoint. While Waldo pleads for their safety, Weaver, the leader of the gamblers, demands the bribe money. Despite Waldo’s denial of having it, tensions escalate until Hoss intervenes, sparking a brawl. In the chaos, Nancy is injured, prompting Waldo to fight back fiercely and protect his friends.
After the confrontation, Ben notices Hoss’s somber demeanor and questions him about it. Hoss confesses to feeling jealous of Nancy’s attention to Waldo. Ben offers him sage advice, likening his situation to that of Adam and Joe, and encourages him not to let jealousy cloud his judgment.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Scapegoat


Oh, get away from me.

Just hang on. I'm gonna
get you. Don't worry.

Don't come any
closer. I'm letting go.

Letting go?

Why would you wanna
do a thing like that?

You're not fooling me.

You're one of them that's
been following my trail.

I've been following you,

but only because you was
trespassing on our ranch.

Will you leave me
be? Just go away.

Leave you be,
just hanging there?

Well, I'm not gonna be
hanging here for long.

I'm ending my
troubles here and now.

And I'll be ending them a lot
sooner if you come an inch closer.

You can't do that. Take a
look down there, it's a far piece.

Now, I'm warning you, keep away.

Now, you come any
closer and I'm gone.

I ain't figured on
coming no closer, uh,

I just thought I'd get
this crowd of my feet.

Yup. If I was you, I'd sure
reconsider that jumping business.

You know, the fall ain't
gonna hurt you bad,

but that landing is gonna
be mighty squally, phew.

About the only thing I got left.
Hanging's no good, neither is that gun.


Was you trying to use that
hanging noose on yourself?

What happened?


Poor horse ran out from
underneath me, all right,

but the limb bent down so
far I was just standing there

with that silly rope
around my neck.

Is that your rifle
back there too?

Yeah. I thought I had
that rigged up perfect,

and all I did was blow
my hat clean over here.

That's the way
everything has gone lately.

I can't get no work. I
can't get nothing to eat.

I can't even kill myself good.

Tell me, when was the last
time you had a square meal?

It's been so long since I
had any shape of a meal,

I just couldn't even tell you.

Well, under those circumstances,
I can't blame you much.

You know, I can...

I can put up with a
whole lot of things,

but going without
food ain't one of them.

- What did you say your name was?
- I didn't.

Don't you reckon
you ought to tell me?

We're gonna have to put
something on the tombstone.

Oh, yeah. My name is
Waldo. Waldo Watson.

Mine's Cartwright. Most
folks just call me Hoss.

You, uh, you got any
kin you'd like me to tell?

No. Nobody.

Ugh, well, Waldo, if you're dead
set on going through with this,

let me give you a couple of hints
as where you ought to head for.

Like, I figure if you give
a hard enough kickoff,

you could probably make it to
that dry creek bed over there.

Are you making fun of me?

Oh, of course not.
I just wanted, uh,

to wish you luck, that's
all. I'll be seeing you.

Some place, someday, I reckon.




Waldo's been on the
move quite a bit lately,

he hasn't had a
chance to eat regular.


Where are you from, Mr. Watson?

- I'm from no place in
particular, heh. BEN: Hmm.

Waldo is from back East, Pa.

Ahem, Waldo, pass
the milk, will you please?

Sure thing, Hoss.

I'm, uh, I'm sorry. I, uh,
I can't do nothing right.

Oh, Waldo, sit down.

Ain't no harm done.
Finish your dinner. Sit down.

Excuse me.

- Waldo, wait...
- Hoss.

Just sit down, let
him collect himself.


He's got a lot of trouble.

I thought you could
eat more than anybody,

but that Waldo eats
like he invented it.

Hoss, he, uh, looks to be
a pretty healthy individual.

Do you really think that he
was gonna commit suicide?

I don't know, Pa.

I'd like to think that he
wasn't gonna really jump,

but when I saw him standing
there on the edge of the cliff, I, uh,

I figured that he
could fall accidently.

I run down to grab him and
we got to wrestling around.

He finally saved me from falling,
knocked himself out doing it.

Tsk, I feel real sorry for him.

He's had lots of troubles
and no friends to help him out.

And you figure to be
the one to do it, huh?

Ah, why not? We can give
him a job, not permanent,

but just something to keep him busy
until he gets back on his feet again.

Oh, like that fella you
met at the carnival.

You really got him on his feet.

You got him on his feet well enough
to run away with the silverware.

Yeah, or maybe he's like the
prospector you brought home

looking for a grubstake

and he found it in the
strongbox after we all went to bed.

All right. I made a
mistake about them too,

but Waldo ain't the same. I,
uh, I got a feeling about him.

I think I kind of know
what he's up against.

Fella as big as
he is, out-sized.

He just don't fit in places
that regular fellas fit into.

He can't hardly keep from being
a little clumsy every now and then,

you go to pick up something, it
just ain't big enough to hold on to.

I know he ain't the best
company in the world, but I'll, uh...

I'll keep him out of you fellas way,
and I'll pay him out of my own pocket.

Nobody said he couldn't stay.

- You'll let him?
- Just one thing, Hoss.

He said he was in
some kind of trouble.

Now, I think it would be a good
idea to know if it's trouble with the law.

I'm not saying it is, but
I think we should know.

Yes, sir. You're right.

I'll go have a talk with him.


He's been bringing strays home
ever since he was old enough to walk.

Good thing we don't have more room,
he'd bring them home two at a time.

Well, he's got a big heart.

- Nice evening, ain't it?
- Yeah.

Oh, what's nice about it?

- Waldo, what's eating you anyhow?
- Everything I do is wrong.

I'm gonna be moving on, Hoss.

Uh, there ain't no need in that.

We need a good hand around
here for a few days and...

Uh, that wouldn't work, Hoss. I've
tried hiring out on a ranch before.

I can't handle it, heh.
I'd be nothing but trouble.

Well, maybe, uh, maybe me and you
can sort of look after each other, huh.

- I'm always getting in trouble myself.
- Ah.

Well, if, uh...

If you don't, I'm gonna have to turn
you into the sheriff for trespassing.


Ain't no reason you wouldn't
wanna see the sheriff, is there?

No, sir, Hoss. It
ain't nothing like that.

Might be easier if it were. But
I swear to you, it ain't the law.

I'll take your word for it.
We want you to stay, Waldo.

I'd sure like to, Hoss,
just for a day or two.

Just to rest up and
get a fresh start.

That's settled. Come on, I'll
show you where you bunk.

Hoss, uh, um,

after tonight, I think
I'll eat in the kitchen.



Because it's closer to the food.

It ain't such a bad
idea, maybe I'll join you.


What are you staring at?

Ain't you ever seen a
couple of good men working?

Are you two
looking for a needle?

No, we ain't
looking for a needle.

Pa wants some of these
rotten timbers replaced

and we gotta move the hay
so as we can get to them.

Uh, I know that sounds terribly
complicated to a fence-mender's mind

like yours, but it ain't really.

I ran into Nancy
Collins down the road.

She wasn't heading
this way, was she?

No, but she was asking
after you real kindly-like.

When are you gonna
give her a break?


Give her a break. Get myself
hog-tied for the rest of my life.

Heh-heh-heh, not me, uh-mm.

Can you think of any other
woman you'd rather be hog-tied to?

Look, Adam, I'll take
care of my business,

you take care of
yours. All right?

Waldo. Let's cure up
these braces a little more.

- Get the, uh, toolbox over there.
- Yeah, okay. Sure thing, Hoss.







Look, Waldo, you pack the
grain, I'll pack the board, okay?


What do you mean, you lost him?

I, uh, heh...

That's just about it, Mr. Cartwright,
I, ahem, I just plain lost him.

You mean between here and that
tree over there, you lost a horse?

HOSS: See, Pa, the
way it happened was,

we was gonna put that shoe
on him just like you wanted,

and Waldo went over
there to get him and, uh...

And, well, he got him, but
then coming back he, uh,

he thought he saw a four-leaf
clover down here on the ground.

He was gonna pick it up,
so when he bent over to, ah...

Pa, we'll find him again.
We'll get him for you.

Oh, no, you don't.

I'm not gonna have you two chasing
my best stallion into the next county.

I'll find him myself.

That ought to be about
enough, Waldo, let's go in.

Okay. I got one more piece,
Hoss, and then I'll put it all inside.

HOSS: I'm sorry for all, uh,

the things that happened
today and I know Waldo is too.

He'd been down here
apologizing himself,

but he's tired and he went to
bed to get a good night's rest.

Oh, good.

I can't wait to see what
he's gonna do us tomorrow

after he has a
good night's rest.

- What do you mean
tomorrow? Uh... BEN: Ahem.

Hoss, ah,

I hate to be the
one to have to say it,

but I think we ought
to put a stop to this

before something
really serious happens.

I mean, so far, it's only been
an unscheduled bath for Joe,

and a headache for Adam,
and blisters for me, but...

Hoss won't admit it, but his
big toe's black and blue too.

It ain't that bad.

But you will admit that we didn't
get very much done today, won't you?

Well, yeah, Pa. But it's only
because Waldo's trying so hard.

That's why he makes
all the mistakes.

Now, Hoss, heh,

none of us here has
anything against Waldo

and we certainly don't wanna...

We don't wanna see
him go off empty-handed.

As a matter of fact, I'd be very
happy to contribute to a fund

to help get him a fresh start.

Count me in.

Me too.

BEN: It's really for
his own good, Hoss.

And you know, next
week we start round-up

and, well, I don't think
he should be with us.

I mean, he might get hurt.

Tsk, sure, Pa.

Thank you for letting him
stay as long as you did.

I'll go up and tell him
and get it over with.

Oh, George Collins sent
over a message today.

That lumber we sent in to
be mailed is ready and waiting,

so if you boys can go to
town tomorrow and pick it up.

You know, Hoss ain't
gonna like that much.

Every time that Nancy Collins gets
near him, she tries to hog-tie him.

Yeah, you just mention her name
and he shies like a spooked horse.

Ah. Don't worry about Hoss.

WALDO: Leave me
be. Leave me alone!



I ain't gonna...
I ain't gonna...

- Uhn! Leave me alone.
- Waldo, Waldo.

Leave me alone. Leave me alone!

Everything is all
right. Waldo. Waldo.

Leave me alone!

Waldo, you're dreaming.
You're still asleep.

You're not gonna kill
me, now, leave me alone!



HOSS: Waldo.
You're still asleep.

WALDO: Leave me
alone! Leave me alone!

They're coming.

- It's just Pa and Adam and Joe.
- Hey, Waldo, Waldo.

Ain't nobody gonna
hurt you, Waldo.

I'm sorry. I must, uh... I
must have been dreaming.

Who was that you
thought was gonna kill you?


Excuse me. I must have
been dreaming, phew.

Was there something you wanted?

Well, uh, yeah, uh,

Waldo, I, uh, I want to talk to
you about you working for us.

Oh, I've been meaning to apologize
for everything I'd done wrong today.

I know it don't seem like it,

but, uh, I sure am grateful for
everything you've done for me.

Heh, that's the
first bed I've slept in

for quite a spell. It sure seems
good even have a roof over my head.


HOSS: Tsk. Uh...

Uh... [SIGHS]

You tell him.

Ahem, well, uh,

Waldo, uh, obviously
you're in some kind of trouble.

Wouldn't you like to tell us about
it? Well, maybe we can help you.

No, I couldn't do
that, Mr. Cartwright.

If I did, then you and your
sons would be involved

and you'd been too
good to me already.

I couldn't bring that on
you. No. I'll move on, heh.

Uh, well, no.

Ah, there's no
need for that, heh.


Waldo, why don't you stay
around for a couple more days?

And we'll see what happens.

Thank you.


- Waldo.
- Uh, yeah.

You, uh...?

You sure ain't nothing
we can do for you?

Heh, no. I'm afraid not, Hoss.
There's not much anybody can do,

uh, except maybe get a
good night's sleep, heh.

- Yeah. I'll see you tomorrow.
- Heh, good night, Hoss.

- Good night, Waldo.
- Good night.

MAN: Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!


- This place is bigger than I figured.
- Yeah.

It's gonna be harder to find
him than you think, Weaver.

Well, a man that big
isn't likely to go unnoticed.

- Are you sure he's got the money?
- He's got it.

He was smart enough to skin
you out of it in the first place,

he may not be as
dumb as you think.

Look, Mr. Waldo Watson
is as dumb as they come.

And when we find him, he's
gonna be as dead as they come.

Whoa. Whoa.

We'll give the list of
supplies direct to Mr. Collins

and, uh, Nancy can come out

and supervise the, uh,
loading of the lumber.

Yeah. We figured that was the
only reason you came to town with us

in the first place.

I should have known you two
grinning snakes was up to something.

Come on, it's not our fault.

Everybody knows that
Nancy is out to marry you.

If you two leave me alone with her,
we're gonna have a little head-bashing.

I'll see you around the back.




He really gets fidgety when
Nancy is around, doesn't he?

Well, you can't blame him.
She's been trying too hard.

He wasn't gonna go to
the dance Saturday night

because he wouldn't be
able to get away from Nancy.

Oh, that's no good. Hoss
likes to dance too much.

You know, Joe, I think poor old Hoss
could use our help in this situation.

Yeah? Like how?

Well, one thing about Nancy, uh,

she likes big men.

Like Hoss, and like, uh...

- Like Waldo.
- Yeah.

- Ain't that something?
- Ain't what something?

The way Nancy's
taking up with old Waldo.

You getting jealous?

- Getting what?
- Jealous.

That's what we told Nancy you'd get
if she paid a lot of attention to Waldo.

- You told her to do that?
- Mm-hm.

And I guess it
worked, didn't it?

Doesn't hang around
like she used to.

And Waldo seems
to be enjoying himself.

Yeah, we did you both a favor.

Yeah. Heh, reckon
you did it that.

ADAM: Wonder what
they're talking about.

Like lumber.

Seems that Waldo worked
in a lumberyard back East.

He knows quite a bit
about it. That's a fact.

Well, he's gonna have to.

Nancy knows more about
lumber than a woodpecker.

Shh, here they come.

Uh, boys, is it all right if I borrow
Mr. Watson for a few moments?

I know Pa would love to meet someone
who knows so much about wood.

Well, don't worry, Nancy.
We can handle things out here.

Are you, uh, sure
it's all right, Hoss?

Oh, sure, Nancy. You, uh...

You go right on, Waldo, we'll
load this lumber by ourselves.

Uh, I can help you
load it if you like, Hoss.

HOSS: Waldo, you go
ahead and enjoy yourself.

- Well, thank you, Hoss.
- Yep.

Uh, if you get through
loading up the wood in time,

come on in for some lemonade.

Shall we, uh, go, Mr. Watson?


You can't say Waldo's
good for nothing now.

Well, that's right.

Of course, that leaves
us to load all the lumber,

while he's in there sipping
lemonade with the lady.

Don't worry about it, little
brother. I'll load the lumber myself.

NANCY: Now, remember, Hoss,

you promised to bring
Mr. Watson to the dance.

Uh, that's very kind
of you, Miss Collins,

but, heh, I ain't
much on dancing.

Oh, we'll get Hoss to teach
you. He's one of the best.

He'll be there, ma'am.

Glad to have met
you, Mr. Watson.

If the Cartwrights ever
let you go, come see me.

- Can use a man like you.
- Thank you, sir.

Don't forget Saturday night.

We'll be there.

Hee, hyah!

Nice young fellow,
knows his lumber too.

Hmm. And he's so tall. Why,
he's even taller than Hoss.

Come in right handy around here.


Yeah. Wouldn't he though?

Now, it's easy, Waldo.
Just watch my feet.

Now, it's easy, Waldo.

You'll pick it right up.


See that? See how easy it is?

Now, you try.

Here, hold her tight
now. There she is.

Now, you got to hold
her other hand, Waldo.


Look, Waldo, limber
up a little bit. Loosen up.

Bend your knees, there you go.

Now kind of put a little swing
in it, you know. There you go.

That's the way to go.

WALDO: Am I getting
it? HOSS: Very good.

- You pull light on
your feet. WALDO: Heh.

Remember, stay good and loose.


- Not that loose, Waldo.
- I just can't do it, Hoss.

I just can't do it.

Maybe we shouldn't have
tried that waltz so soon.

No, maybe we shouldn't
have tried any of it.

I'm not gonna make it, Hoss. I
just know I'm not gonna make it.

Now, come on,
quit talking like that.

That's the way you've
been about everything lately.

Look, I used to didn't enjoy dancing
neither. Till Adam taught me how.


This is some time of my
life for me to learn dancing.

You, uh, you do sort of like
Nancy though, don't you?

Yes. Sure, I do.

She ain't about to be
interested in the likes of me.

Now, there you go
underselling yourself again.

Now, Waldo, you promised
me, you was at least gonna try.

All right. I'll try.

HOSS: Yeah, ugh. WALDO: Ugh.

Now, tell you what let's
do. Let's try the Virginia reel.

- You almost got that
one down? WALDO: Phew.


First two, come on,
forward and back.


Forward again with
a two-hand swing.

I gotta cut in.

Forward again
with the right elbow.

Forward again
with the left elbow.

You're downright professional.

Forward again
with the right elbow.

It's the Cartwright place, all right.
Fits the description the fellas gave us.

Well, let's take a look around.

- Pitts, stay with the horse.
- All right.

HOSS: Forward again
with a two-hand swing.

Forward again and form a notch.

Now, when we're
in this position,

all the other folks is
gonna be going under us

and so be really careful
that you don't step on them.


No mistakes this time. And
remember, just wing him.

Don't want him killed
before we find that money.

All right, Watson.

Look out, Hoss.

What's going on there?

Let's get out of here.

Oh, never mind.

We're not gonna
catch them this way.

He just got grazed, Pa. I
don't think he's hurt bad.

- Better get him into the house.
- All right.


You took a real chance there,
Waldo, keeping me from getting hit.

You're lucky you didn't get nothing
worse than just your hair parted.

They weren't after you.

But you sure could've
gotten hurt on account of me.


now that we're in
this with you, Waldo,

I think we should know
what this is all about.


Yes, sir. I'll tell you and then I'll be
leaving before they come back again.

Well, we'll discuss that
after we've heard your story.

Well, there's not much to tell.

I grew up in a
big city back East.

We never had much,

so I went to work in a lumberyard
when I was just an overgrown kid.

But I still couldn't
make much money.

And then a man offered
me $25 for one night's work.

So I took it, heh.

One night's work?

Yeah. It was, uh, for fighting in
a ring, you know, bare knuckles.

You were, uh, a fighter?


The way I've been
handling myself around here,

I don't blame you
for not believing it.

I'm not half-bad when I get in a
ring and know what I'm doing, heh.

That first night, [WHISTLES]

I didn't know what I was doing.

Yet I made a pretty good showing,
I stayed in there for 23 rounds.

Yeah. I'd, uh, I'd say
that was pretty good.

Well, after that I got
some more fights.

And I did better once I
got to know the ropes.

I even had me a manager.

But that's where
the trouble started.

- How do you mean?
- Some gamblers moved in.

And without my knowing it,

my manager made a
deal for me to throw a fight.

He'd taken the money before
he even told me about it.

Well, sir, I didn't
know what to do.

He'd been awful good to me.

And I didn't wanna
get him in any trouble.

But I sure didn't wanna
cheat those people,

lose that fight on purpose.

Heh, well, uh,

it wouldn't have made much
difference what I decided.

I got in the ring and I just
naturally had to do my best.

I won it. I knocked the
man cold in the 19th round.

Well, you didn't do anything
to be ashamed of, Waldo.

You did the right thing.

Heh, yes, sir.

I suppose so, but those
gamblers didn't seem to think so.

I still couldn't bring myself
to blame it all on my manager.

So I just started running.

And then coming out West
seemed like the best thing to do.

Only they came too.

You mean our
friends in the barn?

Yeah. That's a gambler named
Weaver and, uh, two hired guns.

They think I've got
the bribe money.

And Weaver's got orders from
the head man back East to get it.

And then to get me.

Waldo, this, uh, this has
happened to you before?

Heh, yeah, a couple of times.

I'd just about given up when
you found me out there on that cliff.

And I'm not gonna
stay around here

and see one of you get
hurt on account of me.

And besides, if I leave now, Hoss,
I don't have to go that dance, heh.

Waldo, sit down, please.

You know, we've
worked pretty hard

to get some law and order
in this part of the territory.

There's been some blood
shed in the doing of it.

And we're not about to let any
cheap, tinhorn gamblers from the East

come out here and
shoot up our place

and try to kill an innocent
man and get away with it.

HOSS: Pa's right, Waldo.

You can't just keep
running all your life.

Besides, those
fellows ran pretty good

when they found out there
were five of us instead of just one.

I guess they just
didn't like the odds.

Well, there it is.

We'll talk to the sheriff.

What about it?

All right, sir, ahem.

I, uh, ahem, I just don't feel too
much like traveling, anyhow, heh.

Thank you.

That's some story, huh, Pa?


Yeah, sure is,

if it's the whole story.

HOSS: Waldo.

I thought you were gonna stay.

Hoss, I've been thinking
about this all night long.

It just ain't fair to you and
the others if I stick around.

Tsk, yeah, heh.

I reckon I was wrong about
you all along then, Waldo.

What do you mean?

Well, I mean, all this time I've
been defending you to my family.

Tell them there's something
different about you,

that you was worth defending,
as a friend, as a man.

But, like I say, I
reckon I was wrong.

But, Hoss, it's my fight.

Your fight?

It ain't just your fight,
it's ours too now, Waldo.

Just like my Pa said, we ain't
gonna let them tinhorn gamblers

come in here and push us around.

Let me tell you something. We're
gonna take care of those fellas

and we're gonna take care of
them whether you're here or not.

But, Waldo, you
keep right on running.

You just keep on running,
Waldo, we don't need you.


What's for breakfast?

I don't know. But whatever it is,
me and you'll have a double helping.

We got to hard day
ahead of us. Come on.


I sure wish we could have
followed those Jaspers,

but you can't follow tracks
in the middle of a river.

Sheriff Coffee will be
on the lookout for them.

I don't think we'll
have any trouble.

Hoss? Come on, boy, let's go.

- Be down in just a minute, Pa.
- Now, hold still, dang it.

Hoss, do we have to go?

Yes, we have. You don't
know my Pa very well.

He's not about to change his
mind over some two-bit gunslingers.

I'd rather be facing them gunslingers
than a dance hall full of people.

Oh, turn around here.

Oh, you're gonna be the king
of the whole shindig, Waldo.

Now, come on, heel
and toe and away we go.



Here they come.


Now, don't forget, girls,
Waldo is mine, all mine.

- I'll take Hoss.
- Okay.

Don't worry, Nancy.
I'll take Little Joe.

BEN: Good evening.
MAN: Good evening.

Mr. Watson, we were
afraid you weren't coming.

Did you come to watch or do
you plan on doing some dancing?

- Come on, Little Joe,
you're with me. JOE: Mm-hm.

Dancing with Sue. You
won't hear me complaining.

- Shall we, Mr. Watson?
- Yes, ma'am.

- What's the matter, Mr. Watson?
- Ahem, nothing, ma'am. I, uh...

Well, I'm not very good
at this dancing business,

and especially not in
front of all those people.

Oh, well, I know just how you
feel, in fact, I hate crowds too.

Besides, we can have our
own dance right out here.


- Ma'am?
- That is if you don't mind.

No, ma'am.

Gee, I never thought
it'd be this easy.

Heh, now, aren't
you glad you came?

Yes, ma'am.

Waldo, don't you
like the name Nancy?

Oh, I sure do. That's
a real pretty name.

- Well, then why don't you use it?
- Yes, ma'am.

- Yes, Nancy.
- Nancy, ma'am. Nancy.



I, uh, heh, I never
felt like this before.

Me neither, heh,
but I sure do like it.

Nancy, I, uh...


Not a sound, Watson. Let's go.

Hurry it up. You too, lady.


Pitts, you stay here in case
anybody else comes looking for them.


Keep your hands up
and your mouth shut.

Let's go.


Look, leave them out of this.
I won't give you any trouble.

Waldo, what's the matter?
Who are these men?

They're nobody, Nancy,
they're cheap gunslingers.

You stay out of this or
you'll get a busted skull.

Look, I'll go with you.
I'll do anything you want.

- Just don't hurt either one of them.
- All right.

You hand over the money,
then we'll see about your friends.

I don't have it!

You're the only one
who could have it.

We knew that for sure when your
brother turned himself in to the police.

Now, come on. Why don't
you make it easy on everybody?

My brother did what?

- That's far enough.
- What about my brother?

Grab him.

You listen to me. I wanna
know about my brother.

And I want that money.
Now start talking.

Okay. He told you
that he didn't have it.

His brother told us different.

I didn't tell you about
him, Hoss. I couldn't.

Perhaps I ought
to fill you in a little.

His brother was his manager.

- They planned it together.
- That ain't so.

You're lying.

I left town to take the blame
off of him, Hoss. I swear it.

You gotta believe me, Hoss.

I believe you, Waldo.

You can quit running now.

No, it's too late now.

It sure is.

Oh, no, it ain't.
Swing your partner.


NANCY: Waldo.

WALDO: Nancy.

Step aside, Hoss.

You take care of
Nancy. This is my dance.

Do-si-do, Waldo.

Just toss it over here.

That's nice.

Waldo, you all right?

Yeah, that was almost
more fun than dancing.

- Yeah, heh.
- Almost. Nancy?


- Is she all right, Hoss?
- Oh, yeah.

She's gonna come to in
a minute. She's all right.

Oh, ain't she pretty, Hoss?

Yeah, dang if she ain't.

Oh, it sure is a
good party in there.

Anything wrong?

No. Nothing wrong.

Why aren't you in there dancing?

Tsk, just don't
feel like it, that's all.

Well, you ought to.

Why, Mr. Weaver and his
friends are locked up tight.

And Waldo Watson,
he's a changed man.

He and Nancy are in
there dancing up a storm.

That's for dang sure.

She won't dance
with nobody else.

That's what you
wanted, isn't it?

- Well, I thought it was.
- You thought it was?

You're jealous.

I'll be a cockeyed
mule, you're jealous.

Ah, Pa, it's just I didn't realize
how dag burn pretty she was.

Oh, so help me, Hannah.

You're all alike, aren't
you? You, Little Joe, Adam.

Why, when it comes to females,

none of you knows a
good thing when you see it.

It's only when the other fellow
sees it, and then it's too late. Isn't it?


Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is widely regarded as an outstanding, family-friendly program ideal for individual or collective viewing. The Scapegoat is the 174th episode out of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza graced their network from September 1959 to January 1973, boasting an impressive 14-season journey.

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>>