the smiler
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The Lone Writer  

The Smiler Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #01

The third season of Bonanza kicked off with a significant shift, transitioning from its Saturday 7:30 PM EST slot to the iconic Sunday 9 PM time slot, where it would remain for the next eleven years. Airing on September 24, 1961, the premiere episode of the third season, titled “The Smiler,” was penned by Lewis Reed.

In this episode, Hoss Cartwright inadvertently kills Arthur Bolling, the notorious town bully, while defending the honor of widow Mrs. McClure, portrayed by Catherine McLeod. Shortly after, Arthur’s brother Clarence, played by Herschel Bernardi, arrives in town with seemingly forgiving smiles, claiming to absolve Hoss. However, Clarence harbors darker intentions, scheming a complex revenge plot that begins with manipulating Mrs. McClure into altering her testimony at Hoss’ court hearing. Notable cast members in “The Smiler” include Scatman Crothers as Jud and Bill Zuckert as Gilbert.

Read its plot, including some fascinating trivia, or watch the full episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of The Smiler

Watch the Full Episode of The Smiler:

Main Cast

The Smiler, the premiere episode of Bonanzas’s third season, featured some of the program’s recurring and supporting cast members. The entire cast of the episode consists of:

  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Herschel Bernardi as Clarence Bolling
  • Catherine McLeod as Mrs. McClure
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Bill Zuckert as Gilbert
  • Robert Foulk as Deputy Sheriff Fred
  • Scatman Crothers as Jud
  • Hy Terman as Arthur Bolling
  • John Barton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicot as Saloon Girl (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Ethan Laidlaw as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Saloon Girl (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Ray Spiker as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Smiler

As twilight descends upon the town, Hoss emerges from the saloon and stumbles upon a disturbing scene: Arthur Bolling menacingly confronting Widow McClure. Stepping in to defend her honor, Hoss confronts Arthur, urging him to cease his harassment. Tempers flare, and a scuffle ensues, resulting in Hoss overpowering Arthur, who draws his firearm in a desperate attempt to regain control. In the ensuing struggle, a shot rings out, and Arthur falls mortally wounded.

After Arthur’s death, his brother Clarence arrives in Virginia City, wearing a facade of forgiveness and reconciliation. However, beneath his congenial demeanor lies a sinister plot for vengeance. Clarence manipulates the situation, exploiting Mrs. McClure’s vulnerability to orchestrate a deceitful scheme. He coerces her into altering her testimony, falsely implicating Hoss in Arthur’s demise, all the while concealing his true intentions behind a disarming smile.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Smiler

Oh, evenin', miss.

I said, "Evenin'."

Leave me alone.

Well... now, you're
not being cordial.

And that ain't right, 'cause
I'm a very cordial fella.

Will you please go away?

I've been away six months.

Just come in off the range.

Only trying to be friendly.

Why don't you go someplace else

and try to be friendly?

Are you being
troubled, Mrs. McClure?

I'm all right, Hoss. No harm.

You sure there's
nothing I can do?

She said, "No harm."

Ma'am, would you like
me to escort you home?

No, I'll be all right
now, thank you.

- Evenin'.
- Evenin'.


He's dead, Hoss.

Mr. Jenkins.

Everything was done proper?

Just like he was
one of yours, Hoss.

Thank you, sir.


♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down ♪

♪ Wish I had a
needle and thread ♪

♪ As fine as I could sew ♪

♪ Sew that gal to
my coat sleeves ♪

♪ Down the road I'd go. ♪


Whoa! Stop.

Your pardon.

I just came into town.

I heard about this.

I sure appreciate your kindness,

but I'd like to bury
my brother myself.


Pa, I... I just want to
tell him how sorry I am.

I know.

I can tell by your look
what you're thinking.

You're figuring I'm aiming
to make trouble, but I ain't.

What's happened
has happened, and...

I don't know the
right or wrong of it.

I ain't to judge.

We were... we
were hoping to have

a real orderly funeral, friend.

Oh, I'm for order.

Indeed I am.

But this is my brother.

And if it's all the same
to you good people,

I'd like to bury him myself.

Would you gentlemen
give me a hand, please?

Thank you.

I'd like to thank all of you,

particularly the party

who thought well
enough of my brother

to give him this here funeral.

Thank you.

Giddyap, Molly.

♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down ♪

♪ Wish I had a
needle and thread ♪

♪ As fine as I could sew ♪

♪ Sew that gal to
my coat sleeves ♪

♪ Down the road I'd go ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down. ♪

Oh, this fence could
use some mending.


You haven't heard a
thing I've said all day.

I'm... I'm sorry, Joe. I...

Yeah, we'll, uh...
we'll get on that fence.

You're eating yourself
up with guilt, Hoss.

It's no good.

Joe, I reckon I ain't...

I ain't no good
at killing folks.

You didn't mean to kill him.

Everybody knows that.

Just can't get
him off of my mind.

It's... it's like he was

following me
around or something.

Hoss, it's happened,
it's over with,

and you're going
to have to forget it.

You're right.

I'm going to forget it.

Let's get that...
that fence fixed.


We're going to need
a wagonload of rails...

♪ Nobody knows
the trouble I seen ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ My sorrow ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I seen ♪

♪ Glory ♪

♪ Hallelujah ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm... ♪

Oh, good afternoon, gentlemen.

What are you doing?

Digging a grave...
For my brother.

You're... you're going to bury
your brother here on our land?

It's such a fine spot.

Under a tree, with
all this grass around.

Look, Mr. Bolling...

I'm terribly sorry
about your brother.

There ain't nothing
I can do or say

that could bring him back or...

make either one of
us feel any better, but...

I can't let you bury
him right here, I...

where I got to live and work.

I... I'm sorry.

I just... I just
can't let you do it.

Well, that's a shame.

It's... it's a real...
it's a real shame.

I-I... I know how you feel.

I... he would have
liked it here, though.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean to trespass.

I just didn't mean to
cause any inconvenience.

I... I'll fill up the hole.

Thank you, gentlemen.
Thank you all the same.

Come on, Little Joe.

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I seen ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ My sorrow ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I seen ♪

♪ Glory, hallelujah. ♪



♪ Way out on Clinch Mountain ♪

♪ I ain't got no home ♪

♪ I'm drunk as the Devil ♪

♪ Oh, leave me alone ♪

♪ Rye whiskey, rye whiskey ♪

♪ I know you of old ♪

♪ You robbed my poor pockets ♪

♪ Of silver and gold ♪

♪ Rye whiskey, rye whiskey ♪

♪ Rye whiskey, I cry ♪

♪ If I don't get rye whiskey ♪

♪ I surely will die ♪

♪ If the ocean was
whisky and I was a duck ♪

♪ I'd swim to the bottom
and never come up ♪

♪ "Rye whiskey, rye
whiskey, rye whiskey," I cry ♪

♪ If I don't get rye
whiskey, I surely will die. ♪

You sure know a lot of songs.

I learned 'em in
a lot of places.

How long you aiming
on staying here, mister?

As long as I can sell
some of my wares.

Reckon my wife could use
some of your pots and pans.

Stop by our place.
Bring your wares.

That's kindly of you,
Mr. Gilbert, very kindly.

Hey, how about another song?

Well, I'll be
pleased, if you like.

♪ When he was a cowboy ♪

♪ He learned to throw the line ♪

♪ He learned to pocket
money and also dress so fine ♪

♪ He went out on the prairie
to learn to kill and steal ♪

♪ When he killed a cowboy ♪

♪ How happy he did feel ♪

♪ For working, he's not able ♪

♪ And begging, he's too low ♪

♪ But killing is so dreadful,
to the gallows he must go ♪

Stop it!

What's the matter, boy?

That song.

It's just a song
from the prairie.

It don't carry no
particular point.

I killed your brother,
and you hate me for it.

Why don't you just
come on out and say it?

Hate ya?

No, you're wrong,
boy. I don't hate nobody.

I don't want to hurt you,
boy. I want to forgive ya.

A man kills somebody,
he needs to be forgiven.

What's done's done.

I'm just a peaceful
traveling man

trying to earn an honest dollar.

I'll buy all your merchandise.

You clear out of town tonight.

That's kindly of you, son.

I couldn't do that.

You'd just be buying my goods

'cause you felt you
owed me something.

I got the money.

Keep your money, son.

Don't try and buy forgiveness.

I give it to you freely.

Got home kind of late
last night, didn't you, son?

Yes, sir.

Couldn't sleep, so I
rode into town for a spell.

With a workday in front of you?

It might have been a
good thing I did, Pa.

Hmm. How do you figure?

I saw Bolling.

That wasn't such
a good idea, was it?

Maybe not, but I
learned something.

What was that?

He's buried his brother.

You know where?

On the side of the road
going into Virginia City.

Every time I ride
by, going or coming,

I got to go right by that grave.

Well, Hoss, he
can bury his brother

any place he's allowed to.

Pa's right, Hoss.

I thought you were gonna
try to forget about this thing.

I was, but... he
ain't gonna let me.

He's finished his business,
he's buried his brother.

Now why don't he go on?

Well, kind of hard to answer.

I'm gonna find the answer.

Son, sometimes things happen,

accidents, innocent accidents.

Nothing you can do about 'em.

Best thing to do
is leave 'em be.

Pa, I got to find out.

I gotta.

I gotta.

Go on.

You going someplace?

Yeah. Looks like Hoss
maybe chasing up trouble.

I think somebody ought
to keep an eye on him.

I raised him to
look after himself,

and I think he can manage.

I gotta go along with Adam, Pa.

I'd feel a lot better if
one of us went with him.

I'd feel a lot better

if you just loaded up
that wagon, both of you.

Where are you going?

Oh, I just remembered,
I've gotta go into town.

I got to get some supplies.

- Funny.
- Yeah? What's that?

He just picked up
supplies yesterday.

Oh, yeah? Yeah, well, he
wouldn't be going after Hoss.

After all, he raised Hoss
to take care of himself.

Oh, yeah. Well,
let's load the wagon.


I'm looking for
Clarence Bolling.

He left right after the fire.

What fire? What are
you talking about?

You know what I'm
talking about, Cartwright.

That peddler's wagon
was burned to a crisp.

How'd it happen? Anybody see it?

Don't you know, Hoss?

Any of you other fellas
know where he is?

He's inside, having that
burned hand taken care of.

Morning, friend.

I want to talk to you.

Talk away.

In private.

There's no point in
harboring secrets.

We're among friends.

Look, I said I had
business with you.

Boy, I'd like you to let me be.

- Get up.
- Hoss, you've done enough.

You stay out of this, Gilbert.

You better stay put, peddler.

He probably wants to
take you out somewhere

where he can shoot you.

- Hold it, Gilbert.
- Ben...!

Hold it!

Here, wipe your face.

- Pa, that Gilbert accused me...
- Go home.

- But, Pa...
- Go home, son.

You're a violent
man, friend, violent.


Mr. Bolling... I'm
Ben Cartwright.

I'm pleased to make your
acquaintance, Mr. Cartwright.

My son isn't a violent man.

He's very sorry for what
happened to your brother.

Of course, so am I.

Well, that's kindly of
you, Mr. Cartwright,

but it's over now.

My son doesn't
seem to think it is.

He has the feeling

that you have some sort of
vengeful thoughts against him.

No man has a right to vengeance.

Least of all, a poor
peddler like me.

Why are you staying on in town?

What's keeping you here?

I don't rightly know.

See, my wagon burned
down this morning,

and I got no trade
now; no place to go.

I'm sorry for what
happened to your wagon,

but how long do you
intend to stay on here?

Well, now, Mr. Cartwright,
that's hard to say.

I'll have to give that
some thought, yes, sir.

I'll have to think
about that one.

Morning, sir.

♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down ♪

♪ Wish I had a
needle and thread ♪

♪ As fine as I could sew ♪

♪ Sew that gal to
my coat sleeve... ♪

Afternoon, ma'am.

Would I be right in assuming
that you're Mrs. McClure?


I hope you won't think
me forward, ma'am.

I'd like to introduce myself.

Name's Clarence Bolling.

You're the peddler.

That's my trade, yes, ma'am.

I'm also a bit of a
hand at chopping.

With your permission, ma'am.

I understand you saw
my brother get shot.


How'd it come about?

Do you happen to remember?

I'd rather not talk
about it, Mr. Bolling.

Oh, and here I pop up

and remind you of all
the unpleasantness again.

I hope you forgive me, ma'am.

Sometimes I guess I'm
a little short of manners.

That's all right, Mr. Bolling.

♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down, down ♪

♪ Turn them hoecakes
round, round ♪

♪ The only song
that I can sing is ♪

♪ Boil them cabbage down. ♪

You're staring into that
fireplace for quite some time.

Why don't you go to bed
like Adam and Little Joe?

I was just doing a
little thinking, Pa.

So was I.

I was thinking I'd be pleased

if you didn't go near
Bolling anymore.

Pa, what am I supposed to do,

dig a hole and crawl in it
till he decides to leave town?

Peddlers have as much
right in town as we have, Hoss.

Every place I
turn, I see his face.

In that fire, in the window...

♪ Nobody knows
the trouble I've seen ♪

♪ Glory, hallelujah ♪

♪ Nobody knows
the trouble I've seen ♪

♪ Nobody knows my sorrow ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I've seen ♪

♪ Glory, hallelujah ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm up ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm down ♪

♪ Oh, yes, Lord ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm almost ♪

♪ To the ground ♪

♪ Yes, my Lord ♪

♪ If you get there
before I do... ♪

Evenin', Jud.

Mr. Cartwright.

Jud, why were you
singing that song?

I don't know.

I guess I just felt
kinda musical.

Where'd you learn it?

The song?

Picked it up in town.

From a nice peddler.

Don't sing it no more.

I'm sorry, Mr. Cartwright.

That's all right, Jud.

How are you, Ben? Boys?

Well, Fred, what
brings you out this way?

Oh, a little business.

I didn't think deputies
had business on Sunday.

Well, something's come up.

Sheriff wanted you
to know about it, Ben.

Well, what's happened, Fred?

I'm afraid there's
gonna be an inquest.

An inquest?!

Well, it's nothin' to
get upset about, Hoss.

Just a legal technicality.

Why all of a sudden,
Fred? What happened?

Well, I don't rightly know.

All I can say is, the
papers are being drawn up.

Sheriff's orders are that
Hoss isn't to go anyplace,

just stay put,
here on the ranch.

Well, what's that
supposed to mean, Fred?

I'm under arrest?

If you were, Hoss,
I'd be taking you in.

Just abide by the
sheriff's orders.

We'll do that, Fred.

I know you will, Ben.

Sorry I had to
bring you the news.


Gonna be a trial,
ain't they, Pa?

Well... just 'cause there's
gonna be an inquest,

doesn't mean there's
gonna be a trial.

I say there is.

Let me tell you
what's gonna happen...

Now, hold on, Hoss...

They're gonna come out here

and they're gonna
haul me into court.

They're gonna ask
the Widow McClure

to tell again what she saw.

Only this time, she...

she likely ain't gonna remember.

You saw who she came
into church with this mornin'.

Now that's taking quite
a big jump, isn't it, Hoss?

Pa, I ain't gonna have a chance.


if there's gonna be a trial,
it's gonna be a fair one,

'cause we're gonna see to that.

But, right now, there are

a couple of other things
we're gonna see to.

What are we gonna do?

Well, you're gonna stay right
here, just like the deputy said.

The boys and I
are riding into town.

For what?

Want to talk to the sheriff
about a couple of things.

Come on, boys.

That may be well and good,

but for my part, I still say we
don't know what really happened.

All we know is the sheriff said

the widow saw it
and he's satisfied.

Well, let...

Doesn't look much
like Sunday, does it?

No. It don't at that.

Ben, the temperature
in the town is up.

Meaning what?

Meaning that people talk.

And they talked you
into an inquest, huh?

Well, let's just say
that a lot of questions

were bein' asked that I
didn't have the answers fer.

Meaning what?

Meanin' that I'm drawing
up these legal papers,

and I'm gonna have
to serve 'em on Hoss.

This happened kind
of sudden-like, didn't it?

Well, people get wrought up,
things happen kinda sudden,

and Ben, depending
on the inquest,

Hoss might be
bound over for trial.

Roy, if there is a trial
because of the inquest,

I'm not gonna try to
prevent it, you know that.

I do.

Only one thing troubles me.

You say people are talking,
feelings running a little high.

A man goes to trial
under those conditions,

justice can sometimes
be a little short.

Now, wait a minute, Ben,

whenever there's
a trial in my territory,

I guarantee justice.

All right, Roy.

You finish up with those
papers, I'll take 'em out to Hoss.

No, I'm going with you.

I'm gonna bring Hoss right
back here, for his own safety.

Well, you're doing
what you have to do.

It's understood.

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I seen ♪

♪ Nobody knows my sorrow ♪

♪ Nobody knows ♪

- Jud!
- ♪ The trouble I seen ♪

Jud, I've asked you
not to sing that...!

♪ Glory, hallelujah ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm up,
sometimes I'm down ♪

♪ Oh, yes... ♪

What do you want?

I don't want
nothing directly, boy.

Nice afternoon.

What're you doin' out here?

The fact of the matter is I
come to bring you news, boy.

You get out of here.

You might hear me out, son.

There's talkin' in town.

Real talk.

Talk is growin'.

I figure maybe people are
fixin' to come out and get you.

Well, you... your
daddy's gone into town

and he's seein' it first hand.

You can't tell
about people, boy.

They got feelings,
they act quick-like.

Folks can come out here
and string you up just like that,

and that would be a shame on
a nice Sunday afternoon like this.

I told you to git.

Now, you better git.

Now, wait a minute, boy,
I'm just tryin' to help ya.

A time back, I seen
a man strung up.

Ain't pretty.

T'ain't pretty, boy.

I watched him danglin'
there in the wind.

It's an awful sight.

- I'll kill ya!
- Hoss!

Son, what are you up to?

I'll kill him. I'll kill him!

Take it easy, Hoss.

How'd this happen?

I come here to make
the peace with him

and he set on me.

That's a lie. That's a lie, Pa!

I come here with
forgiveness in my heart

but that boy, he must
be wild in his mind.

Are you carrying any weapons?

Sheriff, I carry only love
and kindness for my neighbor.

Do me the favor to
search my person.

I'll do that.

He's not carrying any weapons.

Hoss, your pa and I agreed
that the best thing for you to do

would be to come back
into town with me now.

Yeah, Hoss.

You boys stay here.

I'll ride into town with Hoss.

Well, now,
Mr. Cartwright, I'm sorry.

I... I really am.

This should feel better.

Thank you, ma'am.

You're so thoughtful.
I'm very appreciative.

You really should see a doctor.

Well, he couldn't
tend me proper.

The pain's not on the
face, ma'am, it's in the heart.

I can't understand why
Hoss would do such a thing.

He's big, quick.

Not one for thinkin'
things through, I suppose.

It was simply brutal of him.

Now, I wouldn't be too
hard on him, Mrs. McClure.

A man with a temper
is his own worst enemy.

Probably set on me
before he realized.

Kinda like he set on
my brother, maybe.

Mr. Bolling...

I don't think he tried
to kill your brother.

Oh, now, of course he didn't.

Of course, I don't
know the circumstances.

And it isn't somethin'
I'd ask you, ma'am,

knowing how you feel about it,

not wantin' to talk about it.

Mr. Bolling...

maybe I should talk about it.

Maybe you should know.

Now, I wasn't makin' inquiries.

I really wasn't.

I was alone on
the street at night.

Y-Your brother... was
after my attentions.

He was drunk.

Hoss stopped him and
told him to leave me alone.

And the shootin'?

Your brother drew a gun.

Hoss grappled with him.

The gun went off.

He couldn't help himself.

Did you actually see
the trigger pulled?

Wasn't it dark, ma'am?

It was dark, but I saw
the struggle plainly.

And after it happened, you
told it just that way to the sheriff?


Well, now, wouldn't you think
that would satisfy all parties?

I suppose there's
no explainin' folks.

They're talkin' in
town, askin' questions.

Reckon you're gonna have
to tell your story at the inquest.

If they ask me, I will.

Ma'am, I don't want
to appear forward,

but I'd like to beg
a favor of you.

What is it, Mr. Bolling?

Well, my poor brother,
he made a mistake

for which I'm sorry.

Well, I just wasn't
around to look over him,

and he needed someone.

Well, now he's gone

and I was thinking maybe
there wouldn't be no harm if...

we was to protect his name.

What do you mean?

I was thinking that, well,
maybe you could say something

kindly about Arthur
at the, at the inquest.

Like he was...

shot tending to
his own business.

But that wouldn't be the truth.

What's the truth, ma'am?

The truth can be colored.

You say that Hoss Cartwright

and my brother
struggled over a gun.

The gun went off.

Someone pulled the trigger.

Perhaps intentionally.

How can you be sure
it was an accident?

It appears we got company.

Oh, evening, Mrs. McClure.

Mr. Cartwright.

I was just riding by, I thought
I'd have a word with you.

- Please come in.
- Thank you.

Evening, Mr. Cartwright.

You get around, Mr. Bolling.

Ah, I guess I just happen to
be in the places you come to.

Mrs. McClure I, uh,

I was kind of hoping we could...

talk privately.

Well, whatever you have to say,

you can speak freely.

Yes, well...

as you know
there's apt to be a...

an inquest about the,
about the shooting.

Of course, we figure that
you'd be telling the court

just what you told the sheriff.

Uh, I-I don't know right off.

Well, you told the
sheriff that the shooting

was accidental.

Oh, I-I...

What's the matter, Mrs. McClure?

I said I thought
maybe it was that way.

Well, you told the
sheriff that Hoss and...

and the man were
struggling for the gun

and it, it went
off accidentally.

Well, I did see them struggle
and the gun went off, but

I-I don't know how
it actually happened.

Mrs. McClure... my
son's life may depend on

what you say in court.

Now, you're the
only witness he's got.

He needs you to tell
exactly what you saw.

I'll do what I can.

I'm sure you will.

Well, thank you for seeing me.

I'm confused. I've
got to see the sheriff.

Roy, I know there's
something strange going on

at Mrs. McClure's.

But Ben, Mrs. McClure is
a good, honest woman...

Will you listen to me, Roy!


Now why's Bolling out
there this time of night?

- I don't...
- Now, why is Mrs. McClure

suddenly so unsure
of her testimony?

I don't know about
that, but I do know

that there's no law against
a peddler talking to her.

Well, I know there's no law
against anybody talking to her

but couldn't you
warn Mrs. McClure

against being unduly
influenced by him?

All right, I'll do that.

First thing in the morning.

Oh, why not tonight? Right now.

'Cause I'm all alone here.

I'm not gonna leave you
guarding Hoss, your own son.

I heard you talking
out there, Pa.

I told you.

Oh, Hoss, a-all I said
was that Widow McClure

was a little confused...

- Pa, Pa...
- There's nothing definite, Hoss.

If the widow changes her
testimony, I'm a dead man.

Oh, son...

I should've never
let Roy take me in.

I should've run.

Now, you know better than that.

I never taught you to run.

Look, Hoss, I'm not
gonna wait till tomorrow.

I'm gonna get Mrs.
McClure back here tonight.

I enjoy whittling, ma'am.

Kind of keeps a man calm.

Situation like this...

man needs to keep calm.

Mr. Bolling,

to threaten will not make
me change the truth.

Threaten, ma'am?

As I said, what is the truth?

I just want to make sure
you tell the right truth.

But you pose a problem, ma'am.

You hesitate about my truth.

I can't afford that.

I surely can't.

Going somewhere, ma'am?

I'm cold.

I thought I'd start a fire.

You disappoint
me, you surely do.

You weren't gonna
use this, were you?

Let me go, please.

Things are getting mighty
awkward between us, aren't they?

I can't let you go, you're
not sure of the truth.

Maybe there's an answer.

Maybe I got the
answer right here.



Mrs. McClure?

Oh! Oh!

What is it, Mrs. McClure?

What is it?

Bolling, when I wouldn't
change my testimony,

he tried to kill me.

Well, we better
get to the sheriff.

Hey, Roy.

What do you want, Hoss?

I want out of here, Roy.

Well, I don't blame you.


Roy, you ain't got much choice

and I ain't got a
whole lot to lose.

Now, listen, Hoss, you're
making a big mistake.

Roy, get the keys
and let me out of here.

Get in.

You're gonna regret this, Hoss.

I probably will, Roy.

But like I say, I ain't
got much choice, have I?

Easy, boy.

If I can find that saddle
we're gonna get out of here.


In here!

Mrs. McClure, just
sit down over here.


What? Roy, what happened?

Somehow Hoss got a
gun and he escaped.

I guess we better find Hoss
b-before he finds Bolling.

The keys are in there.


Which key is it?

That brass one. The biggin'.

- Go!
- Thanks.

Come on, let's go!

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I've seen ♪

♪ Nobody knows my sorrow... ♪

Welcome, dear friend;
I've been waiting.

I just wanted to know
what it would be like

to be killed.

I don't want you
to die that easy.

When they find us, friend,

it's gonna be self-defense.

You fired at me,

and I killed you
in self-defense.

See how easy, boy?

Just like it was for
you with my brother.



Pa, you going with us?

Well, I can't right now;
Jud and I are kind of busy.

Well, I'll be dad-burned.


Hey, Joe, Adam, come
here and see what Jud's got.

Hey, how many you got, Pa?

Uh, four so far.

Uh, it's the stray you
found the other night, huh?

Yes, sir.

Didn't know what I was
getting mixed up into

when I gave her
that drink of milk.

Now I'll have to
change her name.

- Why?
- I've been calling her Sam.

Behind the Scenes of The Smiler

With this episode as the beginning, the producer-writer-director credits would promptly follow the title card, setting the stage for the creative minds behind the production.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza offers wholesome entertainment suitable for solo viewing or family gatherings. “The Smiler” marks the 67th 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>>

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