the toy soldier
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The Toy Soldier Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #5

Renowned artist James Callahan (Phillip Abbott) bears the weight of two significant burdens: his struggle with alcoholism and societal rejection due to his marriage to Paiute woman Esther (Donna Martell). Despite Adam Cartwright’s attempts to help Callahan overcome his self-destructive tendencies, their efforts are thwarted by McDermott (Morgan Woodward), an outspoken advocate of Indian prejudice. Premiering on October 20, 1963, The Toy Soldier was penned by Warren Douglas.

Explore the episode’s storyline and discover intriguing trivia, or watch the full episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of The Toy Soldier

Watch the Full Episode of The Toy Soldier:

Main Cast

The Toy Soldier, the fifth episode of Bonanza’s fifth season, featured some of the program’s recurring and supporting cast members. The cast of the episode 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
  • Philip Abbott as James Callan
  • Morgan Woodward as McDermott
  • Trevor Bardette as Scotty
  • Quinn K. Redeker as Rollie (as Quinn Redeker)
  • Donna Martell as Esther Callan
  • Michael Keep as Johnny
  • Danny Borzage as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Bose as McDermott Gunman (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as McDermott Gunman (uncredited)
  • Sid Troy as McDermott Gunman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Toy Soldier

Adam tracks a wandering herd of Ponderosa cattle to a town controlled by McDermott, an authoritative figure who harbors deep hatred towards the Paiute Indians residing in the vicinity. Amidst this tension, Adam encounters James Callahan, a gifted yet troubled artist grappling with alcoholism, married to a captivating Paiute woman.

McDermott, exploiting Callahan’s talent, trades meager provisions for his paintings, intended to alleviate the suffering of the impoverished Paiute community. Moved by empathy, Adam, along with Callahan, his wife, and a compassionate saloon owner, devise a plan to bring President Lincoln’s attention to the dire situation faced by the Paiute people. As McDermott catches wind of their scheme, a clash between opposing forces becomes inevitable, setting the stage for a dramatic confrontation.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Toy Soldier

- You got that axle greased?
- Yeah, all set.

- She'll ride smooth as silk.
- Good.

I hope so after all this work.

Boy, it is a hot day for
this kind of work. Ain't it?

It sure is that.

Well, howdy, brother.

Really hot today, isn't it?

I think it all depends on
what kind of work you're doing.

Well, I've been out there

riding on that hot, dusty road

with a terrible wind
blowing in my face.

Now, what have you
fellas been doing?

Oh, nothing. Just working and
sweating over that fire over there

and fixing the wagon
wheels, that's all.

You're lucky, believe me.

It's much better than riding
on those hot, dusty roads

with that terrible wind
blowing in your face.


Don't let me interrupt.
Keep up the good work.

I'll just go over and sit
down and relax a minute

before I go into the
house and rest up.

Uh... Hey, you
know, little brother,

for a fellow that's been working as
hard as our brother Adam has here,

appears to me that he's
deserving something real nice

like a cooling bath.
Don't it to you?


Yeah, you know, I think that's the
least we can do for our brother Adam.

He's such a sweet guy,

works so hard and everything.

Just works himself
to death, huh?

It is hot out there
on that road, I know.

Adam, you fell down.
We're so sorry about that.

- We're gonna cool you up.
- We're gonna cool you up.

I tripped. No,
you're not serious.

Yeah. Oh, we are, boy.

- Oh, yeah.
- All right, boys.

Break it up. Break it up.

What you doing in there, Hoss?

I was thirsty, Pa, what else?

Well, Adam, it's
good to see you back.

What did Hank Johnson want?

Well, it was a hot, dusty ride.

Oh, can you spare us the
details of your hardships

and just tell Pa what he
wants to know, please?

Well, uh, Hank was
up at Sheep Head

and he saw about 150
head of our cattle up there.

All the way up Sheep Head?

They're straying a long
way from home, ain't they?

That's all the way
up in Paiute Country.

Well, I'm glad to see that
you've come up for air, son.

Hey, Pa, you want Hoss and
I to go up there and get them?

No, I think that may cause a
little trouble with the Paiutes.

You can make a deal with them,
give them half of them strays,

that'd see them
through the winter.

You know, you have a point.

Would you like me to ride up
that hot, dusty road and settle it?

Why don't you give us some hot,
dusty help around here before you leave?

Oh, now, you two boys have
been doing such a wonderful job.

You don't need any help.

Adam, why don't you ride up there
and you offer the Paiutes half the herd

if they'll help you drive
the rest of them down here?

Seventy-five heads should see
them through the winter comfortably.

All right, I'll leave first
thing in the morning.


No hard feelings.

No hard feelings.


Hard feelings.

- Good morning.
- Good morning, stranger.


No. It's a little
too early for that.

- I'd like a cup of coffee if you got one.
- Always got that.

As a matter of fact, I never
touch anything else but that myself.

Passing through?

No, uh... My name's
Adam Cartwright.

Looking for some stray
cattle that were seen up here.

Thought I'd come in and tell
the sheriff what I was doing.


Not around here, friend.
McDermott says we don't need one.

Oh, who's he?

Who's McDermott?

Now, Mr. Callan,

you know you oughtn't be coming
around here this time of the morning.

- Good morning, Scotty.
- Good morning, Mr. Callan.

I brought you something.


Why, it's beautiful.

It's all yours, Scotty.

It's all yours for two
bottles of whiskey.

Now, Mr. Callan, I, uh...

Now, as much as I'd like to
have it, I'm not going to take it

because you've had
too much to drink already.

Aw, Scotty.

How can any man have the
wisdom to tell another man

when he's had too much to drink?

No, no, my friend.

None of us can claim an
insight so great as all that.

Two bottles, Scotty.

Two bottles of your finest. Hm?


At least will you take them
home to drink them, please?

Oh, Scotty, just one drink

to revive my flagging spirits
and then you'll be rid of me.

A glass, Scotty.

That's my property, Rollie.
I'll thank you not to ruin it.

Squaw man here
painted it, didn't he?

Nobody buys his scribblings
but Mr. McDermott.

You ought to know that by now.

You are a filthy swine.

And you, Mr. Callan, are
married to the whelp of a coyote.


You got a long busy nose.

Just didn't like the odds.

Kind of curious, uh... What reason
you got for roughing up this fellow

and trying to destroy a
beautiful painting like that?

You ever heard of the Paiutes?

This guy that you feel so
sorry for lives with them.

He even married one.

Maybe if some of the rest of
us would learn to live with them,

there'd be a lot less trouble, a
little less killing, a little less grief.

Well, you go to your
church and I'll go to mine.

Just a minute.
You can leave now.

Now, listen, you...

You picked the wrong town
to throw your weight around in.

And you, Scotty, you
made a little mistake.

Mr. McDermott isn't
gonna forget that.

It's more the whiskey in
him than being hit by Rollie.

He's been this way before.

Who's this McDermott that commands
such respect from our recent visitor?

Well, McDermott commands
respect, as you call it,

from everybody in the district,
white man and red man alike.

Except for my place, he owns or
controls nearly everything in town.

- Does he control him?
- Mm-hm. Him too.

And through, uh, his Indian
wife, the whole Paiute tribe.

- Well, how's that?
- Well,

Callan sells his
paintings to McDermott.

And then, at McDermott's store,

he's able to buy just enough
food to keep the tribe alive

and enough whiskey
to keep him like this.

- Pretty good painter.
- Good?

Why, a fella came by
here a couple months ago

and I sold him one
of Callan's paintings.

Later, he sent me a letter
saying that he had showed it

to some people at the
Smithsonian Institute in Washington,

and they told him
that given time,

Callan could rank with the
greatest Western painters.

Catlin, Kurz,
Bierstadt, any of them.

That's very special
company. You tell Callan that?

Mm-hm. Didn't
mean a thing to him.

Well, I guess we'd better
get some coffee into him.

Well, he's gonna get himself killed
if he keeps living with them Indians.

If that whiskey
doesn't get him first.

I never saw a man so hated
just for loving his fellow man.

Yeah, well, it all started
centuries ago, Scotty,

and it's been
going on ever since.

Who are you?

This is Adam
Cartwright, Mr. Callan.

First time I ever saw that hired
gun of McDermott back down.

Adam made him do it,
ordered him off the property.

Did you do that?

Well, let's just say
that I convinced him

that he might be
happier someplace else.


Bring over my bottle,
please, and two glasses.

Don't you think that might
do you a little more good?

Oh. Don't be foolish.

I never tire of that stuff.

Now, then. Ah.

Let's have a drink.

Well, here's to you and
your work. You're pretty good.

Thank you.

You're obviously
a man of talent,

background, education.

Why are you burying yourself
out here in the wilderness?

Well, I'm married to a very
beautiful and lovely Paiute wife.

I love her.

And I love her people.

Does a man need any
more reasons than that?


You know, nobody
ever beat that stuff yet.

Well, maybe not, Adam. The
point is, I don't want to beat it.

This is my friend.

My crutch.

I don't know. Whatever it is, I can't
seem to live without it. Heh, heh.

But enough of me. Adam,
what are you doing in this

warm, friendly little town
we call Sheep Head?

Well, as a matter of
fact, it might concern you,

at least your Indian friends.

One of our herds
strayed up here,

and when I find them, I thought
I'd give the Paiutes half of them,

should come to about 75 head.


I'd like for them to help me drive
the rest of the herd back to our ranch.

You're a good man, Adam.

You're a good man.

You know,

fella like me, kind of...

I'm able to sense a
good man when I see one.

You're kind,
thoughtful, considerate.

I want to tell my people,


that you're our friend.

You're our friend.

My people.

I don't know what keeps
him going, Adam. I just don't.

Where does he live?
I'll take him home.

With a small band of Paiutes,

you ride the trail north
about 5 miles out of town.

Well, better get
him on his horse.

You aren't going to be popular in
Sheep Head for helping him, Adam.

That's too bad.

Even the Paiutes,

they're not gonna look kindly
on you when you take him home.

Scotty, you worry too much.

When you live in Sheep
Head long enough,

you begin worrying
about your next breath.

I'm McDermott. Who are you
and what do you want around here?

Name's Cartwright.

I came up to find some
cattle that strayed up here.


Yeah. A friend of ours
saw them up here last week.

Then they're trespassing.

Take some advice, mister,
and just move on out of this town.

All right, I heard you.

You'd better hear
real good, mister.

This is McDermott's town.

That a public road?

Yeah, that's a public road.

But you step off of it and you're
likely to be stepping on my property.

I'll be very careful.

I don't know why he's
doing that drunk a favor.

Maybe he heard about that
little wife he's got out there.

- Shut up.
- Huh, mister?

Well, what's wrong with you?

Everybody says she's a looker.

You even said yourself...

I told you to shut up.

All right, McDermott.
You're the boss.

Get some men and take care of
them cattle he was talking about.

Then he won't have an
excuse for staying around here.

I come as a friend.

You come as a fool.

He dead, you die.

He's not dead. Just
had too much whiskey.

Don't talk.

Just come and be quiet.

My brother, he is all right?

Yes, he is all right, Johnny.

Just a little too much to drink.

Please bring him inside.

Thank you for bringing him home.

I am Esther Callan.

I'm Adam Cartwright.

I'd like to talk to you.

You give him whiskey?

No, I didn't give him whiskey.

- If you don't mind...
- You give him whiskey, he die.

And my people die.

Without him, we have no food.

They're beautiful.

They are the heart and spirit

and the tears of a great man.

He always drink like this?

He is sick in his
heart for my people,

and he is sick
with shame for his.

He drinks to make easy the pain,

but the more he drinks,
the worse is the pain.

And he loves you
and your people.

And that love is destroying him.

There's a man in town, uh, McDermott.
He buys your husband's paintings.


Well, from what I've
been able to gather,

he doesn't like your
husband very much.

He hates him because
he married me, an Indian.

And someday, unless
my husband goes away,

McDermott will find
reason to kill him.

Well, I'll stop by and
see you in the morning.

I wanna talk some
more with your husband.

Thank you again, Adam
Cartwright, for helping my husband.


Think you can stop
hating long enough

to help me herd
some cattle over here?

Be about 75 head.

And judging from the looks of your
village, you could sure use them.

All right.

You just stand there and watch
your women and children starve

when you could feed them.

Make them proud of you.

Real proud.


What does white
man want in return?

I'll give you half the herd

if you'll help me get the rest
of them to the Ponderosa.

It will be done.


You round up some of your
braves and meet me at Spanish Peak

when the sun climbs to
the top. I'll see you then.


My favorite
painting of them all,

it is gone, my husband.


I sold it for two bottles
of rotgut whiskey.

- It does not matter.
- Oh, yes, it does matter.

It matters a great deal.

I'm selling my dreams,

my work,

my purpose for whiskey.

Why do I do that?
How can I do it?

You have done so much
for my people already.

And you've been
hurt so much for it.

All I've done is hurt myself.

But you're wasting your
gift, a gift of greatness.

Go back to your own people,
where your life will have some use,

some real purpose.

Wither thou goest, I will go,

and where thou
lodgest, I will lodge.

I love you, Esther.

And I love you.

Well, there was a
herd here, all right,

and if my hunch is right, somebody
beat us to them with a running iron.

It does not matter. We never
really believe in white man's help.

Well, now, if you help
me, we'll get them back.

If Paiute help one white man
against another, only Paiute get hurt.

Hi, Mr. Cartwright.

That roan outside,
who does it belong to?

Well, that's Rollie's,
McDermott's gunman.

I was looking for my herd
this morning. They're missing.

Rollie's got a branding iron, still
warm, hanging from his saddle.

Uh-oh. I was afraid of that when
you mentioned the cattle in front of him.

I offered half of them to
the Paiute if they'd help me.

Hungry as they
were, they refused.

Well, you can't
blame them too much.

The Paiutes have
been kicked around

and starved until they're
beaten. They're helpless.

Yeah, what this territory needs is not
only a sheriff but a good Indian agent.

Well, now, I've written to
Washington a dozen times.

I always get the same answer.

Too many other trouble
spots, not enough money

and manpower to go around.

The Paiute is at the
bottom of the barrel.

Well, there is a
man in Washington

that might be concerned for a
people even as lowly as the Paiutes.

- Abraham Lincoln.
- Lincoln?

Well, now, how would we get to
the President of the United States?

- Callan might.
- You tell me how.

Well, if we could get him to
Washington with his paintings.

Well, I don't see what his
paintings have got to do with it.

If his paintings can move
fellas like you and me,

would they do any less
to Abraham Lincoln?

You mean send
Callan to Washington?

Might work.

Mr. Cartwright, you've seen Callan.
What makes you think he'd go?

He's got to. I'll ride
out and talk to him.

Set them up for
the boys, Scotty.

They've had a long,
hard day on the range.

I was out on the range
today, I didn't see your men.

Well, mister, if you was out on
that range, you was on my property.

I warned you about that.

Man has the right to look for stray
cattle that have his brand on them.

Didn't find any, did you?


But on your saddle there's a
branding iron that's still warm.

Of course it is. They've been
branding mavericks all day.

Mavericks with a
Ponderosa brand on them?

Mister, I'm telling you for
the second and last time,

get out of this town, out
of this part of the country.


Good luck.

You pick peculiar friends.

First that Indian lover,
Callan. Now, this one.

Friends like that can get
you into a lot of trouble.

Yeah, just like that.

What's the matter with you?

Are you crazy? Trying to
destroy a beautiful picture like that.

Beautiful picture? That's just a Paiute.
It's all that is, a stinking Paiute.

That's a work of
art, you stupid fool.

Someday, that'll be
worth a lot of money.

What does an old coot
like you know about art?

More than you think, Mr. Range
Pirate. There's men in Washington

that think he's a great artist,
right up there with the best of them.

- Washington?
- Yes, Washington.

The place that's
gonna cook your goose

when Callan's paintings show
them what's going on out here.

Well, now, Scotty,

that's a very interesting little plan
you Indian lovers have worked out.

Let's go, boys.

Hey, Scotty.

I sure appreciate that
art lesson. Sure do.

Where you go?

- To see your sister's husband.
- Why?

I have an idea that might
help him and your tribe.

I told you, white man's help
bring nothing but trouble to Indian.

Yes, I know. But you can't
speak for your white brother.

I can't do it. I belong here
with my wife and her people.

They need me.

They need you
more in Washington.

Your paints, your brushes
could tell their story.

You could tell their story
to this whole country.

You could make this
country cry for its red brother.

You're their only hope.

You could get an agent out here.

You might even get legislation
passed to help the Paiute.

Governments move very slowly.
Who would support the Paiutes

if I took my paintings to Washington
and wasn't here to paint for their food?

Then maybe the Paiute
better tighten its belt even more

for the sake of its future.

Red men have no future
in white man's world.

He's right.

I can only do what I can
to make their life tolerable.


What did you call
this? Your friend?

Well, drink it, but
don't lie to yourself.

That's no more your
friend than you are to them.

That's not true.

I love them. I work for them.

That's right. You
keep them half alive.

You make their existence
tolerable, as you say.

But when you could do so
much more and you refuse,

then you're no friend to them.

And you.

When you refuse to help yourselves,
maybe you deserve what you've got.


You say much truth.

- You still want help, find herd?
- I sure do.

We help him. Food feed us.
You go to white man's government.

Oh, please, go, my husband. It
is your chance to find yourself.

- Esther...
- Go before it is too late.

Esther, you know me better
than anyone else, my weaknesses.

- And your strength.
- I'm a drunkard.

You are a great
artist and my husband.

You believe I can go to
Washington and stay sober?

I can do everything Adam wants
me to do and return to you sober?

I believe.

After everything
you've been through,

after everything
I've done to you.

What do you believe, my friend?

I'd bet on you.

Well, guess the only
thing left for me is to try.

I'll go into town
and book passage.

You round up your braves
and let's get those cattle.

- I don't want to lose you.
- You will not lose me.

You will gain the world
and the world will gain you.

Where'd you find him?

Just where you said I'd find
him. Heading for the stage depot.

Is that right, Callan? You
figuring on making a little trip?

I'm here because your gunman
forced me. Now, what do you want?

I just wanna talk a little
business deal with you.

I'm through dealing
with you, McDermott.

Why? You think you're gonna
get help from Washington?

You think I don't know
where you're headed?

That's where I'm still headed.

You're gonna have to
kill me to keep me here.

- Kill you? What a thought.
- Yeah.

Since you was taking a trip, I
was just gonna buy you a little drink.

- I don't want a drink.
- Sure you do.

You always want a drink.

Rollie, sit our friend
down at that table.

- Scotty, bring me a bottle.
- No, he doesn't want a drink.

Scotty, that trouble you're asking
for is getting closer all the time.

Drink it.

Mr. McDermott says
you want a drink.

- Now, you stop that.
- It's free whiskey, ain't it?


Now, you aren't
gonna kill me, are you?

You're right.

How much do you think
it'll take to knock him out?

I don't know. He's
used to an awful lot.

But I guess whatever it
takes, we can afford it, huh?

What do you want?

We just brought your
husband home, ma'am.

What have you done to him?

Well, now, don't tell us he's never been
brought home in this condition before.

But he would not
drink now. Not now.

Why not? He's been
doing it for years.

Just get him out of the wagon.

- Get the paintings.
- What are you doing?

Just getting Mr. McDermott's
private property.

- No, they belong to my husband.
McDERMOTT: Not anymore.

He made a new deal with me.

Winter food for you
people, whiskey for him.

You are lying.

When are you gonna give up on
that drunken excuse for a man?

He is my husband.
He helps my people.

Helps them? Ha. To do what?

Sit in their tepees and cry
over the plight of the red man?

He fed us, sold his paintings.

McDERMOTT: He sold them to me.
I fed your people. I kept them alive.

You bought his paintings and
gave him whiskey to destroy him.

No. No. I bought them
because of you, to help you.

- No! No!
- Yes.

I've always wanted you.

I told you before, I want
nothing to do with you.

You think he can
help you? Look at him.

Now, you come with me,

and I'll feed your people.
Otherwise, they're gonna starve.

It's not gonna be like
you think. I love you too.

You do not know the
meaning of the word.

Oh, yes, I do.
And I'll show you.

You touch me
and I will kill you.

You couldn't.

Oh, yes. As I would a wild pig.


Well, what do you know?

You kill her?


She killed herself

because her husband couldn't
do anything but get drunk,

because he abandoned her people.

- You understand?
- Sure, I understand.

- She wasn't much of a loss, anyway.
- Get out.


He's probably been
and gone by now.

My sister, she is dead.

How about him?

Just unconscious.

Take her to her
tribe and come back.

It was McDermott. It
had to be McDermott.

Well, let's see if we can sober him
up. Get some coffee going, will you?

It's not true.

It's not true.

It can't... It can't be true.

Not Esther. Not Esther.
Esther can't be dead.

- Esther? Est... You're lying. Esther.
- We're not lying.

How'd it happen?

How can it happen?
How could it happen?

We don't know.

It's cruel.

Who could do that to Esther?

Who would do a thing like that?


Just like I said. Who
else could have done it?

I should have killed
him a long time ago.

I always knew he
was out to destroy me.

But not Esther.

- Where are you going, Jim?
- To get my gun.

Now, what good will that do?

It's the only way
left for me now.

It's the only language
he understands, a gun.

One gun against
McDermott is suicide.

What else can he do?

The tribe prepares
for Esther's funeral.

- You know who took her life?
- McDermott.

Now, wait a minute, Jim.

You'll never get past
McDermott's guns.

But if you do and you
kill him without any proof,

then you're open
to a murder charge.

- Doesn't matter.
- Oh, yes, it does.

You're still the only
hope for the Paiutes.

Now, whoever stole the paintings
has to be tied with Esther's death.

So why don't we just find out if
McDermott has those paintings?

He'll never let
us get that close.

I come with you.

- One spear and one wobbly gun.
- Where are you going?

Where do you think?


Well, I figure my saloon won't
be worth much now anyway,

not in McDermott's town.

Here they come.

Well, Callan, we didn't expect
to see you for some time,

considering the condition you
was in when we last seen you.

I'm gonna kill you, McDermott.

Is that a fact? You'd
better look behind you.

You four against all of us?

It doesn't matter. You're
the only one I'm after.

I'm gonna kill you
for murdering my wife.

I didn't kill her. You did.

When you come home drunk
with no ticket to Washington,

she finally faced up to what
you are and killed herself.

You're lying. You killed her.

I'm gonna kill you, McDermott.

Hold on, Jim.

McDermott, we're
looking for some paintings.

I'd like to take a
look in your store.

Cartwright, I told you the last
time your welcome had run out.

Not yet.

Not till he looks in your store.

What is all this?

That's my family, which
means the odds have changed.

Adam, were you
about to do something?

All of this because
of a lousy Indian.

Your stinking Indian squaw!

Don't try anything.

It's all over, fellas.

Now, clear out.

Jim, this is my family.

- Hi, Jim.
- How are you?

Adam, we kind of figured
you might have a little trouble.

And we kind of figured it
was gonna be Indian trouble.

- No, the Indian trouble's about over.
- Yeah, we'll tell you all about it.

First we gotta get you
a ticket to Washington.

Thanks, Adam.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a superb, family-friendly television series for solo viewing or enjoyable moments with loved ones. Episode 139, “The Toy Soldier,” is among the captivating installments in the 430 episodes. Originally aired on NBC, Bonanza graced screens 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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