the wild one
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The Wild One Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #03

The Wild One introduces Lafe Jessup (portrayed by Aldo Ray), a stubborn and combative horse wrangler who prefers brawls over necessities like food and rest. In an attempt to fight with Hoss Cartwright, Lafe’s plans are thwarted by the unexpected appearance of Prudence (played by Kathryn Hays), his Quaker wife whom he had abandoned a few months earlier. Prudence reveals that Lafe will soon become a father, but he adamantly refuses to accept responsibility for his wife or unborn child, displaying his stubbornness. Broadcasted initially on October 4, 1964, “The Wild One” was penned by Jo Pagano.

Discover the captivating storyline and fascinating trivia, or immerse yourself in the episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of The Wild One

Watch the Full Episode of The Wild One:

Main Cast

In the third episode of the fifth season of Bonanza, titled “The Wild One,” a range of recurring and supporting cast members appeared. Standout members of the cast include:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Aldo Ray as Leif Jessup
  • Kathryn Hays as Prudence Jessup
  • Highland Dale as Black Stallion (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Wild One

Lafe Jessup, a confrontational horse wrangler, is a stubborn individual who prioritizes fighting over his marital duties. Interrupting a brawl between Lafe and Hoss, Prudence, his abandoned wife, delivers significant news: she is expecting a child.

In his usual inflexible manner, Lafe refuses to acknowledge his responsibilities towards his wife or unborn child.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Wild One

JOE: Here, chick, chick, chick.

Here, chick, chick, chick.

Heh-heh. Chick, chick,
chick. Here, chick...


Hey! Whoa!



Hey, come on. Get out of here.

Hey, come on.


Get out of here.

Come on. Hey! Come
on. Get out of here.



Whoa! Whoa, there! Whoa!

Leave off that, consarn it.
You're scaring my critters.

Whoa, there. Come
on. Whoa, there.

What's that?

I said, stop running around
like them there chickens.

You're scaring my mares.

Oh, well, we and our
chickens apologize.

- Just who are you?
- Lafe Jessup.

Well, Mr. Jessup, what can
we do for you and your friends?

LAFE: I'm looking for a
man named Cartwright.

Hoss, they told me
his name in town.

- Is he around here?
- He's in the house. I'll get him.

Tell him to shake a leg if
he wants to do business.

I ain't got time to stand
around jawing all day.

What business are you in?

The wild ones.

JOE: The what?

The wild ones. I catch
and break wild horses.

Oh, yeah, yeah, now I get it.

My brother Hoss has been
talking up some crazy idea

about crossing wild
horses with our Spanish.

That ain't so crazy at all.

A rancher in Oregon crossed
his Clydesdales with wild horses

and came up with a breed
called the Oregon Lummox.

Real hardy.

Montana, they got a breed
called the Percheron Puddin' Foots.

Down in Texas they
got a top cow pony

and a racer called

All crossbred with wild
horses. What's crazy about it?

Uh, well, nothing, just my brother
never explained it to me that way.

Probably figured there
was no cause to bother.



I'm Hoss Cartwright.
You must be Lafe Jessup.

Yeah, all my life. Heh.

Fella in town told me you
wanted some wild horses,

so I fetched me up
some mares for you.


Well, I ain't
interested in mares.

I was wanting a stallion.
You ain't got none?

Yeah, and if I ain't, I, uh,
can get you one at a price.

Why don't you come
in and meet my pa?

I been trying to talk him into this
crossbreeding idea for a long time.

Maybe we can make
a deal. Come on.

And don't you go
spooking my mares again.

Just leave them be, understand?


Puddin' Foot.



Look at that son of a gun.

Look at him.

That's the one, Lafe.
That's my stallion.

That's the one I want.


HOSS: That's the one I want.

Ain't much chance
of that, little fella.

I've been trying to catch
that ornery critter all season.

Tried running him, roping him.

Even tried to snare him once.
He's too smart and too fast.


Well, just for the fun of it,
let's see how fast he really is.

Well, you was
right, Lafe. He's fast.


We ain't gonna run
him down, that's for sure.

He can chew up a lot
of ground, that's a fact.

Yeah. You sure
you've tried everything?

There ought to be some
way you could catch him.

- Maybe I can crease him.
- Huh?

Shoot him in the withers.

Slow him down. That way
you can get a rope around him.

You could miscalculate
your aim and kill him too.

Ah, wouldn't be the first time.

Well, you ain't gonna chance
shooting him, not while I'm here.

I ain't gonna put up with that.

How you fixing to stop me?

This is my country
there, little fella.

Any horse I catch is mine.

That black there will fetch me
a pretty fair price at the market.

If not from you and your pa,
then from some other rancher. Hm.

Sounds a mite like you're trying
to tell me how to run my business.

I'm just telling you
you ain't gonna chance

shooting that black
stallion, that's all.

We'll see if the time comes.

Don't you worry, you big rascal.
I'm gonna be seeing more of you.


Good looker, all right,

but he can't hold a
candle to that black.

Never said he could,
but that's the critter

I figured for you and your pa.

Difference between this one and the
black is this one's caught and broke.

He is?

You just take it
easy. I'll show you.

Easy now. Ain't no use fussing.

Hey you, simmer down! Hyah!

Simmer down.

Dang you, I'm gonna whip
the daylights out of you.


Stop that. You've got him
half scared to death now.


Stop it! Stop it!

You know better
than to fight me.

Stop it! Stop it!

What are you trying to do? You
trying to break that horse or maim him?

Little fella, appears there's a
difference between you and me here.

- A whip never hurt no dumb critter.
- You give me that whip.


WOMAN: Stop thy
foolish brawling this instant.

Have thee both taken
leave of thy senses?


Have thee no fitter welcome for
thy wife, thou unrepentant sinner?

And must thee stand there

with thy mouth gaping like
a bee trap in springtime?

It resembles a silly goose. Now,
come. Help me unload the wagon.

This seat has become
uncommonly discomfortable.

You just set right where you
are, and you turn that mule around

and go back where you came from.

Did thee not hear me? Come
help me unload the wagon. Hyah!

You hear that? She talks to
me like I was a hired hand.

Sounds to me like she meant
business. You better do like she says.

All right, just long enough to let
her get the kinks out, but that's all.

How in tarnation
did you ever find me?

Seek and ye shall find.

Though I must say, it
took a deal of searching.

How-some-ever, we
are reunited at long last,

as the good Lord intended.

Reunited nothing. No such thing.

You're gonna water your stock
down at the well and turn around

and go back where you
came from lickety-split.

Such foolish talk from a grown,
overgrown man. Shame on thee.

Now, thee have not
told me thy name.

My name is Cartwright,
ma'am. Hoss Cartwright.

Well, I judge by the girth,
the name is most fitting.

Well, then, Hoss, have
thee not wit enough

to see there is work to be done?
Will thee kindly unburden the wagon?

Hold on. I said you could take the
kinks out and water the stock, that's all.

Thee is trying my
patience sorely, most sorely.

- I have been six months
finding thee, - Who asked you to?

And it has been a most trying
journey all the way from the Dakotas.

More-some-over, I have not
taken nourishment since sunup.

Now, thee, Hoss, thee
will find a smoked ham,

from Father's own
smokehouse, in the largest sack,

along with some
potatoes, dried apples,

pickled string beans,
sugar and flour.

Thee will also find some preserved
peaches in jars from the orchard,

which by the grace of God,

yielded an uncommonly
bounteous yield this summer.

Well, thee may now
show me the cook stove

and I'll cook our dinner.


All right. All right,

but you gotta understand one
thing. I ain't giving in one little mite.

Not one mite. After
you eat, back you go.

Shh. Do thee wish Mr. Cartwright to
think thee are not happy to see me?




Were thee never told
cleanliness is next to godliness?

- Nobody's asking you...
- I would sooner inhabit

one of my father's pigsties.

It is plain to see thee have been
in sore need of thy wife, Lafe.

- Sorely. LAFE: I've
been getting alone fine.

And thee, thee smell
as bad as this house.

Now, you had best bathe
while I am preparing dinner.

And if thee scrub
good behind thy ears,

there will be peach
cobbler for dessert.

Here, thee will have
need of this soap.

Though I have no doubt
lye would be more fitting.

Well, hey, Lafe, you heard her.
Come on, man, peach cobbler.

I had me a bath last summer.

I'm telling you man to man, if we
don't stick together, heh, we're done for.

We gotta have a plan.

If we don't, that
scheming little she-female

will have us squeezing
through knotholes

every time she opens her
mouth, and that's a fact.

Oh. If you felt that way about her,
Lafe, how come you married her?

Out of my mind, that's why.

Man finds himself
flat on his back,

first thing you know some
scheming little she-female

takes advantage of him.

All that take place
back in the Dakotas?

Yeah, last winter.

Worst luck.

Got caught in a blizzard
and my horse got lost.

Next thing, I find myself in bed

with a hot water
bottle at my feet

and my mind
blazing with a fever.

Sitting alongside of me,
reading from the Good Book,

begging the Lord to spare
me, guess who it was.

Scheming little she-female.

That's when I done it.

- Done what?
- Asked her to marry me.

She was prettier than a picture.

Looked like a little pinto filly out in
the pasture kicking up her heels. Heh.

But it didn't take me long
to come to my senses.

About month later
after the wedding,

when I had my strength back,
well, I decided to skedaddle

and I started running.

I kept running until I found
myself in these here hills here.

Yeah. Appears like you didn't
run quite far enough, don't it, Lafe?

HOSS: Hey.

Wouldn't even have recognized
this as the same place, ma'am.

Too dagblamed la-di-da-di.
Don't even smell the same.

Tsk, oh.

Oh, here, let me
see behind thy ears.

- Hold on.
- Oh, thee are as stubborn as a child.

Well, there's some improvement.

Though it would take more than
one soaping to make thee presentable.

I've just had about enough
of your sassing tongue.

We smelled the
food out the window,

but it'll take a heap
more than that...

Wait a minute. Lafe!

Wait a minute. I ain't eaten
since breakfast and I'm hungry.

You just gather
your things and...

Have thee...?

Have thee finished?

If so, come to table
before the biscuits burn.

I ain't moving a step
and neither is Hoss.

All right, thee have taxed
my temper beyond endurance.

Now you've done it.

What you need is
a good spanking.

Thee just try it.

Yeah. Ha-ha.

Yeah, why don't...? Why
don't you just try it, Lafe? Ha!



Bow thy head that we
may give thanks to the Lord.

For these most bounteous
gifts, O Lord, we are most grateful.


Thee may commence
thy dinner, Hoss.

Thank you, ma'am.

No scheming, screaming
she-female's gonna keep me

from sitting at my own
table. Here, give me that.

You better be sure this
mess is seasoned proper.


Well, I don't know, Lafe.

I still think I can do better.

Still hankering
for that black, huh?


How come first thing in the
morning me and you don't take off

and try to figure out
some way to catch him?

I told you, ain't no use
unless we crease him.

Well, I'm telling you flat out,

you crease that animal
and the whole deal's off.

You telling me how
to run my business?

PRUDENCE: Have two grown
men nothing better to do than argue?

This is man talk.
You stay out of this.

I... I notice there is only
one bed in the house.

Thee had best come and
help me prepare something

so that we may sleep
comfortably tonight.

Oh, you sleep where you want.

You can have the whole
dang hut to yourself.

Me, I'm gonna bedroll outside.

Now skedaddle. I'm
sick of looking at you.

Go on.

Lafe, you had no call
to talk to her like that.

She's my wife. I'll talk
to her any way I please.


show me what it
is that I do wrong.

I know that I have a viperous
tongue and a most evil temper.

But thou knowest in thy infinite
wisdom that my heart is otherwise.

Thou knowest also

that my dearly beloved
is not as he seems.

He needs me...


And I need him.

Please, please, show
me the way to his heart.

Not for my sake alone,

but for the sake of his child
within me soon to be born.

Thee heard?

Promise thee will not tell Lafe?

But why not, ma'am?
He's your husband.

It is unbecoming

for a woman to hold the
burden of a child over a man.

I still think you
ought to tell him.


The child will soon be here,

and if my husband does not
wish me to stay before it is born,

I shall leave
without telling him.

Please keep thy silence.


If that's the way
you want it, ma'am.


That be them, over at the water hole
where we jumped them the other time.


Why don't you go around
here and get behind them

and drive them down
this canyon here?

That way we can stop them.

- How you figuring on doing that?
- With this.

Lafe, like I told you,

- you ain't gonna crease that stallion.
- Who said anything about creasing?

I just wanna use it to
drive him back up to you.


Attaboy, little fella!
Hold on to him!




Get out of there.


Whoa, boy.


Watch out for that other horse.

Look out! Look out!


Is he dead?

No, ma'am. He got
a pretty nasty nick

- on the head though.
- Oh...

- Open thy mouth.
LAFE: I don't want any.

All this fussing and
fooling, I'm sick of it.

Thee must get thy strength back.
Thee were unconscious for three days.

Yeah, just long enough
for you to figure out

how to get your
hooks into me again.

Only I ain't falling
for it again this time.

Lafe, thee are indeed a
thorn in the flesh at times.

The soup is within
reach if thee want it.

HOSS: Whoa, boy. Whoa.


Easy. Easy now.

The Lord is my rock

and my fortress

and my deliverer.

Oh, please, no.

It is not time.

HOSS: Easy now. Easy.


Finally quit fighting,
didn't you, big fella?

Decided that log was too
heavy to haul around, didn't you?


You big, good-looking
rascal, you.

Easy. Easy now, big fella.

I'm gonna let you
get a little freedom.

Let you run around a little.

Thee have a way with animals.

There ain't really much to it
once they learn they can trust you.

I wish I could
handle Lafe so easily.

I don't know how
you put up with him.

You been nursing
him like a spoiled baby

ever since he got hurt, and
he don't appreciate it one bit.

He's my husband.

That sounds more like an
apology than a reason to me,

if you don't mind me saying so.

Thee do not really understand.

Lafe is...

Lafe is as that
wild creature there.

He's accustomed to being free,
and he fears being otherwise.

But the good Lord joined us
together in holy matrimony,

and that is a covenant
that I do not regard lightly.

I admire the fight you're putting
up to save your marriage, ma'am,

but he ain't worth
your little finger.

Thee should read
thy Book more often.

Wherein thou judgest another,
thou condemnest thyself.

Be not overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.

That's about the sum of it, eh?

That is the sum.

And the total.

Yeah, it's gonna
take a heap of doing

to overcome that
cantankerous ingrate.

Look, ma'am, I've just about
got old black trained to lead

and he's trained to halter.

I figure I'll be
leaving tomorrow.

It don't set well with me leaving
you up here by yourself with him.

Oh, well, I do thank thee.

But what therefore God hath joined
together, let no man put asunder.


Oh, dear Lord.

It's not time yet.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done...



Ma'am, what's the matter?

The Lord must love
me very much, Hoss,

because whom the Lord
loveth, he chasteneth. Unh!

And he chasteneth
me much this night.

Ma'am, what's wrong?

The child,

he's being born in
God's time, not mine.

I'll go get some whiskey.


No spirits.

It is pain that teaches
us the meaning of love.

Oh, God.

A faithful friend...

is a strong defense...

and he who hath
found such a one...

hath found a treasure.

Oh, my... Oh, my God.


My God, give me strength.

Look, ma'am, I'll be right
back. I'll go get your husband.

- Lafe? Lafe. Wake up, Lafe.
- Hold on. What...?

HOSS: Lafe, on your
feet. Your wife needs you.

What are you saying?

Lafe, your wife's having a baby.

- She never told me.
- Well, I'm telling you now.

Now, we ain't got time to stand
around out here jawing. Come on.

Come on!

What do you want me for? I
ain't never foaled no human critter.

There's a first
time for everything.

Now, are you coming or
am I gonna have to drag you?


You should have
told me, little filly.

- I didn't know, you dang fool, you...
- Thy came to me.


Oh, my God.

Has thou forsaken me?

Can't you do
something, little fella?

I can't stand to
see her hurting.


Lafe! Lafe!



I don't know if you can hear me.

For that matter,

I don't even know
if you're up there.

She puts a lot of stock in you.

So I'm just plain
begging for her sake.


don't make her hurt so bad.




It must have got
borned, I heard it cry.

You got a fine son, Lafe.

Is that a fact?

How's the mother?
She gonna live?


She had a real rough
time. She's gonna make it.

Good. I wouldn't want to
be blamed for her dying.


I did an awful lot
of thinking last night.

I got something
I wanna tell her.


PRUDENCE: Look at thy son.

Our son.

Puny little critter, ain't he?

No bigger than a sparrow hardly.


He has thy nose

and mouth.

No such thing. He
looks just like you.

Your ma and pa ought
to be glad to see him.


Your ma and pa like
children, don't they?

They ought to be glad to
welcome a baby grandson.


I'm afraid he'll be a mite
grown up before that happens.

No, he won't.

Oh, Lafe...

are thee saying thee
do not want thy own son?

Never asked for him no
more than I asked for you.


You couldn't have meant
what you said in there.

- About not wanting your own son.
- I meant every word of it.

What kind of man are you anyway?

I'm the same kind of man
I was afore she came here

and afore that little
critter was born.

I made it plain enough
I didn't want her around.

This is no life
for the likes of her

and lessen so for
that little critter there.

As soon as she's able to travel,
out she goes and the little critter too.

I've seen some pretty miserable,
lowdown excuses for a human being,

but, buddy, you take the
blue ribbon hands down.

Is that a fact?

I don't know why she married you in
the first place. She's worth ten of you.


Ma'am. What are you
doing on your feet?

- I'll get you back in bed.
- No.

Not before I say to my
husband that which must be said.

Thee, Lafe,

listen to me.

I have overlooked
thy foul disposition

and thy insults

because I loved thee.

And I prayed that my
love would change thee.

But now I see thee
as thee really are.

A man who would deny
his own son is something...

Something less than a beast.

And I would not live with thee

if thee begged me to.

The only thing I'd beg of you is
to get out and leave me alone.

Thee was kind enough to
ask me to leave with thee.


Will thee take me still now that
there are two of us to burden thee?

I'd be honored to, ma'am, as
soon as you're able to travel.

I will be ready before sundown.

But, ma'am, it's
a four-day ride.

Before sundown.

I will not stay in this house

one instant longer than nece...

HOSS: Whoa.




Ma'am, you just sit still and
I'll go in and get some help

- to get the baby. I'll be right back.
PRUDENCE: I'm perfectly capable.

Just sit still.

Hop Sing.


Pa. Adam. Joe.


Wouldn't you know it, when you
need them most, ain't nobody here now.

All right, I'll just have
to manage by myself.

We'll both manage, Hoss.

Now, you just help me down.

You just... You hold the baby.



As soon as I get you upstairs
and get you comfortable,

then I'll go on into
town and get a doctor.

As soon as my family gets here,

you can just tell them that I'll
explain as soon as I get back.

Don't you worry none,
ma'am, they'll understand.



Whoa, boy. Whoa. Whoa.


What do you want, Lafe?

You took off with the
wrong merchandise, mister.

What you contracted
for is out there.

- And you want your money, right?
- That's right.

And my family.

They don't want to have
anything to do with you, Lafe.

Don't you tell me what they
want. Ain't none of your business.

It is when your wife
asked me to help her.

She don't need your help.

I can take care of that
she-female myself, and the brat too.

Oh, really?


Like you do your
horses, by beating them?

Get out of my way.

I'm gonna take my
family out of here.

No, you ain't.

That's the way you settle all
your problems, ain't it, Lafe?

With your fists or a whip.

Why don't you get smart, Lafe?

Why, with a little
intelligence and kindness,

I did more with that
black stallion in a week

than you could do in six
months with your whip.

Shut up. You lead
your life, I'll lead mine.

That's fair enough.

But leave that little gal and
that baby out of it, all right?

I'll do what I want with
them. They're mine!

They were back up
there in that cabin,

but you wanted no part of them.

What caused you to
change your mind, Lafe?

LAFE: I said it was
none of your business.

Once they were gone,
maybe you realized

you'd made a big
mistake, huh, Lafe?

You go to blazes.

Why don't you get that
chip off your shoulder

and start being honest
with yourself for a change?

Honest about what?

Admit you love that little gal

and that you're proud
of that baby, real proud.

You're trying to put
words in my mouth.

- Then say them yourself, Lafe.
- I can't.

Even if I could, she
wouldn't believe me no more.

HOSS: Look,

the times she's shown
you how she really feels,

how much she really loves you,

is the times you've been hurt,
like when that horse threw you.

And when old big black
stallion stomped on you.



LAFE: Aah!


- Prudence, I...
- Ah... I heard.

Thee need not say anything.

Oh, I've always known
what was in thy heart.


What's going on here?

Why, nothing, Pa, uh...

Just a love spat, that's
all. A little love spat.



Look, Pa, uh, don't you
worry about nothing, eh?

Everything is
gonna be all right.


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Bonanza is an excellent, family-friendly television series for individual or group viewing. The Wild One stands as the 171st episode out of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on the network from September 1959 to January 1973, encompassing 14 seasons.

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