the wooing of abigail jones
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The Wooing of Abigail Jones Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #24

Singer Vaughn Monroe makes a special appearance as the bashful Ponderosa ranchhand Hank Meyers. Smitten with schoolteacher Abigail Jones (played by Eileen Ryan), Hank lacks the courage to express his affection. Following a classic “Miles Standish” approach, he enlists Adam Cartwright to convey his feelings, leading to expected outcomes. Norma Varden and Diana Darrin, completing the ensemble, portray Ma Nutley and Margie, respectively. Originally aired on March 4, 1962, The Wooing of Abigail Jones was penned by Norman Lessing.

Explore the episode’s storyline along with intriguing trivia, or enjoy the full episode via the link provided.

Watch the Full Episode of The Wooing of Abigail Jones

Watch the Full Episode of The Wooing of Abigail Jones

Main Cast

Apart from the main cast, The Wooing of Abigail Jones, the twenty-fourth episode of Bonanza Season 3, features the program’s recurring and guest cast.

  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Vaughn Monroe as Hank Myers
  • Eileen Ryan as Abigail Jones
  • Norma Varden as Ma Nutley
  • Robert Stevenson as Charlie the Proprietor (as Robert J. Stevenson)
  • Diana Darrin as Margie
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Breen as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Saloon Girl (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Saloon Girl (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Ranch Hand (uncredited)
  • Sally Yarnell as Saloon Girl (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Wooing of Abigail Jones

Hoss and Joe take it upon themselves to assist ranch hand Hank Myers in his pursuit of the schoolteacher, Abigail Jones. Frustrated by Hank’s destructive outbursts in the bunkhouse stemming from his unrequited love for Abigail, they devise a plan to help him win her over romantically.

Their initial attempt, inspired by Sir Walter Raleigh, backfires when Hank’s gesture of laying his coat over a puddle results in Abigail slipping and landing in the mud. Disheartened by the failure, they persuade Adam, initially reluctant to intervene, to lend a hand. Adam’s singing lesson for Hank doesn’t go as planned, leading to further complications when Abigail mistakes Adam’s serenade for Hank’s, causing confusion and hurt feelings.

As tensions escalate, Hank finds himself in a brawl at the saloon, prompting Joe and Hoss to reconsider their involvement. However, a twist of fate occurs when Abigail, drawn by Hank’s singing, finally realizes her feelings for him. The couple reconciles, and their love blossoms, culminating in a joyful wedding ceremony.

In the aftermath, Adam humorously relinquishes his role in the romantic entanglement, relieved to be spared further complications.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Wooing of Abigail Jones

(fanfare plays)

♪♪

HOSS: Whew!

Oh, that's a long day.

Hope that Hop Sing's
got plenty of hot water.

Take an hour of
soaking in a good hot tub

to get all this trail dust off.

Don't tell me you're
gonna take a bath.

I dang sure am.




I discovered something, Joe.

Yeah? What's that?

Yeah.

How to lose weight.

Yeah? How?

I lost eight pounds
last month just bathing.

Well, I can think of another
way you can lost some weight.

How's that?

Just take that hat off.

Oh, big deal.

- Hank again?
- Who else?

Come on.

- Hank! Hank! Hank!
- Hank!

Hank!



HOSS: All right, come on,
now, Hank leave him alone!

LITTLE JOE: Hey,
Hank, I said knock it off!

- Leave him alone!
- Come on!

Come on, Hank,
now, the battle's over!

Will you simmer down, Hank?

Now, what's the
trouble this time, Hank?

- Let go of me, let go of me.
- Well, all right,

but what's bothering you?

- I'm unhappy.
- Oh, he's unhappy.

It's a doggone good thing
he ain't downright miserable.

He'd tear up the whole ranch.

I'm so unhappy, and
when I get unhappy

I just like to bust things up.

Yeah, we've noticed,
we've noticed.

We want to know is what
you're unhappy about this time.

Yeah, Hank, if you'll just tell
us, maybe we can help you.

(Hank sighs)

I'm in love.

Is that all?

I want to get married.

Well, that's a
little more serious,

but I wouldn't exactly
say it was fatal.

Yeah, Hank, if you
feel that serious about it,

go ahead and get
yourself hitched.

Keep your job here.
We'll have to make a...

few different
arrangements for sleeping...

Well, that might
not be a bad idea.

- We'll get him out of the bunkhouse.
- Yeah.

You fellas don't understand.

I get it... You're
afraid to ask her.

I've asked her, all right.

Oh. She turned you down.

Yeah.

Fine, upstanding
young prospect like you.

Who is this girl, anyhow?

Well, she's not exactly a girl.

Huh?

Hank, I-I know
you love your horse,

but this is a little
ridiculous, huh?

It's Abigail Jones.

LITTLE JOE AND
HOSS: Abigail Jones?! Ew!

(theme song playing)

♪♪

Abigail Jones?

I know, but that's
what the man said.

Well, look, we're
shorthanded enough as it is.

- Who's gonna drive the...
- Pa, he ain't figurin'

on quitting his job.

Oh.

Oh, well, that's
all right, then.

- But it's not all right, Pa.
- Pa, you don't understand.

ADAM: Uh, what's the matter?

Oh, Hank's in love.

Well, he'll get over
that. What's for supper?

He wants to get married.

Well, it happens in the best
of families. Let's eat, huh?

Hold on, Adam... things
aren't working out for him.

Well, what's the matter,
isn't the girl willing?

No, not exactly.

You know, the fact
is, she's holding out

for some fancy courting,
that's the trouble.

You're right. You
know, Hank isn't

the most romantic
guy in the world.

She wants to be wooed.

She wants fancy talk
and all the trimmings.

Adam.

You're pretty good
with the words.

Maybe you could
help old Hank out, huh?

Now, you two
leave me out of this.

LITTLE JOE: Hey,
now, look, Adam,

you're not taking
this serious enough.

Hank is unhappy.

When he's unhappy
you know how he gets.

Well, you got a point
there. Who's the girl?

(sighs): Well...

ain't... ain't exactly a girl.

You can say that again.

I say, it ain't exactly a girl.

Fact of the matter is,
it's, uh, it's Abigail Jones.

You're kidding.

Oh, we know Abigail
ain't no raving beauty,

but... well, Hank
says she's refined

and educated, and
she don't scare him

like them painted-up
gals down at the saloon do.

Yeah, well, she's refined
and educated, all right.

Yeah, I can remember
her history class.

Boy, she used to get stuck
on those romantic stories.

John Smith and Pocahontas.

Antony and Cleopatra.

Sir Walter Raleigh.

- (snaps fingers)
- Hoss, that's it.

Huh?

Come on, Hoss,
we got to find Hank.

Do you know what they're up to?

I'm afraid I do.

(sighs): I hope I'm wrong.

But why do I have to use my
best Sunday go to meeting Jacket?

Why can't I just use my
everyday working jacket?

He just don't understand, Joe.

Hank, come on over
here and sit down.

We'll go through this
whole thing again.

Sit down right here.

All right, here we go.

Now, remember I told you

Sir Walter Raleigh was
a real nobleman, right?

Yeah.

Now one day,
one day it's raining.

It's really raining.

There's puddles all over
the street, get the picture?

Now, Sir Walter Raleigh

takes off his jacket...
Hank, best jacket...

He takes it right off

and covers the mud
puddle with his jacket

so she can step on it.

Yeah, and you didn't
hear him fussing

about wanting to use
some old work jacket.

Right, if it isn't a
good garment, Hank,

- the whole thing is meaningless.
- That's right,

it's got to be elegant, Hank.

I know, that's
all right for him,

but he probably had
dozens of jackets.

I only have one.

Hank, Hank, let's not forget

there's only one Abigail.

Hank, do you want
us to help you or not?

Sure, but, uh,

where are you gonna find a
mud puddle in these parts?

It hasn't rained for
a month of Sundays.

Hank, you just leave
the mud puddle finding

- to me and Little Joe.
- All you have to do is be

at that church tomorrow
morning, bright and early.

- That's right.
- How early?

Well, real early, you know.

Abigail is always
the first to arrive.

She sort of sets an
example for everybody else.

(horse snorts)

You don't suppose anybody
else is gonna be around

to see this durn
fool thing, do you?

Not at this hour, Hank.

All right.

I guess I can make
myself go through with it.

Good.

(sighs) Hank, you're still sure

you want to marry Abigail?

Sure, I'm sure.

He's sure.

All right.

Uh, I can't wait, Ma.

I'm leading the choir today.

ABIGAIL'S MOTHER: Just a
minute, I want to look at you.

Well, if you ain't just
as cute as a button.

Not "ain't," Ma. "Aren't."

Oh, whatever it is.

You shouldn't have any trouble
landing a man in that outfit.

Is that all you can
ever think of, Ma?

Me landing a man?

Well, you've turned down three,

There ain't... aren't many more.

Dull, unromantic clodhoppers.

Now, we've been all
through that before.

Don't dawdle too long.

Abigail, now, that's just
what I want to tell you.

Whoa.

Why, Miss Jones, this
is a pleasant surprise.

Oh, Little Joe, my
how you've grown.

Yes'm, can I give
you a lift someplace?

Oh, no, thank
you kindly, Joseph.

It's just a short
walk to the church.

No, no. I would think of it

in that beautiful dress.

Why, you're liable
to get all dusty.

I do declare.

(chuckles)

It certainly is
gratifying to discover

that some of the polish I've
had to teach you little varmints

has really stuck.

Oh, it sure has.

There, that just
about does it, Hank.

All we need is to
fill it up with water.

Here, you just stand back.

I don't want to get that fresh
dude outfit all messed up.

Here, you go fetch us some more.

Whoa.

Is there anything wrong, Joseph?

No, no, no, nothing's wrong.

I, uh, just want to check
the bridle, make sure.

I-I wouldn't want anything
to happen to you, Miss Jones.

(laughs)

You was worried about
not having a mud puddle.

Everything's fine.

Everything's... fine.

Yeah.

Certainly is kind of you
to go to all this trouble.

I don't want you to
think a thing about it.

Hey, Hank, get your coat.

You got your speech
memorized, don't you?

- Yep.
- You know what to do?

- Yep.
- Go on in the church.

Whoa there.

- Hi, Hoss.
- Morning, Joe.

Yeah, well, I'll just hold the
horse's head, Miss Jones,

while you climb down.

- Thank you, Little Joe.
- You're welcome.

Oh, Little Joe, I think we
better move him up a little.

HANK: Hold up a minute.

Why, Hank Myers, what
on earth are you doing here?

Well, uh, what I mean is, uh...

Well, you see, I didn't want
you to get your dainty slippers

all spoiled.

Hank.

How romantic.

It's just like Sir
Walter Raleigh.

(screams)

Oh... My dress!

Hank Myers, I never want
to set eyes on you again.

My beautiful dress.

Oh, no.

Oh... My dress.

Oh!

(laughter)

I'm sorry, boys.

I know it isn't fair to laugh,
but every time I think of...

Hey, Joe, give me
another pancake.

Cupid and Cupid Unlimited.

Free advice given in
all affairs of the heart.

Very funny.

It ain't funny.

(Ben laughs, clears his throat)

I said I'm sorry.

I think it's a terrible
thing to happen

to a nice girl
like Miss Abigail.

(laughing)

I hope you apologized to her.

Well, we tried to.

She wouldn't listen to
a word we had to say.

- I wonder why.
- (loud thudding, glass breaking)

Now, what was that?

Oh, that's nothing.

That's just, uh, Hank busting
up the bunk house again.

- What?!
- Just keep right on laughing.

Well, that is no
laughing matter.

Well, you said it was.

Hoss?

Oh, leave him be, Pa.

Doggone it, he's... he
deserves a little relaxation.

At our expense?

Well, I don't know how
we're gonna stop him.

Well, I know how
we're gonna stop him.

We'll fire him, that's
how we'll stop him.

Pa, that wouldn't be right

after he's worked for
us as long as he has.

Well, nobody wants to fire
Hank, but nothing else works.

Well, all right, we tried.

The two of us tried, right?

Now we would like to
bow to age and experience.

Yeah. Yeah.

By that I assume, me and Adam.

Yeah, well, I-I seem to remember

when I was a pupil
of Miss Abigail's,

I used to get into
trouble a few times.

Oh, a few times, huh?

All right, more
than a few times.

I got into trouble
a lot of times.

But the point is, Pa
was able to go down,

speak to Miss Abigail
and straighten things out.

And when Pa wasn't available,
brother Adam here was able

to go down and
do the same thing,

and not without
success, I might add.

Hey, yeah, that's right.

Miss Abigail's always
been sort of gone on you.

ADAM: Mm-hmm.

What would you have me do?

Marry Miss Abigail so Hank
Myers would feel free to forget her?

No, not marry her, just propose.

What?!

Yeah, but not for
yourself. For Hank.

Look, all the... all the woman
wants is some romance.

Yeah, and Adam, there
never was anybody any better

at slinging them romantic
words around than you.

LITTLE JOE: Oh, that's right.

ADAM: Listen, if I
so much as mention

Hank Myers' name
after what happened,

she'd just hit me over the
head with a branding iron.

Yeah, but you-you don't
have to mention his name.

At least, not right away.

Yeah, yeah, you just
sort of sneak up on it.

That's right.
Then... then when...

then when you get her
in... in a very romantic mood,

bingo, you give
her the surprise.

Yeah, yeah, you say...
you say, "Miss Abigail,

"everything that Hank said,

everything that old Hank
did, he... he did for love."

LITTLE JOE: Mm.

"He did for love of
you, Miss Abigail."

- That's beautiful.
- Yeah. -Yeah.

Thank you, Mr. Tennyson,

but would you mind not
teaching me what to say?

- Oh, good, then you'll do it.
- I didn't say that.

Pa would you tell them

how ridiculous this
whole thing is, huh?

Well, Adam, I, uh... I think
we ought to try something.

(glass breaking)

Well, it's, uh, purely a
matter of self-interest.

Well-well, look at it this way.

We have to do
something about Hank

before he breaks
up our whole outfit.

Are you seriously suggesting...?

Oh, Adam, I wouldn't
suggest anything.

Well, the final choice is
yours and yours alone.

Ma?

Ma?!

What is it, Abigail?

- Ma, guess what!
- What?

You'll never guess,
never in a million years.

In that case, I better
get back to the dishes.

Oh, no. Wait.

One of my pupils brought me
a note today from guess whom.

You starting that again?

Adam Cartwright.

Adam Cartwright?!

He wants to see me
tonight after supper

at the approximate hour of 8:00,

if it suits my convenience.

Adam Cartwright!

Mm. Can you imagine?

Oh! Adam Cartwright!

Do you realize
what a catch he is?

Oh, now, Ma...

The most eligible
bachelor in these parts.

Handsome, got education
and the Ponderosa.

He only said he
wanted to see me.

Wanted to see you.

What do you suppose
men want to see girls for?

He ain't thinking of
joining one of your classes.

You can bet on that.

There you go,
jumping to conclusions.

There's only one
thing I'm jumping at.

That's getting you married.

Now, you go right upstairs
and get your beauty nap.

We ain't letting this one
slip through our fingers.

Ma, for heaven's sake.

Now, let's see.

I must make me a
fresh batch of cookies,

lots of pink lemonade.

And, oh, yeah, I mustn't forget
to oil the front porch swing.

Oh, Ma, uh, there's
just one thing.

If-If we do happen to
sit on the front porch...

It ain't just happening.
It's arranged.

Well, however you work it,

I'd appreciate it if
you wouldn't stand

with your ear to the
crack in the door.

It makes me jumpy.

Me, eavesdropping at
the crack of the door?

Fine way for a girl
to talk to her own ma.

Well, I'm sorry, Ma.

Besides, I always
use the keyhole.

More lemonade.

Uh, no, no, no. No, thank you.

I've had, uh, three
glasses already.

Oh.

Oh. Another cookie, perhaps.

(laughing): Oh, no, no.

If I had another cookie, I think
I'd bust apart at the seams.

Oh. (laughs)

Oh. (laughing)

You-you have a wonderful
sense of humor, Adam.

ADAM: Oh, thank you.

(Abigail laughs)

- Well, Miss Abigail...
- (Abigail clears her throat)

as you may have guessed
by now, I have a special reason

for wanting to see you tonight.

Oh?

ADAM: Yes, as a matter of fact,

maybe I-I shouldn't
have waited this long.

Oh.

It's of a rather
personal, delicate nature.

Oh?

You may not be aware of it,

but there is someone
in this very community

who has long worshipped
you from afar, so to speak.

Oh, Adam.

Yes, you see, there
are certain people

who have a lot of trouble
expressing how they feel.

And the nearer and dearer

a subject is to
their heart, the...

the more difficult it is for
them to-to put it into words.

I know exactly what you mean.

You do?

Exactly.

Well, it-it's like,
sometimes at night

when a man is
on the wide prairie,

alone under the stars,

and he looks up
at the sky, and...

and he sees a face,

face of the woman he loves.

And he thinks about
all the wonderful things

that he might have said
to her when last they met.

Go on.

And he looks at this face

that glows like a flame in
the stillness of the heavens,

a star that outshines
all the others.

And he can't wait to get back

and tell her how
full his heart is.

But when he does see her,

his heart is... is
too full to speak.

Oh, Adam.

And by now, I suppose

you've guessed
who I'm talking about.

I haven't the slightest idea.

Well, you must realize

that it can't be anyone
else but Hank Myers.

Hank Myers?!

Hank Myers?!

(Abigail sighs)

Is that you up there, Ma?

Y-Yes, dear.

I... I-I just came out
to air some bedding.

I... I forgot to do
it this afternoon.

Uh, is Hank Myers down
there with you, dear?

No, he's not, Ma.

Oh, well, I... I thought

I heard someone
call out his name.

You sure did, Ma.

Well, I... I guess I
better be going in now.

(footsteps retreating,
door closes)

I guess she's gone.

You were... You were saying

about being alone
on the prairie,

the stars shining
like all get out.

Oh, it sounded just
like poetry, Adam.

Thank you.

It took real feeling.

A man has to have real feeling

to put it in such
beautiful language.

You do have real
feeling, don't you, Adam?

(sighs)

Well, yes.

But about Hank Myers...

I admire your loyalty to Hank.

But I want you to know
that I understand you.

You don't have to
be bashful with me.

All right.

Hank Myers is a
good and reliable man.

He's worked for us
for five years now.

I'm tired of hearing
about Hank Myers.

Why don't you speak
for yourself... Adam?

I beg your pardon.

You're the same
bashful, overgrown boy

that used to come
down to the schoolhouse

to talk to me about Little Joe.

But you don't have
to be bashful anymore,

and you don't have
to worry about Hank.

All's fair in love and war.

It's the language of the hearts
that only hearts can understand.

Yours and mine, Adam.

Yes, well... I have to go now.

There's nothing to be ashamed of

when two people love each other.

I've got to get
back to the ranch.

Uh, something's come up.

(Abigail chuckles)

Loyalty.

Unselfish male loyalty.

I love you all the more for it.

Well, good night.

Good night. Good night.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Good night. Hmm.

I shall say good
night till it be morrow.

MOM: Abigail?

Yes, Ma?

Adam gone?

Yes, Ma.

What was all that talk
about Hank Myers?

Oh, shut up, Ma.

(gasps) Abigail!

Well!

Hey, Adam, how'd you
make out with Ab...?

What's the matter, Adam?

Aren't-aren't you
hungry this morning?

Yeah, these...

these hominy grits and
molasses sure are good.

(drops boots)

Fine pair of brothers you are.

Wh-What do you mean?

You know exactly what I mean.

You mean... after
all your sweet talk,

she still turned ol' Hank down?

After all my sweet talk,

she proposed to me.

HOSS AND LITTLE JOE She what?!

And it was your sweet talk
that got me into this mess.

Now-Now, now look, brother,

you-you can't blame us if...

you're just plain
irresistible to women.

That's right, Adam.

You got too dang much
charm for your own good.

It's all right. It's all right.

But rest assured,

I will never listen
to you two again.

(laughter)

Well, good morning.

- Morning, Pa.
- (laughing): Morning, Pa.

(muffled laughter)

What's the matter?

Oh, seems like Adam's worried
about something. I don't know.

(laughter)

What's the matter, Adam,
you're not feeling well?

No.

Seems Adam just discovered
that he was irresistible to women.

(laughter)

(laughing): He's what?

(high-pitched): He's
irresistible to women.

(laughter)

Miss Abigail wants
Adam to marry her.

(laughter)

Oh, you're-you're joking.

- No.
- No.

I wish they were.

Well, Adam... you know, they say

there's nothing as
inevitable as death and taxes.

- Hmm.
- And under the circumstances

I think I'd like to add
one more thing to that...

A woman, once she's made
up her mind to land a man,

and, son, I speak from many
years of serious observation.

(both laughing)

Yes, well, I think I'm going to
make a few serious observations

in San Francisco.

Oh, son, son, running away
would never solve anything.

I, I think you should stay
here and face the music.

(both singing Wagner's
"Bridal Chorus")

Aah!

(Hoss laughs)

(Little Joe finishes song)

Where is he?

- Uh-oh.
- Where is he... That dirty polecat?

- Hank.
- Hank, Hank, wait a minute, Hank.

- Hank, Hank, Hank, take it easy.
- Low-down snake.

Hank, Hank listen,
Hank, he was only,

he was only trying to help you.

- Help me?
- Yeah.

You call that helping me?

Cal just rode in from Virginia
City, and it's all over town.

He wants to marry her himself.

Oh, no, no, Hank, the
furthest thing from Adam's mind

is to want to
marry Miss Abigail.

That's right, I'd rather die.

Oh, so that's the way it is.

She's not good enough for you.

Now, Hank, Hank...

Oh, no, I didn't say
anything of the kind.

Never mind what you said.

It's pretty plain to see
that you've been trifling

with her affections.

Hank.

Okay, Hoss, you
can let me go now.

- All right.
- I got ahold of myself.

Don't you try nothing, you hear?

(sighs)

I had you pegged all
wrong, Adam Cartwright.

In all my years
working on this ranch,

I was never so wrong about
one man, but let me tell you this:

if you cause Abigail
any unhappiness,

you're going to answer to me.

And remember that,
Adam Cartwright.

- Oh.
- Excuse me, Hank.

It's all right,
I've got an idea.

- Yeah?
- Yeah, everything's fine.

Mm-hmm.

Adam, there's a way
for you to get out of this.

See, you go to Abigail and
you say to her, "Abigail..."

Somehow I feel that I've
gotten into enough trouble

listening to you and your ideas.

It's because of you two nitwits

that I'm in this pickle
in the first place.

Look, w-we're only trying
to help you, that's all.

The only help you'll be giving
is when you and Hoss guard

that bunkhouse
tonight and make sure

he doesn't demolish
it completely.

Yeah.

Figure we'd better
get right on that, too.

I guess old Hank's
about the unhappiest guy

in the whole world right now.

Would you care to bet?

See y'all.

Not in there.

Sure is peaceful
and quiet here tonight.

I wonder where
Hank did disappear to.

I don't know, but it's for sure
he ain't in the bunkhouse.

Yeah.

I just hope he ain't gone off
and done something foolish.

Foolish, like what?

Well, like... like Lovers'
Leap, for instance.

What, Hank?

No, he's not about
to go to Lovers' Leap

till he makes sure Adam
does right by his little Abigail.

As a matter of fact, I
think Adam's the first one

to go to Lovers' Leap.

(both chuckle)

(Hank humming
"Streets of Laredo")

♪ Laredo... ♪

- Listen.
- Yeah, what is that?

♪ Laredo one day... ♪

Sounds, sounds like
somebody dying in the barn.

Yeah, come on.

(humming continues)

♪ As I walked out ♪

♪ In the streets of Laredo ♪

♪ As I walked out ♪

♪ In Laredo one day ♪

♪ I spied a poor cowboy ♪

♪ Wrapped up in white linen ♪

♪ Wrapped up in white linen ♪

♪ As cold as the clay ♪

♪ Oh, beat the drum slowly ♪

♪ And play the fife lowly ♪

♪ Play the dead march ♪

♪ As you carry me along ♪

♪ Take me to the green valley ♪

♪ There lay the sod on me... ♪

- Hoss, that's it.
- What?

The romantic approach
we've been looking for.

No lady can resist
being serenaded.

No, Joe, ain't you
forgetting something?

He, he sings through his nose.

Oh, so what?

May-Maybe he's got
a cold or something.

Anyway, we can correct that.

Anybody can be taught singing.

- You reckon?
- Sure.

By golly, we'll
get started on it

- first thing in the morning.
- ♪ Come sit down beside me... ♪

All right.

♪ And hear my sad story ♪

♪ I was shot in the breast ♪

♪ And I know I must die... ♪

(humming)

♪ Laredo... ♪

No, we, we, we can teach him.

He's got a long ways to go.

Yeah.

(Hank continues humming)

(playing notes)

Uh-uh.

Mm-hmm.

(Hank sings note)

(Hoss plays note)

♪ As I walked out on
the streets of Laredo. ♪

No, no, wait, wait a
minute, hold it, Hank, hold it.

Hank, y-you're still singing
through your nose, Hank.

I-I've told you a
thousand times.

I can't sing any other way.

Oh, sure you can, Hank, all
you got to do is apply yourself,

and first of all, you got,

you got to start
singing louder, too.

A gal likes a feller with
a great big he-man voice.

I can't, I can't even talk loud.

How can I sing louder?

Oh, Hank, there
ain't nothing to it.

All you got to do is just take
a great big deep breath and...

sort of suck in your
gut and let her fly.

(Hoss bellows note)

You scared me a
little bit, that's all.

You know, we want him
to serenade the girl, Hoss,

not warn her of a coming attack.

Well, I, I'm just trying to
teach old Hank to sing loud,

that's all.

Well, you can sing
loud, I'll say that for you.

Yeah.

Anyway, I found just what
I wanted in Pa's library.

Here it is, right out of
Shakespeare... As You Like It.

Just what the doctor
ordered... Words and music.

Yeah, but, Joe, what
good's that music gonna do?

We can't read music,
neither can Hank.

Yeah, that's right, I
didn't even think of that.

(snaps fingers) Wait a minute,
there is one person around here

who took singing lessons,

who can read music
and teach Hank to sing.

(snaps fingers) Adam.

- LITTLE JOE: Adam.
- Adam?

I want no truck with him.

Now, wait a minute, Hank,
look, you got Adam all wrong.

- What he did, he did for you.
- For me?

Yeah, Hank, he didn't want
for Miss Abigail to fall for him.

Dad-gum it, he
feels terrible about it.

That's right, and, look, look,

while you got him
feeling guilty-like,

if you'll just apologize to
him for trying to kill him.

Apologize to that girl stealer?

Now, listen, Hank, do
you want Abigail or not?

You know dang well I do.

Ain't I been struggling
with this singing?

All right, then
apologize to Adam

and get him to
teach you to sing.

HOSS: He'd do it, too, Hank.

Old Adam's pretty soft

once you break through
that hard head of his.

That's right, now,
look, you ask him.

He won't turn you down.

♪♪

No, no, no, never
in a thousand years.

You'll never get the
pear-shaped tones

by pushing the air
through your nose.

It's got to come
from the diaphragm.

You take a deep breath and...

(singing notes)

(Hank singing off-key)

No, no, no, Hank, Hank,
not through the nose,

through the, through
the facial mask.

Not the nose but the mask.

(singing notes)

Doggone it, Adam,
that's what I call singing.

Adam, you ought to have
been in opry, grand opry.

Well, thank you, but that's
not our problem at the moment.

Oh, yeah.

All right, Hank, now, listen.

(strums guitar)

♪ Early one morning just
as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a maiden singing ♪

♪ In the valley below ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor maiden so? ♪

Now you try it.

(strums guitar)

♪ Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a young maiden ♪

♪ In the valley below ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me. ♪

Oh, Hank, it's through the
nose, it's through the nose.

It's no use... I can
only sing my own way.

I can't go...

(á la Adam): ♪
Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a young maiden ♪

♪ In the valley below. ♪

Hey, I think he's got it.

I think he's got it.

- Now do it again.
- Do what again?

D-D-Do just what you
just did, do it again.

You just did it, Hank, do it.

What did I do?

You sung like Adam.

Do it, Hank, come on.

You sang it just like me,
not through your nose.

Now do it again with the guitar.

It just slipped out; I
couldn't do that again.

Oh, come on, Hank.

Aw, come on, Hank.

Come on.

♪ Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a young maiden ♪

- ♪ In the valley below. ♪
- Hank.

- Back in the nose, back in the nose.
- Hank.

Well, there's another
one of your bright schemes

washed down the gulley.

I certainly can't sing for him.

Why not?

Why not what?

Why can't you sing it for him?

Yeah.

The answer is no, a big, fat no.

Hoss, did you ever think
we had a brother like that?

Hmm.

Outside of being dumb
enough to listen to you two fellas,

what kind of a fella am I?

The kind of fella who
would turn down another fella

after he'd stolen
that fella's girl

and he had a chance
to do something about it

and this fella wouldn't
do a thing about it.

That's the kind.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah.

(sighs)

Yeah.

Her mother ought to be leaving
soon for that sewing circle.

Yeah, well, I still
say it won't work.

Just wait and see, will you?

Ma, now, don't be late.

You know I can hardly ever
fall asleep till you get home.

(chuckles) That's why I can't
wait till I get you a husband.

Good night, dear.

She's going upstairs.

Hank, you be careful
with that guitar.

I borrowed that
from Slick Rutherford.

(whispering):
All right, let's go.

Okay, come on.

Adam, you sit there.

Smile, smile.

Ready?

Remember, strum and move
your mouth the way Adam does.

Don't forget both
at the same time.

Okay.

(strumming guitar)

♪ Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a maiden singing ♪

♪ In the valley below ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

- ♪ Oh, never leave me ♪
- Smile, Hank.

♪ How could you use
a poor maiden's soul? ♪

♪ Remember, remember ♪

♪ Your vows to marry ♪

♪ Remember, remember ♪

♪ Your promise to be true ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use
a poor maiden's soul? ♪

♪ Gay is the garland ♪

♪ And fresh are the roses ♪

♪ I culled from my garden
to bind upon my brow... ♪

- She's up there.
- Yeah?

Yeah, she likes it.

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use
a poor maiden's soul? ♪

♪ Thus sang the maiden ♪

♪ Her sorrows be wailing ♪

♪ Thus sang the pretty maiden ♪

- ♪ In the valley below ♪
- Yeah, keep smiling.

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use
a poor maiden's soul? ♪

Hey, get back.

You're too big.

She'll see you.

♪ Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the sun was rising ♪

♪ I heard a maiden singing ♪

♪ In the valley below ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

- ♪ Oh, never leave me... ♪
- Good.

- Looks just like he's singing.
- Uh-huh, yeah.

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor maiden's soul? ♪

♪ Remember ♪

- ♪ Remember... ♪
- Doing great, Adam.

Keep it up.

♪ Your vows to marry ♪

♪ Remember, remember ♪

♪ Your promise to be true ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

- ♪ How could you use ♪
- Beautiful.

♪ A poor maiden's ♪

♪ soul? ♪

♪ Gay is the garland ♪

♪ And fresh ♪

- ♪ Are the roses ♪
- (thud)

♪ I cut from my garden ♪

- ♪ To bind ♪
- What's that?

♪ Upon thy brow ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor maiden soul? ♪

♪ Thus sang the maiden ♪

♪ Her sorrows ♪

♪ Be wailing ♪

♪ Thus sang ♪

♪ The pretty maiden ♪

♪ In the valley ♪

♪ below ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor... ♪

♪ Maiden... soul? ♪

Adam Cartwright,
I knew it was you.

No one but you could sing
with such deep, tender feeling.

(chuckles)

(indistinct yelling)

He's gonna break up this joint.

Get him out of here!

(woman screams)

(crashing)

(laughing)

Oh, Hank, it's you.

I suppose Adam is in there?

Nope, I'm just unhappy.

Gosh knows what the
inside of that bar looks like.

Let's go inside and have a look.

'Cause I need a
drink to clear my head.

Oh, no, get him out of here.

- Out!
- Wait, wait, wait a minute.

Wait, you mean
Hank did all this?

Yeah, he did all
this and get him out.

Relax, Charlie, I'll
pay for the damage.

I don't care what you g... Well.

Thank you.

Just-just don't let
him get loose again.

We won't; come on, Hank,
simmer down a little bit.

Take him back to the back
room and clean him up a little bit.

All right, well,
don't let him loose.

Now, you stay back there, Phil.

LITTLE JOE: Take it easy, Hank.

Hank, you just relax.

But I'm unhappy.

All right, all right, but you
got to behave yourself, Hank.

I want to sing.

I'll get him a drink.

(piano starts playing)

Charlie, let me have a
double whiskey, will you?

Hey, Marge, you
want to do me a favor?

Hank's not feeling so good.

Why don't you go back
there and talk to him?

That wild man? (chuckles)

I wouldn't go near him.

Oh, come on, will you, Marge?

I'd sooner tangle
with a local steer.

Hey listen, do me a
favor, will you, Charlie?

My brother, Adam, comes
in here, warn me, will you?

Warn you?

That's what I said, warn me.

I knew it wouldn't work.

- I just knew it wouldn't work.
- Yeah, yeah.

You never even let
me sing my song.

Now, Hank, let's don't have
no more talk about singing.

Mary Belle likes my singing.

Dad-burnit, Hank,
Mary Belle's a mare.

Horses like lots of
things that humans don't.

Hay, for instance.

I want to sing.

Hank, don't you think we've
had enough singing for one night?

Hoss, if you don't let me sing,

I'm gonna break up
every dang glass...

Hank, Hank, sit down,
sit down, sit down.

Now you let me
tell you something.

I'll give you my unmitigated
personal guarantee,

if you break anything in
here, I'm gonna break you.

Now, you sit and rest easy.

I'm gonna go get a drink.

You behave yourself.

Charlie, give me
a drink, will you?

Dad-burnit, Joe, we gonna have
to do something about that Hank.

You know, I've been
thinking seriously,

but I think we ought to
mind our own business.

Oh, Hoss.

Little Joseph?

Is-is your brother, Adam, here?

Oh, our brother, Adam?

No, no, no, he ain't ma'am.

- No.
- Isn't.

Yes, ma'am, he isn't.

I must find him.

We were having a very
important discussion

when suddenly, he took sick.

HANK: ♪ Early one morning ♪

♪ Just as the
sun was rising... ♪

What's going on back there?

Oh, n-n-nothing's
going on back there.

Nothing, no.

You're not telling me the truth.

Adam is back there.

- Oh, no, ma'am.
- No, ma'am, he ain't.

- He isn't here.
- He isn't back there, no.

You're in my way, Little Joe.

No, ma'am, ma'am, this is
no place for a lady like yourself.

No, hey, did you ever
see me juggle jiggers?

You should see it, look.

I'm a jigger juggling
son of a gun.

♪ Remember, remember ♪

♪ The vows to marry ♪

♪ Remember, remember ♪

♪ Your promise to be true ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor lad's soul? ♪

Think I liked him better when
he was busting the joint up.

No, Charlie, no!

(sighs) I like it.

I like it.

♪ Thus sang the poor lad ♪

♪ His sorrows be wailing ♪

♪ Thus sang the poor lad ♪

♪ In the valley below... ♪

Oh, it's beautiful.

I really can't stand it.

Neither can I, ma'am.

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor lad's soul? ♪

♪ Oh, don't deceive me ♪

♪ Oh, never leave me ♪

♪ How could you use ♪

♪ A poor lad's soul? ♪

Hank Myers.

I'm taking you home
with me right now.

Out of my way, you Jezebels.

Stand back, daughters of Sodom.

Hey, um, I think they liked it.

Like it?

It's the most wonderful
thing that ever happened.

(sighs)

And to think I wouldn't
even talk to him.

(scoffs)

Women are just plain loco.

Yeah.

I'll buy you a drink.

(whistling, yelling)

Hank, all right if
I kiss the bride?

Guess not, if she don't mind.

Hold my hat, will you?

Mr. Adam, don't overdo it.

Miss Abigail, may I
offer my best wishes?

I'd like to say, I've never
seen a prettier bride.

Hank, congratulations to you.

Say, listen, I've been hearing
a lot about your singing.

Wouldn't this be a good
time to give us a sample of it?

Oh, no.

I made Hank take a strict vow

never to sing to
anyone but me again.

Second to Mary Belle.

Mary Belle?

That's my mare.

And only when you and
Mary Belle are alone.

That's our deal,
little chickadee.

Only when we're alone.

Giddy up.

Adam, I hope you've learned
something through all this.

You hope I learned something?

Yeah.

Any time you find a little
gal you want to marry up with,

call on me and Little
Joe to help you out.

(laughs hysterically)

Behind the Scenes of The Wooing of Abigail Jones

This particular episode featured a segment in the 1994 NBC special titled “Back to Bonanza.”

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza provides family-friendly entertainment perfect for watching alone or enjoying together during gatherings. The Wooing of Abigail Jones marks the 90th 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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