thunder man
Bonanza Western TV
The Lone Writer  

Thunder Man Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #04, Episode #31

In the episode Thunder Man, William Poole (played by Simon Oakland), an expert in explosives, reveals himself as a serial killer alongside his demolition skills. Tragedy strikes early in the episode as Poole murders Joe Cartwright’s girlfriend, Ann. The only witness to the crime is Ann’s father, who, due to a stroke, can only recall the distinct song whistled by the killer. The story deepens as Ben, Joe’s father, recruits Poole.

The episode features Evelyn Scott as Mrs. Gibson, Harvey Stephens as Uncle Fred, Bill Quinn as the doctor, and Bing Russell in his debut appearance as Deputy Clem, a recurring character. Originally airing on May 5, 1963, “Thunder Man” was written by Lewis Reed.

Explore the plot and story trivia, or watch the complete episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of Thunder Man

Watch the Full Episode of Thunder Man:

Main Cast

Apart from the main cast, “Thunder Man,” the thirty-first episode of Bonanza Season 4 presents a diverse array of recurring and guest-supporting actors. The cast includes:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Simon Oakland as William Poole
  • Evelyn Scott as Mrs. Gibson
  • Harvey Stephens as Uncle Fred Wilson
  • Bing Russell as Deputy Clem Foster
  • Toby Michaels as Ann Wilson
  • Bill Quinn as Doctor P. Martin
  • Victor Sen Yung as Hop Sing
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Thunder Man

Ann Wilson, and her Uncle Fred are en route to Joe’s birthday festivities when Fred is unexpectedly struck by a stroke. William Poole, a munitions expert driving a wagon labeled “The Thunder Man,” comes across Ann and her unconscious uncle. Instead of offering assistance, Poole takes advantage of the situation, making unsettling remarks about Ann’s appearance and then assaulting her when he realizes they are alone.

Later that evening, Joe, Adam, and Ben return from the party, only to discover that Ann never arrived. Concerned, they retrace their route and find Fred alive but incapacitated. Adam takes Fred to town for medical attention, while Ben sadly discovers Ann’s lifeless body, brutally strangled.

Devastated by Ann’s death, Joe resolves to find her killer. Meanwhile, at the doctor’s office, Poole, hired by one of the Cartwrights’ neighbors, Mrs. Gibson, visits to inquire about Fred’s condition. Unbeknownst to the others, Poole harbors ulterior motives, knowing that Fred briefly regained consciousness the previous night and could potentially identify him as Ann’s attacker.

Later that night, Poole sneaks onto the Ponderosa grounds, searching for Fred’s whereabouts. He discovers Fred asleep in the guest room and contemplates an attack. Startled by Joe’s awakening, Poole feigns concern for Fred again, pretending to be unaware of any leads on Ann’s killer before departing.

Although Fred’s response is barely legible, Joe presses for further details until Fred’s hand numbs. Ben advises caution, and they use yes/no blinks for communication.

Joe realizes that Poole, the explosives expert, is also the predatory killer of women. After suggesting Poole may have other victims, Poole threatens to blow up Joe with nitroglycerin. However, Joe retrieves his discarded weapon and shoots Poole before he can carry out his threat.

Despite the nitroglycerin explosion causing minimal damage, Joe emerges unscathed. The scene fades out with a close-up of a blood-stained wagon wheel from Poole’s vehicle.

Full Script and Dialogue of Thunder Man

Excuse me.

Hello, Mrs. Gibson, I'm
so glad you could come.

I wouldn't miss celebrating
Little Joe's birthday, Ben.

Well, neither would he.

Of course, when you're his age,

I guess you don't
mind birthdays.

He'll be down in a moment.

He's just taking care of
those last finishing touches.

Let's join the others.

You know, you work on
that left side a little more

you'll be a thing of beauty.

Mm, thank you.

Oh, Ann Wilson will
certainly be overcome.

Unless she stands
downwind of you.

Out of my way, peasant.

Seriously, Joe, why
did you work so hard

at getting Ann Wilson to come?

Just one reason:
she never gets out.

Her uncle keeps
her in the house.

That poor kid never
goes anywhere.

You know something,
younger brother,

I've always thought of you as
being something of a Lothario,

but I think you're getting
to be a Good Samaritan.

Well, thank you very much.

As being a Good Samaritan,

I hope you got me a decent
present this year for a change.

Now you see if you
can slide the wheel on

while I hold this thing up.

Please hurry, Uncle
Fred, it's getting late

and Little Joe's gonna worry.

Drat Little Joe!
Him and his parties!

I'll get this thing fixed
if it's the last thing...

Dag-nab it!

What's the matter, Uncle Fred!

Sick! Help... help me, Ann!

- What can I do? I can't...
- Listen.

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ Meet me tonight,
meet me tonight ♪

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ And love me under the moon? ♪

Someone's coming.

Get help! Hurry! Hurry!

♪ Gentle with you,
gentle with you ♪

♪ New Orleans woman,
I'll be gentle with you... ♪

Help! Please help!

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Easy, little woman, easy!

What're you doin' out here
alone this time of night?

My, my uncle's sick. Help
me take him to the Ponderosa!

The Ponderosa?

It just so happens
I'm on my way there.

I surely am!

Well, where is your uncle?

- Down there!
- Well, come on!

Uncle Fred!

All right, now step
aside. Let me look at him.

Your uncle's not sick,
little girl... he's dead.


Calm down, calm down.

These, these things
happen! They surely do.

Calm down.

There, that's, that's better.

That's better.

Yeah. My... my, your,
your hair's so shiny.

It's soft as silk.

My, your skin... your
skin is so, so soft.

Well, I thought some of
them would never leave.

- That was a good party.
- Oh, it was a wonderful party.

Joseph, that was the best
birthday party I ever attended.

I must say I think
it went pretty well.

Incidentally, the Wilson girl
never showed up, did she?

Can you imagine that?

After I practically had to
force her uncle into promising

to bring her here.

Yeah, yeah, it's
kind of surprising.

Fred Wilson isn't the
easiest man in the world

to get along with, but once he
gives his word on something...

I'm tired. Let's go to bed, huh?

Yeah, I need my rest, too.
You know, I'm a year older.


Ben! Ben! Oh,
Ben, Ben! Oh, Ben...

Mrs. Gibson, what's the
matter? What happened?

Ben, it's terrible.

Come sit down.

Now just sit down, take it easy.

What is it? What is
it? What happened?

It's Fred Wilson.

He's back there on the road!

What about Fred Wilson?

Mrs. Gibson, what
about Fred Wilson?

He's dead!

Mrs. Gibson, what about
Ann? Was she there?

I didn't see her.

I didn't see anyone...
except Fred.

He's breathing, Pa.

Yeah, get his pulse.

Mr. Wilson? Mr. Wilson,
can you hear me?

He's conscious, Pa. He heard me.

Better get him to the
doctor as soon as possible.

Is Ann with you?

Mr. Wilson, where is Ann?

Mr. Wilson?

He can't answer you.

He's had some sort of stroke.

Maybe Ann went to get some help.

The closest place
is the Ponderosa.

He's had some kind of
stroke. Give us a hand.

- You see Ann on the way?
- No.

We better start looking for her.

Better take him into
Doc Martin's right away.

Pa, come here!

What's that?

She was with him.

Are you sure this is Ann's?

I've seen her
wear it lots of times.

It's funny. She didn't
get to the Ponderosa.

I wonder which way she went.

If anything's happened to her...

Oh, stop jumping to conclusions.

After I convinced her uncle
to let her go to that party.

Look, let's get
back to the ranch

and organize a
proper search, huh?


Whoa, whoa.

I'll get Dr. Martin.

It's Little Joe
Cartwright, it surely is.

Nice to see you,
boy, that's a fact.

Oh, yeah, Mr. Poole.

That's right, thought
you might have forgotten.

Poole the Thunder Man in person.

We, uh, we expected
you yesterday.

Oh, yes, I know, but I got a
late start from Carson City.

Just drove into
town this very minute.

I hope the delay
didn't discommode you.

Uh, I surely do.

I hope that I...

No, no, no, Mr. Poole,
it's fine, it's fine.

Excuse me, will you?

Uh, yeah.

The girl at the undertaker's?


I'll be back in a
little while, Ben.

Keep an eye on her uncle for me

till I get back.

Excuse me, sir.

Are you Mr. Cartwright?


Oh, I'm a friend
of Little Joe's.

My name is Poole.

Little Joe watched me
at work in Carson City.

Oh... Of course,
the explosives man.

- How are you, Mr. Poole?
- Fine, sir.

Well, actually, we sort of
expected you yesterday.

I hope the delay
caused no trouble for you.

- I do for a fact.
- Oh, no, no, of course not.

As a matter of fact,
I'm glad you're here.

I arranged for some
neighboring ranchers

to see your demonstration
tomorrow at the Ponderosa.

Well, I'll be there
bright and early, sir,

and I hope your
neighbors enjoy my work.

I'm sure we all will, Mr. Poole.

Oh, Mr. Cartwright...

I noticed that Little Joe
seemed sort of discommoded,

and then I heard the doctor
mention the undertaker's.

Well, actually, it was
a... friend of Little Joe's,

a... lovely girl.

We found her this morning dead,

just 19 years old.

Dear heaven, just 19.

You were right, Ben, it's
a clear case of murder.

Whoever it is is a powerful
man or a complete maniac.

Her neck was broken.

Excuse me, I want to take
another look at Mr. Wilson.

Uh, Mr. Cartwright...

the, uh, the Mr. Wilson
the doctor just mentioned...

Would that be the girl's uncle?

Yeah, he's, he's in there.

Well, that surely is a
blessing that he didn't die,

it surely is.

But I'll tell you
one thing, sir.

It isn't a blessing... me coming
here, bothering you good folks

in the midst of
all this trouble.

It, it surely isn't.

Little Joe, I'm very sorry.

I had no idea that you'd be
in the midst of all this trouble.

I'll go away and
come back next week.

- Mr. Poole?
- Yes, sir?

Mr. Poole, I think that...

I think it might be better

if you went through
with the demonstration.

After all, you-you
did come a long way.

My neighbors have
made their arrangements.

They've set time aside
to see this demonstration.

I-I think perhaps you
should go through with it,

if you don't mind?

Well, sir...

Please, you'll be
doing me a favor.

Can I go in and talk to him yet?

Talk to him?

He might have seen
something last night,

might be able to
help us find the killer.


He's paralyzed; he can't talk.

Let me try.


because you won't
be doing him any good,

and you'd just be
wasting your own time.

Look, Doc, I've got...

He's in good hands, Joseph.

All right, maybe
he is in good hands,

but is he safe?

What do you mean, "safe"?

Look, sooner or later,

the killer's gonna
find out he's alive.

He's gonna know
he's a danger to him.

Then what's gonna happen?

Can you guard him
24 hours a day, Doc?


But even if Fred does
know who the killer is,

he can't tell anyone.

Well, the killer
doesn't know that.

Doctor, what Joseph
says makes some sense.

I just think he'd be
better off out at the ranch.

Would it hurt to move him?

Not any more than
he's hurt already.

There's nothing
more I can do here.

Just keep him quiet

and send for me if
there's any change.

Well, we'll see that
he's well taken care of.

Do you have a
stretcher or something?

Yes, yes, of course.

Help yourself.

May I be of any
help, Mr. Cartwright?

Well, thank you.

The more hands we
can get, the better.

We must be careful
with this poor man.

Even a thunder man has
to be careful of that stuff.

Here it comes, the
greatest power on earth.

Mr. Poole,

is it all right to, uh, go
closer and have a look?

Surely, Mr. Cartwright.

Come on.


Well, Mr. Cartwright,
what do you think?

Well, that's sure impressive.

Sure impressive.

Mr. Poole, with a
demonstration of this sort,

you-you're not gonna
have any trouble

finding work around here.

Well, thank you, sir.

Wasn't that amazing, Ben?

Amazing, absolutely amazing.

Why, those south acres of mine

could be cleared in no time.

I want to be one of your
first customers, Mr. Poole.


Well, uh, which one
of these fine gentlemen

is your husband, ma'am?

I'm a widow.


I'm truly sorry, ma'am.

It's just...

Well, I never thought
such an attractive woman

could be so unattached,
you might say.

You seem to be as
accomplished with words

as you are with
nitro, Mr. Poole.


Well, Mrs. Gibson,

as soon as I'm through
here at the Cartwrights,

you'll be my first customer.

Of course, I understand.

You know, I thought of something

that might solve
a small problem.

Oh, what's that?

Ladies first.

Why don't I take care of
Mrs. Gibson's acres first,

then come back here when
your son's feeling better.

Mr. Poole, that might
be a very good idea,

if it's all right
with Mrs. Gibson.

Of course, Ben.

Would you like
to start tomorrow?

Bright and early,
ma'am, bright and early.

Will you tell Mr. Poole
how to get to my place, Ben?

Of course I will.

My, such a pretty woman

to be sorrowed by widowhood.

How is he, Hop Sing?

He seems just about the same.

You can see it in his eyes.

He wants to talk so
badly, but he can't.

Yes, Little Joe.

How is he?

Oh, he's the same.

I sure wish he could talk.

Well, there's not
much chance of that,

according to Doc Martin.

I have to ride over to Genoa,

take a look at those
MacPherson yearlings.

You want to come along?

No, I don't think so, Adam.

Why don't you come
on; we'll be there

a couple days. Do you good.

I said I don't want to.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean that.

I understand.

If it's any comfort to you, I
saw the deputy and his men

on the road this morning.
They're combing the area.

Maybe they'll come
up with something.

Well, they better.

You've worked very
hard all day, Mr. Poole.

I thought you might like
to clean up before supper.

Well, thank you, ma'am.
That's mighty kind of you.

You know, working
with explosives

does something to a man.

It does for a fact.

You turn your life to it,

and all the gentle
things escape you.

They certainly do.

You're just a
lonely traveling man

with a fist full of thunder.

This house becomes you, ma'am.

It surely does.

Ben Cartwright was right.

You do have a way
with words, Mr. Poole.

You can wash up over there.

Thank you, ma'am.

You said you were
lonely a moment ago.

I know how it is to be lonely.

My husband's been
gone five years now.

To lose someone you love,

that's the
lonesomest time of all.

Did you?

Yes, I did, ma'am.

There was a girl I loved.

Her hair was shiny.

Her skin, soft.

She came near
where I was wiring.

I wired carelessly.

I didn't understand
explosives then.

She was caught
up in the explosion.

I swore I'd never
touch glycerin again.

No, I wouldn't.

How terrible.

I tried to run from it.

But there's no
running from glycerin

once you've touched it.

It's something that
reaches out for you,

pulls at you.

It's like something
from another world.

Touch it and mountains
change, rivers turn.

You're a thunder man.

That's... That's what you are.

Yes, it is.

Well, now, I'm sorry, ma'am.

I hope you'll forgive
me for going on this way,

but a man has to tell
his thoughts to someone.

Would you mind
getting me a towel?

The nearness of a woman,

the soft and gentle things,

I sure do miss them, ma'am.

I surely do.

Mr. Poole, a man like you would
be very handy around a ranch.

Did you ever think
of settling down?

Yes, I did, ma'am,

but never really seriously.

Maybe you should, Mr. Poole.

Well, maybe I should, at that.

We'll have supper
in a little while.

Thank you, ma'am.

Then I think I'll go
over to the Ponderosa

and tell them that I need

a little more time
here than I reckoned.

You surely have a
large place here, ma'am.

You surely do.

I'll go get supper.

Yeah, leg's gonna
be a little stiff, Pa,

but he'll get over it.

Sounds like we got visitors.

It's Mr. Poole.

Yeah, probably
came to see Little Joe.

Hey, Pa, bring that light back.

All right.



Hey, Poole,

I thought you were staying
out at the widow Gibson's.

Oh, hello, Little Joe.

Yes, I am,

but Mrs. Gibson was very
worried about old Mr. Wilson here,

so I thought I'd ride
over and see how he was.

Looks like we woke him up.

- Let's go outside.
- Yeah.

I'm sorry about the
way I came walking in.

I surely am, but there didn't
seem to be anybody here.

It's all right.

Well, good night, Joe.

Oh, bye the way, did
they find anything out

about who did
that terrible thing?

They're still looking, I guess.

Sheriff Coffee's out of
town, and that deputy of his

couldn't find fleas on a dog.

Yes, but he's still
deputy, ain't he?

I suppose, that's
what they call him.

I'm gonna ride
into town tomorrow,

make sure he's doing
something about it.

Well, a man does
what he has to do,

but these things are
best left to the authorities.

They surely are.

Well, good night, Joe.

See you in a few days...

soon as I finish up
at the widow's, right?

Good night.

Seen Joe Cartwright?

I hear you been looking for me.

Yeah, I went over to
your office three times.

Well, here I am.
What do you want?

Do you have any leads
on the Ann Wilson case?

No, I'm afraid not.

I'm having a tough time
making any headway, Joe.

No witnesses, no starting
point, not a blame thing to go on.

I've covered that
road for ten miles.

Well, there must be something.

Killers have
something in common:

they don't like to get caught.

Well, most of the people in
the area were at our party.

Now, if you just
question the others...

I've been
questioning the others.

Another thing about killers:

ask them if they
killed somebody,

they'll usually say no.

And you mean everybody else
has an alibi for their whereabouts?

I mean everybody.

I've checked them all:
drummers, cattlemen,

even strangers that
have come into town,

like that Poole,
the explosives man.

Poole? What did
you check him for?

He wasn't even in town
when Ann was killed.

I know that.

That's why I
checked, to be sure.

Yeah, well, maybe you're
checking the wrong people.

When's Sheriff Coffee
get back in town?

Joe, Roy's a good sheriff,
but I'm a good deputy.

That's your opinion, Clem.

I'm doing everything
Roy would have done.

Except find the killer!

Now, maybe I ought
to start looking myself.

Now, you listen
to me, young fella.

Oh, now don't start
that "young fella" stuff.

You go to sticking your
nose in my business

and you'll wish you hadn't.

Now you'd better get on home,
and stay there, young fella.

Well, somebody better
start sticking their nose

in your business, Clem, 'cause
you can't seem to handle it!

Now you better come
up with something,

and come up with it fast.

Who's that?

It's me, Pa.

I thought you were helping
Hoss out with the branding.

No, I went into town.

What for?

To see the deputy.

Did he have anything to report?

No. Nothing.

Of course, he does now.

Oh. Go ahead. What happened?

I made a fool out of myself.

I tried to tell Clem
how to do his job.

Guess he got pretty mad.

I know how you
feel about Clem, Joe.

You've got to put this
thing right out of your mind.

Forget it.

I wish I could, Pa, but I...

I just can't forget that
I went out of my way

to make Mr. Wilson
bring Ann to that party.

Joseph, we all
do things in our life

for which we're sorry,

but that doesn't mean that
we must torment ourselves

for the rest of our lives.

But if I had just minded
my own business,

Ann and Mr. Wilson would
have been safe at home that night.

Oh, what's the use?

If there was only
something I could do.

If I could only find
out who did it, I...

If there was only some
way you could tell me...

Oh, what's the use?

Your hand.

Mr. Wilson, you're
moving your hand.

You're trying to
tell me something.

Could you write?

Oh, God, could you write?

I'll get you paper.


Pa, get a pencil
and paper. Quick!

Mr. Wilson, you just hold on.

You hold on. My pa
will bring the paper.

Here. What is it?

Pa, he moved his hand.

I think he can write.

Now, Joseph, you
mustn't disturb him!

I asked him who the killer
was and he moved his hand.

He wants to tell us.

That's it.

"New... "Orleans... woman"?

"New Orleans woman."

I don't understand.

Mr. Wilson, are you trying
to say the killer is a woman?

Who is it?!

Easy, Joe.

Let me try.

Fred, if-if you know
who the killer was,

would you please
write down his name.

He's too weak even
to hold the pencil.

Wait a minute.
There's another way.

Mr. Wilson, you can
close your eyes, can't you?

Show me.

All right, now I'm going to
ask you some questions.

If the answer is
"yes," close your eyes.

If the answer is "no,"
leave them open.

Do you understand?

- Good boy.
- He understands.

All right, here's
the first question:

You wrote "New Orleans woman."

Was the killer a woman?

No, I didn't think so.

What can he mean,
"New Orleans woman"?

I don't know.

Mr. Wilson, do
we know the killer?

Pa, he says we know him.

Whoever it is, we know him.

Yeah, but we know an awful
lot of people around here.


Joe, when I was
down in Louisiana,

there's a song, "New
Orleans Woman."

A song!

Mr. Wilson, is that
what you mean?

Is "New Orleans Woman" a song?

You're right!

Now, whoever it was,

whoever the killer was,
was he singing that song?

That's it!

I can't remember
how the song goes.

That man, Fred, was he
here at the Ponderosa?

Pa, we're so close! If...

He tried so hard.

We're all set, Pa.

Wait a second.
I'll be right out.


I want you to give
this to the deputy.

Yes, sir.

And make sure you tell him

exactly how Fred Wilson
came to write that down.


You better get going now.

Well, as soon as Joe gets back.

No, get going now.

Yeah, but Pa...

I want you to go
into town alone.

Yeah. Right.

Hyah. Hyah. Hyah.

Hey, Hoss, wait a minute!

What's he in such
a big hurry for?

I told him to go without you.


Come inside. I
want to talk to you.

But, wait a minute, Pa, I
want to go into town now.

Inside, Joseph.

I don't want you
to go into town.

What do you mean, you don't
want me to go into town. Why?

Well, you know what
happened the last time.

You made a fool of
yourself. You admitted that.

That's not gonna happen again.

Well, what do you want me to do,

stand around here
and do nothing?

Just forget all about it?

I want you to stop
losing your temper.

Criticizing the deputy
isn't going to help matters.

He was just doing his job.

Now, Hoss will tell him what
happened here with Mr. Wilson

and we'll have
done our legal duty.


Also... there's one other thing.

We could take one step
beyond our legal duty.

Yeah? What's that mean?

Well, Mrs. Gibson plays
the organ at the church.

She's a pretty good musician.

Now, maybe she knows the
song, "New Orleans Woman."

Sure beats the heck out
of standing around here.

Thanks, Pa.

Little Joe! What
brings you over here?

Hi, Miss Gibson.

I wonder if I could come in
and talk to you for a second?

Why, of course. Come in.

Thank you.

Mr. Poole still on the job?

Oh, he finished blasting
the first section this morning.

Now he's just piling
the stumps to burn them.

He's a pretty fast worker.

Yes, he is.

Here's the reason
why I came over here.

I had a question for you.

I knew you knew
a lot about music.

Have you ever heard of a song
called "New Orleans Woman"?

"New Orleans
Woman"? I don't think so.

Maybe it's in one of
these songbooks over here.

Why are you so interested
in this song, Little Joe?

I never knew you
were musically inclined.

I'm not especially, ma'am.

It's just this particular song.

Here it is, "New Orleans Woman."

Do you think you
could play it for me?

Of course.

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ Meet me tonight,
meet me tonight ♪

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ And love me under the moon? ♪

Silly little thing, isn't it?

Why are you so interested?

Just never heard it before and
I... wanted to see how it goes.

It's the kind of tune

that sort of rattles around
in your head, isn't it?

♪ New Orleans woman ♪

♪ Will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ Meet me tonight,
meet me tonight ♪

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ And love me under the moon? ♪

It is sort of
romantic, Little Joe.

Mrs. Gibson, Mr. Wilson
died this afternoon.

Oh, no.

Oh, no. That poor man.

Before he died, he wrote
three words on a piece of paper,

trying to leave a clue
as to who killed Ann.

Clue? What do you mean?

Whoever murdered Ann was singing
that song, "New Orleans Woman."

Oh, what a terrible thing.

It's why I came out here.

I wanted you to play it. I...

thought if I heard the
song I might be able

to remember back to
someone I heard singing it.

I can't.

I want to thank you
very much, though.

I... I better be getting
on back to the ranch.

Thanks, again.

Oh, hello.

Was that Joe Cartwright
I just saw leaving here?

Yes. Yes, it was.

What's the matter?
Something wrong?

They think they have a
clue to Ann Wilson's killer.

You don't say.

You don't say for a fact.

Yes, Little Joe believes

that whoever killed that
poor girl was singing this song.

"New Orleans Woman."

Don't believe I ever
heard that one before.

Well, I think I have.

Have you? Where?

That's just it. I
can't recall where.

I just keep thinking about it.

Couldn't have been

at the concert at
the opera house.

It's too cheap a piece for that.

♪ New Orleans woman,
will you meet me tonight ♪

♪ Meet me tonight ♪

♪ Meet me tonight... ♪

No, I can't remember!

That's it!

It was somebody
whistling it. I...

Whistling, Mrs. Gibson?

Who did you hear whistling it?

I... I don't think I
can remember. I...

I think I better be going.

Where do you think
you're going, my dear?

Well, I...

I think I'll go over
to the Ponderosa. I...

I think I ought to
speak to Little Joe.

You see, I don't think I
understood everything he...

No, ma'am.

I don't think you should
go over to the Ponderosa.


Please. Please let me go.

Don't be frightened,
little widow.

It was mighty careless of me

to whistle that tune in
front of you yesterday.

It surely was.

But you can't be blamed for
having too good a memory.

You surely can't.

Oh, please. Please!

You know, you're
really quite attractive.

Yes, you are.

We could have
been very happy here,

just the two of us.

You did it!

You did it.

You killed Ann Wilson!

What lovely hair.

So soft, fragrant.


Skin... so cool, sweet.

It's too bad.

It surely is.

But there's no other
way... I'm afraid.

There's no other way.

The next time, you just better
watch where you're going.

It's funny.

She said he was
all through blasting.

Well, we better
check it out, Coch.

Mrs. Gibson?

Mrs. Gibson?

Mrs. Gibson, you up there?

What happened?

Poor, poor woman.

Poor woman.

I told her to stand back.

Poor thing.

Her neck's broken.

Part of a stump must have...

Oh, she was such
a wonderful woman.

So sweet and so kind.

She was so sorry for me
wandering the countryside.

She... she wanted
me to settle down.

We even talked about
me staying on here.

Well, I... I was just
here a little while ago.

She said you were
through blasting for the day.

Oh. Well, yeah. Yeah, I had.

All except one
little stump which...

which I wasn't even
going to bother with.

Right close to a fence, it was.

Wouldn't have been in
the way of a plough at all.

Why did you bother with it then?

Well, you know women,
when they pay for something.

She came out there
a little while ago,

and insisted on me
blowing out that little stump,

and then, somehow, she...

she got in the way,
and... Poor thing.

There was nothing I could do.


Better make room in your wagon.

We'll have to
take her into town.

Yeah. Yes, of
course, Little Joe.

Sure is a sad business.

Surely is.

I swear,

I'll never touch nitro
again, I swear it! Never!


Page ripped out of
Mrs. Gibson's songbook.

Who could have done that?

Well, I couldn't even
guess. That's a fact.

Well, like I said, I just
left here a little while ago.

The book was all right then.

You haven't been
back in the house

since I left, have you, Poole?

Me? Of course not.

Not till just now when I
brought her in from the field.

'Course, you can't tell
about women, Little Joe.

They do the dangdest
things! They really do.

Yeah, but this.

Rip a page out of
her own songbook,

then tear it to bits as
though she were angry.

What for?

"New Orleans Woman."

That's the song
the killer was singing

the night he murdered Ann.

Mrs. Gibson wouldn't tear it up.

Well, if she didn't,

I surely can't guess
who did, and that's a fact.

Well, I can.


What do you mean, Little Joe?

I mean, I think you and I ought

to go in town and
see the deputy, Poole.

Well, Little Joe,

if you want me to go into
town and see the deputy, then...

All right, Poole.

Get up in the wagon.

We're going to town.

Are you accusing me of
murdering Mrs. Gibson?

I'm not accusing
you of anything.

Just want you to go into
town and talk to the deputy.

It's like you said, Mr. Poole.

These things are better
left to the authorities.

Yes, I said that...
but not this time.

Go on, put it down.

That's not gonna do
you any good this time.

I think it will.

You throw your gun
over there, Little Joe.

Right now!

You shouldn't have mixed in.

You really shouldn't have.

Of course, now, I'm
going to have to report

that two nice
people got too close

to one of my explosions.

How many others
were there, Poole,

besides Ann and Mrs. Gibson?

Well, now, I, uh...

I... I don't rightly
know, and that's a fact.

It's like nitro.

One wrong move,
and things change.

You mean, they die.

Why was it always women?

They resist me

with their fair skin
and their shiny hair.

I want to touch 'em,

but they never understand.

They resist me.

So then you kill them.

But you don't understand.

I'm the power in the
thunder and the lightning!

Oh, no, Poole,
you're just a man.

A very, very sick man.

I'm a thunder man!

And no power in heaven
or on earth can touch me!

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a delightful and wholesome series suitable for solo viewing or family enjoyment. Thunder Man stands as the 131st episode out of a total of 430. NBC produced Bonanza which aired on the 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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