Vengeance Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #02, Episode #21
The weekly nontraditional Western television series, Bonanza, centered around the Cartwright family, led by the patriarch Ben Cartwright. The show’s fifty-third episode, Vengeance, was written by Marion Parsonnet and first telecasted on February 11, 1961.
Hoss Cartwright accidentally killed neighboring farmer Willie Twilight (Keith Richards) out of self-defense. The situation prompts Willie’s brother, Red (Adam Williams), to seek vengeance. However, the problem gets worse after Little Joe swears revenge on Red after Hoss gets severely injured because of a gunshot.
Beverly Tyler joins the cast as a guest, acting as Mary, who finds herself caught in the middle of the dispute.
See Vengeance‘s plot, behind-the-scenes information, and full episode, which are all available below.
Watch the Full Episode of Vengeance
Watch the Full Episode of Vengeance:
Apart from the main cast, episode 53, Vengeance, also features recurring and guest cast members. The actors that appeared are as follows:
- Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
- Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
- Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
- Adam Williams as Red Twilight
- Beverly Tyler as Mary
- Keith Richards as Willie Twilight
- Robert Griffin as Deputy Sheriff McNeill (as Robert E. Griffin)
- Olan Soule as Hotel Clerk
- Roy Engel as Doc Tolliver
- Sam Bagley as Townsman (uncredited)
- Tom Kennedy as Townsman (uncredited)
- Billy McCoy as Townsman (uncredited)
- Bob Miles as Ponderosa Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Vengeance
Hoss visits Virginia City to buy supplies when several gunshots ring from the saloon. As he goes over to investigate, he finds a drunk Willie Twilight firing his gun in all directions. The saloon girl, Mary, tries to stop him, but Willie shoves her aside. Hoss calmly approaches Willie, taking one of the guns he’s holding. However, Hoss finds difficulty in getting the other. Hoss pushes Willie in an attempt to grab the other gun, causing him to fall back and hit a support column hard enough to result in his death. This event shocked everyone, including Mary and Hoss, who couldn’t believe what had happened.
Mary was visiting Willie’s grave when a man approached her, asking about her plans regarding Willie’s death. She argues that Willie was drunk, but the man thinks it’s still improper for him to get killed. The man introduces himself as Willie’s brother, Red Twilight. Hearing how kind and gentle Willie was with Mary gave Red more reason to believe his brother didn’t deserve his death. Red subtly implies vengeance against Hoss Cartwright. Mary tries to stop him by saying the Cartwrights were Willie’s friend, but Red doesn’t care.
Back at the Ponderosa, Hoss fixes a wagon wheel with a brooding expression. Little Joe assures him that it was just an accident, while Adam tells him he understands what he feels. However, Hoss walks away, telling his brothers he’ll mend some fences down to the low country alone.
Hoss rides into the areas, searching for fences he can mend. Unbeknownst to him, Red watches him over some high ground, ready to shoot him at any second. Red continues to fail in his plan. Eventually, sunset came, forcing Red to abort due to light loss.
Little Joe tried to slip out of the Ponderosa, worried about Hoss as he hadn’t returned yet. Adam finds him at the barn, so Joe informs him he will try to find Hoss. Joe prefers not to inform Ben about his plan and asks Adam not to tell him. Adam joins Joe in his search for their brother.
Hoss rests for a moment to drink and freshen up. Red positions himself on higher ground, ready to shoot him.
Meanwhile, Adam and Little Joe were riding to find Hoss when they heard a gunshot nearby. They find Hoss lying face down near Mud Creek. Little Joe insists on going after the gunman, thinking he couldn’t have gotten far yet. However, Adam stops him since Hoss’ life is at stake, and it’s best to return to the Ponderosa to tend to his wound.
Back at the Ponderosa, Ben anxiously waits outside Hoss’ room. The doctor informs him of how severe Hoss’ condition is, considering he has lost a lot of blood. In the meantime, he advises they wait and pray for Hoss’ health. Ben hopes what happened isn’t connected to Willie Twilight. While Little Joe chooses to sit outside Hoss’ room, Ben orders Adam to visit the sheriff and ask if Willie has any friends.
Later that day, deputy sheriff McNeil arrives at the Ponderosa to tell the Cartwrights that Willie has a relative who appeared in town three days after the accident. He visited Willie’s grave, talked to Mary, and booked a hotel room under his name, Red Twilight. Little Joe believes Red shot Hoss, but the sheriff needs more proof to solidify his claim. Upon seeing Joe’s outburst, McNeil informs Ben that it’s only fitting to deliver this information personally to stop them from shooting someone in town who might be innocent.
Ben returns to Virginia City with McNeil to talk to Red Twilight. He tells Red that Willie’s death was an accident, then apologizes. Ben also asks what Red does for a living, to which Red answers, scouting for the army, fighting Indians, and hunting. He asks if Red owns a buffalo gun since it is the weapon used to shoot Hoss. Red refuses to answer directly, believing Ben’s accusing him of murder. Ben replies by saying it’s up to the law to make such an assumption.
Red stops by Mary’s place as she prepares to visit Willie’s grave. Red tells her he’s leaving town, asking Mary to come with him since Willie’s dead and she got nobody else. However, Mary refuses, saying she’d be happy to stay in town with her memories of Willie. Mary also insists it was an accident and that it wasn’t Hoss’ fault that Willie died. Still, Red insists on seeing Hoss die. Mary realizes that it was Red who shot Hoss, then orders him to leave town immediately. She thinks shooting him, almost leading to his death, should be enough. However, Red insists on killing him as revenge for Willie.
Joe admonished his father for doing nothing, even after talking to the man who shot Hoss. Ben argues that there wasn’t enough proof to prove their claim, insisting they leave the law to do the work. That evening, Joe visits Hoss in his room, promising vengeance against the person who shot him.
Before leaving, Red leaves his complete forwarding address to the hotel manager.
Meanwhile, Ben and Adam realize that Joe left early to look for Willie’s brother. Ben orders Adam to look for Joe before something happens to him. Mary visits the Ponderosa to tell him she had nothing against the Cartwrights regarding Willie’s death. She reveals that sometime before, they met a doctor in Placerville who said Willie’s heart had a bad condition that could lead to his death if he wasn’t careful. However, Willie started to change, becoming a man who wanted to die. Mary further narrates how Willie started drinking and fist-fighting, saying he was tired of waiting for his death to come. She tried to stop him, but he only expressed his willingness to die. Hoss suddenly talked, asking what Mary said. Mary assures Hoss that Willie liked the Cartwrights and that it wasn’t his fault. However, they still have to handle Red, who swore to kill Hoss. Ben asks Mary to stay with Hoss while he gets deputy sheriff McNeil so she can tell him the information she shared with them.
Little Joe arrives at the hotel, asking for Red. The hotel manager gives him Red’s forwarding address. Adam joins him, declaring they’ll bring Red alive to Virginia City with his confession.
After following his trail, they figured Red tricked them as he headed back to the Ponderosa. Once he arrives at the ranch, he shoots one of the Ponderosa ranch hands. Hoss asks Mary to get the gun from Ben’s desk. Red finds Mary holding the weapon, confident she wouldn’t shoot Willie’s brother. Red takes the gun from her hand and slaps her to the ground. Adam and Joe arrive shortly after, sneakily entering the house. Red shoots Adam and Joe punch him from behind. They continue fist-fighting outside until Joe gains the upper hand. He angrily aims his gun at Red’s head. Adam stops him, stating he’s no different from Red if he shoots him dead. Joe returns to his senses and agrees to take Red back to the sheriff. Ben arrives with McNeil, who takes Red.
Ben and Hoss are glad Joe didn’t kill Red, and they all return to their house.
Full Script and Dialogue of Vengeance
[Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] oh [Music] [Laughter] you're going to hurt somebody with it raw here here drop withdrawal willie you don't want to shoot me oh yes i do give me the gun willie give me the one willie willie give me the gun willie you killed him you killed my willy [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] wow [Music] so [Music] so [Music] [Applause] [Music] were you a friend to willie yes willie and i were friends well what do you mean to do about it do about it about willie he was killed wasn't he yes yes he was killed but not the way you're thinking you say he'd been drinking no i don't want to see i don't have to whatever willie did he didn't deserve to be killed i know i'm his brother you're red his brother red he told you about me then oh yes he talked of you often i should have been here just what were you to him he was kind and gentle to me i loved him kind and gentle and he ended up like this he talked about you many times what do you say oh he said that you stopped for the army and hot buffalo and he must have told you that i take care of my own willy was my brother i've been asking around i know the name of the man who killed him hoss cartwright do you know him everybody around here knows the cartwrights i don't but i will soon please that the cartwrights were friends to willie willie was my brother a man killed him that man's gonna pay [Music] can as soon as we get this finished i guess we gotta get out and help the other boys on the roundup because you're gonna have to stop brooding it was just an accident look i know how you feel um i mean anybody would [Applause] where are you going i'm going to take a ride down the low country there's some fences down there need to be mended uh i think you better go along with him joe you'll get the job done much faster it's a one-man job they just stopped feeling guilty i don't think he should be alone yeah maybe it's best you know the way he is where's house going said he was going down to the lower section do some fence mending do you think i ought to keep an eye on him i don't think so best way for hoss to work things out is for us to leave him [Music] alone [Music] let's go boy [Music] ah go away [Music] [Applause] [Music] my [Music] [Applause] don't you know better than a sneaker when a man like that i ask you a question all right i'm worried about horse it's not liking to stay out all night it's almost daybreak and what are you gonna do about it i'm gonna ride out and find him i don't want him to be alone did you tell paul this no i didn't i just assumed you wouldn't tell him either adam i'll think about it where do you think you're going well he's my brother too what are we waiting for come on [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] me [Music] ah foreign [Music] don't look like huss did much fence mandan i doubt he intended to probably came from mud creek [Music] whoever did this couldn't have gotten far i don't wait what do you mean wait i can get him if you want to save your brother's life you'll get pawn a doctor if we don't lose any time maybe we can keep him alive i'll stay here with him now get going [Music] you'll sleep for a while now i gave him a sedative might just as well leave him alone tell me the truth how is he well i'll be honest with you ben it's a bad wound he's lost a lot of blood i tried to encourage him to tell him he'd be all right but it's as if he didn't want to listen i know i know it's been that way but ever since willie twilight's dead oh i know you know everybody knows except us he feels guilty if there was only some way we could make him understand that it wasn't then you're not gonna make him understand anything for a while that bullet wound alone had been enough for most men it might be enough for him ben what can we do wait just wait [Music] i'll be back as soon as i can in the meantime just pray and hope we'll all do that duncan [Music] thank you doctor [Music] there isn't much the doctor could tell us i'm just standing around waiting want to go up and see him no doctor gave him a set of death horses to sleep so should be alone for a while wasn't there anything we can do we did what we could thank god you two boys disobeyed me went after him what the doc said in it did he get anything out of him i talked to him that's what all gotta find out who did this to haas we'll let the sheriff find out we think it could have been an accident a deer hunter maybe with a buffalo gun not likely well who could it be that horse never had an enemy in his life i just hope this had nothing to do with that wooly twilight accident okay i think i'd like to go up and sit outside his door just just in case he wakes up be very quiet adam send one of the boys into the sheriff's office and have them find out if wooly twilight had any special friends well how is he and he's still sleeping [Music] hey that might be the sheriff i hope so maybe we can find something else hello mr mcphail hi everyone i'm sorry to be late but sheriff's over in carson city i got tied up well as well as can be expected you know the boys mr mcmahon hello oh yeah joe did you find out anything well as a matter of fact i did yeah uh that fresh coffee sure let me for you just black please there you go thank you what'd you find out well we were wrong about willie twilight he does have a relative well who is he is he around here if he is i want to see him well you just sit down and take it easy but we all sit down and let's hear what mr mcneil has to tell us [Applause] then i came out here to tell you this because i well because i didn't want your boys to find it out someplace else and go off half cocked thank you mike three days after willie twilight was killed a man appeared in town first he went out to visit willie's grave and he talked to willie's girl mary and he went to the hotel and registered under the name of red twilight well his brother right that's the man that shot horse how do you know that right you said he's willie's brother he said he came into town three days after the accident my brother was backshot on the fourth day now what more do you want positive proof that's the more than i need oh you want positive proof you go around scratching for the so-called proof while this man rides halfway to california oh please please just quiet down all right all right i'll quiet down but you just give me one good reason why this red twilight should be arrested and hanged i'll give you two good reasons joe first place your brother isn't dead second place i can't arrest anybody for anything unless somebody comes up to me and says i saw him do it or until i find a piece of material evidence that will convince a judge oh come on forget the judge you know he did it and we know he did it you see ben that's why i came to the ponderosa in the minute i found out i don't want your two boys coming into virginia city and shooting up a man who may turn out to be innocent now mack i don't recall anyone saying that's what we're planning to do but this red twilight is guilty all right but i'm warning you too stay out of my town until i get me some facts mr mcnail my sons won't do anything foolish thank you ben but i'm riding into virginia city with you i want to see this red twilight i'd like to talk to him are you two boys are to stay here and this time you're not to disobey me please do as i ask [Music] [Applause] you're uh willie twilight's brother red twilight then right yeah that's right that's my name my name is ben cartwright nice sound that was shot have you heard yeah i heard about it i wish i could say i was sorry mr conrad but i didn't even know your son what can i do for you i just wanted to say that uh your brother's death was uh accidental i'm sorry it happened it makes two of us i'm sorry it happened too i haven't seen you around here before because i haven't been here before my sons and i we uh we run a ranch just west of here ponderosa what do you do am i am i asking well i don't mind i scout for the army fight indians hunt do you uh ever hunt buffalo mr kyrie i've hunted just about everything do you own a buffalo gun i think uh that's my business isn't it whether i do a knot man who shot my son was using a buffalo gun mr cartwright are you accusing me of murder no it's up to the law to make that kind of accusation what if my son dies and he isn't dead no he isn't dead well that makes you lucky don't it cause my brother is [Music] hey mary [Music] going out to the grave yes i am listen what are you gonna do with yourself from here on i hadn't thought of it come on inside let's talk about it you see i'll believe in town in a day or so i thought you could come with me please you don't owe me anything i'll just stay here why willie's gone well you got nobody else i know but willie and me we were happy here this is the only town i know i think he'd want me to stay for whatever they're worth i i've got memories like what like him lying dead up on the hill you don't have to remind me it appears to me i do look i've been thinking about it since getting over the bitterness it wasn't hoss cartwright's fault willie is dead he stuck his guns right into horse's chest when haas didn't even have a gun in his hand but well he's dead i'm trying to tell you it was an accident my brother was making harm to nobody and they killed him i won't be satisfied until haas cartwright dies and it was you yeah i'm a good shot i just didn't aim high enough that's why you've been waiting in virginia city to make sure he'll die before i leave one way or the other for certain sure i think that you should go away now not until he's dead i i can see you shooting hoss in the back for revenge but now it's done the thought of him lying in bed maybe tying and you're still saying that you want it kill him yeah i'm gonna make it up to willie i wasn't here when he needed me but i'm gonna make it up to him now oh no you're not doing this for willie he wouldn't want any part of this you're doing it for yourself because you're something sick something dirty because you like to kill don't you you enjoy it [Applause] take your hand away from me [Music] [Applause] [Music] joe oh joe what do you want uh would you check these figures over for me i uh i get kind of groggy you sat right next to him let's try this out right next to him sat right next to the man who shot my brother and you did nothing that's right too because there was no proof he did it yeah just like the sheriff you take it nice and slow and easy with my brother dying upstairs if there's any proof he shot a horse the sheriff will find it if the sheriff finds the proof the courts will handle it of course come on will you pah i'll look you're not the only one around here who's worried we're all of us worried but there's a right way and a wrong way to everything even to worrying look why don't uh why don't we all go to bed we can finish this in the morning what about huh it's really got to you simmer down [Music] ah [Music] i'm gonna find the man that did this to you and when i find him i'm gonna kill him before i kill him i'm gonna make him know why i'm sure i'm gonna make him know why uh [Applause] i wonder if you could tell me something what what's to the west of virginia city well i calculate if you went far enough and long enough you'd hit the pacific ocean no no i mean around here uh any place a person could ride on quick notice except the ponderosa no no i'd think not uh except if he was to drop into lake tahoe but then of course the east side of that's just about all ponderosa likewise yeah yeah well i'll be pulling stakes you get my bill ready and i'll leave in about an hour fine and danny mr twilight don't you want any forwarding address forward an address most transients don't leave them well then here's one who does i'm going to california that's kind of a big state ain't it all right uh make it sacramento i'm going by way of the geiger grade matter of fact i'm going to camp at sofa springs well now do you want all that put on your forward and address i'm just telling you where i'm going that's all oh sure sure no offense no offense [Music] ah morning pawn i looked on the horse earlier i think he looks better don't you yeah he's uh seems to be breathing more evenly now yeah i thought so too think the doc would come out again today well he said he would me the bread please nice little joe up in i haven't seen him yet probably sleep any better than we did what worries me oh that's only natural from the feel of what he did last night you know him he'll get over it go up and ask me to come down i'd like to talk to him so wow must have gotten up early i'll take a look outside [Music] hello he's not out there his horse is gone maybe we're not looking for stock oh adam there's no need for us to fool each other he went out looking for willie twilight's brother well what do you think one boy in trouble is enough find him bring him back here before he does something he'll regret for the rest of his life [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] horse can you hear me son son hey listen to me i know how you feel i know what conscience can do to a man like you [Music] mr cartwright mr cartwright sorry i don't i know you i'm mary i i was willie's girl oh yes i remember uh please there wasn't anyone around so i just came in i i didn't mean any wrong of course not uh we we're were mighty sorry about but willie all of us i know that that's what i came to tell you i hold no blame against you we're all of us grateful mr cartwright would you listen to me yes sir what is it you wanted to tell me mary i don't even have the words to think it out but willie and me we loved each other mr cartwright we we were to be married we would have been too if willie hadn't gotten sick oh what i didn't know while he was sick it's just that he didn't want anyone to know he went to placerville i went with him he talked to a doctor there yes the doctor said that willie's heart was so bad that he could die any day if he didn't take care of himself he just wouldn't do it i don't know why mr cartwright but all of a sudden it was as if willy wanted to die you wanted to die oh it changed completely started drinking and fist fighting with everyone he shouldn't have done that mr cartwright not with his heart the way it was he said he was he said he was tired of waiting he said that he was gonna die anyway he wanted to get it over with quick and he went out with those guns i tried to stop him i knew he was going out there to get himself killed are you sure of this how could you possibly be sure he told me just before he went out on that street he said he'd never see me again oh oh oh what she said boss i said you're here did you hear what she said you didn't kill willy he wanted to die you didn't kill him willie liked you hoss he wouldn't want any harm to come to the cartwrights he wouldn't want you to blame yourself for this did you hear that i shoved and bought i killed him no no that's what mary drove all the way out here to tell you can't you understand that i understand some of it but fathers there's something else that worries me last night something i i can't remember us don't worry about anything else mary does anyone else know about this i tried to tell his brother but he wouldn't listen he's not like willie was at all he's a killer when he found out that hoss was still alive he said he had to go back and kill hoss and it was willie's brother who shot us uh i must tell the sheriff about this mary would you repeat to the sheriff exactly what you told me i'll tell him i know that's what willie would want me to do thank you mary uh deputy's over the templeton place uh uh if you'll stay here with horse uh he's close by i can go get him i'll send one of the ranch hands in to stay in the house with you i'll stay with him i'll take care of him i'll be back very soon pod don't let little joe horse don't worry yourself none you just rest thank you for coming out thank you for everything i'll be back very soon [Applause] william who's a good little fella i'm sorry i'm glad that you heard what i said about willie haas he would have wanted me to tell you [Music] i'm looking for a man named red twilight oh he pulled up stakes not more than a half hour since he's gone um could be that uh deputy kept a glassy eye on him he looked in once or twice no you don't know where he went of course i do yeah he left a forwarding address a phony address yeah sacramento by where the geiger road he even said how he's going to camp out at sulphur springs oh thanks thanks a lot i'm going with it i feel like on one condition what condition when we find them i'll go as far as beating a confession out of them if necessary but that's all understand you never heard me say any different did you we bring him and the confession back to virginia city alive now i mean it joe i know how you feel i know what you'd like to do but it's wrong you want to stand here talking all day and all that business about the forwarding address well just for our benefit you know that yeah i could see through that but if he wants to see me we're even because i want to see him but that doesn't change the condition confession and then we let the sheriff take over what i said i heard you tonight [Music] so [Music] [Applause] [Music] and not a sign of him could have gotten this far ahead of us and he must have cut off on us we'll have to backtrack take a look at this yeah that must be where he cut off hey that'll take him back to the ponderosa right was an army scout for nothing just double back on us and we cut them off the mill road [Music] [Applause] go [Applause] can i help you you want the card rights no i'm just one of the hands mr cartwright sent me back to look after haas he's upstairs the rest of the crew is still at the roundup it's willie's brother red he's coming toward the house what shall i do in the big room downstairs paul's desk there's a gun get it tell me quick [Applause] you wouldn't shoot willy's brother now would you just go away red please just go away so far enough friend maybe i didn't do 100 job on your brother the first time but i guess it's better this way two for one first i get you and then i finish him now drop that gun joe adam you stay here right now back shooter right now i'm gonna kill you no please no no no no i made a promise back shooter but i want you to taste it first i want you to feel it before i blow your brains out joe don't you stay out of this adam [Music] all this time you intended to kill him i mean i promised a horse and i'm gonna keep it he got his confession that's all the evidence the sheriff needs that's all the evidence that i need all right if you gotta do it go ahead blow his brains out it'll only bring you down to the same level of the man you're gonna kill i hope you enjoy it all right all right we'll take him back to the chef hello joey you all right how are you feeling are you trying to kill yourself i'm fine i'm going to be all right now joe fuss it's all right pie got down under his own power he didn't i was worried about something else too uh come on paw don't tell me that's all the confidence you have in your own son well let's get this look back to bed hey joel john i'm i'm glad you didn't kill him i don't even kill him i think i'd kill a man just cause i took a shot at a big axe like you [Music] do [Music] you
Behind the Scenes of Vengeance
The episode shows Hoss, who had just gotten out of bed a few minutes before, walking back to the house in Ponderosa wearing his nightgown and boots.
Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?
Bonanza is an excellent Western television program to watch alone or with family and friends. NBC produced the program from September 1959 to January 1973, having all 14 seasons aired on their network. Vengeance is the fifty-third episode out of 430 and the twenty-first for its second season.
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