woman of fire
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Woman of Fire Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #17

In this frontier rendition of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” Joan Hackett makes a guest appearance as Margarita, the spirited and sharp-tongued daughter of a Mexican nobleman portrayed by Jay Novello. Margarita’s intimidating demeanor has scared off numerous suitors, leaving her younger sister Eleana, played by Susan Silo, unable to marry until Margarita finds a husband. Adam Cartwright assumes the role of “Petruchio” to tame Margarita’s fiery temperament, reminiscent of “Kate” from Shakespeare’s original play. The ensemble also features Cesare Danova as Luis, Eugene Iglesias as Carlos, and Valentin DeVargas as Manuel. Penned by Suzanne Clauser, without acknowledgment to the Bard of Avon, Woman of Fire premiered on January 17, 1965.

Explore the plot intricacies and fascinating trivia, or sit back and enjoy the full episode below.

Watch the Full Episode of Woman of Fire

Watch the Full Episode of Woman of Fire:

Main Cast

In the seventeenth episode of Bonanza’s sixth season, titled “Woman of Fire,” several recurring and supporting cast members appeared. Notable members of the cast include:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Joan Hackett as Margarita Miguel
  • Cesare Danova as Don Luis Santana
  • Susan Silo as Elena Miguel
  • Jay Novello as Don Miguel
  • Eugene Iglesias as Carlos
  • Valentin de Vargas as Manuel

Full Story Line for Woman of Fire

In a western adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” Adam takes on the role of Petruchio. Ben’s friend, Don Miguel, visits the Ponderosa accompanied by his two daughters, Margarita and Elena, and Elena’s two anxious suitors en route to California to meet Margarita’s intended, Don Luis. However, Margarita’s fiery temperament earns her the reputation of a “woman of fire,” driving away all potential suitors. As the elder daughter, Margarita must marry before Elena, and Don Miguel fears disgrace if Margarita rejects Don Luis.

When Margarita explodes at Adam, he takes matters into his own hands and administers a much-needed spanking, temporarily silencing her. However, Adam quickly regrets his involvement. Don Miguel and Elena’s suitors turn to Adam to tame Margarita, as he’s the only one who has managed to calm her down—Adam endeavors to transform the beautiful yet hot-tempered Margarita into a gentle and timid woman.

Unfortunately, Adam succeeds too well. Don Luis surprises everyone by arriving at the Ponderosa, eager to meet the renowned “woman of fire.” Now, before it’s too late, Adam must hastily find a way to reverse the taming process and restore Margarita to her wild and untamed self.

Full Script and Dialogue of Woman of Fire






Bravo! Bravo!


ELENA: Gracias, Carlos.


Elena, don't go too far away.
We are leaving very soon.

Ay, they have such spirit.

Fools. Idiots.

Papa, why do you allow
them to come with us?

Chasing Elena all
over Nevada. It's crazy.

Now, Margarita. They
do no harm and if it...

No harm? Papa, look at the dust!

All Spaniards are loco.

If Don Luis is as
stupid as those two,

I will not marry him.




- Ben Cartwright!
BEN: Don Miguel.


ADAM: Are you all right?

Do you think this is my
normal way of disembarking?

Of course I am not
all right. Help me up.

Why do you gape?
Take down the luggage.

Howdy, ma'am, my name is Hoss
and this is my little brother, Joe.

Why do you make conversation?
I don't care what your name is.

Take down the luggage,
that's your job, no?

Well, you heard what the lady
said. Take down the luggage.

- Margarita.
- Hey, Papa.

- They are not servants.
- Well.

Ben, my older
daughter, Margarita.

Señor Cartwright.

Señorita, welcome
to the Ponderosa.


And this is Adam,

Yes, we've met.

DON MIGUEL: Joe and Hoss.

My sons.

Your sons?

It is just as well, they would
make very bad servants.

Well, let's get to the ranch.

"Why do you gape?
Take down the luggage."


BEN: To old times.
- The good old times.

You're not staying nearly
long enough, Miguel.

Sí, amigo, not long
enough for either of us.

But we still have
a long way to travel

and Margarita is most anxious to
meet the man she is going to marry.

Oh, you mean,
they haven't met yet?

Well, please understand, Adam.

It is our custom that the father
arrange these things for his daughters.

With Elena there is no
problem but Margarita, ay...

Ben, how often I have
envied you, your sons.

Well, I'll tell you, Miguel,
I am quite certain that

my sons wouldn't want me to
arrange any of their marriages,

but there are sure times
when I would like to give it a try.



Ay, Margarita, Margarita.

Always the same.


No, no, no. No!



Because they live with us
day and night, night and day,

they dance and sing.

I cannot even have
chocolate in peace.

Margarita, no,
no, no hablas así.



Smashing up my good china.

ELENA: Margarita!


They do not have to leave
just because you say so.

I do not have to live
with your two buffoons.


You may turn out to
be my sister-in-law.

You. You?

- My brother-in-law!
- Not today!


- Adam! Adam! Adam!
- No, no, no.

No, amigo. No, no, no.





Let me go!

Never before have
I seen her so silent.


You are to be congratulated.

HOSS: Hmm.


Our guests settled
for the night?

Yes, finally.

Miguel says she's always been
like this, can't do a thing with her.

I think he's afraid he'll
never be able to marry her off.

And with good reason.


Come in.


Well, come in, gentlemen.


MANUEL: Señor Adam.

Señor Adam, we wish
to express our admiration.

For what you did
this afternoon, señor.

- You actually silenced Margarita.
- And that was a true miracle.

There's the voice of wisdom. I
lose my temper, he calls it a miracle.

No, but we are serious, señor.

- We love the little Elena.
- Sí, and we would like to marry her.

Both of you?


But there is one little problem.

Only one?

Don Miguel, he requires that
Margarita be married primero.


- If you could only gentle her a little.
- So that when they meet,

this Don Luis will not run
away like all the others.

The answer, señores, is no.

Why not, big brother?

You're pretty good at
gentling wild horses.

Sure, might turn out to be fun.

You two stay out of this.

I hope I do not interrupt.

It's all right, señorita,
I was just leaving.

Señor, por favor, you have to
help us, why don't you help us?

- I cannot understand this.
ELENA: I could not help but hear you.

I see that like me, no
one else can sleep, eh?

Please, Adam.

Allow me to speak.

- Well, sir.
- Adam.

Luis Santana is our last hope.

Margarita has frightened
all the others away.

One little thing that is not
perfect, she explodes and pfft.

They disappear.


If I permit Elena to marry
before her older sister,

the disgrace will make
Margarita so full of fury that...

Adam, have pity.

Please, Señor Adam.

Please, Señor Adam, have pity.

Please, Señor Adam.

Please, Señor Adam, you're
the only one that can help.

Please, please.


Hey, Adam, looks like you got a
regular jim-dandy prayer meeting

going for you
there, big brother.

Get up, get up.

What you want me to do,

smack her every time she's
bad? Which is most of the time.

Perhaps this will help,
Adam. I found it this afternoon.

A play by your Englishman,
Señor Shakespeare.

The Taming of the Shrew.

You might have known.

How did Shakespeare put it,
Adam? "Kill her with kindness."

Kindness? With that

lovely lady?


Silencio, you have awakened me.

I want to sleep ahora,
that means "now"!


You're right.

She is a problem.

But like you said, she's
your problem, not mine.

Oh, get up.

were walking down this street

in Juarez.

And we were both...
ADAM: Good morning.

BEN: I hope you slept well,
Margarita. MARGARITA: I have not.

First there is the noise, then there
is something wrong with that bed.

BEN: I'm sorry.
- It's crooked, it leans.

I had to hold on all night long to
keep from slipping to the bottom.


It is not so funny, Elena.
I could not close my eyes.

Well, first thing after
breakfast, I'll take a look at it.


I ask for chocolate,
I get coffee.

Margarita, por favor.

Oh, Fa...

It is very lucky
for you, it's cold.

I am going riding.

Joe, saddle a horse
and go with her.

Yes, sir.


Manuel and Carlos
are taking me riding.

Margarita will run into them.


- To fatherhood.
- No, no, no.

First to marriage, I
hope and... Heh, heh.

will take that horse.

Margarita, these horses
are for Elena and us.

JOE: I'll get another horse.
MARGARITA: Stand aside.


Well, I'm afraid we're going
to have to get another horse.

Tell me something, Elena.

You want your sister to
marry that Santana fellow.

So do your young men and
so does your father, but...

But how does Margarita
feel about all this?

She has much pride, Señor Adam.

Too much pride to admit
to her private dreams.

Even to me.

But she is my sister
and I know her very well.

Like all women, she longs
for the beauty of a man's love,

the sweet delight of
a child in her arms,

as I do, señor.

It is a great pity.

A pity.

And so you push and push.

Did you ever stop to
think, Elena, that maybe you

and everybody
else might have just

pushed Margarita to desperation?

Perhaps we are
selfish, Señor Adam.

But it is not only selfishness,

we believe that Margarita
could fulfill a man to running-over.

We all hope very
much, for her sake,

that Don Luis will be that man.


Check and mate.

Mighty pretty, ma'am. I sure
wish I could play like that.

Gracias, perhaps
you can, Señor Hoss.

Here, you try.

Now, you put your fingers thus.

This is the E-chord. Now strum.


Don't laugh.

- Now again, we try once...
- That's terrible.

I can't help it.


Stop laughing!

Okay, okay already.


Put your fingers,
here, here, good.

Now strum!



This large onion has
the fingers of a bear.

- Huh?
- I said, we must have patience

with the instrument.

Let me show you now.





It's impossible.

DON MIGUEL: Margarita.



Adam, please, you are the
only one that can help us.

She's the meanest dang
woman I ever did see.

Out of my way.

That wouldn't happen
to be my guitar?

- Now, Adam.
- My new guitar?


The one I sent all the
way to New York for?

He sure did. See, that? Got
New York, right there inside.

Yeah, I see it.

I'm sorry, Adam.

But as you said, she's
a problem to everybody.

All the way from New York.

My new guitar.


Who has done this to me?

Speak up!


Come on, speak up.
Come out and face me.


Dirty dogs!


and amid this hurly I intend

That all is done in
reverend care of her.

And in conclusion she
shall watch all night.

Ah. There you are. My, you're
an early bird this morning.

Did you sleep well?

How can one sleep on the floor?

On the floor?

Why, was there something
wrong with your bed?

The stupid evil thing collapsed.
I could not put it together.

Well, I fixed it myself,
right after you complained.

You fixed it, señor?

Yes, you should have
called me when it collapsed.

Called? Where were
you when I called?

Oh, you did call?

I'm terribly sorry. I
didn't hear a thing.

I must have been
sleeping like a baby.

Listen, señor, if you
think it is very funny

to spend the whole
night on the floor...

Don't lose your temper
so early in the morning.

You won't have any
left for the rest of the day.

Why don't you have some
eggs? I fixed them myself.

What are these?

Eggs from a dodo bird?

They taste like leather.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I guess I'm not
very much of a cook.

Maybe you would like
to have some chocolate.

You see, I remembered
that you don't like coffee.

It's cold.

Don't you even know
how to make chocolate?

I am sorry, señorita.

I am truly sorry.
I'll heat it up.

Is nothing ever right in this
house? The beds, the food?

What have you done?

Oh, I am so sorry.

Fortunately for you, it's cold.

- Maybe some water will help.
- You're making it worse!


How can anyone be so stupid?

It's not easy.

Idiot. It's a conspiracy!



- Margarita.
- Hey.

Have you slept
at all this night?


Thanks to Señor
Adam, the bed-fixer.

I think he hates me.

No, Margarita.

On the contrary, he is
very simpatico to you.


He thinks perhaps that

Papa and I have pushed
you too hard towards marriage.

He does?

What business is that of his?

How dare he express an opinion?

Because, as I said, he
is very simpatico to you.

As most men would be if
only you would let them.

You permit people to tread on
you like a worm, that is not me.

I have a fire inside of
me. If I cannot explode,

I will die.


If only you could try sometimes
to bank the fire a little?

Perhaps. I will try, I will try.

It is not that I always
wish to be alone.

I think, perhaps, I
would like to marry.

I know this.

But your temper.

So you have said,
and Papa has said,

and every suitor has
said, too many times!

Well, I am I!

And any man,

including Don Luis, must
accept me the way I am.


MARGARITA: I wish to ride alone.
- I'm afraid not, señorita.

The Ponderosa's a pretty
big place, you might get lost.

Then someone
else will ride with me.

There's no one
else around. Sorry.

Magarita! The cinch!

How dare you,
señor? How dare you?

You didn't tighten the
cinch on your saddle.

There is nothing
wrong with this saddle.

You make a fuss over nothing.

I would have known if
this saddle was slipping.

Do you see what you have caused?

I tried to keep my temper with
you, señor, but you are impossible.

Maybe so, señorita.

I am a man of limited patience.

And believe me, you try
those limits beyond endurance.

Looks like you'll
have to walk home.

- You will walk, señor! Not I.
- Oh, no, señorita!

My horse is much
too dangerous for you.

You know I am
excellent with the horse.

I couldn't possibly let a delicate
creature like yourself ride this animal.

Then you will bring me one back.

Señorita, you will walk.

Whether in my company or
by yourself is entirely up to you,

but you will walk.


You do know about rattlesnakes?


Of course, they shouldn't
bother you too much,

but you can never tell
about these wildcats.

Well. Have it your own way.


- I'm tired.
- Wouldn't be surprised.

I would like to ride.


It really isn't so hard.

Try it.

Just once?


Your horse awaits, señorita.

Could that possibly
be your Don Luis?

It cannot be
anyone else, can it?

But he was not to come here.

What am I to do,
señor? Have him...

Have him see me this
way for the first time?

It does matter then,
what people think of you?

We are what we are, señor.

But, sí, it does matter.

No one wants to be alone, señor.

All right.

I'll go over and talk to
him for a few minutes,

give you a chance to
get upstairs and change.


I regret my rudeness to you.

I will try to apply the lesson
you have tried to taught me.

I'm Adam Cartwright.
Welcome to the Ponderosa.

Luis Santana at
your service, señor.

You'll think it's a
little foolish of me,

but I couldn't wait
home any longer.

I heard so much about Margarita.

- She is here, isn't she?
- Oh, yes, she's here.

And you are welcome, Don Luis.

Don Miguel and the entire family
will be very delighted to see you.

I wanted to meet this
Margarita so much. And tell me,

is she as beautiful as they say?

Oh, yes, she is very beautiful.

- And what about her nature, huh?
- Her nature?

Yes, her nature.

I heard she has very hot temper.

I wouldn't be too concerned.

People often exaggerate
things, you know?


I hope you are wrong, señor.

You do?

What's a tiger without
claws? Ha-ha-ha.

It makes for more excitement.
A man needs a good fight

every now and then
to warm the blood.

You know, I should
have gone to Timbuktu.

Señor, can we go
to find my tiger now?


Why not, why not?

Gracias, Manuel.

Cartwright, Don Miguel,

may I propose a toast?

- Why, of course.
CARLOS: Thank you.

I propose a toast to
Eleneta, my future bride.

MANUEL: Ah, ah, ah.

Señores, a toast, yes,

but to my future bride.

Your future bride?


What are you so glum about?

Oh, Margarita, Don Luis...

- Adam, you haven't...
- Taken her to my heart?

I haven't any good
Spanish blood, remember?


I've convinced Don Miguel to
stay on for a couple of more days.

It's for Don Luis'
sake, he's kind of tired

and his ranch is quite
a piece from here.

And it's very kind of you, Ben.

Not at all, Don Miguel. You know
you're welcome to stay on here

for as long as you like.

Adam, what do you think?

I'm glad you asked, sir.

I'm afraid things aren't working
out exactly the way you planned.

- Oh?
- You see, Don Luis wants to...

Don Luis wants to meet
your daughter, Don Miguel.

I have heard so much of her
beauty, among other things.

I'm most impatient to see her.

Well, I'm sure that she will
be here any moment, Don Luis.


BEN: Well, shall we?

Señor Cartwright, dinner
was excellent as usual.

Well, thank you very much,
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

You care for a demitasse...
I mean, some chocolate?

Oh, no, coffee is fine.

Well, fine, fine.

- Ben, shall I set up the chessboard?
- Yeah, come on, I'll help you.

- May I sit next to you, señorita?
MARGARITA: Oh, please.

EBN: There you are.
- Oh, gracias.

- I am most...
- You are most...


After you.

Por favor, Don Luis. You first.

I wanted to say you are
most beautiful, Margarita.

All the beauty of a
Spanish night is in you.

Please, señor.
You are most kind.

DON LUIS: You and I
are very much alike, I think.

And I think this, señor,
goes with much speed.

Time alone will
tell us this, no?

Time moves too slowly for a man
who is impatient with living alone.

And I am, Margarita.
Very impatient.

Don Luis, in this at least,
I must agree we are alike.

I have traveled very
far to come to you.

And with each passing hour, I
wish evermore to please you.

And I, you.

We'll do very well
together, Margarita.

I am sure.

Sí, and all that is required is
that I be pleasant and agreeable

and sweet. No?

I don't mean to be insulting,
but I have heard things that...

What things have
you heard, Don Luis?

Well, that...

Well, they say that
if you are provoked,

you rage like a firestorm.

Gossip, gossip.

Malicious gossip.

That it isn't true?

A woman would be a
fool to rage at the man

that she would have love her.

For him, she should
always bank the fire.

You wanted to talk to me?

Sí, señor.

This Margarita, I am
very disappointed.

She is not at all
what I expected.

She's not?

A beautiful woman, I was
told, and a woman of fire.

Now I think I've been misled.

Well, you couldn't possibly mean
that she isn't beautiful enough?

Oh, no, señor!

But the fire? Where is it?

You have heard, as
well as I, what she said.

And I guarantee you, there
is no warmth in a banked fire.

She was the same
the whole evening.

Her manner is as meek as a lamb.

Don't go jumping to conclusions.

She's probably on
her good behavior.

- After all...
- Adam, I'm a sheep rancher.

I live surrounded by sheep.

And I don't want a
sheep for a wife, as well.

I can understand that.

You have been with
her for several days now.

Is this what she
is like, always?

Well, it's...

It's very difficult to judge a
person, especially a woman,

in just a few days.

But that's exactly
what I must do.

Once we reach my
hacienda, it will be too late.

I couldn't possibly
send her away then.

It would be too cruel.

I must decide
before we leave here.

Well, there's still tomorrow.

I don't think another day
will make any difference.

We're planning
a picnic tomorrow.

You know about picnics?

Know about them, señor?


They're just full of surprises.


JOE: You son of a gun.
- Heh, heh.

HOSS: Have I got a roamer?

JOE: Is that yours? HOSS: Yup.

That one's yours.


ELENA: Hey, look!
Farther than you!

It was a lovely picnic, no?

Sí, señorita.

Look at that.

Did you ever see
such a beautiful moon?

- You joke, señor?
- Certainly not.

Do you not agree that
it is a beautiful moon?

But it is the sun, señor.

You are making fun.

I say, it is the moon.

Of course, it is the moon.

And very beautiful,
just as you say.


It is obviously the sun
that is shining up there.

Now are you trying to
make fools of us all? Hmm?

As it pleases you, señor.

The sun, the moon, a star,

is all the same to me.

But look at my little Margarita.

How like a dove,
a little flower.

Look, look how
pleasant she looks.

Yes, she's as gentle as a lamb.

I'm afraid we have to talk
later, you and I, Don Miguel.

ADAM: Margarita.

Please, señor, be kind
enough to leave me alone.

Believe me, I only wish I could.


You have my deepest apology.


Hey, what's...?

ELENA: He's loco!
- She slipped.

ELENA: Adam has pushed
Margarita into the water!

Carlos, stop laughing and go
help Margarita out of the water.

Sí, Elena. Manuel, get
Margarita out of the water.

Manuel, gracias, you
are such a gentleman.


I'm as much as a gentleman
as you are. I will get her out...

- I'm very sorry.
- Manuel.

I am just as much a
gentleman as you are.

- I will get her out of the water.
- No, I will!

All right then. You get
her out of the water.

Oh, no, I won't.

At a time like this! She's
drowning! Why don't you...? Manuel!

You pushed me.

That's right, señorita. I
most certainly did do just that.

I am sure it was a mistake.

Will you be kind
enough to help me out?


I deliberately pushed
you into the water.

Sí, señor.

If you say so.

And now, would you help me out?

All right, you win.

Let it be on your head.

Why do you have to
choose now to be so nice?

Señor, you are a barbarian.


An accident, Don
Luis. Nothing more.

I understand what you're trying
to do, Adam, but it is hopeless.

Not even a sheep would have so
much forbearance as that woman.

Well, I've tried
everything else.

Why not? Margarita!



Do we always go swimming
with our clothes on?


What did you do? Why
don't you get out and fight?

What are you doing?

Remember, you were
going to be pleasant,

sweet, agreeable, kind...

Don't you now "remember" me!

Señorita, you were
going to bank the fire.

For what! If he...

If Don Luis wants a sweet,
little... I don't want him!

Why don't you get out and fight?

Why don't you fight?

You! How could I ever
think I wanted a man?





What are you laugh...?

All right, all right, all right.

Thank you, Adam.

She is all I hoped
for, and more.






Sorry, my friend.
Was a matter of honor.


ELENA: Margarita.


I am so happy
for you, Margarita.


BEN: Well, Mr. Shakespeare,

you mind telling
me what's going on?

Don't look so worried, Pa.

is the best picnic I was ever on.

Don Miguel, I sure wish you
weren't leaving quite so soon.

So do I.

And thank you so much
for your hospitality, Ben.

I'll tell you, I'm sure glad
everything worked out so well.

What a relief.


Muchas gracias, Señor Adam.

I suppose you'll soon be
getting married now yourself?

Soon? Oh, no, señor.

Now I have to make up my mind.


Adios, Señor Adam.


- Señor Adam.
- Yes, Margarita.

I found this last night
when I could not sleep.

For once it was not your
fault. I was too happy to sleep.

- It is yours, no?
- Mm-hm.

I think it may be the
way to tame a shrew,

but not a woman of fire.



Don Luis, be careful, my dress!

Yes, my little tiger.

BEN: Ya!



"Fie, fie! Unknit that
threatening unkind brow,

And dart not scornful
glances from those eyes

To wound thy lord,
thy king, thy governor.

It blots thy beauty as
frosts do bite the meads,

Confounds thy fame as
whirlwinds shake fair buds,

And in no sense
is meet or amiable.

A woman moved is
like a fountain troubled,

Muddy, ill-seeming,
thick, bereft of beauty.

And while it is so,
none so dry or thirsty

Will deign to sip or
touch one drop of it.

Thy husband is thy
lord, thy life, thy keeper,

Thy head, thy sovereign..."

Behind the Scenes of Woman of Fire

In the scene where Margarita Miguel emerges from the lake, having been pushed into it by Adam during the picnic, it becomes apparent that Joan Hackett is wearing a brassiere, a women’s undergarment not introduced until the 20th century. This anachronism is notable as brassieres were not popularized until Howard Hughes’s famous uplift bra design for Jane Russell in the 1940s.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a wonderfully wholesome show suitable for solo viewing or family enjoyment. Woman of Fire is the 185th episode out of 430. 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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