"Bonanza" episode
Season 4, Episode 10
#110 in Series
Air date December 2, 1962
Guest starring:
Written by Denne Bart Petitclerc
Directed by William Witney
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Beginning
Next Episode:
Gallagher's Sons
External links
The Deadly Ones on IMDb
The Deadly Ones on


Mexican freedom fighters loyal to Benito Juárez take over the Ponderosa, gravely wound Little Joe, and force Ben to guide them to a wagon train loaded with gold being smuggled to California by Emperor Maximilian.

General Diaz, a Mexican patriot, steals gold shipments to finance his attacks against Emperor Maximillian.

Ben is taken hostage to help with the robbery of a gold wagon, and Joe is shot in the back by one of Diaz's unethical henchmen, Forsythe. Ben comes to respect the general's sincerity.


Some men are waiting at the Ponderosa, one of them rides into the Ponderosa his name is Simms, he’s come to warn the others that one of the Cartwright’s is coming back to the Ponderosa.  Forsythe tells Simms that everyone went on a cattle drive except for Joe and Ben.  Simms figures that it’s Joe that’s coming back since he saw him mending fences in the north section.  Forsythe tells Simms that Ben rode into town and he should be back any time soon.  Forsythe checks his shotgun and Simms tells him they’re not supposed to hurt anyone.  They all hide when they hear a horse approaching.

Joe rides in and feels something’s not right, he dismounts from Cochise and leaves her by a pile of hay while he looks around, he walks to the house and shrugs it off.  Forsythe decides to shoot Joe in the back.

Inside the Ponderosa a couple of Mexican’s are clearing out the rifles from the racks, others are ransacking the house searching through drawers and cabinets.  Joe is lying on the settee.  A whistle is heard outside. Forsythe peeks out the front door and sees Ben returning.

Ben notices Cochise outside un-tethered and still eating hay where Joe left her.   Ben calls him but there’s no answer.  Ben calls Joe’s again and shouts if it’s too much to ask to stable his own horse.  He walks into the stable but is greeted with a pistol towards his chest.   Simms tells Ben to get into the house, Ben’s doesn’t know what’s going on.

When Ben enters the house he notices the men and his house is a mess, he hears Joe groaning on the settee and goes to him.  Forsythe tells Ben he had a little accident.


The door opens and a man walks in smoking a cigar, he looks around and wonders why his men always loot like bandits, he walks over to Forsythe and tells him he’s disgraced them and tells him to leave.    The man introduces himself to Ben as Arturo Diaz, General in the army of Benito Juárez.  Ben shouts at him telling him Juárez doesn’t have an army of bandits.  Diaz shouts back telling Ben they’re not bandits.   Ben shouts back telling him to get the men out of the house and that Joe needs a doctor.  Diaz asks Ben what’s wrong with him.  Ben tells him he was shot in the back.  Diaz looks at Simms and Simms averts his gaze to the floor.   Ben tells Diaz Joe needs a doctor but Diaz tells him he can’t since his men will be recognised in town and they’ll know he’s here, Diaz tells his men to take Joe to his room.


Diaz has taken out the buck shot from Joe’s back and tells Ben it’s up to Dios now.  Ben thanks him.  Diaz tells Ben they’re not bandits and that his men are good soldiers however their manners leave a lot to be desired.  He re-iterates that they’re not bandits.  Ben asks him why he’s here.  Diaz tells Ben that his country is fighting for its life against Maximilian the tyrant and tomorrow his mercenaries will use the Ponderosa to perform a certain act and if successful then his people will face eternal slavery.  Ben asks what they are going to do on the Ponderosa.  Diaz tells Ben he’ll find out tomorrow.  Joe stirs and Ben strokes his head.  Diaz tells Ben that Joe’s wound is very interesting.   Ben tells him no shotgun wound is interesting.  Diaz agrees but tells him that his wound is special, he tells Ben that the barrel of the shotgun was sawn off making a larger pattern and saved his life.  Ben asks which of his men has such a weapon.  Diaz tells Ben to get some sleep since he has a long ride in the morning.  Ben refuses to leave Joe.   Diaz believes that Ben is a fair and just man, a man who believes in human dignity and believes Ben would do something for people’s liberty.  Ben asks what he wants him to do.  Diaz needs someone to guide them through the back roads out of the mountains and he knows the country.   Ben tells him again he can’t leave Joe alone.  Diaz tells him as soon as the work is done he is free to return to him.   He posts Pablo at the top of the stairs.


Downstairs Diaz is eating by the fireplace, he has summoned Forsythe to see him.   Diaz asks what happened to Joe and Forsythe tells him he was forced to shot him.  Diaz questions Joe back.  Diaz tells Forsythe that he gave an order and it was his responsibility to see that no harm came to anyone.   Diaz asks how he should discipline him, Forsythe tells him any way he sees fit.  Diaz grabs his whip and gets up to beat Forsythe with it he tells his men to take him out and in the morning give him his guns back.   Pablo has been watching the events unfold from the stairs.

Outside Pablo goes to see Forsythe and tells him Diaz shouldn’t have hit him for shooting a gringo.  Forsythe tells him it wasn’t for the shooting and that Diaz has been gunning for him for a long time he tells Pablo that he’s played his hand and now he’ll play his.  Pablo tells him to be careful since Arturo Diaz is a big man, Forsythe doesn’t care and asks if Pablo’s with him.  Pablo agrees and asks about Simms.

A group of men are pulling a wagon, they are heavily armed.


Ben is waiting with Diaz’s men by an outcrop of rocks.  Forsythe tells Diaz the men are ready to attack, he tells him to get to his post.  Diaz tells Ben that Forsythe enjoys this part and Ben questions if Diaz does and he tells him that he’s had too much and that the revolution takes a long time.  Ben questions the one wagon, Diaz tells him it is what is in the wagon.

Diaz gives the signal for his men to attack.  He sends three men to lure the loose riders to his men hidden and finish them off from behind.  

Diaz goes down as well to help them but Forsythe shoots Diaz and he falls from his horse.  Ben spots Diaz’s horse running back and goes down to check with one of Diaz’s men.  Ben finds him on the ground and gives him some water.


When Forsythe goes to check the wagon he’s fired upon from within, there’s a woman in there and Forsythe grabs her.  Simms tells him to leave her alone and they fight.  The girl picks up the gun she dropped earlier and tells them to stop fighting, Forsythe punches Simms to the ground and threatens the girl for pointing a gun at her twice.  Ben and Diaz’s arrive in time and Simms is shocked to see Diaz alive since Forsythe told him he was dead. 


Diaz is confused and asks the girl her name, she tells them it’s Molly Reed and she was a passenger on the wagon.  Diaz tells her there were to be no passengers and asks her to explain.  Molly tells him that she was on her way to San Francisco but had no money, she was befriended by the driver and he let her ride in the back of the wagon.  Diaz asks Ben if she’s telling the truth, Ben doesn’t think it makes any difference and dismounts.  Diaz asks how many men they lost and Simms tells him all of them except, Pablo, Miguel, Forsythe and himself.  Diaz is saddened that he lost so many good men.  Diaz slices one of the grain bags in the wagon and grain pours out, Diaz holds his hand out catching the grains as they fall however there’s larger lumps falling out of the sack and he goes to show Ben.  It is lots of small gold ingots.  Diaz tells Ben that it was stolen from his country by Maximilian’s ministers, and a precious metal that could buy freedom of his people.  Diaz prays that it will be worth the price he’s paid in blood today.  Diaz bids farewell to Ben and apologises for all the trouble he’s put him in and will pray for Joe’s recovery.  Ben hurries to his horse but Diaz collapses against the wagon.   Ben goes over to him and Diaz asks Ben for another favour.  He has a bullet in his back and getting the doctor is still out of the question for him.  Ben tells Forsythe to him take him back to the Ponderosa.   Diaz refuses the wagon since he’s still in charge he will ride back. 

The wagon is put in the barn.  Diaz tell Ben to take Molly into the house and that Ben can see Joe now.  Simms tells Diaz that he’s let the wound fester, Diaz asks if he’s taken a bullet out of someone and he tells him he only puts them in people.  Diaz tells him not to worry since Senior Cartwright will show him.  Diaz posts Miguel to guard the gold and tells him to shoot anyone who goes near it.

Diaz is straddling a chair, and Ben begins the process of removing the bullet, Diaz collapses in pain and Ben tells Simms to hold him up.  Ben struggles to get the bullet out but when he does he looks at it and shows Simms.  It’s buckshot. 

Molly is sitting in front of the fireplace fiddling about with her dress, Forsythe comes in and moves towards her, Molly retreats away from him but he continues to advance.  Molly makes a run towards the door and Forsythe stops her and starts harassing her and pins her against the door and then kisses her.  Simms catches him in the act and tells him to leave, Molly runs to Simms.  Forsythe leaves and Simms tells Molly not to leave the house.

Simms leaves the house and Forsythe and Pablo are outside, Forsythe tells Simms they can split the gold between the three of them.  Forsythe tells Simms it’s easy money all he has to do if pull the trigger and kill Diaz and he can have one million dollars.  Simms tells him he’ll think about it and Forsythe tells Simms to remember that no matter where he goes he’ll always need money.

Simms takes over the watch on the wagon he tells Miguel to get something to eat and look after Molly.  As soon as Miguel leaves the barn he’s attacked by Forsythe and Pablo.


Ben is watching the events unfold from the bedroom window.  He tries to rouse Diaz but he’s out cold.  Ben searches for a weapon but has no luck.  Ben goes to Joe’s room, he’s asleep.  Ben wakes him up and tells him they have to go, Ben starts dressing Joe and when he lifts him up it causes him considerable pain and effort.  Ben dresses him regardless.

Molly is sitting by the fire when she hears Joe’s groans of pain; he’s coming down the stairs with the help of Ben.   Molly helps Ben get Joe to a chair and tells her that he’s going to get help for the General, he’s going to get a couple of horses.  Joe is worried about his Pa and doesn’t want him to leave Ben reassures Joe that he’ll be back.  Molly asks him what happens if he doesn’t, Ben glances over to Joe and tells her he will be back.  When Ben has left Joe attempts to get out of his chair he’s worried about his Pa, Molly tries everything to stop him.


Simms finds Ben sneaking into the barn his excuse is he’s there to look after the horses Simms tells him he’s already done it.  Simms is looking after a horse that looks like it’s about to go lame he’s been tending to it to try and stop it from getting worse.  Ben talks to him and finds out that Simms used to be a farmer but things just didn’t work out the way he wanted due to a drought, he found the gun easier than a plough.  Ben asks if he’s ever thought of starting over.  Simms tells Ben he’s been saving money the past few years, Ben tells him land bought with blood is hard to plough but Simms can’t see it any other way.  Ben tells him Oregon would be a good place to start since it’s free for the taking, Simms doesn’t think he could ever go back to that way of life, Ben tells him to put away his gun.  Simms hears a noise outside and goes to look, he pulls his gun out and Ben tries to stop him, the gun goes off upward.  Joe appears shouting for his Pa.  Ben sees Joe and tells him to go back to the house, Joe collapses to the ground and Molly appears to help him up, she tells Ben she tried to stop him but she couldn’t.  Ben goes to Joe.  Simms thinks Ben’s talk was just a rouse and threatens to shoot Joe and him.  Ben dares him to because that’s all he’s good at, Ben tells him he does want to get away but only because he wants to get help for Joe.  Ben tells him he can still have Oregon if he wants it but it’s easier for him to just pull a trigger instead he again dares him to pull the trigger and give up any chance of starting over with a new life.  Molly tells Simms that Ben is right but they are interrupted by Forsythe. 

Forsythe can’t believe that Simms would fall for the Oregon spiel and tells him with the gold he can build his own Ponderosa and without money he’ll always be breaking his back over acres of land.  Simms tells Ben to go back to the house.

Ben takes Joe back to his room.


Simms is concerned for Molly, and takes her over to the fire because she’s shivering.   Simms asks her what she’s going to do after all this and she tells him she’s not sure, maybe find a job in San Francisco.   Simms doesn’t believe it’s a good idea and tells her she’s pretty, but she recoils from him telling him she’s not the girl he thinks she is.  Simms tells her he knew instantly the moment he saw her and that she’s clean, pure, and beautiful.   Molly recoils again and tells him she’s none of those things.  He asks her what he’s supposed to see.  Molly tells him a year ago a Sioux Indian party raider their farm, they killed her parents in front of her and then took her.  They did unspeakable things to her for a year before she escaped but she tells Simms that she never escaped.  Simms tells her he doesn’t care she walks away from him at first but then runs into his arms.  Simms tells her that Forsythe has a plan but Molly doesn’t want him to follow it. 

Forsythe enters the house and tells Simms the wagon is ready and asks if he’s coming, Simms tells him he’ll be there in a minute and Molly tries to say something but he hugs her tightly.


General Diaz is sitting up, he has two pieces of buckshot in his hand, he tells Ben the man who shot Joe was a murderer and the man who shot him was a traitor.  Ben looks out the window and tells Diaz to come and look.  Pablo and Forsythe are loading gold on a their horses.  Ben climbs out the window.  Diaz looks at the pellets in his hand and clenches his fist.

Forsythe enters the house and sees Molly and Simms kissing, he overhears them talking about him and he tells Simms he’s either with him or he’s a dead man. 

Diaz appears at the top of the stairs.  Forsythe shouts for Pablo and Diaz shouts for the ‘pistolero’.  Diaz tells Forsythe that he could have been someone had he returned to Mexico with the gold, everyone would have hailed him a hero in their eyes but instead he chose to be greedy and tells him that that will be his downfall.  Forsythe tells him that he doesn’t scare him and that he’ll die just like any other man.  Diaz tell him he’ll never die because he stands for freedom for his people and he is death for people who would betray that freedom.  Pablo enters the house and shoots Simms who falls to the floor, Diaz grabs Forsythe and they struggle.  Ben appears behind Pablo and grabs him.  Forsythe fires his gun and Diaz rolls over, Pablo falls back when Ben punches him, Ben picks up the gun he dropped.   Ben rolls on the floor and fires are Forsythe killing him.  Molly runs to Simms who’s on the floor.  Ben goes over to Diaz and he speaks in Spanish before he dies.  Ben turns to Molly and Simms and tells them he said “God keep our country”.

Simms comes down the next morning and tells Molly he’s going to be okay but he has to do something first, he’s going to take the gold back to Juárez.  Molly agrees.  Simms tells Molly to stay at the Ponderosa until he gets back.  Ben has organised an escort for Simms to the border.  Simms kisses Molly and speaks to her in Spanish then leaves.  Ben tells her what he said “I’ll see you soon”.

Cast and CharactersEdit

The CartwrightsEdit



Did you know?Edit

  • This episode was never shown on German television.


  • The jacket Ben put on Little Joe was the same he got shot in the back with. There is, however, no bullet hole in the back of the jacket.


"He was shot in the back," Ben Cartwright


  • Pa consoles to Little Joe
  • Luego de la operacion
  • Mi hijo necesita un medico ahora!
  • Tiene un disparo en la espalda
  • Ben ve a Little Joe herido
  • Little Joe está nervioso, cree oir ruidos




See alsoEdit