| Season 2, Episode 59 |
# in Series
|Air date||April 1, 1961|
|Written by||Denne Bart Petitclerc |
|Directed by||William Witney|
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The Gift on IMDb
The Gift on TV.com
Little Joe is off to buy a gift for his pa's birthday. He's unaware that where he is heading the local Indians are on the war path and they've got him in their gun sights.
As Hoss and Adam awake in a hotel room, they discuss the surprise birthday present for their father that Joe has gone to Yuma to get - a white stallion. Ben is outside as a rider comes tearing into the fort, an arrow in his back. The man reports that renegade Indians are attacking and killing all whites between the fort and Yuma. Ben is horrified and hurries to the hotel room to get his things before going after his youngest.
Ben is ranting about how Joe was supposed to stay put at the fort and wait for them, instead of going to Yuma and putting himself in harm's way. Adam and Hoss then come clean and tell him that Joe was going to get his birthday present. Ben is all choked up and blusters, "Old fools make poor fathers!" and then heads out with his packed saddlebags. Of course, Adam and Hoss don't let him go looking for Joe alone and the three set out together to find him.
Meanwhile, Joe and Emiliano, the Mexican who has been caring for the stallion, or "The Big White One", as Emiliano calls the horse, are trying to dodge the Indians and make it out of the desert. Unfortunately, they are out of water. Emiliano suggests that they go to Sam Wolf and his group of ruthless Comancheros and ask for water. Emiliano used to ride with them and thinks they have a chance of getting what they need from them. Joe agrees it's worth a try.
Once in the compound of the Comancheros, Wolf tells Emiliano that he will take him back into the gang, but tells Joe that he will have to give him all his money and the stallion, in order to get water. Joe responds that "Nobody touches that horse!", but he is knocked out and thrown in a shack, along with Emiliano. Wolf tells Emiliano that they will still take him back, but they are going to use Joe as the turkey in a turkey shoot. When Wolf leaves, Joe tells Emiliano he should take Wolf up on his offer and keep himself alive. Emiliano say no way and says that the fact that Joe will be giving the white horse to his father touches him. He then lures their guard over and stabs him in the back and they escape the shack.
Joe and Emiliano head to the corral to get their horses, where Sam Wolf's younger brother has the stallion tied to a post and is whipping the horse. Joe goes after him and the two fight,and the stallion tramples the bad guy. Joe and Emiliano then ride away. Wolf is filled with fury and and heads off after them with all his Comancheros to get vengeance for his brother's death.
Joe and Emiliano head for some rocks to hold off the bad guys. Emiliano then makes Joe take the stallion, who is a lot stronger and faster than the other horse and run for it. Joe doesn't want to leave him, but he forces him at gunpoint. After Joe leaves, Emiliano is shot by Sam Wolf's men, right before Ben, Hoss and Adam arrive. Wolf takes two of the other men's horses and goes after Joe, while his men are trying to fight off the other Cartwrights.
Ben reaches Emiliano before he dies and he tells him about sending Joe on alone with the stallion, because it was the only way he had a chance. As Adam and Hoss finish off Wolf's men, Ben slips off alone and goes after Joe.
The white stallion is pulling away from the pursing Wolf, so the dirty bum shoots the horse out from under Joe. Unfortunately, the horse isn't dead, but is dying, and Joe uses his last bullet to put the beautiful horse out of his misery. Then Little Joe takes off running, while Wolf still has a fresh horse.
Joe soon is stumbling along, falling prey to the hot sun and lack of water. He falls down and realizes that he is lying in grass, dry and brown, but grass nevertheless! He looks around wildly and finds the stream a short distance away that has allowed the grass to grow. As he stumbles toward the water, however, Sam Wolf throws a lasso over him and pulls Joe to the ground. Wolf then ties Joe so that he can't get to the water.
Wolf heads for the stream to fill his own canteen. As he does so, the shadow of Ben Cartwright falls over him. Wolf eyes the stranger, who has a very cold, furious look on his face. Wolf goes for his gun, but Ben is faster and he drops Wolf, instead. Ben then rushes to Joe, unties him and gives him water. Joe tells Ben about the horse and Ben tells him he knows about it because Emiliano told him. Then Ben has to tell Joe that his friend is dead. Joe tells Ben, of the horse.
About that time, Adam and Hoss catch up and help Joe to a horse. Ben kneels down to fill his canteen in the stream, looks to heaven and silently mouths "Thanks!"
- Lorne Green: Ben Cartwright
- Dan Blocker: Hoss Cartwright
- Michael Landon: Little Joe Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts: Adam Cartwright
- Bob Miles: Chet
- Felipe Turich: Jail Guard
- Jack Hogan: Cash Wolfe
- Jim Davis: Sam Wolfe
- Joe Yrigoyen: Cayetano
- Martin Landau: Emeliano
- Robert Christopher: Lieutenant
- Little Joe has to use his "last bullet" to put down the injured white horse. He shoots the horse and tosses his now-useless pistol. As he walks toward the horse we can see the back of his gunbelt is full of ammunition! (He doesn't actually have bullets on his gun belt, these are actually rivets equally spaced.)
- When Little Joe and his friend break out of their cell, Joe drags a right-handed Commanchero into the cell and comes out with a left-handed pistol belt.
- When Sam Wolf tries to take the white stallion and the horse rears up, you can see the top of the background set piece.