The Mission (1960) Bonanza

The Mission (1960) Bonanza., Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, FULL EPISODE

"Bonanza" episode
Season 2, Episode 34
# in Series
Air date September 17, 1960
Guest starring:
Written by Robert E. Thompson
Directed by James Neilson
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
Next Episode:
Badge Without Honor
External links
The Mission on IMDb
The Mission on


Charlie Trent used to be an Army scout. Now he's the town drunk. Hoss helps him regain his self-esteem when he has him volunteer to lead a gold-bearing troop through the desert where there's very little water.


An Army wagon train carrying gold is in Virginia City getting supplies. When their scout, a large, bossy man named Cutter refuses to obey orders, Captain Pender fires him. Now he needs a scout who can lead them across the desert. Hoss' "friend", Charlie Trent, scouted for the Fremont Expedition, but now is a drunk. On one of his scouting missions, he lead them straight into an ambush and nearly everyone died. That's why he drinks. The Capt remembers Charlie from before the incident, and desperate for a guide, offers the job to him. Hoss promises Charlie will be there. Charlie finally agrees only if Hoss will go with him.

Cutter has a small gang and they had planned on stealing the gold once they got to the middle of the desert. Cutter thinks this is even better. All they have to do is let Charlie lead the wagon train, rob it, and kill everyone. People will assume that Old Charlie led the party and got lost in the desert and they all died of thirst. No one will know Cutter and his men made off with the gold. So they ride ahead of the wagon train.

Hoss has dumped out all of Charlie's whiskey and is forcing him to continue. He believes Charlie can do it. After all, Charlie was the first one to cross this desert with Fremont, no one knows it better than Charlie. With Hoss' support, Charlie leads them tho the first of three water holes. But before they drink from it, Charlie notices a dead hare. He tastes the water and knows it's been poisoned. They cut rations and move on for the second hole.

Charlie hasn't made it to the second hole yet. In fact he's not sure where it is, but he tells Hoss to tell the soldiers he'll find it. He'll ride ahead and when he finds it, he'll fire three shots in the air. The party trudges on. Eventually, they hear the three shots and run to the water hole. But before they drink, Charlie tells them this one is poisoned too. One soldier doesn't believe it and dives in. A few minutes later he's dead. The Captain has to decide whether to turn back or go on. He opts to go on.

They know now that someone is ahead of them poisoning the water holes, but they don't believe the third will be poisoned until the last moment. After all, those men will want the water for themselves. Charlie wants to scout at night by himself. He says if he finds the hole and if the water is clean, he'll fire three shots, pause, then fire two more. Hoss insists on going too.

Cutter's men are eager to steal the gold. By the third hole they're lying in wait behind the rocks. When Hoss and Charlie arrive, they take them prisoner. Cutter demands to know how many men are left and what the signal is to bring them. Hoss refuses to say. Cutter waves a bottle of whiskey in front of Charlie and he decides to talk. He says the signal is three shots. Cutter fires three times. The soldiers hear them, but wonder where the other two shots are. They realize it's a signal to turn north and get out of the desert because there's danger up ahead.

Charlie's enjoying his whiskey and laughing. He's proud of himself, knowing the army won't be coming. He saved the party and the gold. Hoss wonders what will happen to them when Cutter realizes the wagon train isn't coming. But the wagon train does come. Since only three soldiers are seen, Cutter suspects the other two are sneaking up around back. He leaves one man to watch Hoss and Charlie, while the others split up and cover the front and the back. Hoss and Charlie manage to get away from their guard. They over power the gang and the Captain arrives with only a few losses. With clean water, the party is able to make it out of the desert and Charlie has redeemed himself.

Cast and CharactersEdit

The CartwrightsEdit





"I'll cut your liver out! And a man don't live long without a liver, that's a pure medical fact!"
Lewt Cutter to Captain Pender[src]



Bonanza The Mission S02-E02

Bonanza The Mission S02-E02

See alsoEdit