BONANZA: A Lost Episode, "The Man In The Barn"
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"The Man In The Barn" Episode Stars:
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When NBC's mega-hit western series, Bonanza, was sadly cancelled, tears flowed like well water on the sets of the famous Ponderosa, where Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright had entertained millions of loyal viewers, was being torn down and carted off for storage. It was the saddest of days for the cast of Bonanza: Lorne Green, "Ben Cartwright," Michael Landon, "Little Joe," Pernell Roberts, "Adam," and Dan Blocker, "Hoss." It was comparable to a key segment of life itself ending.
The higher-up's at NBC came to Greene, Roberts, Landon and Blocker with fear in their eyes. They were supposed to have filmed an final episode before Bonanza was really cancelled, but somehow. Someway. Or someone. Had made off with a script for their final show entitled, "Bonanza: "The Man In The Barn," but the valuable script was never found.
Until . . .a nameless. Unimportant. Obscure janitor by the name of, "Bill," was going about his business of sweeping up a mostly-forgotten NBC warehouse one late fall night in September of 1970, when his eyes beheld what looked like a book laying on top of a box labelled, "Bonanza stuff," and picked it up and began to read it. Bill was happy. More happy than he had been in days. He had stumbled upon the once-elusive script that had drove NBC exec's and cast to a near-madness state of mind.
Long story short. Bill was rewarded for his find. Two days off with half-pay. A dollar raise on his check. And a free autographed black and white photo of the stars of Bonanza suitable for framing, for his noble efforts to turn the script in to the NBC brass. After Bill had done his great deed, he was immediately transferred to San Diego to work as a daytime security guard in one of NBC's huge parking lots where the likes of Johnny Carson, Dennis Weaver, and Clint Howard, (brother of Ron Howard) used to park while working on their NBC shows. Bill never asked why he was to guard a vacant parking lot. And building. Things like this never bothered Bill. He was a loyal NBC employee.
SCRIPT TITLE: Bonanza: "The Man In The Barn"
CAST: Lorne Green, Ben; Michael Landon, Joe; Dan Blocker, Hoss, and Pernell Roberts, Adam. With Hop-Sing, cook, housekeeper and Sheriff Roy Coffee.
GUEST STAR: Ty Harding as "Lenny Sweet," mysterious wandering man who shows up on the Ponderosa one hot summer afternoon in July.
opens with The Cartwright boys, Hoss, Joe, and Adam hard at work. Busy as beavers on caffeine doing some outside chores.
HOSS: Joe, how about some help? Joe? Dadburn it, Joe, what in tarnation are you doing?
JOE: (after bobbing his head in the trough for horses to drink water) Ha, ha. Big brother. You got to think. When pa comes out here and sees how wet I am, he will think I've been sweating and give me a big raise.
HOSS: "YOU" a big raise? What about me? I'm the one holding up this wagon load of grain with one hand and fixining the broke wheel with the other!
JOE: Don't get upset, big brother. Everyone knows that I'm the one with brains and looks, so I will divide my raise with you 70-30. Okay?
HOSS: What's 70-30?
JOE: you get 30 percent, and I get 70 percent. See? Just be quiet and watch me bob my head again in this water trough.
HOSS: Wow, 30 percent can buy a whole lotta beer. Thanks, Joe.
Hoss begins to work in the wagon again, but spies Adam sitting in the shade on the porch of the house just staring off into space with a blank look on his face.
HOSS: Adam! Hey, Adam! What's wrong with you? You sick? That Hop-Sing's left-over gopher hash he give us at breakfast would make a full-grown bull sick. Adam?
ADAM IS UNRESPONSIVE. CONTINUES TO STARE INTO SPACE.
HOSS: Hey, Joe, stop that bobbing. Something's wrong with Adam. Come here. We gotta snap him out of this fix!
HOSS: Well you ain't no good at helping me fix that wagon!
JOE: Okay. Okay. Let me try. 'Adam! (SLAPS HIS FACE) Adam! (SLAPS HARDER) I--said---ADAM . . .
HOSS: You did it, Little Joe. You shoulda been a doctor.
ADAM: What's all the ruckus? Why the slap, Joe? And all the loud yelling, fellas?
HOSS: You was just sitting there staring at nothing. Thought you might have been sick on that new dish from Hop-Sing, 'Gopher Hash," he give us at breakfast.
ADAM: (laughs at Hoss' ignorance) No, Hoss, I was just deep in thought. Really deep. Probably the deepest in thought I've been since last winter.
JOE: What could make you think that hard, Adam?
ADAM: Mankind, Little Joe. Mankind.
HOSS: I don't get it.
JOE: Don't worry. You aren't supposed to get it. You're Hoss. Strong. Tough, but not written as a smart man. Okay?
HOSS: Well, since you explained it that way. Okay.
JOE: Now Adam, what was you thinking about mankind anyway?
ADAM LOOKS ANGRY AT JOE. ANSWERS IN A SHARP, OBTUSE TONE
ADAM: Never mind! You two 'men,' wouldn't understand my feelings anyway.
ADAM: My feelings! I was feeling blue because there aren't enough good men to go around in the world and my simpleton brothers, on the Ponderosa.
HOSS AND JOE LOOK AT EACH OTHER STUNNED AT ADAM'S ANSWER AS ADAM GOES BACK INTO THE HOUSE.
JOE: What's eatin' him?
HOSS: I'm not supposed to know, remember? But "I" better get his wagon fixed before Pa comes out here to take this grain to town. Joe, get your head back in that water trough.
JOE LOOKS MISHEVIOUS AT HOSS AND CONTINUES TO BOB HIS HEAD IN THE WATERING TROUGH.
END OF ACT 1
opens with The Cartwright boys, Hoss, Joe, and Adam all outside working to load the wagon that Hoss has now repaired. Ben Cartwright is nearby--watching his sons work together to get the job done.
BEN: Nice work, Adam! Nice work. You take the rest of the day off. Get yourself some rest.
HOSS: (SHOCKED) . . . But, Pa, I was . . .the one, whattt? Good work, Adam? What's this, another joke on simple-minded Hoss?
JOE: Quiet, Hoss. Let me do the talking. Pa, Hoss is right. "I" did more than Adam. See how wet my head and shirt are from sweating?
BEN: Let me taste that shirt, Joe!
BEN LICKS JOE'S SHIRT AND A SMILE COMES ON BEN'S FACE.
BEN: Nice try, Joseph, but sweat tastes salty. That water on your face and shirt had to come from the watering trough.
JOE: What about my big raise?
BEN: Oh, you can go with me to town and see Doc Waters if you like.
HOSS: Yeah. Let YOU do the talking. You ain't gettin' no raise. And I done all the work. But Adam gets the afternoon off!!!!
HOSS TACKLES ADAM. JOE TACKLES HOSS. THE THREE MEN ROLL AROUND CAUSING DUST TO FLY UP. BEN STANDS BACK AND GRINS.
BEN: Now, boys. (Ha, ha), good way to ged rid of that anger. I learned that in the days when I was working on a shipping vessel out of New Orleans . . .and . . .hey, boys! Get up! It's sheriff Roy Coffee!
ADAM, HOSS AND JOE STAND UP AND BRUSH THE DIRT FROM THEIR CLOTHES WHILE LOOKING LIKE THEY HAD BEEN CAUGHT STEALING CHICKENS.
SHERIFF COFFEE: Ben. Boys!
BEN: Sheriff Coffee?
SHERIFF COFFEE: No, but I'll take a drink of water if you have one handy.
BEN: What brings you to the Ponderosa so early today?
SHERIFF COFFEE: Ben, you know I don't go around nosin' into other people's affairs, but a hobo came through town last night and I had to run him out town for vagrancy and he told me that he had come across your land, Ben, and had seen a mysterious sight: the skeletal remains of two hefty steers laying in the woods on that lower 100 acres toward the east.
BEN: Oh, Roy! Haw, haw, I needed a laugh.
SHERIFF COFFEE: What's so funny, Ben? Looks like you got some rustlers.
BEN: Nawww, Roy. Just one hungry lummox--Hoss.
HOSS: What did he say I was?
JOE: Shhh, he's laughing. Leave it be.
ADAM: Ohh, the mankind. I need to write a poem right now.
SHERIFF COFFEE: Hoss? Is the the rustler?
BEN: Haw, haw. Roy, you haven't been at the brandy this morning have you? I sent Hoss to camp out in that area where I got about 60 head of prime cattle and told him to make sure we didn't have any coyotes, wolves, and well, truth is, Hoss forgot to take along some grub and he naturally got hungry and the beef were present...so he butchered and cooked those steers to tide him over until he returned home. Understand now, sheriff coffee?
SHERIFF COFFEE: No, but water would sure go down good. Okay, Ben. Sorry to bother you. I got to be getting over to the widow Laslow's house to see if she's alright. She's taking the death of her husband pretty hard.
JOE: You mean, Genny Laslow, 23, good looking, great shape? Mind if I ride with you, sheriff coffee?
SHERIFF COFFEE: Do you people EVEN have any water on hand?
BEN: Now, Joe, Hoss. You two have enough chores to do around here . . .and Adam's chores too. No sassy talk now. I will be returning toward dark. Tell Hop-Sing I will be home for supper.
BEN MOUNTS THE WAGON. YELLS TO HIS TEAM OF HORSES TO GET UP. SHERIFF COFFEE LEAVES AS WELL AS JOE AND HOSS RECLUCTANTLY BEGIN TO DO THEIR CHORES AND THOSE OF ADAM.
END OF ACT 2.
opens with The Cartwright boys, Hoss, Joe, and Adam sitting on the porch on the front of the house enjoying an after-dinner drink of brandy as they quietly enjoy the soft summer breezes.
ADAM: Wheew, what a day. (WIPES FOREHEAD).
JOE AND HOSS BOTH SAY: What to YOU mean, what a day? You didn't do anything but sit and look off into space like a calf that hit his head on a rock!
ADAM: I apologize boys. You are most correct. I was just, uhh, reminiscing about that business trip Pa sent me on last spring back east. What a marvelous time I had in Boston.
JOE: Boston? I recall that Pa sent you to New York to meet with some banker friend of his for additional-funding he needed for that log chute we built on Tiger Bend Creek.
HOSS: What did he call me this afternoon . . .lum, uh, lumm, . . .lummox?
JOE: Oh, that just means you are strong like an ox, Hoss.
HOSS: Yeah . . .yeah, that's it. I am strong alright. Want me to lift you in the air, Adam?
ADAM: No, ha, ha, my simpleton brother, I will just sit here, sip this store-bought brandy and dwell on mankind....the man that was kind to me in Boston. What a memorable trip. Say, why not ask Pa if you two can take a trip to Boston next week. I got some inside information for you. I overhead Pa talking to himself last night and seems that he wants to buy another thousand acres east for grassland for our huge herds of cattle . . .so just listen carefully when Pa starts mumbling about banking and you two could be in for the time of your lives.
JOE: Smart move, Adam! Thanks, older brother!
HOSS: Thanks from this lummox, Adam.
ADAM: Uhhh, Hoss, I woudn't be saying 'lummox' about yourself in decent public.
HOSS: Oh yeah. People might get the idea I was being high-minded. Okay. Thanks.
JOE: (YAWNS) well, boys, think I'll turn in. Got to hit it hard tomorrow. Cattle to drive out of the upper ninety-acres on the south side. Hoss, you coming tomorrow?
HOSS: Yeah, guess so. You never know when you will need a lummox. Night, Adam.
JOE AND HOSS EXIT. ADAM LIGHTS A CIGAR AND CONTINUES TO LOOK UPWARD TO THE STARS AS IF HE IS WISHING FOR SOMETHING.
SUDDENLY, THE HORSES IN THE BARN GET RESTLESS. NEIGH LOUDLY. A STRANGER IS WALKING DOWN THE ROAD TOWARD THE CARTWRIGHT ESTATE.
ADAM: Pa?! Sheriff Coffee?! Who's there? I'm armed. Who are you?
LENNY SWEET: No fear, friend. My name is Lenny Sweet. Glad to make your acquaintance.
ADAM: (EYES LIGHT UP) Adam Cartwright. Likewise. Sayyy, where did you come from, mister?
LENNY: Ohhh, a ways down the road. My horse went lame and I set him free--didn-t have the heart to shoot him. Guess I'm not much of a man, huh?
ADAM: (LOOKING LENNY UP AND DOWN) Now I wouldn't say that, Lenny. Seems like you are a pretty good man. What brings you to these parts?
LENNY: Ohhh, mostly looking for work. And then maybe, uhhh, moving on toward San Francisco. I have an itch for the big city. I just fell in love with Philadelphia when I was there last month and man . . .
ADAM: Ever been to Boston?
LENNY: No, sir. I can't say that I have.
ADAM: You haven't lived, Lenny, until you enjoy the night life of Boston...the people..the lights...the sounds...the theater plays . . .the operas . . .the fashion shows . . .ahhh, it's breath-taking.
LENNY: You sound like you want to live in Boston, Adam. But that's not my place to say.
ADAM: That's quite alright, Lenny. Would you be wanting to stay the night?
LENNY: You bet I would. Sleeping in the woods is for the bears. (COVERS HIS MOUTH LIKE A PROPER GIRL AS HE LAUGHS) Ha, ha, giggle, giggle.
ADAM: In the morning, you can see my pa about a job. We can always use a good bronc-buster. And how about I escort you to the house so you can wash-up, have a bite of, ha, ha, left-overs, and a new shirt.
LENNY: Sounds great, Adam, but no shirt. Okay?
ADAM: Why no shirt, Lenny, NOT that I'm complaining....I always appreciate a man who exercises and builds himself into a really-good temple...with bulging muscles....broad shoulders...wow.
LENNY: No offense, Adam, but the last time I wore a shirt was about six years ago. I met this young girl. A pretty thing. And she fell in love with me...I told her right off that I didn't have time for girls...I was a man's man--love to hunt and that sort of thing, but she kept on harassing me. Day and night. Until finally her daddy, a powerful land baron, sent his men to take care of me. And they did. They used the most-painful method of hurting a man since heartache...they rubbed me down in tuna fish oil and turned about a hundred, hungry house cats loose on me...that hurt, Adam. I was never so scratched up in my life. That's why I never wear shirts. Too painful.
HOP-SING: (UPSET) What all ruckus in here? Need sleep. Never enough time to sleep. Who you?
ADAM: Hop-Sing, this is my friend, Lenny. He needs a bite of dinner. And he doesn't like shirts.
HOP-SING (EYES GET BIG) Loco! That okay. Will fix special dish for you. Cow Tail Soup. Migh--tee good.
ADAM: You can wash up in the little room there. Hop-Sing, bring me some coffee, please?
HOP-SING (ANGRY) Always with the bring this. Bring that. Cook-a meal. Make-a bed. Never rest. Here, Mr. Adam. Drink. (SAYS AS HE WALKS AWAY) Hope-a scald throat.
LENNY: I hope that whomever's cot that I urinated on in there won't be too upset.
ADAM: Naaah, that's just Hop-Sing's room. He's used to us guys doing guy things.
LENNY: Are there any women folk here, Adam?
ADAM: Lenny! Are you joking? We got it made--all guys. All the time. No women with their silky this. Silky that. Always having "feelings" and needed to talk..not for me.
LENNY: Ha, ha, man you do have a great life.
HOP-SING: Here. You eat. Me sleep. If you need more. Get yourself.
ADAM: Ha, ha, you think he's upset now. Wait for it . . .
HOP-SING: (LOUDLY. ANGRY) Who the swine who do this to cot? Who the vermin? Where the gun? I take care of fool who wet my bed!
ADAM: I apologize, Lenny. I think he's not used to company. I will quieten him down.
ADAM STANDS AND KNOCKS HOP-SING OUT COLD. HE LANDS ON THE FLOOR.
LENNY: (SMILING) ha, ha, I never knew anybody who punched that hard!
ADAM: Ha, ha. I don't believe in fighting. Not even with a gun--even if I'm right. Lenny, let me explain. I LOVE mankind . . .men. Men who work. Toil. To make our country great. I have a soft spot in my soul for men. So I cannot be justified in taking their precious lives. Or harming their bodies, can I? It's tough being Adam Cartwright, I tell you.
LENNY: (YAWNS) Excuse me, Adam. Been a tough day. I want to turn in and we can "chat" in the morning.
LENNY STEPS OVER HOP-SING. STARTS TOWARD THE STAIRS.
ADAM: Ohhh, uhh, Lenny, on second thought. There are not any rooms up there. My brothers, Hoss and Joe, and my pa, all have rooms up there. Why not a nice, comfy bed in the hay in our luxurious barn, that is more-lavish than most houses in Virginia City?
LENNY: Sounds great. I hate beds anyway. I'm more of an outdoorsman anyway. Lead the way.
HOSS AND JOE STUMBLE DOWNSTAIRS STILL SLEEPY.
JOE: Who was that mumbling down here?
HOSS: I don't know. I was sound asleep dreaming of how my new name, lummox could help me in Virginia City at winning free beer.
JOE: Hey, what happened to Hop-Sing?
JOE RUNS TO HOP-SING. KNEELS DOWN.
Hop-Sing! Heyyy, Hop-Sing! Can you hear me, Hop-Sing?
HOSS: Joe, is . . he . . .
WITHOUT WARNING, HOP-SING COMES TO LIFE. USES ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS--JUDO, KARATE TO BEAT JOE LIKE A BAD DRUM.
HOSS STANDS BACK. LAUGHS. JOE IS ON THE FLOOR. BLEEDING. LOOKING SCARED.
HOSS: Now that's enough, Hop-Sing! One more punch and you are fired.
HOP-SING: Promises. Promises. I go to room. Need sleep. Cannot keep this up. Hop-Sing too old. Not my fault. Mr. Adam made me lay in floor. Hurt jaw with his fist. Not my fault.
HOSS: We didn't know, Hop-Sing. Okay. We apologize. You can sleep 'til 5:30 in the morning instead of 3:30. How 'about that?
HOP-SING: Good-ee. Good-ee. Mister compassion Hoss Cart-a-wright.
HOSS: That's Lummox Cartwright.
JOE: Shhh. I hear somebody. Let's go!
HOSS: I do too. I'm headed back to bed.
JOE: No, lummox, we need to see who's in the front yard.
JOE AND HOSS RUN LIKE THE WIND TO THE FRONT YARD.
JOE: Pa! What are you doing out here so late?
HOSS: Yeah, Pa. It's already dark.
BEN: Are you two into my private stock of Irish Whiskey my former boss in the shipping business, Mr. Patty McTavish, gave me when I left New Orleans? Huh?
JOE AND HOSS SHAKE THEIR HEADS 'NO.'
BEN: Hey, what's that? I heard a noise in the barn! Let's see what it is...might be a coyote.
HOSS: this is a job for Lummox Cartwright.
BEN AND JOE LOOK AT EACH OTHER WITH PITY FOR HOSS.
BEN: Joe, Hoss, you two cover the back...I'll check the front door.
INSIDE THE BARN . . .
ADAM: Think you will be staying long, Lenny?
LENNY: Depends, Adam. On how much I can make busting bronc's and how good the men are to me. I've heard that men out this far west can really be a pain in the tookus.
ADAM: (CHUCKLING) not to worry, Lenny. Our guys are all nice. You can even say sweet. They may look rough, but that's just their way of expressing themselves.
ADAM: . . .oh, Lenny, you have some trail dust on your back. I'll get it.
BY NOW, BEN, JOE AND HOSS ARE TOGETHER AT THE FRONT DOOR OF THE BARN. AND THIS IS WHAT THEY HEAR FROM THE INSIDE OF THE BARN:
ADAM, TRYING TO PICK UP A TABLE FOR LENNY TO USE FOR STORING IS PERSONABLES SAYS:
. . .Help me, Lenny! Yeaah, that's it. Ahhh.
. . .That feel better, Adam?
. . .Yeahhh, move it to the left. That's it!
. . .Like that, Adam?
. . .Oh, oh, YES, Lenny. YES!
. . .I see stars . . .stars! (ADAM LOOKING OUT A WINDOW OF THE BARN)
LENNY: While I pick up this heavy saddle, would you be a pal, Adam, and see if you can unbuckle my chaps? Can you do it from behind?
ADAM: Glad to, Lenny. We want you to be made to feel welcome.
AS LENNY LIFTS HIS SADDLE, ADAM REACHES AROUND HIM TO UNBUCKLE HIS CHAPS. BEN, JOE, AND HOSS BURST IN.
BEN: Adam Cartwright!
HOSS: Who's the guy, Adam?
ADAM: Sorry, boys. Uh, now, this looks funny, but I can explain.
BEN: (STERNLY) Okay. I'm waiting.
ADAM: This is Lenny Sweet. He walked down here from the main road. He had to shoot his horse . . .
BEN: Is that what they call it these days?
ADAM: Pa! And Lenny needed a job. So told him to see you in the morning about a job we got open for a bronc buster.
LENNY: Adam is telling the truth. Uhh, Adam, you can let go of my chaps now.
BEN: Lenny Sweet, you say? Any kin to Shug Sweet, the mule trader in Silver City?
LENNY: That's my second-cousin on my mama's side.
BEN: Well, any cousin of Shug's is an employee of ours. Welcome aboard, but that job of bronco-busting is not coming open until a few weeks, Adam.
ADAM: Oh, Im sorry, Lenny. My bad. I thought it was coming open next week.
BEN: Tell you what, Lenny. When I rode up in the yard, I noticed that Hop-Sing was laying down in the floor taking a nap. Poor Hop-Sing. He's been working way too hard. I'm gonna let him take a month or two off, with pay, to travel back to his homeland to visit his relatives. How would you like to fill-in for Hop-Sing while he's gone?
LENNY: You mean it, Mr. Cartwright? Me? Cooking, sewing, washing laundry, dishes, woweee! I would love that. I'm more of a homemaker than a dusty ol' bronc-buster. Thanks, Mr. Cartwright. I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning at 3 a.m. and have you boys, especially this hard-working Adam, (WINKS AT ADAM), a huge breakfast! Now let me get your names straight . . .
You are "Little Joe," I already know Adam and you are Mr. Cartwright.
and big fella . . .what do they call you . . .
HOSS: They call me Lummox Cartwright, but keep that twixt us.
THE CAST LAUGH AS THE SCENE ENDS.
END OF BONANZA EPISODE: "THE MAN IN THE BARN."