Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“Denver McKee (episode)”
Season 2, Episode 6
#38 in Series
96520064 vlcsnap-00341
Air date October 15, 1960
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Fred Freiberger

Steve McNeil

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Hopefuls
Next Episode:
Day of Reckoning
External links
Denver McKee (episode) on IMDb


Ranchers are being killed, cattle stolen, and retired U.S. Deputy Marshall Denver McKee leads various posses but never finds the culprits. Meanwhile, McKee seems to have plenty of money to take care of his gorgeous daughter back home from schooling in the East.


Adam, Hoss and Joe are on the trail back to the Ponderosa when they hear a gunshot. They find an old man robbed of three years work and shot, but couldn't identify the robbers well. Hoss promises to get him a doctor, but before theysend for one, he dies.

Ben visits Denver, an old friend, while Miles, his foreman, hooking up horse to buggy. Denver's daughter, Connie, is coming home from out east and Denver is extremely nervous. He is dressed up, wanting to make a good impression on Connie. He has fixed up the house, worried that she won't like her new surroundings. Ben asks Denver and Connie to a welcome home party. Denver agrees happily.

When Ben arrives home, his sons tell about the robbery. Their only clue is one robber had red hair. Ben puts the few personal belongings of the deceased man in a drawer and starts getting ready for the party.

As the party is getting underway, Connie and Dever McKee show up after Ben toasts Denver and his daughter. Joe gives Connie a welcome home kiss and she slaps him on the face, calling him fresh before greeting Hoss and Adam. Denver tells Ben he wants to give Connie what Ben gave his sons and Ben says that Denver has already done it.

The next day, Denver is shooting a can around the yard when Ben, Adam, and Hoss ride up to hunt for the killers of three men. The victims include the old prospector and two men at one of the local mines. Connie doesn't want her father to go since he is retired. Connie continues to pout even after telling her that they do it to maintain law, not because they enjoy it.

Connie rides to see Little Joe at the ranch as Joe is doing chores while the rest of the Cartwrights are out. When Joe tells Connie that he has a present for her, her whole demeanor changes and she becomes excited. It turns out that the gift is a horse and Connie loves it. She kisses Joe and soon after they ride off together and stop at a pond, exchanging a few kisses and a few playful words about Joe's girlfriends. Joe asks Connie if she is going back back East, but she is not entirely sure.

Ben, Adam, and Hoss are at the canyon where Denver lost the robbers' trail. They figure out that the robbers have doubled back. The Cartwrights lose their trail again and realize that the killers aren't strangers, but are actually neighbors. The Cartwrights hear gunshots and find that three more people have been shot, although one is not dead. Adam and Hoss go after the killers, but Ben stays to help the wounded man. He tells Ben that they were all masked except one and that there were four of them. Adam and Hoss return, having not found the men. The wounded man explains he couldn't put a name to one of the men, but had seem him around many times, meaning that the killers were in fact people that they knew.

Denver and Miles are talking about the killing that has happened at the robbers’ camp. Miles isn't happy because he didn't want any killing to happen. Denver isn't worried, but Miles doesn't want Connie to find out what is going on. Denver feels that everything will be fine because he is in charge. Miles wants to pull out, but the others don't want anyone to pull out. One of the men promises that the first man that wants to pull out will be killed.

Ben, Adam, and Hoss talk to Denver about what they have found out and Denver realizes that they are hot on the trail of him and his gang. Denver angrily tells Ben that he doesn't want to help anymore because he doesn't want to get hurt, stating he is sick and tired of helping other people and just wants to take care of Connie. Ben is shocked that Denver feels this way, but he doesn't press him to help.

Later Connie and Joe come through the door and Joe puts down all of Connie's packages from shopping. Connie invites Joe to dinner and he decides to stay. When Connie goes upstairs, Joe and Denver talk about Joe's relationship with Connie. He asks Denver if he can ask Connie to marry him, but Denver is not happy at all and feels that Connie should have the best and Joe was not in Denver's plans for Connie. Joe leaves.

Connie comes downstairs asking about Joe. Denver is confused about what Connie wanted. He thought she wanted to go East and sell the ranch. Connie says she doesn't want to anymore and instead wants to marry Joe, but wants to wait awhile before they marry. Denver says all he ever wanted for Connie was her to be happy, then they hug.

Joe is still sad from Denver not wanting Joe to wed Connie, while the others are starting to feel that Denver might have something to hide. Ben decides that it can't be true, but that Miles might have had something to do with it. Joe is very defensive that any McKee could do something crooked. Adam wants to face the fact that Miles wasn't at the party the night that the payroll for one of the local mines was stolen. Ben asks Hoss to keep an eye on the McKee ranch and if Miles leaves to trail him.

Hoss is watching the McKee house, but nothing happens all night. Joe comes in the morning, sees something, and tells Hoss to stay. Denver, Miles and a redheaded man are all talking at the ranch. Joe and Hoss decide to get Ben and Adam. Miles feels they should lay low for awhile, but the redhead says the gang won't do that and he plans to sleep in the bunkhouse and not outside anymore. He acts like he is in charge of the gang.

The Cartwrights arrive at the McKee ranch and find the redhead waiting for them. Miles and Denver greet the Cartwrights. The redhead pulls a gun on Joe, but Joe promptly shoots him. Adam shoots another man who pulls a gun on them. Connie comes out to see what all the gunshots are about, and Denver tells Joe to get her back in the house. Joe complies.

Ben asks Denver why he stole with the gang and Denver replies that he ran out of money. Ben tells Denver that he will have to take him in, but Denver says no. Denver goes for his gun and Ben shoots and hits Denver in the stomach. Denver tells Ben not to blame himself and dies. Ben tells Hoss that Denver could have out drawn him in any gunfight.

Later, Connie comes out of the house dressed up and about to leave on the stagecoach. Joe asks her if she really wants to go, but she says she needs time to forget what has happened. She tells him she loves him and then gets into the buggy and leaves.


The Cartwrights


  • Bob Barker: Mort
  • Franchot Tone: Denver McKee
  • Jack Lester: Johnson
  • Jim Galante: Corey
  • Ken Mayer: Miles Briscoe
  • Natalie Trundy: Connie McKee
  • Pete Robinson: Fleming
  • Stephen Courtleigh: Harley
  • William Fawcett: Pete Redfern


Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Mr. Denver McKee", meaning "Mr. Denver McKee".




See also[]