"Bonanza" episode
Season 3, Episode 2
#68 in Series
Air date October 1, 1961
Guest starring:
Written by John Furia
Directed by Christian Nyby
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Smiler
Next Episode:
The Honor of Cochise
External links
Springtime on IMDb
Springtime on


Ben's friend Jebediah Milbank is accidentally injured by the Cartwright boys' rowdy horseplay in the mud. While Milbank convalesces in their home, Ben has each of a boys attend to a piece of the recovering man's business, sending each off in a different direction.


Hoss is driving a cart full of poles through a large puddle and it gets stuck, Hoss gets out to try and help the mules get unstuck.  He grabs the rear wheel and shouts at the mules to move, as they move forwards Hoss helps turn the wheel to get the wagon unstuck, as he does so the mules jolt forwards making Hoss fall flat on his face and the wagon holding the poles to fall out.

Joe and Adam are working nearby when the wagon approaches, Adam wonders where Hoss is.  Later on Hoss comes walking towards them with one pole in his hands and he throws it down, Joe asks if he fell asleep and fell off, Adam asks Hoss where the rest of the poles are.   Hoss tells them what happened, Joe moans he’s tired like a hungry steer and sick of green wood and Adam is tired of hearing them moaning and tells them to stack the poles.

Joe bends down to pick up his pole and walks towards Adam, Hoss picks up his pole and notices the geese flying overhead and watches them accidentally knocking his pole into Joe, Joe stumbles forwards and into Adam, Adam falls backwards and knocks over the pile of poles that were standing up.  They start to argue, Joe blames Hoss and then they start fighting.

In Virginia City, Ben is waiting outside the livery stable, Jedediah Milbank is there inspecting a buggy he wants to purchase from the livery owner.   He tells him the springs aren’t much good as well as the harness, he also mentions the rims on the wheels are nearly worn away, he offers $30 for the whole rig including the horse.  Jedediah tells the owner that the nag should have been put down long ago, this prompts Ben to giggle to himself as he watches on.  Ben is in the buggy with Jedediah and he tells him that his sons are stacking wood to cure it to build a new branding pen.  Ben wonders where his boys are and Jedediah is anxious to meet them since the last time he saw them they were children, and that they must be men now, Ben talks proudly of them and tells him they’re hard workers and have a good head on their shoulders, and that they’re close to one another as brothers should be.

Back at the puddle that Hoss lost the poles the boys are trying to rescue them in the wagon again but it’s gotten stuck again and all of them are pushing with all their might to free it.  As they push Jedediah’s buggy approaches, Hoss picks up a rock and throws it at the
001 - Springtime

Ben and his sons after fighting in the mud

mules as he shouts at them, the wagon

bolts forwards Adam and Joe fall face down in the puddle, Hoss laughs at them. Ben and Jedediah have gotten out of the buggy and proceed to watch, Ben chuckles to himself as he watches. Hoss extends his hand to Adam to lift him up, Adam graciously takes the hand and then throws Hoss into the water, Joe joins in prompting Ben to wonder what is happening.  As the boys wrestle in the muddy pool, Joe picks up a log in the water and throws it at Hoss, Hoss ducks and the log hits Jedediah’s foot, he falls down in pain. Ben arrives at the puddle and tells them to stop fighting, when they continue, Ben wades in to separate the boys and asks what’s going on, but he’s interrupted by Jedediah’s screams for him.

Ben asks what’s wrong with Jedediah and he tells Ben his foot is smashed, the soggy boys arrive around them and Ben passes the log to Joe, Joe hides it like a guilty boy.  Jedediah gets up and looks at each boy in turn, he asks Ben if these are his sons, without waiting for an answer he hobbles to the buggy. 

Back at the Ponderosa Hoss is pounding the table while Adam is rubbing ointment on Joe’s face, Adam stops and he and Joe stare at Hoss and tell him to stop pounding his hand.  Ben comes down the stairs with the Doctor, he tells Ben, Jedediah has a very painful foot and he needs to stay off his feet for several days.  After the doctor leaves, Ben looks at his boys over, Hoss starts pounding the table again, Ben tells his boys that 10 year old boys would have more sense and then proceeds to tell Hoss to stop pounding the desk.  Ben tells the boys how Jedediah started out and how he wanted to show him what he’s done with the Ponderosa and he wanted him to meet his sons.  As he’s talking Jedediah has hobbled over to the top of the stairs and is listening in on the conversation.  Ben tells his boys he doesn’t know what’s gotten into them lately.  Hoss pipes up telling him that they’ve been working non-stop for two weeks and it’s rained nearly every day, Joe tells his Pa that they’ve not been to Virginia City for over a month and tells him he’s sick of the Ponderosa at the moment.  If looks could kill Ben is giving it right now to Joe and Joe knows it’s too late to backtrack on what he just said.  Ben tell Joe that he runs the ranch and he’s their father and while he lives under it he’ll do exactly as he says and it includes volunteering to perform any errands or business deals Mr Milbank has been forced to delay while he recuperates.   As he tells his boys they’re going to go up right now to tell him, Jedediah hobbles back to his room and into bed.

Ben knocks on the door and Jedediah tells him to come in, Ben hopes he’s not disturbed him.  Ben tells him that his boys have been worried about his affairs and they’ve insisted they take care of any business he came out there for.  Jedediah tells Ben that’s throughful of them and confirms there are a few things he needs done but he doesn’t want to take them away from their work.  Ben insists that his boys are more than capable of taking care of any business.  Jedediah reaches under his pillow and pulls out a large wallet.  He tells them there are exactly three things that need attention, first he has a small piece of land that he owns and he’s been hanging onto it until the railroad realise they need it for a watering stop and he’s heard that a squatter  has moved in,  Joe’s job is to run them off the land.  Second there’s a small piece of land he needs to fatten his cattle on, he has made a bill of sale and all Hoss has to do is fill in the correct amount, he tells Hoss he’ll pay more than what the land is worth and tells Hoss to buy it.   The third is ranch he sold to a couple and he’s only received half of the payment because the payment is overdue he wants to repossess the ranch, he tells Adam to evict them.  Adam asks why he doesn’t give them a little more time to come up with the money, Jedediah tells him he’s given them enough time.

Joe arrives at his destination, and calls out but no one answers, he draws his gun and walks upto the door and shouts at whomever is inside.  With no response, Joe gives them a count of 5 before he breaks the door down, on the 5th count Joe is about to break the door in when a man appears and greets him, Joe’s foot stops just in time.  The man introduces himself as Parley and shakes Joe’s hand rigorously almost knocking his hat off.  Joe tells him that the property belongs to one Jedediah Milbank and he doesn’t like squatters over running his property.  Parley tells Joe not to worry and he’ll make sure Jedediah’s land is free from squatters while he’s in San Francisco.  Joe tells Parley he needs to get off the property and Parley asks him why.  Joe tells him the land is Jedediah’s not his and he needs to get off it.  Parley asks what he wants the land for, and Joe tells him it’s intended for the railroad, Parley tells Joe that’s the problem with people.  He sees a meadow with nice flowers and a creek and laughing at the white tailed deer that comes over for a drink and all Milbank sees is something to sell to the railroads.  Joe again tells the man to get off the land, prompting Parley to ask Joe is he’s got a badge.  Joe tells him he doesn’t have a badge but he does have a gun and he doesn’t want to have to use it.   Joe raises his voice at Parley and tells him he doesn’t want to use his gun but he’s not going to spend all day passing the time with a stubborn cantankerous old squatter.  Parley is offended since Joe’s not said anything neighbourly to him except to tell him to get out of there.  Joe apologises to Parley for not putting it the way he would have liked and tells Parley to get off the property.  Parley tells Joe he doesn’t want to and walks away, Joe gets angry and walks towards him and tells him he’s sick and tired of arguing and tells him to get his things and get off the land, he draws his gun.  Parley tells Joe to relax so he can think about what he’s doing, Joe walks towards Parley and is caught in a bear trap.  Joe swings from the tree and Parley laughs, he tells Joe to relax and that he’s not doing the land any harm.  Joe pleads for Parley to cut him down, Parley again tells Joe he needs to relax and tells him he’ll be back.

Later Joe is at the creek with Parley fishing, Parley asks Joe what day it is and he doesn’t know.  Parley pulls out his pocket watch and tells Joe it’s the first day of spring, they can forget about the rain, snow and winter and start enjoy living again.  Joe scratches his head and tells him that he never thought of it that way and maybe it’s because he’s never been hung upside down so he could think straight.  Joe catches a trout and Parley tells Joe they could cook it up, Joe tells Parley to relax and if he’s as hungry as he is then they ought to catch another one, unless he’s in a hurry.  Parley laughs and they continue to catch more fish.

Hoss is filling buckets at the water pump.   Inside the house Ann and Paul are talking, Ann doesn’t seem to be happy with their current predicament.   Paul tells Ann that everything they’ve done will be worth it and it’s a good way to live, Ann doesn’t believe so.  She tells Paul about the offer Hoss made to them when he came out of the blue the other day and asks Paul why he won’t accept it.  Paul tells Ann that he can’t buy the way he feels about the place and reminds Ann it’s what she said to him last summer.  Hoss enters the house with the buckets of water and Ann tells Hoss to sit down since dinner is ready now.  After grace Hoss wonders if they’re having a celebration dinner, Paul tells Hoss that the land has too much of them in it and that they don’t want to sell.  Hoss tells them that Milbank offered to pay them whatever they wanted and again makes an offer of £1000 for their land.  Ann beams at the prospect, but Paul is adamant that the place is not for sale and it would be like selling their own flesh,  Ann leaves the table.  Hoss apologises to Paul but Paul tells him it’s nothing and tells him to carry on eating while he goes to talk to his wife.  Hoss isn’t in the mood to eat and nibbles on a piece of bread.

After some time, Paul comes out of the bedroom he tells Hoss she’ll be alright and puts it down to the pregnancy making her nervous.  Paul asks Hoss if the offers still good, Hoss tells him it is, Paul tells him he’ll take it and they’ll be leaving first thing in the morning.  Hoss tells him there’s no need to rush, Paul tells him they’ll want to  and asks Hoss to help them pack in the morning.  Paul leaves the house dejected.

The next day Hoss is helping Paul load up the wagon with their furniture.  Paul tells Hoss he wants to look around before he leaves in case they forgot something.  Paul walks over to the barn and sees Ann’s dress poking out from a stall, the whines of puppies can be heard and one runs towards her stall.  Paul goes to take a look and Ann tells Paul she was taking a walk when she stumbled across them, Ann tells Paul that she’s not scared anymore and that she feels different.  Hoss walks into the barn wondering where everyone is, he listens to Ann and Paul.  Paul tells Ann she always feels different in the morning, she tells Paul she doesn’t want to go anymore and wants to have a dozen children and stay on their own farm for the rest of their lives.  Paul tells Ann he’s already signed the bill of sale, Ann tells him to give it back. 

Hoss makes his presence known and tells them that he’s not going to give it to them, and walks over to them.  He tells them he wants to make a trade, Paul is apprehensive and asks him what he wants to trade. Hoss tells him he’ll trade the bill of sale for the puppy she has in her hands, Hoss tucks the puppy in his shirt and leaves the bill of sale with them.

Ted Hackett sees Adam coming and calls to his wife, he tells her to set another plate at the table since a man riding to them at this time is bound to be hungry.  Mother tells Ted there’s not enough food, Ted tells her they’ll just have to stretch it.  She tells him it’s already stretched, Ted tells her a man riding in this late should expect something to eat and he won’t

let him go hungry in his house.
004 - Springtime-0

Adam meets Ted Hackett and his family

Adam introduces himself to Ted and Ted tells him he’s just about ready for supper and invites him into the house. Once inside Ted introduces him to his family, his wife, and two children.  Ted tells Adam to wash off the dust from his long ride and he’ll take care of his horse, Adam interrupts Ted and warns him that he’s come at the behest of Jedediah Milbank.  Ted tells Adam that he can’t talk business on an empty stomach and tells him to have some supper then they can talk later.  Ted tells Mama that she can serve supper now and he goes to apologise to Adam for not eating with them since he has an upset stomach and can’t keep anything down, Ted leaves to put Adam’s horse away.  Adam is admiring the bull horns above the fireplace, Ted tells Adam he calls it Hackett’s folly.   He tells Adam that the bull was a fine animal and then during winter a bear came down from the hills, entered Folly’s pen and broke his neck, when he heard the noise he went out and killed the bear, it was the most expensive beef he ate in a long time.  Mama tells Adam it took them two years to save up the money to buy him and Adam asks if that was what caused the problems.  Ted tells him it was the beginning, even though they lost the bull they figured they’d still have the 10 calves that Folly sired for them, but then the bad winter he had to buy the feed for them and then two died when Spring came and flooded the creek.  Adam tells them that maybe he can have a word with Mr Milbank, but Ted tells him not to.   Ted doesn’t want to lose the place but he’s not going to cry about it, he tells Adam his name is Theodore stands for the gift from God, and that the good lord has given him plenty and he’s not going to start complaining when he takes a few of them away from him.  While he’s talking he opens a tin on a side table and reaches in but there’s nothing in there so he places his pipe down next to it.  Ted tells Adam he’s going to check the stock and apologises to him since the only sleeping place he has is the hay loft.  Mama tells Adam he was looking for his tobacco and he’s too proud to ask, so she asks instead, she asks Adam if he has any tobacco on him, Adam tells her he doesn’t.  She tells Adam that he shouldn’t have to go without, not her man.  Adam wonders what he’s let himself in for.

The next morning Ted hears a noise from the barn and goes to investigate, Adam is in there fixing the pump.  He tells Ted he couldn’t sleep last night and thought he should take a look at it, he tells him that he should drop everything else while he helps him fix it.  Ted tells him even if they fix the pump they need a new cylinder and they can’t afford it.  Adam tells Ted he’ll go into town and get it and he can put the pump back together.  Mama walks into the barn and asks what the matter is, Ted tells Adam to speak his mind.  Adam tells him he’s going to sell his last remaining cattle since they’re going to be too busy with a double crop, Adam has a plan that will allow them to irrigate twice as many acres.  Ted wonders if he should just forget about Mr Milbank and the bank as well, Adam tells him he will take care of both and he can pay him back when he catches up.  Ted declines the offer telling Adam he made the mistakes therefore he’ll pay for them.  Adam tells him he’s not paying, he’s sharing.  Mama begins to smile and tells Ted it’s Springtime and a time for beginning things, not ending them.  Ted nods and Adam tells Mama he wouldn’t be surprised if he ran into some tobacco too.  Adam mounts Sport and before he leaves he hollers “YAHOO”.  Mama asks why he did that and Ted tells him because he felt like it and begins working on the pump,  Ted then hollers “YAHOO”.

Back at the Ponderosa Ben is enjoying a cup of tea outside with Jedediah, he tells him to breath in the invigorating air which causes him to sneeze.  Jedediah tells Ben he knows he anxious to get back to work and that the ranch his size needs a lot of attention.  Ben tells him that his sons should be back in a day or two and tells him he’s glad he came to set a good example.   Jedediah tells Ben the chores won’t get done while he’s standing around and goes to get his coat. 

Ben is chopping wood outside the Ponderosa while Jedediah is watching him do all the work, he tells Jedediah that he’s cut enough, he tells Ben he should do the whole pile, Ben walks over to it and it’s quite a large pile.  Later on Ben is digging a post hole and sweating over the work, he looks over to see Jedediah drinking out of the canteen and snatches it off him.   Ben is stacking the wood under the watchful eye of Jedediah, he tells Ben if only he could have a couple of hands like his on his place, two good days work would put the place in order.  Ben’s none to happy and his face shows it, Ben is about to tell Jedediah a few choice words when a horse approaches, it’s Joe.

Joe complements them on their pole stacking and Ben tells him that they didn’t have much to do when they left.  Jedediah asks Joe if he managed to see the squatter off his land, Joe ignores the question and tells his Pa that he caught a trout “This big”.  Ben is excited over the news, Jedediah asks if there was any squatters.  Joe tells him there was one by the name of Parley, a real nice fellow who’s going to keep an eye on the land for him so he doesn’t have a thing to worry about.  Ben asks Joe if there was someone on the property and that there’s still someone on the property, Joe tells him that he won’t do anyone any harm, Jedediah gets angry and Ben tries to quiet him down and ask Joe to explain himself but is saved by the timely intervention of Hoss returning from his errand.

Hoss notices the poles and complements on how nicely stacked they are.  Ben asks Hoss if he got the land that Jedediah wanted, Hoss opens his mouth but nothing comes out,  Jedediah asks Hoss if bought it or not.  Hoss tells them that they didn’t want to sell it, Jedediah looks closely at Hoss and accuses him of taking a bribe.  Hoss finally admits he accepted a bribe and pulls out a puppy from his shirt, Ben can’t help but laugh at the situation.

Adam finally returns from his errand and complements the stacking, Ben asks Adam if he had any trouble, Adam tells him he didn’t. Joe goes over to the puppy and strokes it, Jedediah comments on Adam being the oldest and the only one with a head on his shoulders, Adam asks Hoss where he got the puppy from and takes it off Hoss.  Ben ask Adam to give Jedediah the deed, Adam tells him he didn’t get it since they paid the installments.  Jedediah asks him with what and asks where they got the money from.  Adam tells him they got it from him, Adam apologises to his Pa telling him they needed it.  Jedediah proclaims Ben a Judas and a jackal and a father of jackals, Ben tells him to calm down.  Jedadiah tells him that his sons heaved a log onto his foot which Ben tells him was an accident.  He calls Ben a liar and that he’s sired a litter of lazy shiftless whelps, like father like son.  Jedidiah gets into his buggy and leaves but not before the canopy collapses over his head and tears right through, the entire Cartwright clan start laughing.  Adam tells his brothers that the lazy shiftless whelps better get back to work.  Ben tells them it’s been a long tough winter and to smell the fresh air and feel the warm sun, it’s spring and the Ponderosa can take care of itself, Ben decrees he’s going to town.  When Ben returns with Buck he asks what his boys are up to since they are all mounted, Joe tells him like father like son and they all ride off to Virginia City together.


The Cartwrights



Did you know?Edit

  • German episode title: "Frühlingserwachen", meaning "Spring Awakening".
  • In the fight scene in the prologue, the boys are rolling around on the ground and Hoss's hand grabs for Pernell Roberts's hair. Roberts can be heard shouting "the wig" as a warning not to knock off his toupee.


  • Ben says "Do you realize that man started out with nothing on his back but his clothes?" (should be "nothing but the clothes on his back.")


"Ten year old schoolboys would have showed more sense."
Ben to the boys[src]


"You know what day it is?"
"It's the first day of spring; that's what it is.
―Parley to Little Joe while fishing[src]



Bonanza Springtime

Bonanza Springtime

See alsoEdit