Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Friendship”
Season 3, Episode 8
#74 in Series
Air date November 12, 1961
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Frank Chase
Directed by Don McDougall
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Many Faces of Gideon Flinch
Next Episode:
The Countess
External links
The Friendship on IMDb


After chain-gang prisoner Danny Kidd saves Joe's life, the youngest Cartwright has him released into his custody. The young man with a love of horses has spent most of his life behind bars and has a tough time transitioning to freedom.


Joe checks on a work gang building a road through Ponderosa land, Ben wants them to be treated fairly. Travis, the guard, fires a shot at a rude convict. It spooks Joe's horse, Concho, causing him to run. Joe falls but his foot is caught in the stirrup, dragging him across the ground. One prisoner stands in front of the horse and stops it. Joe is able to free himself and thanks him for saving his life. The prisoner tells Joe he did it for the horse. Joe asks his name and is answered "Danny Kidd". Joe introduces himself and asks how he can repat him. Danny asks for his freedom.


At the Yuma Territorial Prison, Joe, Hoss and Ben are talking with mthe warden. The warden appreciates the kind way Ben treated the prisoners. But thinks it's too much to ask for Danny Kidd's freedom. Joe tells him Danny saved his life. The warden summons Danny to his office so Danny can tell the Cartwrights himself what he did.


Ben asks Danny about himself and he tells them he's 23, and has been in prison 10 years. Hoss is shocked he's been in prison since he was 13 and asks what he did. Danny said he stabbed someone with a fork who stole his apple pie. Danny lost his parents when he was 5 and was on his own since. Ben tells the warden he thinks Danny has been punished enough.


Joe tells the warden to sign the amnesty letter and he will take full responsibility for Danny. The warden signs the document and tells Danny if he stays out of trouble for a year he'll get a full pardon. The warden hands Danny a carved wooden toy in the shape of a man, which Danny brought with at age 13.

Ben needs to leave with Hoss to buy a bull and tells Joe he'll be traveling alone with Danny, with concern in his voice. Joe tells him not to worry and that he and Danny will get on just fine.

When they arrive at the Ponderosa, Adam chews him out for being late and tells him that his chores have been building up. Joe introduces Adam to Danny. Adam tells Joe that Concho, the horse, isn't doing well. Joe takes Danny into the barn with him.


Joe looks at Concho, his breathing is labored Joe doesn't think it looks good. Adam tells him the vet came and felt there was nothing he could do to save him. Danny says he worked with sick horses at the prison and wants to help Concho. Joe and Danny rig up a sling supporting most of Concho's weight yet keeps him standing. Once Concho is on his feet Danny asks for a kettle of hot water to heat blankets. Once the blankets are hot they are quickly put on Concho and they keep at it. The next morning Concho is out of the sling and is eating out of Danny's hand.

At the bunk house, ranch hands are getting ready for an evening party and Teller needs a neckerchief. He starts rummaging through Danny's bag and finds the wood carving, Danny tells him to put it down. Danny walks over to his bunk and Bob asks him if he's got a neckerchief, Danny tells him he doesn't. Bob doesn't like him, but Danny won't be goaded into a fight. Danny replies they're not worth going back to jail. The men leave to look for the ladies.

Danny comes to the party and when Joe spots him, introduces him to Anne Carter. Anne tells him she knows all the boys from 50 miles around, but doesn't know him. Danny tells her he's not very good at talking with girls. Anne tells him she will teach him, asking him to dance.

The two ranch hands from the bunk house, Bob and Teller, watch Anne and Danny. Bob walks to Mr. Carter and tells him his daughter is with an ex-convict. He walks over to Anne and she attempts to introduce Danny but he tells her they're leaving without explanation. Adam asks if anything is wrong, he tells Adam they're leaving. Carter tells him that he can understand the Ponderosa hiring ex-cons but to allow one to dance with his daughter is another matter.

Adam tells Danny that Mr Carter is hot headed and didn't mean it. Joe wants to know who did it. Danny looks at Bob and Teller. Adam tells them to go to the bunk house and pack their things, he'll have their wages prepared in 10 minutes. Before Bob leaves he tells Danny perhaps they'll meet again to settle their differences.

Adam bids farewell to the last of the guests and is bushed, he goes to bed while Joe and Danny check up on Concho. Bob and Teller come out of the barn and start a fight. Danny almost drowns Bob in the horse trough, but Joe stops him. Danny learned in prison to fight until someone dies. Joe tells him he can't do that on the outside.


Ben is home and waiting for Joe. He asks Joe what happened later last night. Joe tells him that there was a fight and it was settled, but Adam has already told Ben that Danny tried to kill Bob. Ben asks Joe what he intends to do about it but Joe doesn't know. Joe tells him they knew it was going to be hard and he still believes Danny can be reformed.

Danny is in the barn with Concho, looking at his wood carving when Anne grabs it out of his hand. In talking Anne finds out Danny never kissed a woman and Anne wants to be the first. Anne pulls back and laughs at his clumsy attempt, so he grabs her and forces a kiss. Frightened, Anne scared pulls away andrips her blouse. Danny apologizes and as she runs out bumps into a concerned Joe, who runs into the barn.

Joe confronts Danny and tells him that he was wrong and tells him to pack his things as they're going to leave immediately. Danny relents and walks behind Concho and then slaps his rear forcing the horse to run into Joe. Joe dives into a stall and is stunned momentarily but it's enough time for Danny to pick up a wooden pole and club Joe over the head with it, with Joe unconcious Danny steals his gun and rides out on Concho.


An hour later inside the Ponderosa, Joe begins to regain consciousness; Ben, Adam, and Hoss are by his side. Ben then tells Joe that Anne came to them in the pasture and she said it was her fault. Ben tells everyone they have to find him, but Joe believes he should go after Danny. Ben tells him they're in it together and will leave early in the morning to look for him. Later, Joe sneaks out.

While out looking for Danny, Joe eventually finds him asleep. Danny wakes up and instinctively goes for his gun but Joe tells him he wouldn't it. Danny knocks the gun out of Joe's hand. After an exhausting fight Danny gains the upper hand and grabs Joe's gun, Joe asks why he won't kill him and Danny doesn't know, he drops the gun. Joe gets up to leave but before he departs he tells Danny a man has to make his own decisions.

Joe heads back home and is met on the way by Ben and the others. Ben chews Joe out and Joe apologizes.  Joe tells them he let Danny go, Ben isn't happy about that. Joe tells him Danny should decide for himself.  Ben orders Joe back home and Hoss spots something, shouting to Joe who comes back.  


Danny is riding towards them.  He doesn't offer excuses for what he's done and tells Ben he'll accept any decision he hands down.  Ben tells him that his chores were only half done and has to get them finished before supper. Joe and Danny smile. Danny gives Joe his gun back, and Joe challenges Danny to a race back to the ranch.  Danny agrees but before he does so he pulls out the wood carving and tosses it away.  

Ben says that they're wealthy men, and Hoss quizzes his Pa.  Ben tells them that they have something money can't buy.  It's called friendship.


The Cartwrights


  • Betty Endicott: Brunette Party Guest
  • Dean Jones: Danny Kidd
  • Edward Faulkner: Bob Stevens
  • Janet Lake: Ann Carter
  • Martha Manor: Blonde Party Guest
  • Norman Alden: Teller
  • Roy Wright: Travis
  • Rusty Lane: Warden
  • Stafford Repp: Carter


Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Little Joe und der Sträfling", meaning "Little Joe And The Convict".
  • South 40.[[1]]
  • One of the rare episodes where the fire in the house is not lit.


"Joseph, sometimes you make me very angry."




See also[]