Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Guilty”
Season 3, Episode 23
#89 in Series
Air date February 25, 1962
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Clifford Irving
Directed by Lewis Allen
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Jackknife
Next Episode:
The Wooing of Abigail Jones
External links
The Guilty on IMDb


Ben Cartwright witnesses the shooting of Lem Partridge's son by ex-con Jack Groat. Groat had done time in the past for killing Lem's wife. Lem can not understand by his old friend Ben didn't intervene and stop this latest death of a loved one. Feeling let down by everyone, Partridge vows revenge for the killings.


Tuscon gunman, Jack Groat, swore to kill Sheriff Lem Partridge for putting him in prison after a bullet from Groat's gun during a drunken street brawl accidentally killed Sheriff Partridge's wife. Now, 10 years later and fresh out of prison, Groat has tracked retired Lem Partridge to Virginia City and is soon holding Lem's son, Jimmy, and good friend Ben Cartwright hostage. But things go bad and Ben must soon explain to Lem... and try to convince himself... that there was nothing he could have done that day to stop Groat from shooting Jimmy in the back.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights



  • Anne Benton: Caroline Partridge
  • Betty Endicott: Townswoman
  • Charles Maxwell: Jack Groat
  • Edward Platt: Wade Colly
  • Jack Easton Jr.: Jimmy Partridge
  • Lyle Bettger: Lem Partridge


Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Rache um jeden Preis", meaning "Vengeance at Any Price".


  • Groat says "I'd just as soon hang as a sheep as a man", his line was probably supposed to be "I'd just as soon hang as man as a sheep". Most people would not prefer to hang as a sheep.
  • nope he said I'd just as soon hang for a sheep as the lamb. Hang for killing the father rather than just for killing the son.




See also[]