Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Last Hunt”
Season 1, Episode 15
#15 in Series
Air date December 19, 1959
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Donald S. Sanford
Directed by Christian Nyby
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Sisters
Next Episode:
El Toro Grande
External links
The Last Hunt on IMdb


Hoss and Little Joe discover that the Shoshone Indian brave who tries to rob their hunting camp is actually a soon to give birth, pregnant Shoshone woman who refuses to tell them why she left her tribe and appears to be making her way towards Virginia City.


Hoss and Little Joe have been hunting big horn sheep in the mountains for two weeks. They haven't had much luck and Hoss says it's time to return. They plan to pack out the next day.

That night, a stranger holds a knife on Joe. He wakes up and the two wrestle briefly. Coming to Joe's aid, Hoss leaps over the campfire. In his haste he knocks their supplies and ammo into their fire. Bullets start to fire in every direction. When the "attack" is over, they check on the stranger and discover that she's a pregnant Shoshone woman who's due any day. Joe wants to get her to a doctor as quickly as possible, but Hoss is afraid she'd die on the journey.

Joe loks for traces of her people, but discovers she was traveling alone and intentionally heading southeast. She's Shoshone and that would take her into Paiute country. The only thing they can figure is that she was heading to Virginia City for some reason.

With their supplies gone, Hoss has cooked wild beans which Joe can barely tolerate. When they try to feed the Indian woman she ignores them. Hoss finally gets her to eat saying she needs to take care of the baby. To Joe, this means she understands English, but Hoss thinks she's just worried about the baby.

Hoss builds the woman a shelter while Joe attempts to find food. Despite the fact that they're clearly trying to help the woman, she still refuses to answer their questions. Joe's more worried about her having the baby because, as he tells her, "what we don't know about delivering babies would scare you to death."

Over the next several days, they catch duck and rabbit to eat. Finally, the woman goes into labor. After some initial panic, Hoss delivers a healthy baby boy and presents him to Joe to keep warm by the fire. When he returns to the woman, she asks, in perfect English, if her baby girl is perfect. Hoss, stunned at how well she speaks, says he's perfect, but he's a boy. When he returns to Joe, Joe announces that the baby has blue eyes. His father must be a white man.

Joe finds a Shoshone amulet. He thinks her people are around, but doesn't understand why they don't just attack. Hoss says the amulet could've been left months ago. Joe's getting angry with the woman because she still refuses to speak to them. When she sees the amulet, she turns away in fear. Joe belives it's because her people have come for her. But Hoss says it's a war piece and it's forbidden for a Shoshone woman to even see it.

The weather turns worse and even though the woman's not ready to move, they have to get off the mountain. As they make their way down, Joe has the feeling they're being watched. That night Hoss takes first watch.

Hoss wakes up from dozing on his watch to find a Shoshone knife embedded in the tree he's leaning against. He wakes Joe and they know it's a warning. They still don't know why the Shoshone haven't just attacked, but go to wake the woman and keep moving. She's gone. She covered a log with her blanket to look like she was sleeping, but left with the baby.

As she hurries down the mountainside, four Shoshone chase her. Hoss and Joe aren't far behind and start shooting. The Shoshone run off as the woman hides in bushes. Ben and Adam have been out looking for Hoss and Joe, since they're a week overdue, and hear the gunshots. They find Hoss and Joe who try feably to explain.

They've managed to get the woman back to the Ponderosa. Ben is angry that Hoss and Joe would interfere with the Shoshone. They defend themselves saying they couldn't just leave her. Hop Sing comes down the stairs complaining that the next time they bring home a baby they should bring a laundry boy too. He doesn't have time for diapers.

In the woman's room, the doctor tells the Cartwrights that the baby, surprisingly, is fine. But the woman has a very high fever. When he's departed, the woman asks for her baby. Ben's concerned when he sees the pained look on her face.

Ben's staying up late that night, when Hop Sing rushes downstairs to say the woman needs help. He has Hop Sing send Adam for the doctor while he bathes the woman's face with cool towels. He asks her to please tell him who the father is so that he can send for him. She is silent and then dies quietly.

There's a knock at the door and Sumner Kyle demands to see Ben. Ben comes down and politely greets Sumner and his son, Jason, but he and Sumner are not friends. Sumner gets to the point. Jason is the Indian baby's father, and he wants the woman sent away. He'll pay for her silence. Ben tells him not to worry, the woman never revealed the father's name. Jason insists he was married to her in a Shoshone ceremony and still loves her. But he had nothing to offer her that didn't belong to his father, including himself. He wants to see the woman. Ben says she's upstairs, but that she died. Sumner even tries to stop Jason from going then, but Ben holds him back.

The Cartwrights, Hop Sing, and Jason, bury the Indian woman. As they have a small funeral, the Shoshone arrive. One is a chief in full headdress. After the prayer, Jason asks to have his son. Ben tells him that they just buried the chief's only child, but the bloodline continues in the baby. Nothing will keep the chief from his grandson. Jason asks to have his baby and asks Ben to tell his father that he went home. Jason takes the baby and rides away with the Shoshone.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights





"Next time you bring baby home, you bring laundry boy. Hop Sing got no time for washing diapers."
Hop Sing[src]



See also[]