Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Outcast”
Season 1, Episode 17
#17 in Series
Air date January 9, 1960
Production code
Guest starring: Edward Platt
Irene Tedrow
Jack Lord
Joel Ashley
Mark Allen
Robert P. Lieb
Susan Oliver
Written by Thomas Thompson
Directed by Lewis Allen
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
"El Toro Grande"
Next Episode:
"A House Divided"
External links
The Outcast on IMDb


The Cartwrights come to the aid of Leta Malvet who is ostracized by the community after her father and brother are hanged by a lynch mob. It's no coincidence when Leta's beau, bad boy Clay Renton, comes back to town.


Leta Malvet is ostracized by the town of Virginia City for the criminal acts of her father and brother. They were lynched by a mob who accused them of robbing the stagecoach of the Ponderosa payroll.

The distraught Leta is taken in by Ben Cartwright to rest at the Ponderosa on the advice of the doctor. Leta's lover, Clay Renton pays a visit to the Ponderosa to check on her, much to the chagrin of Ben and Adam. While Adam voices his concerns to Ben about Clay's visit because of his criminal past, Hoss reserves judgment.

While selling eggs to Harvey Bufford, owner of the general store, Leta admires a pair of boots. Harvey insists she take the boots, placing them into her basket. Harvey's price is Leta's feminine favors, which angers her and she pushes him away. Clay enters the store, witnessing the aftermath of their altercation, warning Harvey to stay away from Leta. As Harvey's wife enters, Harvey coldly accuses Leta of trying to steal the boots. However, his wife states, "I saw EVERYTHING".

In the meantime, the Cartwrights have been using new and ingenious ways to transport the miners' payroll across the Ponderosa ranch to prevent robbery. Hoss and 'Lil Joe ride to the ranch house with a wagon load of wood with the payroll is hidden beneath the wood. As they unload the payroll, they unwittingly reveal their secret to Clay who watches them through a pair of binoculars.

Clay is part of the gang who has been targeting the payroll, but their leader, Spence, is unwilling to steal until the situation is nearly perfect. Clay argues with Spence that he could pull it off, saying that he will rob Bufford's store to get money to buy fresh horses. As the dispute escalates, Clay shoots Spence dead to take over the gang of outlaws.

Meanwhile, Hoss delivers a sack of chicken feed to Leta. She asks Hoss to wait so she can show him a surprise. She shows Hoss the wedding dress that she made. When Hoss learns that she intends to marry Clay Renton, he becomes pessimistic, but her optimism about starting a better life with Clay shines through.

Leta takes her homemade wedding dress to town to enter the dress contest at the annual bazaar. Mrs. Bufford is chief judge, who turns away Leta, telling her that she is too late. Down the street Clay and his band break in to Bufford's store, break into the safe, but find only fifty dollars inside. As Bufford enters his store for his wife's parasol, he discovers his open safe. Clay confronts him and pistol whips him several times, then flees with his gang.

Ben and Hoss came to town to enjoy the bazaar while Adam and Joe deliver the miners' payroll. Ben spots Harvey hurt, coming out of his store. A crowd rushes to his aid as he gasps Clay Renton's name, then dies. Ben resolves to find Clay before the town sets another lynch mob after him.

Ben sends Hoss to find his brothers and meet him at Ponderosa. Three of the outlaws were seen heading toward the lake, so Ben sends his boys after them them while he heads to Leta's place alone. As expected, Clay is there, but hides in Leta's bedroom as Ben tries to convince her to bring Clay to justice. She fears for Clay's life, but Ben assures her he will do everything to ensure Clay gets a fair hearing.

Upon leaving, Ben discovers Clay's horse behind Leta's house while Adam shows up to deliver news of the capture of the outlaws. Ben tries to talk Leta out of the house, but Clay plans to take Leta out the back door and make a run for it. The situation worsens when the angry mob from town shows up.

As Clay explains his getaway plans, Leta grabs her rifle and orders him to put down his gun. Instead he hides it in his boot and compliments Leta on her negotiations with Ben, thinking she is on his side with her own getaway plan. She follows Clay outside, keeping her rifle trained on him. Ben tells the crowd he will handle this. Leta surprises Clay by telling Ben to check his boot for the gun. Seeing that the game is up, Clay reaches down to his boot to draw his weapon, but Ben is faster, dropping Clay to the ground.

As Clay lies on the ground, Mrs. Bufford offers her apologies having now seen Leta's true colors for the first time.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights


  • Roy Engel: Dr. Paul Martin



Did You Know?[]

  • It's revealed that Little Joe's middle name is Francis.




See The Outcast/videos

See also[]