Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Rattlesnake Brigade”
Season 13, Episode 11
#400 in Series
Air date December 5, 1971
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Gordon T. Dawson
Directed by William Wiard
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Iron Butterfly
Next Episode:
Easy Come, Easy Go
External links
The Rattlesnake Brigade on IMDb


A prison wagon full of murderous criminals stops in Virginia City. Led by Doyle, they escape and take Jamie and three other teenagers hostage. Doyle and his cronies lock them in a remote cabin while they demand $40,000 of the townspeople for the hostages' safe return.


A wagon is transporting some criminals to prison. They stop at Virginia City to get another prisoner. The prisoners then take Jaime and a woman hostage and demand that they be released. When the woman collapses, they release them. They then keep Jaime and take three other children. When the leader learns of Jaime's connection to Ben, he tells him that he'll be in contact. Ben decides to go after them and asks for the children's fathers to join him. The husband of the woman also insists on joining them, it's obvious he has vengeance on his mind when he is told his wife won't make it. While Ben has Hoss and Joe track them down, he and the others go to the Ponderosa to wait. And sure enough the leader shows up at the Ponderosa and demands money. Ben agrees but when the husband tries to kill them, he says he will keep one of the children to make sure he gets away.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights Edit[]


Guest Stars[]

  • Severn Darden: Price
  • David Sheiner: Francher
  • Richard Yniguez: Ricardo
  • Michele Nichols: Judith
  • Chris Beaumont: Lester
  • John Quade: Tallman
  • Eleanor Berry: Emily Francher
  • Scott Walker: Guthrie Amber
  • Don Keefer: Tobias Temple
  • Neville Brand: Price
  • Bobby Hall: Goatman
  • Biff Manard: Suggins
  • Joaquin Martinez: Chavez


  • German episode title: "Spiel auf Zeit", meaning "Play for Time".
  • Chris Beaumont didn't go on to a great acting career, but viewers may recognize him as the guy who usually played various teenagers on ABC sitcoms, including The Partridge Family, Room 222 and most famously, The Brady Bunch. His most notable role on that sitcom was as Jerry Rogers, the dishonest rival quarterback in Quarterback Sneak.
  • By this point in the series, with Jamie having become virtually part of the Cartwright fold, more and more episodes were focusing on teenagers. The scene where Jamie and his friends plot to break out of the shack is far different from earlier Bonanza episodes, when it seemed few (if any) teenagers lived in or near Virginia City.
  • Neville Brand makes his last appearance, this time as the notorious Doyle, who demands that he and his gang be set free, or the children of the townfolk will all be killed. He was previously in season two's, The Last Viking, and in season twelve's, The Luck Of Pepper Shannon.




See The Rattlesnake Brigade/videos

See also[]