Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Ride”
Season 3, Episode 18
#84 in Series
Air date January 21, 1962
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Ward Hawkins
Directed by Don McDougall
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Lady from Baltimore
Next Episode:
The Storm
External links
The Ride on IMDb


Because he didn't see the gunman's face, witness Adam Cartwright can't convince his family and the sheriff of his certainty that good friend, Bill Enders, was one of the hooded men responsible for robbing a way station and killing the attendant.


Adam is sitting at a way station at sun up, leaned back against the porch, his hat over his eyes, drinking a cup of coffee. He has a hilarious exchange with Toby Barker, the station manager, about "springing up" to get more coffee for Toby, Adam's belief that the station manager is supposed to "wait on folks" and whether Toby left the corral gate open for the horses to get loose. At this point, two outlaws appear on the scene, burlap bags over their heads, and order Adam and Toby into the station at gunpoint. They grab the strongbox and make their exit, but Toby grabs a gun and goes after them. The shorter of the two members of the gang turns and shoots Toby, fatally wounding him.

Later, Adam takes Toby's body into town and tells Sheriff Roy Coffee that Bill Enders was one of the robbers and was also the one who did the shooting. Roy wants to know how Adam can know who it was, if his face was covered, but Adam is certain. Roy also finds Adam's certainty unusual because Adam and Enders both own stock in the same mine, but that doesn't matter to Adam. The two of them head down to the saloon and Roy arrests Enders for robbery and murder. Enders is amazed when Adam is identified at the witness that has named him in the crime.

Back at the Ponderosa, Ben grills Adam about how he can be sure of who the murderer was. Adam says he just knows. For emphasis, he points out that if you put a bag over Hoss and Joe's heads, Ben would still know who they were, "Because that's Hoss and that's Joe, because that's who they are and nobody else!" When Adam heads up stairs to bed, Hoss and Joe want to know why Ben is being so hard on Adam, when he is only trying to do what is right. Ben replies that if he can hold his conviction against his Pa, then Adam's conviction is strong and "probably a right one."

The next day, Roy comes out and says that two ladies in Virginia City have told him that they say Bill Enders in town only an hour and a half after the crime. Since every one knows that the way station is too far to make it to town in that period of time, Roy let Enders go, believing he has an air-tight alibi. Adam insists that that only proves that either the ladies are lying, wrong or Enders found a way to make it there in time for the ladies to see him. Ben proposes that they have a local pony express rider try to make the ride in an hour and a half and Adam reluctantly agrees that would be a way to prove his accusation against Enders.

The pony rider then attempts the ride. Both Adam and Ben are in town, waiting to see if he makes it in time. Adam is waiting inside the hotel when Bill Enders enters with his wife, Mary. She tries to have Adam, who has always been a friend, and Bill be civil, saying that Bill can't hold it against Adam for trying to do what he thinks is right, even if he is mistaken. She says when the pony rider can't make the ride, they will "All be laughing about this" by later that day.

The pony rider doesn't make the ride in time, but Adam still insists that Enders must have found a way to get there faster, because he is the man he saw kill Toby Barker. Later, Mary gets a note to Adam, saying she wants to see him. When he arrives, she snuggles up to him on the couch and says she knows he has always liked her and they could be "a lot closer", if he'll stop saying Bill is the one he saw commit the crime. Naturally, Adam doesn't go for it and says she just has made him more sure that Bill was the man.

Even though Adam rejects Mary's proposition, Roy Coffee later calls Adam and Ben to his office to say that Mary came to him and said Adam had made advaces toward her and was trying to get her husband out of the way. On the same visit, Roy shows them that he has a man in a cell that was found with some of the stolen money from the station. The man claims he won the money in a card game, but Roy doesn't believe it.

Later, in the saloon, Enders, who is known to be a fast draw, tries to call Adam into a gun fight, saying he knows about him and his wife. Adam repeatedly refuses to draw against him and Enders threatens to shoot him anyway, but Roy shows up, stops Enders and orders the Cartwrights (Ben, Adam and Hoss)to get out of town.

Adam and Hoss then head for the way station to look around and see if they can figure out how Enders made it to town so fast. They find a trail where someone has taken a short cut across rough terrain. They also find the body of a horse that was ridden to death. In the course of making this discovery, someone shoots at them, grazing Adam in the side. They fire back and kill the bushwacker, discovering that he is a friend of Enders. Adam says he must have been the one who held up the station with Enders. Adam now decides that he will attempt the ride from the station to town in an hour and a half, using the short cut and a strategically placed fresh horse.

When Adam make "the ride", Enders has paid a would-be assassin who is waiting behind some rocks to shoot him. Hoss surprises him just in time with a pistol to his back and says: "Easy. I don't miss too much at this range."

Meanwhile, Enders is also having a discussion with Mary about his attempt to have Adam killed. She overheard him hiring the assassin and says she won't let him have Adam killed. He says that it's that or turn her husband over to be hanged. They kiss and she obviously isn't going to go to the sheriff.

Adam continues on the ride to Virginia City. He switches to a fresh horse that Joe is holding for him and Joe tells him he is running 10 minutes behind, to which Adam replies, "I'll kick him harder."

We see Mary pacing at the Enders home, as Bill Enders is having a drink at the saloon, as he watches the clock. Mary seems to have come to a resolition, just as a cry goes up from the street, "He's going to make it!" Mary rushes out to the street and announces to Roy Coffee, "Sherriff, I lied to you about me and Adam....And my husband killed Toby Barker."

Bill Enders tries to ease over to his horse to make a get away, but Roy yells at him to stop. Enders pulls his gun and shoots Roy in the shoulder and Ben then shoots Enders. About this time, Adam rides up, as people are gathered around Roy to help him and Mary is tending to her husband where he lays in the street. Ben tells him that Mary confessed the whole thin. Hoss and Joe ride up and Adam tells them that he was "too late". Hoss is puzzled by this, since they rode in right behind Adam. Adam explains that Mary had already turned Bill in before he completed the ride. Everyone congratulates Adam and they head off to the saloon.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights



  • Betty Endicott: Brunette Saloon Girl
  • Bob Harris: Sammy Yates
  • Bob Miles: Jim Becker
  • Bruno VeSota: Fat Cowboy
  • Chubby Johnson: Toby Barker
  • Cosmo Sardo: Bartender
  • Grace Gaynor: Mary Enders
  • Hal Baylor: Arch Stewart
  • Jan Merlin: Bill Enders


Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Der lange Ritt", meaning "The Long Ride".





See also[]