Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Spanish Grant”
Season 1, Episode 21
#21 in Series
Air date February 6, 1960
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by David Dortort

Leonard Heideman

Directed by Christian Nyby
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Fear Merchants
Next Episode:
Blood on the Land
External links
The Spanish Grant on IMDb


The Cartwrights try to disprove the validity of a Spanish land grant to stop the De La Cuesta family from seizing part of the Ponderosa and all of the Carson Valley settlers' homestead lands.


A settler is approached by Spanish vacqueros who want to evict him from his land. When the couple insist they're not leaving, one vacquero moves toward the house. Mary Logan moves to stop him and is shoved to the ground. Her husband comes to her defense and is shot in the back by Sanchez. Mary is warned to be off the property and an eviction notice is nailed to the porch.

The Cartwrights heard the gun shot and hurry to the Logan home, but they're too late. Mary is distraught. She doesn't want to leave the home she and her husband worked for five years. They're expecting a child now too, but her husband is dead. Ben convinces her to leave with them and stops Joe from chasing after the vacqueros.

Ben and Adam report the murder to Sheriff Hawkins. But Hawkins is already aware of the killing. Senor Luga, Sanchez's boss, has already provided a complete report and claims it was self-defense. Ben and Adam don't agree. Luga asks why they're interfering, it's not their fight. Adam reminds him that Luga is also trying to take some of their land. Luga brushes it off as just a few hundred acres, the Cartwrights will barely know it's gone. Ben argues that they care about every foot of their property. Luga claims it is the property of his niece, Isabella de la Cuesta.

Luga returns to the hotel suite to find Isabella kissing Sanchez. He ignores her reprimand for not knocking saying it is common for gentlemen to meet in her presence. Sanchez leaves. Isabella is tired of being stuck in the hotel room. Luga reminds her that it is far more luxurious than what she is accustomed to and he doesn't want her leaving and jeopardizing everything he's worked for. She says that if she is Isabella de la Cuesta, as he claims, what could she jeopardize. He reminds her that Isabella is a lady, she is not.

Back at the Ponderosa, Joe wants to know how Luga can just come in and make claims on land. Ben says he has an old Spanish land grant which has been upheld. The law is on his side. Joe asks what they could do if the claim wasn't valid. Ben says they'd fight it. He sends Hoss and Joe to Monterey to verify the claim. Adam suggests that they should also verify the great lady, Isabella. He says he's going to go talk to her. Ben doesn't think that will accomplish much, she and Luga are in this together. Adam says they can't know that since no one's spoken to her.

Adam goes to the hotel and sees Isabella leaving. He follows her to a cantina outside of town. She starts dancing seductively with the Flamenco dancer. When she's done she has a seat and a cowboy comes over to her. High Card Smith says he remembers her as Rosita from San Francisco. She says he's mistaken, but he insists. He's heard she's claiming to be Isabella and figures she wouldn't want her previous life made public. Isabella continues to refuse him and Adam steps in to send him away. He pulls a knife. Adam sidesteps it and pulls his gun sending Smith on his way.

Isabella thanks Adam for his help, but when she learns he's a Cartwright she becomes suspicious. Luga told her the Cartwrights were causing them problems. Adam says he hopes to cause Luga many problems, but a gentleman always helps a lady. She allows him to walk her back to the hotel.

Sanchez sees the two and reports to Luga. Luga tells Sanchez not to interfere, but he's not pleased.

In her rooms, Adam sips some wine and asks her about the land grant. She doesn't want to talk about it. He asks how she justifies throwing people off their land. She says it is her land. Adam argues that it belongs to the settlers who worked and sweated over it. She asks how Adam holds his land, with sweat or a title. "With both," he tells her.

Adam is curious when she learned she was an heiress. She replies when her uncle, Luga, found her and told her. Adam asks where Luga found her, because Adam found her in a cantina and no Spanish lady would be found there. She refuses to discuss her past, but she starts to flirt with him. He responds by leaning in for a kiss. She steps away and says that when a man kisses her he will have love in his eyes, not business. Adam takes the dismissal and leaves.

Luga isn't happy that she's been with a Cartwright and wants to know what she told him. She counters by saying it would help them to have a Cartwright on their side. Luga likes that idea.

At home, Adam tells Ben that Isabella isn't the woman he thought she'd be. He wonders if Luga is really the one who's trying to take all the land. Ben doesn't see the difference, the two are working together.

Adam takes Isabella riding. Again she asks why they have to be on opposite sides. Adam says they don't have to be and kisses her. He wants to show her something and takes her over to the Logan house. He says a couple who were expecting a child lived there. She doesn't care, they can live someplace else. Adam tells her the wife and child can, but the husband is dead. Sanchez killed him. She didn't know about the killings and is upset. But she won't call Luga and his men off. The land is hers and she's going to be great lady. Is that so bad? He warns her that she'll never enjoy the land, there's too much blood on it.

Smith arrives at the hotel and informs Luga that he knows who Isabella real identity. Luga says he doesn't care, they're not afraid of her past. Smith says it could confuse a jury to learn that Isabella is also Rosita Moralez. Luga offers him some money and Smith takes it. When he's gone, Sanchez says Smith will be back. "Unless something else happens to him first," Luga replies.

Adam is explaining to Ben that Isabella really was upset about the killings. Ben isn't impressed if she still refuses to withdraw her claim to the land

Smith arrives at the Ponderosa, telling them he's got information about Isabella. Adam doesn't want to hear it, but Ben says it's what they've been wanting. Ben dangles a bag of coins in front of Smith who then proceeds to tell Isabella's father, Pedro Martinez, runs a store south of Virginia City and Rosita Martinez was a saloon dancer in San Francisco. Ben gives him the money and says there's more, if Smith will say that in court. Smith says he'll be around.

Adam and Ben are headed into town when they find Smith's body on the side of the road. It adds validity to Smith's claims.

At the hotel, Ben and Adam go to talk to Isabella. Isabella runs out of her room and into Adam's arms as she tries to escape from Sanchez. Sanchez just laughs it off as a lover's quarrel. They take Isabella back into her room and Isabella begs Adam to believe that Sanchez attacked her. Ben asks her about Smith's story. She admits that she is Rosita, but she is also Isabella. Her parents were killed by Indians and she was sold to Pedro Martinez. When she was old enough she escaped and went to San Francisco. Years later, Luga found her there and told her who she really was. She still refuses to withdraw her claim and Ben keeps pressing her until she's crying. Adam tells him to stop, this isn't getting them anywhere.

Ben sends Adam to find Martinez. If he can't disprove Isabella's story then Adam should do whatever he thinks is best.

Sanchez finds Adam in the stables and says Isabella sent him. Adam doesn't believe that. Sanchez pulls a knife and they fight. Adam manages to push Sanchez into a stall, where a riled horse stomps Sanchez to death.

Adam finds Pedro Martinez in a drunken sleep. Adam wakes him and asks about Rosita. Martinez is pleased she remembers him. He says a year ago a man came by asking for her. The man bought him whiskey. Martinez says that five years ago Dona Theresa Esperanza came looking for her grand-niece Isabella de la Cuesta. She came from Mission San Jose. Adam gives him some money and leaves.

The judge stops by the Ponderosa and says he can't put off a decision any longer. Ben begs for time for his sons to return. The judge refuses and calls the hearing for the next day.

Hoss and Joe return just as the hearing is beginning. The land grant is strong and valid. Ben again asks for a delay until Adam can return. Luga insists they continue, but Isabella says she doesn't mind waiting for Adam. If he has something pertinent to the case, they shouldn't be afraid to hear it. The judge delays one day.

Adam arrives the next day with a very elderly woman, Dona Theresa Esperanza. She is Isabella's sole remaining relative, which means Luga is not Isabella's uncle. Theresa says she can identify Isabella. Luga and Isabella clearly know and dislike each other. Isabella says Luga approached her about backing a scheme of his to reclaim the de la Cuesta land.

Luga says she can't possibly identify Isabella since she hasn't seen her since Isabella was a child. Theresa assures them all that she'll know Isabella. She asks to speak to Isabella alone. Luga is reluctant, since Theresa's comments seem to support his claim, but Isabella also insists.

When everyone is gone, Isabella pleads to know if there is a way to know for certain. Theresa asks what Isabella wants, to be rich? To be a great lady? Isabella gets defensive. What's wrong with that? Theresa says the greatest trait of the de la Cuesta's was their generosity and they would never take the land away from people who'd worked it. Isabella says it must have been an interesting ride with Adam.

Isabella calls everyone back in and says she knows who she is. She is Rosita Moralez. Luga calls her a fool and starts to shake her. Adam puts his arm protectively across Rosita as the sheriff drags Luga away. Rosita starts to leave and Adam asks where she's going. She says she's going back to San Francisco where she belongs and she walks out, head held high. The judge apologizes to Theresa for being forced to participate in the unveiling of this impostor. Theresa asks what makes him think she's an impostor.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights




Did You Know?[]

  • Pernell Roberts did the complete barn fight without the help of a stuntman.


"Those Cartwrights. They have an unfortunate affect on people."
Antonio Luga[src]



See The Spanish Grant/videos

See also[]