Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Truckee Strip”
Season 1, Episode 11
#11 in Series
Air date November 21, 1959
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Herman Groves
Directed by Christian Nyby
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Magnificent Adah
Next Episode:
The Hanging Posse
External links
The Truckee Strip on IMDb


Caught in the middle of a longtime family feud over a disputed piece of land, star-crossed lovers Joe Cartwright and Amy Bishop try to convince their stubborn fathers to resolve their differences as tension escalates into violence.


Several men cut down a tree on a piece of land known as the Truckee Strip. One of the Cartwright ranchhands, Trump, sees the work and hurries back to tell Ben. Jason Carter and Pete Jessup are stirring up trouble between the Cartwrights and Bishops. Jessup states that Ben Cartwright and Luther Bishop will cause more thunder over this one tree than Carter's ever heard on that mountain.

Sure enough, after Trump tells the Cartwrights what happened, they're in hot pursuit of the lumbermen. Joe loses his man, but comes to a small pond with someone hiding behind a bush. He orders the person out and a young woman with big brown eyes steps out. She's half dressed, holding her dress in front of her. Joe's surprised, but merely dismounts and tells her she's tresspassing. She knows he must be a Cartwright and informs him that the land belongs to her father, Luther Bishop. She's Amy Bishop. Joe turns around so she can dress, but she steps on a frog and screams. Joe's immediately at her side. One look into her eyes and Joe is lost.

That evening at the Ponderosa, Ben tells Trump to post men on the Truckee Strip and guard it. But he doesn't understand why Luther would do this. The court awarded the land to Ben. If he wants a fight, Ben will be ready. Joe finally speaks up. "For one tree? You're going to start fighting all over again for one tree?" Ben says it isn't just the tree, it's the principle.

On the Concho, Luther Bishop's place, Luther's foreman Jessup poses the same question. Is Bishop going to fight over one tree? Luther Bishop insists, despite the court order, that the land is his.

Luther checks on Amy before she goes to bed and she too asks about the land. He swears the land is his and he'll fight for it 'til the day he dies. Not just for the land, but for the principle.

Joe meets Amy at the pond the next day. She's glad to see him, but says her father wouldn't like it. Joe takes her hand, looks into her eyes, and says, "We don't have to inherit the hates of our families." For the first time in his life Joe questioned his father and he did it because he met a girl with bare feet and big eyes.

Carter sees that Jessup did not get Luther to sell him the timber he needs. That night Jessup and two men steal three horses from the Ponderosa. Wearing masks, they ride the Ponderosa horses to the Concho, killing one man, leaving a second alive. Frederick sees the Ponderosa brand on the horses' flank.

Frederick tells Luther what happened. Jessup is ready to ride after the men, but Luther says they'll be long gone. He tells Jessup to inform Carter that he'll sell him that timber off the Truckee Strip. Jessup grins as Luther says, "I hope Ben Cartwright just tries to stop me."

As Hoss and Ben wonder how three of their horses got out at night, Trump rides up and says there's a whole lumber camp up on the strip. The Cartwrights are ready to ride, but Joe's not around. Hoss says Joe's out looking for strays. Ben thinks he's been out looking for strays a lot lately.


Joe's at the pond with Amy as she reads him Shakespeare. To his credit, he's actually listening. Joe says they need to tell their fathers, but Amy insists that it can never be, a Cartwright and a Bishop. Joe asks, if their fathers won't let them be together, will she go away with him and marry him. They kiss and Jessup rides by and sees them.

Ben, Adam, Hoss, and Trump ride into the lumbercamp. As Ben demands to know where Luther is, no one sees Trump sneak into a tent after the young Chinese cook who held a knife. When they hear a scream, Ben rushes into the tent to find Trump strangling the young man. Trump drops the boy and rushes out. The young cook is dead and Ben orders that Trump be taken in to the sheriff.


The cook's body is brought out and Joe takes it. Adam tries to explain that it wasn't Ben's fault, but only Joe seems truly upset. He wants to know what Ben's going to do about it. Ben says they're taking Trump in to the sheriff. Adam's worried that Joe will be shot the minute he sets foot on the Concho, but Ben says Joe needs to be trusted. He's got something he needs to figure out on his own.

Joe brings the young man back to the Concho and is met by Jessup who shoots at him. Luther makes Jessup stop and Joe dismounts. He admits that a Cartwright man killed the cook, but it wasn't Ben's doing. Luther says Ponderosa men killed a Concho man last night. Joe says it couldn't be, Ben's always fought out in the open. Luther warns Joe to stay away from Amy. Joe mounts up and leaves.


Joe is very late getting home and Ben is worried. When Joe arrives, Ben asks Joe what's wrong and Joe finally says he meet a girl named Amy Bishop. Now Ben understands what's been bothering Joe. He promises Joe that he'd never hold his land above his sons.

The next day Ben and Joe ride to the Concho. Jessup sees them and sneaks away. Ben says the men who killed the Concho man were riding stolen Ponderosa horses. Luther accuses him of lying. Jessup walks into the house and tells Amy that the feud has started again and that Luther won't let Amy and Joe be together.

Jessup then tells Amy he's waited a long time for her to grow up and he's not letting some Cartwright come in and take her. She doesn't want anything to do with him and escapes to the barn. He's right behind her.

Joe arrives and hearing a scream from the barn, rushes in. He finds Jessup molesting Amy. Jessup is unarmed, so Joe takes off his gun and they fight. Jessup grabs a pitchfork and throws it at Joe, but he ducks. Jessup gets Joe's gun and starts shooting at Joe who's hiding in a stable. Joe defends himself and stabs Jessup in the chest with a pole, delivering a fatal wound. Joe checks on Amy only to discover she was stabbed in the chest by the thrown pitchfork.


As doctor comes out of Amy's room he sadly reports that he did everything he could. He says Amy wants to see Joe. This saddens Luther, but Joe hurries in and kneels at her side. She tells him the doctor told her she'd be fine. He says Ben gave them the piece of land with the pond so she can wade whenever she wants. She starts to talk about the house they'll have, but stops midsentence. Joe is heartbroken and drops his face to the bed in tears.

When Joe leaves the room he doesn't look at anyone, but merely says, "She said it could never be, a Cartwright and a Bishop." Then he walks out followed by his family.


The Cartwrights



  • James Coburn was known for many things, one of his more prominent roles was of Derek Flint.


"You're one of those high-and-mighty Cartwrights who thinks he owns all the land in Nevada!"
Amy Bishop to Little Joe[src]



See The Truckee Strip/videos

See also[]