The Ballad of Belle Bonnet
|The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest|
|"The Ballad of Belle Bonnet"|
|Airdate||September 19, 1996|
|Chief locations||Four Corners, Arizona 109.88W, 37.52N (N/A miles)|
|Vehicle(s)||Quest Airstream Motor Home|
|Writer(s)|| Peter Lawrence & Michael Ryan|
Will Jarvis (story)
|Guest roles|| J.D. Roth (SWAT Member)|
Michael Benyaer (Robber #1)
Helene Udy (Belle)
Charlie Adler (Rawlings / Robber #2)
Lewis Arquette (Civilian / Driver)
Earl Boen (Officer / Stage Coach Guard)
Jennifer Hale (Kate)
Michael Horse (Ames)
Michael Stanton (Additional Voices)
|Episode sequence||Heroes <--> In the Darkness of the Moon|
In the Old West, the thief Belle Bonnet stole a wagonload of gold to help an Indian school stay open, but both thief and gold were lost in vast caverns under the American desert—until the Quests took the case.
Upon the desert of the Old West, two riders pursue a fierce woman driving a stage coach. She fires at them with her revolver but fails to stop them, deciding to ride into the perilous "Dead Horse" canyon. She stops the coach and engages in a shootout with the others, but the gunshots cause a cave-in high above, crushing the two pursuers. A sinkhole cave-in below ensues, dooming the thief Belle Bonnet and the carriage carrying gold.
In the present day at the four corners area of Arizona, Race Bannon lowers himself down a shaft with Jonny Quest and a climbing accomplice. Dr. Benton Quest monitors their readings with Hadji Singh and a Native American from within the Queststream, parked near a home. The Indian is skeptical that the readings come from ghosts and paranormal activity; meanwhile, the climbing companion (Rawlings) scares several bats by lighting a flare in the caverns. Race throws it down a pit and presses on, but Jonny slips and nearly falls down the cliff. Race saves him, but falls down under a crumbling ledge immediately after; Jonny tries to stop his fall, but Rawlings cuts the rope and leaves, feeling that Dr. Quest hadn't paid him enough to take these risks. Jonny lowers down and finds Race and the skeleton of the thief with bullet cartridges nearby. The temperature suddenly drops, and a chaotic ghostly vision appears over the nearby underground pond; Belle Bonnet proclaims, "The gold is for the children!"
Skeletal horses and carriage ride over Race and Jonny before returning to the pond. In the evening, the team reunite at the house near the Queststream, and Dr. Quest confirms that the readings were caused by Belle's ghost. Rawlings denies the story from Race and Jonny, and Dr. Quest dismisses him. Outside, he bumps into the Native American (Ames) and asks if Ames would like a loan for the Indian school, which probably won't meet its taxes this year. Ames fears a catch and declines. That night, Jonny dreams about events of the past; he sees the cavalry arrive to close down the Indian school, and Belle Bonnet swears to get money for it. Jonny then remembers falling in the cave, and falls out of bed. He wakes to ask Ames of the place's history; he reveals that his ancestor, Kate Runningstar, built the school, but it's fallen on hard times, and that Belle Bonnet was just a "common thief". Suddenly, a Molotov cocktail is thrown through the window.
The school catches fire as Jonny and Ames try to contain it with blankets; Rawlings, the arson, speeds away on a motorbike. Hadji wakes up to move the Queststream while Race fights the fire futilely with a garden hose. Jonny busts out with Ames, who watches despondently. The next morning, Ames explains that Belle was going to rob to get the money, but had unexpected competition from other thieves. The Indians assumed she simply took the gold and headed east, but Jonny insists that hers is the ghost in the cavern. The team descend, and Jonny and Hadji find the crashed coach and treasure chest full of gold, bringing it to the surface via inflatables. They find that Race and Dr. Quest are missing; Rawlings emerges from the shadow with a shotgun ready. The ghostly visions then appear as the treasure chest spills out and mesmerizes Rawlings. The ghostly stage coach tramples him; Jonny and Hadji find him dead with no visible markings. Belle Bonnet appears a final time to remind them that the gold is for the children. Topside, Dr. Quest and Race give the gold to the bank it was stolen from, and the bank's representative informs them of a $500,000 reward. The Quests turn to Ames, who promises to build a new school with the money.
- Jonny - "I wonder if this is responsible for that."
- Race - "Maybe. Or maybe Mr. Bones and I had the same climbing instructor."
- Hadji - "This requires hospitalization, Race."
- Race - "Later for that, Hadji. No one ever died of a busted shoulder."
- Dr. Quest - "Frankly, Mr. Rawlings, we no longer need either your opinions or your services."
- Race - "That's a polite way to say, 'You're canned, ace.'"
- Ames - "Belle was a friend of my great-grandmother Kate's, and Belle had very strong opinions about right and wrong."
- Dr. Quest - "Remember,"
- Dr. Quest / Hadji / Jonny - "'No heroics!'"
- Dr. Quest - "I've become that predictable."
- J.D. Roth is credited as SWAT member, as he is in 102 Escape to Questworld. A SWAT member doesn't appear in this episode.
- Jessie is completely absent from this episode.
- Belle Bonnet was originally "Belle Starr" in the Peter Lawrence Writer's Bible.
- This episode does not feature a Quest Byte.