Somebody else’s dog (by Inca / aka Tye)

Summary:   There’s been some gossip in Virginia City about Ben Cartwright’s new wife.

My response to the September 2015 Chaps & Spurs Challenge

Rating: K  Word count: 581


Somebody Else’s Dog

What was Ben Cartwright thinkin’? A man with his looks – his money! – who wouldn’t jump at the chance to marry a man like that? I could have named a dozen women, right here in Virginia City, who’d have snapped him up. Instead of which, he took himself all the way to New Orleans and brought back that…that Creole hussy!

I’m not being unfair. I call it like it is. I’ve heard the rumors. A little madam, that one, with her fancy ways and her air of superiority, when really she’s no better than she ought to be. I’ve seen her playin’ the fine lady in that big ranch house out at the Ponderosa, when all the time she’s flauntin’ her finery and makin’ eyes at any man who crosses her path. My Pa used to say, “If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.” Reckon someone should tell that to Marie Cartwright! Put the little coquette in her place. She’s no better than the rest of us, for all her pretty face and fancy dresses. And she don’t treat Ben anywhere near as good as he deserves. Leastways, not in my opinion. He deserves a woman who’ll look after him, appreciate what a fine man he is; not one who taunts him and tests his patience every day, and can’t even cook him a decent meal. It’s true. She can’t, and that’s common knowledge. Just as well he’s got that Chinaman to look after his house and put the dinner on the table because his wife sure don’t know how to do it. Considers herself way too good to be doing something as menial as lighting a stove. Instead, she spends her days riding out on that big fancy horse Ben bought for her. No sense of responsibility or decorum. I don’t know why he indulges her when she behaves no better than a spoiled child.

Have you seen the way she parades herself through the town and flirts with all the men at the socials? I don’t know why Ben doesn’t give her a sound hiding and learn her a lesson in decorum. And the way she behaves with young Dan Mellish, it’s simply a scandal! Making eyes at each other and trading smiles in public, like a pair of young lovebirds. If Ben hasn’t noticed that, he’s about the only one in territory who hasn’t!

Men! They’re all the same. Can’t see past a pretty face. Even a man like Ben Cartwright who you’d have thought would have had an ounce more sense, considering all he’s been through. And with two young boys to think about. Surely he could have spared them a thought before he brought a woman like that back to his house. ‘Tain’t right to put someone with her reputation in charge of a couple of innocent children. And now they say she’s expectin’ one of her own. Well, pity the poor child! A woman like that ain’t got no right to be bringin’ a kid into the world in the first place, not when she don’t know how to behave proper herself. Strikes me, when that baby arrives, the chickens’ll soon be home to roost. If that baby grows up to look anything like Ben Cartwright, I’ll eat my hat!



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Author: Inca / Tye

I like angsty drama, so that's what I mostly write. Writing is very important to me and I am always genuinely interested to know what readers really think, so please don't be timid about telling me.

35 thoughts on “Somebody else’s dog (by Inca / aka Tye)

  1. Wow! Someone really does not like Marie! I’m sorry they feel that way. I’ve always liked her. That is a very well written vignette.

  2. I just hate these awful jealous women of the city!
    How could they speak so bad about Little Joe so mother!
    Are you going to continue?

    1. You said it yourself, Maria: jealousy.

      Won’t be continuing this little snippet (which is all it was intended to be), but I’m pretty sure Marie will feature again in my stories. She is such good material.

      Thanks for reading, Maria.

  3. Even if Marie had behaved like a complete saint (and somehow I doubt she did) I’m sure many of the people on and around the Ponderosa would have regarded her just this way! Thank you for this wryly amusing picture of a sadly-too-common attitude.

  4. I’ve always been fascinated by Marie’s story, perhaps because her episode was so bad I have to replace it with fanfic, lol! I loved this take on what a town gossip might say about her. I can actually visualize the stodgy old busybody, mouth pursed, eyes narrowed as she spews her poison.

    Very deftly handled, especially for such a short piece. Perhaps the best mark of a good story is when it raises even more “what-ifs” in a reader’s mind, and this one did that for me. (Wonder what was going on with Dan Mellish?) I enjoyed this very much!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, SP. Not sure this qualifies as a “story”. If it does, it’s an exceedingly short one! Those what-ifs are what fascinate me about Marie.

  5. I’ve always felt that Marie got the short end of the stick. We never got to see how she adjusted to life out west. Or what her life was like before her first husband’s family did a number one her. Ben obviously loved her, as did the boys. There will always be those who will gossip maliciously and spread unfounded rumors. Marie was an outsider who no one understood, and the perfect subject for all the sharp tongues in town. Great job Inca. 🙂

  6. I can imagine many in VC felt the same way you do which lead to a lot of jealousy and snarky comments.

    off to the your other mentioned stories.

    1. Jealousy is the key, in my mind. And people like to gossip, even if there’s no substance to what they’re saying. Thanks for reading, Jojay.

    1. I’m sure many wouldn’t share my view. Makes for interesting story fodder though. Thanks for the kind words regarding the writing. I appreciate it.

  7. LOL. No really. LOL. This was absolutely delicious. I always gave Marie the benefit of the doubt. After all it wasn’t her fault that our introduction to her was a poorly written episode further marred by lousy acting (even Lorne didn’t know what to do with this crappy material). Thanks for posting this gem.

    1. I’m not as generous as you, apparently. I’ve never excused her on account of those external forces beyond her control, although you have made me consider being a *little* more sympathetic towards her.

      So, I’ve considered and it’s no good. She still gets on my nerves, bad writing or no….

      She’ll be back to haunt me, I’m sure, in another story or two.

  8. Gossip, gossip, gossip!

    If I hadn’t seen your comments, Inca, I would had thought the story was written to show gossiping in a sarcastic way. If it isn’t, nevertheless I read it so because I can accept Marie as Ben’s wife (maybe because her character isn’t so extravagant in fanfaction and that overlayed the episode.)

    My adventage is I read “His Fater’s Son” a long time ago. I can say to the others go on and read it it’s a good story with a malicious bad guy.

    1. Marriages work in so many different ways. I struggle to see how Ben and Marie were suited to each other, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t love each other, or that they weren’t happy. But from a writer’s point of view, what makes characters/relationships/stories interesting is conflict in some form or another, and there is huge potential in the relationship between Ben and Marie for those kind of stories. Which is why I like her, even though I didn’t – if you see what I mean!

      Thanks for the thumbs up for His Father’s Son, too. Appreciated.

  9. It sounds like somebody’s a bit jealous of Marie! Most of the town didn’t like Marie because of her flashy clothes and French accent but I do believe she loved Ben and he loved her. I need to go back and read Without Sin again!

    1. Ben must have been a very eligible bachelor before marrying Marie. I can imagine any single women in VC might have been very keen to land a catch like him, so, yes, definitely more than a touch of bitter jealousy here.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, DMC.

  10. Good use of the prompt phrase for this month, Inca. Thanks for participating in the challenge. I hope this gets you on track for BoNaNo!

    1. Don’t think NaNo is going to be feasible, unfortunately, but I’m definitely going to try and get some more writing done, now things are starting to quieten down here. Thanks for the inspiration, Cheaux. Probably wouldn’t have written anything without the prompt.

  11. I am a little conflicted leaving this review. Love your writing just not sure I feel the same way about Marie. But that is the beauty of fanfic . I am not a huge Marie fan but I always felt that Ben truly loved her.

    1. I think you’re right, Jdducker, he did love her; just not sure why! LOL I guess I must love her too since I can’t leave her alone in my stories. A contentious character/relationship is so good inspiration for writing. I’m glad Ben didn’t marry someone boring!

      Thanks for reading.

  12. Now I feel like Krystyna. I need to read your other story and find out what you were thinking regarding Marie, Joe and Ben.

    1. Lol. Would love to hear what you think, Chavel. I might have a little bit of a thing for what went on with Marie. She also features in Without Sin – in fact, causes the Cs a lot of heartache in that story too, despite being dead and gone. She might wind me up but she’s good material for a story!

      Thanks for reading.

  13. So you don’t like Marie Cartwright then? And what a ‘cliffhanger’ to leave on… I m off to read the other story now just to make sure Joe IS Ben’s son…you’ve got me wondering l.o.l.

    1. She might have been fine as someone else’s wife, but seemed to me Ben was just besotted by a younger woman. She just wasn’t the right material. And you have to admit, Joe bears no resemblance at all to his father. Mind you, none of his sons are chips off the old block. Perhaps there’s a couple more paternity stories in there somewhere….

      Hope you enjoy His Father’s Son, if you do read it. It does have an Adam Action Man hero scene you might particularly enjoy.

  14. What a treat! Inca’s back in the ballgame with her Creole hussy. Guess Ben had a different outlook on his new bride than some of the townsfolk. Well done!

    1. I can imagine Ben refusing to rise to all the snide comments and sideways looks. But, really, what was he thinking?

      Thanks for reading, Jfc.

    1. You never know. Although I’ve already written a story that questions whether Ben is indeed Joe’s father (His Father’s Son). And thanks for reading.

  15. Well, just come on out and tell us how you feel! Zip, Zing, Zowie! 🙂

    Inca, your time away has been WELL spent when you can come up with this beauty!

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