Summary: Adam’s Memoirs – Part 5
Rating: T (2,000 words)
Adam’s Memoirs Series:
The Early Years
How I Got A Lifelong Reputation for Being a Hard Worker or How Little Joe Learned to Iron Sheets
Getting Lucky with Mary
Visiting Dustville Junction
Sailors, Lilly, and the Gold Thief
Pa Teaches Me to be a Man of Few Words
Educating My Brothers was Never Easy
Author’s Note: The REALLY Losts are satires of the series written with much affection, eye rolling, and winks. And can be somewhat risque’.
Adam’s Memoirs: Sailors, Lilly, and the Gold Thief
A REALLY LOST Episode
This is another excerpt from the yet to be published Adam Cartwright Memoirs.
Chapter 62: Pa’s Old Friends
Our neighbors Captain Long and his first mate Shmecky were old pals of Pa‘s from way back when. They had all gone to sea together when they were young. Shmecky had a brother named Smee who started out as Pa‘s friend too. He got in with bad company and became a pirate.
I know how Pa must have felt to have a boyhood chum go bad. I had that happen to me with both Carl Reagan and Ross Marquette. And I had to shoot Ross too. Not an easy thing. It really was a good thing Pa didn’t have to run into that pirate ship and shoot Smee.
It’s something a man never quite gets over, especially when you go to class reunions and folks ask after the other guy and you have to say “Err…Ross Marquette? He’s dead.”
And then the next thing is the Bonner brothers, who are real pot stirrers say. “Yeah, ask Adam Cartwright what became of Ross. He knows. He was there.” Then folks say “Gosh! Dead! He was so young! What happened?”
Even if I hold back, people dig out what happens. It really puts a damper on the reunion festivities when you have to explain that you chased Ross down in the desert and shot him dead.
Anyway, I was telling you about Pa’s boyhood friends, not mine.
Chapter 63: Old Friends and New Neighbors
When Pa married my mother, he left his life as a sailor. He eventually became a rancher, but never forgot his boyhood pals, Long and Shmecky. They kept in touch over the years through letters and such.
After reading Pa’s letters over the years about building the Ponderosa and the beauty of Nevada Territory and the Sierras and the Tahoe Basin, Captain Long said, “When I retire from the sea, I want a ranch near Virginia City too!”
“Me too!!! I grew up tending livestock and always dreamed of raising horses and being a cowboy like Ben Cartwright,” sighed Shmecky. “But I don’t have the money to buy a ranch in Nevada Territory.”
He had to use much of his savings to pay for a lawyer for Smee when he was arrested for kidnapping a bunch of kids. Good lawyers don’t come cheap. I can tell you that since at least once each season one of us Cartwrights is wrongly accused of murder and there is a long expensive trial and the truth comes out.
The truth came out about Smee. He was only following his maniacal captain’s orders and he got a light sentence and eventually resettled in London. Pa said it is a goldurn shame that Hoss or Joe didn’t have the academic skills to go to law school. He could have saved a bundle over the years if we had a lawyer in the Cartwright family.
Cousin Will could have gone. He was pretty bright and had a good mind for studying. He spoke Spanish like a native. Pa made the offer to pay his tuition and support him through law school and he could be the Cartwright consigliore but he married Laura Dayton instead. For that, I will be forever grateful.
“I had a dream of raising horses and cattle and have just enough money for a ranch in the Wild West but really don’t know how to take care of livestock,” said Long.
The two decided to become partners and build the Long/Shmeckie Ranch. They wrote to Pa and he was mighty happy to have his friends come to Nevada and be neighbors after all those years. We found just the place for them to buy right near Virginia City. Matter of fact, it was the old Dayton Ranch.
In addition to horses and cattle, the two men loved all sorts of animals and had many pets. These included a pig named Arnold and a pair of wacky chipmunks called Chip and Dale. They even took in orphaned wild animals and rescued injured dolphins that they kept in a big tank.
Joe wasn’t more than ten that summer they moved in, and Hoss and me taught him how to swim and dive in that tank. I got my first pair of Speedos that summer at the Virginia City Mercantile but that is a totally other story.
The two sailors settled in and by the time they were there a couple or three years they were mighty happy and the ranch was running just fine.
They were fine neighbors and many nights we Cartwrights would go over there for dinner and some singing and story telling. Shmeckie was a fine cook and his special dish was Mahi Mahi with pineapple salsa. Hop Sing taught him to make rhubarb pie too and though we would never tell Hoppy, Shmeckie did them better.
Chapter 64: The Night of the Ball
On the night of the Cattle Baron Ball, while the whole town was at the shindig, a real bad horse thief came around to the Long Shmeckie Ranch set rob the house and to steal the rancher’s prize winning stallion, Pipik, on his way out.
The thief had lit a candle so he could find his way in the dark house knowing the two men were in Virginia City at the Cattle Baron‘s Ball singing a duet from “La Cage au Folle”. They had real fine voices and were the hit of the entertainment. Folks think that cowboys don’t like show tunes but we really do. Pa even made a huge lot of that red punch of his. He used the tank Captain Long used for the dolphins. Hoss and Joe cleaned it out first so it didn’t have a Mahi Mahi taste. Everyone exclaimed over Pa’s punch as always and he was real proud of it. Hoss had said Jello Shots would go over better but Pa stuck to his old favorite and proved he was right as always. Can’t fool with tradition.
Chapter 65: Lilly
I had a date for the ball with a gal who would break my heart or die, the first of many. Her name was Lilly. She was quite a gal. She had pale white skin and long, straight dark hair, narrow waist and big headlights. She lived with her grandfather who was from some weird Eastern European Country like Scotland or Transylvania and wore a long black cape. The old gent was awfully strange but seemed like a friendly sort. Pa raised us to judge folks by what was inside and not their appearances. Anyway, that particular night was a swell night and I got kissed in the moonlight by my date Lilly.
Later, back home, Pa said I done him proud when Joe showed him the videos of me and Lilly in the moonlight. Joe caught the whole thing with a zoom lens, even though it was pretty dark. In those days, Joe claimed he had this dream of being a show biz dynamo and writing scripts and directing and producing films.
Pa said he should follow his dreams but Hoss and me knew it was just one of those typical Little Joe’s scams to get girls to practice kissing scenes with him in the loft of the barn where he set up his so called “producer’s office”. He even got Hoss to haul up an old settee to use as a casting couch. Leave it to Little Joe to figure that one! Har har. That scamp.
Pa got wind of it eventually. He quickly shut down that “office” before some daddy came with a shotgun and dealt with Joe harshly. Besides, movies wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years so what the heck was Joe doing?
Hoss said, “Don’t ask no questions if’n you don’t want to hear the answers. Big brother you know dang sure what Little Joe was up to and you are jest sorry you didn’t think to be a media mogul before Joe did.” Hoss was right.
Before the Silver Baron‘s Ball was done, my gal Lilly went off with this big galoot named Herman. He was taller than Hoss and a real stiff with a greenish complexion and a strange laugh. Real strange and real dumb.
I felt mighty hurt. After all, I had brought her a tumbleweed corsage to match her dust colored dress. And Lilly had kissed me in the moonlight and then let this monstrous big guy monopolize her. I was ready to call Herman out for a set to and duke it out and see who was the better cowboy and would get the gal…but Pa pulled me back by my shirt collar.
Pa said I should cool off. If Lilly thought some big lunk who had been struck by lightning and didn’t even seem to have his own brain in his flat topped head was more appealing to Lilly than a his smart, handsome, talented son, she got what she deserved. Herman couldn’t even dance without stomping on Lily’s feet but she didn’t care. I was sort of hurt. A cowboy sure doesn’t want to be ditched at the Cattleman’s Ball in front of the entire town. And Joe was still making those videos the entire time as well.
Pa said if I still was angry in a week, I could go over to Herman’s house and feel free to shoot Herman if I really wanted at that point. He would even let me use his new pistol he bought on E-Bay. I said OK.
Pa is pretty smart. He knew by the next week I would have cooled off, met a new girl and Lilly would be old news and totally forgotten.
Meanwhile, back at the Long Shmeckie Ranch…
The rustler was sure there might be some money or valuables hidden in the Long/Shmeckie house because there was a rumor in Virginia City that the two retired sailors had a chest of gold pirate doubloons from Smee hidden in the ranch house.
There was something that spurred that rumor. It really wasn’t real pirate gold. It was a half a carton of gold foil wrapped chocolate Chanukah gelt that they had left over from a Chanukah party that Hop Sing had hosted for the kids in the Orphanage. Hoppy was always into multiculturalism. He could make great latkes too. Ask Hoss.
Suddenly, in the dark house, the thief heard someone say, “Jesus is watching you.”
He stopped in fear and blew out the candle he was holding. He stayed frozen there about fifteen minutes. Nothing happened.
He started to continue searching for valuables in the dark. Then he heard it again. “Jesus is watching you”. He stayed frozen there about fifteen minutes. Nothing happened.
He started to continue searching for valuables in the dark. Then he heard it again “Jesus is watching you”. The thief turned around and saw a parrot standing on a perch. He asked the parrot “What is your name bird”?
The parrot said “SQUACK … Methuselah Louise.”
The robber said, “What kind of idiot sailors would name their bird Methuselah Louise?”
The parrot answered, “SQUACK …the same idiots that named their killer wolf pup Jesus.”
Captain Long and Shmeckie came home and found only the nose and the gnawed off left leg of that rustler near the wolf pup’s pen. Nothing else was left but as Pa said, you shouldn’t be putting your nose where it doesn’t belong and you won‘t have any troubles.
Chapter 67: Years Later
Years later we heard that Lilly changed her name to Lotta Crabtree and went on the stage. I don’t know what ever became of Herman but some gossipy folks in town claimed Lilly had a son named Eddie with him who had these big pointy teeth. Guess she had to get a job to pay for that kid’s orthodontist, Doc Holliday, frontier DDS.
Next Story in the Adam’s Memoirs Series:
Tags: Adam Cartwright, Bonner brothers, tongue-in-cheek
Other Stories by this Author
- Adam’s Memoirs – Part 2 (by Robin)
- Adam’s Memoirs – Part 3 (by Robin)
- Adam’s Memoirs – Part 4 (by Robin)
- Adam’s Memoirs – Part 1 (by Robin)
- Adam’s Memoirs – Part 7 (by Robin)