Summary: In this collection, I gathered some stories atmosphere whose interest is mainly due to the return of the atmosphere at Ponderosa and the description of the characters and the relationship between the characters. No palpitations, therefore, but moments of good humor or emotion, as appropriate.
Rated: K WC 8000
Family scenes has Ponderosa
A little exasperated, three son of Ben Cartwright awaiting the arrival of the coach. They had nothing against the idea in itself to have guests but they hated was when said guests were former Ben’s friends who remembered him because they saw in him a great purveyor of husbands for their daughters.
It happened regularly and according to the age of the girl, Adam, Hoss and Joe had to care for the girl, take her horse to walk, picnic or at the ball, regardless of the projects (or appointment -you gallant) they could have. And it was impossible to say no to Ben: he immediately launched into a sermon about good education, hospitality and all the rest …
This time it was worse than ever: Morgan, the couple was expected, had three daughters corresponding each to one of the boys.
Adam sighed. “Oh, shut up, Adam” threw Joe Pa said that the mother of the three girls had been thy nurse, her eldest daughter is your foster-sister, you can make an effort. If you want my opinion, Pa should have required you to take care of the whole family. Since you are their parent with milk, it is natural! »
For once, Adam remained silent but it lasted only a short time. Then, with a half smile, he launched:
“In this case, since they are my sisters, I can not marry any of them, which is not the case. »
Joe did not have time to reply: the coach who had lead the turn slows down and stopped right in front of them. A tall, thin man with white hair cut short and a blue light appeared first, followed by a strong woman in black dress, head surmounted by an equally black hat. The husband and wife rushed to the boys:
“You are the son of Ben, is not it? “The man asked without waiting for the answer to shake their hands vigorously.
The woman too, sprang to their outstretched hands, so that they could see the girls jump on the wheel with the help of the driver.
Finally, the frantic couple decided to let go and stepped aside and turned to the girls. Contrary to expectations, they were four. Three of them were young blonde girls, pleasant but nothing more. The fourth was a real beauty. A slim, auburn curls appearing in a purple hat and eyes that seemed exactly the same color as the hair.
The three Cartwright were speechless, paralyzed.
“Surprise! “Cried joyfully Mr. Morgan,” there was a girl too. We came with our daughters and our niece Julia. It was given to us by his parents while traveling in Europe and we could not leave her in Boston for us to come here, you know. »
Silently, boys nodded his head. Each one thought: “This is not a girl too they brought is three girls too. »
“Or,” says Adam with craftiness, “we can also consider that there are two boys too …”
The tone was final.
“But why, Pa? I do not understand why you continually refuse to clarify this plot of Ponderosa. We could make a beautiful pasture. It is an ideal place for it. »
“Ponderosa is a fairly large area so we can graze our cattle without using this plot. Now, Adam, stop harassing me with that. I said no and I will not repeat. You certainly have a lot of work, so go ahead and leave me. »
In a move that, at home, had always expressed discontent, Adam pulled his hat down over his eyes and walked away, visibly angry. Ben looked at him thoughtfully across the yard corner. He felt sad to have to hide something from the son in whom he had complete confidence but he was convinced that it was better not to reveal anything, even to him. Once a secret was told a person is no longer a secret.
The bushes in the plot question, a cave and hid in this cave, Ben, once, had struck gold. He did not want anyone to know because he was sure the rumor would spread soon and it would be the end of Ponderosa. He knew he was unable to stop the rush that would not fail to raise this formidable little phrase “We struck gold …”
Ben sighed. He knew he could not keep this secret forever. One day or the other, although it should tell his son. But that day was not yet come.
He reached his desk, opened a drawer, pulled out a folder, opened it and began to read. It was a report by Adam on the northern part of Ponderosa, the driest part of the domain. By immersing it, Ben admired clear vision of his elder, his sense of the essential and at the same time, the precise manner in which he detailed the procedure to irrigate the soil and turn this rocky part in the nursery.
His eyes roamed the analysis and recommendations of his son and the image of the author seemed to hover above the beautiful and strong writing. He could not take his mind the vision of Adam, away from home with great strides, having received what he could only feel like a snub. Was right not to give him what he knew? Why such mistrust? Knew it not Adam as much as he loved the area for what it was and never give up solid wood resources and livestock against deceptive lure of gold?
And speaking of gold, loyal son, hardworking, intelligent and right does it not be much more than all the gold in the world? Why hurt him by a fiercely guarded silence, without a legitimate reason?
Ben closed the file he was no longer reading. His decision was made: this evening, when the other would go up to bed, he would retain Adam. They used these late head-to-head by the fire, sipping a glass of brandy. Yes, tonight he was going to reveal the secret of the forbidden land, leaving it to him to pass it to his brothers or his son, the day he would.
Tonight, the secret of Ben Cartwright became the secret of Cartwright.
Hello, my name Sosthenes and my job is to be dog in the pack of Hoss Cartwright. The other member of the pack, it is a female, Rennie. It is a thoroughbred, an Irish setter. Hoss calls his princess but she is not minx for a penny. She loves me very much that I am not a pure blood at all. I am what is called a bastard salt and pepper with a lot of salt and some pepper, ruffled genre.
Rennie is a good friend, but twice a year, it becomes uncontrollable, completely dippy. The last time there was this Gordon setter Upsa, call it the dog Mark Chappaline. She went with him. I ran the fields and woods to try to find her. Nothing to do. She returned after three days, and clearly there is a range on the road.
Our teacher does not know who the father is. He wonders if it’s not me. Technically, it is impossible, it is big and I am small. What can I do with my short legs? But in my head, I’m the father. I watch over Rennie. Last week, I chased a dog-wolf that was spinning around, I fell and I broke my leg. Hoss put me in a cast so I could walk.
It is obvious that the event is for that night. Rennie stole a shirt of Adam (Adam is the brother of my master, a good guy). She is lying on it with a funny look. I must warn Hoss.
What time can it be? It is pitch dark. I had a strange dream. I was with Isabel de la Cuesta, I played him a guitar when a Spanish dancer approached, holding her closely. He was with his feet that sound pushy. toc-toc-toc, toc-toc-toc …
Thin, but I’m not dreaming. This toc-toc-toc is real. This is the noise that woke me up and it comes from below. Where is my robe? And my pistol? Soft you now, if an intruder, he will not be disappointed with the trip.
What is it? It is you, Sosthenes? You knock on the door with your cast, I do not believe it. Go away. Going in, you sleep outside. But … Let me go. Do not pull on my robe, you’re going to tear. This belt loose, give it to me. Oh, you’re impossible! I will seek thy master and woe to you!
I was sound asleep when I was awakened with a start. Adam was shaking me vigorously.
“Name of a pipe, Adam, what happened to you? What are you doing in my room half naked? Can not you shut your robe? »
“No, because my belt is currently between your dog’s teeth,” he said. And he explained that Sosthenes had knocked on the door with his cast. I immediately realized that if intelligent dog had something to show me. I went down, my brother on his heels, I got the belt and I went to Adam so that he could remain decent. Sosthenes wagged its tail and drove us to the stable. Brave dog! Immediately, I saw Rennie. My little princess was pushing.
“Look, Adam,” I said, “she’s going to have her young. »
“On my yellow shirt” has he pointed out, not very happy. But seconds later, he forgot his damn shirt because the first puppy showed the muzzle.
“Look, Hoss,” he started, very excited, “you think it’s Sosthenovitch? »
I do not understand a word of what he said: “What do you mean, Sosthenovitch? »
He said: “In Russian, it means the son of Sosthenes. But no, Hoss is a setter is Upsovitch “
I have not cottoned on to this sudden need to speak Russian (besides, I did not know that Adam spoke the language) but I did not care. Puppies interested me more. I got closer and I could see, no doubt, it was a setter, red with a white star on the chest. So cute! Then I came back in Rennie appeared as the second. In less than two hours, it was actually six absolutely perfect puppies, male and female, red, black and reddish black and yellow … almost.
“This one should be Sosthenovitch,” said Adam, laughing, “it is less beautiful than the others. Will you give it to me Hoss? »
This is typical of Adam, that, taking the ugliest to protect it. I opened my mouth to respond when a voice of old salt challenged me:
“What the hell are you doing here, both barefoot, one in her nightgown and one dressing gown? »
“But Pa,” I replied, “you, too, are in robe. »
“Obviously, at five in the morning! Just keep answering me, Hoss, what are you doing here? »
“Hush, Pa,” muttered Adam, a finger on his lips, “you’re in the room of a young mother. Come see the puppies and let me introduce you Sosthenovitch. »
“Look at that, Hoss. Do not you find it exciting to see our Ponderosa ranch into hive for the preparation of the Independence Day? “.
“Sure, Pa! You really had a fantastic idea and all our neighbors have adopted with enthusiasm. Everyone took his part. No doubt, this is brilliant! »
“About hand, you finished what you had to do, you? »
“Oh yeah, Pa. I volunteered to help Hop Sing to the kitchen but he did not give me a lot of work. Peel the potatoes, that’s all. I could have done much more, baking, for example “
Ben laughed, “Well, I guess why Hop Sing was not enthusiastic at the prospect. We bet? »
Ben turned his head towards the voice he had heard. It was his eldest son, who was standing there with a annoyed that contracted his handsome features.
“Yes, Adam? »
“Joe said you gave him carte blanche to prepare a surprise, is it true? »
“But Pa, he was only sixteen, it is not prudent. It’s really not safe, “he added, shaking his head.
“Come on, Adam, at sixteen, a boy is able to take initiatives. »
“You could at least have asked him what he intended to do. »
“No, he insisted that it remains secret and I did not want to disappoint him. »
“You better inform you. »
“What are you afraid, Adam? You spend your time mothering our little brother like he was six. »
“Do-not even to you about that, Hoss, I talk to Pa.”
“Hoss is right, Adam. When it comes to your brother Joe, you begin to make you chickweed and worry. »
“Many times we had proof that I was right. Pa, I insist, I really think you should interest you that Joe simmers. »
“That’s enough, Adam! I told Joe that I trusted him, I let him go through with his plan. »
“Okay. In this case, I inform you that I will not attend the party, I go with Sport & Beauty. I think I’ll spend the night in town. »
Ben suddenly had a dark feeling. “Where do you come exactly, Adam”
“Stop making your grumpy, Adam,” interjected Hoss. “I do not know what trick the young rascal was able to play you, but you should be fair play. You do not want to miss when not even the speech of Pa, is not it? »
“I do not do my grumpy, Hoss, I just wanted to warn Pa But it seems that I’m getting chickweed and I worry about anything.; I am the perpetual troublemaker and I stifled my younger brother by my character too protective. Very well, if the grumpy size. I do not want to be there when my predictions will come true. »
“But, as you fear, Adam? You turn around the bush for half an hour, it’s infuriating. WHAT IS HAPPENING? »
“Oh, nothing. It is only in the process of installing a fireworks behind the stables. No doubt, the horses will appreciate … “
Ben and Hoss ran off, while Adam looked at them, a wry smile lifting his right lip. They arrived behind the barn. Joe was busy, installing its rockets.
“Oh, you’re here, Pa, you’d have sworn me …”
“Joe, what are you doing, you realize? »
“Well what, Pa, I install my fireworks at a place where no one can see me. The rockets will appear in the sky like a miracle. »
“And horses, little wretch, y did you think? They’ll be terrified, they’ll rush, trying to break free. »
Joe remained open mouth for once speechless and painfully uttered: “I had not thought of that. »
“As usual, you do not think to much,” could not help saying Ben. “Come on, Hoss, moves up and helps to undo his work. »
“But … but,” stammered Joe, in tears, qua shall I do? »
A dark figure moved closer to him: “Come, little brother, do not worry, I’ll show you where to mount your fireworks. Let’s go to the lake. Hoss and I take care of bringing people and you will draw your flares over the water, it will be superb. »
Ben looked at Adam with a big smile. Then he turned to Hoss: “I think you should apologize to your big brother, Hoss, it is not so grumpy that, after all! »
The atmosphere was peaceful. At his office, Ben wrote a letter to a friend in Boston. Hoss and Joe were playing checkers, for once, not too loudly. As for Adam, he read down in the blue chair, his favorite. The only sound was the ticking of the grandfather clock and from the kitchen, the discrete noise Hop Sing doing the dishes.
Suddenly the silence was broken by a chuckle of laughter. Ben, Hoss and Joe looked up in surprise. It was not usual to hear Adam laugh reading. Especially since the book he was reading had very serious: “The other worlds or states and empires of the moon” by Cyrano de Bergerac, could be read on the cover.
“What are you laughing, Adam? “Asked Hoss
“Something I just read”
“I can not believe,” exclaimed Joe, “there may be something funny in this book. »
“Well, Joe,” was Ben, “you’re wrong, obviously. Could we share your laughter, Adam? »
“The author of this book,” said Adam, “was living in France in the early seventeenth century. He was endowed with a vivid imagination. He wrote seven means he imagined to go to the moon. »
“Going to the moon? What ambition! “Cried Joe.
“An ambition that you will never have, Joe” Hoss remarked, smirking. “If I remember correctly, you do not even SUPPORTED not raise you from the ground a few inches. »
“Shut up, boys,” ordered Ben, “I am eager to know what is so funny that your brother laughed aloud. »
“One of the ways to go to the moon. I’ll read it: “I sit on a huge metal plate. I run up a giant magnet. The base is precipitated on the magnet that I raise a hundred times, two hundred times, and so on until I reach the moon. »
The four men laughed good heart. Once calmed down, Hoss remarked: “It is a strange man, … How do you call him? Cyrano Dubjack? »
“Cyrano de Bergerac”
“What made you want to order this book, Adam? “Ben asked, intrigued by the curious, as always, his eldest son interests. “What attracted you to topics like this one? »
“Visions” Adam replied with a dreamy air, “the visions of progress and advances that science can enable mankind.”
“There are five,” Ben whispered, “you dreamed of seeing the railway crossing the American continent. »
“It was a dream and now it has come true. And as demonstrated fire your friend who built balloons, man will soon be able to fly. Why can not I dream of a trip to the moon? »
“Do you seriously that one day man walk on the moon, Adam? “Joe asked, dumbfounded.
“Yes, Joe, I’m sure. And it’s not draw upon a star. I do not live long enough to see it, but in a hundred years, say two hundred years, the man walk on the moon. I believe in progress. Look at all the discoveries we have made, not least that of the last decade. Sometimes I wonder if there is a limit to our ability to dominate the world. »
“Yes, there is one, Adam.” Ben’s voice had taken solemnly. “Remember man that you would like your name. His excessive pride led him out to the Lord of heaven. We must be humble, if one day we will be the authors of our own destruction. The end of the world, it is we who will. »
Adam looked down. “You’re right, Pa Nevertheless, do not blame me but I can not help but to have a head full of dreams for our future. »
Ben smiled: “I can not blame you, my boy, you like that about me. But like me, one day you will attain wisdom that I found. »
“And now,” says Hoss heading towards the kitchen, who wants a sandwich before going to bed? »
She was beautiful! Hidden behind the thickness of a bush, he watched intently. The scene was worth the glance: at the bottom of a clearing, under the moonlight, a cart and a few steps, two horses grazing. On the left side, an old man dressed in gray trousers, a waistcoat of the same calm tone over a white shirt with the sleeves were rolled up to the elbow, which paced, gun resting on his arm. And in the middle, a fire where two women were busy cooking. One was an old lady, obviously a servant and the other was “it” the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The fire drew shadows and lights on the perfect oval of her face and her long hair blush. As it was, she evoked the Titania the “tale of a Summer Night” by Shakespeare.
After a few minutes spent to admire and also wonder if there was not dreaming, he decided it was time to reveal his presence. He came out of the forest and took a few steps toward the group. Immediately, the man took position between him and the two women and pointed his gun at him.
“Calm down, calm down,” he said, “I mean you no harm. My name is Adam Cartwright and you camp on the land of my father. »
“Drop the gun, Aristide” ordered the young woman. She stood up and walked over to Adam: “I’m sorry. I did not know I was on private property. Would you kindly let us finish our dinner before we left? »
“I did not intend to chase you. You can stay. You are not far from the house so the place is safe. I just wanted to welcome you. »
“Thank you. Want to share our meal? »
“I’d like but I can not, my father is waiting for me and I’m already late. But if you do not mind, I will dine with you tomorrow night. At least … if you’re still there. »
“I had not formed a plan to stay but it is tempting to take a day off. My servants are tired. “She took a moment of silence, looking at his feet thoughtfully then Adam looked into his eyes with a big smile:
“It’s okay,” she said, “but I’m running out of provisions. What can you do for me? Game for a change? »
Adam returned the smile, “I can catch a rabbit or two in the morning. Okay with you? »
“Perfect! And it would be even better if you could also give me some carrots and a bunch of onions. »
“It’s okay. And now, good night and tomorrow. “With that, he walked away, lost in thought. It is only when you open the door of the house he realized he did not even know his name.
“Well, there you are! “Said his father when he entered the room,” Not too soon, I began to worry. »
“You worry every time I’m going to get the pay in Virginia City. You would not have expected, your dinner will be cold. »
“Dinner will be cold anyway,” said Ben. “Hop Sing today received a letter from a certain Ms Krystina. He became pale in reading and told me he needed some time away. I tried to extract an explanation but he begged me not to insist and asked me to swear my gods that I do not restore to. He promised he would be back soon. »
In this story, Hoss and Joe was down. Hoss asked, “And how are naked do for lunch? »
“Each of us will turn to the kitchen. Like Adam and Joe cheat when you pull the short straw, I put our names in a hat. Joe pulls a name, please. »
Joe obeyed and handed it to his father to read it: “Adam,” he announced. It was Adam who gets stuck in the kitchen tomorrow. »
“But Pa …”
“There is no” but “or” if “or” that is to say, “Adam. It’s your turn tomorrow, a point, that’s all! Besides, you have a hard day today, you will have the opportunity to stay home tomorrow and rest as long as you give up a broom and bottom. Now come, eat what Hop Sing has left us. »
Adam showed rather taciturn during dinner and went to bed early, ruminant disappointment. He woke up at dawn, took his gun and went downstairs. He rummaged in the kitchen and found a dozen sausages and a basket full of potatoes. “That’s for dinner,” he thought. “Now, where are the carrots and onions? »
Having found what he sought, he headed the team muttering: “Anyway, I promised her a rabbit or two, I have to keep his word. I’ll give her what she asked and tell her that I can not honor his invitation. But “dadburnit” Looks like Hoss! »
No sooner said than done. He caught two rabbits and went to the clearing where the mysterious woman was. She thanked him warmly and asked if he could carve his game.
“I know not and Aristide is hardly brilliant in this exercise. »
“I’ll do it, but unfortunately I can not taste these rabbits. “In a few words, he explained what was happening.
“So,” he concludes, “instead of enjoying their feast, I’ll have to content myself with grilled sausages and boiled potatoes, that’s all I can do. »
She had a dazzling smile and said, “I think I just had a fantastic idea. Let me cook for you and do not say anything. Let them think that you did it yourself. That way, in the end, you will taste my rabbit.
The figure of Adam brightened. “Splendid! “Is he cried. “But on one condition: you must dine with us. I will introduce you as my guest. Does it work? »
“It works! »
“Good. I’ll come pick you up this afternoon and I will bring you home. »
“Hoss” shouted Joe, “It’s almost seven. Why do not you come? The day is over. »
Hoss grumbled: “There is no rush, Joe. Do not forget that it was Adam who is cooking tonight. I can tell you the menu: grilled sausages and boiled potatoes. »
“It’s not so bad if the sausages are not burned and if the potatoes are not believed. »
Hoss sighed: “What I have always admired about you, Joe, this is your optimism. But you’re right, it is useless to postpone indefinitely what we can not avoid. Come on, let’s go “
Approaching the house, they joined Ben who was returning too. The kitchen window was open and they stopped dead: “What smells so good? “Asked Ben.
Hoss peeked inside and saw Adam, an apron around his waist, busy fussing around a casserole.
“You finally here,” he said, “Hurry up, I’m ready.”
Stunned, they entered the house and found the table set for five people. Adam out of the kitchen carrying a tomato dish washers and mimosa eggs. “This is the entrance,” he announced, “After we have a rabbit stew and dessert, plum crumble. »
The three men remained paralyzed as if they had been struck by lightning. “Get moving,” the houspilla Adam, “you have just enough time to wash your hands while I call our guest. “And without letting the questions asked, he went up the stairs four at a time.
A few minutes later, they saw him down, holding the hand of an elegant and graceful young woman:
“Pa, can I submit Françoise de Beauregard? She secretly invited to Ponderosa and accepted to share our meal tonight. That’s why I had to look after dinner. »
Joe whispered, “is the explanation. She is the cook. »
Hoss gave him a nudge: “Shut up, Joe. You’re in front of a great lady, it shows. She can not cook. Besides, we just meet her. Why would we cook? »
“But you think that Adam? …”
“Hush, Joe. »
Adam and Françoise pretended not to have heard. Françoise was seated at the right hand of Ben while Adam was used.
Ben made an effort to be at the height of the situation. He took part in the conversation but absently. One question nagging the “Name of a pipe, but that is the blue ribbon who cooked the feast? »
Upper Truckee River crossing, which flows into Lake Tahoe, there is a bridge. A bridge that was built where the river is still a raging torrent with rapid succession, by the Cartwright family, headed and as Adam Cartwright plans. It was a suspension bridge whose construction was completed in 1856. The materials had been ordered by the young engineer, just after his return and the university had been routed from Troy by boat, via Cape Horn, up ‘in San Francisco. From there, they had been transported by river to Sacramento and then by truck to the site of the future bridge. The bridge was 800 meters in length and was 30 meters above the water level.
A book such as this one required regular maintenance and scrupulous and it was exactly what the four Cartwright, Ben and his son were doing. Ben was on one side of the bridge, Joe and Hoss at the other end and Adam, suspended by two ropes, proceeded to repair in the middle of the deck. They designed a pulley system that allowed them to send it to the worker the tools he needed. Hoss and Ben pulled the strings while Joe clung to the tools as Adam asked by the gesture.
“Please, gentlemen …”
Thus challenged, Hoss and Joe turned his head and saw a middle-aged man, while puppy dressed in a black suit and tie and a white shirt. He was not wearing boots, but the city of shoes and looked exactly like what he appears to be a notary.
What do you want? “Joe shouted while Hoss postponed its attention to the rope he was holding.
“I seek the son of Elizabeth Stoddard. »
“Do not know. She does not live here. Go away. What does he want now, Hoss? »
“The big hammer. »
The little man withdrew muttering.
Three hours later, the four men returned to the ranch. Hop Sing had prepared a bath for Adam and while it lolled, Ben meanwhile he please get out, proposed to his two youngest son a cold beer glass and dropped into a chair with a sigh of relief.
“Well guys, I’m glad it’s over, I’m always afraid that an accident happens. A rope may break and Adam fall into the water.
“It’s good swimmer, Pa.”
“I know, I know but the bridge is very high and nobody knows how it would fall. Anyway, it is not so dropped so good. Tell me, Joe, what it was that the man who came up to you and what did he want? I did not expect a visit to that place. »
“Neither I, Pa. He asked after the son of Elizabeth Stoddard and I told him I did not know. »
A voice came from the steps, “You do not know who Elizabeth Stoddard! It’s nice to see how you interested in me … “
Joe blushed, suddenly realizing that the man was looking for Adam and, putting his hand over his mouth, mumbled, “Oh, Adam, excuse me … I was so taken by the job …”
Just at that moment there was a knock at the door. Hoss opened, it was the man in the black suit. Recognizing Hoss, he was troubled, “Forgive me, I am always looking for the son of Elizabeth Stoddard …”
“Why did not you say Elizabeth Cartwright? We should understand that you are looking for our brother. “Said Hoss, a little angry.
Ignoring the remark, the man smiled and asked, “So, I’m in the right place. Is the son of Elizabeth Stoddard’s there? »
Intrigued, Ben stood up. Adam stepped forward: “The son of Elizabeth Cartwright is there,” he said, pressing the “Cartwright”.
“Is that you? »
Adam nodded his head: “It’s me, Adam Cartwright”
“I would like to talk to you alone. »
Ben frowned, which was not lost on Adam. Displeased, he replied: “There are no strangers in this room, except you. These are my father and my brothers, I have no secrets for them. Sit down, Mr. and say what you have to say. »
The man marked hesitation then seeing Adam was determined, he took the seat that Joe had read and began his story.
“I represent the family of your grandmother, the Rochester family and I come to a legacy. »
What? “Exclaimed Ben,” a legacy of the Rochester family? »
“What’s happening, Pa? »
“Oh, Adam, I never told you because after the death of your mother, it seemed, was” corrected Ben, “unimportant. When I married your mother, his own mother had died but his grandmother was still alive. She loved her granddaughter, but never accepted our marriage. To her, I was not rich enough to marry her little treasure. When she saw that she could not change your mother’s idea, she cut all ties with us and never regained contact, even at the funeral. “Then he turned to the notary.
What happened? She can not be alive. »
She died there twenty-eight years, leaving his fortune to his little son, Henry Rochester. Henry Rochester has never married. He died three months ago, leaving all his property to the son of Elizabeth Stoddard. Here is the letter. »
He handed an envelope to Adam opened it and read aloud:
<I> “In the son of Elizabeth Stoddard,
My dear boy,
I can not call you by name because I do not know. I only know from my grandmother that my late cousin, Elizabeth Stoddard, died giving birth to a son.
My grandmother, your great grandmother, died without having changed his mind about the marriage of your mother but she deeply regretted not know you. She wanted to raise you and asked your grandfather Abel Stoddard where she could find you. She thought that in exchange for a large sum of money, you leave your father in his care but Abel Stoddard has always energetically refused to tell him where you were, depriving you of his fortune.
Arriving at the end of my life and not having children, I want to repair the damage that you have been caused and I charged Mr. Lawson to find you and give you your inheritance.
God bless you.
Henry Rochester. “</ I>
Adam looked at his father: “What do you want me to do? »
Ben smiled tenderly: “Take it, boy. Your grandmother was a shrew but his grand-son seems to have been a good man. Take it. »
So, Adam turned to Mr. Lawson: “The son of Elizabeth Stoddard refuses but that of Elizabeth Cartwright accepts. »
Adam worked at the mill helped a dozen men when he saw his brother Hoss stop the buggy at the door and come to him.
“Yes, Hoss? »
“That you mind lending me a few boards and tools? »
“What for? I thought you got Pa an extra day off … “
“Yes, indeed, that’s why I need what I ask. »
“Take what you want. Sorry I did not help you, but I’m not on vacation so I went to work. »
Hoss did not need to be told twice, took what he wanted and went away. Adam could not help looking up, intrigued to watch it disappear from sight.
Hoss followed the road for a while then veered left into a path along a stream. Looking straight ahead, he did not see Joe who pranced in mid-livestock but Joe could not fail to see the buggy.
“I give a lot to know where it goes,” thought Joe.
At five, Adam decided it was enough for the day and dismissed the workers. He washed his hands and face, buckled his belt, took his gun and saddled Sport.
“With the buggy,” he thought, “it will not be difficult to locate his whereabouts. »
The footprints of the wheels took him to the farm of Belleck. When he realized that Hoss was inside, he went quietly Sport horse and tied near the buggy. Then, leaning to not be seen, he also approached an Indian silent. He went around the hedge, looking for a hole. There was one and someone else had already passed through his head.
“Joe,” whispered Adam, “what the hell are you doing here? »
“The same as you, I suppose. I wondered what Hoss opuvait got to do with the buggy, so I traced it to find out. »
“And what did you see? »
“I see my brother sweat blood to make what appears to be a niche. »
“A niche? Why should he build a niche for Bellecks? »
“Not exactly the Bellecks. This is Susie Belleck at the controls. “
Adam gave little Joe to take his place. Just at that moment, a shrill voice split the air:
“No, not like that, Hoss, I want a pointed roof. »
“Look, Susie,” muttered the giant, “thou didst unto me again four times. Sometimes it is too narrow, sometimes it is too low, again, it is the door that is not to your taste. I can not stand it. »
The little girl began to whine. “But Hoss, Dolly is about to have its young. She needs a nice big house to accommodate them. You promised that you would build in a beautiful and what you do is … is … “
What? Say it! »
“It is shabby, that’s what it is,” says Susie releasing what she had on the heart.
“Oh, is that what you think? Well, in that case, I give up, you’re too hard to please! »
Susie burst into tears. “Oh, I beg you, Hoss, do not do that, j’te pardon, j’te ask forgiveness. I beg you … “
Hoss ran to the child and took her in his arms: “Stop crying, Susie, stop crying. I’ll do everything I can to make you a niche as you want, but for the love of God, stop crying. »
Adam gave a nod to Joe: “Maybe we could give him a hand, what do you think? »
“It’re sure,” said Joe, “especially you.” and without waiting for the response of his brother, he shouted, “Hoss Hoss! »
Hoss, turned his head and saw the two heads through the hole in the hedge which had widened.
“What are you doing here, you two? »
“We came to help you,” said Adam, “open the door on our way home. »
“Hi, Adam, hi Joe” said Susie, not knowing whether she should rejoice or repent of this unexpected help.
“Hi, Susie! “Joe replied with a smile, while Adam was directly review the work Hoss.
“Well,” he finally said, “I think we’ll also quick to demolish everything and start all over again. »
What? “Cried the giant,” all that work for nothing! »
“It will never be finished on time,” cried the little girl.
Adam turned to her: “Trust me. I am an architect, remember? If everyone gets going, we can finish this niche in an hour and it will be wonderful. »
No sooner said than done. At six-thirty, when Mrs Susie Belleck called for dinner, the niche stood, wide, pointy roof and rounded door.
“It goes like this, Susie? “Asked Hoss,” you think Dolly will be happy? »
Susie gently nodded but ventured: “Yes, it is well built but how are we going to paint? I would like a red roof and yellow walls “
“Sorry, Susie,” said Adam, “but it is impossible for now, you’ll have to wait for the paint. »
Susie’s eyes again began to get wet with tears, “But it’s urgent, Adam, Dolly …”
“I know, Dolly will have small but your mother calling you for dinner, as for us, we expect our father. It’s day off to Hoss, not for us. »
“It will come tomorrow to paint,” Joe promised
“Hey, Joe, not so fast,” made Hoss, “I have not had a vacation day, not two. How can you promise that I will come to paint tomorrow? »
Joe smirked, “Well, big brother, you just have to get up very early to come to lay the first layer and return in the evening after work for the second. It’s playable. »
Hoss asked Adam look.
“Yep! “Made thereof.
He looked down at Susie
“Yep! , “She repeated.
He returned to Joe: “Yep! “Adds her younger brother.
Then, rolling his eyes, “Yep! “He concludes.
Hoss loved above all the week before Christmas. He reigned in the house a very special atmosphere of secrecy, little laughter, fine allusions. It was a time when the work was less hard to Ponderosa. They had come down cattle mountain pastures and fed him to the barn. It was not a tree cutting period, the bulk being done in the fall. While these two workaholics that were Ben and Adam took advantage of the winter to delve into the accounts and plans one for the other but even they, just before Christmas, the pressure slackened and indulging in mysterious processes that would result, on Christmas morning, with taped packages.
But every coin has a flip side, preparing Christmas became, year after year, an incredible hassle due to the need to renew. He could not forever enrich the collection of Ben pipes, or redeem an annual gun Joe let alone venture to choose a book for Adam. He had tried to push his brother to vary his wardrobe by offering shirts in different colors, but the recipient has in the deep appreciation and has held wear from time to time a red shirt, yellow or gray, it remained faithful to black over three hundred days a year, he had to admit.
But in December 23 of the year of grace 1859, he waited impatiently Christmas that ill concealed as he was happy with his gift idea.
Everyone was lying. Probably, Joe, in the next room, was already asleep; Perhaps Ben and Adam-they read but as they were at the other end of the hall, they were not likely to hear them. He could not resist, it was necessary that they still casts a glance. He had carefully installed in a basket under her bed, the mother and her pups.
There were a few white with black spots. This one was for Pa: he had a solemn enough to suit his new master.
Black, who, from birth, had known winking, was clearly intended at all times to Adam. As for the sharp little female, black with white rimmed eye, it was the book Joe, who loved the girls a little spicy.
There was another female with yellow hair he would offer Hop-Sing. And the last puppy fat and peaceful, which was perpetually in search of food, it would be his. After all, there was no prohibition to deliver Christmas gifts to yourself, is not it?
What a good idea he had: with this kind of gift, no shopping, no packing chore. There would be five dogs, not six as it was necessary to keep the mother too, at home.
No doubt they would all enjoy this as awesome, especially Pa, he had no doubt. He rejoiced in advance to see the morning of 25 December, out of his cart a warm and silky puppy.
“Merry Christmas, Pa,” he spoke softly. Then after petting each animal and have it properly placed in the cart pushed under the bed, he fell asleep in a good dog smell.
Other Stories by this Author
- Family Scenes in the Ponderosa (by ViveAdam)
- Les Cartwright de Ponderosa avant 1860 (by ViveAdam)
- Trapped (by ViveAdam)