Summary: What has happened a few minutes, hours, days, months or years after episodes
Rated: K + WC 3600
Some time after
She looked furious against itself not to be sad. Hank Meiers had not been a bad husband, but he had to admit that his marriage was a failure. She had a heart for him after hearing him sing in a saloon … Puzzled, she tried to remember by what strange chain of circumstances she found herself in such a place, but his failing memory refused to serve.
She realized her mistake a few days after the wedding. The wedding night was not a revelation for her. The next morning, Hank had informed her of his resignation. He did not want to continue working for the father of Adam Cartwright. He might do, he could not trust him and could not bear to see his wife around someone he considered a rival. She had been both flattered and frustrated. At least it meant she was finally became what she had always dreamed of being a femme fatale, a breaker of hearts and she was thrilled every time she thought about it.
They had moved to Montana, in a small town where Hank had found work. In the early days, she enjoyed being at home, without having to follow her mother’s instructions. She had thrown headlong into the decoration of his house, multiplying garlands, ornaments, cushions, curtains. But if this can be enjoyable as occupation, it was not enough to fill a lifetime.
She had always been mediocre cook and Hank had wanted him. After swallowing tasteless meal she had served him, he was in the habit of going to the barn to take care of his mare. Once or twice she had silently slipped and it had lingered a moment to see what he was doing. He just “the” brush while singing horribly in a nasal voice, a melancholy ballad. He would never sang for her, she had never heard the beautiful voice that had trapped. There was no conversation was interested neither books nor poetry. He had wanted to have but just realized his dream, he no longer knew what to talk about it. He gave the impression of being just happy to see her there when he came home and not want anything else.
Now i was dead. A stupid accident. It had been two long and monotonous years they were married when her beloved mare had tripped on a root. He fell, his head had hit a rock and died instantly.
Encased in her black dress, she sat stiffly, his back straight. She was holding a useless handkerchief. She would have wanted to cry but could not achieve pay even a tear. Gradually, his mind forsook the past and the present and marched towards the future. What was she going to do tomorrow? She was young, pretty and seductive. Certainly the death of Hank was a sign sent by his guardian angel. His marriage was a mistake. She had been diverted from human with a capital H, the one, the one who always was intended for him and Providence sent him a second chance.
She stood up, smiling. After the funeral, she was going to sell the house, pack his things and leave in Virginia City. Yes, tomorrow. Tomorrow she would return home tomorrow, she would reconquer Adam. Tomorrow, Virginia City …
Suddenly she stood up and screamed, eyes full of hope, hands outstretched to the sky: “Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow is another day”
They overlap, thoughtful and silent, returning to Ponderosa after that night without rest. Perkins was hanged, Sam Bryant killed by a bullet, Ben was released, justice is done and everything is back in order.
But aside from Ben Cartwright in their hearts can not find peace. The test they just suffered deeply troubled them, each in his own way.
Hoss feels guilty and uncomfortable for once, he has abandoned his habit of blindly rely on his older brother and he trembles at the thought of what might have happened if Adam had not been there. Certainly, Joe and would have given him Bryant blackmail. Without a doubt, the sheriff would have agreed to release Perkins and in doing so he would have put his father in danger. Who knew? Sam Bryant now sure of his impunity, could have decided to hang Pa just to deter others to stand up against him. Hoss wants to be so elementary. It is so easy to roll. Oh yes, when it is only to make a show of force, nele surpasses person, but when the opponent uses cunning, he does not weight. He knows that the only way for him to ease his conscience, is to openly talk to Ben and he is eager to do so. But they all need to sleep a good shot. He said that tomorrow at tea time, it will try to have this conversation with his father.
Joe is torn between conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it is still furious. Certainly Adam won his bet and he finds that his plan succeeded but Joe can not resign himself to acknowledge it. Adam played the life of his father on a gamble and that Joe can not forgive him. On the other hand, he must admit that he was insulting and unfair words to his brother. It was not fair to accuse Adam of lack of sensitivity. In anger, remorse pierces. Like it or not, Adam showed that he was right and perhaps should it take seed and learn from them instead of blaming him. But Adam is always the one that pulls out of the game, the one to be modeled and Joe, it carries on his nerves. He knows that the only way for him to ease his conscience, is to openly talk to Ben and he is eager to do so. He thinks they all need a good nap but tonight before dinner, he will try to have this conversation with his father.
Adam feels very tired. Not only physically but mentally. It took a long time used to weigh the pros and cons but never when a death threat was hanging over the head of his father. The hardest, after further consideration, having reached a conclusion and have chosen a strategy, stick to it was against all odds, against the advice of his brothers, friends and even the woman of the victim. Hoss who admires his strength of mind does not know what doubts, what crises of conscience going on despite the assurance that it displays. That night he revealed his weakness when Hoss realized he was playing at the end with Bryant. Now he has won but he is haunted by those two words “what if …”, “what if …” He knows that the only way for him to ease his conscience, is to talk openly Ben and he is eager to do so. Tonight, after dinner by the fire with a glass of cognac, it will try to have this conversation with his father.
Ben is proud of his son. They acted exactly as he would have done had he been in their place, or so he suppose … Would he have had enough character to stand firm if the life of a son had been game? Anyway, them they had. But he is surprised to see all three if taciturn. After a first demonstration of exuberant joy, they have fallen into a kind of apathy. Of course, like him, they were deprived of sleep for the night without rest and maybe that is where the explanation of their silence. No word on what happened! He knows that the only way for him to get to the bottom heart is to have a frank and direct conversation with them and he is eager to do so. Tomorrow morning at breakfast, he will put the subject up.
The sun was shining. If by chance the birds were singing, it was impossible to hear because of the bellowing gushing from the throat of a hundred cows pushed by men in a disinfecting water pond. Virginia blue dress drew a giant flower on the grass, while she was preparing coffee for her fiancé and other farmers who were trying to save their herd of the epidemic.
Adam Cartwright let his gaze linger on it. She looked so peaceful. Yet his father had been shot and it was he who had fired. Of course it was in self defense … If he was not the fastest, it was he who died at this time. Of course, Lem Keith was a gangster and a murderer but anyone … He could not help but feel guilty and ashamed as he approached his metal cup in hand, for use as the coffee.
Their eyes met. All he could read in his, it was sympathy. He could not believe it. In its place, what would he have felt in respect of a person who killed his father in single combat? He remembered that Will Cass could never forgive Ed Payson of killing his son in a duel. But Virginia seemed different: it was like she had forgotten her father.
He came to the mind of the young man, perhaps, deep in her heart she still loved the man she thought was her father but the Lem Keith Adam had killed was not his father. It was only a man fearing neither God nor devil, she did not recognize as his father.
Holding his cup in the palm of his hand to keep the heat, he gave him a hi head and smiled. Then he strode off thoughtfully.
The sun continued to shine, still there was not a cloud in the blue sky.
Hoss entered the courtyard and dismounted, obviously very angry. He walked with a firm step toward the carriage below which he could see two black legs belonging to his brother Adam who was repairing one of the wheels.
“Are you almost finished? “He asked in an aggressive tone.
In a creeping motion, the legs unfolded and then the whole body emerged and, finally, his head appeared, covered in dust.
“Almost. It will be repaired in a few minutes if you do not mind. »
“Hurry up, I need this truck. »
“What for? »
“To go back to town and believe me, it is not funny at all. »
“Back in town? »
“Yes, with the cart”
“With the truck? »
“Stop repeating everything I say is annoying. I went into town to get the mail. By the way, you have received three letters and … ”
“Give them to me, please. »
“No, you will not have them until this truck will not be repaired. I need to go back to town with the cart because a package arrived for Pa and is so huge that I need a vehicle to bring it. »
When Hoss came back two hours later, Adam was able to verify that the package was indeed enormous, it was the word that was appropriate. He had to give one to Hoss hand and out of the truck and go in the house.
Ben’s eyes widened at the sight of the rectangular package as high as the table.
“Name of a pipe, what is it? »
“A packet that comes from Ireland, Pa”
“From Ireland? I wonder who can send to me so far. Well, the best way to find out is to open it. Give me a knife, Joe, please. »
The table was already set for dinner. Joe took out a knife and began to cut the ropes that held together the package. He found a large wooden box nailed. Curious, brothers approached and the four men consider the object with perplexity.
“Wait a minute, Pa,” said Adam, “I’ll get my tools. »
He returned with a hammer and pliers, pulled nails and opened the box. Ben leaned over to see its contents. Wrapped in brown paper, there were, on top, another rectangular package thin.
He took it, unwrapped it and saw his picture appear. It was her face, seen three-quarter, a slight smile on his lips and he was lacerated.
“That, for instance! “If he exclaimed.
As he turned the subject, seeking an explanation, Adam had entered a new package of the same form as the previous one.
“Here’s another one! »
This time the picture was viewed from the front, with piercing, bright eyes, painted ortrait when he was obviously younger and it was torn into strips too.
They went out to other tables, all in the same state. In the end, they counted twelve, representing all Ben, twenty years earlier, feet, chest, standing, sitting, horse and all lacerated.
“By my beard …” Ben began but did not finish his sentence.
“Who could have sent it,” Joe asked.
“Do not you recognize the style? “Said Adam. “It’s the Countess, Lady Linda Chadwick. Moreover, the package comes from Ireland. »
But why? “Muttered Hoss. “Why does she sent all this stuff so far? »
“Just to show Pa how she hates. »
“But Adam,” replied Joe, “Ireland is that far have cost him a fortune to send … this. »
“It is very rich, Joe, she can afford it. »
“And you think she did it just for revenge? »
“Yes, little Joe,” said Ben, “a petty act of vengeance. »
They were silent a few minutes, setting the tables down.
“Well,” remarked Adam ends up, “she goofed. “Turning to his father, he said with a mischievous smile:” That must be a great relief for you to know that all these atrocious portraits of you are finally destroyed. »
“You’re right,” said Joe chuckled. “She is lucky, Countess, not needing his art to live. »
Ben, Adam and Joe laughed but Hoss remained seriously.
“Pa,” he asked finally, “are there no misery in Ireland? »
“If Hoss, there are many,” replied Ben, not seeing where his son was going, “that’s why they emigrate to America. »
“So do not you think that instead of sending it and spend lots of money for a stupid revenge, she would have done better to distribute the money to the poor? »
“You’re right, son. But Linda has already demonstrated its stingy. ”
“And stupid! “Added Joe
“And selfish,” adds Adam.
“What is this mess? “Cried a nasal voice behind them. “Dinner will be cold. The v, y hurry to pick up very ugly paintings and worn furniture. Fast. After, Hop Sing fire with old paintings. Mistah Cartw’ight evil dragon looks like it. Not pretty. Burn it. »
“It works! “Says Adam. “Now at the table. We are dying of hunger and Hop-Sing will soon explode. »
Adam looked at his watch. Five hours. Dinner is not served before half past six, so it was time to go to visit the grave of Ed Payson.
It had been two weeks that Ed was dead and buried and Adam had often thought about this drama, wondering if things would have turned out differently. As was concerned, he had done what he could, at least, he thought. Perhaps it would have been more diplomatic with Cass or warn Sally to be more discreet … While approaching the property of Ed, his mind wandered. Yes, if he had been more careful, he could convince Ed to sell his plot. With the money, Ed could have run away with Sally. They would have found another richard needing a bodyguard.
He sighed. The young Cass had no luck, Ed either. His life had been a succession of failures. Again he measured how Providence had spoiled. Apart from the presence of a mother he had received from heaven everything a man could want: a loving family, a strong health, good education, a rich land. He still had not found the woman of his life but he was sure it would not take long to arrive.
On arrival, he dismounted. At the foot of the cross, he saw a small bunch of fresh blue flowers. Sally! The flowers resemble those she wore on his hat that memorable afternoon they spent Ed, she and himself, singing accompanied by the guitar of Ed. What good memories! He let his hand hang strings of the guitar and a note springs in the silent atmosphere.
Obeying a sudden impulse, he grabbed the guitar and began to sing:
“Where have all the flowers gone, Long time passing, Where have all the flowers gone, Long time agoWhere-have all the flowers gone, Young girls-have picked em everyoneOh When We’ll ever learn They, Oh When We’ll ever learn They ”
He began to start the second verse: “Where have all the young girls gone …” when he heard the sound of a buggy. Moments later, Sally appeared.
“Oh, Adam, are you there? »
“Hello, Sally, where are you from? It is said that you are in the city of with your father … ”
“Oh, Adam, I could not stay home. I hate it now, I can not help it. And I can not stand the sight of Billy. I think I still want him more than Dad because he has no excuse. My father looked at Ed as a murderer. He did not hear the truth, it was an accident, two young men who had fought against each other and one of them had been killed by bad luck. He persisted in this idea because he needed someone to blame, allowing him to change his grief into anger. But Billy! He did it out of jealousy. How can people think that all they have to kill their rival to retrieve a girl? We are not animals, females belonging to the winner of a fight between males. »
“All that still does not tell me where you were. »
“I went to live with my aunt. I do not know what to do. I do not want to get away from the tomb, but I can not imagine returning to Virginia City. Killing Ed, they killed me too. »
“Sally, Sally, listen to me. Only will you not trust the only friend of Ed? »
“If Adam. You and my aunt, you are the only people with whom I want to talk. »
“Then you must try to forgive your father and Billy.”
“Ed was killed because your father was unable to forgive him. He wanted to be, but he understood, just walked into your shop, it was impossible. Make it clear to him. Treat your father what Ed wanted so we offer him forgiveness. I know this is difficult, but please, try as I will try myself. »
“Would you say that you also feel the same feelings? …”
“Yes, it’s true, I want them to death, but I know I should not. Do you agree that we try together? »
“I’ll think about it, Adam, I promise I’ll think about it …”
It was only then that she noticed the guitar in the hands of Adam. She asked in a soft voice:
“Sing me something, Adam, something soothing. »
Adam left his rights to run on the ropes and began, his beautiful voice:
“Amazing grace, how sweet the soundthat has saved wrest like me …”
Suddenly, he heard Sally trembling voice joined with his:
“I once was lost profit now, I’m blind foundWas aim now I see”
Translation of the song Where have all the flowers goneMais where are the fleursDu time passeMais where are the fleursDu time passéMais where are the girls have them fleursLes cueilliesQuand will we know one day? When will we know? Never Amazing GraceEtonnante soft grâceQue is sonQui saved a poor bougreComme moiUne time I was perduMais now I’m retrouvéJ’étais aveugleMais now I see.
Other Stories by this Author
- After The End (by ViveAdam)
- Where’s my horse? (by ViveAdam)
- Un saut dans le temps (by ViveAdam)
- Mais où est mon cheval (by ViveAdam)
- Les Cartwright de Ponderosa avant 1860 (by ViveAdam)