Summary: Take Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe; add a touch of grammar, confusion, and silliness and you end up with….
Rated: K+ (985 words)
This story–well more like a scene–came out of nowhere and attacked my brain. Enjoy and ignore any misspellings that I might have missed! 😉
“Dadblameit, Adam! You don’t know nothin’ about it!”
“You mean: I don’t know anything about it and yes, I do!”
Hoss and Adam Cartwright stood nose-to-nose in the middle of the living room when Little Joe burst through the front door.
“For someone who went to college, you ain’t much on brains!” Hoss snapped, his normally bright sapphire eyes were black with rage as he interrupted his younger sibling’s greeting.
“What’s going on?” Joe sidled up to the pair of red-faced young men, while at the same time trying to stay out of cuffing distance.
“None of your business!” They barked, simultaneously.
“Well pardon me for asking!” His hackles rose at the unfair treatment he was receiving and he wasn’t about to back down from this fight.
“I live in this house too and I have a right to know what in the blue blazes is going on!”
“Ask our high an’ mighty brother about it!”
Poking a finger in the Swedish man’s thick chest, Adam roared right back.
“HOSS, WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME!”
“There ain’t nothin’ you can do to make me!” Hoss’ teeth made an audible grinding noise as he spouted out each venom-filled word.
“Oh to heck I can!” Picking up a nearby plateful of donuts, Adam smashed them into the bigger man’s face.
“Hey what did ya go and do that for!” Joe—forgetting to stay out of harm’s way stepped right up to his older sibling, fire brimming in his orbs.
“Will you stop shouting!” Adam sneered, shoving the seventeen year old away. With a shriek, Joe flopped over backwards and his hind-end landed in the embers of the fireplace.
Jumping up, he bounded all over the room, clutching his britches and scattering ashes all over the floor.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!” Ben Commanded from the entryway.
Hoss and Adam immediately stopped what they were doing and hung their heads in embarrassment. Little Joe, on the other hand, kept running about the room shouting.
“GET SOME WATER, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY! MY BUTT’S ON FIRE!” Ben was about to grab his youngest son and shake him, when he notices the smoke coming from the seat of his son’s pants. Grabbing a nearby pitcher of water, he doused the clothing with its contents.
“Adam! Go get Paul! Hoss, help me get your brother upstairs and into bed!”
* * *
It was a long, painful night for Joseph Cartwright; every move he made was pure agony. Doctor Martin had removed the remnants of the cloth that had gotten stick in the second-degree burns on the youth’s backside and—after debrising the dead skin—had applied a cooling ointment.
Once he knew the boy was fine, Ben turned his rising anger on the other two occupants of the living room, which was now being used as a waiting room.
“I want to know what happened and I want to know it now!” Silence reigned. Adam coughed while Hoss scuffed a toe on the wooden floorboards looking very much like a naughty schoolboy rather than a twenty-four-year-old cowboy.
“Well?” The voice of doom rose in pitch and the two brother’s knew they’d have to speak now or face the wrath of Benjamin Andrew Cartwright…and that was something neither of them was willing to do.
“It was like this, Pa–”
“We was just–” They started jabbering at the same time.
“ONE AT A TIME!”
Blue eyes met brown ones and a slight nod from the bigger of the two settled the matter.
“Hoss was trying to write a poem, Pa.” Dumfounded, the patriarch leaned back in his chair, staring at them as if they had both sprouted wings.
“He WHAT!” Cringing, Adam rushed headlong into the tale, rarely taking a breath beetween run-on sentences.
“He was trying to write a poem for Daisy Jakes and he was misspelling words so I tried to help him with the spelling and he got mad at me and we started shouting and then he started using double-negatives and–” Ben held up a hand to stop the deluge of words.
“Wait a minute! You mean to tell me, your brother lies upstairs in pain all because of double-negatives?”
No one answered.
“It ain’t like we did it on purpose, Pa, we wouldn’t do that nohow.”
“There you go again!” Adam’s cheeks flushed with anger and his gaze pinned Hoss to the wall as if he were an insect.
“Well if you weren’t so dadblasted pick we wouldn’t have no arg–”
“SILENCE!” Ben exploded, he had had enough.
“Now listen to me, both of you….”
* * *
Three hours later, the living room was spotless; no smear of food, no smattering of ashes clung to any of the furniture.
“Hoss, can you hand me that—aaaah! That…ice.” Adam moaned through clinched teeth as his sibling passed him what he desired.
“Dagnabit! If I never get into no more fights with you, it will be too soon!” Hoss mumbled through his compressed lips. A smile tugged at the older Cartwright’s mouth and he finally let the grin take over his face.
“Boy, and I though Pa would’ve lost his snap with that belt by now.” The comment was followed by a sheepish chuckle as he placed his stinging backside into the bowl of frozen liquid.
“Me too.” Hoss flinched as he ruefully rubbed his aching body-part.