A town run on favours, money and power — and the people who run it are the Ewings ...

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by James from London, May 9, 2019.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Some extracts from Lee Raintree's novel.

    Prologue

    Sam Southworth lay dying, and it was the right day for it, dark and drear with lowering clouds and the far-off muted drumbeat of thunder.
    There should be whip-crack lightning and louder crashes, Ellie thought, a more fitting tribute to her father and the life he had lived. But then there ought to be so many things — white-hot suns and sandpapering winds, and a way to show dry-mouth thirst and belly-flat hunger. But how could this mournful sky be painted with the pain and sweat, the other dyings on this land, the blood?

    ‘The ranch,’ he whispered, the tone and words slipping downhill together, ‘the land, Ellie. They want to drill holes in my land, my daddy‘s land. They – they want to stink up the air and spoil the water and turn the grass black. Don’t —‘ His eyes blinked shut and opened with the struggle. ‘Don’t let them do it to this land. Promise me that, daughter.’
    ‘Yes,’ she said, her eyes squeezed shut and a raw-hide band tightened across her chest. ‘Yes, Daddy – I promise.’
    And inside, she pleaded with a God who must be listening, who must now be very near, that she might keep her word.


    Chapter 1

    She saw him coming across the parlour, tall and browned as any cowhand, sun wrinkles already gathering of the corners of his eyes. Ellie moved slowly to meet Jock Ewing, thinking he’d never really been young, that even as a child there must have been a kind of quiet desperation to him, a drive that set him apart and turned him lonesome.

    If only they knew, these women already turning dumpy and smug. Had a single one of them being loved right out in the bright sunshine, loved so deep and hard and long that the world wobbled around and you didn’t give a damn if you fell off? And how many of her classmates had known the delicious frightening secrecy of a lover slipping so daringly, into her bedroom, with Pa snoring only a wall away?
    He knew a woman, Willard ‘Digger’ Barnes did, knew her from the nape of the neck to the soles of her feet. He knew to be gentle, to be lingering and loving when other men might go gruff and wall themselves in. And Lord, couldn’t he make a woman aware of every throbbing inch of her body, and so proud of its doings?
    Thinking on that, Ellie went all warm and touchy, then turned some shamed to be dwelling on such happiness when her pa’s body was laid out fresh in his box. Lifting her face, she looked across the room and saw Jock Ewing staring at her.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 2

    Digger moved towards him, hands cocked, blood leaking over his right eye. ‘Been comin' a long time, I reckon. Can’t be but one big dog in the yard.’

    Slipping to his left and ducking low, Jock got away from the leap. He fisted Digger twice behind the neck before the man could turn. Digger’s head rattled against the pipe and he dropped to one knee, wiping at his face. When he turned, it was with a quick savagery that surprised Jock. Digger pulled him down, and they rolled on the ground, needing and gouging, hammering and pounding.

    Dimly, Jock could hear the well crew yelling, and he thought it strange that he didn’t hurt so much. His eyes just kept going in and out of focus, and it was pretty damned hard to catch his breath. Somehow then, he pulled loose, swaying on weak legs and then he was blinking down at Digger and the pipe wrench in Digger’s hand. Wobbling a step, then another, he stomped on Digger’s hand, then turned him sideways with a kick and stomped on his ribs. Digger got his head covered up by rolling into a ball, but that didn’t stop Jock from trying to cave in his spine.

    One of the roughnecks took hold of him and eased him back. ‘No sense trying to kill him, Mr Ewing. You done took his measure.’

    ‘For now,’ the derrick man said. ‘Digger Barnes don’t stay down.’

    Sucking for air, trying to hold his voice steady, Jock said, ‘I’ll be in town. At the hotel. Anybody want to quit with him, can come on in and draw their time tomorrow.’ He was beginning to hurt all over, hurt like hell, but he held stiff and straight until he got in the truck and drove off. Then he hunched over the steering wheel and gritted his teeth. Twice before he got to town, he stopped and threw up alongside the road.
     
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  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 4

    Damn her, goddamn every shiny inch of her body and every unsuspected, hidden turning of her woman’s mind. He’d show Ellie Southworth when he brought that black semen boiling out of the ground like it was roaring up from a pair of swollen balls. He’d make her wallow in it. Damn her and those bluebell eyes of hers, so innocent, yet searing as noonday August sun.

    He’d get Ellie down in the warm crude and rub it into her, over her sunshine hair, so that she would stink of oil and it would be perfume. Digger Barnes would show her who carried a set of big nuts in his sack. She had no call to name him gelding just because he didn’t put it to her every blessed night of the week… O woman! Thou were fashioned to beguile; so have all sages said, all poets sang…
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 4

    ‘Ellie?’ he said, rubbing his eyes, his whiskery mouth. ‘Ellie - you here?’ His hand was shaky and uncertain, but it found a bottle of tequila. Digger Barnes took a long, life-giving drink. ‘You - you got no call to - to be in a place like this.’

    She pointed the quirt at the girl, sitting up now and holding her mouth while quiet tears streaked her olive cheeks. ‘You can make love to her, but not to me. Is that it?’

    Digger swallowed, choked, and fought to hold the stuff down. After a second, he said, ‘The well’s dry. It’s another duster. I took all your money and pulled it down a dry hole.’

    ’So you didn’t come tell me. You crawled into a bottle and crawled into a whore to hide. All right, then. My grandpa took a bullet and two arrows, and trailed the Comanches who shot him for twenty miles, to kill them. He didn’t whine and crawl off. My pa lost ninety per cent of the herd in a blizzard, and the rest to a grass fire the next summer; he got snake bit and tromped by a rank stud, and lost his wife to fever and never had a man-child to help. But he didn’t holler calf rope, not even on his deathbed.’

    It took him another drink to clear his throat, but then he brought it out loud and clear: ‘I ain’t Sam Southworth, nor your grandpa, nor Jock Ewing, goddamnit! I’m Digger Barnes, and I
    earned the name, every letter of it.’
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 6

    It had been good, very good, and as the waves of their mating ebbed slowly, Ellie found time to be surprised. She’d deliberately planned this seduction, thought it out, and offered herself up on a sexual altar, to save the Southfork. She’d been ready to grit her teeth and become a great actress, to fake the ecstasy she known with Willard.

    But she didn’t have to; she’d started out uneasy and wound up going wild. Ellie pulled him closer with her legs, kept their bellies tight. Was she a whore, some kind of sick woman, that she could love one man and reach crazy heights of rapture with another? She’d only bedded down with two. Migod, she thought
    , only!

    Maybe it was possible to love two men.

    Or maybe she’d had this feeling for Jock Ewing all along, and blotted it out because she was ripe and ready and Willard got to her first.

    Ellie pillowed his face against her breast and wonder if she could lie to herself without knowing it.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 7

    Into the chill and apartness between them, Jock said, 'I wasn’t close to nobody, especially not my pa; not close like you and Sam Southworth. My old man was a wildcatter too; sometimes rich but mostly broke. Kept the house for me, though - run by this old coloured woman. Hardly even said howdy to me when he did come home. It surprised the hell out of me when he got killed trying to dynamite a rig fire, and I found out he left me the house and some money.'

    Small-voiced, she asked, 'Why should that surprise you?'

    'Maybe I wasn’t even really his son,' Jock said. 'My mom wore perfume like the flowers I got for you tonight. She ran off when I was little. I remember how she tried to laugh all the time, but the laughing stopped and she’d just sit and rock me. I’d smell that perfume.'

    He swung his legs off the mattress and felt across the bedside table for tobacco and papers. 'Jesus!' he said. 'I never knew if I was pleasing my pa or not; he never said. All I wanted to do was rub his goddamn lockjawed face in it, to whip his ass anyway I could. But the son of a bitch got blowed up before I could show him I was bigger he ever hoped, that I’d just keep right on getting bigger, while losers like him chased their own tails.' The match flared, outlining an old-young face beginning to turn craggy.

    *****

    Damn Digger Barnes for a heap of things, but most for shaming a good woman so. It was bad enough that talk about him and Ellie was all over the county, but for him to take an upstanding, innocent girl and teach her —

    Jock clamped even teeth around a cigar end and made his way up the street to the electric office. It didn’t do him any good to dwell on Digger and Ellie; the pure wonder of it was that she was his now. His sweet and laughing and smelling of creamy white flowers. He never for a second had any doubt about Ellie now, Ellie Ewing. When she gave her word, she stood by it. That business of Digger's - it was understood between them that Ellie wouldn’t try it again, and he'd bet she never really wanted to. There was one hell of a difference between some bordertown whore and a lady of quality; for all his book reading, Digger hadn’t been smart enough to know that.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  8. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 8

    She insisted on having the baby at home, though. Three generations of Southworth had been born in this very bed, and Ellie wasn’t about to break the chain. The baby would be half Southworth, that she couldn’t do anything about the name disappearing, since her pa had been an only child and sired her the same. There were times, she thought, that the Southworths had been plain out-and-out muley-headed, not marrying again and breeding more.

    ******

    Half Southworth and half Ewing; no more Southworth when Ellie was gone. They loved hard and they loved faithful, her pa and grandpa. Maybe that meant she wasn’t a true Southworth, because she turned from one man to another so easy. Here she was a married woman, yet pictures of her first lover kept popping through her head from time to time. It wasn’t like she
    dwelled on Willard Barnes; she just couldn’t keep him out of her memory, and it was damned peculiar she would bother about him at a time like this.

    ******

    If Jock wasn’t a skilled lover, and if he wasn’t here to see his son born, and if he stepped on the toes of some folks - why, that was just his way. Underneath that mean streak was a man who was gentle with her, a man she could share long silences with, and one who could make her laugh and delight her when she least expected. If she could only combine the qualities of Jock with the good things of Willard - but what man was perfect?

    Their union was pretty good, all told, and this baby would seal it. Jock had been a long spell worried when she didn’t catch right off, thinking maybe one of them was barren. Even though he didn’t say it, Ellie knew he was remembering Willard, too. So it was better all around that they were wedded this long before she brought a child into the world. County gossips had long memories, but even they couldn’t stretch out time to cover this birthing, rubber-band time back to when she was with Willard last.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 9

    JR — funny how quickly her ‘Johnny’ had been turned into JR by Jock. ‘Junior’s no name to call a boy,’ he said. ‘Brings him nothing but trouble.’ So JR it became, like everything else Jock wanted done with or to his son.

    ‘Like I had nothin’ to do with making him,’ Ellie said, resting hands on her distended belly. ‘And JR will never ride drag on a cattle herd, nor even learn to throw a rope.’

    It was easy to see already, she thought. The boy was home now, but gone about half the time. Only pushing five years old, and his daddy was already hauling him around oil wells and offices, hardly giving JR time to
    be a boy, to play. In a few more years, he’d be Jock all over again.

    *******

    A girl — this baby should be a dark-headed girl who would grow slim and straight and maybe have hazel eyes that could sparkle with laughter. Someone to read to in the evenings when Jock was in town, to explore poetry with.

    Poetry and Willard Barnes — they’d always go together in Ellie‘s mind, and often make her sad. Maybe only sad people became poets, crying out against loneliness, singing of hope and lost loves … oh, yes, the lost loves.

    Where was Willard now? Nobody seemed to know, at least word hadn’t come back for quite a spell. What with all the war clouds gathering, there was no telling what Willard would do. He was romantic enough to enlist in some foreign army, expecting banners and drumrolls, anticipating trumpet calls to glory. Heroes were always immortal and bigger than life. It was what Willard needed.

    And every woman needed a Willard Barnes in her life, if only for a short while, if only once. He was something to be savoured, then put by in a memory box with an old rag doll and high school graduation pictures, with all silly, crazy, sentimental things. It didn’t hurt to take them out once in a while and fondle them in nostalgia, to daydream. It was foolish only when you fought to forever look like the graduation pictures or expected comfort from that favourite old doll.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 9

    Eyes squeezed shut against the threat of tears, she cursed Jock Ewing and Washington and oil. He’d missed all
    three births, damn him. He'd come close on the first two, getting there just behind JR, and almost making it for Gary’s appearance. For this one, he hadn’t even tried. Jock Ewing was so goddamn important to everybody else that his own wife and baby didn’t mean anything these days.

    He’d wanted sons, and she sure gave them to him: three boys spaced over ten years, and married longer than that. And maybe that was it. He was tired of her. He was tired of her, and kids weren’t a big event anymore, but Jock Ewing never tired of working at oil and politics and playing at gentleman rancher.

    *******

    Roberta placed her glass on the bar top, then reached down to cup Jock between the thighs. She stared right into his eyes when she did it, this sudden and surprisingly direct thing no woman has ever done to him. He braced there, taught and shaken, and when she continued to hold him, when she leaned the top of her body over and covered his lips with her hotly seeking mouth, Jock quivered.

    It felt like she was the male, that she meant to take him, mount him, rape him if she had to, and there wasn’t a hell of a lot he could do about it.

    *********

    A long, long time since he’d touched another woman; years and years of knowing only Ellie. This wasn’t love; it wasn’t even tenderness. Her naked belly slapped an urgent rhythm against him, as Roberta twisted and writhed, gripping him, urgent. Not love and not tenderness, but a fierce battle for dominance that he had to win.
     
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 11

    Ellie’s words dripped a cold venom that stung more fiercely than if she’d come at him with a buggy whip. ‘You miserable son of a bitch,’ she said. ‘I can just about understand you getting mixed up with another woman, but to name your youngest son after her —‘

    ‘Ellie,’ Jock said. ‘Now look here, Ellie, I didn’t have anything of the sort in mind. I mean, she’d already called you with that lie about me wantin’ to call him Robert —‘

    ‘For Roberta,’ she said, coiled against any approach by him, ready to strike. ‘Callin’
    my son after your mistress, goddamn you. With the other boys, naming was left up to me. You said you had nobody to honour — until her, is that it?’

    ‘I swear,’ he said helplessly, ‘I
    swear, Ellie — when I knew what she'd done, it was already too late. I couldn’t tell you then; dammit, you can’t expect me to have told you then.’

    ‘Five years,’ she said, putting her back to him and staring out the bedroom window. ‘Five long years, and that – that bitch just had to be certain I knew. Can’t change the boy’s name without mixin’ him up good. We call him Bobby; you call her that – Bobbi, with a cute little feminine
    i?

    ********

    ‘You know who I am,’ Ellie said, ‘so I guess you know why I’m here. Bond’s goin’ to take his hand off your mouth now, but if you try to scream, he’ll hurt you, I swear, he’ll hurt you bad.’

    Leather-gloved, Bond’s hand slid away and poised, ready to smother, to throttle. Roberta Lessing said shakily, ‘What do you - my home – you – I’ll have you both arrested.’

    ‘No,’ Ellie said, and Bond shook his captive a little to prove the point. ‘The blackmail evidence on my husband; where is it,
    all of it?’

    Her brown eyes were wide, the rich mouth closed. ‘You’re out of your mind. Do you think you can scare me into —‘

    ‘Bond,’ Ellie said, and turned her back. As she found the bar tucked into a corner, found the bourbon, and poured it, she heard a faint sound behind her. Ellie drank, and there were more muffled, thrashing noises. When they stilled, she said, ‘Well?’

    Bond Whitson answered her. ‘Passed out, but she’s goin’ to be tough, real tough.’
     
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  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 12

    Jock frowned. ‘I don’t know what —‘

    ‘Oh, the
    hell you don’t! You just don’t want to know, and when you don’t you’re like a plough mule wearin’ blinkers.’ She came up suddenly and went for her own refill. ‘Six years ago, when I came back from Washington and told you that your tail was out of the crack, you didn’t even ask how.’

    He stalked across to his desk and opened a box, took out to cigar. ‘I figured you bought her off.’

    Making a face, Ellie choked down the drink. ‘And never wondered how come Roberta Lessing went crazy?’

    ‘A nervous breakdown,’ Jock said, clipping the cigar end. ‘Guilty conscience, I expect.’

    ‘Jesus! You’re talkin’ to
    me, Jock Ewing. You, me, that poor damned Bond Whitson, that slut Roberta – if any of us had consciences then, have ‘em now, they’re blacker ’n coal.’

    **********

    So when he cried for a mangled bird or dying calf, when tears clouded his eyes for the agony of a fence-gutted horse, Gary had to do it out of sight. Jesus, you’d think Mom would know pity and feel hurt; she'd grown up with animals, too. If she did, she never showed it, although Gary knew she could be tender and loving, a comfort and a buffer. But the ranch came first – the goddamn ranch where, almost daily, death and pain and killing was supposed to make you grow a callus around your heart and soul.

    If you couldn’t do that, there were books to go sailing off in; there was beer or elderberry wine, and sometimes a stolen sip of whisky from the liquor cabinet. Whisky was too bitter at first, and beer foam better than the beer, and maybe wine was easiest, if it was sweet. A slow numbness came to cloak anything you didn’t like, and hid anything you wanted to keep secret, even from yourself.

    Looking over at Bobby, he saw the kid had fallen asleep. Better to be like him, maybe; nobody gave Bobby a bad time. Dad barely knew he was around, and Mom sort of patted him on the head from time to time. No blueprint had been drawn up for Bobby; he could go to college and into oil, or stay on the ranch. He could even take off and do something on his own, something he might really want.

    For Gary Ewing, what would that be? ‘Nothin’,’ he said to the last can of beer. ’Not a damned thing I know about.’ A woman, he guessed, but he’s been wantin’ an easy woman for years and had never done anything about it.

    Because he had to get up his nerve with a few beers, and then took sick or drunk or both, the girls at school gossiped about him or laughed at him. It was a lousy circle going around and around. If JR knew he was still a cherry, or Dad ...

     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 13

    Putting her dark head on his shoulder, she said, ‘I just don’t understand you, Bobby Ewing, and I reckon that’s the problem.’

    Her hair smelt of next springtime, the hinted softness of unborn flowers. He stroked it gently. ‘I’ve been goin’ my own way ever since I can remember. Played ball because everybody said I was too little and I had to prove different. Guess I’ll sign up for the war just because everybody says it’s dumb. What I’m trying to say is I have to see things for myself.’

    **********

    He downed the drink of twelve-year-old Scotch and had turned for another when the tap came at the door. JR strode across the office and let her in. Tall and lissome, expensive and showing it, the call girl said, ‘I thought someone might be putting me on. I mean, this is my first time in an office.’

    ‘Mine, too.’ JR grinned. ‘But there’s a big ol’ couch yonder and a bar, and any damned thing else you want.' She stood smiling at him, cool and almost regal, until he brought out his wallet and lifted out a hundred-dollar bill. Her smile stretched itself when he added another.

    ‘You’ll earn ‘em baby,’ he said.

    ‘Anything except getting hurt, dear.’

    ‘Nothin’ like that, pretty girl – but everything else.’

    She shrugged off her coat and lifted the glittering dress over her head. She was cool and almost regal and her expression was just a little bored.

    ***********

    There was money, so he bought a flat pint of vodka, and ducked into an alley to drink about half of it. Gary’s eyes blurred and it damned near came back up, but he choked it down, needing the stuff so he could remember where in the hell he left the pick-up. As the night came back in jagged bits and pieces, Gary’s head cleared some.

    Yeah, yeah - that lot across from the station; he’d put away the truck because if he picked up one more moving violation, one more drunk-driving bust, he’d lose his licence. Or go to Mom to stop it, and he didn’t know which would be worse. She never said much, just sat there and looked puzzled at him, as if he could explain what went wrong, if only he was of a mind to.

    Well, he was just as confused. There wasn’t a cause, wasn’t a reason he could make out, and he’d gone over a number of them in his head. Thinking on old wrongs set him off again most times, so it was better to figure drunks just happened, like rain or winter northers or prairie fires; they just happened.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 14

    She stopped to take a drag from his cigarette. ‘You know she’s yours? No doubts about that?’

    He took back the cigarette. ‘Uh–uh. Just have to look at her once to know she don’t belong to Gary. Funny nobody else sees it.’

    ‘Not so funny if they do,’ she said. ‘It would ruin everything. That’s why I think I ought to leave Gary and leave here – before we get caught.’

    ‘Give me time,’ JR said. ‘I need to think it through, and it’s not like Gary’ll bust in on us. He still locked up in that nuthouse.’

    She took another pull at his cigarette, and when she gave it back, JR ground out the butt and stared at the ceiling. There was a whole lot to think through, not just what Maureen wanted, but all that had to be done. Better than seven years, he had been making it with his sister-in-law, and he’d never found a woman fitted him better or suited him more.

    But there was no way on earth he’d ever marry her, because of Jock and Ellie and Ewing Oil. Knowing her as he did, JR realised that after a while, Maureen wouldn’t be satisfied with living in. The pushing would begin all over – a small jab here, a little insidious pressure there. He felt around the side of the bed for the night table, and another cigarette. Damn her, anyway.

    **********

    Back home, Dad had been delighted with his decision to go to school, with his plans for coming into the company. His mother hadn’t seemed surprised. They’d both been upset when he signed up for the army, and Jock called him a damned fool for not going for a commission or ducking the whole asinine war. It was the first time Bobby could remember them being concerned about him.

    He wouldn’t rock the boat again. He’d finish school and go into Ewing Oil to be the country’s most expensive pimp and court jester. Someday he’d marry a girl his family liked and they would produce 2.3 kids, or whatever the hell the average was these days. No revolts major or minor, no nothing but sidestepping anything that smelled remotely of trouble. Bobby Ewing was going to live life one sweet, fat, and beautiful day at a time.

    ***********

    He’d been in worse places – drunk tanks, the county jail, state hospital, without ever quite knowing how he got there. But before too long one of Ewing Oil‘s lawyers would get him freed and maybe give him money to get back on. Back where? Southfork, of course; that was the limit of his world and every time he tried to find a hole in the fence, they caught him and dragged him back.

    Gary dreaded that more than anything, facing up to them at home. Maureen‘s horse shit he could close out like he had little doors in his ears, but the old man kicked down those doors to chew ass, and over in the corner, there’d be Mom, silent and suffering. In his own place, little Lucy would sidle away from him as if he was full of cactus needles. Hell, he hardly knew the kid, hardly knew what went on at the Southfork either.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  17. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    He also died at age 69, which seems appropriate.
     
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  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 15

    In an office building miles from Pam, Cliff Barnes worked late, his small office showing the only upper-level light. He added another sheet of speculations to a thick file, rubbed his eyes, and leaned back. By now, Pam was at the Alamo Roof, already being introduced to Bobby Ewing and getting over being stunned, he hoped.

    Ray Krebbs owed Cliff, and he owed Pamela. Cliff never forgot what the big bastard owed Pamela, and it might take him the rest of his life to pay up. Right now, he was meeting the first instalment on the due bill by bringing Bobby and Pamela together. It would be up to her to take it the rest of the way.

    Cliff knew his sister. Pamela would consider Bobby Ewing a challenge and turn the full force of her beauty upon him, do her damnedest to charm the boy. If Prince Robert, third in line to the throne, had any blood to him, he’d be interested in Pam.

    Naturally, she’d only tease him, play around with him until all the fun was squeezed out, then drop him like the cow turd he was, like all Ewings were. But in the meantime, she could milk information from him, once the kid got taken into the company. That wasn’t far off, for he’d be graduating from A & M – when? – no more than a year.

    No hard-won scholarships for Prince Robert; he didn’t need them, didn’t have to work his tail off and study at the same time. Everything was laid out for Bobby Ewing, not for commoners like Cliff, and that was the way of things, wasn’t it? The rich and the poor, the inheritors and those he got by on crumbs; it was the age-old order of things.

    ‘Bullshit,’ Cliff said and start to stretch, to rub the back of his neck. The Ewing organization had long fed on its own corruption, growing fat and careless, its flabby underbelly open to a hungry hunter. ‘And I mean to rip it,’ Cliff said. He meant to spill their guts for what they did to the people of this state, stop them from doing any more damage. And Pamela would help, knowing or unknowing, she’d help; she had as much reason.
     
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  19. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat Addict

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    ha, even in the little bit above he managed to describe how Gary was afraid of Jock kicking down doors in order to "chew ass"
     
  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Chapter 15

    The turnoff was there, across the highway, and he could make it out fine, once his eyes adjusted to the night. Hoisting the surplus G.I. duffel bag to one shoulder, he started to walk it by starshine. Gary tasted the night and liked its flavour. He thought of the spice ahead, of Maureen and the grubby kiss of their little girl. He didn’t fret about Mom and his father because he was sober and ready to face up to them. If they wanted, he’d work as an ordinary hand and be glad to sweat his own juice instead of recycled booze.

    *******

    Quiet, slowing his breath, Gary heard a man mumble something, then Maureen again: ‘Oh sure, sure – I’m their brood mare and your slut, that’s all! Do you think they give a good goddamn about
    me? All they care about is this precious grandchild, seein’ it’s the only one they got. Only that’s not how I want it.’

    Who was his wife talking to? Not the old man; nobody stood up to Jock Ewing like that.
    Slut – she said, his slut. Oh, good Christ. Easing down his bag, Gary locked his fingers together. His fault, being gone so long. Couldn’t blame a lusty woman for taking up with somebody when her own man was knocking around the state, or put away on some funny farm. It was his fault, not Maureen’s. If he held on tight, he could make it work.

    *******

    ‘You saw him leavin’. So what? I mean, you expect me to sit and wait forever?’

    ‘No,’ he said, ‘reckon I didn’t expect that, when I think on it. That’s not devilin’ me much right now. I just want to know if Lucy sees anything, hears anything.’

    Maureen put both hands behind her, and he made out the little woodenish whisper as the drawer opened. She raised her chin and looked him full in the face. ‘She’s not blind or deaf, and my kid doesn’t see anything wrong in kinfolk visitin’.’

    ‘Kinfolk,’ he said.

    ‘He’s got the right,’ she said, bringing the chromed .38 Bulldog from behind and showing it to him. ‘He’s got a better right than you, but here you come at just the wrong time, messin’ up everything.’

    ‘JR,’ Gary said. ‘Couldn’t be anybody else. JR.’

    ‘You didn’t see him,’ Maureen spat. ‘You didn’t even know who he was, and you come slippin’ into my house, wormin’ it out of me —‘

    He went in under the pistol, fisting it from her shocked fingers, chopping his other hand into her silken belly so she couldn’t get the breath to holler.

    Methodically then, with great deliberation and coolness, Gary Ewing began to beat hell out of his wife. When he was done, he left her bloody on the bed and backed panting out to look awhile at the other bedroom door.

    He found bottles in the cabinet and carried them two by two on to the porch to stuff in his duffel bag. The last one he held in salute to Maureen, beginning to stir and moan on spattered sheets.

    The whisky burned all the way down, but he just didn’t give a shit anymore.
     
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