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. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

    Message Count:
    4,593
    Trophy Points:
    5,561
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +8,854
    Medals:
    9
    Member Since:
    28th September 2008
    For some reason (and for all I know it could be the way she's described in the book), I always picture Maureen as sporting Victoria Principal's Earthquake hairdo.

    [​IMG]


    It's funny... I'm fine with JR siring Lucy, Jock naming his youngest son after his mistress and Maureen taking a beating. But I tense up whenever Gary refers to Ellie as "Mom". The devil's in the detail after all.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 18

    Tiny bird-wings continue to beat within Ellie, and Willard’s name echoed through long-closed corridors of her mind. Of course he would have married sometime; he was always a footloose rover, but he would need some place to come back to - or someone. Seeing Cliff Barnes on TV wasn’t the same as meeting Willard’s daughter face to face.

    Willard’s daughter – would she quote random bits and pieces of poetry, at times misquote them? Had she carried a book everywhere she went, and did she … Certainly not; Pamela hadn’t ridden the rails and read by firelight in a hobo jungle. She was a young woman grown, and times were good, work and money plentiful. Who even remembered the Depression – or Willard Barnes?

    ***********

    Willard’s daughter, she thought again, and a ghost arose – a girl-child never born, slim and dark-haired and filled with fairy laughter, a kiss soft as thistledown and doe-eyed; she was a child of the mist who danced on moonbeams, and she would know those precious, precious silences so warm and still, more golden for the sharing.

    ***********

    When she hung up the phone, Ellie sat looking at it for long, introspective moments. Jock Ewing took JR when the clay of him was soft, and formed to his own image, made him driving and ambitious and oil-wise, company-wise.

    Ellie Ewing had sworn he wouldn’t take her next born, and he didn’t. She kept Gary home, mothered and guided him, but tried to make him strong. Something went wrong in the core of him, and when he’d fled his own home, his own battered wife, Ellie was left more alone.

    Because neither father nor mother took much hand in the upbringing of Bobby Ewing, like a weed in an unnoticed corner of a garden, he flourished untended. Jock didn’t manipulate him, and Ellie didn’t guide him. Whatever Bobby Ewing was - and Ellie began to realise that nobody really knew – whatever he’d grown into, he done it on his own.

    ***********

    ‘We shaped him,’ Ellie whispered, ‘we shaped him by ignoring him, and it wouldn’t take a whole lot for him to ignore us, in turn. We never saw behind the jokes and clowning because we never looked, and now’ – she pressed hard against her temple – ‘now I don’t think I
    want to know what’s behind that painted-on face.’ There were times when she’d had a glimpse of his eyes when they weren’t hiding behind a twinkle, and they were not funny.

    My sons, she thought, as pain spread from her temple behind her right eye, spread down the right side of her neck,
    my sons – we gave you too much or too little, but we never shared, never listened. It must have been hell growing up here, if ever you did.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

    Message Count:
    4,593
    Trophy Points:
    5,561
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +8,854
    Medals:
    9
    Member Since:
    28th September 2008
    Wow. And wow.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 20

    Most times, JR thought, he could figure just about what the old man was thinking, knew instinctively what he wanted done. Right now, it was all out of kilter. What the hell got into Bobby? First that off-the-wall marriage, and to Pamela Barnes for chrissake; then him popping off at dinner about how he wanted to come off the road, take a guiding hand in the business.

    Damn. Bobby was just a kid; he didn’t know his ass from his eardrum about the company or the Texas Independents. He was good for setting up parties, for furnishing party girls and booze and discreet motels. Maybe it was that woman Pamela putting little brother up to being something he wasn’t. A Barnes, a goddamn
    Barnes.

    ********

    Jock drew on his cigar, cocked his head at another outburst of hilarity from the second floor. ‘Better see to Sue Ellen, boy. Sounds like my first grandson is liable to be their‘s.’

    In darkness, in silence, JR hunched in his chair long after his father went back into the house. Jesus. He hadn’t even thought about that angle until the old man made such a point of it: the next Ewing generation, the next
    male Ewing. Lucy didn’t count, in Jock’s estimation, because women didn’t run big oil outfits. And Lucy was a living symbol of a failure: Gary. Oh God, if the old man ever knew the truth!

    But there was no chance of that. Maureen was smart; she’d taken the money and run. Wherever Gary got to, he’d never show his face at the ranch again, and most likely never would. By now, he was dead from booze, or some other drunk had killed him.

    Little Lucy didn’t recall anything important from her early childhood, or she’d have stuck it to him already. His own daughter, and the kid hated his very guts; he didn’t know why. He’d always been good to her, good as he knew how, but she looked at him sometimes like she’d be happy to see him dead.

    Bobby and Pamela – that was something else. Suppose they produced a kid right away, a male heir? That might just tear down JR‘s playhouse, and, dammit, he was president of TI, president of Ewing Oil. Bobby nor any of Bobby’s brats would steal that from him. Maybe if Sue Ellen – but shit, he couldn’t ask and she wouldn’t anyhow. All those luscious looks, that entrancing wiggle, and she was a lifeless slab in the sack. Still, he might have to go through with it, work out his own hang-up somehow, so he could knock her up.


     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 21

    Bobby grinned and settled back. The air had a spiced smell of sage and mesquite, cow and dust, and carried memories on the wind. It had been pretty good being a kid here. Off by himself lonesome didn’t matter, because everything out here was a moving part of the Big Lonesome, coming together with another moving thing only in passing. How long did wideblue and empty sky remember the cruising hawk, or brown dust form the track of a rabbit?

    There had been Gary, sometimes; at a slow lope so Bobby’s short horse could keep up, Gary explaining about cactus and rattlers, telling tall stories of Gilas, tarantulas, and Indian ghosts. But it wasn’t all scary; some of it was measuring up to Gary when they hauled an orphan calf out of a bog, when they fought blow-flies or blackleg. Some of it was good tiredness, good closeness and purple twilight blanketing down in warm quiet.

    ‘Gary,’ Bobby said. ‘I just realised I haven’t even thought of him in years. Our brother, and we don’t even know where he is; we don’t care. Dead or alive, he could be found, but we don’t care.’

    ‘That’s right,’ JR said. ‘Rogue, locoed, or diseased, you cut that animal out of the herd, right? So it don’t infect the rest, don’t hurt the good stock.’
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 22

    Upstairs, Sue Ellen Ewing dropped the window curtain, mouth thinning at how the newlyweds hung onto each other putting their hands just everywhere; it was disgusting, so animal. She went to a mirror, checked her lipstick, her hair. Breakfast was behind her, and there wasn’t anything to do until dinner. Miss Ellie wasn’t going into town, and JR didn’t like her going by herself. That just wasn’t anything to do.

    ****

    Hands clenched, Sue Ellen went over to the little TV and turned it on. Careful not to muss her skirt, she sat down in the big chair and stared dully at the set. JR was in Dallas or somewhere, and it wouldn’t help if he was home, anyhow.

    She would have to watch her diet again, cut down on starches and fried stuff. She had the willpower for that; her mother used to say it all the time; Sue Ellen, you mean to stay so beautiful, you got to have willpower. Girl, you got to suffer to be beautiful, and it’s all you’ve got, your face and your body, because the good Lord knows you ain’t have very bright.

    ‘I am, too,’ Sue Ellen said to the game show flickering behind glass. ‘I could’ve been as smart as any other kid in San Antonio, but Mama kept me out of school so much, travellin’ to all the contests. I’m glad, Mama; I’m glad it like to broke your heart when I didn’t go on and be Miss America. But you got it all anyhow, Mama – you got a house all paid for and money every month and I got I got —‘

    Reaching for tissue, she dabbed carefully at her eyes. Sue Ellen swallowed and focused on the TV show. After dinner, there wouldn’t be anything to do until supper.

    ************

    Ray Krebbs sprung naked from a lower bunk, face twisted in shock and anger. Lucy was much quicker, zipping out the back door with a flash of creamy buttocks gleaming below an unbuttoned shirt. Pamela dove after the girl, her longer legs eating up the distance between them. Lucy shrilled in outrage when Pamela caught the flapping shirt and spun her around. She clawed one hand for Pamela‘s face, and Pamela slapped her hard.

    Wide-eyed, face gone chalky in utter, disbelieving surprise, Lucy put a hand to her cheek. Pamela snapped: ‘Back in there and finish dressing.’

    Dropping her hand, Lucy said, ‘Throw my clothes out here. Then you can take seconds with him. That’s what you really want.’

    ‘This time,’ Pamela said, ‘I’ll close my hand and guarantee to knock you flat.’

    Lucy flinched and stepped back. ‘You – you wouldn’t. I’ll tell Jock and —‘

    ‘Tell him what? That I caught you balling Ray Krebbs? After Jock and JR get through with him, they’ll turn his remains over to the cops and he’ll do about five years for statutory rape. Now
    move!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 24

    None of them, dammit – Lucy wiped angrily at her eyes none of them knew how hard it was to carry a secret so heavy for so long. And the longer it stayed on her back, the harder it was to get rid of. Who would have believed her then? Who would listen to her now?

    Walking up the road towards the house, Lucy knew just about how it would be if she stood up in the living room and spilled her guts, just let it all hang out. Now, child, Miss Ellie would say,
    child! She’d stopped being a baby that night in the little house when she heard her mama – the thought made a lump in Lucy‘s throat, choked her, but she spat and cleared it - her mama talking about who’s baby Lucy was.

    Now, child, Miss Ellie would say, little babies don’t remember that much, and you were so tiny back then.

    Baby, hell. Not remember, bullshit! Every word, every sound was burned into her head. She’d been thinking that man was her real daddy, anyhow; he came around more than the other one, the man who staggered and fell down and got sick on the floor. That night proved it.

    And when he came after them – Lucy stopped walking and leaned her back against one of the shade trees that stood along the ranch entranceway. When he came after them, Lucy-that-was thought it was wonderful. But Mama – that two-faced, gutless bitch! - darling Mama took some money and didn’t even say good-bye to her baby.

    But if he wanted his baby so much, if he brought her back and asked Miss Ellie to care for her, why didn’t he claim her? Why didn’t he hold her hand, or kiss her cheek, pat her head, kick her ass –
    something?

    She could have killed him when he brought home Sue Ellen, the beauty queen. Sue Ellen much wasn’t much older than herself, and wouldn’t really get any older - not in the head, anyway. Miss Ellie was
    so old and kind of hard, and Jock was a sweetheart but he was ancient too. Bobby was gone and there just wasn’t anyone she could talk with.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,222
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    one of them high rises down in Venezuela
    Ratings:
    +2,159
    Gender:
    male
    these Lee Raintree excerpts are fantastic - nearly on a level with a James From London Who Called Who What and When post from the early years!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 25

    Julie didn’t want sympathy; she didn’t even want JR anymore. But she didn’t like smoking either, and kept at it, knowing damn well what it was doing to her.

    Going through the cafeteria line, Julie picked a salad and started to scoop potatoes onto her plate, changed her mind and added another salad instead, low-calorie milk and a sugar-free dessert. For what, she wondered, for whom?

    Lost in sympathy for herself, Julie sat down and made a face at limp lettuce. He sat opposite, and she looked at his food first - toast and tea; somebody worse off than herself. She glanced up and saw Cliff Barnes.

    ‘I know,’ he said. ‘The spider is supposed to wait in his web until the poor little flies wander in – or do the Ewings consider themselves mistreated butterflies?’

    After scanning the cafeteria quickly, her eyes came back to him. She liked what she saw, the modish way he wore his neat brown hair, the directness of hazel eyes, the determined jaw and set of his mouth. Cliff Barnes wasn’t a pretty man, and taken together his features were nothing extraordinary. But parts of him, especially the eyes and mouth, seemed rare. Maybe it was the intensity of the man, the drive that somehow lighted him up from the inside. Vaguely, incongruously, Julie wondered if early Crusaders looked like this on the way to face the Saracen.


    Glad you like 'em!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 26

    At the dresser, JR held up the black nightie with one finger through a strap. ‘What the hell is this?’

    ‘I th-thought I needed to change my image.’

    She didn’t like the way he laughed, not like it was funny but like he was making fun of her. ‘That’ll change your image, all right. Might as well write
    whore right across your forehead. I mean, that’s not you at all, Sue Ellen.’

    Something was pushing at her, the way her mama had pushed at her at first, when she was too scared to walk out on stage. ‘I don’t care. I figured I’d wear it tonight. Just - just once, anyhow.’

    ‘Well, you figured wrong. Take that damned piece of trash back tomorrow. No, it’s better you don’t even show your face in that store again. Throw that thing away.’ JR moved towards the bathroom. ‘Goin’ to take me a shower.’

    Sue Ellen watched her hands rise to the top of her rope; it amazed her to see them open it. ‘JR – maybe you could postpone that shower?’

    Mouth open, he stared at her. ‘What’s gotten into you, girl? Cover yourself up; you’re hangin’ out.’

    ‘JR,’ she said helplessly, ‘JR —‘

    ‘You’re actin’ plain cheap,’ he said. ‘You’re my wife, and you’re actin’ like some Juarez whore. It must be Pamela, our trashy sister-in-law. Stay away from her, you hear?’

    ‘I just wanted - oh God, I don’t
    know what I wanted! Somethin’ – more than we’ve got – just a little bit more. I – I wanted us to laugh at night like they do, like Bobby and Pamela.’

    ‘See,’ he said, ‘told you that woman had to do with you paradin’ around like a bitch in heat!’ JR flung off shirt and T-shirt, jerked open a drawer, his closet door. Clean top and shirt in hand, he whipped out into the hall and kicked that door shut behind him.

    Sue Ellen swayed right where she was for what seemed like a long time. Then she walked stiff-kneed to the dresser and picked up the black see-through nightie. Holding it against her face, she began to cry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 32

    Trying to pull her mind off the migraine, she thought of Pamela, that cast of face and glancing eye that reminded her so much of Willard Barnes. She would carry his image all her life, what was left of it. First love, the only poet, wild and footloose and often crazy man – Ellie didn’t know if she ever wanted to see him now, to know the awful changes time made upon face and body.

    She touched her own cheeks, the skin toughened by sun and wind, seamed with much age and a few deep sorrows. Would she want him to see
    her? Perhaps he held the young picture of her in his mind, as she carried him. Now, with the wrinkles and seams and faded hair, the shoulders stooping no matter what she did to hold them up, the other sagging places high and low, she lived in a body she could not herself recognise.

    Ellie pressed the heel of one hand against the right side of her forehead. She hadn’t been unhappy with Jock, and if they didn’t often climb the pinnacles of rapture together, so be it. He was solid and she knew him to the core; she was old-shoe comfortable with him, and they had mixed their blood in the boys. The boys . . . a girl such as Pamela might’ve been better, somewhere in between. Pretty as a bluebell, and underneath, tough as whang leather. Ellie had been elated to get word Pamela wasn’t the spy, and carried a load of guilt for not standing up for the girl when JR came down so hard on her. She would apologise, Ellie thought, in front of the whole family at the supper table.
    If Pamela and Bobby came back to the ritual suppers; if they moved it back into the small house.

    Back in her own young time, Ellie Southworth might not have come back so easy. She might have made some folks eat humble pie for a while. But then, Ellie Southworth hadn’t been all that easy to get along with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 33

    Wind hit the house hard, jerked at the eaves, and tried to shake out windows. No such a thing, Ellie thought; this house has stood against the worst northers in Texas, and it’ll be firm when all of us are gone, when new generations of Ewings sheltered in it.

    She knew every board, every handmade brick of this house, each split shingle of its roof. And Ellie knew its moods, the cranky settling of it in the winter as it complained in creaks and dry groans. She responded to the rattle of it freshening in spring rains, the opening of the old house to summer.

    And it was why she knew through the blunted migraine that something was wrong in the house now, this moment. There was a tightness, a waiting and not for the storm; the house had faced to the wind and defied it. No, it was something else. Ellie put her feet into soft slippers and drew an old robe about herself.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 34

    Upstairs at the railing, Ellie Ewing braced her daddy’s long-barrelled Colt .45 against a post and centred the sights on the dark man’s hairy chest. In a loud, clear voice she called out: ‘Put ’em down! Put the guns down, or I will drop you!’

    Sucking breath through his teeth, Luther looked up; Payton froze with his hand on Pamela‘s arm. Luther said, ‘Hell – ain’t nothin’ but a little ol’ lady.’

    Ellie squeezed the old single-action’s trigger and shot him. The heavy slug took Luther through the shoulder and jerked him around, slapped him spinning as if he’d been hit by a runaway car. The thunder and lightning, the rolling powder smoke of the ancient Colt filled the room. Luther staggered backward into the wall and his gun bounced away; he slid down the wall, mouth hung open and dripping.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 34

    Shifting in the chair, mouth and eyes gone sulky and ugly, JR said, ‘I told you – but this ain’t proper for a mother to be talking about —‘

    ‘Don’t sull up to me,’ she snapped. ‘I’m more than your mother and the woman’s been actin’ moon-blind over your failings all these years; I’m also a good,
    big chunk of Ewing Oil, and don’t you forget it. I know you for what you are, JR - a mean man with a pencil, or makin’ a shady deal, and throwin’ around Ewing weight and money. But head-on to anybody, you’re about as gutless as a drawn pullet. So make up to your wife; treat her kind and gentle, or by God, the only way you’ll get into the Ewing Oil office is by appointment! Now hear me good.’

    Mouth working, JR heaved himself from the chair, heaved the towelled ice to the floor. ‘I’m your son.’

    ‘Can’t deny it,’ she said. ‘I just ain’t up to claimin’ you right now.’
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

    Message Count:
    3,011
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +5,071
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Chapter 38

    Digger saw her then.

    It had to be her; nobody else stood so straight and held her chin high like that. The hair – yellow lantern light couldn’t bring back all its precious gold, but the hair was Ellie Southworth’s. She’d changed, grown old, and that sent a quick spearhead of pain through him, a sense of being cheated of the laughing, flashing-eyed girl who lived in a treasured corner of his mind. Digger’s fingertips lifted to his own face and traced the network of wrinkles there.

    Over the heads of the crowd, between moving figures, her eyes found his, and there she was again – the young, lively girl of a thousand years ago. She was bright and beautiful, and he went to meet her, a run-away engine labouring in his chest.

    They might have been alone on a misty hilltop set against sunrise, two people moving slowly together, hearing old music worn thin by being rubbed against the edges of swiftly passing years.

    ‘Hello, Willard,’ she said.

    Digger said, ‘Ellie.’

    ‘You look —‘

    ‘Tacky,’ he said. ‘Uncomfortable. But you – ah, you still hold the starshine captive, and shame the moon.’

    Her laugh was as he remembered, throaty but holding the silver pealing of far temple bells in it. ‘And you’re still the poet, for which I thank you, Willard.’

    Ellie‘s hand was in his, small and capable, softer even than he recalled. Digger kept looking at her until the kid bumped his other arm and said something about going on to the barbecue and Digger said, ‘Yeah, yeah, go ahead.’

    ‘Let’s take a walk,’ Ellie said. ‘Nobody can begrudge us just a little time together.’

    ‘The rose arbour,’ Digger said. ‘I remember the rose arbour.’

    ‘Yes,’ Ellie said. ‘It’s lasted as long as we have.’
     
    • Winner Winner x 1

Share This Page