Categories > TV > Bonanza > Much Ado About Little Joe

In Which Help Arrives and There is a Confrontation

by Cartwright_Fan 0 reviews

Help arrives for Joe, at last.

Category: Bonanza - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006-04-23 - Updated: 2006-04-24 - 1411 words

Chapter Five: In Which Help Arrives and There is a Confrontation

THE FOLLOWING AUTHORS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS CHAPTER: MlleSinistra, Mini Cochise, Karine, dodo, LJsStalker, and Amer Esper.
/Recap from Ch.4 /
"Leave my pa alone," said Joe, "I'm the one who got you sacked. I'm the one you're mad at. I'm the one you kidnapped."
"If you don't want him, I'll take him," said Stacey, a bit too eagerly.
Joe didn't like the hungry look in his eye as he said it. Joe shivered slightly whenever Stacey looked at him. There was something about him that made him extremely uneasy.
"I'd say yes, but I don't think Ben will look too kindly on us if I let you defile Little Joe here," he said.
Stacey drew his gun, pointing it at Bonner, his finger tightening on the trigger. Just as his finger began to squeeze, Joe leant back, and threw his legs toward Stacey, hitting his arm just as the gun went off, the bullet ricocheting off the cave wall. Bonner drew his gun, and fired back at the stunned Stacey, killing him with a single bullet hole in the head. He turned towards Joe. There was no answer from Joe, who lay silent, a deep red stain showing on his shirt, where the stray bullet had hit him deep in his chest.
Hoss rushed to the back lane and harnessed up the doctor's wagon. With a flick of the reins, he was soon away, following the doctor, unaware of the identity of the new patient, in such obvious distress.
Doc Martin, and Abram Kininski were halfway to the cave, when they ran into Danny Fenwick.
"What's goin' on, Kininski?" Fenwick asked.
"Boss told me to bring the Doc to the cave. Stacey's dead and the kid's been shot," said Kininski.
"Why are we standing here chatting when a man's been shot?" Doc Martin asked loudly.
The group started to move and soon they were back in the cave.
Doc Martin rushed into the cave and immediately saw two men. One was unmoving on the hard floor, the other was holding a blood sodden cloth tightly on his companion's chest. As the doctor knelt down, he immediately recognized the injured man and looked up quickly at Bonner.
"Who did this?" he asked, as he opened his bag.
"It was a ricochet. Joe actually saved my life," answered Bonner.
Nodding, Doc Martin assessed Joe's injuries.
"I am going to have to operate, and quickly. This bullet has to come out."
Bonner nodded nervously.
"My wagon is on the way. As soon as it arrives, I need to take Joe back to town," stated Doc Martin.
Bonner nodded and stood up, then quietly made his way out of the cave, where Kininski and Fenwick stood. Bonner looked at them.
"Mount up...we need to get out of here, now," he said in an urgent voice.
"Why?" asked Kininski, just as the doc's wagon appeared in front of them.
"Where are you two going?" asked Hoss.
"Nowhere," said Kininski.
"You look as though you're trying to hide something. Why don't we all just take a walk into that cave? I take it that's where the Doc is?" asked Hoss.
Nodding, Kininski looked nervously over towards his companion, but Hoss could read his face and quickly drew his gun, pointing it at the two men.
"You weren't thinking of leaving, were you?" he asked in a hard voice, "now, why don't we be good boys and do as we are told. Move it!"
He fired a bullet at Kininski's feet, who jumped up with alarm and darted towards the cave opening, his companion following. Bonner was hiding nearby, afraid Hoss would recognize him. Inside the cave, Kininski and Fenwick stood by the entrance. Hoss stood near Doc Martin and recognized the man he was tending to.
"Joe," Hoss gasped in surprise, "what happened, doc?"
"A bullet wound in his chest."
"How serious is that?"
"I have to take the bullet out. I need some hot water."
Hoss went to find some firewood to make a fire and put the water to boil.
While Doc Martin and Hoss were busy with Joe, Bonner quietly slipped back into the cave and watched the proceedings. He could see Joe was in a bad way, by the anxious looks on the faces of both the men. As the doctor completed his examination, he looked over at Hoss.
"I can't wait till we get back to town, Hoss. That bullet will have to come out now. If not, I can't see Joe surviving another hour."
Hoss nodded.
"Okay, Doc, what do you want me to do?" he asked, his worried face looking down on his little brother with concern.
"Give me my bag, Hoss. I want to sedate him," said Doc Martin, "in case he wakes while I'm trying to get the bullet out."
"Sure, Doc," said Hoss.
Doc Martin's bag was next to Bonner's feet. Bonner picked it up and handed it to Hoss.
"Thanks," said Hoss, giving the bag to Doc.
Doc Martin took out all the needed things and started preparing for the surgery.
"Do you need anything else?" asked Hoss.
"Could you wait outside?" asked Doc Martin, "I'd like privacy while I operate."
"Sure, Doc," said Hoss, "c'mon, you three."
Giving his little brother a final glance, Hoss moved out of the cave, the three men slowly walking in front of him. Indicating for them to sit on the ground, Hoss walked over to the wagon and took out a length of rope that lay in the back.
"Hey, you," he cried over to Bonner, "tie up your two friends with this."
Throwing the rope over, he watched as Bonner fastened it around his two comrades, pulling them tightly together.
"Good," said Hoss, "that's you two safely secured. Just leaves you, Bonner. Now, why don't you tell me how come you and my brother were in that cave in the first place?"
He held his gun tightly and pointed it straight at the other man's chest.
"After I left Nevada, I went to Sacramento and met a man named Gardener Stacey. Stacey and I hired Kininski and Fenwick over here, to kidnap your brother and hold him as ransom. While Fenwick was delivering the ransom note, Stacey took a liking to Joe. I told him to keep away, but as soon as I was out of sight, you know what that fool done? He tried to kiss Joe! I put a stop to that. He tried to shoot me, but Joe knocked the gun out of his hand, right after he fired. The bullet ricocheted off the wall, and hit Joe. I shot and killed Stacey. Then, I had Kininski get rid of him and get the doc," said Bonner.
"That thing tried to do WHAT to my brother?" asked Hoss, angrily.
"Like I said, he's dead now," said Bonner.
"Why did you want our money?"
Bonner looked around him pointing his arm towards the distance.
"The Ponderosa stretches as far as you can see...and it all belongs to you four Cartwrights. What chance would I ever have to owning something like this? Never!" he shouted, glaring over towards Hoss, "that's why I wanted the my own Ponderosa."
Hoss shook his head.
"No ponderosa is worth the life of another. You better just pray my brother survives otherwise I can guarantee you your own personal ponderosa...six feet under!"
"I didn't want Joe to get hurt," said Bonner, "that was Stacey's fault. All I wanted was the money. I know now that Stacey wanted something different altogether."
"You wanted money to buy yourself a ranch at my brother's expense?"
"Not just the ranch. I got conned out of all my money in Carson City."
"Why didn't you just get a job?"
"Bonner looked darkly at Hoss.
"Who would employ me, knowing I had been sacked from the Ponderosa! News travels fast around these parts, and no rancher for a hundred miles would entertain me, knowing I wasn't good enough for the 'high and mighty' Cartwrights!"
"So, you just thought you'd steal what you needed, regardless of the consequences?"
Bonner nodded, unable to say another word. There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment, when suddenly, a scream could be heard from within the cave, making both men jump. Hoss's face turned pale, as he recognized the voice of his little brother.
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