Categories > TV > Bonanza > Much Ado About Little Joe

In Which Joe's Story is Told

by Cartwright_Fan 0 reviews

Joe explains why he ran away from home.

Category: Bonanza - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006-02-16 - Updated: 2006-02-16 - 672 words

Chapter Two: In Which Joe's Story is Told

THE FOLLOWING AUTHORS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS CHAPTER: Mlle.Sinistra,Karine, dodo, Amer Esper, Mini Cochise, Blaze_of_Glory, and LJsStalker.
Recap from Ch.1: "I've left the Ponderosa...for good. I can never go back...never!"
"Why, what happened, Joe?"
"I can't tell you," said Joe.
"Did your pa or brothers do anything to you?"
Joe shook his head. Frank stood there, looking at Joe, lost in his own thoughts.
"You better come home with me, Joe. Sally will love seeing you, and you look like you could do with a good, hot meal."
Joe smiled slightly, nodding in agreement, unable to hide the rumble of his stomach from his friend.
"Thanks, Frank. If its not too much trouble. Don't think I've eaten much more than a few strips of jerky for the past week."
Leading the way, Frank remounted, and waited for Joe, as he vaulted onto Cochise, and the two men slowly made their way to the little cabin Frank called home, a mile from town.
Mrs. Sally Harvey was surprised to see her husband and Joe enter the Harvey home.
"Hello, Joe," she said, "what brings you way out here?"
"Joe's having dinner with us," said Frank, not wanting to go into details at the moment, "Mmm...that sure smells good. What's for dinner?"
"Chicken, potatoes, and I have a pie in the oven," said Sally.
Joe took off his gun belt, and sat down at the table.
"Where's the kids?" he asked.
"They're visiting their grandparents," said Sally.
"Oh," said Joe.
"Dinner's ready now," said Sally.
"Alright, let's eat," said Frank.
Once they were seated, Frank again tried to get Joe to tell them the reason he left the Ponderosa. Whatever the reason, Joe was clearly upset about it. He looked down at the floor, as if unwilling to face the expression on his friends' faces, as he slowly began to tell his tale of woe. Swallowing hard, the words suddenly started to tumble out, as if he knew once he started, the story would have to be told, for better or worse.
"I had better warn you, to tell you the truth. You are in fact probably harboring a wanted man. Last week, I got drunk, real drunk. Had a big argument with Adam, then shot him. Don't even remember why or how I shot him, but suddenly, my gun was out, I fired, and Adam was lying in front of me. Everything was such a blur with the drink. I don't even know if he is alive. I just ran. Jumped on my horse and ran. So, you see, I could be a murderer. Do you still want to help me?"
Joe sat back and looked up at the shocked faces that gazed back at him. Nor Frank or Sally couldn't say a word. That made Joe feel uncomfortable.
"I...I think I'll go now."
When Joe started to stand up, Frank stopped him.
"You're not going anywhere, my friend. You can stay here as long as you want."
"Really?" asked Joe, hardly believing his ears.
"Really," said Frank.
"As much as I agree with Frank, I think you should go home and see what happened to Adam," said Sally, "he might still be alive, you know, and if he is, you should apologize."
A feeling of fear flooded Joe as he looked at his friends. He was scared, very scared, and for once, the young Cartwright was not ashamed to show it. Swallowing deeply, he nodded slowly.
"You are right, of course," he said, his voice breaking with emotion, "I know I have to return and I will willingly accept the consequences. But the thought of facing my father scares me more than any possible hangman's noose."
There was silence for a minute, then Joe looked at Frank.
"Will you return with me? I think I will need a friendly face, don't you?" he asked, as suddenly the sound of horses' hooves were heard cantering towards the homestead.

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