Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word Count: 3800
Three Blind Tales
Chapter 1 – Blind Justice?
After a laborious two-week criminal trial in a very high profile bank robbery case, the jury finally ended its seventy-two heated hours of deliberations and entered the courtroom to deliver its verdict to the judge. The judge turned to the jury foreman, Adam Cartwright, and asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict in this case?”
“Yes we have, your honor,” Adam responded. Satisfied that he convinced all the other jurors that Icky Izzy Underdog the hermit was innocent, he smiled widely flashing his famous dimples at everyone.
Adam Cartwright wasn’t born with those handsome dimples. As a boy, he had slept on collar buttons sewn on his pillow case every night for twelve years to indent his cheeks. He had gotten the idea at age seven when he saw how folks adored Clark Gable in the not-yet-invented movies. Pa and Inger, Hoss’ mother, had taken the family to the not-yet-invented drive-in movie theatre in their covered wagon. All the wagons formed a semi-circle and wagon master Seth Adams showed the film on a huge sheet of canvas tied on a boulder. While baby Hoss snoozed in the back, Ben, Inger and Little Adam had enjoyed the showing of not-yet-filmed “Gone with the Wind” while munching on hard tack, jerky and jujubes. Adam loved the ending and walked around saying “Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a damn” for days until his father got fed up and washed his mouth out with soap.
That didn’t stop Little Adam’s admiration of Gable. Matter of fact, for a couple of years after seeing the not-yet-invented movie of “Gone With the Wind”, Adam had worn a big fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip to replicate Gable’s moustache. When Adam was eleven and a half, Pa brought home his third wife Marie (who would eventually be Little Joe’s mama and who also would eventually be dead like Ben’s previous two wives.)
Do we see a pattern immerging here?? Did anyone remark upon the strangeness of such a young boy with a thick, fuzzy, wiggly moustache? Adam thought Marie had a vague resemblance to Scarlet O’ Hara. Pa vehemently denied that idea and insisted that his new bride looked much more like the wife of that actor who played the musician guy who dressed like a girl in the movie with Marilyn Monroe as “Sugar”, but Adam didn’t agree, even though it was Hoss’ favorite movie because he was fond of ladies with names of his favorite foods and looked like Queen Frostine in the Candy Land Game that Marie had brought as a gift when she first came to the Ponderosa with Pa.
From the first, Marie had insisted that her new husband and the boys wash up, put on clean shirts, and Adam should remove his caterpillar before he got one bite of dinner. Ever-cooperative Hoss complied but stubborn, granite-headed Adam stood his ground. Stubborn, granite-headed Ben Cartwright and wife number trois, Marie, (aka REAL Marie, rather than EXPLODED Marie from that faux show “Ponderosa”) stood theirs as well. Eventually, after four or five very hungry days exiled to his room where he read the entire Bible through from cover to cover, the works of Christopher Wren and the entire not written Hardy Boys series except for “The Assault on the Tower” as he had accidentally left that one in the hay loft, Adam got pretty hungry and gave in, apologized to Marie, and ditched the caterpillar. Then Adam got to eat dinner with his family and fetch the missing Hardy Boys book from the loft.
The trial charging Icky Izzy with bank robbery had been long and difficult, but as always, Adam had stood by his word, stood his ground and logically argued what was completely and thoroughly obvious to him and obscure to the rest of the jury. Adam felt like Henry Fonda in the not-yet-produced play and movie “12 Angry Men”. Adam liked Hank almost as much as Gable.
Adam declared that Icky Izzy, a cranky half-breed midget with one leg and a real ugly smell of putrid poo and no known papa and a mama who was a hoochie and had a drinking problem, was clearly innocent. He was clearly an innocent victim of discrimination by the rotten town folks of Virginia City who frequently were rotten to outsiders, insiders, visitors and others. Just look how those town folks treated Thomas Bowers, a famous opera singer, accusing him of being an escaped slave! Look how they acted towards Tirza the gypsy who was briefly Joe’s chicken-choking fiancée! How many times had they almost lynched one of the Cartwrights or doubted their word? And when Hoss inherited the Swedish-Mexican volleyball team from his late Uncle Gunnar, the folks in town wouldn’t let the girls shop in the Virginia City mall until the Cartwrights threatened to buy up the place and make the Tar-jay store into a cow pasture. Just because Icky Izzy was an outsider, offensive, had bad temper, never attended church, synagogue, mosque, or even a meeting of The Friends of the Friendless, and ate bugs, and had no alibi didn’t mean he was a robber, Adam vehemently insisted. Nothing could dissuade him…even his Pa questioning his stance. Even when both of his brothers got in saloon brawls defending Adam’s granite-headed truth seeking. Joe’s shirt was even ripped right off him, forcing the boy to walk around shirtless for half the episode.
“Has the jury reached a verdict in this case?”
The weary jury nodded in unison like a dozen bobble heads.
“Would you please pass it to me,” said Judge Milburn Drysdale, played by Raymond Bailey, the same actor who played banker Milburn Drysdale in “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Hoss and Little Joe really adored that show and watched it every week on not-yet-invented television. Sometimes, when Ben was at a meeting of the cattlemen’s association or at his weekly palates class, the boys set up little TV tables and convinced Hop Sing to let them eat dinner in front of the not-yet-invented television. They both just swooned over Elly May. Hoss liked her because she was so pretty and good with animals and she was good to her family, Hoss dreamed of sharing a fine supper with her at the Clampett’s fancy eating table.
Little Joe really liked Elly May too because he loved to watch her swim in the See-Ment Pond. Joe even wrote her a warm and friendly fan letter, describing Lake Tahoe and inviting her to go skinny dipping with him but never got any answer. He figured it was because his handwriting wasn’t particularly legible, being left-handed, and assumed the Pony Express must have delivered it to the wrong address. He toyed with the idea of joining the Pony Express after Adam suspected her father, Jed Clampett, probably still held a grudge against the Cartwrights dating back to when he was the sheriff before Roy Coffee and there was a big brouhaha over Sue Ellen Terry’s death. But that was an entirely other story and Adam didn’t tell his baby brother, figuring it would be too painful for him to realize he was the possible victim of a family grudge.
Judge Drysdale motioned for the bailiff to retrieve the verdict slip from the foreman and deliver it to him. Adam had neatly written the verdict slip, being full of himself for standing up for his principles. He had very neat handwriting and had even origami-ed the slip of paper into a life-like paper dove. He had learned to make origami from Hop Sing’s number seventy-three cousin Jackie Chan. Adam taught him karate and the rest is history.
After the judge admired the neatly folded paper dove, he wiggled the wings a couple of times, unfolded it and read the verdict himself. Then, he refolded the realistic paper dove and flew the verdict slip back to his bailiff to be returned to the foreman and instructed the foreman, “Please read your verdict to the court, Mr. Cartwright.”
Adam dramatically cleared his throat, squared his shoulders and smiled smugly. “We find the defendant NOT GUILTY of all four counts of bank robbery,” stated Adam, the foreman. He hesitated for a minute, debating with himself if he should make a long dramatic speech about human rights and how bad discrimination was and justice being blind, but his stomach rumbled and he realized he was pretty hungry and decided against it. He refolded the paper into an origami dove, this time using only one hand for an added flourish. Adam then dramatically balanced the origami dove on the rail of the jury box. Then, to the amazement of almost everyone (Pa knew exactly what he was doing and raised one black eyebrow), the paper dove plopped an origami paper poop on the courtroom floor.
Sheriff Coffee sighed and elbowed Deputy Clem, who reluctantly got up, grabbed the broom and swept up the paper poop. Clem muttered something under his breath about the goldang Cartwrights being such big shots know-it-alls, show-offs, etc., etc. Clem had never been particularly fond of the Cartwrights since he played an ambitious army officer in the “Honor of Cochise” and got in trouble for assuming the episode was about Cochise, Joe’s horse, rather than the real Cochise, the Indian, who wondered out loud why Dr. Bones McCoy was being such a rat to the Indians.
The Cartwright family jumped for joy at the sound of the “not guilty” verdict and hugged each other and high-fived each other and pounded each other on their backs, and bumped butts as they shouted expressions of divine gratitude. Hoss pulled a big bottle of champagne out of his vest and popped it open, took a big slug and poured the rest over Adam’s head, just like all those winning pitchers in the not-yet-invented World Series on not-yet-invented cable ESPN TV. For a second, Ben was so very happy at the verdict and proud of Adam’s prowess as a granite-headed seeker of truth that gave his son a big wet kiss on the lips.
The suction sound of that kiss could be heard echoing off the High Sierras. No one loved their sons more than Ben Cartwright.
Not to be out done by his Pa, and feeling the need to prove the TRUE and extreme and indubitable manliness of the Cartwright family, Little Joe kissed all the female members of the jury and slipped each one of them his not-yet-invented cell phone number. “Call me or text me. I never loved anyone more than I love you, xxx Joe.”
”I’m just dying to go out with you, Joe!” exclaimed a pert brunette in a blue dress, Doomella Rigermortis. She was a woman of her word. Seconds later she gasped, keeled over and croaked.
Clem rushed out with the broom again, and muttering cusses again, swept Doomella into the corner.
Joe shrugged and said “Win some, lose some.” He momentarily took off his hat in respect for the deceased, revealing his flowing brown curls. He had spent the previous evening giving his hair a good deep conditioning with some of Hoss’ goose grease and bear fat concoction, and got up at dawn for a half hour of combing with Hop Sing’s chocolate mousse and grape jell.
Ben instantaneously called, “JOSEPH! Get a hair cut! You look like one of those sissy Partridge family kids and smell like a jelly donut!” and returned to celebrating Adam’s triumph for justice, thankful that his first two sons didn’t have hair issues to speak of.
“Jelly donut? Don’t you mean beignet? My mother was from New Orleans! And someday I am going to go there to visit for Mardi Gras!” Joe replaced his hat and he continued to kiss the remaining females in the courtroom with great ardor and energy, and invited a few of them to go with him to Mardi Gras and eat beignets together in the moonlight. The crowd went wild and cheered and applauded, except for Clem who was cleaning Adam’s origami dove’s paper poop from the various spots in the courtroom and had to go out to get a wheel barrow to haul off Doomella’s carcass from the courtroom, all the time cussing the Cartwrights.
Joe quickly grabbed the prettiest girl in the room, pert Pippa Pontillo, the daughter of a rich mine owner and beat it out the back door, heading for the pre-wedding honeymoon in the International Hotel. She loved cowboys with poofy hair who smelled like jelly donuts and wanted to go to New Orleans too.
Adam Cartwright turned to the now-free defendant, holding his nose against the hermit’s stench. Ever-resourceful, Hoss handed his brother a container of not-yet-invented Febreeze. Adam gave Icky Izzy a few spritzes and then he asked, “So, what do you think about that, Icky Izzy?”
The Icky Izzy looks around the courtroom slowly, with a bewildered look on his ugly pinched face, then turned to his defense attorney and said, “I’m real confused here, Adam. Does this mean that I have to give all the money back?”
Chapter 2 – Love is Blind?
A rich Virginia City silver mine owner, Percy Pontillo, was trying to find his beautiful, over-indulged daughter, Pippa Bluedress Pontillo, a birthday gift. He knew the Cartwrights had the finest live stock in the territory and rode out to the Ponderosa from Virginia City. He arrived just before sunset and he saw Hoss standing in the corral near the barn with a beautiful white horse. Pontillo told Hoss that he would give him $500 for the horse.
Hoss replied, “$500 for this horse? No sir, Mr. Pontillo. My Pa raised his sons to be honest. I don’t know, mister; it don’t look so good.” Hoss walked away, leaving Pontillo to ride back to Virginia City annoyed with the exchange.
The next day, after a sleepless night, the rich man came back to the Ponderosa at dawn and offered Hoss $1000 for the horse. “I want that horse for Pippa!” He wasn’t going to take a refusal. After all, he was rich.
Hoss, a man of few words, shook his head and said, “My Pa raised us to tell the truth and I am telling you the truth, mister. I don’t know, mister, it don’t look so good.”
On the third day, the rich man returned again offered Hoss $2000 for the horse, and said he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “If I don’t get that horse, I am going to destroy you, your family, your cattle, your horses and your little dog Toto. I want that horse!”
Hoss finally agreed, even though he didn’t have a little dog Toto, and the demanding rich man took the horse home.
The mine owner’s daughter, Pippa, loved her present. “Oh PaPA! (accent on the second syllable because she was ritzy, like the cracker). This is the swellest horse ever!” She climbed onto the horse, and then galloped right into a tree.
The rich man rushed back over to the Ponderosa, demanding an explanation for the horse’s blindness and the death of his daughter (who, coincidentally, Joe was in love with so no one was really much surprised as we all know what happens to the gals who get tied up in a romance with any Cartwright).
Hoss replied, “I told you it don’t look so good. That horse was BLIND!”
After Pippa’s sudden but not really unexpected demise, her father, decided to buy a ranch. He had always dreamed of owning his own horse ranch, and finally made enough money to buy himself the spread of his dreams out west. Now that he realized the Cartwrights were decent people, he came to Ben for help after a very difficult spring round up.
“So what did you name the ranch?” asked Ben when he and Hoss came to visit Percy Pontillo. Joe was still mourning the loss of Pippa by taking his new girl friend Morono Cretin, a pretty but not too bright blonde, to the not-yet-invented drive-in on a double date with Adam and his new girlfriend Helen Krump. They were showing Adam’s favorite, “Gone with the Wind”. Hoss was invited to join his brothers but he really didn’t want to see Adam make a fool of himself by sticking a caterpillar on his upper lip and saying “Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a dam!” until Helen slapped him silly. Besides, Hoss was looking forward to watching a Beverly Hillbillies marathon on not-yet-invented TV, and had convinced Pa to join him eating supper on the wobbly little TV tray tables. Hop Sing was making Hoss favorite — tuna noodle casserole with not-yet-invented Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and fireplace s’mores for dessert. Hoss was looking for a bit of alone time with Pa and not having to share him with his brothers. Maybe after the s’mores, Pa and he could play a few rounds of Candy Land. Hoss harbored a secret crush on Queen Frostine since he was a kid. He always had this deep down feeling that her real name was Marilyn Frosting but he had no idea why.
“Well, I had a heck of a time,” admitted the inexperience new rancher. “My wife and I couldn’t agree on anything. We finally settled on the Double R Lazy L Triple Horseshoe Bar-7 Lucky Diamond P North Home Sweet Home Horse Ranch and Bed and Breakfast.
“Wow!” Ben Cartwright was impressed. “Long name!” He couldn’t imagine writing that name out on a sign or on legal forms.
“Long name!” agreed Hoss agreeably.
“LONG name,” sighed Percy. “My lawyer said it was longest name for a ranch ever registered with the Cattleman’s Association. And you should have seen the brand!”
“So where are all the horses?” Ben asked, looking at the empty corrals and the empty pasture beyond.
Percy sighed and shook his head sadly. “None of ’em survived the branding. Want some barbeque? Tis a bit well done.”
Chapter 3 – Blind Curve in the Road?
A few weeks later, the Cartwright brothers were riding across the range on their way to visit their old friends the Milfords. Pa had heard they were having a rough time financially because Mr. Milford had started betting on horse races again and sent the boys to see if they could help out.
As they came down the road and went around a blind curve, the brothers come upon an old Indian lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground. They immediately stopped their horses and Little Joe said to his brothers, “You see that Indian?”
“The one lying in the road?” Hoss asked.
“Is there any other Indian around?” Little Joe demanded.
Hoss shook his head. “Nope. None that I can see… especially with this blind curve in the road.” Hoss scratched his neck. “Do you see that there Indian in the road, Adam?”
“Yeah, I see the Indian in the road,” said Adam. “It looks like Pa’s old pal, Chief Thunderthud. He is Chief Winnemucca’s uncle! He has mystical powers.
“He also has a hot daughter! Princess SummerFallWinterSpring!” Joe could never believe she had gone to a square dance with his old school pal Howdy Doody after turning him down for the date. Howdy looked like a handsome Jamie Hunter, but that’s totally another story best left for another episode.
“Look,” said Hoss, “he’s listening to the ground. Thunderthud can hear things for miles in any direction.”
They all dismounted and gathered around Thunderthud. Adam, as the eldest, spoke first. “Chief Thunderthud! It is us, Ben Cartwright’s sons!”
The Indian did not speak for at least five minutes. The three Cartwright brothers stood silently. They respectfully watched the elderly Indian do his mystical stuff. Their father had raised them to be respectful of all people, no matter if they were white, black, red, leprechauns or one of them little green varmints from Mars from over in Rosewell, New Mexico.
After fifteen more minutes, Adam started to become restless. The sun was hot and he was getting thirsty, having had a bagel and salty lox for breakfast when he stopped by to see Rebecca Kaufman.
After twenty more minutes, Hoss started to become restless. The sun was hot and he was getting tired, having been up late the night before playing in a marathon Candy Land game at the Silver Dollar Saloon. He had won over $500 but wasn’t going to tell his brothers as they might try to scam him out of his dough, as usual. He was going to use the money to take his pals the leprechauns to enter Keebler Elf look-a-like contest in
After thirty more minutes, Joe started to become restless. The sun was hot and he was too thinking of Princess SummerFallWinterSpring.
Just then the Indian looked up. “Gypsy wagon,” he said, “about two miles away. Have two horses, one brown, one white. Man, woman, child, household effects in wagon. Woman drive wagon. Man play fiddle. Wheels on wagon red with yellow spokes…”
“Incredible!” said the three brothers in unison.
“This Indian knows how far away they are, how many horses, what color they are, who is in the wagon, and what is in the wagon. Amazing!” said Adam.
The Indian looked up from the ground and said, “Ran over me about an hour ago.”
Meanwhile, back at the Milford Ranch…
Mrs. Milford sneaked off to visit a fortune teller Zaftig Bazooma (played by Eva Gabor….or was it Zsa Zsa) of some local repute.
“My husband Enos has been associating with gamblers. He has a race horse that he is taking around, and last month he considered buying an elephant from his look alike cousin, Angus Tweedy. What is going to happen?”
In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic Zaftig delivered grave news.
“There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare
yourself to be a widow. Your husband Enos will die a violent and horrible death this year.”
Visibly shaken, Mrs. Milford stared at the gypsy woman’s unlined face, her thick glue on false eyelashes much like those worn by “That Girl”, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep
breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune
teller’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question.
“Will I be acquitted?”
“Surely! Get a Cartwright on the jury to be sure!” smiled Zaftig.