The NEXT Big Bonanza (by Robin)

Summary:  A REALLY Lost Episode

Word Count:  2000



                                          The NEXT Big Bonanza


“What do you think Pa? They are all the rage back east!” Adam said, unfurling the plans on Ben’s desk. “Virginia City is growing by leaps and bounds!”

Ben scratched his head and shrugged. “I don’t quite know, son. First it was
that windmill thing, then the grist mill for Edwards. This sounds sort of high-falooting to me. Sometimes your education gets in the way of your thinking.”

“Come on, Pa! Adam is right. I am sick and tired of tan and green…even though the gals love my tight tan pants showing off my manly ASSets and the green does reflect the color of my Heineken bottle green eyes…” Joe supported Adam’s plan. Women loved to shop in malls and Joe loved women.

“I don’t know. Seems like I been wearing the same suit of clothes for lots of years and I ain’t got no complaints,” Hoss said perching his ten gallon hat on his tufty hair.

“And you smell like it too! Don’t you think a nice herbal soak in a day spa and decent hair cut at Jean Paul salons would enhance your social life, Hoss?” Adam suggested. “Clothes do make the man.”

“And a pedicure?” Ben loved shiny toe nails and having his calluses trimmed and his boot-sore tootsies massaged.

“And the man does make the clothes,” Joe squared his shoulders and wiggled his adorable tush.

“Of course!” said the rest of the family in unison. They were a fine looking group and they knew it.

Adam continued, trying not to swat Joe, “And despite my morose cynical personality, even I get tired of only black.  And it sure is hot on hot days,” Adam said. “And this yellow jacket is kind of shumtzy and has stains on the elbows.”

“And I sure would love to get some comfy boots.” Hoss had high arches and difficult-to-feet size 19 feet. “It would be wonderful to be able to select new clothes more easily. Think of all the folks in town shopping there too. A mall might be just what we need to do with all them folks goin’ vegetarian and the mines petering out and formica being trendy.”

“You do have a point there, son,” Ben said. “Even though the ladies love my silver brocade vest, it would be nice to have another for the Cattleman’s Ball and be able to shop conveniently. Ralph Lauren? Armani? Perhaps a nice burgundy tone on tone satin with a matching tie?”

“Hope you ain’t taking that widder, Eden’s mama. Sure don’t want that pathetic sociopath misery as no step-brother of mine…Clay Stafford was bad enough,” Hoss muttered. He pulled off his boots and put on his soft pink bunny slippers.

Joe shot him an angry look. “Hey, let’s not talk about MY other brother. Don’t forget I have three brothers and you guys only have two! Heh heh heh!” He stuck out his tongue and waggled it at Hoss. Joe was always competitive with his big brothers and he won this round.

Ignoring the petty bickering between Hoss and Joe, Adam asked “So Pa, what do you think of the plans?”

“But this space here…” Ben pointed to a store labeled on Adam’s diagram for the Cartwright Virginia City Mall. “Shouldn’t there be a store in this space?”

“There is,” Adam said. It wasn’t easy being a wild west architect/engineer/rancher/website designer/fashionista. And it wasn’t easy selling his father on a new method of merchandizing and investing. Pa still was pretty set in his ways, but really needed to diversify his holdings beyond timber, cattle, horses and mining. That one foray into the paddle wheel boat on Lake Tahoe and the Vino De Ponderosa winery with the Rossi’s was the most adventurous Ben was willing to go.

“The space is labeled PAG,” Hoss read over his father’s shoulder.

“GAP!” Little Joe corrected. “You are reading upside down. It says GAP.”

“That’s the name of the store!” Adam explained. He loved the girls who worked in the GAP. They greeted you so perkily when you walked in the store and folded the sweaters and shirts so neatly and precisely. He loved perky neatness, organization and precision in his women. That is why loved the Rockettes and his relationship with Laura Dayton had been doomed. She was so disorganized and whiney.

If things didn’t work out for Cousin Will/Zorro, Adam decided to introduce Laura to Jamie. They could whimper and whine together and Pa could give them advice and get off of Adam’s back for a while with his lectures and sermons.  After all, Will did trade his black Zorro suit to Adam for Laura. The boy deserved better but even though Will was family, Adam said “Touch black, no backs! A deal is a deal!” and they shook hands on the trade. Will had recently written once about having a crush on June Lockhart, Lassie’s mother, but that was his problem now.

“And there ain’t no ocean here, older brother. Can’t have no sailing ships.”
Hoss put his finger on another labeled space. Adam stopped mulling over Laura Dayton and Lassie’s mother and Zorro and paid attention to the architectural plans and convincing his father on the remarkable investment potential.

“That’s the name of another store…Old Navy,” Adam explained. The perky, polite female clerks there also folded things so neatly as well. This was going to be so neat and wonderful to own a mall.

“As owners of the mall we can even get discounts in every place, Pa.” Adam explained.

“Discounts?” Ben nodded thoughtfully. His boys were pretty hard on clothes with all their bullet wounds, arrow injuries, and women ripping their shirts. A discount sounded very good. “At Sears too? Hop Sing needs a new washer.”

“Even at Sears,” Adam nodded. He looked around the room as Ben continued to examine the proposal. “Discounts are part of the benefits of being the owners.” Perhaps Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn would lease space in the new Cartwright Virginia City Mall Then Adam could convince Pa to ditch that sissy brocade settee that made the living room look like the waiting room in a bordello. Only Joe was short enough to really stretch out on it and that was only when he was shot or beat up and he had no other options. Hoss and Adam had finally refused to haul the kid up to his room each time he got hurt and just dumped him on that awful settee. If Little Joe insisted on hurling his body in the way of danger, that was what he was going to get. Hoss and Adam sure didn’t need hernias. Family love and loyalty just went so far.

Folks always assumed Little Joe was wincing in pain from the bullet in his shoulder or the bruises from the fight while he lay groaning bravely on the settee and Pa looked worried and wrung his hands waiting for Doc Martin to check what their medical insurance co-pay was. In truth, Joe was really moaning and suffering because of the discomfort of that sissy love seat and the springs poking into his kidneys or right butt cheek. Adam sure hoped Pa would spring for some more comfortable leather couches or an overstuffed sectional couch upholstered in soft yet sturdy and studly chenille.

Hoss would probably want some shabby chic faded chintz. Hoss was a paradoxical study in contrasts and a genius when it came to home décor and raising rabbits and guessing how many pickled eggs were in the jar. Adam could hear his husky brother now. “Blue floral to match Lake Tahoe and my blue eyes, Pa. And there are 27 eggs in that there jar.”

Hoss really did love florals and had a great sense of color and style. When the brothers were decorating that cabin for Little Joe and doomed Laura White, Hoss selected lovely floral drapes and matching linens as well as a wonderful duvet for the bedroom.

“400 thread sheets! Only the best for my little brother and his doomed bride! Once you sleep on 400 thread Egyptian cotton, ain’t nothing like it ever agin!” Hoss had declared at the bachelor party shower. Hoss, as usual, was absolutely right.

“Whose gonna be SLEEPING!?!?” Joe countered loudly, hoisting his margarita (the drink, not the bar maid who had the same name).  “If the cabin is rockin’, boys, don’t come knockin’!”

Adam whacked Joe on the side of his head with the cradle/magazine rack wedding gift and told him that he was interrupting his older brother‘s toast. Hoss explained to the cowhands present that he had learned about luxurious premium bedding from the gambling widow and as a jury member at the  Martha Stewart trial.

If the Cartwrights could get the mall owner’s discount for that squishy black leather sectional, then Adam could compromise with Hoss and cut down those floral drapes from the former honeymoon cabin. He’d go for some throw cushions and a runner for the dining room table. Leather and flowers in muted tones and lots of candles and a new sound system from Radio Shack would really enhance the room.

“And Pa, this store is just my most favorite! Julia Bulette and Lotta Crabtree told me they shop there when they are in St. Louis or Vegas or New Jersey. Victoria’s Secret,” Joe said. He pointed to a spot on Adam’s carefully drawn plans. “Victoria’s SECRET!”

“Secret what?” Hoss asked. “Can’t do much business if’n it is a secret.” Hoss was looking at the space labeled “Food Court”. Was that where Judge Roy Bean would put various edibles on trial. Hoss would love to be on THAT jury.

“THAT’s the NAME! Victoria’s Secret! She ain’t got no secrets and if you go inside you can see… memeppehhppp,” Joe started but Adam put his hand over his younger brother’s mouth to muffle the description of the sexy lingerie in Victoria’s Secret.

There was no need to give Pa any reason to refuse to invest in his mall plan. Pa was not really comfortable with public exposure of underwear and nighties.

“Fine ladies garments,” Adam said quickly. “Victoria’s Secret sells fine ladies garments.”

“Very fine, very fine…” Joe pulled Adam’s hand off his mouth and winked at

“Sounds good to me, Adam! Let’s go with the plan. It can be the next Big BONANZA!!” Ben declared.


The End

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