Dangerous Liaison: The Countess (by BluewindFarm)

Summary: The Cartwrights had pulled it off; successfully defended the Ponderosa without firing a single gunshot. Yet, the triumph was overshadowed by a persistent question; was anyone truly a winner or a loser when it came to a bittersweet memory from the past?

Category:  Bonanza
Genre:  Western, What Happened Next
Rating: G
Words:  595 words

Dangerous Liaison: The Countess

Without any grace or decorum, Adam collapsed into the chair set to the right of the massive fireplace. Pushing his legs forward, heels sliding across the floor, he inhaled deeply, “Thank goodness she’s gone.”

Having stabbed the blackened and glowing logs in the fireplace, Hoss slipped the poker into its resting place, “And we can totally forget about all of it.”

“Not quite, Pa still has to payback our friends.”

Shaking his head while raising a booted foot onto the stones and placing his hand on his knee, “Just think, she coulda been Little Joe’s momma.”

Canting his head to look up to his larger brother, “But then Little Joe wouldn’t be the Little Joe we know.”

Eye’s glinting, “That coulda beena good thing, right?”

“It also coulda beena bad thing.”

“You shore you want to say that? Shortshanks might be eavesdroppin’ at the top athe stairs like he does.”

“No, if he was, he’d already be spewing fighting words and blustering down the steps.”

With the corners of their mouths turning up, brotherly eyes caught each other, and both huffed a laugh at the imagined scene.

Not questioning, but wanting confirmation, “Adam, there weren’t no title when she knew Pa.”

Interlacing his fingers, resting his hands and tucking his thumbs over his belt buckle, “No, no title.”

“And the Ponderosa was just beginning.”

“Pa had plans for the ranch, involving a lot of hard work.”

“Back then, Pa done a lot of tradin’ and barterin’, and what money there was was tight.”

“You’re right, there wasn’t a whole lot of money, at least not for anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.”

“That why she chose Lord Chadwick, ‘cause he had money?”

“And a title.”

“Do you think she loved him?”

Eyebrows arching, “Pa?”

“No, her late husband.”

“Who knows.”

“Guess you could say this were a dangerous… ummmm.”

“Liaison, a dangerous liaison. You’re right, Hoss; in more ways than one.”

Turning his backside to the fire, Hoss slipped his hands into his pockets until his thumbs caught. “If she loved Pa as she said she once did, how come she tried to ruin him? I mean, she rejected Pa, and to come here and do what she done, that don’t sound like love to me.”

Sitting forward, elbows on knees, fingers still interlocked, “Somewhere along the line, she changed. People change, and not always for the best.”

Sitting onto the hearthstones, Hoss heaved a heavy sigh, “Still, she came here… did she have it all planned?”

“Probably. I’d say even before Lord Chadwick’s death she was probably a lonely woman. Now with a title and money, she wanted to rekindle the past, only a past as she chose to remember.” Resting into the back of his chair, “To her, love equated power and vice versa. She used her relationship with Pa and set the stage to destroy the Ponderosa, thus allowing her to ‘save the day’ – voila! Power.”

“But Pa said he’d never put the Ponderosa above the love of a woman.”

“True, now as well as twenty years ago.” Standing and stretching his full height, “I think, deep down, Pa knew that she wasn’t what you or I needed in a mother. And he tested her love.”

Hoss gulped, “Ya mean when he proposed all those years ago?”

Adam nodded.

“Adam? Ya think Pa’ll get over it?”

“Lady Chadwick? Yes. Will Pa get over almost losing the Ponderosa? In time.” Slowly walking to the staircase, “Speaking of time, it’s time for me to head upstairs, my bed is calling my name.”

Hands to knees, Hoss pushed himself to stand and follow, “Yeah, mornin’s gonna come early.”


~The End

Bonanza, The Countess (Season 3, Episode 9)
Director: Robert Sparr
Writers: William R. Cox, William Powell

3 thoughts on “Dangerous Liaison: The Countess (by BluewindFarm)

  1. I liked this WHN story. The Lady Chadwick episode was a fascinating one, I liked your descriptions of where the 2 “boys” were when speaking – you “set the scene” very well and captured all 3’s attitudes/opinions well. Good job!


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