by  EJ


Johnny paced the hallway, “What’s takin’ so long?”

“Relax son, Sam will tell us when he’s done with Scott.”  Murdoch tried to calm the fidgeting pacer.

Finally Sam came out of the room and was almost run over by a very agitated Johnny.  “Well?”

Sam tried to not to laugh at Johnny, “He will be fine, sore for a few days, but fine...”

Before Sam could stop him Johnny rushed into Scott’s room. He didn’t notice Sam grab Murdoch’s arm stop to stop him from following.

“Let’s get a drink and I’ll tell you about Scott’s injury.” Sam chuckled as he pulled the concerned Murdoch down the hallway.


Johnny stopped by the bed and looked down at Scott. “Hey brother, how ya feel?” He asked the guilt obvious in his voice and on his face.

Scott scowled at the ‘causer’ of his pain but didn’t answer.  He wanted to turn away from Johnny but was sure that would make the injury hurt worse.

“Come on Scott, I’m sorry.  What do you want from me?”

Scott glared at the offender, “I want you to go away and leave me alone.”  He closed his eyes and hoped Johnny would take the hint and leave.

When Scott heard Johnny sit in the chair by the bed he knew Johnny had ignored the hint.

“Please Scott tell me what I can do to make up for…”  Johnny had to control the smile that tried to form.  Now that he knew Scott was going to be okay his guilt was quickly slipping away.

Actually Scott thought Johnny’s last comment lacked any sincerity.  “You can leave me alone.”  Scott growled.

“Hey, you don’t think I did it on purpose do you?”  Johnny reacted to Scott’s anger.

“I know you didn’t do it on purpose but if you hadn’t been fooling around it would not have happened.”

Johnny hated it when Scott used his Murdoch voice.  “Come on Scott I didn’t mean for you to get hurt.”  Johnny felt put upon.

“Please just go away and let me sleep.  I really don’t want to talk about it right now.”  Scott used his Lt. Lancer voice.  Where the previous hint failed the army officer voice succeeded.

“Okay Scott.” Johnny raised his hands in surrender.  “I’ll check on you later.”  Johnny said as he got up from the chair and quietly left the room.


Johnny wasn’t up to facing Murdoch since he was sure Sam had filled him on Scott’s injury and Johnny’s part in the mishap.  Murdoch might even decide to add butt blistering to the ear blistering.  Instead Johnny went to his room kicked off his boots and stretched out on the bed.  ‘Scott is going to get even with me and it won’t be pretty.’  Johnny flipped onto his stomach and with this thought weighing him down fell into a restless sleep.


‘Alone at last.’ Scott sighed then tried to find a more comfortable position.  He was grateful that the laudanum was finally easing the pain so he could get some sleep.  ‘Well I won’t be riding Ulysses anytime soon and Murdoch will have me doing the books.’

Scott suddenly realized that staying in the house instead of chasing cows might not be so bad.  It would give him more time to heal and most importantly time to plot revenge on his little brother.  ‘It won’t be pretty.’ Scott smiled to himself.  With thoughts of revenge filling Scott’s mind he drifted into a drug-induced sleep.


Downstairs Murdoch had listened to Sam describe Scott’s injuries and tried not to laugh.  “I know I shouldn’t laugh but now that I know he will be alright…” Murdoch hesitated and coughed as he tried unsuccessfully to stop the laugh.

Then Sam told him about Johnny’s part in the fiasco.  Murdoch shook his head and rubbed his face, “What am I going to do with that boy?”  Murdoch smiled at Sam and asked, “Do you think he is too big to take over my knee and dust his britches?”

Both men chuckled at the thought of Murdoch spanking the infamous Johnny Madrid.

“I don’t know Murdoch but if you try it can I watch?” Sam started laughing.  “There have been many times I wanted to do just that when your younger son refuses to obey my orders.” Sam wiped his eyes and as he fought the laughter.

After several minutes the old friends finally gained control and sat back to reflect on the day and how their lives had changed with Scott and Johnny’s arrival at Lancer.

Sam got up and refilled their glasses then as he handed the glass to Murdoch, “We need to be discreet Scott would not appreciate the rest of the family knowing about this.”  Sam was serious.

Murdoch agreed.

For the rest of the evening two old friends sat in front of the fire and enjoyed their drinks, every once in a while there would be a chuckle then a laugh.

As much as Murdoch loved having Scott and Johnny home he also enjoyed the peace and quite that two sleeping sons brought to the hacienda.


The end






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