Sample Read

Felling of the Sons: A Bonanza Novel

 (My thanks to Adam Reinhard for creating the cover for this edition.)


CHAPTER 1

June, 1860

Bret Van Remus glanced at his father before staring back out the stagecoach window. "I can kill a Cartwright, Pa. Let me do it.” The rocky hills and valleys, green with summer in the Sierra Mountains, blurred through his mind. The Overland coach bound from Sacramento to Virginia City, Nevada hit ruts and lingering mud puddles as though included in the fare. Dust had settled on his lips but Bret only tasted the blood of revenge that marked their dusty trail. 

He and his pa had fought over their plans for vengeance on the Cartwrights for eighteen years, putting it off, finding flaws, making adjustments, and now at age 30 he felt still 12, with no future and no past, just anger. “We don’t need to involve any outsiders.”

Clete Van Remus brushed absently at the dirt on his chesterfield coat without looking up from his papers. "No. I’ve said this before. I want your hands clean in this." He'd seen to their privacy in the coach by paying the full fare for just the two of them. 

Pa thought himself wise using those eighteen years to invest, barter and even steal wherever possible. And now, by throwing money around in Virginia City, they would remain above suspicion when things started to go wrong for one particular family of so-called noble citizens. But Bret couldn’t get past his own need – no matter how remorseless a killer Clete eventually finds to do the proper harm to the right target.

"Nobody'd know it was me." Bret pulled his long blonde hair from his face, an unconscious game he played with the wind. He didn’t share with his pa, whose nearsightedness affected not only his physical ability to see the present but often the future, too, that he felt capable of exploding into a million bits of uncontrolled rage just seeing one of those murdering Cartwrights.

The bumpy ride didn’t keep Clete from studying the property claim papers he had legally drawn and notarized. For the 100th time, Bret thought, he checked them to make sure they'd fool any judge in the land. Clete put the papers down to study his son. "Bret, you sound just like you did when you were 12. Now quiet and let me think.”

"You find a problem?" 

"You talk like the adult you profess to be and we'll have a conversation." He hid behind the papers again to rub his eyes but Bret didn’t miss the gesture. Pa got those headaches often but refused to get treated for them, saying they came from the same hate Bret carried around. But Bret’s hate made him feel stimulated, not incapacitated.

"You had those papers verified by the best judge in the district." 

"I'm not worried about these papers. Just planning the best strategy for presenting them." He sneezed again and adjusted his Derby, a habit of marked resignation to his balding head.  

"But why’d it have to take so long?" Bret clenched his hands tight on his lap to control the rage. Ma would have been ready for revenge the day after the murder if she hadn't been the one murdered. Not Pa. Pat hated the idea of making a mistake, of being wrong or looking stupid. Bret once caught him trying on a pair of spectacles and thought his pa might buy them, until he caught sight of himself in a looking glass. 

"Ben Cartwright will never expect us, not in a thousand years" 

"Whatever you say." Bret peered ahead on the trail, wincing at the dust, and jerked back inside the coach. "Oh my God. Indians." 

"Really?" Clete didn't put his papers down. 

Bret pulled out his gun and tapped the barrel on his knee as he glanced nervously between the window and his father. "Thought I saw one. Don’t take much to get Indians to attack." Clete kept reading. "Well, get yours out, too. One gun ain't much good against a whole tribe." 

"Indians belong here, same as you and me." A few years back Clete rode the stage with one jumpy Swede who thought he heard someone yell "Indians." He had screamed, "Oh mine Gott, vere, vere?!" and started shooting out the window like crazy. Wouldn't have hit one even if they'd been surrounded. Damn foreigners. "Besides, that little Paiute war helped us get that mine real cheap. Sent miners running for the hills!" Clete chuckled as he carefully folded the papers back up and shut them up in his satchel. "Like I said, timing." 

"I don't know why we gotta live here, Pa. We could just do the killing and move off again." 

"I told you, if I’m going to get the Ponderosa, we need to settle. When Ben realizes who I am, he'll get suspicious, unless I have legitimate purpose." Clete sighed. The stage climbed hills slow, with their final destination, Virginia City, nearly at the peak. "We have to gain his confidence, get established, make friends. And when his sons . . ." Clete grabbed Bret's arm and lowered his voice as though the driver sitting up top might hear. "I want you to stop calling me Pa. Swear to me! If Ben Cartwright learns my son is still alive, you won't be safe. Not once his sons start dying. Swear you'll call me sir or Mr. van Remus from here on!" 

Bret grinned. That part of the plan seemed easy enough to him. “I swear. I won't call you Pa." 

***

September, 1860

Adam Cartwright tucked two letters in his pocket and stepped outside the stage express office in Virginia City, lips pressed with worry. He pulled his dusty black hat over deep brooding eyes—his form, as lean and dark as a panther, recognizable in his red shirt and black vest. Adam tended to worry more than his pa, certainly more serious about life than his younger brothers, but he found his worry nearly always had cause. He trusted his instincts and ability to act when needed. Letters tended to mean business, good or bad, and without opening them, just by noting the correspondent, this time he guessed bad.

By the posted marks Sutter’s letter had been waiting a pickup for a week now, and this other letter appeared hand delivered. They didn’t get to town enough lately to check their post. Adam always tensed when he saw any mail from Sutter. Not that he disliked Sutter, or that Sutter meant trouble. These days Sutter had enough trouble of his own just trying to hang on to a piece of land. This other letter had the name Van Remus on the outside. Adam heard the name earlier that summer but they’d had a tough year so he didn’t think to mention his uneasiness over the name to Pa.  

As Ben Cartwright's eldest son, natural heir to the richest logging and cattle baron west of the Mississippi, Adam opened all letters given him that were addressed to Ben Cartwright, a responsibility that today, for no reason he could yet name, felt like a burden. Adam jumped back up into the buckboard, ignoring women’s glances his way. Normally he'd nod back, share some frivolities. He debated taking the letters home instead of going on with his errands. But Pa and his brothers were out readying the herd on the mesa for the fall beef drive up to Salem, the capital of the new state of Oregon, so one would be back at the ranch until after dark. 

He'd likely not get another chance to visit the Paiutes until mid-November, and by then they’d be gone from the Truckee River back up to Lake Pyramid and snows would shut off his route until the February thaw. So Adam stopped at several grocers and mercantile stores to turn in the list of the supplies for the drive, determined to stick with his plans for the day. When he came back through, everything would be ready to load in back of the wagon. Normally he would have gone to Carson City for supplies but this route got him to the Truckee and back just as quickly. Still, it would be late before he returned to the ranch, so he could only hope these letters weren’t as serious as his gut feeling indicated.

Adam had thought it a risky proposition, driving cattle up a new trail through northern California and into Oregon, until they found Val Blessing, who had trail-blazed the area back in '56. Adam guessed his Pa had another reason for going into Oregon, and that reason was John Augustus Sutter, the California rancher they had stayed with back in Sacramento for a year, until he was 12. Could this letter be about cattle and nothing more? Adam wouldn’t know until he read it. At the livery where he put in his request for the iron supplies Jake noted Adam’s distraction, but Adam only shrugged Jake’s questioning concern aside.

Once his errands were finished, supplies ordered, Adam headed the team pulling the buckboard, newly laden with supplies for the Paiute tribe, down the hills of Virginia City and northwest to their camp on the Truckee River. A war broke out only a few months back because of the Indians' explosive rage over the mistreatment of their women by drunken white men. They avoided all contact with whites now on the advice of their agent, but did have permission to settle for a couple months around this section of the river. Adam had maintained a friendship with them after the war, especially with Kudwa, who had to give up his shaman training to his sister to be a warrior and struggled with identity problems since the war. Adam understood him and so their friendship bonded. Kudwa wanted his role of shaman back but the Paiutes still feared for their future. As Adam had watched and listened, and gave him information about the whites around them, Kudwa slowly came to terms with the awkward role of having visions both of peace and of war. 

The treacherous hills going down Sun Mountain into the valley were hard even on his big draw horse, and the distance into the barren foothills where the Indians lived in the desert between Truckee Meadow and Pyramid Lake would have taken him two days to travel. The Paiutes were left with land not good for much; sparse sage and the scarce wild game fled through in a desperate search for food and water. So the time they spent at the river was like a holiday to them. There they would strengthen and gather what resources could help them get through the long winter ahead, along with the few supplies they would accept from him. 

Once the horse reached a smoother part of the trail, curiosity won out and Adam pulled out the letters. He opened first the one from Sutter, and then, more quickly, with one eye on the horse’s progress, the other from Van Remus. He felt the slim worry swell into extreme concern, the day suddenly short that a moment ago had been long and the sudden need to get too many things done with too little time.

After reading both letters, he didn’t know what had him so worried. And that made both letters even more troublesome. He couldn’t remember anything about that year living with Sutter in Sacramento.

***

Clete stepped out of Virginia City's limited excuse for a bank on that late September morning with a grin wider than the Sierra Nevada sky. The news he had waited for arrived, the assay of his latest rock that showed the makings of a rich vein opening up in the Golden Cross. 

As he waited on the step for his son's return, the assay report flapped noisily in Virginia City's notable wind. Bret hated this high altitude living but Clete felt healthier than ever. Now, after only three months his mine was second in size only to the Yellow Jacket and he hasn't had a headache in weeks. Clete had earned the respect of the locals over the summer by giving out as many jobs as the Yellow Jacket, at a fairer wage. A good reputation was gold to a man's standing in town. Even his nearsightedness seemed improved — the world around him looked crystal clear.

Bret steered the buggy alongside him, getting him off the wooden walkway being constructed even as people walked on the sloping streets. Virginia City, growing at a rate to match the silver being dug, was yet a child, little more than a year old since the discovery of the silver lode and continually under construction. All the sawdust in the air added to the breathless anticipation in the eyes of miners. 

Clete climbed in the buggy and waved Bret on. He leaned back to catch his breath, coughing up some granite dust that had settled in his throat. "We’re closing in on it, Bret!" He waved the paper in Bret's face. "Didn't I tell you the Golden Cross would pay for us?" 

"Yes, Mr. Van Remus, sir, but what about the rest of the plan?" 

Clete sat back with a contented smirk. "I think we're ready." 

"You found a gunman?" Bret veered the buggy off to the side as the Overland Stage ripped into town. 

"It's interesting, looking for a gunman," Clete said. "You have to ask without asking." 

"I could do it. I told you that. Sir." 

"Not necessary. He followed a trail of bills leading him to Hawkin's boarding house, where he found an envelope of money and instructions." 

"I can’t believe their luck to go all summer without me seeing ‘em.” 

“It’s possible we didn’t recognize them. And that Ben,” Clete fairly spat his name whenever it came out of his mouth, “was tied up in some kind of legal hearing all summer over in Carson City. But we got the time we needed, Bret. Don’t forget that.”

“Time. Always more time.” Bret pulled the buggy in front of the International House but neither felt inclined to move. Bret looked at his Pa, grinning like a choked canary, purely busting with news.

"A Cartwright went through this morning. I heard this over at Will's shop — he's preparing an order that needs to be picked up tonight." 

"About time! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Which one, Pa?" 

“Simmer down. If I had mentioned it earlier, he’d be dead in the street and you’d be in jail for murder."

“But which one?”

“Doesn’t matter.” Clete’s lips were set firm in a cheerless grin. 

"Think he got the letter you sent?" 

"Oh, he got it. Now he'll not have a reason to suspect us at all." 

"I'm not sure I'd care if they did."

Clete knew well the sound of pure hate in Bret’s voice and could picture his son’s face without looking — an 18-year mask of hate rooted in a 12-year-old heart. He looked back down at his assay report, one that encouraged him to believe they neared the main vein of silver. He felt just a trace of regret. Once they started the killing, he’d have to leave all this behind — the men, the excitement. Even though he planned it so that they could take over the Ponderosa, killing Ben’s three sons had that element of risk. But Bret would rather kill his own father than give up on the revenge that ached inside him for so long.

***

Adam reached the Paiute camp just after the midday sun crossed high sky. He gave a hawk call before riding in, knowing their fears remained since the War of the Summer Months when 160 of their tribe died and the rest left to disband and starve. Here on the Truckee they built only temporary shelters because they would move back to the desert before the end of the month. Adam visited them in the desert a few times but had always left there in an upset and angry mood. Only a few lodges had been rebuilt and most still slept on the cold hard desert ground at night. Every visit he made sure to bring them more clean blankets. 

They tried hard to be self-sufficient but the desert gave them so little on which to live. Mr. Wasson, their agent, was doing all he could but help came slowly. In the desert they dug ditches for irrigation and learned to plant. On Adam’s last visit there Kudwa had showed Adam their progress, but his fear for his people was clear visible on his face. Once they had been happy, thriving on their own terms in Truckee Meadow. Now they were forced against their own nature to live where nature discouraged life, to dig into the skin of Earth Mother and make grow what the Earth didn't already provide, while being assured that it would make them better people, better than living off gophers, mice and grasshoppers, things nature offered in plenty.

Kudwa, a slightly built, wide-faced Paiute with an in-your-face persona that Adam enjoyed, greeted Adam with an embrace and waved him in front of the fire. Kudwa was small for a Paiute but few could match his fierceness in battle. He also had a more somber outlook to life; Adam at times thought they mirrored each other. 

They made their usual trades, Adam getting in return nice Indian handmade goods that he would give to the schoolteacher in Virginia City to distribute. The people gathered in a semi-circle around the fire, all except for Winnemucca and his daughter. Winnemucca had taken ill shortly after Sara had left to visit another tribe. Adam sat with deliberate solemnity across the fire from Numaga, a man he respected greatly for his efforts to keep the people peaceful – at least until the attack on Wilson Station.[1]

"What is it, Adam Cartwright, that you can share with us today?" 

Using whatever native words he could muster, Adam told the Paiutes about the railroads that would come into Nevada from the direction of the rising sun. He explained how many more whites would come this way on this iron horse, more than 100 times the number now. He drew a demonstration of 100 times in the dirt, and explained how they would all have to adjust to many more people. Numaga asked how these railroads came, like horse or like wagon. Adam described the engine, but added that some things were better seen than explained, to which he saw nods of agreement. 

"Standing beneath the engine all the way across the land will be rails," he drew in the dirt, "and these rails will be set on wooden ties to hold them in place." He drew ties to connect the rails. "From our land, the Ponderosa, men will want trees for…" After a pause, Adam jumped to his feet. Trees. That second letter, what Van Remus wanted?

Kudwa stood with him. "Dechende[2] if they want your trees." Kudwa’s English wasn’t as good as Numaga’s, who acted as interpreter. Kudwa refused Numaga’s help in talking with Adam, because they instead wanted to learn each other’s language together.

“Say no?” Adam smiled sourly and shook his head. “We sell — nadewagahwa — some, but sometimes they want more.” 

Kudwa nodded. "We have met these men who always want more,” he responded in Shoshone. Adam knew what he said more by the way he said it.

Adam looked around at those seated at the fire. The children with their open, eager eyes, and older children, a little less trustful. The women, not one without something working in her hands, painstakingly weaving the tiny strips of mice furs into a blanket. The men, a few who survived the war as warriors. Because he couldn't finish what he wanted to share with them, they were alerted to a danger that didn't even involve them, stilling all industrious hands and their eyes taking root on his face, many of them as skittish as a calf at branding season. 

Adam put a hand on Kudwa's shoulder. "I have many thoughts.” He struggled to find the right word. There were a number of English words that couldn’t translate, like thought and problem and worry. “Neetsiigwa — in my head today. I am sorry but I must go." He turned to the buckboard. 

Kudwa stopped him, the pain in his eyes clear even when his words were not. "My people can help save your trees."

"You just take care of your people." Adam tossed a wave to those watching, climbed up and whipped the reins. 

Kudwa watched Adam’s back until he saw only dust. “Adam Cartwright is wrong." He turned to face the others. "Adam Cartwright worries about trees. I will make him understand that we can help him, as he has helped us." 

When he received assent, he added a breastplate to his chest extending down to his breechcloth and took a bow with two arrows. He mounted the small mare the Cartwrights gave them and rode off on Adam's trail. 

***

    

[1] Dan De Quille, The Big Bonanza, 1947, 131. The De Quille book appears to be a source of material used on the series. The episode “The Paiute War,” that aired October 3, 1959, called it Wilson’s Station but the attack was at William’s Station.


[2] Shoshone language words used are from the official website at http://www.shoshonidictionary.com/shoshonidictionary.asp, but I apologize to the people if they are not used very accurately.

Cartwright Saga FREE

This Bonanza novel is linked at the home page, where you can download the whole novel free. It's 8 short stories, starting when Adam returns home from college and follows a timeline of adventures on the Ponderosa until finally he leaves home for good.


Here's the first few pages:

  

Part One:

THE LONG ROAD TO TOMORROW

Adam, gone so long, was daily in Ben Cartwright’s thoughts and prayers. Joe and Hoss, ages 9 and 15, were a handful without his eldest son’s ability to keep them occupied and in line.

Hoss and Adam had become natural buddies as Hoss grew and then when Joe came along, his playfulness won his brothers over easily—that and the fact that they all shared a common sorrow; each of them lost their mother at a very early age.

As Ben readied the boys for their weekly journey to Mormon Station, he continued his prayer that today he’d get a letter. Letters arrived so sporadically from back east. He knew only what Adam said months ago—that he needed to decide whether to stay in Boston or come back home. Not coming home, Ben knew, would be an agonizing choice for his son who loved these mountains every bit as much as the rest of them—and who missed his family every bit as much as they missed him.

Hoss didn’t need to be readied for the journey by his pa, except that he had to get enough food in him so he wouldn’t complain on the long journey to the southern edge of Lake Tahoe. Joe was another matter. Ben challenged himself to come up with ways to amuse the boy so that he’d keep his horse at the slow pace behind the wagon and not run off on any of the varied Indian trails they saw along the way. They planned to spend the night at Brimsoe’s lodge—for a fee, of course. The Mormons were good people who knew the worth of their small trading establishment.

Ben agonized over the time it took to get the lumber loaded for the trail, as usual impatient to get on with things, but they needed enough to make the trip worthwhile. Lumber was their equivalent of gold pieces, all he had to offer in exchange for goods. Ben longed for the day he’d get an extra hand to help in the house with the boys. Ever since Adam left, there was never enough time in the day to get everything done, and often the food they ate seemed less than adequate. They should all be used to his cooking by now, and true, they were growing fine, but it seemed every day he got more impatient.

As his own personal ambitions grew, his land acquisitions became nearly more than he could manage. He needed Adam home again. "Please, God, don't let him decide to stay in

Boston. Don’t let him want to become an Easterner."

***

Adam ran trembling fingers through his already mussed hair. He’d lost weight, he felt, since the last time he saw his family. Gained education, but lost even more. Would they take him back, or think him a stranger now?

Maybe not a stranger, but he’d changed, that much he knew. For better, for worse. Family meant a lot to him, more now than ever. He leaned back against a bale of hay that cushioned the wagon ride he'd found after the boat docked. How much longer? He couldn’t stand the wait.

***

Mormon Station, Nevada2 (PDF has photo)

Ben Cartwright stepped out of the Mormon Station supply post after placing his order. His lumber brought less than he’d hoped—few new arrivals to pay his prices but more would come, they reassured him. He felt grateful to have this second trading post, since Eagle Station trading sometimes failed to meet their needs. A stout man in his 40s, hair partially gray, Ben cut a respectable figure even to those just passing through the area, but that didn’t mean these Mormon traders gave him any more than they felt his goods were worth.

In late summer of 1851, most everyone with a dollar in his jeans and a dream in his heart passed through Utah Territory to the booming new state of California. Ben’s roots had grown solid and deep in the nearly ten years since moving to Nevada, and soon his family would be complete again, as soon as Adam came home. At least, as complete as any four-man family could be.

But Ben was well aware of how quickly the seasons passed and soon the snows would close all the passes. If Adam didn’t make it home soon, he’d have to wait for another season. 

Eight years earlier his third wife Marie died. Missing her had only begun to fade when Adam suddenly agreed to go to school back east. Ben had to force himself to get through each day missing his eldest son along with three wives. Each woman had given him not only a son, but unique charm and beauty to his life. He doubted he’d ever marry again—this life he’d chosen was too hard on a woman.

He refused to further consider the idea that Adam might not come home. It plagued his nightmares, true, but when he thought about his son’s love of the land, the nightmare disintegrated in the bright mountain sun. 

Ben checked off the two bags of flour, three dozen eggs, a gallon of goat’s milk (only one, some of the lumber had too many knots) and the sugar (no coffee this time) and sent the boys to packing the wagon, using the ice and sawdust as they were instructed. He stood, as he always did, outside the post studying the trails that spread out in three directions, the fourth direction a wall of mountain going straight up to heaven.

Ben thought the sight of those unmoving heights should make him feel content. But instead he felt a restless sort of ‘now what,’ like life lingered in the wings, waiting to happen. He knew life was what he made it, but an itching said something bounded behind him to catch him off guard, something he couldn’t control.

Like the day Marie came riding up to the house in breathless excitement and in the next instant was dead. To this day he wondered what she had been so excited about. He refused to believe what remained an empty hole in his gut—that she hurried to tell him she was pregnant. Instead he kept pouring sand into that hole because the loss felt so much greater with those thoughts. If that was even possible.

He hadn’t had a letter from Adam in so long. He didn’t know when to expect him, or even if he was coming at all. Or which direction—from the east by stage and then wagon, or west following a long clipper ship voyage? In the last letter Ben received Adam said he would finish up in early fall and then make his decision to come home or not. That letter was six months back and early fall moving toward winter. Since sending his boy off to college, Ben had so little contact he worried at times that Adam no longer existed, that he only imagined the life he and Elizabeth had begun together. But education for Adam was the right thing, as he had a fierce appetite for learning.

The restlessness he showed when he turned 18 dissipated when Ben first mentioned sending him east to study, even though his natural stubbornness wouldn’t let him agree to go at first.

“No, Pa, you’d never manage trying to tame this land and those two big-mouth brothers of mine without me.”

While Ben agreed Adam was indispensable help, he managed even with half a heart to convince him of how much more they could accomplish on the ranch with his architecture degree—if he managed to get schooling and experience along those lines. They’d build a new house, maybe even a sawmill. And Ben had promised to get some help with the cooking—a promise he hadn’t been able to keep yet.

Ben wondered with a rush in his veins he recognized as passionate fear if he would 

recognize Adam straight off. Surely his dark hair and eyes and his steady, sobering countenance would not have changed much in only three years. But what if his son seemed a stranger to him?

Experience, education, the trauma of life alone, all can change a man, or so he’d heard. 

Hoss and little Joe ran out of the post again, this time each with a small bag of candy. Neither bore resemblance to their older brother or to each other, though they were half-brothers. Hoss, a very large 16, took after his Swedish mother Inger, and at ten Joseph looked like his delicate Southern mother almost exactly. 

"Will we know him, Pa?" Little Joe’s question added some drool to his chin as he sucked on homespun taffy, but he wiped it away with the back of his hand while producing another infectious grin.

"Of course we will, ya little muffin," Hoss gave Joe a shove. "He ain't been gone that long."

"It's been a long time, ain't it, Pa?" Little Joe shoved Hoss right back. "A long long time. I don’t remember what he looks like, Pa!”

“I know, Joe. But I think you’ll know him right off.”

A lone rider stopped in front of them, his horse biting its bit between its teeth as its nostrils flared, anxious to continue on the trail it had a hard start on already. "Well, Ben, as I live and breathe. What brings you to this sorry excuse for a settlement?"

"Roy! Roy Coffee! Good to see you!" Ben strode to the rider and shook his hand vigorously.

“But I think it’s you who’s the stranger here, not me.”

"Well, it’s true I do hang out in Eagle Station a mite more. You taking your time getting supplies today? Didn’t think you liked staying off that Ponderosa of yours for long.” Roy, a stout, sturdy looking man a little older than Ben, had a gregarious smile under a graying mustache. Nothing much passed his shrewd eyes, but then Ben made himself a bit of a spectacle, staring off down the road as though he had no future, nor past.

"I guess I have been a bit of a fixture around here lately. But tell me, is it true you put in a bid for constable, now that there's a sign of life springing up in this godforsaken territory?"

"That's right, Ben. You know the Mormons here are real sticklers for law and order. Don't know if they'll accept me, being gentile, but I've been on posses, and covering for that no-good Tanner who rides around thinking he's the territory's God given gift to law and order and helping out every which a way and running my own homestead at the same time. And Mary says it’s fine with her, too."

"Well, I'll tell you, they couldn't do better, having you help out," Ben slapped Roy's saddle and leaned amiably." And I'll rest easier with you in the title, Roy. But do you think this is a growing part of the country? I mean, with everyone headed out to San Francisco like they are? They could use you out there."

"You know, Ben, that's the last thing I want. A big city like that. I almost hope Utah Territory stays this way, doesn't grow any bigger a’tall. And you know as well as me that trouble can travel anywhere, even here." 

"Roy, you'll make a great lawman. Adam used to say that---."

"Say, that's it, innit? You're expecting your boy to be coming home any time. Been three years already, has it?"

"A very long three years. I can't tell you how hard it is wondering every day if he’s even...." Ben let the thought that shook his sleepless nights trail off, unsaid.

Passion of the Sons

This is my 4th Bonanza novel, and is available FREE by request, IF you liked the two authorized novels, Felling of the Sons & Mystic Fire. To claim your free copy, simply email me at bebowreinhard@gmail.com and let me know what you liked about those two novels. 


This novel takes place immediately after the end of Cartwright Saga, so do be sure to read that first. It follows the adventures of all four Cartwrights after Adam leaves home for good. I used a few Season 7 episodes here.

Get a hard copy here

Get an autographed copy of this 3rd edition in larger print for only $10 plus shipping.

Display their FAQs

Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.