What an ending - totatlly unexpected. I love your summation of it, too - in the last paragraph. A lesson in truth.
The roughness of Adam in this is jolting but I like the edge. I like him raw and gritty sometimes - even if it's not the way I always picture or write him - it makes him interesting and subsequesntly, your stories are interesting, as well. I like the suspense in this. I like Adam's power and fearlessness amidst his guilt.
The saloon scene was great - or actually, I loved all of his interactions with Billy. The kid was afraid, rightly so and you write it well enough so I could feel it too. I would not want to be on the bad side of Adam Cartwright. I also enjoyed Hoss in this - being there for his brother while subtly trying to keep him in check.
I have to admit the episode isn't exactly a favorite of mine but I do like this story . It's a nicely-written, gritty, real-western read!
I've found viewers have varying opinions of the episode and of Adam becoming so involved with Ed Payson and all that entailed. Readers, as well, have varying opinions about how I write Adam (you're not alone!) I see him as intelligent and having the strength and determination to survive in the rough landscape of the west. That does make "Adam raw and gritty" but it's the various ways that FF writers portray Adam and the other C's that makes stories interesting. I know you're not the only reader who finds my version of Adam anti-thetical to the way they see him and I'm glad you pointed it out. lso, many readers don't care for the raw language but that's how men talked.
Yes, Hoss is Hoss, always trying to make peace and also attempting to urge Adam to ease up on many things. Hoss is invaluable and I enjoy writing the two brothers together.
Billy was, of course, the antagonist in the story but found himself up against an enemy of his own making--he couldn't have it both ways and set himself up for what happens.
Thank you for your review and taking the time to read. And thank you for being honest. : )