"Oh, I liked Digger well enough but I wouldn't say I was his girl. And then when I met Jock, well, everything changed. Jock swept me off my feet. Digger never forgave him for it. And that, mixed with the oil, made for one long, awful feud" - Ellie Ewing, 1983
It was two days after she and Bobby had eloped to New Orleans, and Pam could
put off breaking the news to her father no longer. She and Cliff found him
drinking the afternoon away at a downtown Dallas bar. There he was, Digger
Barnes, holding forth at the counter, retelling the same tale they had heard
all their lives:
"Now, nineteen and thirty was my year. My partner and I walked out, right
here in Texas, and I just followed my nose, and I said, 'Here!' And he went
back to register the claim, and I stayed there and I drilled and when I
thought we had enough - ten times more than we could ever spend - I said,
'That's a-plenty!' Well, he looked at me and laughed in my face and said
that I owned nothing, nothing at all; I even owed him some money! Well, I
tried to kill Jock Ewing once or twice, but I bungled it. See, I can drill,
but I can't kill!"
Pam sat him down at a table and broke the news: the man she had married was
Jock Ewing's son, Bobby. Digger said nothing, but the look on his face as he
stared at Pam was enough to drive her out of the bar in tears.
Despite the bad blood that had existed between the Barneses and the Ewings
for over forty years, Pam and Bobby still had hopes of effecting a
reconciliation between the two families. After much persuasion from Pam,
Digger finally agreed to attend the annual barbecue at the Ewing family home
of Southfork Ranch - and to remain sober throughout it. If Digger was
anxious about setting eyes on Jock for the first time in years, he was even
more nervous about a reunion with Miss Ellie, his childhood sweetheart now
married to Jock.
"He not only stole my girl, he stole my sweetheart. My daddy used to work
for her daddy, old man Southworth. That's how we got to know each other. She
was a sweet little thing, Ellie was, with a great big laugh. She had a way
about her. She could be sweet as sugar in one minute, and come at you with a
shotgun the next. And oh, what a temper she had! Go off like a firecracker -
bang - and just as quick was all over. She sure had a way about her ... My
little girl, married to Ellie's son. I ain' t sure what, but it must mean
Digger arrived at the barbecue with his nephew Jimmy for moral support. He
received a warm welcome from Ellie who took him on a tour of the ranch he
had not seen in years. Southfork was the
reason Ellie had married Jock all those years ago. It had been her family
home, but had fallen prey to the drought and depression of the thirties.
Jock had had the money to save the ranch and so she had chosen him over
Digger. Gradually over the years, she now explained, she had grown to love
Jock and they had built a good life together. She told Digger that he, too,
still meant a great deal to her.
The tour concluded, Ellie brought Digger face to face with Jock. Pam and
Bobby had been waiting for their arrival in order to make an announcement:
Pam was pregnant. No sooner had the congratulations subsided than Pam asked
the two grandfathers-to-be to put aside their differences, for the sake of
the baby. Digger tentatively put out a hand to Jock and he begrudgingly
accepted it. As they toasted the impending arrival - Digger with soda pop -
Jock began talking of all the gifts he would shower on the child, and Digger
felt old resentments stirring:
"Not again, Jock. You're gonna take everything like always - you've got my daughter living in your house, now you're gonna take my grandson ... You took everything, everything including my girl ... you took the claims for your own."
Pam attempted to intervene.
Jock: Young lady, you've heard his side all your life. It's about time you
heard the truth. I put that claim in my name to keep him from gambling his half away ... I came back with the claim. He's drunk. He looks at the paper, sees my name, jumps me, tries to tear my eyes out. I was gonna give him half the money ... He's been a loser every day of his life, couldn't even kill me the time he tried.
Pam: You have to take everything away from him, even now?
Jock: No, he asks for the same thing every time. He's stripped down raw. I generally try to accommodate my guests.
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