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Character gudie to the tv series Dallas

Digger Barnes  in Dallas

After several months of work and sobriety in California, ("When I work, I don't drink") Digger returned to Dallas at the request of his son. Cliff, now the Head of the Office of Land Management, had a surprise for his father that he wished to present to him in person: Ewing Oil royalty checks made out to Digger, and signed by JR Ewing.

Cliff: Every couple of months, Ewing Oil is paying money to Digger Barnes ... The O.L.M., which I control without interference from anyone, says who can and who cannot drill for oil in the whole state of Texas ... I've got Ewing Oil in a box, and I'm squeezing hard. The only new field they drilled was Palo Seco, where I just happened for you to own a little piece of it.
Not a big piece, but it's a start.

Digger: Now that's really worth coming home for!

Cliff: It's just a beginning. When I'm through with Ewing Oil, they're gonna
be wiped out, flat broke.

Digger: I never wanted that ... I only want what's coming to me. I don't
wanna see Jock Ewing flat broke.

With Maggie busy in Kansas, Cliff took Digger to stay his place. Noting the new apartment, as well as the fancy car, Digger wondered aloud if Cliff was on the take. He then complained of fatigue, before suddenly collapsing.
Cliff called Pam, and they persuaded him to see Cliff's physician, Dr Holliston.

After running a series of tests, the doctor explained to the family that Digger's collapse was caused by "a virus, an over abused liver - one more drinking bout, Mr Barnes, may be your last - and overwork. Whatever he was doing in those oil fields in California, it was too much."

More significantly, the tests revealed Digger to have a genetic disorder named neurofibromatosis. The disorder was not what was making him sick, but it was very serious. Dr Holliston asked if Digger had fathered any other children.

Cliff: I had an older brother, Tyler. He died when he was six months old. And there was a girl between Pam and myself, she died before she was a year old. We never found out why.

Dr Holliston: I was afraid of that. Cliff, Mrs Ewing, you were lucky; you survived. Your father survived. The three of you were spared ... This disease is passed on from parent to child, on down through the genes.

The doctor explained that any grandchild Digger might have would most likely die within a year of its birth. The implications for Pam and Cliff came as a huge shock, and Digger could not help but blame himself.

Cliff: Don't be silly. How could you know ... ? And what's the alternative - you wish that I hadn't been born?

There was nothing to be done and Digger tried to put the whole thing to the back of his mind. He remained sober, if somewhat restless, recuperating in Cliff's apartment. Then Pam discovered she was pregnant. She told Digger she was thinking of having an abortion and he tried to dissuade her, encouraging her to remain positive.

When she suffered a miscarriage, Digger was deeply saddened, believing that he had lost his final chance of becoming a grandfather.

"You don't know what it's like to grow old," he told Cliff. "A man's got nothing to look forward to except his children, his children's children ... My whole life I never got one thing I wanted, except you."

Cliff could keep quiet no longer. He told Digger that he already had a grandson; that John Ross Ewing III, the recently born heir to the Ewing fortune, was in fact the result of an affair between Cliff and JR's wife Sue Ellen the previous year.

Digger: And you let Jock Ewing have him, huh? Well he ain' t gonna keep him.
He'll keep him over my dead body ... That's my grandson, and he's not gonna
steal him like he stole everything else from me.

Cliff: I'll get him back, I promise. If he lives.

Pam was far from happy that Cliff had told Digger about Baby John. Neither Jock nor Miss Ellie had any idea that Cliff could be the real father of their beloved new grandson, and Pam was afraid of the damage Digger might cause with the information. When she discovered he was thinking of attending the annual Ewing Rodeo at Southfork, she made him promise not to come. He showed up anyway.

Miss Ellie told Digger he was welcome at the ranch, as long as he stayed sober and out of trouble. Digger assured her he had been sober since his return from California.

Ellie: And have you stopped blaming Jock for every evil that's ever befallen you? Is that why you're here? ... It worries me, all this bad feeling dragging on. What happened between you and Jock was bad enough, but now it's your boy and mine. They're out for blood, both of them. I don't know where it's going to end. It frightens me. Digger, why are you here?

Digger: To see that beautiful new grandson of yours!

Ellie was surprised, and pleased. She went to fetch Jock, leaving Digger with Pam and Bobby. They alternately threatened and pleaded with him to make his excuses and leave, but he was determined to see his grandchild. Ellie and Jock proudly showed Digger into the nursery where he asked to hold the baby.
Pam and Bobby looked on nervously as Digger listened to Jock boasting about his grandson, "a true Ewing". Digger could see how much the child meant to Miss Ellie and could not bring himself to hurt her. He simply congratulated Jock through gritted teeth, before handing the baby back and making a beeline for the exit, pausing briefly at the bar to knock back a single shot of whisky.

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