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Jock Ewing in Dallas

When Ewing #6 came in—the biggest strike yet—Jock returned from town to the site to find two drunk, violent men with a menacing look in their eyes. Digger screamed at him, railed, shrieking that he had found out what a crook jock was—that he had put his own name on the lease as sole owner.

Jock tried to explain his reasons for doing so, about a separate agreement, but Digger was out of his head and tried to kill him. Jock finally had had it with both of them. If Digger and Jason wanted to drink themselves into oblivion, then fine, but not as his partners. Digger stayed on a murderous bender for a number of days, during which he firmly planted in his head and his heart that Jock Ewing had cheated him and that one day he would settle the score. Jason left for parts unknown.


Without Digger, the strikes in new fields were less precise, but Jock worked even harder and rapidly parlayed money from the working wells into the purchase of whatever raw acreage he could get, hoping to find more oil one day. The Ewing name was rising to prominence. His land was in thousand-acre parcels all over the state, and years later his investments paid off handsomely. For a few dollars an acre back then, Jock came to own not only new oil fields, but also natural gas fields, rich mineral deposits, and acreage to lease for cotton.
When the Colorado doctors told Jock that Amanda's condition was permanent, with no hope of any mental recovery, Jock sadly got a divorce in Dallas in 1930. Shortly thereafter, he happened to see a young woman named Eleanor Southworth. The second that Jock saw her—those dazzling blue eyes, that flashing smile, the laughter of her hair as she galloped on her horse (in the most unladylike fashion)—Jock felt his heart give way. She was wildly beautiful and Jock eagerly asked around about her. The news was not good. She was the daughter of the most distinguished rancher in the territory, Aaron Southworth, who made no secret whatsoever of his opinion of oilmen: He hated them.

The second piece of news, which made Jock grimace, was that Digger Barnes claimed "Miss Ellie," as everyone called her, was his girl.

Ellie and Jock Ewing in later years
Jock wrestled with his conscience—and also his good sense, which told him not to tangle with Barnes one more time—but when he saw Ellie again, he was filled with an elation and passion that he could not contain. Not even when Ewing #1 came in had he felt this way. So, after one long deep breath, Jock went after her, hell-bent on marriage. Incredulously, Miss Ellie was just as overwhelmed by him, and she agreed to marry Jock. It was the happiest moment of his life.
The consequences of Jock and Ellie's love in those early years was decidedly mixed. Yes, the Southfork Ranch was saved by Jock's money, set Jock secretly was forced to find a way to make up the enormous financial drain fast, before he lost hold of his assets.
When he had agreed to get Southfork out of debt, he had no idea bow much money it would take, and then, on top of that, how many thousands nod thousands that Aaron needed to get it back to a proper working condition. Jock knew that Southfork was Ellie's lifeblood and so, for her sake, he continued to pour money into it. It was worth it to see her so happy. It was even worth it to take old man Southworth's constant haranguing about the ruination of Texas by oilmen.
But where was Jock to find the cash he desperately needed? Be- the ranch, his payments due on equipment and mortgages, and the huge s for Amanda's care, he was strapped, Then a good buddy from way back, a lawyer whom Jock trusted, Sam Culver, offered him a partnership on the fields that Sam's elderly uncle, Jonas Culver, owned- The only problem was that Jonas refused to sell. He was like Southworth, bitterly opposed to the oil industry. But Sam had an idea . . .

When Jock first heard it. he refused to go in on the deal. He told Sam he couldn't do it, couldn't put Jonas in a sanatorium, what with his former wife's condition . . . Sam said for him to think about it—it wouldn't be but for a month or so—and afterward they'd set Jonas up to live like a king for the rest of his life. When Jock got back to Southfork that night, Aaron handed him the estimates of how much it was going to cost to replenish the cattle. Looking at the man's lowered head, seeing Ellie's pained expression at her father's pride lying so vulnerably on the table, Jock just smiled and slapped Aaron on the back, assuring him that it was no problem. The next day, against his better judgment, Jock went to Sam and agreed to the partnership. Years later, in 1982, Sam's second wife, Donna Culver, discovered Sam's journals that told what happened:


"March 1st—Today I got a court order to have Jonas committed to Signal Mountain Sanatorium and had myself appointed custodian of his estate."


"March 27th—Today, as custodian of Jonas's estate, I sold to Ewing/Culver all but 40 acres of Jonas's land. The money is in an account in his name and he'll get a 25% royalty from all producing wells. Next week I'll re­lease him from the sanatorium. Neither Jock nor I wanted to do things this way, but the old codger left us no option. Anyway, now he'll be a rich man despite himself."


"April 12th—Lord, oh, Lord, what have we done? Jonas killed himself today."


Jock was to carry this secret heavy on his heart for the rest of his life.

On the domestic front, things were progressing nicely until Jock started drilling on Section 40 and hit oil. Aaron was unspeakably angry and, for a moment, Jock saw that same mad gleam in his eyes that Digger Barnes had had so many years before. Jock explained that the land was obviously barren, useless, worthless, hell, they were building practically a highway along it from Braddock, and after all the money he had spent . . . Southworth raged, reducing Miss Ellie to tears and then to anger, directed at Jock. Unable to stand Ellie's distress for long, Jock reluctantly gave in and ordered the wells capped.

As if rewarding Jock, Miss Ellie gave him the most precious gift imaginable: a healthy, robust son named John Ross Ewing, Jr. Jock was on cloud nine over this child, as was Aaron. The two of them, walking together around the ranch one evening, discussed whether this boy, nicknamed J.R., would be an oilman or a rancher. Jock was certain the kid was oil but good natured went along with Aaron's fantasy that he was going to be a rancher. Something then bonded the two men; it was more than respect, more than friendship. It was more a silent pact of trust of one generation with the next. Jock was to preserve both options for his son; he understood that. That evening Aaron gave Jock one of his most prized possessions, an 1892 six-shot Colt, double-action service revolver. It was his way of welcoming Jock to the South-worth family,

Two years later Miss Ellie presented Jock with a second son, Garrison, and Jock smiled even more broadly, envisioning the expanding executive offices of Ewing Oil.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Jock enlisted in the Army Air Corps and, as a colonel, was stationed overseas. After two agonizingly long years in London, Jock had an affair with a young nurse from Texas, Margaret Hunter, that was abruptly ended when Jock was shipped off to France.

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