Roy Coffee opened the door and threw his prisoner a glance that spoke volumes. Adam wondered whether he should keep quiet, then decided against it.


“Why don´t you let me out?” he asked calmly.


Roy sighed. They had talked about that already yesterday, and the day before that, going from discussing to arguing to full-grown temper tantrums. Now it seemed that Adam Cartwright for once chose to show the good manners he was famous for. He even looked at Roy with a slight smile on his lips, expectation in his eyes. His whole posure was one of relaxing:


Leant back to the wall he had pulled up one knee onto the small cot, looking for all the world like he had no worry at all.


But Roy knew better than to approach him. He knew his friend´s reflexes, and he saw cool calculation simmering in the deep whiskey-coloured eyes. If it hadn´t been for his deputy sheriff coming in at the right moment, Adam Cartwright would have been out of the cell already yesterday morning.


He warily took one step into the room. Adam didn´t move.


“Adam, you know quite well I can´t let you out. Your Pa brought up charges against you.


Mentally he braced himself for the cot flying against the bars again, but nothing happened. Adam still leant back, resting against the wall. He looked almost as if he seemed to enjoy himself, the sheriff thought.


“Roy, you know as well as I do that the charges are ridiculous.”


Roy just shrugged his shoulders in a gesture of sympathy. He knew that the charges were indeed unusual – Ben had called it a precedent, and the fear and anger in his voice had overruled Roy – but they were charges nevertheless. He had no choice.

Adam seemed to sense his distress.


“And how am I going to do what my father wants if I´m in here?” He leant forward and put his arms on his knees. “Tell me that!”


When Adam had sat up, Roy had taken a step back. Now he lifted his hands in frustration.


“I KNOW, Adam, but your Pa´s words were clear: You´re NOT gonna leave the Ponderosa until he has at least ONE grandchild! And until then, you stay in here, in case you want to disappear without an heir like last time.”


With that, Roy Coffee turned on his heel, and slammed the door shut, but not before he´d heard the telltale sound of wood breaking. He smiled to himself. Well, he´d never be alone anymore, he thought. And Adam Cartwright would stay on the Ponderosa forever.