Author Page – MissJudy

I’m from Southeastern Wisconsin, and have been writing Bonanza fanfic for several years. Adam’s my favorite character, but I always to write in a way that will honor the men behind the roles.

NEWEST:  In Defense of Innocence — see summary below.

To reach this author’s page with stories listed in date order
(most recent first), click here –>  MissJudy

To read, click the story title.

A Circle of Family #1:  The Book of Joseph (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Days before Adam is scheduled to leave for college, Little Joe “borrows” his older brother’s Bible and leaves it outside in the rain when his attention is drawn elsewhere. The Bible had belonged to Elizabeth and was one of the few tokens Adam had of his mother.   We watch as he discovers the seemingly ruined text, and comes to grip with his loss and tries to find forgiveness. This is the first of a four part story of family love, sweet memories and the Cartwright’s way of living life to its fullest.
Rating:  K    WC   1800

A Circle of Family #2 :  The Book of Benjamin (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This is the second story in the A Circle of Family saga. Adam’s Bible, nearly destroyed in The Book of Joseph, has been returned in better shape than thought possible. After a thoughtful conversation with Hoss, Ben opens the Bible to the story of David and Goliath and relives a memory from a Sunday in the past when a reenactment of that story went awry. We see a young David (Hoss) smite the powerful Goliath (Adam) with a heavy wooden sword, leading to an interesting exchange between Marie and Ben as they decide how to patch the mighty Philistene’s gaping lip. This story is stand alone. It doesn’t require reading the Book of Joseph to pick up on what’s going on.
Rating:  K    WC   8300

A Circle of Family #3 :  The Book of Hoss (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  In this third story of the A Circle of Family, Hoss faces several challenges. Adam is away at school and while life has been going pretty normally back on the Ponderosa, Hoss wakes up one Sunday morning to find that nothing is normal. Pa and Joe are both sick and Hoss has to dig deep inside to find the courage to take control of things. In the midst of it all, he must deal with self-pity, anger and the feeling that he will never be able to fill his oldest brother’s shoes. In the end, the day turns out far better than he could have expected as he finds his strength and ability is equal to the task. This story can be read without reading the first two of the series – and is a sweet look at Hoss as he comes to know himself better and finds his connection to Adam and his family.
Rating:  K    WC   6700

A Circle of Family #4 :  The Book of Adam (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This is the last story in the Circle of Family saga, but enjoying this one is not dependent on having read the others. Adam has been in Boston for a year and all his careful planning has done him well…until an accident while staying with Abel puts him flat on his back for a few days. It is during this time of infirmity that Marie’s Bible arrives along with letters from home. After reading them, Adam makes a heart-rending decision that leaves his grandfather reeling. This story has its comedic moments along with some sweet takes on Adam’s relationship with Abel and the family he left behind.
Rating:  K+       WC 11,400

A Debt Repaid (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This WHN for the Honor of Cochise actually begins when Marie tells a very young Joe that he owes his oldest brother a debt of gratitude for looking after him so well. Joe’s early attempt to repay Adam go comically awry, but finally has the chance as he sees his brother wounded in the battle with Cochise. Adam recovers from the gunshot, but struggles deeply with choices he made that put his family in jeopardy that day.
Rating:  K+   WC 7200

A Little Home Schooling (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This story takes place the evening after Adam’s first day filling in for Miss Scott in the episode Right is the Fourth R. While that story took a very serious turn, I thought it might be fun to examine how Adam would deal with the antics of youngsters after living in a household of adults for so many years. After facing a day of student illness, crazy questions, a black eye and a crush by a young student, Adam has to confess some shortcomings and learn a few lessons from his family.
Rating:  K   WC 3900

A Moment Before Leaving (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This WHN for A Journey Remembered looks at a “missing page” from the journal chronicling the journey West with Inger. After reading the story to Hoss while they waited for a horse to foal, Ben finds evidence of a page that was removed and remembers that it’s kept with personal papers. When he finally has a chance to do so, he rereads the missing page and recalls what he witnessed the night after Inger died.
Rating:  K+   WC   2600

A Prayer in the Night (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Ben stands vigil as thirteen-year-old Adam lies near death with a raging fever. The father blames himself and questions his ability as a parent while offering a prayer to give his own life to spare his son’s. A stranger helps Ben face his fears and understand that parenthood takes courage and help from unexpected places.
Rating:  K+ WC   4600

A Rainy Day Tale (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Marie and Ben’s attendance at a funeral in town leaves Adam at the Ponderosa to watch six-year-old Hoss, and seven-month-old Little Joe. The day of babysitting gets started with only minor difficulties, but takes a frightening turn as a late-season thunder storm hits the area, trapping the parents in town overnight, and making the boys rely on all that they’ve learned to get by alone.
Rating:  K   Word Count :   12,862

A Still Small Voice (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam has been away at school for two years when he starts having vivid dreams about his youngest brother. He wonders why his memories center around Little Joe even while he misses his entire family. What he is about to find out will shake his certainty about many things and make him look for a clue hidden in his dreams.
Rating:  K (Word Count 22490)

A Tale of Four Brothers (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam and Hoss seem to have vanished while on their way to Placerville for ranch business, leaving Ben and Joe to search for what might have happened. What they can’t imagine is that the lost Cartwrights were left for dead by two brothers who had once worked on the Ponderosa. Hoss and Adam’s lives depend on being rescued quickly, but their situation stacks the odd against that happening, forcing Adam to make a decision that may leave the family short one son. Word Count :   23,425  
Rating:  K+

Half-Brothers, Half-Truths, and Whole Hearts (by Miss Judy)

Summary: Adam has been home from school for a short time when he witnesses 11 year-old Joe “stealing” from a store in town.  After finding out that his brother had been pressured into doing this by two brothers who are new to the area, he tries to help.  His assistance is met by Joe’s anger, resentment, and profession that Adam means nothing to him anymore.  Adam still promises that he will protect Joe from these boys…or die trying. His words prove prophetic.
Rated: K+   Word Count: 21,463

He’s My Father Too (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Farmer Perkins and Sam Bryant are dead and Ben is safe, yet his sons are at odds. Little Joe and Adam’s argument tears them apart, and Hoss realizes that while his father survived, the bond between his other brothers died at dawn. Ben wants to solve things but must step back to let his sons find their way back to each other.
Rating  K  (20,920 words)

Hunting for Memories (by Miss Judy)

Summary: Ben is enjoying a hunting trip with Adam when it takes an unexpected turn and forces a detour to the cabin in the woods where the Cartwrights first lived and trapped on the Ponderosa. Adam has not been there since he was a child, and Ben is filled with trepidation over how his son might remember those days. All seems well, even though a few of Ben’s memories leave him wondering what his son is thinking. Then a vivid dream about a incident from Adam’s childhood leaves him thoroughly shaken, and he finally finds out just what Adam thought of his early years on the Ponderosa. This story occurs a year after Adam got back from school in Boston.
Rating: K  Word Count: 20,876

In Defense of Innocence (By MissJudy)

Summary:  Adam’s life begins to fall apart after a lie told by another student at Harvard results in him being expelled. He struggles to understand how he could have done everything right and still lose everything he worked so hard to accomplish. He must listen to the wisdom of those who love him, look deep into his own heart and find the truths and lessons that forged his character into the man he became.
Rating: T Word Count: 30021

In the Child’s Best Interest (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  In this early prequel, Ben Cartwright and 4-year-old Adam stop in Cleveland where pay was good at the docks. Ben hopes to earn enough to start the final leg of their journey to Missouri, and a wagon train west. But a couple at their boarding house have plans for Adam that don’t include Ben. The story ends 26 years later as Ben helps Adam recall the ordeal and the outcome.
Rating:  K (27,135 words)

It’s Only a Year #1 – He Said What? – Lessons in Understanding (by Miss Judy)

Summary: This first story of a series called It’s Just a Year didn’t come through from the old library. This episode tells of how Adam received and education that allowed him to enter a prestigious Eastern university while living in the wilds of the west where there wasn’t a school or people with a formal college education. Adam has studied hard with a Harvard professor he found on the Ponderosa and is ready to leave for Boston when Ben asks him to remain home another year. Marie’s death has left him reeling and in need of his son’s help while he finds men to work the growing ranch.
Rating: K  Word Count: 10,321

It’s Only a Year #2 – The Castor Oil Caper – Lessons in Humility (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  17-year-old Adam is learning some hard life lessons. He returns home from a cattle drive where he’s been forced to subsist on beans and endure hazing by the hired hands intent on making him prove his worth, to find his father away, Hoss ill and Little Joe in a state of panic. The results involves some very bad decisions, a dose of castor oil given in an all-out battle of wills, and hurt feelings. This story takes a serious turn when Hoss’ attempt to give his brother a “taste of his own medicine” goes horribly wrong.
Rated: K+   WC 11,300

It’s Only a Year #3 – The Worst of Consequences – A Lesson in Choice (by Miss Judy)

Summary:   17 year old Adam has proven himself to the Ponderosa ranch hands after a summer of hazing, and is finally enjoying his last year home before leaving for school. But his life takes a dramatic turn when he is menaced by a new addition to the crew, and must decide whether the man is serious in his sinister intent, or it’s just another attempt to test his mettle.  Once Adam decides which it is, he makes choices that bring him into conflict with his father and lead to the worst of consequences.
Rated: K+  WC 16,000

It’s Only a Year #4 – The Quiet of Uncertainty – A Lesson in Hope (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  17 year-old Adam has been in his first gunfight and although his wound seemed minor, it worsened as he continued to work, until he lost so much blood that he was near death. We now find out what happened that night and who helps to heal a family wrought with sadness, guilt and decisions. There is no need to read the previous stories to enjoy this one. A young Abigail Jones makes her first appearance and Hop Sing makes a friend.
Rated: K+  15,000

It’s Only a Year #5 – The Final Trial – A Lesson in Mettle (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  The final episode of the prequel series, It’s Just a Year. Adam has remained home for a year longer than he’d planned before heading for college. In that time, he’s been hazed, poisoned, almost killed and now we find him healthy and camping with Hoss for a final brother’s weekend before leaving for Boston. The idyllic time takes an ominous turn when Adam realizes that someone’s been watching their camp and must soon face his worst fears again and save his brother from the same fate. As with all these stories, this can be read without reading the others first. This concluding episode brings the two oldest Cartwright boys together for some defining moments.
Rated: K+  WC  17,000

One of a Kind (by Miss Judy)

Summary: This “what happens later” story for Thanks for Everything, Friend, picks up after Tom Wilson has been dead for several months and a woman comes to Virginia City with one goal in mind: to kill Adam Cartwright for his role in Tom’s death. She holds Adam at gunpoint as she presses her case against him, and he tries to help her see the truth before she pulls the trigger.
Rating: K  Word Count: 9492

One Step Closer #1 – For Loves Sake Only (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam promised Laura that he’d be back for their engagement party. But he’s delayed and during that time, he unexpectedly meets his first love – a young woman he knew in Boston. After an evening spent talking, they realize that they still love each other, yet they know that it can’t make a difference. Life and time have sent them in opposite directions and they part again, while wondering what might have happened if they had taken one step closer.  This is a what happens during, and after the episode, Triangle.
Rated: K+ WC 10,000

One Step Closer #2 – ‘Til Death Do We Part (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam’s getting married! He’s moved to Boston to help his grandfather, and has begun to build a good life there, including an engagement to the girl he fell in love with during college.  Their wedding is set to coincide with an unexpected visit from Ben Cartwright.
All is well until Adam’s fiancee disappears and Ben and his son set out to find her. Adam battles a worsening illness along with the lies of those involved. He must rely on help from those more familiar with the city and at one point despairs as he asks his father why the women who love him…die. Will there be a wedding or will Adam sink further into loneliness and pain as another opportunity for love is torn away.
Rated: T  WC  82,700

One Step Closer #3 – Two Broken Hearts (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam is back in Boston after a 12 year absence. His career has taken off in a prestigious engineering firm; he’s happily married to his college sweetheart, and he’ll be a featured performer at an upcoming choral production. But the life he’s made is destroyed in three weeks after a beautiful stranger hires him to build a wine cellar. He loses his job; his wife thinks he’s having an affair with the stranger, and he’s forced to participate in a federal crime, knowing that he won’t live through it, but hopes to stay alive long enough to protect the people he loves.
Rated: T   WC  28,000

One Step Closer #4 – In Search of Safety (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Following a harrowing experience in Boston, Adam and his new wife head west to the Ponderosa for a visit, hoping to relax where they feel safe. Unfortunately Little Joe is not happy with their presence. Hoss helps sort things out between his brothers, but when one problem is solved, the Cartwrights “welcome” two more unexpected visitors. A misguided act by one of these guests brings near tragedy. This is a story of new lessons learned while old feelings are dealt with. It ends with Melinda and Adam in London, still wondering whether they can ever escape the trouble that seems to shadow them.
Rated: T  WC 36,000

One Step Closer #5 – From Two to Three (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam and his wife, Melinda, are living in England, and getting ready to welcome their first child. After a fall on the stairs, Adam must face the fear of losing his wife and child, and he comes to terms with his own lingering grief over his mother’s death.  We also see the family back on the Ponderosa waiting impatiently for the arrival of a new Cartwright. The story returns the young parents to the states where a number of surprises await – including a visit from some Nevadans, and one old foe who leaves them reeling.
Rated: T  WC 45,000

One Step Closer #6 – Changes in Fate (by MissJudy)

Summary: Ben, Hoss and Little Joe head to Boston to be with Adam after receiving the devastating news that the entire Wadsworth family had perished at sea.  The Wadsworths had adopted Adam into their family when he’d been a student, and they’d renewed their support and friendship when he’d returned to marry Melinda and start a family twelve years later. Ben and the two brother find Adam coping, but staggering under the weight of his pain. Adding to his loss, Adam may lose his command over Wadsworth Engineering–the firm he’d helped make into a thriving business–when Frank Wadsworth’s will names an heir. Will this accumulation of loss be the final straw for Adam? Can the love and support of his family: his father and brothers from the West, and his grandfather, wife and children in the East, sustain him as he faces the absence of even more people he’d loved?
Rating: PG  (52,135 words)

Quarantine (by Miss Judy)

Summary: Adam is running the ranch alone while his family takes a spring trip to San Francisco. All has gone well, but a change in the weather heralds an unexpected chain of events that Adam must deal with. When Ben, Hoss, and Joe return, they find an empty ranch…and a mystery.
Rating: K  WC:  30,700

Reunions (by Miss Judy)

Summary: A story of Cartwright family love:   When Adam refuses to fight for his life…or his limb…after his Mountain of the Dead experience, (The Savage) Hoss and Joe return to the camp where they found him and figure out what really happened there. Hoss confirms that Ruth was real, but in following Adam’s journey, he also finds truths his older brother couldn’t see.
Twelve years later, Adam is a happy husband and father living in Boston at the time he travels to San Francisco where he meets his father and brothers there for a reunion. Another “unexpected” reunion sheds more light on the past.
Rating: T  Word Count: 22,384

Sacred Promises / Malicious Games (by Miss Judy)

Summary: A “What might have happened” story for the Crucible, this story tells of Adam’s experience as a 12-year-old with a madman who played games with his mind.
WC 30,000.  Rating: T  Word Count: 30,186
Warning: This story tackles some serious topics, and Adam goes through a lot. However, he is left better for the experience, and as a result of what he endures, he and his father reconnect in a loving way after their year apart..

Say Something – Lessons of the Heart (by Miss Judy)

Summary: This is a grouping of short stories that show Adam in situations where he is left speechless when it comes to matters of the heart. It begins with a story of youthful naivete, and each progressions shows another episode where he learns something new about love. loss, mistakes and finding a the right person.
Word Count: 22,056  Rating: T (One section has an adult theme)

Sunny, With a Chance of Rain (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  A stage crash has killed everyone on board…including Adam Cartwright. While Paul Martin has made a “best guess ID” of the “remains,” and even though Adam’s most personal possessions were found in the wreckage, Ben refuses to believe it is Adam. Hoss and Joe begin a journey of discovery with their father as a mystery develops that includes another man in black, attempts at blackmail and the eventual acceptance of what seems obvious – that Adam is gone. It becomes the story of two families facing the loss of a child and a woman who’s care of a deathly ill stranger may restore one of these families to completeness.
Rated: T  WC  45,000

The Burning Bridge (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam has never worried about his father’s faith and trust in him. That changes dramatically after a woman drops an 11-year-old boy at the Ponderosa, telling Ben that the boy is Adam’s son, conceived before he left for college. After repeated attempts to defend himself against the accusation, Adam leaves home, angry and hurt by his father’s seeming refusal to accept that the woman is lying. Once Adam confronts his accuser, he is forced to look further to find out how he and his family became targets for her ploy, and pays a high price for trying to find the truth in her life of lies.
Rated: T  WC 60,000

The Falling Out (by Miss Judy)

Summary: The Cartwright family should have returned to normal after Señor and Delores Tenino left for Mexico, but it hasn’t. Hoss, Adam and Joe have been surly and avoiding one another since the lovely young woman left, and Ben can’t understand what’s driving it. He senses that what had started as a competition to win the young lady’s heart, had left some unexpected wounds behind. When circumstances and harsh words fracture his family even more, Ben decides he must force his sons to take stock of what they’re about to lose, in the one way he thinks will work. A What Happened Later story, for Ponderosa Matador.
Rating: K Word Count:  22,960

The Sum of All Sadness (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Ben is trying to sleep after laying his son to rest and is visited by memories of a life well lived. In another room, Joe is struggling with similar thoughts as he tries to quiet his mind to sleep. And in a place far removed, Adam receives the news that sends his heart reeling.
This is a story about Hoss’s passing, but it is not about death. It’s about a family coming to terms with loss while rejoicing in the man they knew. and figuring out how best to honor the life that was lost.
Rated: K+  WC  9000

Transfigurations (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  I’ve always wondered how Adam’s life would turn out after he left the Ponderosa. This story takes a look at the later years of his life. He’s had a distinguished career as an educator, philanthropist and businessman, and is “comfortable” with where he is and not looking for more. That changes when he sees a woman fall on the sidewalk in front of him and finds out that 40 years ago, she was his student in Virginia City. While getting to know her again, he comes to realize many things about himself – in particular – that being in love again is wonderful…but never easy.
Rated: K  47,000

We Dance (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  This was a poem I wrote shortly after Pernell Roberts’ death, remembering his accomplishments and wonderful character. It’s not sad! Those who love Adam or Pernell or any of his other characters will understand exactly what I’m writing about. Sweet dreams!
Rated: K+  WC  250

When Words are Hard to Find (by Miss Judy)

Summary:  Adam’s return from college has Ben saying and doing everything wrong, with no clue as to why he’s acting that way, yet unable to make any adjustments in his behavior to stop the building crisis. The tension in the house comes to a head as Adam is severely injured in a fall and Ben finds out that his son has made plans to leave the ranch and take a job as an engineer in San Francisco. As Adam’s condition unexpectedly worsens, Ben finds the right words to say, but fears it may be too late to make a difference. Paul Martin and Hop Sing play important roles in easing these two powerful Cartwrights back together.
Rated: K+   WC  9200


Latest Update:  7.6.2018

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