The wagon carrying the three Cartwright boys pulled into town and came to a stop in front of the Trading Post. Adam and Little Joe quickly jumped down onto the road as Hoss took his time climbing out of the back of the wagon.

"I don't reckon we been here more times in one week since we were livin' in town," Hoss complained.

"Well," Adam said. "We have a lot of things to get, a lot of work to do before the weather gets too cold. The winds are already starting to come down from the North. I wouldn't be surprised if in another week or two we had snow on the ground."

Little Joe's eyes widened at just the sound of the word. "Golly," he said. "Ya really think so, Adam?"

Adam looked down at him and smiled. "Sure, Little Joe."

"Maybe even snow on Christmas?" he wondered. "I ain't never seen it snow on Christmas."

"Me neither, Little Joe," Hoss recalled. "It sure would be pretty gettin' to see that and all."

"Well, snow or no snow," Adam said, "we still have work to finish. We don't need anything heavy at the Post." Adam handed Little Joe some money. "You can pick up those things." Little Joe turned and began to walk inside. "And no candy, Little Joe. Pa'd be mad if you ruined your supper."

Little Joe nodded almost as if he were ignoring his brother. Hoss shook his head as he turned to Adam.

"How much you wanna bet he comes out with somethin'?" he asked.

Adam just shook his head. He knew that odds were Little Joe would come out of the Post with a bag of candy. "Come on, Hoss," he said walking across the road to the livery.

But the normal sound s of town were soon interrupted by the showering of gunfire. It seemed to come from all directions. The shooters were nowhere to be seen. But then, back at the saloon, two men just seemed to appear. One ran passed Hoss and Adam, still firing. The other stood back at the saloon doing the same.

The men aimed carelessly at eachother, firing, but Hoss could sense danger as he watch the one man lift his weapon and aim in their direction. Without thinking, Hoss moved to his side, pushing Adam to the ground and then falling himself.

It all ended as abruptly as it began. the two gunmen chased eachother out of town, and the citizens of Eagle Station slowly exited the buildings, relieved that the horror had ended.

Adam, still afraid to move, slowly raised his head. He cautiously looked around. It was over. He was dirty and a bit scratched up from hitting the ground, but it was over.

Adam turned to his brother. "It's finished, Hoss," he said. "It's safe to get up." Adam waited, but Hoss went unmoved. "Hoss?" he said pushing Hoss with all his weight, turning him onto his back. Adam's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. "Help!" he cried. "Somebody!"

Shelby, Big Dan and Eli ran out along with others to see the trouble. As they approached Adam and Hoss in the road, they were struck with fear.

"Adam," Eli said. "Where is your father?"

""He's home," Adam said frantically. "He's at the ranch."

"Shelby, ride to the Ponderosa and get Ben. Hurry!" Shelby ran to get her horse as Eli turned to Big Dan. "Help me get him inside." Eli and Big Dan worked to carry Hoss' limp body into the Post. Adam followed them. "No, Adam," Eli said. "Stay with Joseph."

Adam stopped in his tracks as Eli and Dan continued inside. "I ain't never seen a head wound like this." Big Dan said.

"Let us just hope that Ben gets here soon."