One of my favorite Adam scenes from Taming Eliza Jane:
â€œYou people interrupted the pie judging,â€ Adam informed them, and since he didnâ€™t sound too happy about it, Will assumed he hadnâ€™t actually taken a bite of Eliza Janeâ€™s pie yet. â€œNow, what we have here is a town social. Not the town brawl or the town brouhaha. So you all go on and be social now, dammit.â€
â€œSadieâ€™s got a right to display her wares,â€ Dan Oâ€™Brien said, and Will admired the manâ€™s gumption. He must have been more than a little sweet on Sadie to talk back to the sheriff like that.
â€œHer wares ainâ€™t fit for decent society,â€ Brent Barnes responded with a sneer.
Will could see Adamâ€™s right hand starting to twitch, so he swallowed the sour lump of pie, hoping he didnâ€™t choke. Heâ€™d barely gotten it down when Dan worked up the nerve to take a swing.
â€œI aim to marry her!â€ The man plowed his fist into Brentâ€™s face. Unfortunately he had the body weight of a sun-starved sapling and the other man only took one staggering step before striking back.
The next thing Will knew, Oâ€™Brien and Barnes were rolling around in the street like two twigs caught up in a dust devil. Women and children squealed while the men roared their approval.
The crowd gave a single, horrified gasp when Adam drew his pistol. Will was about to step in when Lucy Barnes hauled off and slapped the sheriff with the good Book so hard his hat flew off and landed in the dirt.
â€œDonâ€™t you shoot my husband,â€ she boomed like a clap of righteous thunder.
The entire townâ€”even the brawling menâ€”froze like stunned statuary as Adam whirled, bareheaded, to face Lucy. She lifted her Bibleâ€”whether she meant to ward the sheriff off or hit him again, Will couldnâ€™t tell.
â€œMama!â€ Beth Ann cried in a high-pitched squeal. She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead and fainted.
Fiona, acting purely on instinct Will guessed, stepped forward and caught the girl as she fell. She held her for a moment, then she must have realized who she was holding because she made a face like sheâ€™d bitten into Eliza Janeâ€™s pie and Beth Ann landed in the dirt with a thud.
â€œI knitted that blanket for my baby,â€ Sadie said, her plaintive voice damn near breaking Willâ€™s heart. Excitement rippled through the crowdâ€”few had known one of the chickens was expecting.
â€œItâ€™s a beautiful blanket, Sadie,â€ Eliza Jane assured her, and she gave Lucy Barnes a stare that practically dared the woman to say something mean.
But Lucy was too busy wondering if she was about to get shot to pay much mind to Eliza Jane. Adam had picked his hat up out of the dirt and was slapping it slowly against his thigh. He glared at the woman and she swallowed hard each time a puff of dust escaped it.
â€œDonâ€™t you even think about shooting me, Adam Caldwell,â€ she warned, though her voice wasnâ€™t quite as forceful as usual.
â€œOh, Iâ€™m thinking about it, all right, Mrs. Barnes.â€