“Everything goes back to something,” Virgil said. “What matters here, whatever Allie feels, is that our names are Earp. You and me and Morgan and Warren and James. We are brothers. We are made of the same stuff. That’s what we go back to.”

“I know.”

“You want Josie. I want Josie. Morg wants Josie. James and Warren want Josie. People don’t like it, they don’t like us. You do something. We do it with you. Brothers. The Earp brothers.”

“I know.”

“Don’t never think anything else is true,” Virgil said. “That’s who we are. That’s what we got. It’s what we always had. Before the women came. Before any of us ever shot a gun. If I got shot on account of something you did, it’s because that’s what I’m supposed to do. Don’t matter if Allie likes it. She loves me. I love her. But that don’t matter either. Blood, Wyatt. Flesh and blood.”

Wyatt stared at his brother. In his life it was probably the longest uninterrupted set of sentences Virgil had ever spoken. He spoke softly, without heat, almost as if he were thinking aloud. Allie came in as he finished.

“You need anything else, Virgil?” she said.

“No,” Virgil said.

He put his right arm around her waist.

“I got everything I need,” Virgil said.

As they came out of the theater, Wyatt took the Colt.45 he had under his coat and put it in the side pocket of his slicker.

Morgan saw the transfer.

“You thinking there might be trouble, Wyatt?” Morgan said.

“There’s talk,” Wyatt said. “Goodrich thinks there might be trouble.”

“Well, hell, Wyatt,” Morgan said. “It’s Saturday night. There’s supposed to be trouble.”

“Just don’t button your gun up so tight you can’t get it out quick,” Wyatt said.

Morgan laughed, and they stepped into the street. With his left hand, Wyatt yanked his hat down hard over his forehead. Driven by a wind from the south, the cold spring rain came hard and straight at them as he and Morgan walked up Fourth Street toward Allen. Sherman McMasters and Dan Tipton walked a step behind them.

Stolen Kisses,” Morgan said happily. “Goddamn!”

“Pretty good show,” Wyatt said.

“Maybe I’ll see it again tomorrow,” Morgan said. “How long’s it running.”

“Through the twentieth of March,” McMasters said.

He spoke loudly, forcing his voice through the wind and rain.

“What’s today?” Morgan said.

“Eighteenth,” Wyatt said. “You got till Monday.”

They turned left at Allen. The rain was just as hard, but the wind was diverted some by the buildings now as they walked east on Allen.

“How about a little whiskey,” Morgan said. “And some pool.”

“How about a lot of whiskey and some pool,” McMasters said.

“Sounds even better,” Morgan said, and they turned in at Campbell and Hatch’s Saloon. In the back where the pool tables were, McMasters and Tipton concentrated on whiskey. Wyatt drank coffee and watched while Morgan, his drink sitting on the edge of the table, played his second game with Robert Hatch, who owned the place. Some of the other drinkers had gathered to watch. The back door had a four-pane glass window. The bottom two were painted over, the top two clear. The wind rattled the door and the rain spattered hard against the glass, showing in thick, short streams as it ran down the clear glass. But the window was tight. The stove was working full out. George Berry, standing near it, had steam coming off of his wet mackinaw. The room was warm.

Hatch left the six ball teetering at the edge of the far corner pocket. Morgan smiled.

“Tough shot, Bob,” Morgan said. “What a shame.”

He leaned over the table behind the cue ball, sighting the shot.

“Six in the corner,” he said.

One of the windowpanes exploded and Morgan sprawled across the table. Near the stove Berry staggered as the same bullet took him in the thigh. Morgan gasped. Wyatt had his Colt half out when a second shot drove into the wall above his head. Wyatt lunged to the pool table beside Morgan and threw himself partly over him. The Colt was all the way out now, and he stared into the wet wind that surged in through the shattered glass. McMasters yanked the door open, and he and Hatch rushed out into the rain.

“Get Goodfellow,” Wyatt yelled. “Goddammit, get Goodfellow.”

By the time Goodfellow got there, Morgan had been moved to the couch in Hatch’s card room. Goodfellow knelt beside him and looked. He put a hand on Morgan’s shoulder and stood up. Goodfellow didn’t say anything. Wyatt didn’t ask anything. They both knew what there was to know. Another doctor arrived to examine George Berry’s leg. Slowed by its passage through Morgan, the bullet had barely lodged in Berry’s thigh. The doctor took it out with an extractor and bandaged the wound. Wyatt crouched beside his brother; Morgan was breathing badly. He didn’t try to talk. He knew what Wyatt knew. They had both seen too many men shot dead to be fooled this time. Virgil and Allie came in. James and Bessie arrived. Wyatt stayed with his head next to Morgan’s. Once Morgan whispered to him. Wyatt nodded and whispered back and then everyone was quiet.

“Are my legs out straight?” Morgan said softly.


No one said anything else. Allie and Bessie cried softly.

And Morgan died.


Philadelphia, October 26-

Captain A. C. Rand and Mate, Thomas Pender, of the steamer Tropic, who were convicted in the United States

District Court of violating the neutrality laws by furnishing arms and ammunition to insurgents in Haiti, were today sentenced by Judge Butler to one year’s imprisonment each and to pay a fine of $500 and the cost of the prosecution.

* * *


Denver, Oct. 26-

The killing of his wife, Alice Haller, by Johnston Haller, and the wounding of the man Morris, who had won the affections of Alice, has brought to light a story which began in a border romance and has ended in disgrace to two and sorrow to a third. Haller was a member of the Quantrell crowd, and a knight of the road when Jesse and Frank James were looked upon with a sort of mock heroism. He was a fearless devil, and in the saddle he was handsome as Murat. He was in some of the bloodiest engagements thatblighted the West. He went with Quantrell, when that daring horseman swooped down upon Lawrence, Kan. and left the bloodstains of its best people on the blackened ruins of their homes. He was also a trusted courier of the James boys…

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