“Don’t know that for sure,” Wyatt said. “But we’ll ride over to Spence’s lumber camp tomorrow. See if somebody there will tell us.”

“Should we take turns on guard?” Vermilion said.

“No need,” Wyatt said. “Doc sleeps so light he can hear a rattlesnake yawn.”

“Can’t tell I’m asleep,” Doc said, “ ’less I dream.”

He took a pull on a whiskey bottle he had taken from his saddlebag.

“That help you to stay awake, Doc?” Turkey Creek said.

“That helps me stay alive,” Doc said and handed the bottle to Johnson, who took a pull and passed it to Vermilion.

The bottle went around the campfire for a while, skipping Wyatt each time, until one by one, wrapped in their blankets under the infinite sky, close to the fire, they went to sleep and Doc alone sat awake, alone with the bottle.

In the morning they ate bacon and biscuits, drank coffee-Doc added whiskey to his-and rode east toward the Dragoon Mountains, with their hats tilted forward to keep the sun out of their eyes. The horses picked their way carefully through the low, harsh brush. A hawk cruised soundlessly in the high sky. Doc sipped whiskey from a bottle in his saddlebags. Wyatt knew that Doc hated quiet. He’d start talking soon. Doc talking was something to hear. He talked about guns and dental tools and Catholic theology, and whores, and people he’d shot, and meals he had eaten, and cards he had held, and the nature of man, and why it was best to steam Prairie Chicken before you roasted it.

As they started up the long gradual rise toward Spence’s wood-cutting operation, Doc said, “Where’s your ladies, Wyatt?”

“Josie’s in San Francisco,” Wyatt said. “With her father.”

“How ’bout Mattie?”

“Gone to my mother’s place in California.”

“Funny thing,” Doc said, “you hadn’t taken up with Josie Marcus, we wouldn’t be out here riding down the people killed Morgan.”

The horses were blowing as they shuffled up the long grade. There was only the sound of the horses’ hooves, the jangle of harness metal, the creak of saddle leather.

“Talk about something else, Doc,” Wyatt said.

They reached the top of the long rise and looked down into the valley where Spence’s wood-cutting operation was set up next to a stand of timber.

“We’ll circle,” Wyatt said, “so we don’t come at them with the sun in our eyes.”

The horses strung out single file as they moved down the valley side and away from the wood choppers. When they were on the other side Wyatt turned them toward the camp, straight west, so that the sun would be at his back and straight into the eyes of the people in the wood camp. McMasters took his Winchester from the saddle boot and rested it across the pommel. Doc had a shotgun across his saddle.

There was a Mexican cutting and stacking wood.

“You speak English?” Wyatt said.

The Mexican shook his head. He was frightened. Wyatt turned to McMasters.

“Ask him where Cruz is, and Spence.”

McMasters spoke to the Mexican man. He answered, pointing toward the northern slope of the valley.

“Says Spence is in Tombstone with Behan. Says Indian Charlie’s over that hill rounding up some strays.”

Wyatt turned the aging roan horse and rode toward the hill without a word. The rest of the men followed, catching up to him, and spreading out on either side of him. They went up the hillside and over it. There were other hills beyond it. A teamster named Judah was driving stock across their path. With him was a Mexican named Acosta.

“You know where Pete Spence is?” Wyatt said.

His voice was flat and easy, as if he didn’t really care where Spence was.

“I thought he was in Tombstone.”

“You a friend of his?” Wyatt said.

Judah showed no sign that he thought the question a dangerous one to answer.

“Known Spence a long time,” Judah said.

“You seen Indian Charlie around?”

“Cruz? Over there someplace,” Judah said. “Looking for a couple mules that went roaming.”

Wyatt nodded, clucked softly to the roan and rode toward the next hill. The other riders stayed with him, spread out on either side. Judah and Acosta both watched them as they went.

“Trouble,” Judah said.

Acosta nodded.

As Wyatt and the other riders topped the next hill, Indian Charlie was on the downslope hazing two mules ahead of him. When he saw Wyatt he turned and ran.

“Knock him down, Sherm,” Wyatt said. “Don’t kill him.”

McMasters reined the horse still, levered a round up in the Winchester, aimed carefully and shot Cruz in the right leg. The sound made the two mules scatter, one of them kicking his back heels. The impact of the bullet sent Cruz sprawling face forward, and when they came up to him he was lying on his back with the blood slowly staining his trouser leg.

“Talk to him, Sherm. Tell him we know he killed Morgan. Ask him who else done it.”

McMasters slid the Winchester back into the saddle scabbard and spoke to Cruz. Cruz answered at length, moving his hands, his dark eyes wide and eager, and full of fear. The rest of the posse sat silently, letting their horses crop the grass. They weren’t up very high, but the air in the mountains seemed cooler to Wyatt, fresher, as if it had more movement behind it than the air around Tombstone, like the difference between standing water and running water. Wyatt sat motionless in the saddle, while Cruz talked to McMasters.

“He never killed anybody,” McMasters said. “That’s what he says. Says he just went along to make sure they got the right man. Spence didn’t know you. This guy says he knew both you and Morgan. Says him, Spence and Stilwell, and somebody named Swilling, met Curley Bill, and Ringo, back of the courthouse; they heard that you’d gone to bed, and Morg was at Hatch’s. So they decided to kill Morg and they went up there. Then some guy named Fries comes up and says that you hadn’t gone to bed, that you were in Hatch’s too. But Curley Bill, and Stilwell, and Swilling went into the alley back of Hatch’s, and he says he heard shooting and everybody come running out.”

McMasters paused, as if he had forgotten. He spoke to Cruz in Spanish. Cruz replied.

“They all went to Frank Patterson’s ranch to fix up an alibi, and Stilwell says he shot Morgan, Curley Bill and Swilling say they shot too, but missed, and Stilwell says that made two Earps he’d shot.”

“Virgil,” Wyatt said with no inflection.

Cruz spoke again. When he was through, McMasters didn’t speak.

“What’d he say?” Wyatt asked.

“Says he got nothing against you or your brothers. He didn’t want to do you no harm.”

“So why did he?” Wyatt said.

Again McMasters didn’t say anything.

“Ask him that,” Wyatt said.

His voice was as hard and flat and brittle as a piece of slate.

McMasters shrugged, and spoke again to Cruz. Cruz answered. When he translated, McMasters’s face was blank and his voice was without inflection.

“Says they give him a twenty-five-dollar watch.”

“Twenty-five dollars,” Wyatt said.

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