Behan and twelve men rode in at eleven the next morning. Three hours after, Wyatt’s people were on the top of Hooker’s bluff a half mile to the west. The horses were lathered, the men looked worn down. Men and animals were gray with dust. From the corner of the main building where he stood, Wyatt could see John Ringo behind Behan, and Pony Diehl, who Wyatt thought he might have seen in the bushes at the water hole. Ike Clanton hovered at the rear fringe of the horsemen. Hooker came out to meet them.

“Morning, John,” Hooker said.

“We’re tracking the Earps,” Behan said. “Somebody said they was here.”

Wyatt, wearing a Colt revolver, stepped around the corner of the hacienda and leaned against it. Behan glanced at him and looked quickly back at Hooker. Ringo saw him, and they looked at each other.

“There were a couple of Earps here, had dinner with me,” Hooker said.

Billy Whelan, carrying a Winchester, stood a little behind Hooker and to his right. The horses in Behan’s posse smelled water and were restlessly tossing their heads and shifting their feet.

“You were eating with murderers, then,” Behan said, “and thieves.”

“I’ve known Wyatt and Virgil a long time. They are men I’m proud to eat with.”

“Would you say that if he wasn’t here?” Behan said.

“I’d say it anytime somebody asked,” Hooker said. “Look at what you’re riding with, back shooters and cattle thieves.”

Behan shook his head as if to deny the charge. He looked around the area, careful not to let his glance linger on Wyatt.

Wyatt still looked at Ringo. Ringo still looked back.

“Where’s the rest of them, Henry?” Behan said. “They under cover someplace?”

“They left here this morning, right after breakfast.”

“You sonova bitch,” Ike Clanton shouted. “You know where they are.”

Billy Whelan levered a round up into the chamber of his Winchester. The sound cut through the hot morning like a bell. Some others of Hooker’s hands drifted into the yard and stood loosely scattered on all sides of the posse. Ringo paid them no attention. He looked silently at Wyatt, and Wyatt looked silently back.

“You can’t ride into a gentleman’s yard and call him a sonova bitch. You want trouble, let’s get to it. Right now.”

“No,” Behan said and made a damping gesture. “No, no. We ain’t here for trouble. We need to rest our horses,” Behan said, “and get something to eat.”

Wyatt and Ringo continued to look at each other.

“I’ll sit at table with you, John,” Hooker said. “But I won’t eat with this rabble you brought with you. We’ll set up a table for them in the yard.”

As the Behan posse dismounted, Ringo edged his horse closer to Wyatt.

“You kill Curley Bill,” Ringo said.

“I did,” Wyatt said.

“Always knew it would turn out like this,” Ringo said. “Now I’m going to have to kill you.”

“If you can,” Wyatt said.

In Denver at the foot of 17th Street in Union Station at track 7, Wyatt leaned with his arms folded against the marble wall and waited for Josie Marcus to arrive. She got off the train with her flowery suitcase, wearing a silk dress from San Francisco, her face a little flushed with excitement.

My God!

He took her bag with his left hand and opened his arms, and she seemed to jump into them, pressing herself against him.

My God!

He carried her suitcase in his right hand and held her hand with his left as they walked up 16th Street toward Larimer, to his hotel at the intersection. Josie talked. About the dress she was wearing and the train ride from San Francisco and the way the troubles in Tombstone were being written up in the San Francisco papers. Wyatt listened without exactly hearing what she said. He was listening to her voice, the way he might listen to music, and what he felt, as he heard the voice, made the content irrelevant. At the Broadwell Hotel, they had tea sent up to the room. They drank the tea as Wyatt listened to the music of her voice. Then the music modulated slightly.

“Is it over?” Josie said. “You and Johnny and the cowboys?”

“Almost,” Wyatt said.

The Examiner says you killed Curley Bill.”


“And somebody named Cruz.”

Wyatt nodded.

“It said in The Chronicle you killed at least four others.”

“Papers say a lot of things.”

Josie knew that the conversation should go in a different direction.

“Have you seen Johnny?”



“Saw him at Hooker’s ranch. Him and his posse.”

“What happened?”

“What do you think happened, it being Johnny and all?”

Josie sipped some tea and paused to add sugar and sipped it again to see that she’d added enough.

“Nothing,” she said.

Wyatt smiled.

“That’s what happened,” he said.

Josie knew better than to press the point, and she didn’t want to spoil the moment, but she couldn’t let it go.

“You didn’t exactly answer my question.”

“I said ‘almost.’”

“Is it Ike Clanton?”

“Ike’s all gas and liquor,” Wyatt said. “He never shot any of us.”

“So you don’t care about Ike?”

“Somebody else will shoot him soon enough.”

“Who, then?”


“Why?” Josie said. “Was he involved with Morgan and Virgil?”

“Don’t know,” Wyatt said. “But he was close with Brocius. He said he’d kill me for shooting Bill.”

“Maybe he was just talking,” Josie said.

“No. John doesn’t do that, except when he’s drunk, and he wasn’t drunk. Says something sober, he keeps his word.”

“He won’t find us,” Josie said.

Wyatt was quiet. He drank the tea the way he drank coffee, holding the cup in both hands, his eyes very

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