“And he’ll show you where they are if you send us away and nobody gets arrested,” Virgil said.

Hurst smiled, and shrugged.

“Guess we don’t need evidence,” Virgil said and dropped the running iron he’d been holding.

He swung up into his saddle. Wyatt slipped his feet back into his stirrups.

“No arrests?” Virgil said.

“No,” Hurst said.

“Your mules,” Virgil said and turned his horse and nodded to his brothers.

“My brother ain’t going to forget you called him a rustler,” Tom McLaury said.

Virgil didn’t answer. In fact, he showed no sign that he’d heard McLaury. He nudged his horse forward and led out from the McLaury ranch at a walk. Wyatt turned after him. Morgan was the last to leave, and as he rode past the cavalry squad and their lieutenant, he turned back toward the cowboys and leveled his forefinger at them.

“Bang,” he said.

Then he laughed and kicked his horse into a trot to catch up with his brothers.


On the ride east to Tombstone, the sun was behind them, so that they were continually riding into their own shadows. They stuck to the rutted wagon road. The desert on either side was dense with brittlebush. There was no hurry, and the horses were allowed to shuffle along. They knew they were headed home. They knew when they got there they’d eat. No need to pay them much attention.

“Morg,” Virgil said, “being as how we’re the law, we are kind of supposed to stop trouble, not start it.”

“Oh hell, Virg,” Morgan said, “I was just ragging the cowboys a little. Wyatt was doing it.”

“The thing is,” Virgil said, “some of those cowboys, you rag ’em too much they are going to try and shoot you.”

“Against the three of us? Virg, we’d fan those cowboys before they ever got the hammer back.”

“Probably,” Virgil said.

Virgil’s horse slowed and snorted. The other two skittered sideways, as a snake slid across the road through the dust in front of them.

“Rattler?” Morgan said.

“Bull snake,” Wyatt answered.

The horses settled back into their easy walk.

“ ’Course, there’s no special reason to fan them cowboys,” Virgil said.

“If they pulled on us…”

“No special reason to push them into pulling on us,” Virgil said.

Morgan shrugged. He was riding between Virgil and Wyatt. Like always, Wyatt was watching the horizon, looking at the landscape, surveying the snakeweed and squawberry. Wyatt heard the conversation, Morgan knew. Wyatt heard everything. But he was, as he almost always was, not quite there. Always there was space around Wyatt.

“Killing don’t usually end things,” Virgil said. “Sometimes it just starts things rolling. Sometimes you got to shoot, and when you got to you best be quick about it. But it’s better when you don’t got to.”

“Feels like I’m still home listening to Papa,” Morgan said.

“You never paid much attention to him either,” Virgil said.

Morgan laughed.

“Be glad when Warren gets here,” Morgan said. “Then I can lecture him.”

They reached Tombstone at sunset, and rode up the hill and onto Allen Street as the sun was just at horizon level and their shadows stretched before them in angular distortion. At the corner of Fourth Street, Wyatt saw Josie Marcus coming out of Solomon’s bank with Johnny Behan, who owned a livery stable with a man named Dunbar. Wyatt didn’t know Behan very well. But Behan was a Democrat, which didn’t sit well with any of the Earps. He was also a smooth-talking, fancy-Dan kind of man. Wyatt was pretty sure if he knew him better he wouldn’t like him. Behan and Josie turned right on the plank sidewalk and walked east along Allen Street past the Oriental. Wyatt said nothing. His horse continued to plod unguided along Allen Street. Under the hat brim Wyatt’s eyes steadied and held on the woman walking ahead of him. He seemed to relax into the saddle, his hands resting on the pommel. At Fifth Street the horses turned left, heading toward Bullock and Crabtree’s Livery, where they boarded. Wyatt’s horse, responding to some pressure neither Morgan nor Virgil could see, slowed and loitered for a moment. Josie Marcus continued up Allen Street beside Behan, her hips swaying only slightly, her head perfectly still. She walked like a lady. Halfway up the block she went, with Behan, into Hartman’s Jewelry. When she had disappeared, Wyatt’s horse turned, and followed the other horses down Fifth Street. Wyatt didn’t look back, nor did he speak of it to his brothers. But when he’d turned the horse over to the boy at the livery, and his brothers headed home down Fremont Street, he didn’t go with them. Instead, he walked up to the Oriental and got a cup of coffee and went to a corner table by himself and sat facing the door, sipping his coffee, holding the cup in both hands, and looking out through the door at Allen Street.


British troops defeat the Zulus at Ulundi… Alsace Lorraine comes under German rule… Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov is published… The electric light bulb is developed by Thomas Edison… Emile Zola publishes Nana… James Garfield elected twentieth President… In New York City, Sarah Bernhardt makes her first American appearance… Lew Wallace publishes Ben Hur… Swiss writer Johanna Spyri publishes Heidi… The population of the United States reaches Fifty Million… Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman is produced.

* * *

Cheyenne, Wyoming, October 25-

A well informed merchent from Green River, who arrived here on business, brings further particulars of the Indian scare in Southern Utah, and Western Wyoming. In regard to the Sintah-Utes and Snakes being on the war path, he says Washakies’ band of Snakes were never more peaceable, except a few ringleaders who stole some horses and cattle on Brusby Creek and Ashley Fork, and thus created all the excitement.

* * *

Washington, October 25-

The following was received at the Indian bureau this evening.

Los Pinos, October 21

Arrived at 2 p.m. Everything quiet at present. Had a talk with Ouray, and with two couriers just arrived from a hostile camp fifteen miles this side of Grand River, about halfway between here and White River Agency. Mrs. Meeker, Miss Meeker, Mrs. Price, and her two children are prisoners in Johnson’s camp. The couriers met General Adams last night, one day’s march from the hostile camp. Ouray believes the prisoners will be delivered to General Adams…

Pollock, Inspector

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