The stirrin' about town commenced Friday, when number four -- until that moment knowed to be a loudly self-proclaimed upright citizen -- was a-seen in the company of them three outlaws whose incorrigibility had been assumed from day one.
The real street-clearin' started when word spread that a fifth gun might be ready to swing the balance of power. So far, though, after some nervous head checks and a few tense conversations, the count stands at four black hats, no more.
But that out-of-towner, visiting from the East -- with the fancy suits and pocketwatch, with his East Coast lawyers and sketchy landed interests, tryin' to angle how to fix his claim to a big local stake on legal papers down at the courthouse -- is makin' it known he's still recruiting. That fella's making his own moves now (done learned the hard way that the local muscle he hired wasn't up to the task at hand) . . . and he'll keep angling right up 'til the stagecoach takes him back East. Reckon that'll be sometime next week.
Dr. Dowd, of course, is number four. Always has been, for anyone attentive from the opening credits. Same with Mrs. Harris, five. So far, though, looks like Mrs. Harris still plans to walk the townfolk side of the street come Monday. But not, of course, before a few final turns of the tumbleweed.
How will the townsfolk finally count five at the showdown? Will Mrs. Harris still be wearing that star when it's guns, not words, what's being counted? Even after Mrs. Harris sets foot on the street, of course, we'll still wait to watch a couple of other characters leave the sheriff's door -- or not. Will there be a surprise defector walking instead through the hotel door, with the Easterner smiling through an upstairs window?
Probably not. Everyone knows Wyatt and Doc tend to be the ones standing after the smoke clears. But the suspense nonetheless makes it worth watching the story take us there, does it not?
By the by, for them's what's still a-puzzlin' over Camillus Fly and Claiborne and huckleberrys and whatnot, a codebook is here. OK?
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