In this week's adventure, another Earp came to town. The big brother of the family: Virgil Earp.
Virgil was fresh from some lawman work, and was looking for more. So when a black sheriff from the newly-established all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas came into Dodge, looking for help against a group of racist night-riders who were harassing the town, Virgil quickly volunteered.
Sheriff Bassett and Wyatt Earp decided to go along too. This left deputies Jeff Young (a PC) and Morgan Earp (the younger Earp brother) in charge of keeping the peace in Dodge.
Meanwhile, a crazy old buffalo hunter turned ranching magnate decided he wanted Miss Becky (the Mormon Gambler's beau) as his new wife. When the Mormon Gambler expressed his genteel but firm distaste, the rancher had his huge ogre of a son attack the Gambler; only to have the Gambler drop the huge man with one good punch. It looked like worse violence would ensue, but then Miss Jenny put a halt to that by firing her derringer. She banned father and son from the Long Branch, and warned them that if either of them laid a hand on Miss Becky she'd kill them herself.
Two nights later, the old rancher would be found dead in the back alley of the Long Branch, shot by a derringer.
The rancher's son was livid, and demanded justice; he wasn't sure if it was Jenny, Becky or the Mormon Gambler who shot his old man, but he expected the lawmen to avenge his pa's death. Deputies Young and Earp had to try to manage the crisis, calming tempers while trying to get at the truth. None of the three suspects have ironclad alibis, but the PCs can't imagine any of the three having done it. Actually, they agreed that Miss Jenny could have done it, but if she did she would have admitted to the fact.
Meanwhile, Morgan knows about how the Mormon Gambler has been frequently associated with a known outlaw named McClue, and that Sheriff Bassett has been keeping an eye on him because of that. Morgan, frantic to try to prove himself in comparison to his brothers, spends the better part of the night engaged in a highly ineffective interrogation of the Mormon Gambler, hoping to get him to confess to actually being the train robber and cattle rustler many people have mistaken him for.
The next morning, James Smith (another PC and current half-owner of The Fort bar) acts on a hunch and goes around town's gun shops; he confirms his suspicion when he learns that a man matching the huge son's description bought a derringer the other night. He reveals this fact to Morgan Earp; but Morgan, instead of waiting to tell Deputy Young, decides that it's his time to prove himself as a competent lawman and goes to bring the giant in himself. Instead, the rancher's son knocks him senseless, and Deputy Young arrives on the scene just in time to catch up to the rancher's son at the stables. The rancher's son jumps on his horse and runs; Young gets a pair of shots in but they're just flesh wounds, so he grabs a horse and rushes off after the murderer.
There's a moderately long horse chase, but just as he's starting to catch up, Young's horse trips on a gopher hole and breaks its leg. Young is forced to limp several miles back to Dodge, where he's going to get a posse together.
That's it for this session; next time will no doubt feature the PCs riding out into a manhunt.
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