Tenner Smith Recap

After losing another hand of cards to Tenner Smith, trail hand Del Taylor accuses his opponent of cheating and goes for his gun. Tenner shoots Fred in the arm with his derringer and tells Fred's friend Michael Doolin to get him out. As he goes, Del warns Tenner that he's coming back for him but Tenner isn't worried.

The next day, trail boss Fred Creight and Doolin visit Hoby. Fred threatens to tear the town apart, and Hoby warns him to back out. Once Fred tells Doolin to go out, he asks Hoby what he's going to do about Tenner. Hoby says that he talked to the witnesses and Del got into a card game over his head, pulled his gun, and that's all. The rancher says that he still has to buy Del's story or he'll lose all his trail hands, and asks Hoby to give Tenner to him. Hoby warns that he can't hand him over or toss him in a cell, and Fred promises that Porter won't stay standing if Hoby doesn't. The sheriff says that it'd be a mistake, and Fred agrees but says that his boys think differently.

Hoby goes to the hotel restaurant to see Tenner, who has been in Porter for a week. He asks the gambler if he cheated Del, and Tenner says that Del had a good deal. Hoby explains the situation and Tenner says that he isn't going to jail. Tenner explains that he got his name from when he sat in on a game in Rawlings, and he came up with four 10s, and the name stuck. He doesn't plan to do anything about Del, because he's tired of getting out of the way. Hoby advises him to start packing if he can't talk sense to Fred's boys. Tenner tells the sheriff to tell Fred that if Del comes after him again, he'll kill him.

Later, Henrietta visits the sheriff's office and says that if Hoby doesn't give up Tenner then the trail hands will wreck the town. Hoby admits that all he can do is to talk to Fred and find him a good reason to back down. Henrietta warns that the townspeople won't be happy if they get caught in the middle and leaves, and Hoby grabs a rifle and heads out.

Hoby arrives at Fred's camp and tells Fred to move on. Del insists on riding Hoby, who ignores him and warns Fred that if he rides into Porter then he won't ride out. When Del keeps riding Hoby, Hoby shoves him aside and Doolin goes for his gun. Fred tells him to put it away, and Del sucker-punches Hoby. The trail boss has the other hands put Hoby on his horse and sends him to town, and then warns Del that Hoby better be okay. Doolin pushes Fred, saying that maybe they need a new trail boss that will back his men, and Fred agrees that they can ride into Porter in the morning.

When Hoby wakes up in the morning, he finds himself in Tenner's hotel room. Tenner gives him some tea and says that the doctor checked Hoby over, and says that he has a few friends. When Fred and his hands ride into Porter, Tenner and his friends will "entertain" them. Hoby says that Tenner is going to jail, and figures he can hold him long enough. He says that he isn't backing down to Fred, he's just standing up for Porter.

When Hoby takes Tenner to the sheriff's office, they find Ralph loading up the rifles. Hoby says that they won't need them. Henrietta comes in and says that Fred and four of his men are at the Buckhorn, and there could be more scattered around Porter. Hoby tells Ralph to get Judge Henry, and tells Tenner that he's going with him. Now that Tenner helped build the situation, he figures that Tenner should help pay for it. He offers Tenner a gun, but Tenner figures he shouldn't offer anyone an invitation to shoot him.

Hoby and Tenner go to the Buckhorn and Hoby puts them all under arrest. All of the trail hands draw guns and a few more come in, and Fred has his men disarm them. Once they do, Fred apologizes for Del's attack. He aims to find out if Tenner cheated Del, and Hoby assures Fred that he'd jail Tenner if he cheated. Fred says that they'll play a hand of stud: if Tenner wins he stays, if he loses he goes with the hands. If Hoby doesn't let him go then they'll take Tenner and part of the town.

When Hoby says nothing, Fred calls for an unopened deck of cards. Tenner shuffles and Fred has him deal two hands. The gambler deals himself four cards to an inside straight and pours himself a drink. Fred asks if he has the straight, and reveals Del's hole card to show three kings. Tenner reveals a busted straight, but Fred says that Del is a liar. He figures that Tenner would have cheated to save his life. Del is furious that Fred won't do anything, and Fred says that he's fired. The young man goes for his gun and Fred shoots him. He asks if Hoby wants him, and Hoby says that he doesn't. Once the trail hands leave, Tenner says that he's through running. Hoby warns that Del won't be the last and if he has to, he'll take Tenner in. Tenner just smiles and says that he'll know Hoby is coming.

Later, Hoby comes into the Buckhorn and discovers that Tenner has a private office in the back. He goes in and Tenner explains that he now owns the Buckhorn, and Hoby asks if he cheated Del. Tenner insists that the game was honest and deals out the same hand that he dealt to Del. This time he deals himself the inside straight, and says that he could have done it and almost did. But he's never cheated anyone that didn't deserve it, and figured that he'd die honest. Hoby apologizes but Tenner says that Hoby will have to be a little quicker if he wants to catch him. With that, Hoby accepts a glass of champagne to toast Tenner's new venture.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 12, 2017