Hoby returns to Porter and goes to the livery stable. He leaves his horse with the partially paralyzed owner, Milo, and makes small talk with him. As Hoby leaves, Henrietta comes over and show him a telegram about Jack Summers being released from prison and heading south with a horse and gun. It's from Sam Benton, a newspaper friend of Henrietta's in Dallas. Jack is from Porter and coming back there to murder someone. She tells Hoby that he has to stop him.
Henrietta shows Hoby articles about Jack and his older brother Larry had both grown up in Porter. Five years ago, Jack was arrested and convicted for attempted train robbery. Larry was shot dead a couple of years ago, and Hoby figures Jack is heading back to avenge his brother's death. He points out that he can't tell Jack to leave unless he does something, and Henrietta figures that Larry got what he deserved. She says that Eileen Day was engaged to Larry but is sure that she didn't kill Larry. Henrietta suggests that Hoby talk to Tenner because he's from Abilene and Larry spent a couple of years there. Hoby wonders if there's something else going on, but Henrietta says that there isn't.
Hoby goes to the Buckhorn and meets with Tenner. He says that Jack is on his way there and asks if Tenner knew Larry. Tenner tells him that Larry was his partner and put up half the moon for a saloon he had then. Then Larry and a bunch of cutthroat friends took over, and Tenner had too much money invested to leave. Tenner says that Larry was killed in Porter and that he was in Abilene at the time and can prove it. The gambler says that people stayed away from the Abilene saloon even after Larry was killed, so Tenner sold the business and moved to Porter. Hoby figures that Jack has considered all that and still blames Tenner, and Tenner says that he'll handle it.
Next, Hoby goes to the hotel restaurant where Eileen works. She's nervous and spills coffee on Hoby. When he asks her about Jack, Eileen says that there's nothing going on between them.
That night, Jack rides into Porter and Hoby is there to greet him. The Ranger introduces himself and tells him to go somewhere else and cool off. Meanwhile, someone in the shadows fires a rifle at Jack, knocking off his hat. Jack fires back but Hoby tells him to hold it and rides after the shooter. They've disappeared into the night, and Hoby rides back to Jack. Jack thanks Hoby for his help, and Hoby invites him to his office to just talk.
At the sheriff's office, Jack figures that his brother's killer is trying to get him. Hoby disagrees, saying that the shooter was trying to scare Jack off. Jack isn't convinced and warns that he's not scared easily. Hoby tells him not to take the law into his own hands, and Jack leaves without a word.
The next day, Hoby tells Henrietta that Jack is in town and someone shot at him the night before and missed. Henrietta knows about it and Hoby asks if she knows who took the shots. She says that Hoby is protecting the wrong man, and Hoby tells her that according to the records, he found several references to Jack being arrested but no convictions. The last man Jack supposedly killed was Jack Spencer, and Henrietta claims that she doesn't know. She points out Jack on the street going to the Buckhorn, and tells Hoby to do his job.
Hoby enters the Buckhorn from the rear and secretly listens as Jack meets with Tenner. Jack says that he's going to kill Tenner if Tenner killed Larry. The bartender notices Hoby listening but says nothing, while Tenner says that he was out of town. The gambler says that he wouldn't have hired anyone to kill Larry if he wanted him dead, and offers Jack $3,000 for the other half of the agreement for the Abilene saloon. Jack says that he'll decide later after he finds his brother's killer. Once Jack leaves, Hoby comes in, casually says good morning to Tenner, and leaves.
Jack goes to Larry's grave to pay his respects. Eileen is waiting for him with a shotgun and tells him to get out of town. Jack says that Larry wrote about her and loved her very much, but Eileen says that Larry didn't love anyone but himself. She was happy when someone shot him, and vows to stop Jack from hunting down the killer. Jack says that no one is going to stop her, and Hoby arrives and disarms Eileen. He puts her under arrest for attempted murder, even though Jack says that he doesn't think that she would have shot. Eileen admits that she doesn't know if she could have pulled the trigger, and Hoby figures that she wouldn't have either and releases her. Jack thanks Hoby for his help and tells him that he's not Hoby's problem until he breaks any laws. Hoby says that he doesn't have to appreciate anything and points out that the shotgun wasn't load.
That night, Hoby visits Henrietta at her office. He tells her that Jack has been all over Porter asking questions. Hoby asks about Jay, and Henrietta explains that Larry goaded Jay into drawing and then killed him. There were two witnesses: the sheriff and Jay's father. The sheriff is dead and Jay's father had a stroke because of the shock. Hoby realizes that Milo is Jay's father, and Henrietta tells him that Milo has had enough trouble in his life. Hoby insists that he just wants to talk to him.
Hoby goes to the livery stable and Milo fishes for what he claims is his chewing tobacco. He grabs a rifle from beneath his bed, but Hoby has his gun out. Milo explains that he taunted Larry into coming after him and then shot him dead, just like Larry taunted Jay. The old man says that he just intended to scare Jack off earlier, and he was going to shoot Hoby because he figured the Ranger had worked out what had happened and was going to take him away to be hung. Milo admits that he couldn't have shot Hoby, and Hoby tells him to go to bed. He says that there's no one to arrest Milo and leaves.
The next day, Hoby sees Pete Stratton run into Jack. Jack remembers that Pete was a friend of Larry's, and Pete says that he tried to find out who killed Larry but had nothing to go on. He figures that Tenner killed Larry, but he and Larry's other friends got shot at when they tried to push matters. The gang broke up without Larry, but Pete came back to Porter when he heard that Jack was out. Larry explains that there were six people in their gang in Abilene. Larry was the smartest and the best shot, and took over the saloon. Jack says that Tenner offered to buy him out, and Pete tells him that he came back to take up with Jack just like he was with Larry. He wants to start up crooked gambling in the Abilene saloon and then get rid of Tenner. Jack says that Larry wasn't crooked, and Pete just laughs and says that Jack has a lot to learn about his brother. When Jack tries to walk away, Pete grabs him and Jack punches him.
The townspeople gatherer as the two men fight, and Henrietta and Eileen come out. Pete finally goes for his gun, and Hoby steps in and disarms him. Pete rides off in disgust. Hoby tells Jack that he found the man who killed Larry, and points out Milo at the livery stable. The Ranger suggests that Jack might not like to hear Milo's story but he should hear it, and they go to talk to Milo. After hearing Milo's story, Jack realizes that everything everyone has said about Larry is true and gave up his vengeance.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 5, 2017