In Porter, Henrietta gets a letter and shows it to Tenner. They take it to Hoby at the sheriff's office and he reads it. It's to Harry Keller to all of the citizens of Porter, advising them to stay out of his way when he comes into town to kill Hoby for the murder of his brother. Hoby remembers that there was a bank holdup in Waco eight years ago, and Hoby and another Ranger broke it up. They killed the other brother, and Harry was captured and jailed for eight years and released a week ago. Henrietta intends to print the letter and tells Hoby that he'll have to take care of Harry. Hoby explains that he was in the hospital during Harry's trial, and he has no idea what looks like.
Once Henrietta publishes the letter, the town is in an uproar and the citizens complain to Hoby about every stranger that comes into town. One man, Al Hart, fits Harry's description, rides into town, and goes the Buckhorn to buy a drink. Hoby soon gets word and goes in. He says that he's expecting Harry and Al doesn't respond. Hoby offers to buy him a drink and Tenner pours. The Ranger keeps questioning Al, who insists that he's not Harry. The customers slowly come back in and Tenner shows Al a copy of the newspaper. Al says that he's going to stick around for a while and watch the fun.
Once he leaves, Tenner asks Hoby if he thinks Al was telling the truth. One of the townsmen suggests that Hoby lock Al up until they can check on him, and Hoby points out that he couldn't arrest Harry even if he identified himself.
John Ward and his father stop over in Porter on their way to a spa for the father's health. Hoby helps them off the stagecoach, and as they go the hotel two men Joseph and Joshua Calley, help their mother off their wagon. She asks for a doctor, but Joseph and Joshua insist that their mother is fine and take her in. The townspeople, watching, see the Calleys and wonder if it's a set-up. Hoby overhears them and dismisses their suspicions. Once he walks along, the townspeople decide to handle the matter on their own.
Later, Hoby is in his office when he sees a man go by with a torch. He follows and sees the townspeople planning to stop every stranger before they go into town. Hoby points out that they're a mob, not a posse, and what they're planning is against the law. The Ranger notes that there's no proof Harry even wrote the letter, and he'll arrest anyone who broke the law. Once the townspeople leave, Henrietta joins Hoby and tells him to think of what the townspeople are going through. Hoby doesn't care and says that he'll deal with Harry when he comes after him.
In the middle of a night, someone throws a note tied to a stone through the newspaper window. Henrietta calls Hoby and reads the note, which is from Harry. She's confirmed that the writing is the same, and Tenner figures it was one of the strangers who rode into town. There's an explosion at the hotel, and the townspeople form a bucket brigade. When Hoby goes in, he finds a blown-up bed. Hoby questions all of the strangers, and all of them deny leaving the explosion until after the explosion.
The next day, Hoby goes to the Buckhorn and the customers leave when they see him. Tenner gets Hoby a cup of coffee and Hoby figures that he's a pariah. The owner asks what Hoby is going to do, and says that the townspeople think that Hoby should leave Porter. Hoby agrees, but Tenner points out that he doesn't think that. Hoby admits that he's scared and leaves.
Hoby rides out and makes camp for the night. The Calley wagon pulls up and the brothers say that their mother is in the back. The older brother Joseph explains that their mother didn't want to go to California so they carried her out to the wagon when she was asleep. The woman wakes up and Hoby tells them to continue on.
Later that night, Harry fires a shot into Hoby's camp. Hoby takes cover and Harry calls out, saying that Hoby is a dead man. He explains that he wanted to see Hoby sweat and the town turn against him. Harry says that he'll wait until the sun comes up and let Hoby burn in the heat. Tenner arrives and tells Harry to surrender. Harry refuses and Hoby and Tenner finally wound Harry. Harry tells Hoby that he should have killed him, but Hoby isn't impressed and thanks Tenner for his help.
Later back in Porter, Tenner stops by the sheriff's office and explains that he and Ralph figured Harry was one of the Calley brothers and follow them out of town. Ralph follow the wagon while tenner stayed to watch over Hoby, but admits that he fell asleep and Harry walked right past him. They figure that Harry hired the Wards to play the port and distract Hoby. Ralph's horse rides into town with Ralph asleep on its back. When they wake him up, he's surprised to find himself back in Porter.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 23, 2017