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The Gun That Murdered Lincoln Recap

Senator Tyson Yardley arrives at John's office and presents Major James Sampson with the Department of War. John introduces Fry, and James points out that they were in the war together for three years, looking for the traitor Daggett. Fry doesn't remember James, and Tyson says that he's there to hang a traitor. He shows John a .44 caliber derringer and explains that it's the gun that killed Lincoln. Tyson then presents his warrant. The senator refuses to present his evidence, and tells John to prepare the trial for two days. John tells Fry to bring in Yancy. As Tyson and James leave, Tyson tells the major to follow Fry and have his soldiers shoot Yancy down if he tries to escape: it will save them time and trouble.

Fry goes to the club where Yancy is with Francine gambling. They join Fry at the bar, and Fry tells him that he has orders to arrest Yancy. James and his men come in and demand to know where Yancy is. When Mai-Ling points him out, Yancy readily identifies himself and Fry advises him not to try and escape. The major says that the charge is high treason, and Pahoo draws his shotgun. Yancy tells him to put his gun away, and goes with James.

The next day, John and Fry to the calaboose where Tyson is holding Yancy incommunicado. The senator refuses to let Yancy have visitors other than his defense counsel, and John says that he's Yancy's defense counsel. When he sees Yancy, John is shocked that Tyson had Yancy manacled. The administrator explains that Tyson is apparently pursuing a personal vendetta, but Yancy doesn't know the man. Pahoo is in John's office, watching, and Yancy tells John to keep his blood brother out of trouble. Yancy agrees to let John defend him, and John explains the charge. His friend admits that his father gave him two such derringers made in Philadelphia. Yancy admits that he has no idea where they were: he left them at Waverly and the plantation was burned and looted in '61.

Yancy admits that he was in Southern Maryland when Booth was smuggling contraband. They knew Booth was in the War Department, and when he thought the South was going to win the war, he started selling state secrets through a spy named Daggett. Yancy was Daggett's contact men, and was in Maryland '63 on the same time that Daggett was there although he never saw his face as they only met at night. John admits that Yancy has a strong circumstantial case.

That night, a man posing as a soldier knocks out the sentry. The newcomer unlocks the door and tells Yancy to come with him. When Yancy refuses the imposter prepares to shoot him. The sentry wakes up and shoots the imposter, killing him before slamming the cell door shut.

The next day, Tyson tells John about the supposed escape. John figures that it was an attempt to kill Yancy before he could go to trial, but Tyson insists that he wants Yancy to go on trial. Once Tyson leaves, John talks to Obadiah, who remembers the derringers. He put them in a chest, sealed it with tallow, and dumped the chest down a well before the ravagers arrived. Obadiah suggests that he and Pahoo go to the well and get the chest Pahoo agrees and John tells him not to help Yancy no matter what happens. Francine is with Obadiah, and insists on going. They go to the well and Pahoo confirms that the chest is no longer in the well. However, he goes down to check again.

Later, Francine tells John that the chest isn't there. When she mentions that the well has 8' less of water, John figures the chest is buried in 8' of mud and says that he'll take care of it. John warns her that she's not allowed the military trial and goes inside.

Yancy is brought in before the bar wearing a hood and shackles. John insists that they be removed, and Tyson says that they're only doing what was done to the traitors in '65. General Cochran, the head of the board, has them removed over Tyson's objections. Meanwhile, John sends Fry to take a squad to Waverly to pump the well. Fry agrees but warns that the records show Yancy was the last man to meet Daggett face-to-face, and someone may want to eliminate him.

James begins the prosecution, and John says that they concede that Yancy owned a similar set of derringers and was Booth's contact. The prosecution introduces Booth's derringer and diary from the day he died. John objects, pointing out that there was no diary, but James says that the Secretary of War has verified it. Cochran accepts the diary into evidence, and John presents Conger's testimony that there was no such diary. Tyson says that the diary was withheld from the trial for purposes of state. John reads from the diary and notes that Mary Surratt was mistakenly hung. James dismisses it as immaterial, and John points out that pages of the diary are missing. Tyson presents one of the missing pages to Cochran, who accepts it as evidence and has John read it. Booth says that he purchased a derringer from Yancy for $100, nothing that Yancy was named after the gun he purchased. John asks for an adjournment to prepare his defense, and Cochran agrees to adjourn until the next morning.

The next morning, Obadiah presents the chest to the court. He testifies that they found it in the well and Fry, Pahoo, and six soldiers witnessed the recovery. John enters it into evidence and opens it. Inside are the two derringers, in mint condition. He also presents Union records showing that Yancy was in a Union hospital during the day that Booth claimed he bought the derringer from Yancy. Cochran declares Yancy not guilty and recommends that the newfound page is a forgery. As John and the others congratulate Yancy, Yancy tells them that he found Daggett.

That night, Yancy shares drinks with James and John. Pahoo comes in and signs to Yancy, while a man prepares to shoot Yancy. John asks Yancy about Daggett and points out that it couldn't be James. Yancy turns and wounds Tyson, the shooter. He then cuts off Tyson's beard, revealing a scar on his chin. Yancy explains that when he saw Daggett, he had black hair and was clean-shaven. He recognized Tyson from his voice, and Francine orders drinks for everyone.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 11, 2017

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