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Duel at the Oaks Recap

John and Francine race to the Oaks, desperate to get there in time and stop Yancy.

At the Oaks, Yancy confronts Charles LeBow and Charles points out that they have an audience. He talks about how they are merely actors, and Yancy tells him to get on with it. They each pace ten steps away from each other as Phillip Lorme, Charles' friend and business partner, counts off the steps. When he reaches ten, the two men turn and fire. Charles drops, just as the wagon pulls up. Phillip confirms that Charles is dead.

As the wagon takes Charles' body into town, John tells Yancy to report to his office the next morning. Once John leaves, Francine tells Yancy that she was scared out of her wits. Yancy insists that he had good reasons to challenge Charles, and says that Francine will have to trust him.

In the wagon, Charles opens his eyes and tells Phillip that everything went off nicely. Phillip demands an explanation, and Charles tells him that the important thing is that his plan worked.

The next day in John's office, John points out that he just asked Yancy to help him stop the excessive dueling among young men. Yancy assures him that the dueling code was observed, and John asks what the source of the quarrel was. The gambler glibly states that they were arguing which river is bluer, the Mississippi or the Danube, and John calls in Fry. However, the administrator reconsiders and concedes that he could have Yancy arrested but he won't. He figures something more is going on and asks for the truth. Yancy explains that the duel was a fake, and Yancy met his friend Charles at the club the previous night and Charles said someone was trying to kill him.

Charles explains that someone has tried to kill him three times, the third time on the way to the club. He wants Yancy to help him by "killing" him in a fake duel. Once the killer thinks Charles is out of the way, he'll contact Phillip and he'll take care of him. Yancy agrees to arrange the duel.

John demands proof, and Yancy tells him that Charles will be at the mock funeral that he's arranged. They go to the cemetery and John orders Charles' overseer Vincent to open the coffin. He does so and Fry confirms that Charles was shot through the heart. Yancy comes over and tells John to take a closer look: it's Phillip, not Charles. As the hearse leaves, Fry questions the overseer and discovers that he was told to pick up the coffin at noon. Phillip gave the order, and Yancy explains that Phillip thought that he was setting up the fake funeral. John holds Yancy as a material witness, and Yancy says that he will find Charles rather than rot in the calaboose. Fry handcuffs Yancy, and Yancy draws a gun on John and escapes. When a soldier tries to fire at him, John knocks the barrel up

Vincent goes to Charles' office and tells him that they know he wasn't in the coffin. When the man points out that Charles promised to take care of him, Charles takes out a pistol and shoos Vincent dead.

Later at the club, Pearl Girl tells Francine that there's someone in the back room to see her. She figures that it's Yancy and goes back, and Yancy grabs her from behind and tells her not to turn around. Yancy explains that he wants her to be able to truthfully say that she hasn't seen Yancy when John arrives in a few minutes. Francine says that John was already there a half hour ago, and Yancy explains that Charles set him up so that people would look for Yancy and Charles could disappear. He asks Francine to bring Jody in so that he can get out of the handcuffs, and she soon brings the pickpocket there.

Jody frees Yancy and has Pearl Girl time him. He's happy to beat his record, and asks to hang on to the handcuffs as a souvenir of his beating his old record. Yancy agrees and Jody is glad to do it no-charge as a favor. As he goes, Jody says that they found Vincent in the river an hour ago. Francine comes in with the shipping list Yancy asked for. It shows that only two ships are leaving port in the next two days, and Yancy figures that Charles will run as fast as possible. One is stopping off downriver at Bayou St. John and Yancy figures that it'd be the safest one for Charles to board. Once Yancy and Pahoo leaves, Pearl Girl tells Francine that there's $5,000 too much in the club till. Charles was a big winner the night before, and Francine worries that he'll come back for it.

Yancy and Pahoo take a skiff to Bayou St. John and find two men waiting at the dock. Pahoo easily gets the drop on them and Yancy has his blood brother threaten one man with a knife until he admits that they were to take Charles out to the schooner. Charles was going to collect a debt first from a gambling house and then meet them. Yancy realizes where Charles is going and has Pahoo watch the men while he leaves.

When Yancy arrives at the club after hours, Pearl Girl lets him in and he realizes that she has a gun. She explains that Francine thought Charles would come back. Charles sees them through the window going to the back parlor where Francine is counting the receipts. Francine explains that Charles left the $5,000 behind, and Yancy figures that Charles wanted to be sole partner. He pretended an assassin was after him and convinced Yancy to stage the fake duel so that Phillip would be buried in his place and nobody would be the wiser. Charles would have come out of hiding and Phillip would have supposedly left the country after selling out.

Charles comes in through the window and holds them at gunpoint. He takes Francine hostage and has Pearl Girl open the safe with the money. She hands over the money and Charles tells her to escort Yancy into the next room. He then shoves Francine out the door and closes and locks it. As Yancy runs out the front, he finds John and his soldiers there and slams the door shut. He has Jeremiah hold the door and runs upstairs, and John and his men force their way in and go after Yancy.

Yancy jumps off a second-story balcony and goes back to Bayou St. John. There are signs of a struggle indicating Pahoo was captured, and Yancy spots the men taking Charles out to the schooner with Pahoo as their prisoner. The gambler runs out and grabs Charles, and Pahoo jumps the two sailors. Charles breaks free and swims to shore, and Yancy knocks out his man and goes after him. He tackles his former friend and soon knocks him out. John and his men arrive, and Yancy turns Charles over to him.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 5, 2017

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