It comes right down to Little Joe holding a six-shooter at the head of a man who shot Hoss in the back with a buffalo rifle to avenge the death by misadventure of his brother. Adam has to tell Joe he’ll sink to the same level, and as Joe looks particularly keen on this exploit, adds, “I hope you enjoy it.”

They have just chased the man on a false scent out toward Sacramento by way of Sulphur Springs and the Geiger Pass, he doubled back on them, an Army scout once.

Mind you, Adam himself has just been wounded by the varmint storming the house to get at Hoss, who lumbers downstairs in his checkered nightshirt to say, “I’m glad you didn’t kill him, Little Joe.”


The Thunderhead Swindle

Virginia City is “tottering on the brink of a real depression”, promoters tout the Thunderhead as newly struck, although men who know say there’s none, silver isn’t anywhere to be found in it, yet these gentlemen wheel out a cartful.

All these mines on the Comstock are close company, the silver comes from just over the line in the Gould & Curry, a part ignored by the company.

Men die for knowing the truth and speaking it, Ben is worried what a false boom will do, but then he learns the mine he owns stock in has the richest strike seen in six months.

Men line up for work in the mine, who had been stealing cattle from the Ponderosa until Ben offered steers gratis for their families.