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MonkeyNotes-The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
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As more people come into the bar, Art notices that there is "a difference underneath." The mood is more solemn and serious; no one laughs or cracks a joke. Canby explains to Art and Gil that the people in and around Bridger's Wells have been troubled for awhile by cattle rustling, and a huge number of cattle have been lost. Still uncomfortable with the conversation, Moore invites Art and Gil, to play a game of poker with him. As they play, more townsfolk enter the bar. Davies, the owner of the general store, comes in with his clerk, Joyce. The minister (Osgood), an old rancher (Bartlett), and another hand from Drew's ranch (Farnley) also enter the bar. Moore asks them all to watch the poker game.


Even though Gil is winning, Art is concerned because his friend is drunk and does not take his success "right." After Gil wins two more rounds, Farnley suggests a game of "double draw." Gil says that it is a game for old ladies, but he agrees to play even though he is irritated by Farnley's interference. Gil continues to win in the new game, stacking his money on the table. Farnley is obviously irritated and hints that perhaps Gil is a cattle rustler. Gil, losing all patience, hits Farnley hard, banging his head against the sill. Canby tops the fight by hitting Gil with a bottle, causing him to fall down. Art puts Gil's money in a sack and waits for his friend to regain consciousness. When he is back to himself, Gil decides to give Farnley his money back, saying he has not won the last pot fairly. He takes out ten dollars for Farnley.

Suddenly there is a sound of a running horse. The men in the bar look out and see that the rider has his hat pulled down, hiding his face. He rushes behind the saloon and stops. A young man dismounts the horse and comes to the door of the bar. He says that Kinkaid, who works on Drew's ranch, has been murdered. Farnley is enraged at the news. Canby tells Art that even before this murder the men in town have been talking about lynching the rustlers. This news makes matters even worse.

Art and Gil leave Canby's saloon. Art says he wants to be accepted by the men in Bridger's Wells, but he knows that they do not trust him and Gil. Gil admits that he would also like to be accepted.

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