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MonkeyNotes-The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
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Sensing Art's uncertainty, Davies asks him to go and get the judge and the sheriff. He explains that Sheriff Risley has made Mapes, who is called Butch, his deputy; but Mapes is not a wise man and should not lead the posse. While they are talking, Smith comes in with two guns and a coil of rope. He makes hanging motions with the rope and teases Davies by asking him to stay home and rest for the funeral of the rustlers. He also ridicules Osgood. Art departs, and Gil joins him, asking where he is going. Art says that Davies is right and that he is going to get Risley and Tyler. Gil refuses to go with him.

As Joyce and Art head to Judge Tyler's place, they discuss whether the posse will ever leave and question who can be its leader. Moore seems to be the only logical choice, but he is not ready to accept this position. Arriving at the judge's house, they realize it is a new three-story structure, which looks too high and narrow. There is a fancy, metal pull bell beside the front door. When Art yanks it, a tall large-boned woman comes out. Joyce tells her that Mr. Davies has sent them, and she instructs them to wait outside. Joyce explains that she is Mrs. Larch, Judge Tyler's housekeeper, who has served him since his wife died. When she returns, the two men are asked inside, where they find Mapes. Art and Joyce ask the judge to talk with them alone, but Mapes insists that he should be included in the conversation since he is the deputy. Art and Joyce refuse for Mapes to be included.

When Mapes finally leaves, Joyce tells Judge Tyler about everything that is happening. He explains that Davies and Osgood want a legal posse to be sworn in, but no one is listening to them. Joyce suggests that the judge come at once. While they are talking, Art sees that a rider yells something to Mapes on the porch. Mapes, having just learned of Kinkaid's murder, comes inside, ready to legalize the posse. The judge says that only Sheriff Risley has the power to form a legal posse. He says that he will come and explain this to the gathered men. Art and Joyce go out. On the way back, they notice that there is now an excitement throughout the whole village. The women seem to be as stirred up as the men. One woman, however, asks Art to send her son, Tommy, back home. An old man asks when the posse is leaving; when Art tells him that there is no great rush since the rustlers already have a four hour head start, the old man ridicules them for not leaving already.


The posse is waiting for the return of Bartlett and his sons, while Davies waits for the arrival of the judge. Smith comes forward to ridicule Sparks, the black handyman in the village. He tells him that he should come with the posse, for a hanging does not happen everyday. Sparks says that he will go only if Mr. Osgood goes. The minister, however, says he will not go, for it is an illegal procedure. Smith then turns his ridicule on Osgood. Then Sparks decides to go, saying there should be someone in the group who feels like Mr. Osgood.

Ma Grier, a strong woman from the village, arrives to join the posse. The men greet her with loud cheering. Davies again tries to reason with the men. He tells them that Sheriff Risley is at Drew's ranch, and if he required more men, he would have surely have sent for them. Ma Grier disagrees with Davies, telling him he is too conservative. She adds that they should leave as soon as Bartlett comes with his sons. Davies says that they must wait for Judge Tyler. Bartlett then arrives with his son, Carl. He tells the crowd that he has sent his other son, Nate, to bring Major Tetley, who has been a Confederate cavalry officer. Judge Tyler also arrives with Mapes. Although the gathered crowd does not have much respect for the judge, they listen to his speech; but his words fail to change their minds. Young Greene is called forward and questioned. He says that Olsen is the one that has told him of Kinkaid's murder.

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