By Enola Jones

Morgan was a well-known gambler who came around every couple of years or so. And he was making his way through Four Corners' saloon patrons.

But he wasn't malicious or overly greedy. Regulators kept an eye on him, but never had to arrest him.

Today, though, Morgan looked up to find two boys watching him play. The hand ended, and he asked, "Something I can do for you boys?"

The auburn-hair boy spoke up. "You can stop triple-teaming him."

Morgan's eyes widened and he stood, leaving the game and sitting at a nearby table. He looked intently at the child. "What ever do you mean?"

He met the man's eyes with no fear. "You – in that hand alone – you dealt from the bottom of the deck. You did a bait-and-switch with the chips. And that's a marked deck."

"What's your name, son?"

"Ezra St—Ezra Tanner, sir. This is my friend, Matthew Potter." The other boy nodded.

"How old are you, Ezra?"

"We're eleven," Matthew said.

Morgan's eyes widened again. "My, my. You're quite the scamps, aren't you?"

"That's Mister Donnelly you're playing," Ezra put in. "He's a new widower."

"I see." Morgan petted Ezra's shoulder as he rose and went back to the game.

When Donnelly left, he left with only three dollars lightened from his wallet. Morgan turned to the boys and gave them a grin and a wink.

Matthew leaned over and whispered, "He's okay."

"He is," Ezra whispered back, a gleam of gold visible in his smile.


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