Adam handed Virginia her gunbelt with two Remington Model 1875 revolvers, freshly cleaned and oiled, nestled in its holsters. “The Rangers know their shooting irons. If you’re asked why you use a Remington 1875 instead of a Colt 1873, tell them ‘Mr. Colt can go to hell: my parents used a Remington as Prosperity Rangers and that’s what I’ll use now.'”

Virginia accepted the belt and buckled it on. “Why do I need to say that?” she said with wrinkled nose.

“Because that’s what I’d say if it were me.” Adam shook his lame leg. “I may have lost my shot but I can still have my say.”

“But I only use the Remingtons because you bought them for me.”

“Out, out! You’re already late,” Adam cried. “And remember what I told you to say.”

*

Cunningham looked at the revolvers laid out as part of Virginia’s kit. “Most of our candidates are using Peacemakers,” he said with a note of surprise in his voice, “but I see you favor the Model 1875.”

Virginia nodded eagerly, trying to remember the lines Adam had told her to recite at just such a statement. “Yeah. Mr. Remington can go to hell. My parents used a Colt as Prosperity Rangers and that’s what I’ll use now.”

Cunningham and Hopkins looked at one another with meaningful, skeptical glances. “I…see,” Cunningham said.

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