Tennessee's Partner

by Bret Harte

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Why did Tennessee's Partner visit the courthouse?

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Tennessee's partner has turned up at the courthouse to help out his old friend. This comes as something of a surprise. After all, Tennessee ran off with his partner's wife. Yet when he came back to the mining camp, minus his friend's new bride, he was greeted warmly, disappointing the other men who were kind of hoping for a deadly shootout to ensue. So perhaps it's not so strange to see Tennessee's Partner showing up to help out a friend in need, after all.

Tennessee's up before the court on a charge of theft. His partner's heard that he needs some money. So he's come to court with a carpetbag full of valuables—$1700 in gold and a watch, to be precise. The judge is less than pleased with the intervention of Tennessee's partner; he thinks that the valuable contents of the carpetbag are meant as a bribe. Determined to prove that he cannot be so crudely bought off, the judge dispenses some good old-fashioned frontier justice and orders Tennessee to be hanged from a tree the very next morning.

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