TIMELINE: Friday, October 6 – Thursday, October 19, 1876
Saturday, October 7, 1876: The Delta Star arrives in New Orleans. Bret, out of money, talks the owners of the Louisiana and Missouri Packet Company into a $5,000 stake and passage on the Stonewall Jackson for passage back to St. Louis, scheduled to depart the next morning.
Sunday, October 8, 1876: Due to public interest in Bret's rematch with Samantha at the poker table, the Stonewall Jackson delays its departure until evening, allowing more time for booking the additional fares. Shortly after the Stonewall leaves New Orleans, the evening's poker game begins by the ship's clock at 8:15 p.m.
Monday, October 9, 1876: By the ship's clock at 3:40 a.m., Samantha taps Bret for $21,000 and wins "according to Hoyle." Bret promises Bledsoe and Hayes that he will repay their stake and arranges a partnership with Samantha to take down Joe Riggs in Wagon Wheel, Wyoming Territory.
Friday, October 13, 1876: The Stonewall Jackson arrives in St. Louis on schedule. Bret purchases the gambling equipment he and Samantha will need to go after Riggs and arranges for it to be shipped out by freight that afternoon. Bret and Samantha agree to travel arrangements from St. Louis to Wagon Wheel, leaving on the next morning's train for Kansas City.
Saturday, October 14, 1876: At about 7:00 a.m., Bret and Samantha take the Missouri and Pacific Railroad to Kansas City, arriving about 4:40 p.m. There, they change trains to the Kansas Pacific Railway, leaving about 10:15 p.m.
Sunday, October 15, 1876: Still riding the Kansas Pacific from Kansas City, Bret and Samantha arrive in Denver about 11:00 a.m. They leave Denver around 1:30 p.m. and arrive in Cheyenne about 5:30 that afternoon.
Monday, October 16, 1876: Bret and Samantha take the morning stage from Cheyenne for Wagon Wheel.
Wednesday, October 18, 1876: Bret and Samantha arrive in Wagon Wheel in the early afternoon.
Thursday, October 19, 1876: Bret exposes Riggs' cheating practices and the customers destroy his Golden Bucket Saloon. Ma Braus offers to buy the place from Riggs and hires Big Mike McComb to run it for her as an honest gambling parlor.
Two days later: Bret, Samantha, Cross and Tree arrive in Cheyenne.
From the actual content of the story, "According to Hoyle" could have taken place almost any time after "War of the Silver Kings," when Bret first met Big Mike McComb. But the rule of Hoyle referenced in the story is supposedly recorded in the 1876 edition of "Hoyle's Games." It could be conceivable that the story could have taken place in 1877, 1878 or even later. But we should probably assume that the Stonewall Jackson's copy of Hoyle was the most recent edition available. So, we place the episode in late 1876, allowing time for the book to have been published and distributed amongst the far-flung gambling trade that same year. Not to mention several appearances of and references to Samantha Crawford with both Bret and Bart that probably take place well before the end of the 1870s.
Late 1876 is also consistent with Bret's known whereabouts in September. The month of October would have seen the majority of Bret's wanderings that year behind him. Specific dates in the episode are not alluded to but since October allows for other stories firmly set in 1876, we have chosen to commemorate the original 1957 airdate of "According to Hoyle, " October 6, as the opening date of the story in the Chronology.
Beyond that, the day-to-day timeline is based on the known time required to travel the story's given distances to specific destinations in 1876.
01. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
02. Maverick, According to Hoyle (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
03. Maverick, The Seventh Hand (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
04. Maverick, The Savage Hills (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
05. Maverick, Shady Deal at Sunny Acres (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
06. Maverick, The Day They Hanged Bret Maverick (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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