Bret and Bart were both charmed by Laura Miller. As Bret began to say, "All's fair in love and war," cheating your own brother out of an opportunity to be alone with their pretty neighbor seemed desirable. To decide which of them would have the honor of calling on Miss Miller, they cut for high card. Bart drew a "queen for a queen," but Bret drew a "king for a queen." When Bret arrived at Laura's house, Bart was already there and settled in. Bart would have no doubt honored the luck of the draw if he hadn't discovered the king his brother had drawn had been crimped.
Bret was at it again when he and Bart were deciding who should go along with Laura's cattle drive or go after the Tall Man. He attempted another high-card cut to decide, but Bart insisted on a coin toss. Bret called heads to go with the cattle drive, but Bart wasn't fooled by his brother's two-headed "lucky piece." Bret's machinations were foreshadowed by his telling Bart the Tall Man's wagon train was heading northeast. This would indicate the opposite direction of the cattle drive and perhaps lure Bart away on a longer chase. After all, how else would it take eight days to for a single rider on horseback to track a slow-moving wagon train that only left a few hours earlier?
Bret and Bart were expecting Laura Miller's invitation to them to have been of a romantic nature, so they became competitive for her attentions. But when they discovered her interest was only to hire them as trail bosses for a cattle drive, they themselves lost interest and were in immediate accord. The moment Laura's job offer was made, Bret had nothing more to say than a polite "Good night." Bart punctuated the sentiment with an even more final "Goodbye".
01. Maverick, Trail West to Fury (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
After the Mavericks declined her offer to work as trail bosses on her cattle drive, she had them bushwhacked and robbed of all their money. Being flat broke, they were forced to accept the job.
Bret became the trail boss of her two-and-a-half-month cattle drive while Bart was elsewhere tracking the Tall Man. Even though she was in a relationship with Jim Hazlit at the time, it was Bret from whom she stole a kiss at the end of the drive.
Bret and Bart were ambushed one night as they walked out of the Cattleman's Hotel together by Jett and another of Jessie Hayden's men. In the ensuing gunplay, Bret killed one gunman in self-defense and Bart killed Jett.
These were the earliest deaths at the hands of the Mavericks in the Saga that we know of. Neither Bret nor Bart seemed upset at all by killing their attackers, as if it were a common occurrence. However, having just retired from five years of fighting in the Civil War and Indians on the frontier, we may imagine the Maverick Brothers may have killed any number of others.
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