The economy was impacting Dodge City. Marshall Matt Dillon was advised that only one deputy position would be included in the city budget for the coming year. He would then be forced to let one of his men go, but which one? Chester or Festus? The City Council was clearly divided on the issue.
Miss Kitty was of the opinion that Chester had a wonderful smile and a cheerful disposition. And good impressions were important in Dodge. Doc Adams, on the other hand, leaned toward Festus. In a shoot-out, Festus' small stature would prove a more difficult target for a drunken cowboy than the gangling Chester. Quint Asper, the blacksmith, told the Marshall that he didn't think either man was "worth his salt" when it came to handling the Dodge saloon patrons. Newly O'Brien, the gunsmith, rarely even spoke.
After numerous meetings with much "yammering" but no consensus building, Matt and the Council were at wits end until Newly timidly made a suggestion that seemed to all a quite brilliant idea.
This just might be what was needed to guide the Council's thinking and help them make a very tough decision. (Watch for Part 2.)