America’s Last Emperor: Duel

Darren Mckeeman
13 min readMar 29, 2021

Chapter Eighteen

The site of the last duel in the United States, courtesy

November 20th, 1858

Norton held his anniversary dinner at Macao and Woosung again for the ninth anniversary of his arrival in San Francisco. He had gotten a temporary job as an agent for some goods that arrived in October and managed to sell them all, but his casual talk of monarchy turned his employer off and he did not get another chance at business with him. He had money to pay for dinner, but Eastland would not hear of it.

He had a motley crew of guests this year. Abe Warner showed up with a tiny squirrel monkey in his pocket that he hid from Norman. Lillie Hitchcock dragged her family to the celebration despite her father’s protestations. Tom Sawyer was there as well, smelling of whiskey and sweat. Most impressively, David Broderick showed up at the behest of Eastland. He had an entourage, but he glad handed around and made time for every person in the room like a good politician. Mr. Hitchcock had to admit that Lillie was right to have pushed them to come.

“Broderick,” said Norton. “Eastland and I were just talking about the election. Your side came out the weaker.”

“It’s just the tides of politics,” said Broderick. “My own party is split on the issue of slavery. You’ve known me a while Norton and know exactly how I feel. Others in my party are upset about my stance. They think I’m the one ‘splitting the party’ when in reality it’s the person who wants to own another person who is splitting the party. The other party is united in their opposition to slavery.”

“Who lost again?” said Eastland.

“Terry was up for the state senate and lost,” said Broderick. “ I would have loved to served beside him and presented a united front for the party. But slavery is a hotly debated topic here and any reasonable person can see that it must be abolished. I chalk it up to reasonable people voting more. Most of his wing of the party lost. I think this proves my theory.”

“You’d better watch your back,” said Mr. Hitchcock. “Remember he stabbed that vigilante in the neck.”

“Terry and I go way back,” said Broderick. “He’s not going to stab me in the neck, I’m not stealing guns.”

Darren Mckeeman

Founder at KinkBNB. Writer of fiction and nonfiction.