"The Duelist," by David Dean, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019.
My friend and fellow SleuthSayer, David Dean, is making his fifth appearance here with a fine historical tale.
The time is pre-Civil War and the place is Natchez, Mississippi. Captain Noddy has a habit of taking offense at innocent remarks by country bumpkins, and then taking their lives in duels.
Now a down-on-his-luck gambler named Darius LeClair has arrived in town and seems quite careless in talking to the dangerous captain. Is he foolish or is he doing it on purpose? Is he in fact a gambler or something quite different?
There are wheels within wheels here and the secrets keep unraveling right to the end. I enjoyed it a lot.