The night of the Philpott murder John hired a horse, tied it to the rail outside the Alhambra. He waited to ride with Wyatt in posse at his word. John had earlier been lured to a nonexistent poker game in Galleyville, and returned with his other horse tied companionably to the water wagon.
Wyatt did not call, for he did not want to ask him to break loyalty, choose between friends. They rode after Billy Leonard.
When they tried to frame him for the murder, the horse at the rail was prosecution evidence. The horse behind the wagon exonerated him.