After examining the kid's revolver they found only five live cartridges, but the spent caseing did not seem to have been fired recently AND that keeping only five cartridges in revolvers was common practice.
O.K. Now I'm confused.
Were there "five live cartridges" plus
one "spent caseing" (sing.) in the cylinder, making six altogether, but this Poe also felt it necessary to explain that six in the gun was an unusual condition?
Or, do you mean (or did he say) there were four
live rounds and one spent one?
BTW, I never said that hammers lowered between the rims wasn't done back in the day, I just wanted to point out to the unwary but caring that it can (read "will") mar the cylinder. Attitudes regarding care of firearms has changed considerably in the past few years