Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009
Stayed home all day and worked on text for True West Moments and the artwork for The Gunfight Behind The O.K. Corral which will run in the Arizona Republic on October 25. One of the aspects I'm trying to capture is my belief that Doc Holliday lunged at the cowboys essentially provoking the fight.

Addie Bourland, who was across the street in her shop before the fight, claimed she saw "a man in a long coat on" who "walked up to the man with the horse [Tom McLaury] and put a pistol in his stomach and then he, the man with the long coat on, stepped back two or three feet, and then the firing seemed to be general. . ."

Now, granted, she says he "walked" and she says he put a "pistol" in McLaury's stomach, but I still think Doc stepped lively, and with much force and I'm willing to believe Addy mistook a shotgun for pistol:

Holliday realizes the cowboys, who have been threatening his life, are in his side yard, and as the Earp party clears the Union Market porch, Morgan allegedly says, "Let them have it." And Doc agrees. Five more steps and Holliday is livid. He unveils the shotgun (which Virgil told him to keep under his coat) and walking aggressively—pokes it at Tom McLaury, then steps back. This produces the two clicks, probably Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury cocking their hammers back, and then poor Virgil, the ranking lawman, realizes it's all going south.

By the way, Billy Clanton had already drawn and cocked his pistol earlier when a busy body ran down to where the cowboys were talking and stuck his nose in.

Anyway, I don't believe I've seen any artistic depiction of the fight with Holliday in lunge mode. Trying to rectify that today.

"You sons of bitches have been looking for a fight and now you can have it."
—Wyatt Earp, not helping his brother Virgil at all to help subdue the cowboys

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