Friday, December 05, 2014

A Duel Too Far?

December 5, 2014
    Got up this morning and decided I needed to take one more shot at the Kit Carson vs. Joseph Chouinard horseback duel.

Daily Whipout: "Kit Carson vs. Joseph Chouinard, No. 4"

   This horseback duel took place in August of 1835 at the annual trapper's rendezvous on the Green River in Wyoming. The two horses were nose to nose when both men fired at point blank range. Carson's shot struck Chouinard in the right hand, tearing off his thumb (you can see a piece of it, sent flying in the painting). The ball came out at the wrist and passed through the French-Canadian's arm above the elbow. Chouinard's horse bucked at the first report (Carson got off his shot a half-second earlier) causing the Frenchman's rifle to jerk upward; instead of hitting Carson in the heart, the bullet creased Carson's neck, under the right ear. The gun powder burned Carson's eye and singed his hair.

"Shut up, or I'll rip your guts."
—Kit Carson's retort to the big bully's claim to "take a switch and switch [all the Americans in the camp]."