Friday, 9 January 2015

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok (Wild Bill)

On the afternoon of 2 August 1876, in the town of Deadwood deep in the heart of the Black Hills he joined a game of poker already in progress so wasn't able to get his usual seat where his back would be to the wall and he could see everyone who came and went.

Not long after he started playing John McCall, a buffalo hunter, entered through the door to Hickok's rear and shouting - Take That! Shot him once through the back of the head.

Wild Bill Hickok, the Legend of the West, died instantly.

The hand that Wild Bill Hickok had been holding that fateful late afternoon in the summer of 1879 was two Black Aces, two Black Eights, and an unturned Queen of Hearts.

It has been known ever since as - Dead Man's Hand.

Wild Bill - dressing for the press

Wild Bill's physical appearance belied his fearsome reputation.

Long-limbed and slight at 6’1” he was taller than most men and was so graceful in his movements that with his long auburn hair tinged with red and gentle soporific eyes he had an almost feminine mien.

Libby Custer wrote of him:

"Physically he was a delight to look upon. Tall, light, and free in every emotion, he rode and walked as if every muscle was perfection."

He was also quietly spoken rarely raising his voice except in anger though it was said that his expression could change in an instance, that his clear blue eyes would narrow and a darkness would descend that was frightful to behold.

For a brief time Wild Bill Hickok joined the cast of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but he was no actor.

Wild Bill Hickok's oldest friend - Buffalo Bill Cody.

Calamity Jane, claimed to have married Wild Bill and to have borne him a son.

John Wesley Hardin, who once shot a man for snoring was the deadliest of all the gunfighters of the Old West but even he declined to confront Wild Bill Hickok.

No comments:

Post a Comment