to the "threat" well before the cowboys reached Fremont Street. All of the movements on Allen and Fourth, as well as the reports that the cowboys as a group had moved into the O. K. Corral were the events that created the sense of alarm. Even if they did emerge together on Fremont, the cowboys immediately divided. We have folks like Coleman and Allen and Sills keeping track of them and there presence on Fremont wasn't kept a secret for long. It doesn't take much of a leap from the cowboys went into the O. K. Corral to some of the cowboys being seen on Fremont for the report to get back to Hafford's that the cowboys were on Fremont.
The report might have been "more palpable" if they'd all stayed together, walked together toward Fourth, went into every store, marched down to the vacant lot together, but we know that didn't happen. By Behan's testimony, he first saw Frank and spoke with him at the corner of Fremont and Fourth, then saw Ike and Tom below Fly's, and did not see Billy and Willie until he reached the vacant lot.
By the time the cowboys reached Fremont, by whatever route, the "crisis" had a life of its own. People were milling about, straining to see what was going on and imagining what every move meant. Rumor had replaced reason. Gossip reinforced what people had actually seen.
I have no problem with Frank walking through to Fremont, leading the horse. In fact, that is what I described. But, by then, the cowboys didn't have to be together to be thought of as a group or as a threat. Instead of thinking, "Oh, that's only Frank taking care of business," by then the attitude of townspeople was more along the lines of, "Oh, there's Frank. Where are the rest. What are they up to now?"
Willie Claiborne didn't have a stop watch on. But his sense of time isn't really the point. The point I was emphasizing was Claiborne's emphasis on his conversation with Billy, a conversation intent enough that Behan approached the others at the vacant lot with Frank, told them to give up their guns, argued with Frank, and walked away to meet the Earps before Billy joined the others to find out what was going on. Fifteen minutes or five, it seems that Billy was distracted.
Whatever Frank's intentions were, his argument with Behan and his failure to turn over his weapons prevented the peaceful resolution of the situation.
Gary. Tom had business that he transacted earlier at the Eagle Meat market on Allen - that was when the witnesses (Gardner and Bilicke) saw him emerge with a bulge in his pants pocket. He certainly... more
If you look at the old photos of Bauer's you get a sense that it was a small building with no awnings, a large window in front, and a small porch/sidewalk. King says that she stepped into the outer... more
Those old photos of "Bauer's" have been deceiving many of us for quite some time. The building that was there at the time of the gunfight was much larger. About a year and a half ago, Gary McLelland... more
The usually used photos of Bauer's are of the rebuilt store taken many years later (see the one in Lake's book, for example). Mrs. King was pretty explicit as to where she was. She said that the... more
Somewhere I've seen a map that shows the area that was destroyed in the 1882 fire. Been looking for it, but can't find it. As I remember, the fire stopped west of Bauer's(which it destroyed), but... more
I was going through some of Bob Bell's books and found a picture of the original Oriental bar before the fire. It had several very tall doors that seem to stand open to allow easy in and out access.... more
Yes, I've seen those photos. The great photo Gary McLelland provided was taken from quite a distance, so it was not easy to see in detail. To me, it looked like there were two doors in the center of... more
I counted a set of 4 doors along the front of the building, and one at the corner. Think two on the side of 5th street from a drawing of the building. That was a large open air gambling den, easy in... more
Yes, the high doors, over 10ft high, I think there was two doors facing main street, and of course the corner door that Claiborne was waiting in front. Years ago I was standing at the side entrance... more
Geraldo I guess they did that because they thought the fight was in the entrance of the O.K. Corral and they knew fly's was involved. Thus i guess they merged those two thoughts, maybe? Interesting... more
Tom, Many, many, many years ago, when I was just a pup, I remember seeing similar photos in books about "The Old West" in the public library. I remember that the caption under one picture stated,... more
Gary, That was probably it. The only time I read Lake's book was when I checked it out of the library those many years ago. I think I saw another book there on old west or Arizona history with one of ... more