This will have to be brief. For one thing, I have to be somewhere shortly, and for another, I don't have time to review the testimony the way I need to in order to give you the kind of answer your questions deserve.
Briefly, Mullin used the 1916 map, but prepared a revision in 1949 (See my article on the O. K. Corral in the current WWHA JOURNAL).
Coleman said that Ike was last as they crossed Allen and entered the O. K. Corral. What we don't have clear evidence on is the conversation and movements that took place among the cowboys once they were inside the corral. Standing together as they were when Sills saw them leaves us with no insight of how they proceeded through the corral on the part of Sills, Coleman, or Allen. Ike could easily have walked with Frank toward Fremont while the Billys lingered before proceeding to the vacant lot.
It is a theory, but the combination of events suggests that the vacant lot was the place they agreed to meet. That fits whether they were up to mischief or on their way to the West End Corral for Ike's wagon.
If I thought that Billy did in fact tie his horse up in front of Bauer's before going to Fly's then going through to Fremont is the argument I would make, although it would pose a problem too. If Billy was urging Ike to get out of town, as Claiborne also testify, why would he tie up a horse that he would have to go back for before proceeding to the West End Corral? If they were really leaving town, wouldn't it make more sense for him to keep the horse with him?
I need to review what I have on the "back route." We had a discussion on the board which dealt with this some months ago, and I need to check my notes to give you an adequate answer. As for the "directly," I see your point, but I still think the back route was the most direct route. It was largely open and unobstructed. Again I'll have to check sources, but there is evidence that the O. K. Corral used the vacant area. It may not have been used to hold stock, but it could have been used to store hay or park wagons or hold other equipment used by the corral.
I'll get back to you on this one, but I have an appointment that I have to keep. It'll have to be later.
I suggested Gilchrieses map and the back route as a possibility for discussion by putting up the first post and after I said he might not know what he was doing, I added “but who knows?” I think that ... more
Maps and movements Gary Roberts,Wed Apr 18 12:40
This was not like the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. Gary, This is a great conversation. I think it is important. You have just done what few do, by making individuals of these ranchers. I found while... more
Robin "So, for Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne to take an easier and shorter route to their rendezvous seems very possible and very probable to me." I have asked everyone I can think of to show... more
Hi Tom, What evidence is there that the two Billy's came out at the Fremont Street O.K. Corral exit? Who saw them there? Who testified to that? Billy Allen and Reuben Coleman, in a sense, followed... more
Robin However I note it is a position held by few for which no actual evidence is presented that I have been able to find from those who advocate for it Almost every person who has written about this ... more
Nick, I can't know for sure, because we can only speculate about what might have happened if Sheriff Behan hadn't shown up. My general belief has been that Billy was anxious to leave and that the... more
Since it appears from photographs that there were no hitching rails on the street, it was a misdemeanor to tie your horse to a tree, and I get the impression that people were encouraged to take their ... more
Gary, This morning I reviewed Billy Claiborne's testimony before the Coroner's Inquest and at the Spicer Hearing to see if there was anything I had previously overlooked that might clarify the route... more
Jerry, My guess is that Coroner Matthews initiated preliminary interviews with potential witnesses in order to determine which witnesses should later be called at the Coroner's Inquest. Exactly how... more
Matthews talked to the people that were on the scene that day, and based on those initial conversations put together a witness list for the inquest. The most curious thing about the coroner's inquest ... more
Gary, Two possibilities arise as to why the police involved in the shooting were not called to testify in the Coroner's inquest: 1.) Behan successfully managed to manipulate Matthews in the selection ... more
Jeff, Is it realistic to think that the Earps were already conferring with Fitch within a couple of hours of the street fight? I don't know, maybe they were, but I have never seen anything on it.... more
Gary I understood there was no information on how the cowboys proceeded once in the OK Corral but Coleman gave a clue. As you know Sills is the only one who testified to seeing the cowboys standing... more