Cowboys were a disaster
Bill was very cherished for hours and when the next day he saw that Tutt, mocking him, wears them in public, was furious. But this rage was cold and prudent. The city already knew that it would not do without a fight, and everyone was waiting for what the quarrel would be resolved at the price of ten dollars. And the quarrel was soon resolved – Tatt was left without hours and debt paid, and Hickcock again received the clock and the opportunity not to pay the bills.
Former friends met in the square. They were separated by about twenty-five meters. The shots merged together, and Davis Tutt fell with a shot through his chest – a bullet, entering his right side, went out through the left, breaking his heart. Hickcock remained unharmed, but was arrested and thrown into prison. The court found him not guilty.
With the onset of spring, Hickcock entered the service of a conductor to General William Sherman, then, in 1867-1868, he helped to wage war with the Indians Winfield Hancock and George Custer. The latter later wrote about him in his book “My Life on the Plains”, which was published in 1874: “His courage is not in doubt. His skill in handling a gun and revolver is infallible … Wild Bill always wore two huge beautiful revolvers with ivory handles. They never saw him without them. ” The famous Buffalo Bill Cody, with whom Hickcock helped the army pacify the Indians, also admired his skill as a shooter. Buffalo Bill said that Hickcock cocked the trigger while pulling the revolver, and this gave him an advantage in a split second. “He never killed a single person,” Cody went on, “unless he tried to kill him. It’s true”.
Hickcock gained national fame in 1867 after the publication of the article “Wild Bill” in the February issue of “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine”. Its author, George Ward Nichols, happened to meet with Hickcock in the summer of 1865 in Springfield. Wild Bill, like many residents of the Wild West, never denied himself the pleasure of fouling visiting visitors and “figures from the East”, but he could not even imagine that his fables would be received with such enthusiasm. “During a friendly conversation,” Nichols wrote of him, “his eyes are meek, like a woman’s … and you will never believe that you look into the eyes that indicated the path to death for hundreds of men. Yes, Wild Bill killed hundreds of men with his own hands! And I have no doubt about that. “He shoots to kill,” they say (about him) at the border. ”
Arrows of the Wild West. Sheriffs, bandits, cowboys, gunfighters
Engraved revolvers – J. B. Hickcock, 1869 – may have belonged to Wild Bill Hickcock
Nichols was not particularly concerned about authenticity. For him, literary style delights and “fried facts” were more important. He achieved his goal – the article made a splash. The circulation was quickly sold out, the article was discussed in other newspapers.
Springfield, where Hickcock lived, was divided into two camps – some residents were indignant, others “laughed to cramps.” And it was not Hickkok at all. People who knew him confirmed that he was a true marksman and very dangerous if provoked, although no one took seriously the author’s statements that his hero killed so many people. The local Springfield Patriot newspaper of January 31, 1867 wrote: “James B. Hickcock (and not William Hitchcock, as the author incorrectly called his hero) is an outstanding man, and very well known here … None of the million federalist soldiers “he could boast of a larger article, strength, courage and composure than he, no one could surpass him in the art of riding and the ability to handle a revolver, and few performed their soldier’s duty in that war better and more faithfully than he.” But Nichols depicted the inhabitants of Springfield themselves as dirty, narrow-minded, semi-civilized people, whose greatest desire was to grow their beards more truly. The “resentful group of residents” not only held a grudge, but also feared that now no one would want to move to their “glorious town”. Those who were amused by the article (and there were most of them) answered them: “If this stops some complete fools from coming to southwestern Missouri, there is little loss.” Be that as it may, the editor of Springfield Patriot recommended that Nichols henceforth never show his nose in their city, otherwise no one would vouch for his health. Nichols hardly read this warning, but never again appeared in Springfield and never met with Hickcock. The article about “The Legend of the Wild West” was only one of many of his articles over the years of work in the newspaper. In addition to journalism, he also wrote a book about General Sherman and founded the prestigious College of Music in Cincinnati, becoming its president. But in history, he still remained known as the man who gave rise to the legend of Wild Bill Hickkok.