It occurred to me that in an earlier post I gave you a link that has samples of my collaborative fiction writing set in Ancient Egypt but that I haven’t shared anything yet of what I do in the Western genre. So without further ado here is a free sample of some writing of mine from Pan Historia. It is from the Tombstone novel and features my trademark Wyatt Earp from the day of the Gunfight at the OK Corral:
I watched the back of the sheriff as he moved off to ‘deal’ with the cow-boys that had been threatening our lives all morning. I think I heard a snort of derision from Doc, who was, I might add, in particularly fine fettle this afternoon – as if the danger was all he needed to feel in perfect health.
We stepped off the sidewalk as a group when we were accosted by concerned citizen after concerned citizen. First the cow-boys were at the Dexter Corral and then at the O.K. Corral. There were numerous first hand accounts coming at us in all directions of the threats against our lives. I had cause, in the days to come, to remember many of the names and faces and offers of assistance, and not in a pleasant way. Captain Murray, a stockbroker with a military past offered to gather a militia, a man by the name of Sills told us that the cow-boys had said they mean to kill us on sight.
We were not another ten paces down the street after declining help from left and right when a foreigner by the name of John L. Fonck came to see us. Fonck sells furniture in town but apparently had a far more colorful past – as a Chief Detective of the Los Angeles Police Department and an agent of the U.S. Secret Service. He tells us what he has heard of the threats and that he can quickly round up ten men.
“I swear to God, are these boys just going around finding everyone in town to issue this threat to?” exclaimed Virgil in exasperation.
It was getting a little tedious.
“Where are they now?”
“They are all down there on Fremont Street,” said Fonck.
“Thank you, sir, but I think we can take care of things – as duly appointed officers of the law. We’ll take it from here.”
After Fonck made his retreat Virgil turned to me with distress in his face. I knew he didn’t want to fight these men, and I knew he’d much rather be studying the racing form, but there really was nothing for it.
“Nothing to do but try and disarm them, and if they want a fight, make a fight.”
“About time,” said Doc, “I’ll go along.”
“This is our fight, Doc. There’s no call for you to mix in.”
“That’s a hell of a thing for you to say to me, Wyatt.”
I wasn’t going to gainsay my friend if he wanted to back our play so I nodded. Virgil didn’t argue either, which surprised me a little, but then he requested Doc’s silver capped cane and handed Doc the shotgun.
“The sight of this thing could give folks the wrong idea. Put it under your coat, Doc, and now you’re a deputy.”
Reading this now I’m surprised it is as cohesive as it is. I wrote it under a lot of pressure on the actual anniversary of the gunfight. If I were to rewrite the thing today at my leisure there would be some changes. I worked quite closely with Virgil and Doc Holliday when I composed this piece, and each had done their research on the day so this was one of those occasions when the role play and collaboration went as rapidly as the shots fired that cold day in 1881.