It is the key to the whole thing and many have given up on solving it because they only accept the written word. Certainly that is the most important base to start with, but circumstantial evidence is of almost equal value. I always maintain that you can 'read between the lines without altering the record.' There is a lot to be considered here and should be followed up on.
I don't put stock in the account of Doc's going to meet Billy Clanton to gamble as the day of the gunfight Doc approached Billy and introduced himself. So it appears they did not know each other previously and I can't imagine why Doc would work his way through the muck of Tombstone's streets to shake hands with a young cowboy fresh off the range. Why just Billy? Doc didn't associate with cowhands usually. So there is some significance there, I think.
And it might be that it had to do with a variation on the account which said that Doc rode out to Charleston to look for Billy. Perhaps, and we cannot be sure, Billy had actually seen Doc shoot the Benson stage driver and Doc realized it. But then, was this on the same night? Either way, Doc did approach Billy at Tombstone in a manner that suggests he wanted to recognize him.
For too long, the silly characterization of Ike Clanton has affected an honest examination of what he had to say. People need to get over it and apply some common sense. Will McLaury's letters home mentioning what Ike told him actually make a great deal of sense.
Frank Vaughn, who had a good reputation, is the man who related that the McLaurys and Clantons were at Drew's when moving cattle. He also claimed that the two linemen who were working putting in telephone lines and spent the night at Drew's said they heard the shot and saw Doc running with a rifle across his saddle, then they heard the other shots after the stage.
These witnesses were reputable men and should be taken seriously.
Doc had ridden the horse hard and it was lathered and possibly winded. If he was in fear of being found out, he would need a fresh horse to get out of town!
Maggie Erwin is a new one to me. Will look her up if I can.
I have never heard of the McLaury brothers and Clanton near Drew's that night. We know that Billy Clanton was not in Charleston waiting for Doc to gamble? Accounts of when Doc returned to Tombstone in... more
You are exactly right!... — Joyce A. Aros,Thu Dec 29 2022 12:42
Many old timers have left oral histories with the Arizona Pioneers Historical Society in Tucson, including Mr. Vaughn. As I recall, Vaughn asserted that Holliday was involved in the stage robbery. But... more
It is very difficult to get historical records at the AHS in Tucson anymore. The society is under-funded and so there is not always someone there. Also, the ones there are not the old-rimers who knew what... more
ask BJ if he can locate one of my posts in the past six months or so on the subject of Frank Vaughn. I am sure I posted the whole statement from Vaughn word for word at some recent time. My files are pretty... more