MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018
Corruption as Government


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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

TOMBSTONES Chapter Eighteen

I know what Wyatt Earp was thinking as he stepped off the plank walkway in front of 44 year old Colonel Roderick Hafford's Saloon, on the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets, just before 3:00pm, Wednesday, 26 October, 1881. He was deciding on a plan of action for the coming fight, and he didn't have much time. The distance Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and friend John Holliday had to cover was just 310 feet. At an average walking speed of 3 miles an hour, they would reach the corner of Fourth and Fremont in less than 20 seconds, and 312 Fremont Street, Mollie Fry's boarding house, in another 30 seconds. Fifty seconds between life and death. And another 30 seconds to determine who would die and how.
Oddly, this fight which would come to symbolize the violence of the American West occurred after the crest of the wave. The peak had come in 1878, when there were 36 recorded gunfights along the frontier. The next year that dropped to 14, but in 1880 there were 25, and the one about to occur would be one of 27 in 1881. But after this bloody year, the total would never rise above 20 in any given year - at least until historians stopped counting in 1900.
In part this was a function of how few men actually made their living at least part time through gun violence. Out of the 365 documented gunmen in the American West, most had been born before the civil war - average birth year was 1853 - but most were too young to have fought in that conflict. Almost a third - 110 - worked at least part time as lawmen, like the Earps and Johnny Behan. And the badge extended their lives. Of the remaining 255, 35 were good enough to be full time professional hired guns, while another 174 could be called Cow Boys - ranchers and rustlers who used gun violence to achieve other ends. Almost all of these men ended up at the end of a rope or being shot to death, when their average age was just 35.
Waiting in the 15 foot wide alleyway (above) between the boarding house and the home of William Arthur Harwood - second mayor of Tombstone - stood 6 Cow Boys. Wesley "Wess" Fuller, was deepest in the alley. This 26 year old gambler and Cow Boy had been posted to warn of anyone approaching from the Allen Street entrance. He was now speaking to Billy Claiborne. To Billy's left stood Ike Clanton. To his left stood Robert Findley "Frank" McLaury, holding in his left hand the bridle of his brother's horse . Frank had abandoned his guard post south of Fourth and Allen to deliver with Johnny Behan a warning that the Earps were alert. To his left was his brother, Thomas Clark "Tom" McLaury. To Tom's left stood 19 year old Billy Clanton. The odds are the six were arguing about what to do next - leave town at once or go inside the boarding house and murder Doc Holliday in his bed, and then leave town.
Because of their arrests, Ike Clanton (above) and Frank McLaury were still unarmed. Ike had tried to buy a pistol in the hardware store, but the manager took one look at his bandaged head and refused to take Ike's cash. There is no indication any of the Cow Boys protested this "violation" of his Second Amendment rights. And once again not having access to a gun, saved Ike's life.
It is important to note who might have been in the alley that afternoon. Pete Spence and Frank Stillwell were still in jail in Tuscon, awaiting trial for the Bisbee stage robbery. Curley Bill Brocius (above),  the smartest and best shot of the Cow Boys,   was in New Mexico, trying to pick up the pieces of the Rustlers' Trail, after the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre. The gang was off balance, making it a bad time to move against the Earps. But this reflexive lashing out was just the kind of angry hot blooded assault Frank McLaury was well known and well feared for.
As the 4 lawmen reached the corner and turned onto Fremont they were accosted by Cochise County Marshal Johnny Behan.  Johnny assured Virgil he had already disarmed the Cow Boys. 
 In fact,  Behan and Frank McLaury had walked south on Allen, before passing through the alley, drawing Wes Fuller with them, to a conference between Fly's Boarding House and the Harwood House.  There the  Cochise County Marshal warned the Cow Boys that the Earps were alarmed and ready for a fight.  Frank McLaury, Billy Clanton, Wess Fuller and Billy "The Kid" Claiborn still wore their guns.  Behan now suggested the Cow Boys disarm or just leave town,  But the hot head Frank McLaury had insisted he would disarm only if the Earps disarmed first.  Confronted by the angry Frank, Behan had delivered a more conciliatory message to the Earps   But the McLaurys and Clantons had reneged on every promise made to the Earps over the last year. The lawmen kept walking.
The quartet walked west on Fremont, staying close to the south side store fronts. They had been told by several civilians where the Clantons and McLaury's were gathered -  in the alleyway (above).  And by hugging the packed sand walkway they would be visible to the Cow Boys only if one of them stepped out into the street. And none did that.
But Behan's lie did have an effect, and it was disastrous.. Striding west on Fremont, as they passed the rear entrance to the OK Corral,  Wyatt, VIrgil and Morgan all three pocketed their 8 inch long 3 pound Smith & Wesson 44 caliber New Model 3  hand guns.   Doc was carrying the coach gun, but also had a nickel-plated .41 caliber "Long" Colt Thunderer in a holster under his arm.  If the lawmen had kept the pistols in their hands, visible,  they would have left the Cow Boys no choice but to hand over their guns, peacefully.  But by introducing doubt into the lawmen's minds, Johnny Behan had insured there would be a gun fight.  The lie, meant to protect his allies, had driven the final nail into coffins for 3 of them.
As the 4 lawmen turned into the alley, Wyatt Earp was on the right, the furthest forward., three steps into the alley, the wall of Fly's Boarding House protecting his left flank.  To Wyatt's right stood Virgil Earp. To his right was Morgan Earp. And to his right, still armed with the Coach Gun under his coat, was Doc Holliday. The Earps had just appeared without warning, no more than 6 feet away from Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury.  Doc Holliday was no more than 10 feet away from 19 year old Billy Clanton. In a breath the Earps had gotten "the drop" on the Cow Boys, just as  a year earlier when the Earps were looking for the stolen Army mules. If their guns had been in their hands, the odds are the Clantons and McLaury's would have surrendered at once.
Before anyone Cow Boy had time to react, Virgil Earp called out, "Throw your hands up, I want you guns." Shocked,  "Wess" Fuller and Billy Claiborne bolted,  running north, into the rear of Fly's boarding house. That left  4 Cow Boys facing 4 lawmen. But only 2 of the Cow Boys were armed.
Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton put their hands on their holsters, containing their 3 pound, 13 inch long Colt 1873 revolvers. Virgil immediately yells either, "Hold! I don't mean that!" or "I don't want that!" But he shifts the cane to his left hand, freeing his right to draw his weapon. Wyatt and Morgan put their hands on their own pocketed weapons as well.
And in the next breath, just at that instant, Doc Holliday swings the  7 pound 37 inch long Coach Gun out from under his coat and cocked both barrels. The sound of that metallic double click ignited the tension. What happened next is best described as chaos.
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Monday, March 19, 2018

TOMBSTONES Chapter Seventeen

I think I know what Ike Clanton was thinking on the cold still morning of Tuesday. 26 October, 1881. Spits of snow were floating slowly down from the false promise of a brightening sky. The good people of Tombstone (above) were not yet awake. The sinners of Tombstone were just snuggling under their bed covers. Caught between them, Ike Clanton, still drunk, was wandering the streets, revolver in his back waistband, repeating rifle and whiskey bottle in his hands. Having checked out of his room at the Grand Hotel, he no longer had an abode. He was stalking the few streets of Tombstone, seeking revenge and or sanctuary. And what he was thinking was not good.
Back in August, the Mexican counsel in Prescott, Arizona had warned Joseph Evens, the Chief Deputy Federal Marshal for Arizona, that if something were not done soon to stop the Cow Boy murdering and stealing in Sonora, his government would be forced to respond against Americans in Mexico.
Replying to the American outrage over the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre, - which killed Old Man Clanton - Tombstone resident Clara Spaulding Brown (above) confessed to the San Diego Union "... the Mexicans...have suffered greatly from depredations of those outlaws, who under the guise of "cowboys" infest this country and pursue the evil tenor of their ways with no attempt at interference on the part of those whose duty it is to suppress crime." Meaning, of course, Cochise County Marshal Johnny Behan. 
Thus, the pressure on the Earps and on the U.S. Army to stop the Cow Boys before they started a war. Caught between two governments, caught between between Democrat and Republican politics, between the Earps and his "friends and allies" and being crushed by the opposing forces was (above) Joseph Isaac "Ike" Clanton.
Just after eleven, on Wednesday, 26 October, 1881, the Oriental Hotel's bartender, Ned Boyle, knocked on Wyatt Earp's 2nd floor room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel (above). He was there to deliver a warning. Boyle said he had run into Ike Clanton near the Allen Street telegraph office just after 8 that morning, and the Cow Boy was armed with a rifle and a hand gun. And a half full bottle of whiskey.  Clanton had declared that as soon as he saw "those damn Earps...the battle will open. We are here to make a fight, we are looking for the sons-of-bitches!" Clanton did not identify who "they" were.  Yesterday afternoon J.B. Ayers, the Wells Fargo agent in Charleston, had telegraphed that Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne had been boasting that they intended on joining Ike and Tom McLaury in Tombstone on Wednesday - today.  So Wyatt knew the Cow Boys were planning something in Tombstone. Wyatt got dressed, had a cup of coffee and left the Cosmopolitan about noon. Shortly thereafter a second man warned him that Ike Clanton was "hunting the Earps."
Wyatt found his brother, Deputy Federal Marshal Virgil Earp,  already alerted to Ike's threats, at the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets. Together they decided to, as Wyatt put it "...find him and see what he wants." They split up. Wyatt walked down Allen Street and Virgil down Fifth, to Fremont. They were looking for trouble that was looking for them. Virgil found the belligerent Clanton in a vacant lot, secreted in an alleyway, as if laying in ambush. When confronted, Ike threw his rifle at Virgil, who clobbered the drunk with his pistol. By the time Wyatt came up, Ike was face down and bottoms up in the cold dirt, with his revolver jutting out of the seat of his trousers. 
The youngest Earp, Morgan, arrived a moment later. While Virgil sought out the on duty Justice of the Peace, Albert Osborne Wallace, Morgan and Wyatt walked Ike over to the Miners Exchange Office (above, center building) , which was used as a court.
When dropped unceremoniously onto a bench seat, Ike decided to threaten Morgan, telling him, "If I had a six shooter I would make a fight with all of you." Morgan (above) offered to return to Ike his own revolver, saying, "If you want to make a fight right bad I will give you this one." 
Wyatt (above) had heard enough. He knew he was going to have to fight the Cow Boys sooner or later, and his odds of survival would be better if  the confrontation was at a place and time of his choosing, and not theirs.  Wyatt told Ike, "You damn dirty cur thief, you have been threatening our lives. I think I would be justified shooting you down any place I meet you. But if you are anxious to make a fight, I would go anyplace on earth to make fight with you, even over to the San Simon among you own crowd."
The mention of Ike's  Cow Boy allies hit a cord with Ike (above), and he blustered back. "I only want four feet of ground to fight on,."  Wyatt was infuriated at the threat, and almost exploded. Instead he walked out of the room, hoping to regain control of himself. But stepping on to the plank board sidewalk Wyatt bumped into an angry Tom McLaury, coming to rescue Ike. It was a short confrontation, and brutal.
As usual Tom (above) immediately started with threats, advancing on Wyatt and inviting Earp to meet him anywhere, anytime for a fight.  As Tom advanced, Wyatt saw the flash of a gun stuck in McLaury's waistband. Without a word Wyatt slapped Tom across the face and drew his own revolver, shoving the barrel into McLaury's belly. Wyatt invited McLaury to "Jerk your gun and use it." Since Tom's gun was not in easy reach, McLaury kept quiet.  When Tom dd not reply, Wyatt slammed his gun into Tom McLaury's head, twice, knocking him to the ground. 
Then, Wyatt admitted, he walked around the corner to Hafford's saloon (above), bought and paid for a cigar, and then walked back onto Fourth Street and lit it up.
About the same time Wyatt was making smoke, Judge Wallace arrived via the back door and quickly passed judgement on Ike Clanton.  Ike paid his $25 fine for carrying a weapon in city limits. Virgil told him he could pick up his rifle and pistol at the front desk of the Grand Hotel. But when he walked out of the courtroom Ike found Tom McLaury on the sidewalk, his head bloodied. Virgil arrested Tom for carrying a weapon. It was now close to 1:00pm in the afternoon, and Thomas "Tom" Clark McLaury had less than 2 hours to live.
About half an hour later, 19 year old Billy Clanton rode into Tombstone, accompanied, as expected, by 21 year old Billy "The Kid" Claiborne. Unexpectedly the pair was accompanied by Frank McLaury, the most explosive of the Cow Boys. They headed for the Grand Hotel, on Allen Street.
Frank had not been seen in Charleston. So he must have been waiting for the younger men along the road to Tombstone. His sudden and unexpected presence in town ratcheted up the danger to the Earps, and individual citizens rushed to warn the lawmen. The friendly staff at the Grand Hotel  informed the 2 Cow Boys of the arrest and beating of Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury. The trio remounted and left in search of their brothers, still carrying their now illegal weapons.
After paying his fine, Tom McLaury was released, and Virgil told him his pistol could be retrieved from the bartender at the Capital Saloon, on the corner of Fourth and Fremont. After a stop at Dr. Charles Gillingham's second floor office on Allen Street, to have their wounds tended and documented, the pair were united with the 3 new arrivals.  Had their plan, whatever it was, been blown? Ike suggested they get a drink and decide what to do next. But Frank McLaury dismissed that idea. Instead, he insisted, they proceed to Spangenberger's hardware and gunsmith's on Fourth Street . Passing right in front of the 3 Earps, Tom and the Billys tied their horses to the rail, and all six went in to stock up on ammunition.
The Earps were gathered in front of Hafford's saloon and as they watched,  the winds began to pick up. A gust disturbed  Frank McLaury's horse, and it walked across the plank sidewalk and put its head into the shop, to get it out of the wind. Wyatt took the opportunity to cross to the hardware store, and pull the horse back. When both McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton rushed to the door, Wyatt warned them, "You have to get this horse off the sidewalk." Frank , the sensible  one, guided the horse back into the street.  But Wyatt had seen what he needed to. The Cow Boys were buying guns and ammo.
Hearing this, Virgil Earp (above) slipped around the corner and down to the Wells Fargo office in the middle of the block on the south side of Allen Street. There he grabbed a short double barreled 10 gauge Coach shotgun.  Holding it under his long duster coat, he returned to Haffords, just as Doc Holliday appeared, complaining that people had been banging on his door all morning. Wyatt explained the situation, adding the Cow Boys had moved back down Allen Street,  toward the corrals. The stream of helpful civilians suggested the might be getting ready to leave town.
It was about this time, around 2:30pm, when Ruben F. Coleman, working at the O.K. Corral, was surprised to see the six Cow Boys across Allen street at Dunbar's Corral and Dexter Livery and Feed, between Fourth and Third Streets.  He could hear them insulting the Earps and talking violence. 
He later told the Epitath, "I went up the street and notified Sheriff Behan and told (him) it was my opinion that they meant trouble, and it was his duty, as sheriff, to go and disarm them." Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan was getting a shave, but climbed out of the barber's chair and moved at once to find the Cow Boys. Coleman went on to notify Federal and Town Marshal Virgil Earp, who was standing with his brothers and Doc Holliday,, on the sidewalk outside of Hafford's saloon on Fourth Street.
After arguing for a few more moments, the Cow Boys had come up with a plan for action. The McLaury brothers, Frank and Tom, crossed the street and headed through the OK Corral (above, yellow) and out the alley in the rear, which passed Bauers Butcher shop, to  Fremont Street.  Ike and Billy Clanton and Billy "The Kid" Claiborne along with Wes Fuller, walked down Allen, until they reached the alley that cut across to Fremont, passing between the Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House and photographic studio (above, green), where they were rejoined by the McLaurys. Frank McLaury hid at the corner of Fremont and Fourth Street, to warn if the Earps started to approach. Wes Fuller lingered at the entrance of the alley, to spread the alarm more quickly.  However The move and reconcentration did not go unnoticed by the townsfolk.
Johnny Behan found Tom McLaury mounted, at the corner of Allen and Fourth street, from where he was keeping an eye on the Earps.  Frank said he had no weapons and dismounted to prove it. Johnny patted him down. But then Behan suggested that with the Earps alerted, it would safer if the Cow Boys either disarmed or left town. And together they walked down Allen to the Alley where, after gathering Wess Fuller, Behan offered his advice to Frank McLaury. But. more importantly, than Frank's reaction, Tom and Wes Fuller had abandoned their observation posts. The Cow Boys had lost their early warning system, should the Earps suddenly advance. 
Meanwhile a former Los Angeles police captain, John L. Fonk, offered to help the Earps, but Virgil responded that he would wait.  Fonk asked, "Why? They are all down on Fremont Street now." And that was it. All of the lawmen were certain the Cow Boys had armed themselves at Spangenberger's hardware store. And now they had shifted from Allen Street to Fremont, the main street of Tombstone. They were hiding in an alley, next to Doc's quarters,  They were not leaving town. There was no further need of talking. Virgil handed his shot gun to Doc Holliday, who traded it for his walking stick. And then the four men walked up Fourth Street to Fremont and turned the corner toward what and who they knew was waiting for them.
The question that has always hung over the Gun Fight at the OK Corral for me has been "Why there?" Why next door to Fly's boarding house? (above, right)  And the answer is that the boarding house was important because its newest tenant was Doc Holliday. 
The Cow Boys had not seen Doc Holliday (above) since his drunken confrontation at the Alhambra at midnight. As far as they knew, he was still in bed in Fly's boarding house. Doc Holliday was the man Johnny Behan had identified as the weak link in the Earp's defenses. To disarm the Federal government in Tombstone,  to isolate the Earps , the first step would be  to remove Doc Holliday.  It was not the gun fight at the OK Corral. The rear exit from that was half a b;lock up Fremont Street, It was the gunfight at Fly's boarding house. But that title lacks romance. 
But there would be nothing romantic about the approaching 30 seconds on this windy cold afternoon, in Tombstone, Arizona.
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

TOMBSTONES Chapter Sixteen

I don't know what 34 year old Joseph Isaac "Ike" Clanton was thinking on the evening of Tuesday, 25 October, 1881 as he drove his buckboard into Tombstone (above). It remains unclear why Ike made the 4 hour drive from the Clanton Ranch near Antelope Springs across 12 miles of blowing sand on this particular windy evening. The wagon he was driving carried only a saddle and tack, with a single horse on a lead behind. Seated beside him was Tom McLaury, and the horse in tow seems evidence Tom had come along as an idependent agent, there to keep an eye on Ike and maybe cut lose if the mission went awry. But what exactly was the mission this cold autumn evening?
His arrival was not a surprise to the Earp brothers, but it was very troubling. A few hours earlier 
the Wells Fargo agent in the mill town of Charleston, J.B. Ayers, had telegraphed a warning that 2 well known Cow Boy actors, Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne, were in his town,  freely talking about traveling to Tombstone tomorrow, to meet Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury.   And their behavior made Ayers suspicious, prompting him to alert the law officers in Tombstone. And now, here were Ike and Tom entering town,  late in the afternoon, too late to do much business. It looked to the Earps as if the Clantons and McLaury's were planning something for Wednesday.
Issac had always been the odd son out. Since coming to Arizona Territory in the late 1870's, his father Newman Hawes, older brother "Phin" and younger brother "Billy" Clanton had built the family business of rustling, robbing and murdering in Sonora, Mexico, while north of border posing as lawful suppliers of beef to Tombstone. But Ike had also tried a different course. 
In 1878 the then 31 year old had opened a "luncheonette" in Milltown (above), on the San Pedro. But even with a family discount on fresh beef, and a business model based at least in part on laundering money stolen in Sonora,  Isacc's little restaurant had failed. And it was a curious choice of business, given that his friends Curley Bill Brocius and Johnny Ringo and even his own father had owned saloons. Perhaps his family had learned Ike could not be trusted around alcohol. Perhaps. But for such a well known braggart, Ike remains a cypher, the mysterious central character in the final 24 hours before the Gunfight at the OK Coral.  But we do know that during most that time he would be drunk.
It had been a hard summer for Ike. In late May there had been the supposedly secret deal with Wyatt Earp, to turn in three Cow Boys who had botched the Benson Stage robbery and killed a popular driver.  But it seems the secret betrayal had leaked almost immediately.  On Thursday, 9 June, 1881, Ike was drinking in an Allen street saloon when he was confronted by a gambler, "Denny" McCann. It has been said that Ike had insulted McCann, but what was undisputed was that the gambler had slapped Ike. Both men were unarmed, per city ordinance number nine, but they agreed to "get heeled" and meet in front of the Wells Fargo Office, on the south side of Allen, between Fourth and Fifth Streets.
Virgil Earp (above), who had been privy to the deal, got wind of the potential fight and stepped between the two before shots were exchanged - proof again that the ordinance saved lives because it bought time. And in this case, it seems likely the life saved had been Ike's. But more significantly, upon sober reflection, Ike must have begun to comprehend the trap he had stepped into by agreeing to the deal.
Any leak would double the enemies the Clantons and McLaurys faced. Not only the Earps were now a threat, but also any ambitious member of the Cow Boys with suspicions. In the chain of command, a boss who betrays his followers receives and deserves no support from them. And Ike could have little doubt that if faced with a revelation, the McLaury's would pin the entire debacle on Ike. That may have explained his morning bender even before his meeting with Denny McCann.
Things got worse when Joe "Hill" Olney returned from New Mexico in late June with word of the plan's collapse. All the suspects in the Benson robbery were dead. Tensions increased even more thanks the frame thrown over Doc Holliday for the botched holdup. That had been the work of County Marshal Johnny Behan (above), and for his own reasons. But it was natural that Doc would blame Ike Clanton. Doc had been looking for Ike in Charleston on the night of the robbery. He might have been lured there to implicate him. And then in mid-August had come the devastating news from Guadalupe Canyon. Not only had Ike's father been killed, but the pipeline from Sonora to Tombstone, the source of all Clanton wealth and power, had been turned off.  And who could say for how long it would remain closed? A few months, or years?
So whatever Ike Clanton's reasons for coming to Tombstone this Thursday, the trip left Ike looking like the prodigal son. Ike stabled the buckboard and horse at the West End Corral, and then he and Tom McLaury checked into rooms at the Grand Hotel, on the south side of Allen, next to the Wells Fargo Office. Then they parted company. Around midnight, on his own, Ike went to dinner at the narrow Alhambra Saloon, just across Allen Street from the Grand. And there he ran into a slightly drunk and very angry 30 year old John Henry "Doc" Holliday.
Doc had a lot to be angry about. For the last 8 years he had been living with a death sentence, diagnosed with Tuberculosis just a year after beginning his dental practice in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved to Dallas Texas in 1874, hoping the dryer climate would improve his health, but it did not. When his coughing fits drove away patients, Holliday was forced to shift to poker for an income. In 1875 he moved to Denver and took on the nom de plume of "Tom Mckay" He found that faro provided a dependable income, but after "Tom" almost killed another gambler in a knife fight, Doc was forced to move on. Following gold and silver strikes, faro providing him a steady and comfortable income.
In 1877 Doc returned to Texas, where he was shot and almost killed by fellow gambler Henry Kahn. While recovering in Fort Griffith, Texas, Doc met the only woman he would ever have an emotional connection with, the "tough, stubborn and fearless," prostitute Mary Katharine "Big Nose Kate" Harony (together above). Also in Fort Griffith, Doc first met lawman Wyatt Earp. In 1878 Doc and Katherine moved to Dodge City, Kansas where Wyatt was a deputy marshal, and a faro dealer. While there, Wyatt credited Doc with saving his life. After a short stay in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Doc and Katherine followed Wyatt again, this time to Tombstone, arriving in September of 1880.
Then in March of 1881 came the Benson stage robbery. When Doc insisted on joining the posse with Wyatt, Katherine went on a drinking binge. Cochise County Marshal Johnny Behan took advantage of a miserable and drunken Kate, getting her name on an affidavit claiming Doc had confessed to taking part in the robbery. Returning from the posse, he was arrested on the charge. When Wyatt sobered Kate up, she repudiated the affidavit, but the haunted dentist felt betrayed. He left Kate and took a room of his own, at 312 Fremont Street.  Lonely and feeling isolated,  the final straw came when Ike Clanton told Wyatt that Doc Holliday was spreading the truth about the betrayal of the Benson stage robbers. And this Thursday was Doc's first opportunity to confront Ike Clanton with the accusation, in the Alhambra saloon.
You could understand Doc's frustration. He had just sacrificed the woman he came closest to loving, to protect his relationship with Wyatt Earp. And now Ike was telling a lie which seemed designed to cause the law man to distrust him. And you could almost feel sorry for Ike. He was sitting on a sprung trap, whose teeth could slam shut at the first hint of his betrayal of his fellow Cow Boys. And there he was, reasonably sober in the Alhambra saloon, trying to eat a sandwich, when the volatile and drunk Doc Holliday started a verbal assault loud enough to draw attention. The next words out of the tubercular dentist's mouth might have put a target Ike's back. They certainly put him on the defense. So he started to yell back. So Doc yelled louder. So Ike stood up. And Doc stepped back.
If either man were armed, somebody would have been shot or stabbed right there,  and again it would probably have been Ike Clanton.  But Wyatt Earp had been watching the confrontation and warned Deputy City Marshal Morgan Earp (above), who was working security for the Alhambra. Morgan stepped between the two, and walked Doc out into cold air of Allen Street.  Remember, being lawmen, the Earps had guns. No one else in town was supposed to.  Ike followed the two outside and the argument continued in the center of the wide dirt road, until Deputy Federal Marshal Virgil Earp appeared and threatened to arrest them both for disturbing the peace.  The Earps seemed to be keeping a close eye on Ike Clanton this evening. Everywhere he turned, it seems an Earp was waiting to catch him, as if he were a tube of nitroglycerin. 
Threatened with arrest, Doc Holliday staggered pasted Fourth Street and one block over, to his room in the 2 story  12 room boarding house at 312 Fremont Street, owned and managed by 32 year old Camillus "Buck" Sydney Fly, and his 34 year old wife, Mary E. "Mollie" Fly.  Behind this, and up a 15 foot wide alley was the couple's photographic studio,  where they both practiced the alchemy of photography. By one that morning, John "Doc" Holliday was asleep in his bed, awakened only periodically by his own coughing.
Ike Clanton however was faced with the visage of 33 year old Wyatt Earp (above). But Ike had reached his breaking point. He would confront Doc Holliday in the morning , he told Wyatt,  Then he added, "I'll be ready for you in the morning." And he reminded Wyatt he had his guns just across the street. Wyatt told him to leave them there, and walked into the Oriental Saloon. Ike followed again, and after a drink at the bar, in his passive aggressive way, warned Wyatt again , "You must not think I won't be after you all in the morning."
Wyatt left, and Ike then joined a poker game with Johnny Behan, Tom McLaury, and a few others. After a few minutes they were joined at the table by Deputy Marshal Virgil Earp. Those four, with a few others, continued to drink and play cards far into the night. The game didn't break up until the cold morning sky was brightening. The big loser of the night was Ike Clanton. It was the  morning of Wednesday, 26 October, 1881. 
And as Virgil Earp stood, Ike Clanton saw the lawman had his big Colt revolver sitting on his lap, and that startled the drunken Cow Boy.  Maybe Virgil was just more comfortable sitting for hours with the gun out of his pocket. But what if Virgil had been expecting trouble? What if the plan, whatever it was, for the next day,  had been blown? ,  Had Virgil sat at the table, intending to shoot Ike, or defend Ike? And what would Behan and McLaury think, if they had noticed the gun? Whatever the reality, in Ike's befuddled mind, Virgil's caution had been an insult.
Tom McLaury urged Ike to go back to his room and sleep. And after buying a bottle of whiskey at the bar,  Isaac Clanton did return to the Grand Hotel. But he did not go to bed. Instead he checked out. It was the only way the desk clerk was authorized to return his Winchester rifle and revolver to Isaac Clanton. When the now armed Isaac stepped outside, the wide cold expanse of Allen Street was almost deserted.
There were how less than 7 hours until the first shot of the Gun Fight at the OK Corral.
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