It is said that the classic western gunfight of the movies did not exist in the real west. Well it did, in fact it may not have happened often as depicted in movies where they walk towards each other square off draw and fire. I certainly doubt that one man looked at another with a smirk on his face saying with his southern drawl, “Draw!”
However, the truth of the matter is that between 1870 and 1900 there are almost 1000-recorded gunfights. Those are fights with guns where both sides shoot at each other. There several recorded fights on horse back (like in True Grit). Most of these gun battles were messy, disorganized and happened in a flash of anger. Others were deliberate face off’s which were intended that one side or the other would back down. Think O.K. Coral or one Hickok was involved in 1869 over a watch he lost in a poker game. (I may cover this one in a story at some point)
The old west was a dirty, disease ridden, violence porn place. Both Cattle Towns and Mining Camps drew the most unsavory individuals to them. These places give an opportunity for us to explore the dark side of our history from the safety of own homes.
I love reading and writing about the old west. Everyone talks about the period as if it was simpler time. It really was not simpler life was harder; motives were just as muddy as they are now. I do not include much (if any) sex in my stories. I find what leads to the bedroom and what happens once you leave the bedroom far more interesting to actual act.