Monday, 12 May 2014

Outlaw Order: Death in the Wild West #2

Doc Holliday
1851 - 1887

Doc Holliday, born John Henry Holiday in Griffin, Georgia, 1851, was a man born with great prospects, but whose titanic misery and ill-health would see him stray far from the conventional life his Southeastern upbringing had groomed him for. Diagnosed with consumption (Now tuberculosis) in his early twenties, the specter of death would follow Doc for the rest of his life, though his descent into lawlessness would see him deal out far more death than what was owed to him.

Doc moved to the warmer climate of the West as a way to prolong his life following the diagnosis, and it's ironic that during his time wandering from town to town (and he wandered many), he would come closer to death on his travels than ever had he stayed in Georgia. A dentist by trade, Doc's educated and well-spoken Southern gentleman image would prove him both a valuable asset to saloons as a card dealer, but also a nuisance to anyone forced to part ways with their wage packets when playing against him.

Blood feuds, shoot-outs, stabbings and vigilante pursuits would become commonplace in the life of Doc Holliday as he skipped from town to town in the paranoid, gun-toting West. Both outlaws and lawmen alike wanted Doc and his associates hanging by the end of a rope, but each time Doc's almost supernatural luck would prevail. Doc claimed many, many lives during his time, but his own life, even though it clung by a thread since his early twenties, would end peacefully at a bar stool in Colorado, a whiskey in hand. Tuberculosis had already claimed Doc for its own and no bullet, rope, or knife would divert his fate.

Isaac "Ike" Black

If ever there was a man living on borrowed time, it was Ike Black. When a man's most famous image is one of him laying dead in a pool of his own blood and cerebral tissue, you shouldn't have to be clued-in to the extent with which the law wanted him crowbait. 

Now much is known about Ike's personal life, but his criminal record is well documented. The outlaw started off his career as a petty cattle thief in Kansas, but following some time behind bars, like many before and after him, he'd graduate to highwayman and gunslinger. His five year career of robbery and murder began when he teamed up with the infamous Zip Wyatt, and his affiliation with the sought-after criminal is most likely what lead to his death. Johnny Law was already hot on the heels of Wyatt by the time Ike arrived on the scene, and the two outlaws would spend much of their careers dodging bullets, cleaning flesh-wounds and collecting meager payoffs. 

Ike, easily the lesser of the two outlaws, probably suffered more for his affiliation with the raucous Wyatt than anything else. One could almost say that Ike was doomed from the very beginning, and even though the duo were lucky enough to elude the law for as long as they did, a posse would eventually catch up with them as they sheltered in a cabin in Canton, Ohio. Though Wyatt, ever the fugitive, would escape the posse, Ike Black caught a bullet between the eyes and would be buried in a pauper's grave. Ike Black's is truly the story of the sidekick who drew the short straw.

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