In the opening scenes of the movie “Tombstone,” Wyatt Earp asks his brother Virgil if he happened to see anything of Doc Holliday while he was in Prescott on his way to Tombstone. Virgil replies, “Yeah. He had a streak when we left, him and Kate.” The scene soon cuts away to show Holliday sitting at cards in a saloon, with a monumental painting of a nude woman on the wall behind him and his elegantly dressed Hungarian mistress, Kate Elder, at his side. On the green baize table in front of him are the scattered paraphernalia of poker: paperboards, poker chips and silver coins, a gold pocket watch. And across the table, his anger seething, sits gambler Ed Bailey who is clearly losing this hand.
“Why, Ed Bailey,” says Doc in his best gentlemanly Southern drawl while he gives a tap to the pearl-handled pistol in his pocket, “are we cross?”
“Them guns don’t scare me,” replies Ed Bailey darkly. “‘Cause without them guns you ain’t nothin’ but a skinny lunger.”
“Ed, what an ugly thing to say. I abhor ugliness. Does this mean we’re not friends anymore? You know, Ed, if I thought you weren’t my friend, I just don’t think I could bear it.” And to show his cordial intent, Doc pulls out his pistols and lays them down on the table with the coins and the poker chips. “There. Now we can be friends again.”Continue reading