Though he is no longer as well remembered as he once was, one of the most famous and notorious lawmen of the Wild West was Bat Masterson, who drifted around Dodge City and other parts of the West and was associated with legends like Wyatt Earp. Carrying a six-shooter that he called "the gun that tamed the West", Masterson was involved in several duels and shootouts, much of which was embellished during the early 20th century when he became a newspaper columnist and was given a chance to frame anecdotes about the frontier days and talk about colorful characters like Doc Holliday.
Like Wyatt Earp, who once served as a lawman under him, Masterson was primarily known as being on the right side of the law, but he wasn't afraid to firmly straddle both sides of it. While tall tales about shootouts were commonplace and believed wholesale throughout the West in the 19th century, few men had as strong a reputation as Bat Masterson, who was known for public shootouts, one of which took place in Dodge City in 1878 that ended with the death of his brother and town marshal, Ed Masterson. Bat also took part in the famous Earp Vendetta Ride near Tombstone, which occurred in the wake of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral.
Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Bat Masterson chronicles the Western icon's life and examines the myths and legends in an attempt to separate fact from fiction.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors