The Doctor and the Rough Rider - By Mike Resnick

From the pages of the August 19, 1884, issue of the Leadville Bullet:


This is the first issue of the Bullet to be published, which is to say powered, entirely by electricity, thanks to the help of Mr. Thomas Alva Edison and Mr. Ned Buntline. The electronic genius and the inventor have essentially re-invented the publishing business, because now the presses can run night and day without anyone manually working them. We've no idea why Messrs. Edison and Buntline have chosen to set up shop in our town, but we are incredibly grateful. First electric street lights, and now this!


Famed gambler John H. “Doc” Holliday has sold his share of the Monarch Saloon and Casino, though he will still be retained as a dealer for poker and faro.


Ned Buntline, claiming that the local silver mines are played out, has sold his Brass Mole, the remarkable machine that can dig through solid rock, to the McGraw Mining Company of Northern California.


Yesterday's baseball game against Denver drew almost two thousand spectators, a truly remarkable total given the heat and most people's unfamiliarity with the game.

From the pages of the August 19, 1884, issue of the Medora Times:


Young Theodore Roosevelt, formerly the Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly and currently the owner and resident of Elkhorn Ranch, was involved in an altercation last night in the town of Mingusville, some 35 miles west of here.

Mr. Roosevelt was after some lost horses and stopped at Nolan's Hotel at nightfall. He was in the restaurant when a local bully began teasing him, calling him “Four-Eyes” because of his eyeglasses, and challenging him to a fight, little knowing that he was challenging the lightweight boxing champion of Harvard University. Mr. Roosevelt made swift work of the bully and summoned the sheriff to take testimony as to what had occurred before the diners and drinkers dispersed. The bully broke loose from the sheriff and his deputies and was last seen clambering onto a moving freight train that was headed for Chicago.


The Marquis de Mores had gone to court, claiming that he is in fact the owner of Elkhorn Ranch, and that Theodore Roosevelt has no title to it.

“This could take months to resolve in a court of law,” said the Marquis to your reporter, “and while I have no doubt as to the outcome, if Mr. Roosevelt would like to settle the matter sooner on the field of honor, with either pistols or swords, I stand ready and willing.”

From the pages of the August 19, 1884, issue of the Tombstone Epitaph:


Observers report that Geronimo, the leader of the Apaches in the Arizona Territory, has broken camp and is headed in the general direction of Tombstone. There is no evidence that Tombstone is his destination, or that he is on the warpath, but former Sheriff John Behan has been placed in charge of preparing our defenses, just in case.

“I EXPECTED THIS WEATHER IN TOMBSTONE, but not up here in Leadville,” said Texas Jack Vermillion as he fanned his face with his cards in the Monarch Saloon. “I do believe it's hotter than hell today.”

“I expect I'll find out soon enough,” replied Holliday. He pushed some cash to the middle of the table. “I'll open for fifty.”

Three men matched his money. Vermillion looked at his cards once more, then laid them face down. “Too damned hot for me to think,” he muttered. “I'm off to get another beer.”

“Why?” asked Holliday. “The beer here's as warm as the water you shave in.”

“Then I'll pretend it's cold. I just can't think straight in this heat.” Vermillion got up and trudged over to the bar.

“Pity,” remarked Holliday. “There goes some easy money. He's not much of a poker player even when he's thinking.” Suddenly he reached into a pocket, withdrew a bloodstained handkerchief, held it to his mouth, and coughed into it, covering it with even more blood. It was such a common occurrence that no one paid any attention to it.

“Cards, gentlemen?” said the dealer.

“Three,” said the man on Holliday's left.

The two others took two apiece, and then it was Holliday's turn.

“Just one, I think,” he replied.

The cards were dealt, and Holliday took a tentative peek at the new addition to his hand.

“Up to you, Doc,” said the dealer.

“Two hundred,” announced Holliday, counting off the bills and tossing them in.

Two men immediately folded. The third studied his cards, frowned, Copyright 2016 - 2021