Wyatt was selected to land in
Dodge first. With him, but unknown to the Dodge authorities, were several desperate men. Several more dropped into town unobserved by the enemy. It finally became whispered about that
Wyatt Earp had a strong force of desperate men already domiciled in town in the interest of Luke Short. The mayor called a hasty meeting of his friends, and after they had all assembled in the council chamber of the city hall, informed them solemnly of what he had heard about the
Earp invasion. Anyone who was present at that meeting could easily have seen that anything but a fight was what the mayor and his friends were looking for, now that such a thing was not altogether improbable. Someone present suggested that
Wyatt be invited to attend the meeting and state, if he would, his position in the matter. The suggestion met with the instant approval of all present, and the mayor proceeded to forthwith appoint a committee to call upon
Earp and inform him of its action. Wyatt was soon found, and told of the wishes of the assembled patriots.
Conference with the Enemy
will afford me great pleasure to attend your meeting," was the laconic reply of
the noble Warwick, and he was soon the central figure of as fine a collection of
cutthroats as ever scuttled ship.
mayor, addressing Wyatt, made inquiry as to the truth of the report that he and numerous other
desperate men were in the city for the purpose of reinstating
"Mr. Mayor, and gentlemen of the meeting," said Wyatt; "I guess the report is true. I came here some days ago," said he;
"and, thinking that perhaps something might happen where I would need
assistance, brought along some other gentlemen who signified a willingness to
join in whatever festivities might arise."
"Moreover," continued Wyatt, "Luke
and Bat will
each arrive at noon tomorrow, and on their arrival we expect to open up
"Now, look here,
Wyatt," said the mayor, "you have no better friends anywhere than we are, and we don't want any more fighting in this town. There has already been enough shooting and killing in
Dodge to do for a while. Now, why can't this thing be fixed up before it goes any farther?"
"It can," said
Wyatt, "if you are willing to allow Luke to return and conduct his business unmolested as heretofore.”
"I am perfectly willing to agree to that," said Webster. "And so are we," sung out the meeting in a chorus.
"All right, gentlemen," replied the phlegmatic Mr. Earp, "there shall be no conflict. I will proceed to inform both Mr.
Short and Mr. Masterson of your decision in the case, and I will guarantee that if you keep your part of the agreement there shall be no bloodshed.
Wyatt immediately notified
Short and I by wire of the complete back down of the enemy, and when we reached the city next day we were cordially received by our friends. The enemy, not being sure that
Wyatt could control the situation, kept in the background until he had received assurances from both
Short and I that the peace terms made by
Earp would be faithfully lived up to by us.
As soon as things quieted down a little,
Short sent for the mayor and sheriff to meet him and some of his friends at his place of business for the purpose of talking over the situation and arriving at a better understanding. The mayor and sheriff came and with them, the city attorney and the prosecuting attorney of the county.
Short's party consisted of himself, his two partners, Beeson and Harris,
Wyatt Earp and myself.
Humiliating His Honor the Mayor
Luke addressed the mayor something after this fashion, after we had all settled down in our chairs:
"Mr. Webster, you have on the police force of this city two men who, without any reason known to me, showed themselves during the late trouble to be bitter enemies of mine. I want them removed from the force."
The mayor assured
Luke that he need not give himself any further concern on that score, as both men complained of had already handed in their resignations and left town.
"Very well," said
Luke. "There is, however, another thing I wish to call to your notice. You had an ordinance passed by the city council prohibiting music in
saloons. I want that ordinance repealed."
Continued Next Page
Dodge City War Historical