Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Portrait of a Dentist

Doc Holliday, the fighting ace of the Earp faction and considered by connoisseurs in deadliness the coldest-blooded killer in Tombstone, had accompanied Wyatt Earp from Dodge City. He was a rather tall, extremely slender, ash-blond, gray-eyed fellow, immaculate in attire, fastidious in his habits, tempermental, hot-tempered and cold-blooded, querulous and sometimes a little quarrelsome, a wit as well as a desperado. He might become quite excited if his breakfast eggs were not just so, but no man was cooler when bullets were flying. He was a consumptive, and the malady had left his face emaciated and very white and given it a look of refinement that might have passed for spirituality. One might have been tempted to suspect that this quiet, pale man with the fine gray eyes was a poet or a scholar who pored over erudite volumes under midnight lamps. But except for a few elegies done with finished elegance with his six-shooter, the doctor never displayed any poetic or literary leanings.

- Walter Noble Burns, Tombstone

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