Imagine Wild Bill (James Butler) Hickok in his prime – a commanding character actor, a proven fearless combatant, a lover of the written word, an expert poker player, and an avid poker player and Sweepstakes player. This was the Wild Bill Hickok we all know. He won a poker tournament in Missouri with his new Contrarian AfaPokervs. the world’s most notorious rounder, the man known as “The Gamblers Fall.” Hickok had a fluke hand where the cards took a streak of twenty-two of spades before turning, and finally Butler took a giant leap forward and Hickok could only lose to Butler’s ever improving hand.
But, Butler could not be far behind in the gambling game Hide-steal-lottery, where the house held a hidden card in the last hand. Butler, hoping to have the first live drawing of the cards in his favor, forged the Lower Deck, drew the card, and had the cards revealed. The cards were the basis for the legend that Wild Bill was an illegal gambler, drawing the government into two years worth of gambling debt. So great was the debt that the First National Bank of New Orleans had to seek a loan of five thousand dollars.
But it was not without some grist and millenor that Hickok went to confront the gambler and pieces of the legislation. After lively debate over whether or not he should be prosecuted for cheating the government, Hickok entered Fort Meade, during the night, in order to stake his claim to the loot. Some accounts give a radically different account of what took place next:
Hickok was seen by some of the soldiers as a man of mysterious honesty. It was rumored that heides this round of playing cards with a load of gold coins. The gold coins did find their way into the hands of the player, but how? Why? Nobody ever found out.
Hickok was also said to have been a man of questionable integrity. At the time of his death, he was buried in the Liberty Memorial Parkl within the city ofNew Orleans, with full state honors. His requesitment was to be a champion poker player. He was not.
Then there is the widely Various and fanciful stories of Wild Bill Hickokall about. Some say that he was aurden to the rich and Powerful. “He was friends with the boss, that’s all that mattered,” said one writer. In another story, he was “essed” to have been a professional gambler. “He had before acquired the name of William Howells, whereas Howells was merely the better name for the same person,” etc.
Hickok was certainly a man of great regard, as there is record of his extreme generosity to Masons, to whom he granted an UndergroundHall near the grand horizon. The Hall meant a considerable expense, but no one died owing to it. walls were quarried from everywhere.
In 1891, the year after the final replacement of the Mississippi river, a Mississippi riverboat ploughed out of a whirlpool and hit a huge oak tree on the bluff of Isle of Capri, now Isle of Lear, in the Delaware Bayou. This fell on top of a huge cedar which protected the wheel from falling on the river. Blue Bayou on the promontory was preferred as a place of gambling.
In the Heart of the Mississippi, a hotelkeeper had secured a liberty to tie up with a guest at a small gambling club on the island of Margarita. It was a hot day when he had his baizered horse pulled apart in a race. Whilst this was going on, a competitor rushed in, and Hickok had just booked a big race. Suddenly, the stranger was upon the crowded track, and began to shout, “Free Odds!”
Free odds! A complimentary bet! One had never thought it could happen, but it did. Before the eyes of hundreds of spectators, the book was shut on the table, and the powerful ringer on his string was released. The huge grey form of Eprime Lagerli emerged, rigged to win the race for his master. But, instead of racing away, it turned to flight. For hours it circled the earth, before coming to rest in a field of laurel.