Historians, writers of the West and Earpophyles are dashing about in various states of quandary, amazement, and downright denial. It is all about a bundle of love letters found in an old, time hardened leather saddle bag, discovered in one of the myriad mine shafts in Tombstone, “The Town Too Tough To Die”. The question now posed is “Was Tombstone really tough?” Another perplexing question that through the years plagued the minds of Earpophyles is “Why did Wyatt Earp go to San Francisco when he left Tombstone? The letters first surfaced in 1981 and have passed through a succession of owners since that time.
The current owner of the bundle of love letters, Bowick Treyer, refuses to reveal where he is keeping the letters for fear that local loyal Earpophyles might possibly try to take possession of the letters to destroy the valid evidence that the famous gunfighters, Wyatt Earp and “Doc” Holliday were, in fact, lovers when they both lived in Tombstone. Many would question the social lives of the famous Marshall and the gunfighter dentist, both of whom have soared to hero reputations, in spite of their roles as murderers in the now famous “Shoot-out at the OK Corral” in Tombstone.
From some of the messages in the letters, Earp and Holliday sounded worried that after Ike Clanton found them in a rather compromising situation in Big Nose Kate’s parlor, news of their sexual preferences would get around town. Wyatt worried that he might lose his job as Marshall and “Doc” didn’t want his reputation as a fast draw gunfighter diminished in any way. In several letters the two exchanged ideas about a solution to solve their dilemma. They finally concluded that to force a shoot out would be the safest remedy because Wyatt and “Doc” were confident that they were faster with guns than any of the Clantons or McLowrys.
Threats lashed out against Wyatt from the Clantons and McLowrys who refused to honor the Tombstone law of no firearms within the town limits. On October 26, 1881 Wyatt summoned his brothers and “Doc”. They walked, four abreast down Fremont Street toward the OK Corral. John Clum, editor of the Tombstone EPITAPH described the gunfight. Wyatt and “Doc” must have sighed in relief that their secret would not be revealed to the townsfolk to ruin their reputations as hard-core gunfighters.
Shortly after the “Only noteworthy event that ever happened in Tombstone” Wyatt tired of “Doc’s” tubercular cough and “Doc” tired of Tombstone. Wyatt went to California and “Doc” sought peace in Colorado.
The will of Bowick Treyor made no mention of the location of the love letters between Marshall Wyatt Earp and John Henry,”Doc”, Holliday.