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The Wild West

by | Fri, Mar 15, 2024

The wild west romanticized in countless movies and books lives on in Kingman, Arizona. Did you know that the Pawn World stores in this historic and dusty desert crossroads are a direct link to the western frontier? Just as with their historic predecessors, Pawn World provides customers with tools, firearms, and other items at discounted prices. They also provide a service to the community.

The Wild West

Did you know that a pawn shop figures prominently in a story about one of the most famous gunslingers in the Wild West: Wild Bill Hickock?. You may have heard of his exploits as a lawman, a gambler, and a showman, but did you know that he once pawned his watch to pay for a poker game and then got into a shootout in Springfield, Missouri?

According to witness accounts, in July 1865, Hickock arrived in Springfield, a bustling town on the edge of the frontier. He was looking for some gambling action and some cash, so he headed to the Lyon House Hotel. It was there that he joined a poker game with some local gamblers. Hickock was a skilled card player, but, according to legend, he was also a notorious cheat.

He would often use his keen eyesight and quick reflexes to spot the cards of his opponents and act accordingly. He also had a habit of carrying a pair of Colt Navy revolvers under his coat.

One of the players at the table was Davis Tutt, a former Confederate soldier who had a grudge against Hickock. Tutt claimed that Hickock owed him money from a previous game, and he wanted to settle the score. He also had his eye on Hickock’s gold watch, which he knew was worth a lot of money.

Tutt decided to make a bold move: he asked Hickock to put up his watch as collateral for the game. Hickock agreed, thinking that he could easily win it back. But luck was not on his side that day. Hickock lost hand after hand, and soon he was out of money. He asked Tutt to lend him some cash so he could keep playing, but Tutt refused. He said that he would only give him money if Hickock gave him his watch as well. Hickock reluctantly agreed, hoping to win it back in the next round.

But Tutt had other plans. He took the watch and left the table, saying that he was going to get some fresh air. He walked out of the hotel and across the street to the town square, where he hung the watch on a chain from his vest. He then strutted around the square, showing off his prize to everyone who passed by. He knew that Hickock would see him and get angry, and he hoped to provoke him into a fight.

Hickock soon realized what Tutt had done, and he was furious. He stormed out of the hotel and confronted Tutt in the square. He demanded that Tutt return his watch, but Tutt refused. He taunted Hickock, saying that he would only give it back if Hickock paid him $35, which was more than the watch was worth. Hickock said that he would not pay a cent more than $25, which was what he had pawned it for.

The two men argued for a while, drawing a crowd of curious spectators. They both reached for their guns, but neither one wanted to be the first to shoot. They agreed to settle their dispute with a duel: they would walk away from each other until they reached opposite sides of the square, then turn around and fire at each other.

The duel was set for 6 p.m., when the town clock would strike. Hickock and Tutt walked away from each other until they were about 75 yards apart. They both turned around and faced each other, waiting for the signal. The clock struck six times, and then there was silence.

Hickock drew his revolver and fired first, aiming for Tutt’s heart. Tutt drew his revolver and fired second, aiming for Hickock’s head. Both shots rang out almost simultaneously, but only one hit its mark. Hickock’s bullet pierced Tutt’s chest, killing him instantly. Tutt’s bullet missed Hickock by inches, grazing his earlobe. Hickock had won the duel, but at what cost?

He had killed a man over a watch that wasn’t even his. He had broken the law and endangered his reputation. He had made enemies and lost friends. He retrieved his watch from Tutt’s body and returned it to the pawnbroker.

There is a Route 66 conenction to this story, and to Pawn World. In Kingman, Pawn World is located one block off Route 66. In Springfield, a mounument on Route 66, and self guided audio tour, mark the site of the famous shootout.

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