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The novel Tombstone - Giles Tippette




The novel "Tombstone" was written by Giles Tippette. It is based on the script written by Kevin Jarre for the film of the same name.



The story takes place in the south eastern corner of Arizona. It is a land made for the outlaws. People who live there do not earn enough in the desert with their cattle. So they steal it in Mexico. In this area a town grows - the town Tombstone. It is a silver-mining city. There is no real law although there is a sheriff. The law is an organisation of bandits called Cowboys which members wear a red sash. The leader is Curly Bill Broncius.  The men kill, rape and steal and nobody can stop them. Wyatt Earp arrives in Tucson where he meets his two brothers with their wives. Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp - they have been sheriffs but now they want to earn money and live a happy life. Therefore they want to go to Tombstone. There they meet sheriff Behan who wants to help them in finding a house. Wyatt Earp obtains a job in the Oriental Saloon. In Tombstone he also meets the player and killer Doc Holliday who is his friend and who suffers from tuberculosis and Josephine Marcus an actress who Wyatt likes from the first moment. Soon the Earps get to know the power of the Cowboys. They terrorize the city and even the people are afraid of walking in the streets. After the town sheriff Fred White is killed Wyatt is asked again if he wants to become the new one. But he refuses. His brothers, Virgil and Morgan think that they must do something so they become the new sheriffs. After Ike, one of the Cowboys has been arrested the Cowboys swear to kill the Earps. Now Wyatt agrees to help his brothers. One day some Cowboys come to the O.K. Corral. The sheriffs want to arrest them but one of the Cowboys draws his colt and a gun battle starts. Virgil and Morgan are wounded and some of the Cowboys die. The Cowboys bury their death comrades the next day and in a stormy night they take revenge. They wound the wife of the mayor, try to kill the wives of the Earps, shoot at Virgil and kill Morgan. Virgil survives but looses his arm. He and the women leave Tombstone. Only Wyatt stays there to take revenge - he plans to kill every Cowboy. He is now a U.S. Marshal and with Doc Holliday, Turkey Johnson, Jack Vermillion and Frank McMasters he hunts the Cowboys killing one after the next. At a river Wyatt kills the leader of the Cowboys Curly Bill. Now there are only a few of them left and their new leader is Johnny Ringo. Holliday's tuberculosis becomes worse and so the group rides to a farm. There they meet Josephine again. She tells them that their stagecoach has been held up and that the drivers and one actor has been killed. The Cowboys send a man to the farm for "negotiations". McMasters comes with this man but he is burned and sent back to the farm with the message that Ringo wants a duel with Wyatt Earp in the morning. But instead of Wyatt Doc Holliday arrives there and kills Ringo. The last fight against the Cowboys has begun and finally all of them are dead or have fled. Holliday comes into a sanatorium where he dies. Wyatt Earp's wife Mattie dies because of her opium misuse. Wyatt marries Josephine and lives with her 47 happy years. Wyatt Earp dies in 1929 as a friend of many western filmstars.  




The book and especially the film "Tombstone" is really fascinating. It is no classic Western. It is a historical film because the town Tombstone really exists and Wyatt Earp was a legend. It was not a very important event the fight at the O.K. Corral but it is one thing many people remember of the Wild West. In the film Wyatt Earp was played by Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer played the ill Doc Holliday.










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