gobs - Just to be sure what we're saying when we talk of their "leaving town". It isn't like having the motor run while you quick dash in for a last-minute errand.
They had a couple of brief errands - with the butcher, and I suppose the county treasurer. Tom had already been in town overnight. He had done all the business at the bank and whatever business he had at Everhardy's, he was able to conduct quickly on that Wednesday. He may have set up the conveyance of cash earlier. We don't know.
Frank came to town from having been in the field with Billy Clanton and Capt. Frink who rode into town with him. Frank got into a conversation with a "tall man" who might well have been Marcus Smith (who was called but didn't testify at the Coroner's inquest).
I suppose it's an experiential thing. I've been in this situation: Gone into town that took a while to get to, conducting the business and errands. By the time I get toward the end of that process, I may consider myelf "leaving" even if it's one or two things left to do. The majority of the list has been taken care of. Even if I'm about to leave town in fifteen minutes - or half an hour.
In their situation, the wagon was packed, which goes a long way toward the act of actually riding out of town. In my case, a boat would be the conveyance - but no thought of making a "round trip" or a return trip if you forgot something. That's how I interpret their "about to leave" intentions. Will McLaury was expecting them to visit Fort Worth in about two weeks. Whatever arrangements they were going to make before leaving the ranch, this may well have been their last trip to town before 1) making those arrangements with friends/neighbors and 2) getting to the railroad at Wilcox or Bowie Station. At that time, the 90 miles between El Paso and Sierra Blanco (Texas) was traveled by stage to connect the two rail heads (incomplete line). See how long the traveling would take? Not a minute to lose! And the whole interaction with the Earps was more of an obstacle and a hinderance than it was the object of their being in town.
Paul ... thanks ... I would have searched your book to find some details, but, as I've explained recently, they've become hard to access ... I was just intrigued by your "other story" ... so, if they ... more
Paul ... thanks again ... must find that book ... I've never had a car [or a boat], so I do know how these things work ... in Sheffield we had possibly the best cheap, frequent, regular bus service in... more