While it is probable that Wyatt didn't know the finer points of a massive criminal rustling operation like your heroes the Cowboys,nothing in Wyatt's testimony infers he didn't know a branding iron from a running iron. There is the possibility that the Cowboys did have a branding iron he described. Those six mules were not the only government livestock they could have stolen. Also, if one were going to steal government livestock, it would be a useful defense to have lots of clearly non-government cattle, horses or mules branded with the D8.
...Wyatt Earp knew absolutely nothing about rustling practices and so he, apparently, was not much of a lawman after all! Let's not forget he was essentially...a city boy. Didn't know a branding... more
...What the heck is the support for a statement like "massive criminal rustling?" We are talking about six mules! ...There is almost NO chance those guys had a government branding iron available.... more
...just to keep me honest, the mule brands info came from Fort Huachuca years ago. Some nice people there did some research for me which was really worth-while. Just a clarification. Other than that... more
...for a full explanation of why your viewpoint has a few spots to be considered. If you don't have 'Vantage Point' I will type it out for you. Only a city boy like Wyatt would tell such a whopper to a... more