The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 233
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The Life and Times of King Fisher
out of that war, with the reconstruction and agonizing readjust-
ments, came scores of young men, some trigger-happy and daring,
bold, armed, and anxious to show their mettle.
It was under these circumstances and that environment that
Gunfighters-big, little, and middle-sized, made the most of the
freedom that was theirs. Among them emerged robbers, thieves,
gamblers, killers, and what-have-you. And from among their ranks
emerged top law enforcement officers such as Wild Bill Hickok,
Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, and others.
The more noted the gunfighter was the more cunning he had
to be to survive. He was always a shining target, and he knew it.
Observe what happened to Wild Bill Hickok when he relaxed
his vigilance as he sat at a gambling table in Deadwood with
his back to a door, to be shot from behind by a sneaking and
rank amateur, Jack McCall, in 1876.
The gunman was by no means a good insurance risk. His life
expectancy was much below average. While a few survived, most
of them were cut down early in life. Bill Quantrill was killed at
the age of twenty-eight; Jesse James was thirty-four; Bill Dalton
was thirty-five; Wild Bill Hickok was thirty-nine. Ben Thompson
was forty-one, and King Fisher was thirty-one. Bill Longley,
who killed thirty-two men, was hanged at the age of twenty-
seven. John Ringo was thirty-eight and Billy the Kid was only
Jack Thorp expressed it this way:
These were frontier towns, ol' pardner;
'Twas a game o' take an' give,
An' the one who could draw the fastest
Was the only one who lived!
Among this welter of characters King Fisher has been described
as "the most colorful and notorious outlaw who ever operated
on the Texas border." Unlike most of the roving gunmen of that
period, King Fisher confined his activities chiefly to southwest
Texas, along the Mexican border, although he is reported to
have been seen in Dodge at least upon one occasion. He went
to the Eagle Pass country as a young man from Goliad, following
the movement of the Brutons, the Vivions, the Whites, and many
other Goliad settlers to a wild and unruly section of the state.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/263/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.