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Aces and Eights Painting.

~ Aces and Eights ~
The Murder of Wild Bill Hickok

The Most Famous Poker Game gone Wrong. . . .Wild Bill Hickok and his Dead man's Hand: Aces and Eights

If you know the old west or follow poker you know that the Dead man's Hand was termed for the hand James Butler Hickok was holding when Jack McCall (having played poker the night before with Hickok and been cleaned out, then given a few bucks for breakfast) walked into Tom Nuttall's #10 Saloon and murdered him. Hickok's hand was 2 Aces and 2 Eights - all black - and the kicker was a nine. Even today historians can't agree if it was the 9 of diamonds or clubs, or some now say it was the Jack of Diamonds - but they all agree it was the winning hand.

Painted from the perspective of the 4th man playing the deadly hand, Captain William R. Massey - who claimed that the bullet which ended the life of Wild Bill lodged in his right arm (later in court he changed his mind and said it was his left). Rather than have the slug removed, Massey bragged for the rest of his life that when you shook his hand you were shaking the ball that killed Wild Bill.

Red Cahoun as Wild Bill.

Back in May, 2006 we were rounded up to work on a re-enactment of the moment when Jack McCall walked into Tom Nuttal's #10 Saloon on Aug 2 1876, in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, and murdered Wild Bill Hickok.

Longfellow, and other modern day Gunfighters/Re-enactors, worked closely with the producers to create the right atmosphere, setting, and circumstances for that infamous second. Everything was set up like a movie set at Heritage Park in Calgary (an authentic 19th century town).

That's our pard, Red Cahoun, in the ill-fated role of Wild Bill, Longfellow (I just found out I was the harbinger of death, hell I don't even know what State Harbinger's in!) at the door about to come in and Good Bob behind Red's (Hickok's) right shoulder. After about 5 hours of taking digital pictures from every conceivable angle - we were done.

It was now up to Canadian Artist, Ken Dewar to splatter his magic on canvas, and create the finished product - pictured above. 130 years after Hickok's murder, this painting was unveiled in front of City Hall in Deadwood, South Dakota. The Deadwood Chamber received print #1 out of a limited edition of 2500. -SOLD OUT-

Aces and Eights Poster

The Murder of Wild Bill Hickok


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Frame is not included. Used for illustration purposes only

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