Did Bat Masterson actually have to use a cane after being shot by Sgt. Melvin King in 1876, or is this just part of the legend?
East Alton, Illinois
Noted authority Bob DeArment, author of Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend, tells me: “The story of Bat using a cane after his gunfight with King comes from Stuart Lake’s bio of Wyatt Earp. I’ve found no contemporary verification of that.
Later, as a professional gambler, he carried a cane as it was considered stylish at the time. Other notable gamblers, including Ben Thompson and Luke Short, did the same.”