What is hanging around Keith Carradine’s neck in the June 2004 issue of True West?

/ask-the-marshallKent Martin

Elkridge, Maryland

Some suggest it’s a whiskey flask, while others say it’s a medicine pouch, but it’s a small knife in a scabbard. The shape of the scabbard is unmistakable. If it is supposed to be a defense weapon, a Derringer would have been more useful.

The real Hickok would have had little use for a knife hanging around his neck outside his shirt. Everytime you bend over, it flops you on the kisser. But remember, this is Hollywood, the same outfit that used to give us buxom blondes, climbing down out of stagecoaches wearing beautiful satin gowns, plenty of eyeliner and not a hair out of place after a 1,500-mile trip from St. Louis.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall

PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@sccmail.maricopa.edu

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