HONK FOR ADMITTANCE] wouldrnbe standing open at the end of the drive.rnI had word of Glenn’s dogs from DavidrnLawrence, a friend in Los Angeles, and itrnseemed a good plan to approach thernColeman-Boyer residence protected by arnsuit of the Ford Motor Company’srnstrongest four-wheel-drive armor,rnI threw a tent and other camp gear inrnthe truck bed and drove west from LasrnCruces on Interstate 10 toward the Arizonarnborder, with the temperature in thernmid-90’s and a 25-mile-an-hour breezernblowing from the southwest. BetweenrnLas Cruces and Deming, a distance ofrn52 miles, there is little to see but the vastrnsotol and mesquite plain stretching awayrnto the Florida Mountains and, north ofrnthe Floridas, the granitic hound’s-toothrncalled Cooke’s Peak, elevation 8,404 butrnappearing much taller above a landscapernas flat and uniform as a Wal-Mart parkingrnlot. West of Deming the view becomesrnmore compelling as the nioimtainsrnof the Gila show on the northernrnhorizon, the Burro Mountains face offrnagainst the rugged topography of Nev’rnMexico’s bootheel, and, in the West, thernPeloncillos and Chiricahuas take shapernalong the Arizona line, with Mt. Grahamrnstanding like a tilted blue coffin behindrnthem. It is another 58 miles to Lordsburg,rn14 on to Road Forks, and six to thernstate line and Stein’s Ghost Town, whichrnI am hoping to add to the literar)’ map ofrnthe United States. Here Jeb Ryder, John-rnWa’ne, and the Mexican revolutionaryrnbrigade make a run for it across the tracksrnand the night-time highway, alarming arnparty of Mexican picnickers who mistakernthem for ghost riders. A question;rnWhich side of the highway do the railroadrntracks run on? (I couldn’t remember.)rnAnd another: What is the conntr)’rnimmediately south of the interstate like?rn(I remembered rolling desert hills, with arnfew poor ranches among them as well.)rnIn the case of Stein’s, all was as I recalledrnthe place from several years ago, exceptrnfor the length of highway between thernghost town and the summit imniediateh’rnwest of it. Another tuck to be taken here.rnI made a few notes and sat up in the creosoternhills for a while, listening to thernthunder of hooves on gravel, the squealrnof mules, and the shouts of the Mexicanrnfamilies as, calling upon the Blessed Virginrnto protect them, they abandonedrntheir cook fire and fled into the darkness.rnYou don’t make any money and todayrngetting published is a crap shoot. Butrnwriting novels does add another dimensionrnto life, even if it’s only your own.rnFrom Stein’s GhostTovn south to thernColeman-Boyer ranch immediatelyrnacross the Arizona border from Rodeo,rnNew Mexico, made the last 31 miles.rnBeing observant people, novelists giverngood directions, and I found the placernwithout difficulty; the blue gate, however,rnwas chained and the hand-letteredrnsign bigger than life. Que hacer? I amrnunafraid of dogs, but then a mastiff is notrna dog, he is a legend —almost a supernaturalrnbeing. HONK FOR ADMITTANCE,rnthe sign said. So I did. Whenrnnothing appeared but two blue ticks orrnheelers coming down the drive withrntheir tails wagging to gi’e me a friendlyrnWestern greeting, I got out of the truck,rnopened the gate, and drove through. Irnwas walking back to close it when a bigrnman wearing boots, jeans, and a huntingrnvest over a snapbutton shirt appearedrnaround a corner of the house. “HellornMr. Boyer,” I said. The inside pocket ofrnthe vest concealed a pistol, of course.rnJane and I introduced ourselves in thernperfunctory, ironic wav of people whornhave been talking on the telephone forrnmonths, and the three of us went indoorsrnfor drinks. I had been in the house anrnhour before I saw it was a doublewide,rnwith roonrs and an expansive sunporehrnbuilt on. “People have come out here inrnthe middle of the night,” Glenn said. Hernreached beside his chair and drew up anrnenormous revolver, Smith & Wesson’srnoriginal .357 Magnum with an eightand-rnthree-quarter-inch barrel. “No one’srngoing to surprise me where I can’t getrnhold of a gun.” If Second OK Corralrnis so far a battle of the books only, that isrnbecause the anti-Bover gang lacks therncourage to send their bullets where theyrnshoot their mouths toward. In The SuppressedrnMurder ofWyatt Earp, 1 MarriedrnWyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp’s TombstonernVendetta, aird other works, Glenn Boyerrnhas tried to keep a promise he madernmany years ago to Wyatt’s niece, EstellernMiller, to promote what is true in thernEarp legend. For Glenn his vow entails,rnin part, portraying Earp neither as thugrnnor popular saint but rather as a decentrnand courageous man who possessed thernability to inspire men to follow him. Inrnthis effort, he appears to have succeeded.rn”That [this] view is now generally consideredrnaccurate by most Earpomaniacsrncan be attributed to one man —GlennrnBoyer,” the Tucson Weekly concludedrnrecentiy. “Even if they stole it, or plagiarizedrnit, or failed to credit him for it, orrneven claimed he made part of it up, it’srnthe one tale everyone else is tryingrnto tell.” “Everyone else” means, especially,rnCasey Tefertiller, author of WyattrnEarp—The Life Behind the Legend, whornclaims Boyer has been “discredited,” andrnGary Roberts, a Georgia professor offendedrnby Boyer’s want of “historicalrnmethod,” his literary approach to writingrnhistory, and his refusal to share much ofrnhis research with people who treat himrnrudely. Of course, there are others. “I oftenrnget love letters like this to greet me inrnthe A.M.,” Glenn said, handing over an emailrnprint-out. “It makes my whole day,rnas you can imagine.” The letter was anrnilliterate screed from one Tori Benz, apparentlyrna librarian or researcher of somernsort, calling Glenn a liar, a phony, and arnhoaxer (which he self-admittedly is, inrnthe manner of H.L. Mencken, MarkrnTwain, and others). “You’re a lucky manrnto have enemies who look like that,” Irntold him, putting aside the TucsonrnGazette with its photo of Professor GaryrnRoberts, Abraham Baldwin AgriculturalrnCollege, Tifton, Georgia. Glenn let thernmastiffs in, and we were introduced.rnThey were very polite animals and didrnnot slobber much, but it was like havingrntwo bears trying to rest their heads inrnyour lap while you tried to drink scotchrnand soda. They seemed like overkill inrnthe case of Dr. Roberts, though.rnIn the morning there was no sound exceptrnthe southwest wind coming aroundrnthe lower end of the Chiricahuas andrnup the valley toward Rodeo, bendingrnGlenn’s young cottonwoods over as itrnpassed. We went for breakfast at a cafe inrnPortal, at the mouth of the big canyonrnopening out from the mountains tenrnmiles south of where George Scarboroughrnreceived his fatal wound 98 yearsrnago. After breakfast )ane and Glenn wentrnfor their mail at the post office, and I drovernten or 15 miles into the mountains by wayrnof the canyon, up to an elevation of 7,000rnfeet. These were tlie green but dry-looking,rnpine-brushy sky islands of the Southwest,rnalmost vertical extrusions of pinkrngranite covered with patches of greenrnlichen. In a high park thinly grown withrnjuniper I stopped and sat under a tree,rnlooking out through the canyon mouthrnbelow to the tawny eastern desert and thernpurple bergs floating just above it on thernheat waves. Beautiful country to witness,rnbeautiful country to explore, and while Irnplayed no part in its creation, the fact ofrnhaving written about it made me feel,rnalmost, as if I had a small one. crn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn