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Shooting Pains...Lester Moore

About 430 miles east of San Diego, California, you'll find Naco, Cochise County, Arizona. Around 30 miles south

southeast of Naco stands Tombstone, the home of the fabled Boothill Graveyard.

                                boothill 

Boothill Graveyard in 1940.
(Src: www.legendsofamerica.com/United States Farm Security Administration)

Fabled? Yes. 'Boot Hill' actually referred to many such places, mostly in the USA, where gunfighters or executed

criminals were buried, having 'Died with their boots on.' However, Boothill Graveyard itself is a notable use of the

name, for a necropolis that houses, among others, the remains of Billy Clanton, and Frank and Tom McLaury,

victims of the gunfight at the OK Corral, on October 21st 1881.

Around the same time, Wells Fargo station agent Lester Moore was hard at work, by the Mexican border, in Naco.

Enter one Hank Dunstan, who appeared at the Wells Fargo station, keen to collect a parcel he was expecting.

Hank's parcel had suffered en route, as he saw when Lester handed it to him. Furious at the condition of the

shabby, beaten-up package, Hank began to argue with Lester. In the blink of an eye, revolvers were out and the

protagonists were ready to fire. Lester took four bullets from Hank Dunstan's weapon, but he didn't sell his life

cheaply. The solitary bullet Lester fired hit Hank in the chest. Before long, the incident had become what French

fencing masters call a 'Coup de deux veuves', a reckless attack that makes two widows.

They took Lester's lifeless body to Tombstone, placing it reverently underground in Boothill Graveyard. An

unknown poet penned Lester's epitaph on his gravestone. Lester Moore thus achieved fame, unlike Hank

Dunstan; the location of his final resting place remains unknown.

                   epitaph

 

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