A glorified view of one of the Old West's most violent and colorful characters. Hickok may not have started out wild (christened ""James,"" he didn't start out as ""Bill,"" either), but after an early series of rough jobs, including scouting and spying for the Union Army, he developed a taste for fancy clothes, hot baths, and gambling. Downplaying his reputation for brutality, the author cheerily recounts his career as law officer, actor, and celebrity, his half-legendary feats of marksmanship, and his untimely end--shot at a gaming table, holding the ""Dead Man's Hand"" of aces and eights. An oversimple, romanticized picture of life in the West and of one of its preeminent gunmen. Illustrations not seen.