As Wyatt Earp begins helping the town rid of the Cowboys, he makes an immediate enemy of Curly Bill. One day, Curly Bill wanders through town, shooting aimlessly, after a visit to an opium house. Marshal White orders him to relinquish his firearms; Curly Bill shoots the marshal dead in response. Wyatt forcibly takes him into custody. The arrest infuriates Curly Bill's minion Ike Clanton and the other Cowboys, who threaten Wyatt, his brothers, and Doc. Curly Bill stands trial, but is found not guilty due to lack of witnesses.
Wyatt and his posse are ambushed by the Cowboys in a riverside forest. Wyatt wades out into the river and engages in a gunfight which ends with Wyatt killing Curly Bill. His second-in-command Johnny Ringo then becomes the head of the Cowboys.
Role in Real Life
William Brocius (c. 1845 – March 24, 1882) had a number of conflicts with the lawmen of the Earp family, and he was named as one of the individuals who participated in Morgan Earp's assassination. Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp and a group of deputies including his brother Warren Earp pursued those they believed responsible for Morgan's death. The Earp posse unexpectedly encountered Curly Bill and other Cowboys on March 24, 1882, at Iron Springs(present day Mescal Springs). Wyatt killed Curly Bill during the shoot out. In his journal written in October 1881, George Parsons referred to Brocius as "Arizona's most famous outlaw".