The below anecdote comes from the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. Bob Kirwin lived there with his father, Will Kirwin, from 1908-1915. In this anecdote, a young Bob who read too many western pulp novels, come across a two-pistol toting miner with a sense of humor. This is a rare instance of open carry being mentioned in memoirs of a Nevadan.
“Bob’s dad had told him a few men in Searchlight still wore guns. In fact he had seen one the day before. Of course he had read many stories of gun toters and gunslingers. He believed that he was capable of coping with any of them. He knew how to recognize the dangerous ones, the real killers. They always advertised their reputation by the manner of dress. It was a warning not to trifle with them or anger them. The killers dressed in black—black hat, shirt, gloves, pants and shoes. He’d know one the very instant he saw one. All he had to do was mind his own business and they would attend to theirs. Simple!
“Bob and his family were staying at the Wheatley House, directly across the street from the Brown-Gosney mercantile Store. While he was waiting out front, his wandering eyes fell upon a gunman coming out of the store across the street. He was dressed in black!
“Bob was electrified! The gunman paused for a moment while he quickly scanned Main Street. When his faze fell upon Bob, he half crouched as he peered from under the brim of his hat pulled low over his eyes. Bob was frozen solid in his tracks, and gaped with his mouth partly open.
“With measured, determined steps, his hand but inches above the butts of two guns tied down to his legs, Texas style, he approached Bob, who didn’t move because he couldn’t.
“At less than ten paces, instinct for survival loosened Bob’s muscles. He started to turn to seek protective cover—any kind of cover! The gun man yanked out both guns, and in a voice cold as ice water, snapped ‘Hold it, stranger. I want to talk to you!’
“With a desperate effort, Bob spun around to flee, and ran head-on into his dad who, unobserved by Bob, had walked up behind him. The gunman’s voice rang out once more, but without the ice water, ‘Hello Will, good to see you again. Who is the tenderfoot you are protecting, your boy?’
“The gunman offered his hand to Bob, and said, ‘I’m Roy Conners, glad to meet you, and welcome to Searchlight. Me and your dad are good friends. How about that, Will?’
“For the next seven years that Bob lived in Searchlight, Roy never permitted him to forget their first meeting.”
 Kirwin, Bob. “Reminiscences of Searchlight. 1908-1915.” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. Spring 1976. pp. 43-44
Clayton E. Cramer
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