The show starts just before sunset on a late spring evening along Main Street in Deadwood, S.D.
Here comes a saloon girl in a skimpy red dress and a headpiece of black feathers. A cowhand of questionable sobriety. A foul-mouthed man cracking a whip -- no, wait, it's a woman. It's Calamity Jane, who dressed like a man and sometimes passed for one, but who had an unrequited crush on Wild Bill Hickok. And there's handsome Wild Bill himself in red vest, luxuriant mustache and hair past his shoulders.
Hickok and some of the others have disappeared into Saloon #10 when we hear shooting and people come flying out of the saloon. Wild Bill has been shot.
The shooting is reenacted nightly in this old mining town where Hickok was killed in 1876 by ''Crooked Nose'' Jack McCall. After the street show, visitors can attend the trial of Crooked Nose Jack. McCall, who claimed he shot Hickok in retaliation for killing his brother, was acquitted, but later tried again and convicted. It turned out he had no brother.
The morning after the trial, I went up to Mount Moriah Cemetery, where Hickok was buried. Calamity Jane is right there too, her dying wish 27 years later to be buried next to the man who never returned her affections.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.