I have never known just where to pigeon-hole Soapy Smith; a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he certainly was. Meet him away from home, and what do we find,—a bunco-steerer, a tinhorn gambler, when not a proprietor where brace games were dealt, the associate of desperate ruffians, a professional bad man of the border and an adept in all lines and ways of winning the money of the unwary through nefarious schemes and devices; in short, he was a leader in the flagrant lawlessness which marked the frontier days. He had the reputation of being afraid of neither man nor devil. No one was ever more ready to draw his gun and fight to the death; death mattered little to him if while he lived none dared to dispute his courage and his readiness to do, dare and die.
George Buffum, Smith of Bear City and Other Frontier Sketches, 1906