f,l? T g ! "BILLY THE KID"
I """~~""""~Z^!^ I
V cowboy outlaw
aring has never
been equalled in
he annals of
^hen a bullet
pierced his heart
he was less tha-i
of age, and had
men, Indians not
CHAS. A. SIRINGO
PRfVATE LIBRARY O
F. T. CHEETHAM
TAOS, NEW MEXICO
HISTORY OF " BILLY THE KID."
The true life of the most daring young
outlaw of the age.
He was the leading spirit in the bloody
Lincoln County, New Mexico, war. When
a bullet from Sheriff Pat Garett's pistol
pierced his breast he was only twenty-
one years of age, and had killed twenty-
one men, not counting Indians. His six
years of daring outlawry has never been
equalled in the annals of criminal his-
By CHAS. A. SIRINGO.
"Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck
of a Spanish Pony," "A Cowboy
Detective," and "A Lone Star Cow-
To my friend, George S. Tweedy an
honest, easy-going, second Abraham
Lincoln; this little volume is affection-
ately dedicated by the author,
CHAS. A. SIRINGO.
Copyrighted 1920, by Chas. A. Siringo.
All rights reserved.
The author feels that he is capable of
writing a true and unvarnished history
of " Billy the Kid," as he was person-
ally acquainted with him, and assisted
^ in his capture, by furnishing Sheriff Pat
Garrett with three of his fighting cow-
boys Jas. H. East, Lee Hall and Lon
The facts set down in this narrative
were gotten from the lips of " Billy the
Kid," himself, and from such men as
Pat Garrett, John W. Poe, Kip McKin-
nie, Charlie Wall, the Coe brothers, Tom
O'Phalliard, Henry Brown, John Mid-
dleton, Martin Chavez, and Ash Upson.
All these men took an active part, for
or against, the "Kid." Ash Upson had
known him from childhood, and was con-
sidered one of the family, for several
years, in his mother's home.
Other facts were gained from the lips
of Mrs. Charlie Bowdre, who kept "Bil-
ly the Kid, ' 9 hid out at her home in Fort
Simmer, New Mexico, after he had killed
his two guards and escaped.
CHAS. A. SIEINGO.
BILLY BONNEY KILLS HIS FIEST
TWO MEN, AND BECOMES A
DARING OUTLAW IN THE RE-
PUBLIC OF MEXICO.
In the slum district of the great city
of New York, on the 23rd day of Novem-
ber, 1859, a blue-eyed baby boy was born
to William H. Bonney and his good look-
ing, auburn haired young wife, Kathleen.
Being their first child he was naturally
the joy of their hearts. Later, another
baby boy followed.
In 1862 William H. Bonney shook the
dust of New York City from his shoes
and emigrated to Coffeeville, Kansas,
on the northern border of the Indian
Territory, with his little family.
6 "BILLY THE KID"
Soon after settling down in Coffee-
ville, Mr. Bonney died. Then the young
widow moved to the Territory of Colo-
rado, where she married a Mr. Antrim.
Shortly after this marriage, the little
family of four moved to Santa Fe, New
Mexico, at the end of the old Santa Fe
Here they opened a restaurant, and
one of their first boarders was Ash Up-
son, then doing work on the Daily New
Little, blue-eyed, Billy Bonney, was
then about five years of age, and be-
came greatly attached to good natured,
jovial, Ash Upson, who spent much of
his leisure time playing with the bright
Three years later, when the hero of
our story was about eight years old,
Ash Upson and the Antrim family pulled
up stakes and moved to the booming sil-
"BILLY THE KID" 7
ver mining camp of Silver City, in the
southwestern part of the Territory of
Here Mr. and Mrs. Antrim established
a new restaurant, and had Ash Upson
as the star boarder.
Naturally their boarders were made
up of all classes, both women and men,
some being gamblers and toughs of
the lowest order.
Amidst these surroundings, Billy Bon-
ney grew up. He went to school and
was a bright scholar. When not at
school, Billy was associating with tough
men and boys, and learning the art of
gambling and shooting.
This didn't suit Mr. Antrim, who be-
came a cruel step-father, according to
Billy Bonney's way of thinking.
Jesse Evans, a little older than Billy,
was a young tough who was a hero in
Billy's estimation. They became fast
8 "BILLY THE KID"
friends, and bosom companions. In the
years to come they were to fight bloody
battles side by side, as friends, and
again as bitter enemies.
As a boy, Mr. Upson says Billy had a
sunny disposition, but when aroused had
an uncontrollable temper.
At the tender age of twelve, young
Bonney made a trip to Fort Union, New
Mexico, and there gambled with the
negro soldiers. One " black nigger'
cheated Billy, who shot him dead. This
story I got from the lips of " Billy the
Kid" in 1878.
Making his way back to Silver City
he kept the secret from his fond mother,
who was the idol of his heart.
One day Billy's mother was passir
a crowd of toughs on the street. One of
them made an insulting remark about
her. Billy, who was in the crowd, heard
it. He struck the fellow in the face with
"BILLY THE KID" 9
his fist, then picked up a rock from the
street. The "tough" made a rush at
Billy, and as he passed Ed. Moulton he
planted a blow back of his ear, and laid
him sprawling on the ground.
This act cemented a friendship be-
tween Ed. Moulton and the future young
About three weeks later Ed. Moulton
got into a fight with two toughs in Joe
Dyer's saloon. He was getting the best
of the fight. The young blacksmith who
had insulted Mrs. Antrim and who had
been knocked down by Ed. Moulton, saw
a chance for revenge. He rushed at
Moulton with an uplifted chair. Billy
Bonney was standing near by, on nettles,
ready to render assistance to his bene-
factor, at a moment's notice. The time
had now arrived. He sprang at the
blacksmith and stabbed him with a knife
three times. He fell over dead.
10 "BILLY THE KID"
Billy ran out of the saloon, his right
hand dripping with human blood.
Now to his dear mother's arms, where
he showered her pale cheeks with kisses
for the last time.
Realizing the result of his crime, he
was soon lost in the pitchy darkness of
the night, headed towards the south-
west, afoot. For three days and nights
Billy wandered through the cactus cov-
ered hills, without seeing a human be-
Luck finally brought him to a sheep
camp, where the Mexican herder gave
From the sheep camp he went to Mc-
Knight's ranch and stole a horse, riding
away without a saddle.
Three weeks later a boy and a grown
man rode into Camp Bowie, a govern-
ment post. Both were on a skinny, sore-
back pony. This new found companion
"BILLY THE KID" 11
had a name and history of his own,
which he was nursing in secret. He gave
his name to Billy as " Alias," and that
was the name he was known by around
Finally Billy, having disposed of his
sore-back pony, started out for the
Apache Indian Eeservation, with
"Alias," afoot. They were armed with
an old army rifle and a six-shooter,
which they had borrowed from soldiers.
About ten miles southwest of Camp
Bowie these two young desperados
came onto three Indians, who had twelve
ponies, a lot of pelts and several saddles,
besides good fire-arms, and blankets. In
telling of the af fair . afterwards, Billy
said: "It was a ground-hog case. Here
were twelve good ponies, a supply of
blankets, and five heavy loads of pelts.
Here were three blood-thirsty savages
revelling in luxury and refusing help to
12 "BILLY THE KID"
two free-born, white, American citizens,
foot-sore and hungry. The plunder had
to change hands. As one live Indian
could place a hundred United States
soldiers on our trail, the decision was
"In about three minutes there were
three dead Indians stretched out on the
ground, and with their ponies and plun-
der we skipped. There was no fight. It
was the softest thing I ever struck. 9 '
About one hundred miles from this
bloody field of battle, the surplus ponies
and plunder were sold and traded off to
a band of Texas emigrants.
Finally the two young brigands set-
tled down in Tucson, where Billy's skill
as a monte dealer, and card player kept
them in luxuriant style, and gave them
prestige among the sporting fraternity.
Becoming tired of town life, the two
desperadoes hit the trail for San Simon,
"BILLY THE KID" 13
where they beat a band of Indians out
of a lot of money in a "fake" horse
The next we hear of Billy Bonney is
in the State of Sonora, Old Mexico,
where he went alone, according to his
In Sonora he joined issues with a Mex-
ican gambler named Melquiades Segura.
One night the two murdered a monte
dealer, Don Jose Martinez, and secured
his "bank roll."
Now the two desperadoes shook the
dust of Sonora from their feet and land-
ed in the city of Chihuahua, the capital
of the State of Chihuahua, several hun-
dred miles to the eastward, across the
Sierra Madres mountains.
14 "BILLY THE KID"
A FIERCE BATTLE WITH APACHE
INDIANS. SINGLE HANDED
BILLY BONNEY LIBERATES
SEGURA FROM JAIL.
In the city of Chihuahua, the two des-
peradoes led a hurrah life among the
sporting elements. Finally their money
was gone and their luck at cards went
against them. Then Billy and Segura
held up and robbed several monte deal-
ers, when on the way home after their
games had closed for the night. One
of these monte dealers had offended
Billy, which caused his death.
One morning before the break of day,
this monte dealer was on his way home ;
a peon was carrying his fat "bank roll"
in a buckskin bag, finely decorated with
gold and silver threads.
"BILLY THE KID" 15
When nearing his residence in the
outskirts of the city, Segura and young
Bonney made a charge from behind a
vacant adobe building. The one-sided
battle was soon over. A popular Mexi-
can gambler lay stretched dead on the
ground. The peon willingly gave up the
sack of gold and silver.
Now towards the Texas border, in a
north-easterly direction, a distance of
three hundred miles, as fast as their
mounts could carry them.
When their horses began to grow
tired, other mounts were secured. Their
bills were paid enroute, with gold doub-
loons taken from the buckskin sack.
On reaching the Bio Grande river,
which separates Texas from the Repub-
lic of Mexico, the young outlaws separ-
ated for the time being.
" Billy Bonney finally met up with his
Silver City chum, Jesse Evans, and they
16 "BILLY THE KID"
became partners in crime, in the border-
ing state of Texas, and the Territories
of New Mexico and Arizona. Many rob-
beries and some murders were commit-
ted by these smooth-faced boys, and they
had many narrow escapes from death,
or capture. Fresh horses were always
at their command, as they were experts
with the lasso, and the scattering ranch-
men all had bands of ponies on the
On one occasion the boys ate dinner
with a party of Texas emigrants, and
were well treated. Leaving the emi-
grant camp, a band of renegade Apache
Indians were seen skulking in the hills.
The boys concealed themselves to await
results, as they felt sure a raid was to
be made on the emigrants, who were
headed for the Territory of Arizona.
There were only three men in the party,
and several women and children.
"BILLY THE KID" 17
Just at dusk, the boys, who were steal-
ing along their trail in the low, flint cov-
ered hills, heard shooting.
Eealizing that a battle was on, Billy
Bonney and Jesse Evans put spurs to
their mounts and reached the camp just
By this time it was dark. The three
men had succeeded in standing off the
Indians for awhile, but finally a rush
was made on the camp, by the reds, with
blood curdling war whoops.
At that moment the two young heroes
charged among the Indians and sprang
off their horses, with Winchester rifles
For a few moments the battle raged.
One bullet shattered the stock of Billy's
rifle, clipping his left hand slightly. He
then dropped the rifle and used his pis-
When the battle was over, eight dead
18 "BILLY THE KID"
Indians lay on the ground.
The emigrants had shielded them-
selves by getting behind the wagons.
Two of the men were slightly wounded,
and the other dangerously shot through
the stomach. One little girl had a frac-
tured skull from a blow on the head with
a rifle. The mother of the child fainted
on seeing her daughter fall.
In telling of this battle, Billy Bonney
said the war-whoops shouted by himself
and Jesse, as they charged into the band
of Indians, helped to win the battle. He
said a bullet knocked the heel off one of
his boots, and that Jesse's hat was shot
off his head. He felt sure that the man
shot through the stomach died, though
he never heard of the party after separ-
Soon after the Indian battle Billy
Bonney and Jesse Evans landed in the
Mexican village of La Mesilla, New Mex-
"BILLY THE KID" 19
ico, and there met up with some of
Jesse's chums. Their names were Jim
McDaniels, Bill Morton, and Frank Bak-
During their stay in Mesilla, Jim Mc-
Daniels christened Billy Bonney, " Billy
the Kid," and that name stuck to him
to the time of his death.
Finally these three tough cowboys
started for the Pecos river with Jesse
Evans. " Billy the Kid" promised to
join them later, as he had received word
that his Old Mexico chum, Segura, was
in jail in San Elizario, Texas, below El
Paso. This word had been brought by
a Mexican boy, sent by Segura.
The "Kid" told the boy to wait in
Mesilla till he and Segura got there.
It was the fall of 1876. Mounted on
his favorite gray horse, "Billy the Kid"
started at six o'clock in the evening for
the eighty-one mile ride to San Elizario.
20 "BILLY THE KID"
A swift ride brought him into El Paso,
then called Franklin, a distance of fifty-
six miles, before midnight. Here he
dismounted in front of Peter Den's sa-
loon to let his noble "Gray" rest. While
waiting, he had a few drinks of whiskey,
and fed "Gray" some crackers, there
being no horse feed at the saloon.
Now for the twenty-five mile dash
down the Rio Grande river, over a level
road to San Elizario. It was made in
quick time. Daylight had not yet begun
Dismounting in front of the jail, the
"Kid" knocked on the front door. The
Mexican jailer asked; "Quien es?"
The "Kid" replied in good Spanish:
"Open up, we have two American pris-
The heavy front door was opened, an^
the jailer found a cocked pistol pointed
"BILLY THE KID" 21
at him. Now the frightened guard gave
up his pistol and the keys to the cell in
which Segura was shackled and hand-
In the rear of the jail building there
was another guard asleep. He was re-
lieved of his fire-arms and dagger.
When Segura was free of irons the
two guards were gagged so they couldn't
give an alarm, and chained to a post.
The two outlaws started out in the
darkest part of the night, just before
day, Segura on "Gray" and the "Kid"
trotting by his side, afoot.
An hour later the two desperadoes
were at a confederate's ranch across the
Rio Grande river, in Old Mexico.
After filling up with a hot breakfast,
the "Kid" was soon asleep, while Se-
gura kept watch for officers. The
"Kid's" noble "Gray" was fed and
22 "BILLY THE KID"
with a mustang, kept hidden out in the
Now the ranchman rode into San Eliz-
ario to post himself on the jail break.
Hurrying back to the ranch, he ad-
vised his two guests to "hit the high
places," as there was great excitement
in San Elizario.
Reaching La Mesilla, New Mexico, the
two young outlaws found the boy who
had carried the message to "Billy the
Kid," from Segura, and rewarded him
with a handful of Mexican gold.
"BILLY THE KID" 23
" BILLY THE KID" AND SEGURA
MAKE SUCCESSFUL ROB-
BERY RAIDS INTO MEXICO. A
BATTLE WITH INDIANS. THE
"KID" JOINS HIS CHUM,
After a few daring raids into Old
Mexico, with Segura, the "Kid" landed
in La Mesilla, New Mexico.
Here he fell in with a wild young man
by the name of Tom O'Keefe. Together,
they started for the Pecos river to meet
Jesse Evans and his companions.
Instead of taking the wagon road, the
two venturesome boys cut across the
Mescalero Apache Indina Reservation,
which took in most of the high Guada-
lupe range of mountains, which separ-
ates the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers.
24 "BILLY THE KID"
First they rode into El Paso, Texas,
and loaded a pack mule with provisions.
A few days out of El Paso, the boys
ran out of water, and were puzzled as
to which way to ride.
Finally a fresh Indian trail was
found, evidently leading to water. It was
followed to the mouth of a deep canyon.
For fear of running into a trap, the
" Kid" decided to take the canteen and
go afoot, leaving his mount and the pack
mule with O'Keefe, who was instructed
to come to his rescue should he hear yell-
ing and shooting.
A mile of cautious traveling brought
the "Kid" to a cool spring of water.
The ground was tramped hard with
fresh pony and Indian tracks.
After filling the canteen, and drinking
all the water he could hold, the "Kid"
started down the canyon to join his com-
"BILLY THE KID" 25
He hadn't gone far when Indians,
afoot, began pouring out of the cliff to
the right, which cut off his retreat down
the canyon. There was nothing to do
but return towards the spring, as fast
as his legs could carry him.
The twenty half-naked braves were
gaining on him, and shouting blood-curd-
Like a pursued mountain lion, the
"Kid" sprang into the jungles of a
steep cliff. Foot by foot his way was
made to a place of concealment.
The Indians seeing him leave the trail,
scrambled up into the bushy cliff. Now
the "Kid's" trusty pistol began to talk,
and several young braves, who were
leading the chase passed to the "happy
hunting ground." The "Kid" said the
body of one young buck went down the
cliff and caught on the over-hanging
26 "BILLY THE KID"
limb of a dead tree, and there hung sus-
pended in plain view.
Many shots were fired at the "Kid"
when he sprang from one hiding place
to another. One bullet struck a rock
near his head, and the splinters gave
him slight wounds on the face and neck.
Beaching the extreme top of a high
peak, the young outlaw felt safe, as he
could see no reds on his trail. Being ex-
hausted he soon fell asleep. On hearing
the yelling and shooting, Tom O'Keefe
stampeded, leaving the "Kid's" mount
and the pack mule where they stood.
Reaching a high bluff, which was im-
possible for a horse to climb, O'Keefe
quit his mount and took it afoot. From
cliff to cliff, he made his way towards
the top of a peak. Finally his keen eye-
sight caught the figure of a man, far
away across a deep canyon, trying to
reach the top of a mountain peak. He
"BILLY THE KID" 27
surmised that the bold climber must be
At last young O'Keefe's strength
gave out and he lay down to sleep. His
hands and limbs were bleeding from the
scratches received from sharp rocks,
and he was craving water.
Being refreshed from his long night's
sleep, the "Kid" headed for the big red
sun, which was just creeping up out of
the great "Llano Estacado," (Staked
Plains), over a hundred miles to the
eastward, across the Pecos river.
Finally water was struck and he was
happy. Then he filled up on wild ber-
ries, which were plentiful along the bor-
ders of the small sparkling stream of
Three days later the young hero out-
law reached a cow-camp on the Eio
Pecos. He made himself known to the
cowboys, who gave him a good horse to
28 "BILLY THE KID"
ride, and conducted him to the Murphy-
Dolan cow-camp, where his chum, Jesse
Evans, was employed. In this camp the
"Kid" also met his former friends, Mc-
Daniels, Baker, and Morton.
Here the "Kid" was told of the
smouldering cattle war between the
Murphy-Dolan faction on one side, and
the cattle king, John S. Chisum, on the
Many small cattle owners were ar-
rayed with the firm of Murphy and
Dolan, who owned a large store in Lin-
coln, and were the owners of many cat-
On John S. Chisum J s side were Alex
A. McSween, a prominent lawyer of
Lincoln the County seat of Lincoln
County and a wealthy Englishman by
the name of John S. Tuns tall, who had
only been in America a year.
McSween and Tunstall had formed a
"BILLY THE KID" 29
co-partnership in the cattle business,
and had established a general trading
store in Lincoln.
It was now the early spring of 1877.
Jesse Evans tried to persuade " Billy
the Kid" to join the Murphy-Dolan fac-
tion, but he argued that he first had to
find Tom O'Keefe, dead or alive, as it
was against his principles to desert a
chum in time of danger.
For nearly a year a storm had been
brewing between John Chisum and the
smaller ranchmen. Chisum claimed all
the range in the Pecos valley, from Fort
Sumner to the Texas line, a distance of
over two hundred miles.
Naturally there was much maverick-
ing, in other words, stealing unbranderl
young animals from the Chisum bands
of cattle, which ranged about twenty-
five miles on each side of the Pecos riv-
30 "BILLY THE KID"
Chisum owned from forty to sixty
thousand cattle on this " Jingle-bob "
range. His cattle were marked with a
long " Jingle-bob " hanging down from
the dew-lap. In branding calves the
Chisum cowboys would slash the dew-
lap above the breast, leaving a chunk of
hide and flesh hanging downward. When
the wound healed the animal was well
marked with a dangling " Jingle-bob. "
Thus did the Chisum outfit get the name
of the " Jingle-bobs."
Well mounted and armed, "Billy the
Kid" started in search of Tom O'Keefe.
He was found at Las Cruces, three miles
from La Mesilla, the County seat of
Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It was
a happy meeting between the two
smooth-faced boys. Each had to relate
his experience during and after the In-
O'Keefe had gone back to the place
"BILLY THE KID" 31
where he had left the "Kid's" mount
and the pack mule. There he found the
" Bid's" horse shot dead, but no sign
of the mule. His own pony ran away
with the saddle, when he sprang from
Now O'Keefe struck out afoot, to-
wards the west, living on berries and
such game as he could kill, finally land-
ing in Las Cruces, where he swore off
being the companion of a daring young
" Billy the Kid" tried to persuade
O'Keefe to accompany him back to the
Pecos valley, to take part in the ap-
proaching cattle war, but Tom said
he had had enough of playing "bad-man
from Bitter Creek."
Now the "Kid" went to a ranch,
where he had left his noble "Gray," and
with him started back towards the Pecos
32 "BILLY THE KID"
THE STARTING OF THE BLOODY
LINCOLN COUNTY WAR. THE
MURDER OF TUNSTALL. "BIL-
LY THE KID" IS PARTIALLY
REVENGED WHEN HE KILLS
MORTON AND BAKER.
Arriving back at the Murphy-Dolan
cow-camp on the Pecos river, "Billy the
Kid" was greeted by his friends, Mc-
Daniels, Morton and Baker, who persu-
aded him to join the Murphy and Dolan
outfit, and become one of their fighting
cowboys. This he agreed to do, and was
put on the pay-roll at good wages.
The summer and fall of 1877 passed
along with only now and then a scrap
between the factions. But the clouds of
war were lowering, and the "Kid" was
anxious for a battle.
"BILLY THE KID" 33
Still he was not satisfied to be at war
with the whole-souled young English-
man, John S. Tunstull, whom he had met
on several occasions.
On one of his trips to the Mexican
town of Lincoln, to "blow in" his accu-
mulated wages, the "Bad" met Tunstall,
and expressed regret at fighting against
The matter was talked over and "Bil-
ly the Kid" agreed to switch over from
the Murphy-Dolan faction. Tunstall at
once put him under wages and told him
to make his headquarters at their cow-
camp on the Rio Feliz, which flowed in-
to the Pecos from the west.
Now the "Kid" rode back to camp
and told the dozen cowboys there of his
new deal. They tried to persuade him
of his mistake, but his mind was made
up and couldn't be changed.
In the argument, Baker abused the
34 "BILLY THE KID"
"Kid" for going back on his friends.
This came very near starting a little
war in that camp. The "Kid" made
Baker back down when he offered to
shoot it out with him on the square.
Before riding away on his faithful
"Gray," the "Kid" expressed regrets
at having to fight against his chum
Jesse Evans, in the future.
At the Rio Feliz cow camp, the "Kid"
made friends with all the cowboys there,
and with Tunstall and McSween, when
he rode into Lincoln to have a good time
at the Mexican "fandangos" (dances.)
A few "killings" took place on the
Pecos river during the fall, but "Billy
the Kid" was not in these fights.
In the early part of December, 1877,
the "Kid" received a letter from his
Mexican chum whom he had liberated
from the jail in San Elizario, Texas,
Melquiades Segura, asking that he meet
"BILLY THE KID" 35
him at their friend's ranch across the
Rio Grande river, in Old Mexico, on a
matter of great importance.
Mounted on "Gray," the "Kid"
started. Meeting Segura, he found that
all he wanted was to share a bag of
Mexican gold with him.
While visiting Segura, a war started
in San Elizario over the Guadalupe Salt
Lakes, in El Paso County, Texas.
These Salt Lakes had supplied the
natives along the Rio Grande river with
free salt for more than a hundred years.
An American by the name of Howard,
had leased them from the State of Tex-
as, and prohibited the people from tak-
ing salt from them.
A prominent man by the name of
Louis Cardis, took up the fight for the
people. Howard and his men were cap-
tured and alowed their liberty under
36 "BILLY THE KID"
the promise that they would leave the
Salt Lakes free for the people's use.
Soon after, Howard killed Louis Card-
is in El Paso. This worked the natives
up to a high pitch.
Under the protection of a band of
Texas Rangers, Howard returned to San
Elizario, twenty-five miles below El
On reaching San Elizario the citizens
turned out in mass and besieged the
Eangers and the Howard crowd, in a
Many citizens of Old Mexico, across
the river, joined the mob. Among them
being Segura and his confederate, at
whose ranch " Billy the Kid" and Se-
gura were stopping.
As " Billy the Kid" had no interest
in the fight, he took no part, but was
an eye witness to it, in the village of San
"BILLY THE KID" 37
Near the house in which Howard and
the Rangers took refuge, lived Captain
Gregario Garcia, and his three sons,
Carlos, Secundio, and Nazean-ceno Gar-
cia. On the roof of their dwelling they
constructed a fort, and with rifles, as-
sisted in protecting Howard and the
Rangers from the mob.
The fight continued for several days.
Finally, against the advice of Captain
Gregario Garcia, the Rangers surren-
dered. They were escorted up the river
towards El Paso, and liberated. How-
ard, Charlie Ellis, John Atkinson, and
perhaps one or two other Americans,
were taken out and shot dead by the
mob. Thus ended one of the bloody bat-
tles which " Billy the Kid" enjoyed as a
The following year the present Gov-
ernor of New Mexico, Octaviano A. Lar-
razolo, settled in San Elizario, Texas,
38 "BILLY THE KID"
and married the pretty daughter of Car-
los Garcia, who, with his father and two
brothers, so nobly defended Howard and
Now "Billy the Kid," with his pock-
ets bulging with Mexican gold, given him
by Segura, returned to the Tunstall-Mc-
Sween cow camp, on the Eio Feliz, in
Lincoln County, New Mexico.
In the month of February, 1878, W.
S. Morton, who held a commission as
deputy sheriff, raised a posse of fight-
ing cowboys and went to one of the
Tunstall cow-camps on the upper Kuido-
so river, to attach some horses, which
were claimed by the Murphy-Dolan out-
Tunstall was at the camp with some
of his employes, who "hid out" on the
approach of Morton and the posse.
It was claimed by Morton that Tun-
stall fired the first shot, but that story
"BILLY THE KID" 39
was not believed by the opposition.
In the fight, Tunstall and his mount
were killed. While laying on his face
gasping for breath, Tom Hill, who was
later killed while robbing a sheep camp,
placed a rifle to the back of his head
and blew out his brains.
This murder took place on the 18th
day of February, 1878.
Before sunset a runner carried the
news to " Billy the Kid," on the Eio
Feliz. His anger was at the boiling
point on hearing of the foul murder. He
at once saddled his horse and started to
Lincoln, to consult with Lawyer Mc-
Now the Lincoln County war was on
with a vengeance and hatred, and the
"Kid" was to play a leading hand in it.
He swore that he would kill every man
who took part in the murder of his
40 "BILLY THE KID"
At that time, Lincoln County, New
Mexico, was the size of some states,
about two hundred miles square, and
only a few thousand inhabitants, mostly
Mexicans, scattered over its surface.
On reaching the town of Lincoln, the
"Kid" was informed by McSween that
R. M. Bruer had been sworn in as a
special constable, and was making up a
posse to arrest the murderers of Tun-
"Billy the Kid" joined the Bruer
posse, and they started for the Rio
On the 6th day of March, the Bruer
posse ran onto five mounted men at the
lower crossing of the Rio Penasco, six
miles from the Pecos river. They fled
and were pursued by Bruer and his
Two of the fleeing cowboys separated
from their companions. The "Kid" rec-
"BILLY THE KID" 41
ognized them as Morton and Baker, his
former friends. He dashed after them,
and the rest of the posse followed his
Shots were being fired back and forth.
At last Morton's and Baker's mounts
fell over dead. The two men then
crawled into a sink-hole to shield their
bodies from the bullets.
A parley was held, and the two men
surrendered, after Bruer had promised
them protection. The "Kid" protested
against giving this pledge. He remark-
ed: "My time will come."
Now the posse started for the Chisum
home ranch, on South Spring river, with
the two handcuffed prisoners.
On the morning of the 9th day of
March, the Bruer posse started with the
prisoners for Lincoln, but pretended to
be headed for Fort Stunner.
The posse was made up of the follow-
42 "BILLY THE KID"
ing men: B. M. Bruer, J. G. Skurlock,
Charlie Bowdre, " Billy the Kid," Hen-
ry Brown, Frank McNab, Fred Wayt,
Sam Smith, Jim French, John Middle-
ton and McClosky.
After traveling five miles they came
to the little village of Eoswell. Here
they stopped to allow Morton time to
write a letter to his cousin, the Hon. H.
H. Marshall, of Eichmond, Virginia.
Ash Upson was the postmaster in
Roswell, and Morton asked him to notify
his cousin in Virginia ,if the posse failed
to keep their pledge of protection.
McClosky, who was standing near, re-
marked: "If harm comes to you two,
they will have to kill me first. ' '
The party started out about 10 A. M.
from Eoswell. About 4 P. M., Martin
Chavez of Picacho, arrived in Eoswell
and reported to Ash Upson that the
posse and their prisoners had quit tl
"BILLY THE KID" 43
main road to Lincoln and had turned off
in the direction of Agua Negra, an un-
frequented watering place. This move
satisfied the postmaster that the doom
of Morton and Baker was sealed.
On March the eleventh, Frank McNab,
one of the Bruer posse, rode up to the
post-office and dismounted. Mr. Upson
expressed surprise and told him that he
supposed he was in Lincoln by this time.
Now McNab confessed that Morton,
Baker and McClosky were dead.
Later, Ash Upson got the particulars
from " Billy the Kid " of the killing.
The "Bad" and Charlie Bowdre were
riding in the lead as they neared Black-
water Spring. McClosky and Middleton
rode by the side of the two prisoners.
The balance of the posse followed be-
Finally Brown and McNab spurred
up their horses and rode up to Me-
44 "BILLY THE KID"
Closky and Middleton. McNab shoved
a cocked pistol at McClosky's head say-
ing: "You are the s of a b that's
got to die before harm can come to these
fellows, are you?"
Now the trigger was pulled and Mc-
Closky fell from his horse, dead, shot
through the head.
"Billy the Kid" heard the shot and
wheeled his horse around in time to see
the two prisoners dashing away on their
mounts. The "Kid" fired twice and
Morton and Baker fell from their horses,
dead. No doubt it was a put up job to
allow the "Kid" to kill the murderers
of his friend Tunstall, with his own
The posse rode on to Lincoln, all but
McNab, who returned to Roswell. The
bodies of McClosky, Morton and Baker
were left where they fell. Later they
were buried by some sheep herders.
"BILLY THE KID" 45
Thus ends the first chapter of the
bloody Lincoln County war.
THE MUEDEE OF SHEEIFF BEA-
DY AND HIS DEPUTY, HIND-
MAN, BY THE "KID" AND HIS
BAND. " BILLY THE KID"
AND JESSE EVANS MEET AS
ENEMIES AND PAET AS
On returning to Lincoln, "Billy the
Kid" had many consultations with Law-
yer McSween about the murder of Tun-
stall. It was agreed to never let up un-
til all the murderers were in their
The "Kid" heard that one of Tun-
stall's murderers was seen around Dr.
Blazer's saw mill, near the Mescalero
46 "BILLY THE KID"
Apache Indian Reservation, on South
Fork, about forty miles from Lincoln.
He at once notified Officer Dick Bruer,
who made up a posse to search for Rob-
erts, an ex-soldier, a fine rider, and a
As the posse rode up to Blazer's saw
mill from the east, Roberts came gallop-
ing up from the west. The "Kid" put
spurs to his horse and made a dash at
him. Both had pulled their Winchester
rifles from the scabbards. Both men
fired at the same time, Robert's bullet
went whizzing past the "Kid's" ear,
while the one from "Billy the Kid's"
rifle, found lodgment in Robert's body.
It was a death wound, but gave Roberts
time to prove his bravery, and fine
He fell from his mount and found con-
cealment in an outhouse, from where he
fought his last battle.
"BILLY THE KID" 47
The posse men dismounted and
found concealment behind the many
large saw logs, scattered over the
For a short time the battle raged,
while the lifeblood was fast flowing
from Robert's wound. One of his bul-
lets struck Charlie Bowdre, giving him
a serious wound. Another bullet cut off
a finger from George Coe's hand. Still
another went crashing through Dick
Bruer's head, as he peeped over a log
to get a shot at Roberts; Bruer fell
over dead. This was Robert's last shot,
as he soon expired from the wound "Bil-
ly the Kid" had given him.
A grave yard was now started on a
round hill near the Blazer saw mill, and
in later years, Mr. and Mrs. George Nes-
beth, a little girl, and a strange man,
who had died with their boots on being
48 "BILLY THE KID"
fouly murdered were buried in this
miniature "Boot Hill" cemetery.
Two of the participants in the battle
at Blazer's saw mill, Frank and George
Coe, are still alive, being highly respect-
ed ranchmen on the Euidoso river,
where both have raised large families.
After the battle at Blazer's mill, the
Coe brothers joined issues with "Billy
the Kid" and fought other battles
against the Murphy-Dolan faction. In
one battle Frank Coe was arrested and
taken to the Lincoln jail. Through the
aid of friends he made his escape.
Now that their lawful leader, Dick
Bruer, was in his grave, the posse re-
turned to Lincoln. Here they formed
themselves into a band, without lawful
authority, to avenge the murder of
Tunstall, until not one was left alive. By
common consent, "Billy the Kid" was
appointed their leader.
"BILLY THE KID" 49
In Lincoln, lived one of " Billy the
Kid's" enemies, J. B. Mathews, known
as Billy Mathews. While he had taken
no part in the killing of Tunstall, he had
openly expressed himself in favor of
Jimmie Dolan and Murphy, and against
the other faction.
On the 28th day of March, Billy Math-
ews, unarmed, met the "Kid" on the
street by accident. Mathews started in-
to a doorway, just as the "Kid" cut
down on him with a rifle. The bullet
shattered the door frame above his head.
Major William Brady, a brave and
honest man, was the sheriff of Lincoln
County. He was partial to the Murphy-
Dolan faction, and this offended the op-
position. He held warrants for "Billy
the Kid" and his associates, for the kill-
ing of Morton, Baker, and Roberts.
On the first day of -April, 1878, Sher-
iff Brady left the Murphy-Dolan store,
50 "BILLY THE KID"
accompanied by George Hindman and J
B. Mathews to go to the Court House
and announce that no term of court
would be held at the regular April term.
The sheriff and his two companions
carried rifles in their hands, as in those
days every male citizen who had grown
to manhood, went well armed.
The Tunstall and McSween store stood
about midway between the Murphy-Do-
lan store and the Court House.
In the rear of the Tunstall-McSween
store, there was an adobe corral, the
east side of which projected beyond the
store building, and commanded a view
of the street, over which the sheriff had
to pass. On the top of this corral wall,
" Billy the Kid" and his "warriors"
had cut grooves in which to rest their
As the sheriff and party came in sight,
a volley was fired at them from the
"BILLY THE KID" 51
adobe fence. Brady and Hindman fell
mortally wounded, and Mathews found
shelter behind a house on the south side
of the street.
Ike Stockton, who afterwards became
a killer of men, and a bold desperado,
in northwestern New Mexico, and south-
western Colorado, and who was killed
in Durango, Colorado, at that time kept
a saloon in Lincoln, and was a friend of
the "Kid's." He ran out of his saloon
to the wounded officers. Hindman called
for water; Stockton ran to the Bonita
river, nearby, and brought him a drink
in his hat.
About this time, "Billy the Kid"
leaped over the adobe wall and ran to
the fallen officers. As he raised Sheriff
Brady's rifle from the ground, J. B.
Mathews fired at him from his hiding
place. The ball shattered the stock of
the sheriff's rifle and plowed a furrow
52 "BILLY THE KID"
through the "Kid's" side, but it proved
not to be a dangerous wound.
Now "Billy the Kid" broke for shel-
ter at the McSween home. Some say
that he fired a parting shot into Sheriff
Brady's head. Others dispute it. At
any rate both Brady and Hindman lay
dead on the main street of Lincoln.
This cold-blooded murder angered
many citizens of Lincoln against the
"Kid" and his crowd. Now they became
outlaws in every sense of the word.
From now on the ' ' Kid ' ' and his i ' war-
riors" made their headquarters at Mc-
Sween 's residence, when not scouting
over the country searching for enemies,
who sanctioned the killing of Tunstall.
Often this little band of "warriors"
would ride through the streets of Lin-
coln to defy their enemies, and be royal-
ly treated by their friends.
Finally, George W. Peppin was ap-
"BILLY THE KID" 53>
pointed Sheriff of the County, and he
appointed a dozen or more deputies to
help uphold the law. Still bloodshed and
anarchy continued throughout the
County, as the " Kid's" crowd were not
San Patricio, a Mexican plaza on the
Ruidoso river, about eight miles below
Lincoln, was a favorite hangout for the
4 "Kid" and his "warriors," as most of
the natives there were their sympathiz-
One morning, before breakfast, in San
Patricio, Jose Miguel Sedillo brought
the "Kid" news that Jesse Evans and a
crowd of ' ' Seven River Warriors ' ' were
prowling around in the hills, near the
old Bruer ranch, where a band of the
Chisum-McSween horses were being
Thinking that their intentions were to
steal these horses, the "Kid" and party
54 "BILLY THE KID"
started without eating breakfast. In the
party, besides the "Kid,", were Charlie
Bowdre, Henry Brown, J. G. Skerlock,
John Middleton, and a young Texan by
the name of Tom OThalliard, who had
lately joined the gang.
On reaching the hills, the party split,
the "Kid" taking Henry Brown with
Soon the "Kid" heard shooting in the
direction taken by the balance of his
party. Putting spurs to his mount, he
dashed up to Jesse Evans and four of
his "warriors," who had captured
Charlie Bowdre, and was joking him
about his leader, the "Kid." He re-
marked: "We are hungry, and thought
we would roast the 'Kid' for breakfast.
We want to hear him bleat. ' '
At that moment a horseman dashed
up among them from an arroyo. With
a smile, Charlie Bowdre said, pointing
"BILLY THE KID" 55
at the "Kid;" "There comes your
With drawn pistol, "Old Gray" was
checked up in front of his former chum
in crime, Jesse Evans.
With a smile, Jesse remarked: "Well,
Billy, this is a h 1 of a way to intro-
duce yourself to a private picnic party."
The "Kid" replied: "How are you,
Jesse f It 's a long time since we met. ' '
Jesse said: "I understand you are
after the men who killed that English-
man. I, nor none of my men were
"I know you wasn't, Jesse," replied
the "Kid." "If you had been, the ball
would have been opened before now. ' '
Soon the "Kid" was joined by the
rest of his party and both bands separ-
ated in peace.
56 "BILLY THE KID"
" BILLY THE KID" AND GANG
STAND OFF A POSSE AT THE
CHISUM RANCH. A BLOODY
BATTLE IN LINCOLN, WHICH
LASTED THREE DAYS.
As time went on, Sheriff Peppin ap-
pointed new deputies on whom he could
depend. Among these being Marion
Turner, of the firm of Turner & Jones,
merchants at Roswell, on the Pecos riv-
For several years, Turner had been
employed by cattle king John Chisum,
and up to May, 1878 had helped to fight
his battles, but for some reason he had
seceded and became Chisum 's bitter ene-
Marion Turner was put in charge of
the Sheriff's forces in the Pecos valley,
"BILLY THE KID" 57
and soon had about forty daring cow-
boys and cattlemen under his command.
Roswell was their headquarters.
Early in July, "Billy the Kid" and
fourteen of his followers rode up to the
Chisum headquarters ranch, five miles
from Eoswell, to make that their ren-
Turner with his force tried to oust the
"Kid" and gang from their stronghold,
but found it impossible, owing to the
house being built like a fort to stand off
Indians, but he kept out spies to catch
the "Kid" napping.
One morning, Turner received word
that the "Kid" and party had left for
Fort Sumner on the upper Pecos river.
The trail was followed about twenty
miles up the river, where it switched off
towards Lincoln, a distance of about
eighty or ninety miles.
The trail was followed to Lincoln,
58 "BILLY THE KID"
where it was found that ' ' Billy the Kid ' '
and gang had taken possession of Mc-
Sween's fine eleven-room residence, and
were prepared to stand off an army.
On arriving in Lincoln with his posse,
Turner was joined by Sheriff Peppin
and his deputies, and they made the
"Big House," as the Murphy-Dolan
store was called, their headquarters.
For three days shots were fired back
and forth from the buildings, which
were far apart.
On the morning of July 19th, 1878,
Marion Turner concluded to take some
of his men to the McSween residence
and demand the surrender of the "Kid"
and his ' l warriors. ' ' With Turner were
his business partner, John A. Jones and
eight other fearless men.
At that moment the "Kid" and party
were in a rear room holding a consulta-
"BILLY THE KID" 59
tion, otherwise some of the advancing
party might have been killed.
On reaching the thick adobe wall of
the building, through which portholes
had been cut, Turner and his men found
protection against the wall between
When the "Kid" and party returned
to the port-holes they were hailed by
Turner, who demanded their surrender,
as he had warrants for their arrest.
The "Kid" replied: "We, too, hold
warrants for you and your gang, which
we will serve on you, hot from the muz-
zles of our guns."
About this time Lieut. Col. Dudley, of
the Ninth Cavalry, arrived from Ft.
Stanton with a company of infantry
and some artillery.
Planting his cannons midway between
the belligerent parties, Col. Dudley pro-
claimed that he would turn his guns
60 "BILLY THE KID"
loose on the first of the two, who fired
over the "heads of his command.
Despite this warning, shots were fired
back and forth, but no harm was done.
Now Martin Chavez, who at this writ-
ing is a prosperous merchant in Santa
Fe, rode up with thirty-five Mexicans,
whom he had deputized to protect Mc-
Sween and the "Kid's" party.
Col. Dudley asked him under what au-
thority he was acting. He replied that
he held a certificate as deputy sheriff
under Brady. Col. Dudley told him that
as Sheriff Brady was dead, and a new
sheriff had been appointed, his commis-
sion was not in effect. Still he proclaim-
ed that he would protect the "Kid" and
Now Col. Dudley ordered Chavez off
the field of battle, or he would have his
men fire on them. When the guns were
pointed in their direction, the Chavez
"BILLY THE KID" 61
crowd retreated to the Ellis Hotel. Here
he ordered his followers to fire on the
soldiers if they opened up on the "Kid"
and party with their cannon.
Toward night the Turner men, who
were up against the McSween residence,
between the port-holes, managed to set
fire to the front door and windows. A
strong wind carried the blaze to the
woodwork of other rooms.
Mrs. McSween and her three lady
friends had left the building before the
fight started. She had made one trip
back to see her husband. The firing
ceased while she was in the house.
In the front parlor, Mrs. McSween
had a fine piano. To prevent it from
burning, the "Kid" moved it from one
room to another until it was finally in
The crowd made merry around the
piano, singing and "pawing the ivory,"
62 "BILLY THE KID"
as the "Kid" expressed it to the writer
a few months later.
After dark, when the fiery flames be-
gan to lick their way into the kitchen,
where the smoke begrimed band were
congregated, a question of surrender
was discussed, but the "Kid" put his
veto on the move. He stood near the
outer door of the kitchen, with his rifle,
and swore he would kill the first man
who cried surrender. He had planned
to wait until the last minute, then all
rush out of the door together, and make
a run for the Bonita river, a distance of
about fifty yards.
Finally the heat became so great, the
kitchen door was thrown open.
At this moment one Mexican became
frightened and called out at the top of
his voice not to shoot, that they would
surrender. The "Kid" struck the fel-
"BILLY THE KID" 63
low over the head with his rifle and
knocked him senseless.
When the Mexican called out that they
would surrender, Robert W. Beckwith,
a cattleman of Seven Rivers, and John
Jones, stepped around the corner of the
building in full view of the kitchen door.
A shot was fired at Beckwith and
wounded him on the hand. Then Beck-
with opened fire and shot Lawyer Mc-
Sween, though this was not a death shot.
Another shot from Beckwith 's #un
killed Vicente Romero. Now the ' ' Kid ' '
planted a bullet in Beckwith 's head, and
he fell over dead. Leaping over Beck-
with 's body, the band made a run for
the river. The "Kid" was in the lead
yelling : ' ' Come on, boys ! ' ' Tom Thai-
Hard was in the rear. He made his es-
cape amidst flying bullets, without a
scratch, although he had stopped to pick
C4 'TBILiLY THE KID"
up his friend Harvey Morris. Finding
him dead he dropped the body,
McSween fell dead in the back yard
with nine bullets in his body, which was
badly scorched by the fire, before he left
It was 10 P. M. when the fight had
ended. Seven men had been killed and
many wounded. Only two of Turner's
posse were killed, while the "Kid" lost
five, McSween, Morris and three Mexi-
"BILLY THE KID" 65
" BILLY THE KID" KILLS TWO
MORE MEN. AT THE HEAD OF
A RECKLESS BAND, HE
STEALS HORSES BY THE
WHOLESALE. HE BECOMES
DESPERATELY IN LOVE WITH
MISS DULCUIEA DEL TOBOSO.
After their escape from Lincoln,
"Billy the Kid" got his little band to-
gether, and made a business of stealing
stock and gambling. Their headquar-
ters were made in the hills near Fort
Stanton only a few miles above Lin-
coln. The soldiers at the Fort paid no
attention to them.
Now Governor Lew Wallace, the fam-
ous author of "Ben Hur," of Santa Fe,
the capital of the Territory of New Mex-
ico, issued a proclamation granting a
66 "BILLY THE KID"
pardon to " Billy the Kid" and his fol-
lowers, if they would quit their lawless-
ness, but the "Kid" laughed it off as a
On the 5th day of August, "Billy the
Kid" and gang rode up in plain view of
the Mescalero Indian Agency and began
rounding up a band of horses.
A Jew by the name of Bernstein,
mounted a horse and said he would go
out and stop them. He was warned of
the danger, but persisted in his purpose
of preventing the stealing of their band
of gentle saddle horses.
When Mr. Bernstein rode up to the
gang and told them to "vamoose," in
other words, to hit the road, the "Kid"
drew his rifle and shot the poor Jew
dead. This was the "Kid's" most cow-
ardly act. His excuse was that he
"didn't like a Jew, nohow."
During the fall the government had
"BILLY THE KID" 67
given a contract to a large gang of Mex-
icans to put up several hundred tons of
hay at $25 a ton. As they drew their
pay, the "Kid" and gang were on hand
to deal monte and win their money.
When the contract was finished,
there was no more business for the
"Kid's" monte game, so with his own
hand, as told to the author by himself,
he set fire to the hay stacks one windy
Now the Government gave another
contract for several hundred tons of hay
at $50 a ton as the work had to be
rushed before frost killed the grass.
When pay day came around the
"Kid's" monte game was raking in
The new stacks were allowed to stand,
as it was too late in the season to cut
the grass for more hay.
During the fall the "Kid" and some
68 "BILLY THE KID"
of his gang made trips to Fort Simmer.
Bowdre and Skurlock always remained
near their wives in Lincoln, but finally
those two outlaws moved their families
to "Sumner," where a rendezvous was
established. Here one of their gang,
who always kept in the dark, and worked
on the sly, lived with his Mexican wife,
a sister to the wife of Pat Garrett. His
name was Barney Mason, and he carried
a curse of God on his brow for the kill-
ing of John Farris, a cowboy friend of
the writer's, in the early winter of 1878.
On one of his trips to Fort Sumner,
" Billy the Kid" fell desperately in love
with a pretty little seventeen-year-old
half-breed Mexican girl, whom we will
call Miss Dulcinea del Toboso. She was
a daughter of a once famous man, and a
sister to a man who owned sheep on a
thousand hills. The falling in love with
this pretty, young miss, was virtually
"BILLY THE KID" 69
the cause of "Billy the Kid's" death,
as up to the last he hovered around Fort
Sumner like a moth around a blazing
candle. He had no thought of getting
his wings singed; he couldn't resist the
temptation of visiting this pretty little
During the month of September,
1878, the "Kid" and part of his gang
visited the town of Lincoln, and on leav-
ing there stole a large band of fine range
horses from Charlie Fritz and others.
This band of horses was driven to
Fort Sumner, thence east to Tascosa in
the wild Panhandle of Texas, on the
While disposing of these horses to
the cattlemen and cowboys, the "Kid"
and his gang camped for several weeks
at the "LX" cattle ranch, twenty miles
It was here, during the months of Oc-
70 "BILLY THE KID"
tober and November, 1878, that the writ-
er made the acquaintance of " Billy the
Kid," Tom O'Phalliard, Henry Brown,
Fred Wyat, John Middleton, and others
of the gang whose names can't be re-
The author had just returned from
Chicago where he had taken a shipment
of fat steers, and found this gang of out-
laws camped under some large cotton-
wood trees, within a few hundred yards
of the "LX" headquarter ranch house.
For a few weeks, much of my time was
spent with " Billy the Kid." We became
quite chummy. He presented me with a
nicely bound book, in which he wrote his
autograph. I had previously given him
a fine meerschaum cigar holder.
While loafing in their camp, we
passed off the time playing cards and
shooting at marks. With our Colt's 45
pistols I could hit the mark as often as
"BILLY THE KID" 71
the "Kid," but when it came to quick
shooting, he could get in two shots to
I found "Billy the Kid" to be a good
natured young man. He was always
cheerful and smiling. Being still in his
teens, he had no sign of a beard. His
eyes were a hazel blue, and his brown
hair was long and curly. The skin on
his face was tanned to a chestnut
brown, and was as soft and tender as a
baby's. He weighed about one hundred
and forty pounds, and was five feet,
eight inches tall. His only defects were
two upper front teeth, which projected
outward from his well shaped mouth.
During his many visists to Tascosa,
where whiskey was plentiful, the i ' Kid ' '
never got drunk. He seemed to drink
more for sociability than for the "love
of liquor. "
Here Henry Brown and Fred Wyat
72 "BILLY THE KID"
quit the "Kid V outlaw gang and went
to the Chickasaw Nation, in the Indian
Territory, where the parents of half-
breed Fred Wyat lived.
It is said that Fred Wyat, in later
years, served as a member of the Okla-
Henry Brown became City Marshal
of Caldwell, Kansas, and while wearing
his star rode to the nearby town of Medi-
cine Lodge, with three companions and
in broad day light, held up the bank,
killing the president, Wiley Payne, and
his cashier, George Jeppert. This put
an end to Henry Brown, as the enraged
citizens mobbed the whole band of "bad
The snow had begun to fly when the
"Kid" and the remnant of his gang re-
turned to Fort Simmer, New Mexico.
One of his followers, John Middleton,
had sworn off being an outlaw and rode
"BILLY THE KID" 73
away from Tascosa, for southern Kan-
sas, where the author met him in later
years. He had settled down to a peace-
The "Kid" made his headquarters at
Fort Sumner, so as to be near his sweet-
heart. He made several raids into Lin-
coln County to steal cattle and horses.
On one of these trips to Lincoln County,
his respect for women and children,
avoided a bloody battle with United
In the month of February, 1879, Wm.
H. McBroom, at the head of a United
States surveying crew, established a
camp at the Roberts ranch on the Pen-
asco creek, in the Pecos valley.
While absent with most of his crew,
Mr. McBroom left a young man, twen-
ty-two years of age, Will M. Tipton, in
charge of the camp and extra mules. A
young Mexican by the name of Nicholas
74 "BILLY THE KID"
Gutierez was detailed to help young Tip-
ton care for the stock.
Their camp was within a few hundred
feet of the Eoberts home, on the bank
of the creek. One morning Mr. Roberts
started up the river to Eoswell to buy
supplies, leaving his wife, grown daugh-
ter, and five-year-old son at the ranch.
Late that evening, Captain Hooker
and some negro soldiers pitched camp
near the Eoberts home. They had sev-
eral American prisoners with them, to
be taken to Fort Stanton and placed in
That night after supper, Mr. Will M.
Tipton, who at this writing, 1920, is a
highly respected citizen of Santa Fe,
New Mexico, says he and Nicolas Gutie-
rez were sitting on the bank of the creek
in their camp. He was playing a guitar
while Nicolas was singing. Just then a
horseman climbed up the steep embank-
"BILLY THE KID" 75
ment from the bed of the creek, and dis-
This stranger began asking questions
about the soldiers' camp, where the
camp-fires blazed brilliantly in the
Finally the stranger gave a shrill
whistle, and soon a companion rode into
camp, out of the bed of the creek.
This second visitor was a slender,
boyish young man, who seemed anxious
to learn all about the soldiers' camp.
In a few moments three negro soldiers
strolled into camp and chatted awhile.
When they left to return to their quar-
ters, the two strangers bade Tipton and
his companion goodnight, and rode down
the bed of the creek.
At noon next day, Mr. Roberts re-
turned from Boswell. On meeting young
Tipton, he remarked: "You boys had
'Billy the Kid' as a visitor last night."
76 "BILLY THE KID
He then told of meeting the "Kid" and
his band of " warriors " that morning,
and of how the "Kid" told of his visit
to the McBroom camp. He told Will
Tipton that the small young man was
"Billy the Kid" had told Koberts
that they had planned to make a charge
into the soldiers' camp and liberate the
prisoners, who were friends of theirs,
but finding that Mrs. Roberts and the
children were alone, and that the sol-
diers' camp was so near the Eoberts
home, they gave up the proposed battle,
knowing that the shooting would disturb
Mrs. Eoberts and the family.
Mr. Eoberts explained to Mr. Tipton
that he had always fed the "Kid" and
his "warriors" when they happened by
his place, hence their friendship for him.
Now the "Kid" and his party rode to
Lincoln to use their influence in a peace-
"BILLY THE KID" 77
ful way to liberate their friends, whom
Capt. Hooker intended to turn over to
the new sheriff of Lincoln County.
In Lincoln the "Kid" met his former
chum, Jesse Evans, and they started out
to celebrate the meeting. With Jesse
Evans was a desperado named William
One night a lawyer named Chapman,
who had been sent from Las Vegas to
settle up the McSween estate, was in the
saloon, when Campbell shot at his feet
to make him dance. The lawyer protest-
ed indignantly and was shot dead by
Jimmie Dolan and J. B. Mathews, be-
ing present, were later arrested, along
with Campbell, for this killing.
Dolan and Mathews came clear at the
preliminary trial, and Campbell was
bound over to the Grand Jury. He was
taken to Fort Stanton and placed in
78 "BILLY THE KID
jaiL There he made his escape and has
never been heard of in that part of the
Now "Billy the Kid" and Tom
O'Phalliard rode back to Fort Simmer,
but soon returned to Lincoln, where they
were arrested by Sheriff Kimbrall and
his deputies merely as a matter of
performing their duty, but with no in-
tention of disgracing them. They were
turned over to Deputy Sheriff T. B.
Longworth and guarded in the home of
Don Juan Patron, where they were
wined and dined.
On the 21st day of March, 1879, Dep-
uty Sheriff Longworth received orders
to place his two prisoners in the town
jail a filthy hole.
Arriving at the jail door, the "Kid"
told Mr. Longworth that he had been in
this jail once before, and he swore he
would never go into it again, but to
"BILLY THE KID" 79
avoid making trouble, he would go back
on his pledge.
On a pine door to one of the cells, the
"Kid" wrote with his pencil: "William
Bonney was incarcerated first time, De-
cember 22nd, 1878 Second time, March
21st, 1879, and hope I will never be
again. W. H. Bonney."
This inscription showed on the old jail
door for many years after it was writ-
The first time the "Kid" was put in
this jail he walked right out, and this
second time, he broke down the door
when he got ready to go.
After breaking out of the jail, the
"Kid" and O'Phalliard spent a couple
of weeks in Lincoln, carrying their rifles
whenever they walked through the
street, in plain view of the sheriff.
In April, they returned to Fort Sum-
ner and were joined by Charlie Bowdre
80 "BILLY THE KID"
and Skurlock. Jesse Evans had left for
the lower Pecos, where he was later
killed, according to reports.
The summer was spent by the "Kid"
and his followers stealing cattle and
In October they went to Boswell and
stole 118 head of John Chisum's fattest
steers, and later sold them to Colorado
beef buyers. The "Kid" claimed that
Chisum owed him for fighting his bat-
tles during the Lincoln County war, and
he was using this method to get his pay.
From now on, for the next year, the
"Kid" and gang did a wholesale busi-
ness in stealing cattle. Tom Cooper and
his gang had joined issues with the
"Kid" and party, and they established
headquarters at the Portales Lake a
salty body of water at the foot of the
Staked Plains, about seventy-five miles
east of Fort Sumner.
"BILLY THE KID" 81
Here a permanent camp was pitched
against a cliff of rock, at a fresh water
spring, and it afterward became noted
as " Billy the Kid's" cave. A rock wall
had been built against the cliff to take
in the spring, and afforded protection
as a fort in case of a surprise from In-
dians or law-officers.
They had the whole country to them-
selves, as there were no inhabitants
only drifting bands of buffalo hunters.
Eaids were made into the Texas Pan-
handle, the western line being a few
miles east of their camp, and fat steers
stolen from the "LX" and "LIT" cat-
tle ranges on the Canadian river.
These herds of stolen steers were
driven to Tularosa, in Dona Ana
County, New Mexico, and turned over
to Pat Cohglin, the "King of Tularosa,"
who had a contract to furnish beef to
the U. S. soldiers at Ft. Stanton. Cohg-
82 "BILLY THE KID"
lin had made a deal with " Billy the
Kid" to buy all the steers he could steal
in the Texas Panhandle, and deliver to
him in Tularosa.
In January, 1880, the "Kid" added
another notch on the handle of his pistol
as a mankiller. He and a crowd of the
Chisum cowboys were celebrating in
Bob Hargroves ' saloon in Fort Sunnier.
A bad-man from Texas, by the name of
Joe Grant, was filling his hide full of
"Kill-me-quick" whiskey, in the Har-
Grant pulled a fine, ivory-handled
Colt's pistol from the scabbard of Cow-
boy Finan, putting his own pistol in
place of it.
Here the "Kid" asked Grant to let
him look at this beautiful, ivory-handled
pistol. The request was granted. Then
the "Kid" revolved the cylinder and
saw there were two empty chambers. He
"BILLY THE KID" 8*
let the hammer down so that the first
two attempts to shoot would be failures.
Now the pretty pistol was handed back
to Grant and he stuck it in his scabbard.
A little later Grant stepped behind
the bar, so as to face the crowd, and
jerking his pistol, he began knocking
glasses off the bar with it. Eyeing " Bil-
ly the Kid," he remarked: "Pard, I'll
kill a man quicker than you will, for the
The "Kid" accepted the challenge.
Grant fired at the "Kid," but the ham-
mer struck on an empty chamber. Now
the "Kid" planted a ball between
Grant's eyes and he fell over dead.
At the Bosque Grande, on the Pecos
river, the three Dedrick boys, Sam, Dan,
and Mose, owned a ranch, which became
quite a rendezvous for the "Kid's" and
Tom Cooper's gangs. From here the
herds of stolen Panhandle, Texas, cat-
84 "BILLY THE KID"
tie were started across the waterless
desert to the foot of the Capitan moun-
tains, a distance of about one hundred
Here Dave Rudabaugh, who had the
previous fall killed the jailer in Las
Vegas in trying to liberate his friend,
Webb, joined " Billy the Kid's" gang.
Also Billy Wilson and Tom Pickett
joined the party, and their time was
spent stealing cattle and horses.
" BILLY THE KID" ADDS ONE
MOEE NOTCH TO HIS GUN AS
A KILLER. TRAPPED AT LAST
BY PAT GARRETT AND POSSE.
TWO OF HIS GANG KILLED. IN
JAIL AT SANTA FE.
In the year 1879, rich gold ore had
been struck on Baxter mountain, three
"BILLY THE KID" 85
miles from White Oaks Spring, about
thirty miles north of Lincoln, and the
new town of White Oaks was estab-
lished, with a population of about one
The "Kid" had many friends in this
hurrah mining camp. He had shot up
the town, and was wanted by the law of-
On the 23rd day of November, 1880,
the "Kid" celebrated his birthday in
White Oaks, under cover, among friends.
On riding out of town with his gang
after dark, he took one friendly shot at
Deputy Sheriff Jim Woodland, who was
standing in front of the Pioneer Saloon.
The chances are he had no intention of
shooting Woodland, as he was a warm
friend to his chum, Tom OThalliard,
who was riding by his side. Thalliard
and Jim Woodland had come to New
Mexico from Texas together, a few years
86 "BILLY THE KID"
previous. Woodland is still a resident
of Lincoln County, with a permanent
home on the large Block cattle ranch.
This shot woke up Deputy Sheriffs
Jim Carlyle and J. N. Bell, who fired
parting shots at the gang, as they gal-
loped out of town.
The next day a posse was made up of
leading citizens of White Oaks with Dep-
uty Sheriff Will Hudgens and Jim Car-
lyle in command. They followed the trail
of the outlaw gang to Coyote Spring,
where they came onto the gang in camp.
Shots were exchanged. " Billy the Kid"
had sprung onto his horse, which was
shot from under him.
When the " Kid's" gang fired on
the posse, Johnny Hudgens' mount fell
over dead, shot in the head.
The weather was bitter cold and snow
lay on the ground. Without overcoat or
gloves, " Billy the Kid" rushed for the
"BILLY THE KID" 87
hills, afoot, after his horse fell. The rest
of the gang had become separated, and
each one looked out for himself.
In the outlaws' camp the posse found
a good supply of grub and plunder.
Jim Carlyle appropriated the
"Kid's" gloves and put them on his
hands. No doubt they were the real
cause of his death later.
With "Billy the Kid's" saddle, over-
coat and the other plunder found in the
outlaws' camp, the posse returned to
White Oaks, arriving there about dark.
It would seem from all accounts that
"Billy the Kid" trailed the posse into
White Oaks, where he found shelter at
the Dedrick and West Livery Stable. He
was seen on the street during the night.
On November 27th, a posse of White
Oaks citizens under command of Jim
Carlyle and Will Hudgens, rode to the
Jim Greathouse road-ranch, about forty
88 "BILLY THE KID"
miles north, arriving there before day-
light. Their horses were secreted, and
they made breastworks of logs and
brush, so as to cover the ranch house,
which was known to be a rendezvous of
the "Kid's" gang.
After daylight the cook came out of
the house with a nosebag and ropes to
hunt the horses which had been hobbled
the evening before.
This cook, Steck, was captured by the
posse behind the breastworks. He con-
fessed that the "Kid" and his gang
were in the house.
Now Steck was sent to the house with
a note to the "Bad" demanding his sur-
render. The reply he sent back by Steck
read: "You can only take me a corpse."
The proprietor of the ranch, Jim
Greathouse, accompanied Steck back to
the posse behind the logs.
, Jimmie Carlyle suggested that he go
"BILLY THE KID" 89
to the house unarmed and have a
talk with the "Kid." Will Hudgens
wouldn't agree; to this until after Great-
house said he would remain to guarantee
Carlyle's safe return. That if the "Kid"
should kill Carlyle, they could take his
A time limit was set for Carlyle's re-
turn, or Greathouse would be killed.
This was written on a note and sent by
Steck to the "Kid."
When Carlyle entered the saloon, in
the front part of the log building, the
"Kid" greeted him in a friendly man-
ner, but seeing his gloves sticking out
of Carlyle's coat pocket, he grabbed
them, saying: "What in the h 1 are you
doing with my gloves?" Of course this
brought back the misery he had endured
without gloves after the posse raided
their camp at Coyote Spring.
Here he invited Carlyle up to the bar
90 "BILLY THE KID"
to take his last drink on earth as he
said he intended to Mil him when the
whiskey was down.
After Carlyle had drained his glass
the "Kid" pulled his pistol and told
him to say his prayers before he fired.
With a laugh the "Kid" put up his
pistol, saying, "Why, Jimmie, I
wouldn't kill you. Let's all take another
Now the time was spent singing and
dancing. Every time the gang took a
drink, Carlyle had to join them in a so-
The "Kid" afterwards told friends
that he had no intention of killing Car-
lyle, that he just wanted to detain him
till after dark, so they could make a dash
The time had just expired when the
posse were to kill Jim Greathouse, if
Carlyle was not back. At that moment a
"BILLY THE KID" 91
man behind the breastworks fired a shot
at the house. Carlyle supposed this shot
had killed Greathouse, which would re-
sult in his own death. He leaped for the
glass window, taking sash and all with
him. The ' ' Kid ' ' fired a bullet into him.
When he struck the ground he began
crawling away on his hands and knees,
as he was badly wounded. Now the
"Kid" finished him with a well aimed
shot from his pistol.
The men behind the logs were wit-
nesses to this murder, as they could
see Carlyle crawling away from the
window. Now they opened fire with a
vengeance on the building. The gang
had previously piled sacks of grain and
flour against the doors, to keep out the
In the excitement, Jim Greathouse
slipped away from the posse and ran
through the woods. Finding one of his
92 "BILLY THE KID"
own hobbled ponies, he mounted him
and rode away. He was later shot by des-
perado Joe Fowler, with a double-barrel
shot gun, as he lay in bed asleep. This
murder took place on Joe Fowler's cat-
tle ranch west of Socorro, New Mexico.
After dark the posse concluded to re-
turn to White Oaks, as they were cold
and hungry. They had brought no grub
with them, and they dared not build a
fire to keep warm, for fear of being shot
by the gang.
A few hours later the "Kid" and
gang made a break for liberty, intend-
ing to fight the posse to a finish, they
not knowing that the officers had de-
All night the gang waded through the
deep snow, afoot. They arrived at Mr.
Spence's ranch at daylight, and ate a
hearty breakfast. Then continued their
"BILLY THE KID" 93
journey towards Anton Chico on the
About daylight that morning, Will
Hudgens, Johnny Hurley, and Jim
Brent made up a large posse and start-
ed to the Greathouse road-ranch. Arriv-
ing there, they found the place vacated.
The buildings were set afire, then the
journey continued on the gang's trail,
in the deep snow.
A highly respected citizen, by the
name of Spence, had established a road-
ranch on a cut-off road between White
Oaks and Las Vegas. The gang's trail
led up to this ranch, and Mr. Spence
acknowledged coking breakfast for them.
Now Mr. Spence was dragged to a tree
with a rope around his neck to hang
him. Many of the posse protested
against the hanging of Spence, and his
life was spared, but revenge was taken
by burning up his buildings.
94 "BILLY THE KID"
The "Kid's" trail was now followed
into a rough, hilly country and there
abandoned. Then the posse returned to
In Anton Chico, the "Kid" and his
party stole horses and saddles, and rode
down the Pecos river.
A few days later, Pat Garrett, the
sheriff of Lincoln County, arrived in
Anton Chico from Fort Sumner, to make
up a posse to run down the "Kid" and
At this time the writer and Bob Bob-
erson had arrived in Anton Chico from
Tascosa, Texas, with a crew of fighting
cowboys, to help run down the "Kid,"
and put a stop to the stealing of Pan-
handle, Texas, cattle.
The author had charge of five "war-
riors," Jas. H. East, Cal Polk, Lee Hall,
Frank Clifford (Big-Foot Wallace), and
Lon Chambers. We were armed to the
"BILLY THE KID" 95
teeth, and had four large mules to draw
the mess-wagon, driven by the Mexican
Bob Eoberson was in charge of five
riders and a mess- wagon.
At our camp, west of Anton Chico,
Pat Garrett met us, and we agreed to
loan him a few of our "warriors." The
writer turned over to him three men,
Jim East, Lon Chambers and Lee Hall.
Bob Eoberson turned over to him three
cowboys, Tom Emmory, Bob Williams,
and Louis Bozeman.
We then continued our journey to
White Oaks in a raging snow storm.
Pat Garrett started down the Pecos
river with his crew, consisting of our six
cowboys, his brother-in-law, Barney Ma-
son, and Frank Stewart, who had been
acting as detective for the Panhandle
At Fort Sumner, Pat Garrett depu-
96 "BILLY THE KID"
tized Charlie Rudolph and a few Mexi-
can friends, to join the crowd which
now numbered about thirteen men.
Finding that the "Kid" and party
had been in Fort Sumner, and made the
old abandoned United States Hospital
building, where lived Charlie Bowdre
and his half-breed Mexican wife, their
headquarters, Pat Garrett concluded to
camp there. He figured that the out-
laws would return and visit Mrs. Char-
lie Bowdre, whose husband was one of
the outlaw band.
In order to get a true record of the
capture of "Billy the Kid" and gang,
the author wrote to James H. East, of
Douglas, Arizona, for the facts. Jim
East is the only known living partici-
pant in that tragic event. His reputa-
tion for honesty and truthfulness is
above par wherever he is known. He
served eight years as sheriff of Oldham
"BILLY THE KID" 97
County, Texas, at Tascosa, and was city
marshal for several years in Douglas,
Herewith his letter to the writer is
printed in full :
May 1st, 1920.
Dear Charlie :
Yours of the 29th received, and
contents noted. I will try to answer
your questions, but you know after
a lapse of forty years, one's mem-
ory may slip a cog. First : We were
quartered in the old Government
Hospital building in Ft. Sumner,
the night of the first fight. Lon
Chambers was on guard. Our horses
were in Pete Maxwell's stable.
Sheriff Pat Garrett, Tom Emory,
Bob Williams, and Barney Mason
were playing poker on a blanket on
98 "BILLY THE KID"
I had just laid down on my blank-
et in the corner, when Chambers
ran in and told us that the 'Kid'
and his gang were coining. It was
about eleven o'clock at night. We
all grabbed our guns and stepped
out in the yard.
Just then the ' Kid's' men came
around the corner of the old hospi-
tal building, in front of the room oc-
cupied by Charlie Bowdre's woman
and her mother. Tom O'Phalliard
was riding in the lead. Garrett
yelled out: ' Throw up your
hands!" But O'Phalliard jerked
his pistol. Then the shooting com-
menced. It being dark, the shoot-
ing was at random.
Tom O'Phalliard was shot
through the body, near the heart,
and lost control of his horse. 'Kid'
and the rest of his men whirled
"BILLY THE KID" 99
their horses and ran up the road.
O'Phalliard's horse came up near
us, and Tom said: * Don't shoot any
more, I am dying. ' We helped him
off his horse and took him in, and
laid him down on my blanket. Pat
and the other boys then went back
to playing poker.
I got Tom some water. He then
cussed Garrett and died, in about
thirty minutes after being shot.
The horse that Dave Eudabaugh
was riding was shot, but not killed
instantly. We found the dead horse
the next day on the trail, about one
mile or so east of Ft. Sumner.
After Dave's horse fell down
from loss of blood, he got up behind
Billy Wilson, and they all went to
Wilcox's ranch that night.
The next morning a big snow
storm set in and put out their trail,
100 "BILLY THE KID"
so we laid over in Simmer and bur-
The next night, after the fight,
it cleared off and about midnight,
Mr. Wilcox rode in and reported to
us that the "Kid," Dave Ruda-
baugh, Billy Wilson, Tom Pickett,
and Charlie Bowdre, had eaten sup-
per at his ranch about dark, then
pulled out for the little rock house
at Stinking Spring. So we saddled
up and started about one o 'clock in
We got to the rock house just be-
fore daylight. Our horses were left
with Frank Stewart and some of
the other boys under guard, while
Garrett took Lee Hall, Tom Emory
and myself with him. We crawled
up the arroyo to within about
thirty feet of the door, where we
lav down in the snow.
"BILLY THE KID" 101
There was no window in this
house, and only one door, which we
would cover with our guns.
The "Bad" had taken his race
mare into the house, but the other
three horses were standing near
the door, hitched by ropes to the
Just as day began to show, Char-
lie Bowdre came out to feed his
horse, I suppose, for he had a moral
in one hand. Garrett told him to
throw up his hands, but he grabbed
at his six-shooter. Then Garrett
and Lee Hall both shot him in the
breast. Emory and I didn't shoot,
for there was no use to waste am-
Charlie turned and went into the
house, and we heard the 'Kid' say
to him: * Charlie, you are done for.
Go out and see if you can't get one
102 "BILLY THE KID"
of the s of b's before you die."
Charlie then walked out with his
hand on his pistol, but was unable
to shoot. We didn't shoot, for we
could see he was about dead. He
stumbled and fell on Lee Hall. He
started to speak, but the words died
Now Garrett, Lee, Tom and I,
fired several shots at the ropes
which held the horses, and cut them
loose all but one horse which was
half way in the door. Garrett shot
him down, and that blocked the
door, so the 'Kid' could not make
a wolf dart on his mare.
We then held a medicine talk
with the Kid, but of course couldn't
see him. Garrett asked him to give
up, Billy answered : ' Go to h 1, you
long-legged s of a b!"
Garrett then told Tom Emory
"BILLY THE KID" 103
and I to go around to the other side
of the house, as we could hear them
trying to pick out a port-hole. Then
we took it, time about, guarding the
house all that day. When nearly
sundown, we saw a white handker-
chief on a stick, poked out of the
chimney. Some of us crawled up
the arroyo near enough to talk to
* Billy.' He said they had no show
to get away, and wanted to surren-
der, if we would give our word not
to fire into them, when they came
out. We gave the promise, and
they came out with their hands up,
but that traitor, Barney Mason,
raised his gun to shoot the 'Kid,'
when Lee Hall and I covered Bar-
ney and told him to drop his gun,
which he did.
Now we took the prisoners and
the body of Charlie Bowdre to the
104 "BILLY THE KID"
Wilcox ranch, where we stayed un-
til next day. Then to Ft. Sumner,
where we delivered the body of
Bowdre to his wife. Garrett asked
Louis Bousman and I to take Bow-
dre in the house to his wife. As
we started in with him, she struck
me over the head with a branding
iron, and I had to drop Charlie at
her feet. The poor woman was
crazy with grief. I always regret-
ted the death of Charlie Bowdre,
for he was a brave man, and true to
his friends to the last.
Before we left Ft. Sumner with
the prisoners for Santa Fe, the
'Kid' asked Garrett to let Tom Em-
ory and I go along as guards, which,
as you know, he did.
The 'Kid' made me a present of
his Winchester rifle, but old Beaver
Smith made such a roar about an
"BILLY THE KID" 105
account he said ' Billy' o\ved him,
that at the request of ' Billy,' I gave
old Beaver the gun. I wish now I
had kept it.
On the road to Santa Fe, the
'Kid' told Garrett this: That those
who live by the sword, die by the
sword. Part of that prophecy has
come true. Pat Garrett got his, but
I am still alive.
I must close. You may use any
quotations from my letters, for
they are true. Good luck to you.
Mrs. East joins me in best wishes.
JAS. H. EAST."
The author had previously written to
Jim East about "Billy the Kid's"
sweetheart, Miss Dulcinea del Toboso.
Here is a quotation from his answer, of
April 26th, 1920: "Your recollection of
106 "BILLY THE KID"
Dulcinea del Toboso, about tallies with
the way I remember her. She was rather
stout, built like her mother, but not so
"After we captured < Billy the Kid' at
Arroyo Tivan, we took him, Dave Euda-
baugh, Billy Wilson, and Tom Pickett
also the dead body of Charlie Bowdre
to Fort Sumner.
" After dinner Mrs. Toboso sent over
an old Navajo woman to ask Pat Gar-
rett to let ' Billy' come over to the house
and see them before taking him to Santa
Fe. So Garrett told Lee Hall and I to
guard ' Billy' and Dave Rudebough over
to Toboso 's, Dave and ' Billy' being
shackled together. As we went over the
lock on Dave's leg came loose, and 'Bil-
ly' being very superstitious, said: 'That
is a bad sign. I will die, and Dave will
go free,' which, as you know, proved
"BILLY THE KID" 107
4 * When we went in the house only
Mrs. Toboso, Dulcinea, and the old Na-
vajo woman were there.
"Mrs. Toboso asked Hall and I to let
* Billy' and Dulcinea go into another
room and talk awhile, but we did not do
so, for it was only a stall of ' Billy V to
make a run for liberty, and the old lady
and the girl were willing to further the
scheme. The lovers embraced, and she
gave * Billy' one of those soul kisses the
novelists tell us about, till it being time
to hit the trail for Vegas, we had to pull
them apart, much against our wishes,
for you know all the world loves a lov-
It was December 23rd, 1880, when
the "Kid" and gang, Dave Rudebaugh,
Tom Pickett and Billy Wilson were
captured, and Charlie Bowdre killed.
The prisoners were taken to the near-
est railroad, at Las Vegas, where a mob
108 "BILLY THE KID"
tried to take them away from the posse,
to string them up.
They were placed in the County jail
at Santa Fe, the capital of the Territory
of New Mexico, as the penitentiary was
not yet completed.
Dave Rudebaugh was tried and sen-
tenced to death for the killing of the jail-
er in Las Vegas. Later he made his es-
cape and has never been heard of since.
" BILLY THE KID" IS SENTENCED
TO HANG. HE KILLS HIS TWO
GUARDS AND MAKES GOOD
In the latter part of February, 1881,
"Billy the Kid" was taken to Mesilla to
be tried for the murder of Roberts at
Blazer's saw mill. Judge Bristol presid-
"BILLY THE KID" 109
ed over the District Court, and assigned
Ira E. Leonard to defend the "Kid."
He was acquitted for the murder of Rob-
In the same term of court, the ' ' Kid 9 '
was put on trial for the murder of Sher-
iff Wm. Brady, in April, 1878. This
time he was convicted, and sentenced to
hang on the 13th day of May, 1881, in
the Court House yard in Lincoln.
Deputy United States Marshall, Rob-
ert Ollinger, and Deputy Sheriff David
Wood, drove the "Kid" in a covered
back to Fort Stanton, and turned him
over to Sheriff Pat Garrett.
As Lincoln had no suitable jail, an up-
stairs room in the large adobe Court
House was selected as the "Kid's" last
home on earth as the officers sup-
posed, but fate decided otherwise.
Bob Ollinger and J. W. Bell were se-
lected to guard "Billy the Kid" until
110 "BILLY THE KID"
the time came for shutting off his wind
with a rope.
The room selected for the "Bad's"
home was large, and in the northeast
corner of the building, upstairs. There
were two windows in it, one on the east
side and the other on the north, front-
ing the main street.
In order to get out of this room one
had to pass through a hall into another
room, where a back stairs led down to
the rear yard.
In a room in the southwest corner of
the building, the surplus firearms were
kept, in a closet, or armory. One room
was assigned as the Sheriff's private
The ' ' Kid 's ' J furniture consisted of a
pair of steel hand-cuffs, steel shackles
for his legs, a stool, and a cot.
Bob Ollinger, the chief guard, was a
large, powerful middle-aged man, with
"BILLY THE KID" 111
a mean disposition. He and the "Kid"
were bitter enemies on account of hav-
ing killed warm friends of each other
during the bloody Lincoln County war.
It is said that Ollinger shot one of the
"Kid's" friends to death while holding
his right hand with his, Ollinger 's, left
hand. After this local war had ended,
the fellow stepped up to Ollinger to
shake hands and to bury the hatchet of
former hatred. Ollinger extended his
left hand, and grabbed the man's right,
holding it fast until he had shot him to
death. Of course this cowardly act left
a scar on "Billy the Kid's" heart, which
only death could heal.
J. W. Bell was a tall, slender man of
middle age, with a large knife scar
across one cheek. He had come from San
Antonio, Texas. He held a grudge
against the "Kid" for the killing of his
112 "BILLY THE KID"
friend, Jimmie Carlyle, otherwise there
was no enmity between them.
In the latter part of April, Cowboy
Charlie Wall had four Mexicans helping
him irrigate an alfalfa field, above the
Mexican village of Tularosa, on Tula-
A large band of Tularosa Mexicans
appeared on the scene one morning, to
prevent young Wall from using water
for his thirsty alfalfa.
When the smoke of battle cleared
away, four Tularosa Mexicans lay dead
on the ground and Charlie Wall had two
bullet wounds in his body, though they
were not dangerous wounds.
Now, to prevent being mobbed by the
angry citizens of Tularosa, which was
just over the line in Dona Ana County,
Wall and his helpers made a run, on
horseback, for Lincoln, to surrender to
Sheriff Pat Garrett.
"BILLY THE KID" 113
The Sheriff allowed them to wear
their pistols and to sleep in the old jail.
At meal times they accompanied either
Bob Ollinger or J. W. Bell, to the Ellis
Hotel across the main street, which ran
east and west through town.
Charlie Wall did his loafing while re-
covering from his bullet wounds, in the
room where the "Kid" was kept.
On the morning of April 28th, 1881,
Sheriff Garrett prepared to leave for
White Oaks, thirty-five miles north, to
have a scaffold made to hang the ' i Kid ' '
on. Before starting, he went into the
room where the "Kid" sat on his stool,
guarded by Ollinger, who was having a
friendly chat with Charlie Wall the
man who gave the writer the full details
of the affair. J. W. Bell was also pres-
ent in the room.
Garrett remarked to the two guards:
"Say, boys, you must keep a close watch
114 "BILLY THE KID"
on the 'Kid,' as he has only a few more
days to live, and might make a break for
Bob Ollinger answered: " Don't wor-
ry, Pat, we will watch him like a goat. ' '
Now Ollinger stepped into the other
room and got his double-barrel shot
gun. With the gun in his hand, and look-
ing towards the ' ' Kid, ' ' he said : ' ' There
are eighteen buckshot in each barrel,
and I reckon the man who gets them will
feel it. "
With a smile, " Billy the Kid" re-
marked: "You may be the one to get
Now Ollinger put the gun back in the
armory, locking the door, putting the
key in his pocket. Then Garrett left for
About five o 'clock in the evening, Bob
Ollinger took Charlie Wall and the other
four armed prisoners to the Ellis Hotel,
"BILLY THE KID" 115
across the street, for supper. Bell was
left to guard the "Kid."
According to the story "Billy the
Kid" told Mrs. Charlie Bowdre, and
other friends, after his escape, he had
been starving himself so that he could
slip his left hand out of the steel cuff.
The guards thought he had lost his ap-
petite from worry over his approaching
J. W. Bell sat on a chair, facing the
"Kid," several paces away. He was
reading a newspaper. The "Kid" slip-
ped his left hand out of the cuff and
made a spring for the guard, striking
him over the head with the steel cuff.
Bell threw up both hands to shield his
head from another blow. Then the
"Kid" jerked Bell's pistol out of its
scabbard. Now Bell ran out of the door
and received a bullet from his own pis-
tol. The body of Bell tumbled down the
116 "BILLY THE KID"
back stairs, falling on the jailer, a Ger-
man by the name of Geiss, who was sit-
ting at the foot of the stairs.
Of course Geiss stampeded. He flew
out of the gate towards the Ellis Hotel.
On hearing the shot, Bob Ollinger and
the five armed prisoners, got up from
the supper table and ran to the street.
Charlie Wall and the four Mexicans
stopped on the sidewalk, while Ollinger
continued to run towards the court
After killing Bell, the "Kid" broke
in the door to the armory and secured
Ollinger ? s shot-gun. Then he hobbled to
the open window facing the hotel.
When in the middle of the street, Ol-
linger met the stampeded jailer, and as
he passed, he said: "Bell has killed the
"Kid." This caused Ollinger to quit
running. He walked the balance of the
"BILLY THE KID" 117
When directly under the window, the
' ' Kid J ' stuck his head out, saying : ' ' Hel-
lo, Bob! "
Ollinger looked up and saw his own
shotgun pointed at him. He said, in a
voice loud enough to be heard by Wall
and the other prisoners across the
street: "Yes, he has killed me, too!"
These words were hardly out of the
guard's mouth when the "Kid" fired a
charge of buckshot into his heart.
Now "Billy the Kid" hobbled back to
the armory and buckled around his
waist two belts of cartridges and two
Colt's pistols. Then taking a Winches-
ter rifle in his hand, he hobbled back to
the shot gun, which he picked up. He
then went out on the small porch in front
of the building. Beaching over the
ballisters with the shotgun, he fired the
other charge into Ollinger 's body. Then
breaking the shotgun in two, across the
118 "BILLY THE KID"
ballisters, he threw the pieces at the
corpse, saying : ' ' Take that, you s of a
b , you will never follow me with that
Now the "Kid" hailed the jailer, old
man Geiss, and told him to throw up a
file, which he did. Then the chain hold-
ing his feet close together was filed in
When his legs were free, the "Kid"
danced a jig on the little front porch,
where many people, who had run out to
the sidewalk across the street, on hear-
ing the shots, were witnesses to this free
show, which couldn't be beat for money.
Geiss was hailed again and told to
saddle up Billy Burt's, the Deputy
County Clerk's, black pony and bring
him out on the street. This black pony
had formerly belonged to the "Kid."
When the pony stood on the street,
ready for the last act, the "Kid" went
"BILLY THE KID" 119
down the back stairs, stepping over the
dead body of Bell, and started to mount.
Being encumbered with the weight of
two pistols, two belts full of ammunition,
and the rifle, the "Kid" was thrown to
the ground, when the pony began buck-
ing, before he had got into the saddle.
Now the "Kid" faced the crowd
across the street, holding the rifle ready
Charlie Wall told the writer that he
could have killed him with his pistol, but
that he wanted to see him escape. Many
other men in the crowd felt the same
way, no doubt.
When the pony was brought back the
"Kid" gave Geiss his rifle to hold,
while he mounted. The rifle being hand-
ed back to him when he was securely
seated in the saddle, then he du# the
pony in the sides with his heels, and gal-
loped west. At the edge of town he
120 "BILLY THE KID"
waved his hat over his head, yelling:
"Three cheers for Billy the Kid!" Now
the curtain went down, for the time be-
"BILLY THE KID" GOES BACK TO
HIS SWEETHEART IN FORT
HEART BY SHERIFF PAT GAR-
RET, AND BURIED BY THE
SIDE OF HIS CHUM, TOM
A few days after the "Kid's" escape,
Billy Burt's black pony returned to Lin-
coln dragging a rope. He had either es-
caped or been turned loose by the
The next we hear of the "Kid" he
visited friends in Las Tablas, and stole
"BILLY THE KID" 121
a horse from Andy Richardson. From
there he headed for Port Sumner to see
his sweetheart, Miss Dulcinea del Tobo-
so. It was said he tried to persuade her
to run away with him, and go to old
Mexico to live in happiness ever after-
ward. But that sweet little Dulce re-
fused to leave mamma.
The "Kid" found shelter and con-
cealment in the home of Mrs. Charlie
Bowdre and her mother. One night a
few weeks after his escape, the writer
was within whispering distance of ' ' Bil-
ly the Kid. "
Myself and a crowd of cowboys had
attended a Mexican dance. Mrs. Charlie
Bowdre was there, dressed like a young
princess. She captured the heart of the
author, so that he danced with her often,
and escorted her to the midnight supper.
About three o'clock in the morning
the dance broke up and the writer escort-
122 "BILLY THE KID"
ed the pretty young widow, Mrs. Charlie
Bowdre, to her adobe home. At the front
door, I almost got down on my knees
pleading for her to let me go into the
house and talk awhile, but no use, she in-
sisted that her mother would object.
Now a wine-soaked young cowboy
with jingling spurs on his high-heel
boots, staggered into camp and " piled"
into bed, spread on the ground under a
cottonwood tree, to dream of Mexican
"Fandangos," where the girls have no
choice of partners. Without an introduc-
tion the man walks up to the girl of his
choice and leads her out on the floor to
dance to his heart's content.
About six months later, in the fall of
1881, after the "Kid" had been killed,
the writer was in Fort Sumner again,
and attended a dance with Mrs. Charlie
Bowdre. Now she explained the reason
for not letting me enter the house. She
"BILLY THE KID" 123
said at that time, " Billy the Kid," who
was in hiding at her home, was on the
inside of the door listening to our con-
versation. That he recognized my voice.
Here Mrs. Bowdre told me the facts
in the case, of how " Billy the Kid" met
his death, bare-headed and bare-footed,
with a butcher knife in his hand.
While in hiding in Fort Sunnier the
"Kid" stole a saddle horse from Mr.
Montgomery Bell, who had ridden into
town from his ranch fifty miles above,
on the Rio Pecos.
Bell supposed the horse had been rid-
den off by a common Mexican thief. He
hired Barney Mason and a Mr. Curing-
ton to go with him to hunt the animal.
They started down the stream, Bell
keeping on one side of the river, while
Mason and Curington headed for a
sheep camp in the foot hills.
Riding up to the tent in the sheep
124 "BILLY THE KID"
camp, the "Kid" stepped out with his
Winchester rifle, and hailed them.
Barney Mason was armed to the teeth,
and was on a swift horse. He had on a
new pair of spurs and nearly wore them
out making his get-away.
Mr. Curington rode up to his friend,
"Billy the Kid," and had a friendly
The "Kid" told Mr. Curington to tell
Montgomery Bell that he would return
his horse, or pay for him.
When Curington reported the matter
to Mr. Bell, he was satisfied and search-
ed no more for the animal.
After the "Kid's" escape from Lin-
coln, Sheriff Pat Garrett "laid low,"
and tried to find out the "Kid's" where-
abouts through his friends and asso-
In March, 1881, a Deputy United
States Marshal by the name of John W.
"BILLY THE KID" 125
Poe arrived in the booming mining camp
of White Oaks. He had been sent to New
Mexico by the Cattlemen's Association
of the Texas Panhandle, Cattle King
Charlie Goodnight, being the president
of the association, had selected Mr. Poe
as the proper man to put a stop to the
stealing of Panhandle cattle by "Billy
the Kid" and gang.
After the " Kid's" escape, Pat Gar-
rett went to White Oaks and deputized
John W. Poe to assist him in rounding
up the "Kid."
From now on Mr. Poe made trips out
in the mountains trying to locate the
young outlaw. The "Kid's" best
friends argued that he was "nobody's
fool," and would not remain in the
United States, when the Old Mexico bor-
der was so near. They didn't realize that
little Cupid was shooting his tender
young heart full of love-darts, straight
126 "BILLY THE KID"
from the heart of pretty little Miss Dul-
cinea del Toboso, of Fort Simmer.
Early in July, Pat Garrett received a
letter from an acquaintance by the name
of Brazil, in Fort Sumner, advising him
that the "Kid" was hanging around
there. Garrett at once wrote Brazil to
meet him about dark on the night of Ju-
ly 13th at the mouth of the Taiban ar-
royo, below Fort Sumner.
Now the sheriff took his trusted depu-
ty, John W. Poe, and rode to Roswell,
on the Eio Pecos. There they were
joined by one of Mr. Garret's fearless
cowboy deputies, "Kip" McKinnie, who
had been raised near Uvalde, Texas.
Together the three law officers rode
up the river towards Fort Sumner, a
distance of eighty miles. They arrived
at the mouth of Taiban arroyo an hour
after dark on July 13th, but Brazil was
not there to meet them. The night was
"BILLY THE KID" 127
spent sleeping on their saddle blankets.
The next morning Garrett sent Mr.
Poe, who was a stranger in the country,
and for that reason would not be suspi-
cioned, into Fort Sumner, five miles
north, to find out what he could on the
sly, about the "Kid's" presence. From
Fort Sumner he was to go to Sunny
Side, six miles north, to interview a mer-
chant by the name of Mr. Rudolph. Then
when the moon was rising, to meet Gar-
rett and McKirinie at La Punta de la
Glorietta, about four miles north of Fort
Failing to find out anything of im-
portance about the "Kid," John W.
Poe met his two companions at the ap-
pointed place, and they rode into Fort
It was about eleven o'clock, and the
moon was shining brightly, when the of-
ficers rode into an old orchard and con-
128 "BILLY THE KID"
cealed their horses. Now the three con-
tinued afoot to the home of Pete Max-
well, a wealthy stockman, who was a
friend to both Garrett and the "Kid."
He lived in a long, one-story adobe
building, which had been the U. S. offi-
cers' quarters when the soldiers were
stationed there. The house fronted
south, and had a wide covered porch in
front. The grassy front yard was sur-
rounded by a picket fence.
As Pat Garrett had courted his wife
and married her in this town, he knew
every foot of the ground, even to Pete
Maxwell's private bed room.
On reaching the picket gate, near the
corner room, which Pete Maxwell al-
ways occupied, Garrett told his two
deputies to wait there until after he had
a talk with half-breed Pete Maxwell.
The night being hot, Pete Maxwell's
"BILLY THE KID" 129
door stood wide open, and Garrett
A short time previous, "Billy the
Kid" had arrived from a sheep camp
out in the hills. Back of the Maxwell
home lived a Mexican servant, who was
a warm friend to the "Kid." Here "Bil-
ly the Kid" always found late newspa-
pers, placed there by loving hands, for
his special benefit.
This old servant had gone to bed. The
Kid" lit a lamp, then pulled off his
coat and boots. Now he glanced over the
papers to see if his name was mentioned.
Finding nothing of interest in the news-
papers, he asked the old servant to get
up and cook him some supper, as he was
Getting up, the servant told him there
was no meat in the house. The "Kid"
remarked that he would go and get some
from Pete Maxwell.
130 "BILLY THE KID"
Now he picked up a butcher knife
from the table to cut the meat with, and
started, bare-footed and bare-headed.
The "Kid" passed within a few feet
of the end of the porch where sat John
W. Poe and Kip McKinnie. The latter
had raised up, when his spur ratled,
which attracted the "Kid's" attention.
At the same moment Mr. Poe stood up
in the small open gateway leading from
the street to the end of the porch. They
supposed the man coming towards them,
only partly dressed, was a servant, or
possibly Pete Maxwell.
The "Kid" had pulled his pistol, and
so had John Poe, who by that time was
almost within arm's reach of the "Kid."
With pistol pointing at Poe, at the
same time asking in Spanish: "Quien
es?" (Who is that?), he backed in-
to Pete Maxwell's room. He had re-
peated the above question several times.
"BILLY THE KID" 131
On entering the room, " Billy the
Kid 7 ' walked up to within a few feet of
Pat Garrett, who was sitting on Max-
well's bed, and asked: "Who are they,
Now discovering that a man sat on
Pete's bed, the "Kid" with raised pis-
tol pointing towards the bed, began
backing across the room.
Pete Maxwell whispered to the sher-
iff : "That's him, Pat." By this time
the "Kid" had backed to a streak of
monlight coming through the south win-
dow, asking: "Qtiien EsT" (Who'd
Garrett raised his pistol and fired.
Then cocked the pistol again and it went
off accidentally, putting a hole in the
ceiling, or wall.
Now the sheriff sprang out of the door
onto the porch, where stood his two
deputies with drawn pistols.
132 "BILLY THE KID"
Soon after, Pete Maxwell ran out, and
came very near getting a ball from Poe 's
pistol. Garrett struck the pistol upward,
saying: " Don't shoot Maxwell!"
A lighted candle was secured from
the mother of Pete Maxwell, who occu-
pied a nearby room, and the dead body
of " Billy the Kid" was found stretched
out on his back with a bullet wound in
his breast, just above the heart. At the
right hand lay a Colt's 41 calibre pistol,
and at his left a butcher knife.
Now the native people began to col-
lect, many of them being warm friends
of the "Kid's." Garrett allowed them
to take the body across the street to a
carpenter shop, where it was laid out on
a bench. Then lighted candles were
placed around the remains of what was
once the bravest, and coolest young out-
law who ever trod the face of the earth.
The next day, this, once mother's dar-
"BILLY THE KID" 133
ling, was buried by the side of his chum,
Tom OThalliard, in the old military
He was killed at midnight, July 14th,
1881, being just twenty-one years, seven
months and twenty-one days of age, and
had killed twenty-one men, not includ-
ing Indians, which he said didn't count
as human beings.
A few months after the killing of the
< * Kid, ' ' a man was coining money, show-
ing " Billy the Kid's" trigger finger,
preserved in alcohol. Seeing sensation-
al accounts of it in the newspapers,
Sheriff Garrett had the body dug up,
but found his trigger-finger was still
attached to the right hand.
During the following spring in the
town of Lincoln, the sheriff auctioned
off the " Kid's" saddle, and the blue-
barrel, rubber-handled, double action
134 "BILLY THE KID"
Colt's 41 calibre pistol, which the "Kid"
held in his hand when killed.
There were only two bidders for the
pistol, the writer and the deputy county
clerk, Billy Burt, who got it for $13.50.
Its actual value was about $12.00.
Since then many pistols have been
prized as keepsakes from the supposed
idea that the "Kid" had held each one
of them in his hand when he fell. Many
were presented to friends with a sin-
cere thought that they were genuine.
As an illustration we will quote a few
lines from a friendly letter, dated May
10th, 1920, written by the present game
warden, Mr. J. L. DeHart of the state
of Montana: "Later in March, 1895, I
was ushered into office as sheriff of
Sweet Grass County, Montana, and a
former resident of New Mexico, and an
acquaintance -of * Billy the Kid/ later
a resident of Livingston, Montana, by
"BILLY THE KID" 135
the name of William Dawson, upon this
momentous occasion, presented me with
a splendid Colt's six-shooter, forty-five
calibre, seven inch barrel, and ivory
handle, said to have been the property
of the notorious " Billy the Kid," when
killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, at the
Maxwell ranch house. I have always
considered this piece of artillery a val-
uable relic, and with much trouble have
retained it. Most of my diligent watch,
however, upon this gun, was brought
about as a result of being named as
state game warden in 1913, by His Ex-
cellency, Governor 8. V. Stewart."
i 'Where ignorance is bliss, it is fol-
ly to be wise, " is a true saying.
No doubt Mr. DeHart has felt proud
over the ownership of the pistol " Billy
the Kid" was supposed to have in his
hand at the time of his death.
This is not the onlv "Billv the Kid"
136 "BILLY THE KID"
pistol in existence. It would be a safe
gamble to bet that there are a wagon
load of them scattered over the United
The Winchester rifle taken from the
"Kid" at the time of his capture at
Stinking Spring, was raffled off in the
spring of 1881, and the writer won it.
He put it up again in a game of ' ' freeze
out" poker. As one of my cowboys,
Tom Emory, was an expert poker play-
er, I induced him to play my hand. I
then went to bed. On going down to
the Pioneer Saloon, in White Oaks, ear-
ly next morning, the night barkeeper
told me a secret, under promise that I
keep it to myself. He said he was
stretched out on the bar trying to take
a nap. The poker game was going on
near him. When he lay down all had
been ' * f reezed out ' ' but Tom Emory and
Johnny Hudgens. Just before daylight,
"BILLY THE KID" 137
Emory won all the chips, in a big show
down, and I was the owner of " Billy the
Kid's" rifle for the second time, but
only for a moment, as Johnny Hudgens
gave Tom Emory $20.00 for the gun,
under the pretense that Hudgens had
won it. Emory almost shed tears when
he told me of losing the rifle in what lie
thought was a winning hand. Of course
I didn't dispute it ,as I had given a
promise to keep silent.
' ' Billy the Kid" came very near hav-
ing a stone monument placed on his
grave for the benefit of posterity so
that the curious among the unborn gen-
erations would know the exact spot
where this "Claude Duval" of the south-
west was planted.
One day, on the Plaza in the city of
Santa Fe, in about the year 1916, the
writer met Mrs. Gertrude Dills, wife of
Lucius Dills, the Surveyor General of
138 "BILLY THE KID"
New Mexico, a daughter of Judge Frank
Lea of White Oaks, and a niece to that
whole-souled prince among men, the
father of the city of Roswell, Captain
J. C. Lea. She suggested that the writ-
er get up a subscription to place a last-
ing monument on the grave of " Billy the
Kid," so that future generations would
know where he was buried. As a little
girl, Mrs. Dills was once tempted to
crawl under the bed, when " Billy the
Kid" and gang shot up the town of
I at once went to the monument estab-
lishment of Mr. Louis Napoleon, and
selected a fine marble monument, with
the understanding that the inscription
not be cut on it until after I had located
Many years ago, Will E. Griffin, who
is still a resident of Santa Fe, moved all
the bodies of the soldiers buried in the
"BILLY THE KID" 139
old military cemetery, at Fort Sunnier,
to the National Cemetery at Santa Fe.
He says, when the work was finished,
the only graves left in the grave-yard,
were those of " Billy the Kid" and his
chum, Tom OThalliard. On these two
graves, close together, still remained the
badly rotted wooden head boards.
Since then the old cemetery has been
turned into an alfalfa field, and the
chances are, all signs of this noted young
outlaw's resting place have been obliter-
Soon after selecting the monument, I
happened to be in the town of Tularosa,
and brought up the subject to my old
cowboy friend, John P. Meadows. He
at once subscribed five dollars towards
the erection of the monument. He said
4 'Billy the Kid" had befriended him in
1879, when he needed a friend, and for
that reason he would like to perpetu-
140 "BILLY THE KID"
ate his memory. He thought it would
be no trouble to raise the desired amount
in Tularosa, but the first man he struck
for a subscription, Mr. Charlie Miller,
former state engineer, discouraged him.
Mr. Miller went straight up in the air
with indignation at the idea of placing
a monument at the grave of a blood-
thirsty outlaw. Soon after this, Mr.
Miller was murdered, when Pancho Villa
made his bloody raid on Columbus, New
This is as far as the grave of " Billy
the Kid" came to being marked, as the
writer has been too busy on other mat-
ters, to visit Fort Sumner and try to
locate his last resting place.
In closing, I wish to state that with
all his faults, " Billy the Kid" had many
noble traits. In White Oaks, during the
winter of 1881, the writer talked with a
man who actually shed tears in telling
"BILLY THE KID" 141
of how he lay almost at the point of
death, with smallpox, in an old aban-
doned shack in Fort Sumner, when the
"Kid" found him. A good supply of
money was given by the "Kid," and a
wagon and team hired to haul him to
Las Vegas, where medical attention
could be secured.
Since the killing of the "Kid," Kip
McKinney has died with his boots off,
while Pat Garrett died with them on,
being shot and killed on the road be-
tween Tularosa and Las Cruces, New
Mexico. Hence the only man now living
who saw the curtain go down on the last
act of "Billy the Kid's" eventful life,
is John W. Poe, at the present writing
a wealthy banker in the beautiful little
city of Roswell, New Mexico. He has
served one term as sheriff of Lincoln
County, and has helped to change that
blood-spattered county from an outlaw's
142 "BILLY THE KID"
paradise, to a land of happy, peaceful
Peace to William H. Bonney's ashes,
is the author's prayer.
A Lone Star Cowboy
Being the recollections of fifty years
spent in the saddle, as cowboy and New
Mexico Ranger, on nearly every cow-trail
in the wooly old west, when the cow-
boys, buffalo hunters, and Indians had
room to come and go, before the "hoe-
man" and wire fences cut off the trails.
Fine cloth binding, 300 pages, with
fourteen illustrations. Price postaid,
A Cowboy Detective
Being the twenty-two years experience
with Pinker-ton's National Detective
Agency, in all parts of the United States,
British Columbia, Alaska and Old Mexico.
Fine cloth binding 525 pages and 22 il-
lustrations. Price $1.50, post-paid.
Tho Song Companion of A
Lono Star Cowboy
A booklet of old favorite cow-camp
songs. Price postpaid, 35 cents.
Address the author:
CHAS. A. SIRINGO,
P. O. Box 322,
Santa Fe, N. M.
The fearless sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexi-
ico, who killed ''Billy the Kid." They had met by
accident in a dark room, which meant that one, or
both, had to die quick.