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f,l? T g ! "BILLY THE KID" 

I """~~""""~Z^!^ I 

V cowboy outlaw 
vhose youthful 

aring has never 
been equalled in 

he annals of 

riminal history. 

^hen a bullet 
pierced his heart 
he was less tha-i 
twenty-two years 
of age, and had 
killed twenty-one 
men, Indians not 







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- 


Author of: 

"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, 


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. 




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. 


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- 


ver mining camp of Silver City, in the 
southwestern part of the Territory of 
New Mexico. 

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 


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 


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. 


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 
him food. 

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 


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 
Camp Bowie. 

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 


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, 


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 
own statement. 

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. 




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. 


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 


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. 


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 
in time. 

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 
in hand. 

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 


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- 


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. 


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 
to break. 

Dismounting in front of the jail, the 
"Kid" knocked on the front door. The 
Mexican jailer asked; "Quien es?" 
(Who's that?) 

The "Kid" replied in good Spanish: 
"Open up, we have two American pris- 
oners here." 

The heavy front door was opened, an^ 
the jailer found a cocked pistol pointed 


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 


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. 




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. 


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- 


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- 
ling war-whoops. 

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 


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 


surmised that the bold climber must be 
the "Kid." 

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 


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 


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- 


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- 
dian trouble. 

O'Keefe had gone back to the place 


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 
his back. 

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 




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. 


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 


"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 


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 


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 


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, 


and married the pretty daughter of Car- 
los Garcia, who, with his father and two 
brothers, so nobly defended Howard and 
the Bangers. 

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 


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 
friend Tunstall. 


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 
Pecos river. 

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- 


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- 


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 


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- 


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. 


Thus ends the first chapter of the 
bloody Lincoln County war. 



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 


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 
dead shot. 

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. 


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 


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. 


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, 


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 


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 


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- 


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 


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 


at the "Kid;" "There comes your 
breakfast, Jesse!" 

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. 




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, 


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, 


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- 


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 
these openings. 

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 


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 


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 kitchen. 

The crowd made merry around the 
piano, singing and "pawing the ivory," 


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- 


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 


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 
the building. 

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- 




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 


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 


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 
money again. 

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 


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 


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 
Canadian river. 

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 
below Tascosa. 

It was here, during the months of Oc- 


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 


the "Kid," but when it came to quick 
shooting, he could get in two shots to 
my one. 

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 


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- 
homa Legislature. 

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 


away from Tascosa, for southern Kan- 
sas, where the author met him in later 
years. He had settled down to a peace- 
ful life. 

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 
States soldiers. 

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 


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- 


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 
pitchy darkness. 

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." 


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 
the "Kid." 

"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- 


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 


jaiL There he made his escape and has 
never been heard of in that part of the 
country since. 

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 


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 


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. 


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- 


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- 
groves' saloon. 

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 


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- 


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. 



In the year 1879, rich gold ore had 
been struck on Baxter mountain, three 


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 
thousand souls. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
friendly drink." 

Now the time was spent singing and 
dancing. Every time the gang took a 
drink, Carlyle had to join them in a so- 
cial glass. 

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 
for liberty. 

The time had just expired when the 
posse were to kill Jim Greathouse, if 
Carlyle was not back. At that moment a 


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 


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 


journey towards Anton Chico on the 
Pecos river. 

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. 


The "Kid's" trail was now followed 
into a rough, hilly country and there 
abandoned. Then the posse returned to 
White Oaks. 

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 
his gang. 

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 


teeth, and had four large mules to draw 
the mess-wagon, driven by the Mexican 
cook, Francisco. 

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 
cattlemen's association. 

At Fort Sumner, Pat Garrett depu- 


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 


County, Texas, at Tascosa, and was city 

marshal for several years in Douglas, 


Herewith his letter to the writer is 

printed in full : 

"Douglas, Arizona, 

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 
the floor. 


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 


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, 


so we laid over in Simmer and bur- 
ied TomOThalliard. 

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 
the morning. 

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. 


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 
vega poles. 

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- 
munition then. 

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 


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 
with him. 

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 


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 


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 


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. 

Sincerely yours, 


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 


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 


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 


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. 



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- 


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 


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 


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 


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- 
rosa river. 

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. 


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 


on the 'Kid,' as he has only a few more 
days to live, and might make a break for 
liberty. " 

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 
them yourself." 

Now Ollinger put the gun back in the 
armory, locking the door, putting the 
key in his pocket. Then Garrett left for 
White Oaks. 

About five o 'clock in the evening, Bob 
Ollinger took Charlie Wall and the other 
four armed prisoners to the Ellis Hotel, 


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 


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 


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 


ballisters, he threw the pieces at the 
corpse, saying : ' ' Take that, you s of a 
b , you will never follow me with that 
gun again." 

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 


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 
for action. 

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 


waved his hat over his head, yelling: 
"Three cheers for Billy the Kid!" Now 
the curtain went down, for the time be- 



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 


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- 


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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 


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- 


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 


door stood wide open, and Garrett 
walked in. 

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 
very hungry. 

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. 

< . 


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. 


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. 


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- 


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 


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 


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" 



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, 


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 


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 
White Oaks. 

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 
the grave. 

Many years ago, Will E. Griffin, who 
is still a resident of Santa Fe, moved all 
the bodies of the soldiers buried in the 


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- 


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 


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 


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: 
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.