The authentic life of Billy the Kid - Pat Garrett - ebook

The authentic life of Billy the Kid ebook

Pat Garrett



The story of Billy the Kid was often told. Here is the authentic story of Billy the Kid, told by Pat Garrett, the man who shot Billy. Pat Garrett verfolgt Billy the Kid- und tötet hin. Hier ist die ganze Geschichte von Billy the Kid. Und die unerzählte "Geschichte hinter der Geschichte".

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Pat Garrett ist der Mann, der "Billy the Kid" tötete. Seine "authentische Darstellung" des Falls setzt immer einen Mann ins beste Licht - Pat Garrett.

William Henry McCarty war der Geburtsname von "Billy", der sich später William H. Bonney nannte. In Arizona ging er bei einem gewissen Windy Cahill in die Lehre, der ihn mißbrauchte. Billy tötete ihn.

Im Lincoln County War schloß sich Billy den "Regulatoren" an, die John Tunstall unterstützten. Nach der Niederlage der "Regulatoren" im Jahre 1878 im Lincoln County War wollte Billy wieder ein normales Leben führen. Lew Wallace, Gouverneur von New Mexiko, gewährte 1879 allen am Lincoln County War Beteiligten Amnesty.

Das Arrangement für Billy sah vor, daß er kurze Zeit vor seiner Aussage im Gefängnis verbringen sollte und dann freigelassen werden sollte.

John Dolan, der Bezirksstaatsanwalt, wies auf die Gewaltenteilung hin und sprach dem Gouverneur das Recht ab, die Amnesty zu erlassen. Von alle Beteiligten am Lincoln County Krieg war Billy the Kid der Einzige, der inhaftiert wurde.

Billy the Kid brach aus dem Gefängnis aus. Ein Aufgebot unter Pat Garrett stellte Billy the Kid am 23. Dezember 1880. Billy the Kid ergab sich.

Am 13. April 1881 verurteilte ein Richter Billy the Kid zum Tode, der ins Gefängnis von Lincoln gebracht wurde.

Billy the Kid tötete in Lincoln den Wächter Bell. Die Version, daß Billy diesen Wärter kaltblütig am Fuß einer Treppe erschoß, wird heute von modernen Experten widersprochen, die die noch heute vorhandene Blutlache mit wissenschaftlichen Methoden untersuchten: Es scheint so gewesen zu sein, daß der Wärter oberhalb der Treppe in einem Gerangel getötete wurde. Der zweite Wachmann, Oilinger, wurde von Billy the Kid kaltblütig mit seiner eigenen Schrotflinte getötet.

Im Juli 1881 ritt Pat Garrett nach Fort Sumner, um Pete Maxwell zu verhören, der als Freund von Billy the Kid galt. Pat Garett saß im Schlafzimmer von Pete Maxwell und unterhielt sich mit ihm, als Billy the Kid den Raum betrat. Nach der einen Version hatte Billy the Kid einen Revolver in der Hand, nach einer anderen ein Messer, weil er etwas essen wollte. Pat Garrett schoß sofort zweimal, die erste Kugel traf Billy the Kid ins Herz, die zweite streifte nur seinen Mantel. Billy the Kid war auf der Stelle tot.

Bereits viele Zeitgenossen nahmen die Umstände der Tötung von Billy the Kid übel auf. Pat Garrett verfaßte darauf zusammen mit Marshall Ashmun (Ash) Upson dieses Buch, das eine wichtige historische Quelle zu Billy the Kid und den Outlaws des Wilden Westens darstellt.

The Authentic Life of Billy, The Kid The Noted Desperado of the Southwest, Whose Deeds of Daring and Blood made His Name A Terror in New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico By Pat F. Garrett

Sheriff of Lincoln Co., N.M., By Whom He Was Finally Hunted Down and Captured By Killing Him

A Faithful and Interesting Narrative

Table of Contents


























Yielding to repeated solicitations from various sources, I have addressed myself to the task of compiling, for publication, a true history of the life, adventures, and tragic death of William H. Bonney, better known as "Billy The Kid," whose daring deeds and bloody crimes have excited, for some years last past, the wonder of one-half of the world, and the admiration or detestation of the other half.

I am invited to this labor, in a measure, by an impulse to correct the thousand false statements which have appeared in the public newspapers and in yellow-covered, cheap novels. Of the latter, no less than three have been foisted upon the public, any one of which might have been the history of any outlaw who ever lived, but were miles from correct as applied to "The Kid." These pretend to disclose his name, the place of his nativity, the particulars of his career, the circumstances which drove him to his desperate life, detailing a hunted impossible deeds of reckless crime of which he was never guilty, and in localities which he never visited.

I would dissever "The Kid's" memory from that of meaner villains, whose deeds have been attributed to him. I will strive to do justice to his character, give him credit for all the virtues he possessed—and he was by no means devoid of virtue— but shall not spare deserved opprobrium for his heinous offenses against humanity and the laws.

I have known "The Kid" personally since and during the continuance of what was known as "The Lincoln County War," up to the moment of his death, of which I was the unfortunate instrument, in the discharge of my official duty. I have listened, at camp-fires, on the trail, on the prairies and at many different plazas, to his discon nected relations of events of his early and more recent life. In gathering correct information, I have interviewed many persons— since The Kid's" death— with whom he was intimate and to whom he conversed freely of his affairs, and I am in daily intercourse with one friend who was a boarder at the house of "The Kid's" mother, at Silver City, N. M., in 1873. This man has known Bonney well from that time to his death, and has traced his career carefully and not with indifference. I have communicated, by letter, with various reliable parties, in New York, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Chihuahua, Sonora, and other states of Mexico, in order to catch up any missing links in his life, and can safely guarantee that the reader will find in my little book a true and concise relation of the principal interesting events therein, without exaggeration or excitation.

I make no pretension to literary ability, but propose to give to the public in intelligible English, "a round, unvarnished tale."

The truth, in the life of young Bonney, needs no pen dipped in blood to still the heart and stay its pulsations. Under the nom de guerre "The Kid," his most bloody and desperate deeds were wrought— a name which will live in the annals of daring crime so long as those of Dick Turpin and Claude Duval shall be remembered. Yet, a hunted volumes have been written, exhausting the imagination of a dozen authors— authors whose stock in trade was vivid imagination— to immortalize these two latter. This verified history of "The Kid's" exploits, devoid of exaggeration, exhibits him the peer of any fabled brigand on record, unequalled in desperate courage, presence of mind in danger, devotion to his allies, generosity to his foes, gallantry, and all the elements which appeal to the holier emotions, whilst those who would revel in pictured scenes of slaughter may batten until their morbid appetites are surfeited on bloody frays and mortal encounters, unaided by fancy or the pen of fiction.

Risking the charge of prolixity, I wish to add a few words to this, my address to the public, vide, a sermon (among many others), recently preached in an eastern city by an eminent divine, of which discourse "The Kid" was the literal, if not the announced text.

Although I do not propose to offer my readers a sensational novel, yet, they will find it no Sunday school homily, holding up "The Kid" as an example of God's vengeance to sinful youth. The fact that he lied, swore, gambled, and broke the Sabbadi in his childhood, only proved that youth and exuberant humanity were rife in the child. He but emulated thousands of his predecessors, who lived to manhood and then honored and revered— some for public and some for domestic virtues, some for their superior intellect, and many more for their wealth— how attained the world will never pause to inquire. "The Kid's" career of crime was not the outgrowth of an evil disposition, nor was it caused by unchecked youthful indiscretions; it was the result of untoward, unfortunate circumstances acting upon a bold, reckless, ungoverned, and ungovernable spirit, which no physical restraint could check, no dange, and no power less potent than death could conquer.

The sentiments involved in the sermon alluded to are as antediluvian in monotonous argument, language, and sense, as the Blue Laws of Connecticut. Sabbadi-breaking was the sole and inevitable cause of "The Kid's" murders, robberies and bloody death(?). Immaculate mentor of the soul. "The Kid" never knew when Sunday came here on the frontier, except by accident, and yet, he knew as much about it as some hunted of other young men who enjoy the reputation of model youth. And, suppose "The Kid" had knowingly violated the Sabbadi? He had Christ and his disciples as holy examples— confining his depredations, however, to rounding up a bunch of cattle, not his own, instead of making a raid on his neighbor's corn field and purloining roasting ears.

"The Kid" had a lurking devil in him; it was a good-humored, jovial imp, or a cruel and blood-thirsty fiend, as circumstances prompted. Circumstances favored the worse angel, and "The Kid" fell.

A dozen affidavits have been proffered me for publication, in verification of the truth of my work. I have refused them all with thanks. Let those doubt who will.



Parentage, Nativity, Childhood, and Youth— Prophetic Symptoms at Eight Years of Age— Model Young Gentleman— Def ender of the Helpless— A Mother— "Holy Nature"— A Young Bruiser— First Taste of Blood— A Fugitive— Farewell Home and a Mother's Influence William H. Bonney, the hero of this history, was born in the city of New York, November 23d, 1859.

But little is known of his father, as he then when Billy was very young, and he had little recollection of him. In 1 862 the family, consisting of the father, mother, and two boys, of whom Billy was the eldest, emigrated to Coffeyville, Kansas. Soon after settling there the father then, and the mother with her two hoys removed to Colorado, where she married a man named Antrim, who is said to be now living at, or near, Georgetown, in Grant County, New Mexico, and is the only survivor of the family of four, who removed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, shortly after the marriage. Billy was then four or five years of age.

These facts are all that can be gleaned of Billy's early childhood, which, up to this time, would he of no interest to the reader.

Antrim remained at and near Santa Fe for some years, or until Billy was about eight years of age.

It was here that the boy exhibited a spirit of reckless daring, yet generous and tender feeling, which rendered him the darling of his young companions in his gentler moods, and their terror when the angry fit was on him. It was here that he became adept at cards and noted among his comrades as successfully aping the genteel vices of his elders.

It has been said that at this tender age he was convicted of larceny in Santa Fe, but as a careful examination of the court records of that city fail to support the rumor, and as Billy, during all his after life, was never charged with a little meanness or petty crime, the statement is to be doubted.

About the year 1868, when Billy was eight or nine years of age, Antrim again removed and took up his residence at Silver City, in Grant County, New Mexico. From this date to 1871, or until Billy was twelve years old, he exhibited no characteristics prophesying his desperate and disastrous future. Bold, daring, and reckless, he was open-handed, generous-hearted, frank, and manly. He was a favorite with all classes and ages, especially was he loved and admired by the old and decrepit, and the young and helpless. To such he was a champion, a defender, a benefactor, a right arm. He was never seen to accost a lady, especially an elderly one, but with his hat in his hand, and did her attire or appearance evidence poverty, it was a poem to see the eager, sympathetic, deprecating look in Billy's sunny face, as he proffered assistance or afforded information. A little child never lacked a lift across a gutter, or the assistance of a strong arm to carry a heavy burden when Billy was in sight.

To those who knew his mother, his courteous, kindly, and benevolent spirit was no mystery. She was evidently of Irish descent. Her husband called her Kathleen. She was about the medium height, straight, and graceful in form, with regular features, light blue eyes, and luxuriant golden hair. She was not a beauty, but what the world calls a fine-looking woman. She kept boarders in Silver City, and her charity and goodness of heart were proverbial. Many a hungry "tenderfoot" has had cause to bless the fortune which led him to her door. In all her deportment she exhibited the unmistakable characteristics of a lady— a lady by instinct and education.

Billy loved his mother. He loved and honored her more than anything else on earth. Yet his home was not a happy one to him. He has often declared that the tyranny and cruelty of his step-father drove him from home and a mother's influence, and that Antrim was responsible for his going to the bad. However this may be, after the death of his mother, some four years since, the step-father would have been unfortunate had he come in contact with his eldest step-son.

Billy's educational advantages were limited, as were those of all of the youth of this border country. He attended public school, but acquired more information at his mother's knee than from the village pedagogue. With great natural intelligence and an active brain, he became a fair scholar. He wrote a fair letter, was a tolerable arithmetician, but beyond this he did not aspire.

The best and brightest side of Billy's character has been portrayed above. The shield had another side never exhibited to his best friends— the weak and helpless. His temper was fearful, and in his angry moods he was dangerous. He was not loud or swaggering, or boisterous. He never threatened. He had no bark, or, if he did, the bite came first. He never took advantage of an antagonist, but barring size and weight, would, when aggrieved, fight any man in Silver City. His misfortune was, he could not and would not stay whipped. When oversized and worsted in a fight, he sought such arms as he could buy, borrow, beg, or steal, and used them, upon more than one occasion, with murderous intent.

During the latter portion of Billy's residence in Silver City, he was the constant companion of Jesse Evans, a mere boy, but as daring and dangerous as many an older and more experienced desperado. He was older than Billy and constituted himself a sort of preceptor to our hero. These two were destined to jointly participate in many dangerous adventures, many narrow escapes, and several bloody affrays in the next few years, and, fast friends as they now were, the time was soon to come when they would be arrayed in opposition to one another, each thirsting for the other's blood, and neither shrinking from the conflict. They parted at Silver City, but only to meet again many times during Billy's short and bloody career.

When young Bonney was about twelve years of age, he first imbrued his hand in human blood. This affair, it may be said, was the turning point in his life, outlawed him, and gave him over a victim of his worser impulses and passions.

As Billy's mother was passing a knot of idlers on the street, a filthy loafer in the crowd made an insulting remark about her. Billy heard it and quick as thought, with blazing eyes, he planted a stinging blow on the blackguard's mouth, then springing to the street, stooped for a rock. The brute made a rush for him, but as he passed Ed. Moulton, a well-known citizen of Silver City, he received a stunning blow on the ear which felled him, whilst Billy was caught and restrained. However, the punishment inflicted on the offender by no means satisfied Billy. Burning for revenge, he visited a miner's cabin, procured a Sharp's rifle, and started in search of his intended victim. By good fortune, Moulton saw him with the gun, and, with some difficulty, persuaded him to return it.

Some three weeks subsequent to this adventure, Moulton, who was a wonderfully powerful and active man, skilled in the art of self-defense, and with something of the prize-fighter in his composition, became involved in a rough-and-tumble bar-room fight, at Joe Dyer's saloon. He had two shoulder-strikers to contend with and was getting the best of both of them, when Billy's "antipathy"— the man who had been the recipient of one of Moulton's "lifters," standing by, thought he saw an opportunity to take cowardly revenge on Moulton, and rushed upon him with a heavy bar-room chair upraised. Billy was usually a spectator, when not a principal, to any fight which might occur in the town, and this one was no exception. He saw the motion, and like lightning darted beneath the chair once, twice, thrice, his arm rose and fell— then, rushing through the crowd, his right hand above his head, grasping a pocket-knife, its blade dripping with gore, he went out into the night, an outcast and a wanderer, a murderer, self-baptized in human blood. He went out like banished Cain, yet less fortunate than the first murderer, there was no curse pronounced against his slayer. His hand was now against every man, and every man's hand against him. He went out forever from the care, the love, and influence of a fond mother, for he was never to see her face again— she who had so lovingly reared him, and whom he had so tenderly and reverently loved. Never more shall her soft hand smooth his ruffled brow, whilst soothing words charm from his swelling heart the wrath he nurses. No mentor, no love to restrain his evil passion or check his desperate hand— what must be his fate?

Billy did, truly, love and revere his mother, and all his after life of crime was marked by deep devotion and respect for good women, born, doubtless, of his adoration for her.

"* * * 'from earlier than I know, Immersed in rich foreshadowing of the world, I loved the woman; he that doth not, lives A drowning life, besotted in sweet self, Or pines in sad experience worse than death, Or keeps his winged affections dipt with crime; Yet, was there one through whom I loved her, one Not learned, save in gracious household ways, Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants, No angel, but a dearer being, all dipt In angel instincts, breathing Paradise, Interpreter between the Gods and men, Who looked all native to her place, and yet On tiptoe seemed to touch upon a sphere Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce Swayde to her from their orbits, as they moved And girdled her with music. Happy he With such a mother! Faidi in womankind Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall, He shall not blind his soul with clay."

Alas! for Billy. All the good influences were withdrawn from his patch. The dove of peace and good will to his kind could find no resting place in his mind, distorted by fiery passion, and when deadly revenge shook his soul, he would have plucked the messenger from its perch, "though her jesses were his heartstrings." He tripped and fell: he soiled his soul with clay.


Steals His First Horse— Finds a Partner— Kills Three Indians for Plunder— A Star Gambler in Arizona— High Times in Tucson— Horse Race with Indian— No Show to Lose— A Tight Place— Killing at Fort Bowie, and Flight from Arizona-Old Mexico And now we trace our fugitive to Arizona. His deeds of desper- ate crime in that Territory are familiar to old residents there but it is impossible to follow them in detail, or to give exact dates. It is probable that many of his lawless achievements have escaped Bodi written history and tradition. Records of the courts, at the Indian agency and military posts, and reports from officers and citizens give all the information which can be obtained and cover his most prominent exploits. These reports tally correctly with Billy's disconnected recitals, as given to his companions, in after years, to pass away an idle hour.

After the fateful night when Billy first imbrued his hands in blood and fled his home, he wandered for three days and nights without meeting a human being except one Mexican sheepherder. He talked Spanish as fluently as any Mexican of them all, and secured from this boy a small stock of provisions, consisting of tortillas and mutton. He was on foot, and trying to make his way to the Arizona line. Becoming bewildered, he made a circuit and returned to the vicinity of McKnight's ranch, where he took his initiatory in horse-stealing.

The next we hear of Billy, some three weeks after his departure from Silver City, he arrived at Fort (then Camp) Bowie, Arizona, with a companion, Bodi mounted on one sore -backed pony, equipped with a pack-saddle and rope bridle, without a quarter of a dollar between them, nor a mouthful of provision in the commissary.

Billy's partner doubtless had a name which was his legal property, but he was so given to changing it that it was impossible to fix on the right one. Billy always called him "Alias."

With a fellow of Billy's energy and peculiar ideas as to the rights of property, this condition of impoverishment could not continue. After recuperating his enervated physique at the Fort, he and his companion, on foot (having disposed of their pony), with one condemned rifle and one pistol, borrowed from soldiers, started out on Billy's first unlawful raid.

As is generally known, Fort Bowie is in Pima County, Arizona, and on the Chiracahua Apache Indian Reservation. These Indians were peaceable and quiet at this time, and there was no danger in trusting one's self amongst them. Billy and his companion fell in with a party of three of these Indians, some eight or ten miles southwest of Fort Bowie in the passes of the mountains. A majority of the different tribes of Apaches speak Spanish, and Billy was immediately at home with these. His object was to procure a mount for himself and his companion. He tried arguments, wheedling, promises to pay, and every other plan his prolific brain could suggest— all in vain. These Indians' confidence in white man's reliability had been severely shaken in the person of Indian Agent Clum. Billy gave a vague account of the result of this enterprise, yet uncompromising as it sounds, it leaves litde to surmise. Said he:

"It was a ground hog case. Here were twelve good ponies, four or five saddles, a good supply of blankets, and five pony loads of pelts. Here were three bloodthirsty savages, reveling in all this luxury and refusing succor to two free-born, white American citizens, foot sore and hungry. The plunder had to change hands— there was no alternative— and as one live Indian could place a hunted United States troops on our trail in two hours, and as a dead Indian would be likely to take some other route, our resolves were taken. In three minutes there were three "good Injuns" lying around there, careless like, and, with ponies and plunder, we skipped. There was no fight. It was about the softest tiling I ever struck."

The movements of these two youthful brigands for a few days subsequent to the killing of these Indians are lost sight of. It is known that they disposed of superfluous ponies, equipage, and furs to immigrants from Texas, more than a hunted miles distant from Fort Bowie, and that they returned to the reservation splendidly mounted and armed, with money in their pockets. They were on the best of terms with government officials and citizens at Fort Bowie, Apache Pass, San Simon, San Carlos, and all the settlements in that vicinity, and spent a good deal of their time at Tucson, where Billy's skill as a monte dealer and card player generally kept the two boys in luxuriant style and gave them enviable prestige among the sporting fraternity, which was then a powerful and influential element in Arizona.

If anything was known by the authorities, of the Indian killing episode, nothing was done about it. No one regretted the loss of these Indians, and no money could be made by prosecuting the offenders.

The quiet life Billy led in the plazas palled upon his senses, and, with his partner, he again took the road, or rather the mountain trails. There was always a dash of humor in Billy's most tragic adventures. Meeting a band of eight or ten Indians in the vicinity of San Simon, the two young fellows proposed and instituted a horse-race. Billy was riding a very superior animal, but made the race and bets on the inferior one ridden by his partner, against the best horse the Indians had. He also insisted that his partner should hold the stakes, consisting of money and revolvers.

Billy was to ride. Mounting his partner's horse, the word was given, and three, instead of two, horses shot out from the starting point. The interloper was Billy's partner, on Billy's horse. He could not restrain the fiery animal, which flew the track, took the hit in his teeth, and never slackened his headlong speed until he reached a deserted cattle ranch, many miles away from the improvised race track.

Billy lost the race, hut who was the winner? His partner with all the stakes, was macadamizing the rocky trails, far beyond their ken, and far beyond successful pursuit. It required all Billy's Spanish eloquence, all his persuasive powers of speech and gesture, all his sweetest, most appealing expressions of infantile innocence, to convince the untutored and unreasoning savages that he, himself, was not only the greatest loser of them all, hut that he was the victim of the perfidy of a traitor— to them a heinous crime. Had not he, Billy, taken all the hats, and lost them all? Whilst their loss was divided between a half-dozen, he had lost his horse, his arms, his money, his friends and his confidence in humanity, with nothing to show for it but air old plug of a pony that evidently could not win a race against a lame burro.