The Tale of Billy the Bit

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And that's where the gangs come in. Candace: And the Kid actually turned on his gang when Tunstall offered him a job in exchange for his testimony against Dolan and company. And so the Kid thought this was a pretty good offer. He wanted to do something a little more righteous than what he'd had been involved with.

So he agreed and he took on the new alias, William H. This was an act of reinventing himself in a way. Katie: And became part of the Regulators, the name of the gang that was going to avenge the death of Tunstall, who was shot and killed by Sheriff William Brady and his posse, which included Jessie Evans' gang.

And they also set up a trap for Sheriff Brady. They'd been trying to do things by the book, trying to file complaints and act in a proper, paperwork sort of way, but in the American west, that doesn't get you very far. Katie: They were almost forced into being outlaws. They were doing their best, but when the local government is corrupt, that doesn't leave you with a lot of options. And so it's Billy the Kid, some Mexican cowboys, some American cowboys and they finally took out their guns and started the gun fights of the next couple years.


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Candace: And the Regulators had a pretty good reputation until then and then they became known as these awful outlaws. Katie: These gun fights were pretty violent. Sheriff Brady was killed in April of and was riddled with bullet holes. It just wasn't one shot that happened to get him.

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They made sure that he was dead. And the same with the deputy! Candace: I know.


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  5. I'm sorry. I shouldn't speak so irreverently of the past. Eventually, all of these separate skirmishes culminated in a final event at Alex McSween's house. And McSween, as you may recall, had been associated with Tunstall, the British businessman. He'd been his partner, as well as his attorney. So the Regulators are held up in McSween's house and they are surrounded by Dolan's gang and the new sheriff. And they are panicking and so finally, the Kid is the only one trying to keep his wits about him and devises a plan where half the gang will go out one side of the house and the other will escape out the opposite so as to distract the gunslingers out front.

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    And it works, except that half of the outlaws got shot and killed and Billy the Kid and his cohorts made off out the other side. So the escape plan wasn't the best, but it did save the Kid's hide, which was, you know, accounted to him. And he ran. He was an outlaw again for, what is this, the third, fourth time? I've lost count. He is famous for supposedly having committed as many murders as there were years of his life. Candace: But he was good at getting himself off the hook. But when he got word that there was a new governor in Lincoln, named Lew Wallace, he offered to surrender and come back to Lincoln and give a testimony in exchange for getting the new governor's good graces.

    He said he was tired of being an outlaw and wanted to do the right thing.

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    Katie: And kept writing him letter upon letter offering to give himself up in exchange for some kind of amnesty. And Lew Wallace, I believe, at one point did agree to it or made some sort of promise to him that maybe that was something they could do, which he later recanted. Candace: Wallace was still not fully aware of the kind of power and clout that Dolan and his gang had so even if he had wanted to give the Kid some sort of asylum and some sort of pardon, he wouldn't have been able to because his hands were tied.

    Any sense of court system or legality there was in Lincoln was overruled by Dolan. Katie: And Billy the Kid at this time is so notorious from the Lincoln County War, the upshot of which no one won and they just had large gun battles every couple of days. But it wasn't possible for him politically to make that move. Candace: Yeah.

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    And not to mention that at this time the newspapers are really getting a hold of his name and splashing it everywhere and maybe people had had some semblance of sympathy for him in the past, but now that he shoots people and then leaves -. Candace: People are thinking he's trouble.

    No one wants him in town. So he goes off to Fort Sumner. Quantity Add to basket. This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. Added to basket. The Labyrinth of the Spirits. Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Agent Running in the Field. In a House of Lies. Ian Rankin. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

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    The Clockmaker's Daughter. Kate Morton. Paris Echo. Sebastian Faulks. An American Marriage. Finally, Billy makes a little book, like the books his father says are kept on the Holy Island, constructing it painstakingly from the nearest thing he can find to vellum — the carefully stretched and scrubbed skins of the mice he and his mother catch in the room — and colouring it with inks from his felt-tip pens, mixed with his own blood. Everything changes, however, when the father disappears: he had come one last time, planning to kill the boy but, unable to carry out the crime, he flees into the night.

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    Now, two new figures enter Billy's life: the butcher, Mr McCaufrey, and a powerful, grieving woman called Missus Malone. It is Missus Malone who takes Billy out into the world from which he has been kept hidden for 13 years, and she is the one who tells him the story of his birth and of the terrible violence that began on that day. Her stories, and the devastation Billy witnesses on the streets of his home town Blinkbonny, are strangely beautiful, retold in the more or less phonetic prose, riddled with errors and misspellings, that Billy has contrived.

    You can see arl the mixtures and minglins. The ash is mingld with the rubbl. Boans with shrapnel. Blud with dust.

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    Screems is mingld with the silens. Hell is arl mixd up with Heaven.



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