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Billy the Kid

Lore Trial #9

Everyone has heard of "Billy the Kid" but not too many people know much about him. Rumor has it that he killed 21 men over the course of his life and rumored fact more conservatively estimates his toll at around 9. First person account can guarantee that he was indirectly responsible for the death of my (now deceased) colleague's father, James Carlysle.

Amelia Carlysle tells the story best, but she's dead now. One afternoon, she came home from playing outside and found her mother in tears. Papa had been trying to catch that young trickster with some other men and one misadventure led to another - he was accidentally killed by his own dimwitted friends, mistaken for one of The Kid's men.

Oh if only he had been one of The Kid's men! Those guys laughed and had fun and didn't seem to mean any harm. Now Amelia would be raised as Billy had been raised - without a father. At least, her mother wouldn't die. Billy tried to do right by the Carlysles. He snuck into a rich man's house and typed up a letter, right good as he could (Billy had good aim with a gun but not so good aim with his finger).

Amelia turned out alright - after a few years in California, she moved back to New Mexico. Settling down in Billy's out-west hometown, she spent hours contemplating his legacy, his myth, and desert birds. She became almost as much of a legend in the birdwatching community as Billy the Kid did in the Old West. Just before she died, I received a typed letter from her letting me know that she'd tried to to the right thing - understand Billy's life and honor her father's memory. I think doing right could do all of us a little good - might tell us where to go to learn more about Billy and his youth.

1st family: 5 points
2nd family: 4 points
3rd family: 3 points
4th family: 2 points




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taylor dot garcia at g mail dot com