To Hell on a Fast Horse


I wish I had been more attentive to the ‘old stories’ of my grandparents and great-grandmother (I didn’t know my Caldwell great-grandfather, who died before my birth).  My great-grandmother, Martha Letitia Brown Caldwell, was active until her death – which occurred when I was a child.

These Caldwells (great-grandparents and grandparents) knew Billy the Kid and told stories of James Martin “Bud” Caldwell trading horses with him (and other incidences – which have faded from my poor memory).  However, self-absorbed adolescent as I was – I just didn’t pay attention to so many of these stories; I regret this.

To Hell on a Fast Horse by Mark Lee Gardner is a fascinating read.

At Las Cruces, thirty-three miles southeast of Rincon, Billy again attracted a crowd, but these townspeople were more curious than anything else.  it was not every day that the Territory’s most notorious criminal made an appearance on Main Street, and the certainty that he would hang before long made the Kid even more of a not-to-be-missed spectacle.  One of the gawkers asked, “Which is Billy the Kid?”  Before anyone in the party could answer, Billy placed his hand on Ira Leonard’s shoulder, and with a straight face exclaimed, “This is the man.”

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