Billy the Kid—a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney—was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single-handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, New Mexico, deputies, killed during the Kid's brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881. After dispensing with his guards and breaking the chain securing his leg irons, the Kid danced a macabre jig on the jail's porch before riding away on a stolen horse as terrified townspeople—and many sympathizers—watched. For new sheriff Pat Garrett, the chase was on.
To Hell on a Fast Horse re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West's most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, two larger-than-life figures who would not have become the stuff of legend without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and what they would come to mean to a public enamored of the violent past of the Wild West.
Contains mature themes.