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 The Garrett Book

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marksalois

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PostSubject: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:04 am

I just re-read this thing and I'm wondering why so many dismiss it as complete hogwash.

All the posts I've read in the last few years seem to take Garrett's sometimes glowing descriptions of the Kid as gospel while seeming to ignore what old Pat has to say about the dirty dark side of Billy.

Getting past the actual shooting of Billy (which does not quite add up correctly), what are all of your thoughts on the rest of the book?

I now find myself thinking that for the most part, Pat was documenting events from the best information he had at the time. There is no doubt he stretched the truth quite a bit, but overall I found it to be a fine read.
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:16 pm

Sometimes I think that perspective means everything when talking about someone writing. When “Three Ranches West” was written in the 50’s I believe it was considered to be the definitive work on John Chisum. Today it is practically laughable given the additional research that has been done since the book was written.

When I last read Garrett’s book (more accurately Ash Upsons book and Garrets chapter in it) I was in the middle of heavy research and had read probably twenty books on the Lincoln County War in several months. At that time I recall that it struck me as dated, self serving and slanted. As far as the account of Billy’s killing is concerned, if you are leaning towards a conclusion that it didn’t happen…I am not going there. I do, however, tend to believe that Billy nay have been unarmed when he was shot, and that his gun was perhaps on the dresser. I also lean towards believing that Garrett gave Billy no chance, and shot him from ambush. Given the circumstances I don’t find that either hard to believe or unusual.

For a couple of years now I have been doing research for the Texas peace Officers Memorial, tracking down the story on lawmen killed in the line of duty before 1900. You would be amazed at how many were shot and killed by an assailant standing toe to toe with them, without provocation by the officer. You would also be surprised at how many officers were shot and killed from ambush…a total surprise. Possibly my opinion on Billy has been reformed to some degree by this research.
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Dave
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Hey ol bud!! you raise some good questions...since Marcelle's invitation to join this board has re-kindled my interest in Billy and the LCW, I'll mke it a point to re=read Garrett's book and then I'll come back to ya with my thoughts. Hey we need to meet up on atrout stream somewhere!!

FC
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DonnaT



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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:57 pm

Just yesterday I decided to re-read Fred Nolan's book on the Lincoln Cty War and found this passage which got me thinking that I really need to re-read the Garrette/Upson book again:

"Upson had been, if not an eyewitness, a longtime resident of Lincoln County who knew where more than a few of its family skeletons were closeted. He was personally acquainted with most, if not all, of the characters about whom he wrote. Most authorities dismiss the book more or less out of hand as a farrago of mendacities, inventions and hyperbole, but carefully read, it can still yield a great deal of information to a sharp-eyed researcher."

Meaning I guess that most lies have some truth to them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:51 pm

marksalois wrote:
I just re-read this thing and I'm wondering why so many dismiss it as complete hogwash.

All the posts I've read in the last few years seem to take Garrett's sometimes glowing descriptions of the Kid as gospel while seeming to ignore what old Pat has to say about the dirty dark side of Billy.

Getting past the actual shooting of Billy (which does not quite add up correctly), what are all of your thoughts on the rest of the book?

I now find myself thinking that for the most part, Pat was documenting events from the best information he had at the time. There is no doubt he stretched the truth quite a bit, but overall I found it to be a fine read.



I will have to reread that book it has been so long since I've read it last.
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marksalois

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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:38 pm

Here is the online link to the book for those that do not have a hard copy:

http://www.webroots.org/library/usabios/talobtk0.html

Cliff -- I am not saying that the killing of Billy did not happen that night, I just meant that it does seem improbable that it happened the exact way Pat said it did. I understand that Marcelle created this nice new home to avoid that particular argument (among other things). She's got a twitchy finger that is always hovering right over the ban button so I'd like to set a new personal record and go 48 consecutive hours without a Marcelle induced perma ban. Very Happy

While I was reading the book again the other day I remembered that many of the nice things said about Billy in that book are quoted by authors, posters, etc....but anything negative that he said are never really mentioned. I'm starting to think that the "real" Billy is exactly in the middle of Pat's description. Not a "blood thirsty" random killer, but certainly not someone who wandered the streets handing out money to the poor, old and feeble.

What I once dismissed as a tale of 98% fiction I am now leaning towards it being closer to 75% correct. I was just wondering how others felt as far as the overall accuracy is concerned.

As a side note.....it is really nice to see some old familiar names around here. I'll be down your way in March doing some JFK research fly....so I'm going to hold you to your offer of teaching me how to flyfish.
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Marcelle Brothers
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:49 pm

marksalois wrote:

Cliff -- I am not saying that the killing of Billy did not happen that night, I just meant that it does seem improbable that it happened the exact way Pat said it did. I understand that Marcelle created this nice new home to avoid that particular argument (among other things). She's got a twitchy finger that is always hovering right over the ban button so I'd like to set a new personal record and go 48 consecutive hours without a Marcelle induced perma ban. Very Happy

Ah, come now...I have the patience of a saint flower If I did have a "trigger" finger, I wouldn't had to created this new board to give us all a place to escape too, I just would've had a "board banning massacre" and when the dust settled it would be just all of us.
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Russell Burrows
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:18 am

marksalois wrote:
Here is the online link to the book for those that do not have a hard copy:

http://www.webroots.org/library/usabios/talobtk0.html

Cliff -- I am not saying that the killing of Billy did not happen that night, I just meant that it does seem improbable that it happened the exact way Pat said it did. I understand that Marcelle created this nice new home to avoid that particular argument (among other things). She's got a twitchy finger that is always hovering right over the ban button so I'd like to set a new personal record and go 48 consecutive hours without a Marcelle induced perma ban. Very Happy

While I was reading the book again the other day I remembered that many of the nice things said about Billy in that book are quoted by authors, posters, etc....but anything negative that he said are never really mentioned. I'm starting to think that the "real" Billy is exactly in the middle of Pat's description. Not a "blood thirsty" random killer, but certainly not someone who wandered the streets handing out money to the poor, old and feeble.

What I once dismissed as a tale of 98% fiction I am now leaning towards it being closer to 75% correct. I was just wondering how others felt as far as the overall accuracy is concerned.

As a side note.....it is really nice to see some old familiar names around here. I'll be down your way in March doing some JFK research fly....so I'm going to hold you to your offer of teaching me how to flyfish.

Mark, neither do I believe that events of that night are exactly as Garrett said they were. The sad thing is that we will never know for sure what happened. I have resigned myself to the fact that Billy was killled that night and, since he was a condemed criminal it really doesn't matter. Justice was served in the end.

Except for the Morton Baker and Reilly killing, I don't believe he was a cold blooded killer. When one is eighteen or nineteen, one doesn't think about those things.

Russ
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:35 am

Sorry Mark...I didn't mean to sound like I was baiting you into forbidden territory. I was trying to emphasize that I am 99.9% sure that Billy WAS killed that night, even though I am only 50% sure of how. As I said, my instincts tell me to believe that although Garrett killed him, it was not as Garrett said it happened. Boastful perhaps, or covering up some cowardly behavior? Who knows. If it had been me in Garrett’s shoes I would have set Billy up using either the daughter or the old man and shot him from some cover rather than face him down like some moron in a 1950’s old west movie (which never happened). Common sense tells me that if a man is a wanted outlaw and you are a lawman you use whatever caution you can so as not to get killed yourself. Now if the guy had wronged you, or you’re family, or some heinous deed then maybe the old face off or “walk down” would be understandable given the heightened emotions and personal nature of it.

Anyway…I am off track. Back to the book…maybe I will look it over again. Like I said, I was reading a whole pile of LCW books and trying to “triangulate” some facts for my book when I read it and it didn’t impress me much then.
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:36 am

Oh, by the way Mark, I am not the fisherman...that's "flycaster". You don't want me to teach you how to catch trout. I fish with a Colt .45 single action, not a rod and reel! affraid
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marksalois

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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:00 am

Cliff Caldwell wrote:
Sorry Mark...I didn't mean to sound like I was baiting you into forbidden territory. I was trying to emphasize that I am 99.9% sure that Billy WAS killed that night, even though I am only 50% sure of how.

I know you weren't trying to bait. I did not word my first post correctly so I would understand your concerns when you first read it.

We all agree (I think) that he was killed that night and the interesting thing with this new board will be the ability to read well thought out theories about exactly how it happened without name calling or someone using personal agendas to sell their upcoming book.

I'll be honest and say that I will be the biggest BTK novice on this board. I'll ask simple questions that may seem basic to most of you but it never fails to lead to an interesting discussion that educates me more and more on this topic.

I do know that flycaster claims to be a fisherboy and he's going to have a chance to prove it to me soon. Personally, I think he'd have trouble wrangling a goldfish. Razz
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marksalois

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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:09 am

Back in the old days I used to have fun with Marcelle about her having a "twitchy banning finger".

It was all just in jest and meant as a joke, but some really believed it. Marcelle is very good at taking a joke but when she had to answer private messages and emails about the topic we agreed that that particular joke was dead.

I've been away so long that I kinda forgot that that particular jesting may do the same thing over at this brand new shiny place.

So to all that read this thread, please understand that what I wrote was simply a joke...no more, no less. I'd hate to have new members come aboard and take the thing literally.

I have plenty of other creative ways to poke fun at Marcelle from time to time....I'll just use them from now on.
Very Happy

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread......
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Craig S.



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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:51 am

Hello All:

I often wonder if some of the twists to Garrett's version of events, such as Billy's killing, and other folks, like the Maxwells, not saying very much, had anything to do with the way people treated morally private matters. I don't know if that makes sense, but my understanding is that people frowned on the public knowledge of a man having intimate relations with a lady outside of marriage. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I believe that people were probably much more discreet about those types of thing back in those days. From what I've read, it appears that Paulita Maxwell was a lady from a prominent family, who may have been in love or infatuated with one William H. Bonney. That may have been something that no one in her family wanted publicly known. Society back then was not open about things like premarital sex, child birth out of wedlock and divorce. It seems like people went out of their way to keep silent about such matters in order to protect the honor of a family member or family name. What I wonder is did any of this have any bearing on Garrett's version of Billy's killing, like where he was coming from or what room he was actually in the night Garrett killed him. Might also have explained why Garrett said Billy had a pistol when he probably didn't. Might also explain why the Maxwell's never really said much about the details of that night and even took it to the grave with them. Did he strike a deal with the Maxwells? Basically, "I won't say anything if you don't say anything." What do you guys think?

Craig
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Bronte
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:28 pm

I believe Craig has hit on a good point as to why things might have been covered-up.I"ve never bought Garrett's version of Billy's death so to me there has to be a reason why he lied about what really happened.If Billy was sleeping with Paulita as it has been rumored then that in itself was a sin before God (especially with 19th century values) so maybe out of respect for the Maxwell family he came up with his crazy scenario.Everything was so strict back then for us to even mention Billy in Paulita's bedroom would have been unacceptable which raises the question would he have actually been sleeping with her so openly? I'm not to sure if I can buy that scenario given the morals of those times.The sad part for us is that we'll never know the absolute of why or even if there was a cover-up concerning Billy demise. Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:01 pm

I am sure I am in the minority on this one, but I tend to believe Pat's overall story on what happened that night. Colored to make him look better for shooting Billy in cold blood , but basically all true. For one thing there has never been any other evidence presented to change the basics, but also L'Armour's interveiw of Deluvina's memory of that night. She said that Billy arrived at her room about the same time as Pat went to Pete's bedroom. She is the one that sent Billy out to cut some meat so that she could fix Billy something to eat. The rest is pretty much as Pat said.
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:09 pm

Garret's book.

M G Fulton's edition 1927(?) contains a very interesting postscript by Pat Garrett; I have'nt been lucky enough to see the original book but I guess this was taken from it.

As for me once Pat got going he told it like it happened.....

In the book the cause of the war was given as trouble between Chisum and the small ranchers of Seven Rivers.This has been dismissed by many historians but should be revisited.Upson lived smack bang in the middle of it .Wallace Olinger said the Lincoln County war was Chisum's Pecos war(1876) continued, and Gus Gildea said it 'was the rich(Chisum and McSween) against the poor(the Seven Rivers cattlemen)

The famous insurance money lit the fuse.

Most of the men behind the rear gate of McSween's backyard in the final hours were from Seven Rivers.At the DCOI they resented being referred to as 'Dolan men'.

Patrick Floyd Garrett is one of the towering figures of the Old West.
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Russell Burrows
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:00 pm

marksalois wrote:
I just re-read this thing and I'm wondering why so many dismiss it as complete hogwash.

All the posts I've read in the last few years seem to take Garrett's sometimes glowing descriptions of the Kid as gospel while seeming to ignore what old Pat has to say about the dirty dark side of Billy.

Getting past the actual shooting of Billy (which does not quite add up correctly), what are all of your thoughts on the rest of the book?

I now find myself thinking that for the most part, Pat was documenting events from the best information he had at the time. There is no doubt he stretched the truth quite a bit, but overall I found it to be a fine read.

Markk, I believe Garret was telling the truth as he knew it except for the killing of rthe Kid. He had toprotect himself and his office.

Russ
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Dave
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:21 am

Mark, I'm glad to hear you're coming to Dallas and I'd be happy to teach you to flyfish..seriously, I'd reallly love to get together with you while you're here...email me at dspoon2@tx.rr.com with your trip details and we'll make plans to meet up...I would be more than glad to take you on a tour of Dealy Plaza and downtown Dallas...let me hear from ya
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:57 am

jimlyn wrote:
I am sure I am in the minority on this one, but I tend to believe Pat's overall story on what happened that night. Colored to make him look better for shooting Billy in cold blood , but basically all true. For one thing there has never been any other evidence presented to change the basics, but also L'Armour's interveiw of Deluvina's memory of that night. She said that Billy arrived at her room about the same time as Pat went to Pete's bedroom. She is the one that sent Billy out to cut some meat so that she could fix Billy something to eat. The rest is pretty much as Pat said.

I personally never believed garretts story because i just find it so hard to believe that the kid could be sitting next to him on the bed and not notice garrett until he moved,when you go to bed at night you will notice when you first turn off the light you can barely see a thing but once you have layed there for a few minutes it is suprising how well you can see i can see right across my room with no problems there is no way anyone could be standing there without me seeing them and the kid was not known for having eye problems.

The other point is the story of Pete Maxwell saying that,s him,why would he have to tell garrett it,s the kid when Garrett had been around fort sumner since 1878 and had been in close contact with the kid since his arrest and knew the kids voice.

And if the kid had a gun where is it,they have the knife he was carrying to this day but no gun i have no doubt he was shot that night i don,t believe the rubbish about brushy Bill Roberts and i have no doubt the kid died killed from ambush by Garrett because that was how garett killed all his victims his whole career.
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Dave
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PostSubject: Billy's voice   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:59 am

Stevenz...you make a really good point about Garrett knowing Billy's voice...also a very good point about the ability to see in a dark room and I assume the bedroom door was open after Billy backed into the room which would add even more ambient light...to me at least Garrett's version just doesn't square...I notice that you re from New Zealand...one of my fantasy fly fishing trips (you know..the kind where someone else foots the bill Very Happy ) would be New Zealand
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:36 am

Dave wrote:
Stevenz...you make a really good point about Garrett knowing Billy's voice...also a very good point about the ability to see in a dark room and I assume the bedroom door was open after Billy backed into the room which would add even more ambient light...to me at least Garrett's version just doesn't square...I notice that you re from New Zealand...one of my fantasy fly fishing trips (you know..the kind where someone else foots the bill Very Happy ) would be New Zealand

Sadly i have no experience with fly fishing but i,m sure you would enjoy it if you managed to make it here,there, a lot of great fishing around the country.

As for billy the door would have been open so there is no way the kid could have sat right next to garrett and not seen him,i have no doubt garrett didn,t just show up at Sumner that night he was tipped off that the kid was in the area i have a book Biily The Kid His life and Legend by Jon Tuska and i can,t remember the page number but it,s states that Kip Mckinny,s son told Leon Metz that his father told him Pete Maxwell was the informer and he sent a trusted man to white oaks to inform on the kid.

Garretts story was that they overheard someone talking in white Oaks which i don,t believe i think that was just a cover and no doubt the kid died from ambush that was garretts style his whole career the only time he was ever involved in a shootout with outlaws and they had a chance to shoot back was in the late 1890,s and garrett got the worst of it and had to withdraw,ambush was his style and i don,t believe the kid would have had a chance and i have my doubts about him even having a gun because if he did where is it.?

You would think Garret or someone else would keep it to show off it is funny that to this day they have the knife he was carrying but no pistol.
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:05 pm

In my humble opinion we can opine about the finite details of the night Billy was killed at Fort Sumner until our collective heads fall off. Where was this chair, or that dresser. Where did Billy sit exactly, and did he have the pistol on him, on the dresser, in his waistband (which some contend he did not have on), etc.. How dark was it, how cold was it….so many variables and the definitive answer, apart from the fact that he was killed, will never be known.


I am among those who believe that the gun was probably on the dresser, or some other location other than on the person of Bill. That said, Garrett probably got the drop on Billy and it was not a “fair” exchange. None of that concerns me a bit, nor does the fact that Garrett probably enhanced the story to make his own performance sound more appealing.

Now, as for the gun. Some claim that Cherokee Davis lost the .41 Colt Thunderer somewhere along the line. There is also a version of the story that claims that Davis sold the Thunderer to a collector named Maury Kemp in El Paso and later sold Billy’s Single Action Colt .45 to a doctor in El Paso. To the extent that both guns are in collections today (or at least they are represented to be the authentic guns involved) I am inclined to believe the version of the story that has them sold to an El Paso collector
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:38 am

Check that addendum in the Garrett book I previously mentioned and note Pat's remarks about accusations he did'nt fight the Kid on the square.

Given Bonney's proclivities of killing without warning,preferably from behind an adobe wall,who can blame him.


Poe said the Kid drew his pistol before going in to the room.

How come none of you guys believe the evidence of the men who were there?

And to change that ossifying subject...who all was in the McSween house July 19,1878, and who ran first?
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:03 am

I'm not a conspiracy-theorist, so I believe in Garretts and Poe's version till there should be more evidence. Both accounts match pretty well and if you consider the span of time between the two accounts and the two independent sources (Garrett, Poe) there is no reason to believe in movie-like-weird scenarios.

But of course one can discuss the little details: Did Billy have a gun or not? Did Garrett hear Billy talking to Poe before Billy entered the room and did P. Maxwell told him "it's him" before Billy entered the room, so that when Billy actually entered the room Garrett had already a clue and shot him kind of in coldblood?

But at the end Garretts version makes perfect common sense. Garrett gets a hint that Billy in in the Ft. Sumner area. So he sneaks in with just 3 men. He knows Billy could come to the Maxwell house, but on the other side he knows that Billy knows that everybody would expect him there so chances are very thin for a smart Kid to come there. But - so what - he tries to get some new info from the Maxwell house. Coincidently the meet in the dark bedroom. Billy talks to Maxwell and Garrett gets a clue from the voice that it could be Billy plus Maxwell is telling "it's him"...Garrett is a coward-type of human so he takes chances first, even if he would kill the wrong man just for the sake of his own advantage whereas Billy is more confused and reluctant to pull the trigger (if he had a gun) in the house of his friend against an unknown guy. The end.
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linda J
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PostSubject: Re: The Garrett Book   Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:26 pm

Mark when I first saw your name Markaslois I thought it read Mark's a Lois lol sorry. Btw is your birthday June 12 71? my daughter's is June 7th, 71
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