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AUCTION 19

The West’s Most Celebrated Juvenile Delinquent

169. SIRINGO, Cha[rle]s A[ngelo]. History of “Billy the Kid.” The True Life of the Most Daring Young Outlaw of the Age. He Was the Leading Spirit in the Bloody Lincoln County, New Mexico, War. When a Bullet from Sheriff Pat Garett’s [sic] Pistol Pierced his Breast He Was Only Twenty-One Years of Age, and Had Killed Twenty-One Men, Not Counting Indians. His Six Years of Daring Outlawry Has Never Been Equalled in the Annals of Criminal History. [Santa Fe: Published by the Author, 1920]. 142 [2] pp. 8vo, original white clay-coated pictorial wrappers with photograph of The Kid on the upper wrapper and photograph of Pat Garrett on the lower wrapper, stapled (as issued). Light wear to fragile wraps, otherwise fine.

     First edition. Adams, Burs I:357: “This rare little book further strengthened some of the legends about the Kid which were by now well established.” Adams, Guns 2028. Dykes, Kid 79: “Rare. The Kid material that is scattered through several chapters of A Texas Cowboy...and A Lone Star Cowboy...is brought together in this volume. There are a few additions.” Howes S516. Norris 3631.

     Siringo (1855-1928), himself almost larger than life, here creates another legend, again apparently larger than life.  The author became acquainted with his subject when he led a group pursuing The Kid for cattle rustling.  The book is among the primary accounts of the Kid and the Lincoln County War.  Although it seems obvious that Siringo knew many of the principals involved in The Kid’s legend, his story has been found to be compounded by errors and the repetitions of myths found in other sources.  Nevertheless, the book remains a basic source on this Western legend.  The book itself made Siringo very little money and the plates were seized by creditors.  ($750-1,500)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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