April 19, 2014
To chance or not to chance PDF Print E-mail

On July 14, 1881 one of the Old West’s most famous outlaws was killed. We all know the story of his death. But we’ll take a look at it anyway…If for no other reason than to review what happened.
Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid. And, as the story goes, he did it in a cowardly way. We’re going to review the events of the evening, and then let you decide what you would have done.


Billy the Kid killed without warning, and quite often in cold blood. About four months prior to his death, escaping from jail, he shot one man in the back as the man was fleeing and another, as he crossed the street.
Pat Garrett, the county sheriff, with a small posse, started after him. On the evening of July 14, Pat stopped by the home of Pete Maxwell, who happened to be friendly with both Pat and the Kid. Unknown to Pat, the Kid was at Maxwell’s ranch.  Late at night the Kid had decided he wanted something to eat.  On the way to the kitchen he spotted a couple of shadowy figures. He then went over to the building where Pete was sleeping to find out who the people were. Unknown to the Kid, Pat Garrett was sitting on Pete’s bed in the dark, talking to him about the kid.
The Kid entered the room with a pistol stuck in his pants, and a knife, for cutting some meat, in his hand. Seeing a figure next to the bed, the Kid asked in Spanish, “Who is it?” Pat Garrett immediately recognized the voice; pulled his pistol; and shot the Kid in the chest, killing him instantly.
So, I ask you, knowing the skill of the Kid with a gun, and that he had a reputation of shooting with no concern about the fairness of the situation, would you have given him a chance?