January 25, 2012
Still finding little gems in my studio (while cleaning and organizing). In 1991 I traveled to Ruidoso, New Mexico for a Billy the Kid symposium. All the big time authors and Billy the Kid experts were there: Fred Nolan, Robert Utley, Paul Andrew Hutton, among others. This was before I published my book on the Kid, so I was there to learn. One of the field trips scheduled was a bus ride to Blazer's Mill to see the site where Buckshot Roberts shot it out with a group of Regulators led by Dick Brewer. To our pleasant surprise, the grandson of Doctor Blazer met us and gave us a tour of the site. Here he is telling where Dick Brewer hid behind a pile of logs as he peered over to take a shot at Buckshot Roberts.
Of course, Buckshot had been gut shot by Chuck Bowdre in the first exchange of gunfire at Blazer's Mill and Roberts holed up in an office in Blazer's building and grabbed a rifle off the wall (he emptied his Winchester into Bowdre and the crowd surrounding him). Bleeding like a stuck pig from the gut wound Roberts grabbed a mattress from a bed in the room and threw it across the doorway, laid down with the foreign rifle to defend himself. The leader of the Regulators, Dick Brewer, ran down to a saw mill about 100 yards from the doorway where Roberts was holed up. Brewer hid behind a wood pile and popped off a shot at Roberts. His shot was a tad high and thudded into the wall behind Roberts' head. Noting where the puff of smoke came from, Roberts looked down the hill and trained his rifle at the spot where he saw the report. Brewer, meanwhile, waited a few seconds then peered over the cord of wood to see if he got his man. Roberts factored in the distance, took aim and pulled the trigger. The bullet entered Brewer's eye and took out the back of his skull.
Someone in our group asked Art if the Blazer family still had the rifle. Art chuckled and said:"We all used it for hunting, but nobody in the family could hit a damn thing with that rifle."
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