September 25, 2020
I love oldtimers and their stories. Invariably you have to take some of the stuff we say—I mean THEY say—with a grain of salt. Other times, well, it kind of blows your mind, if it's true.
This is for a section of the book where Billy's friends remember him and are being interviewed by the press.
They Knew The Kid
Jesus Silva built the coffin and helped dig the grave for his friend Billy the Kid. A newspaperman interviewed him in 1936 when he was 85 and Silva had this to say about the Kid: “If Chisum had paid him, Billy would have been all right."
As regards the Kid and his fugitive status, “I gave him a hat or shirt or somethin’ ever’ time he came. There were many times when the outlaw was broke, even hungry."
In the interview, Silva claimed to have helped the Kid hide out after his escape from the Lincoln County Courthouse, when he killed deputies Bell and Olinger.
Here's the kicker: “Anaya had three daughters, and when strangers would come, Billy dressed up like a girl and stayed in the kitchen with the Anaya girls. And he made a good one, too — he was small, his hair was long and he talked Mexican just as good as them."
Silva also claimed he went to the Maxwell house when he heard the Kid had been shot by Garrett.
"There wasn’t even one Mexican cent in the outlaw’s pockets when the officers searched him; Pat Garrett took his gun."