A sheriff . . . An outlaw . . . A legendary showdown. Billy the Kid--a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney--was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single-handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, New Mexico, deputies killed during the Kid's brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881. After dispensing with his guards and breaking the chain securing his leg irons, the Kid danced a macabre jig on the jail's porch before riding away on a stolen horse as terrified townspeople-and many sympathizers-watched. For new sheriff Pat Garrett, an acquaintance of Billy's, the chase was on. . . . To Hell on a Fast Horse re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West's most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, each a larger-than-life figure who would not have become legendary without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and their epic ride to immortality.
"A masterpiece! Mark Gardner's dual biography of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett cuts through the myth to tell the real story of two real figures in the Wild West. Gardner's scholarship is superb. This work can only be called a classic."
"As gripping as any thriller."
"Digging beneath the myths and melodrama, [Gardner] begins in Las Vegas during Christmas week, 1880, when the capture and confinement of Billy the Kid made national headlines... Gardner's extensive research and authoritative approach ground this compelling historical recreation."
"Incredibly deep research combines with the talents of a fine historian and writer to produce superb narrative history. The true character and relationship of these two iconic westerners emerge to suppress myth and correct more than a century of tomes laden with bad history."