Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review ~ The Autobiography of Billy the Kid


Well no, Ralph Estes is not really old enough to have been a contemporary of Billy the Kid, but nonetheless it is a captivating way to tell the story.Henry McCarty was his real name and that varied as to who was telling the tale." Bill Antrim's Kid" sometimes happened and  just plain "The Kid"also.

Billy who adored his mother,Catherine McCarty Antrim, remembers her mentioning the name "Bonney".Was it the father he and his brother Josie never knew or her maiden name? He could not remember but at her death when he was twelve or thirteen.He was not sure of that either as "Momma" celebrated his and Josie's birthday both at Christmas to save money on gifts.Needless to say they were very poor.

Catherine McCarthy was an entrenour who was the only woman of one hundred and twenty-three persons who signed the original Wichita incorporated documents. They continued to move west , living once on the edge of the Chisholm Trail until her tuberculosis grew acute. When she died in Kansas September 16, 1874 Billy had this to say "It was the worst day of my life. Josie and I were put out with different families and I did not see much of Josie after that, or Bill Antrim either> Momma was gone and I was all alone in the world".

I love family stories and this one told me, a Social Worker by occupation, a lot about Henry McCartt, aka Bill Bonney, "The Kid".

It was a short book, almost a novella. I enjoyed it very much. The  digital version I received needs some proofing, but an entertaining read.


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