In the winter of 1869, the seventeen-year-old Hardin drove into Tovash – one of the many towns where brothels, saloons and gambling houses worked around the clock. Hardin, as always, did not have to look for trouble for a long time. At the card table, he managed to outright beat Jim Bradley, the leader of a gang that had long established its laws in Tovash. Bradley refused to pay the “impudent jerk.” Moreover, he forced Wes to take off his shoes and kicked him barefoot into the street. It could not have crossed his mind that the “arrogant jerk” would soon return with a gun in his hands and kill him in cold blood.
Fleeing from friends Bradley, Hardin went to the Texas town of Koss. How he ended up in bed some local lady during the day is unknown, but her roommate saw their love joy through the window. Continue reading
He was taken to Lincoln, accompanied by heavy security. Lawyers feared that someone would try to save Billy, but there was no one to save him – all his close friends had been killed by then. Now he could only rely on himself. Among his guards were people who had fought on the side of Dolan in the past: Bill Matthews, Bob Olinger and John Kinney, deservedly nicknamed the “king of cattle stealers.” Along the way, they did not miss the slightest opportunity to mock the captive.
Since Lincoln did not have its own prison, Billy was chained up on the second floor of the courthouse . There were no bars on windows or doors, but Pat Garrett and his two assistants, Bob Olinger and James Bell, vigilantly guarded. For greater reliability, Billy was additionally chained to an iron ring driven into the floor in the center of the room. Continue reading
When in August 1877 they again collided in one of the saloons, Cahill behaved as usual. Quite a bit of a grin, he called Billy bad words, to which he heard a couple of unpleasant expressions in response. Cahill could not stand it. He jumped out of the chair, rushed to Billy, knocked him down, pressed him to the floor and began to beat him in the face. He was beside himself with anger. A little more, and he would have crippled the thin guy with heavy fists, but Billy did not give him that time. He no longer wanted to endure bullying. Releasing his right hand from under the villain who had landed on him, Billy grabbed his revolver, pressed the barrel into his thick belly and pulled the trigger. Cahill roared in pain and fell to his side. Billy did not lose precious seconds, slipped out from under a mortally wounded enemy and ran out of the doors of the saloon. Frightened, he jumped onto the nearest horse and rode out of town. He later apologized for returning this horse to its owner. Continue reading