Dear Lew

billy the kid painting by bob boze bell
Painting of Billy the Kid by Bob Boze Bell

Writing in red ink on ruled paper, Billy the Kid writes a letter to Lew Wallace, the governor of New Mexico.Written from Fort Sumner, on December 12, 1880, the missive says, in part, “I noticed in the Las Vegas Gazette a piece which stated that Billy ‘the’ Kid, the name by which I am known in the County, was the captain of a Band of Outlaws who hold forth at the Portales. There is no such Organization in Existence.” The Kid goes on to say how he is not responsible for recent crimes and he blames cattleman John Chisum for hiring Pat Garrett to chase the young outlaw down.

Lew Wallace misses the letter because he is back east promoting his new book, “Ben Hur.”


Billy’s Bastard Child?

What do you think?

Bob Boze Bell

In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.