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Vintage Ondaatjeby Michael Ondaatje
Synopses & Reviews
from THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID
These are the killed.
Morton, Baker, early friends of mine.
Joe Bernstein. 3 Indians.
A blacksmith when I was twelve, with a knife.
5 Indians in self defence (behind a very safe rock).
One man who bit me during a robbery.
Brady, Hindman, Beckwith, Joe Clark,
Deputy Jim Carlyle, Deputy Sheriff J. W. Bell.
And Bob Ollinger. A rabid cat
birds during practice,
These are the killed.
Charlie, Tom O'Folliard
Angela D's split arm,
and Pat Garrett
sliced off my head.
Blood a necklace on me all my life.
Christmas at Fort Sumner, 1880. There were five of us together then. Wilson, Dave Rudabaugh, Charlie Bowdre, Tom O'Folliard, and me. In November we celebrated my 21st birthday, mixing red dirt and alcohol-a public breathing throughout the night. The next day we were told that Pat Garrett had been made sheriff and had accepted it. We were bad for progress in New Mexico and cattle politicians like Chisum wanted the bad name out. They made Garrett sheriff and he sent me a letter saying move out or I will get you Billy. The government sent a Mr. Azariah F. Wild to help him out. Between November and December I killed Jim Carlyle over some mixup, he being a friend.
Tom O'Folliard decided to go east then, said he would meet up with us in Sumner for Christmas. Goodbye goodbye. A few days before Christmas we were told that Garrett was in Sumner waiting for us all. Christmas night. Garrett, Mason, Wild, with four or five others. Tom O'Folliard rides into town, leaning his rifle between the horse's ears. He would shoot from the waist now which, with a rifle, was pretty good, and he was always accurate.
Garrett had been waiting for us, playing poker with the others, guns on the floor beside them. Told that Tom was riding in alone, he went straight to the window and shot O'Folliard's horse dead. Tom collapsed with the horse still holding the gun and blew out Garrett's window. Garrett already halfway downstairs. Mr. Wild shot at Tom from the other side of the street, rather unnecessarily shooting the horse again. If Tom had used stirrups and didn't swing his legs so much he would probably have been locked under the animal. O'Folliard moved soon. When Garrett had got to ground level, only the horse was there in the open street, good and dead. He couldn't shout to ask Wild where O'Folliard was or he would've got busted. Wild started to yell to tell Garrett though and Tom killed him at once. Garrett fired at O'Folliard's flash and took his shoulder off. Tom O'Folliard screaming out onto the quiet Fort Sumner street, Christmas night, walking over to Garrett, no shoulder left, his jaws tilting up and down like mad bladders going. Too mad to even aim at Garrett. Son of a bitch son of a bitch, as Garrett took clear aim and blew him out.
Garrett picked him up, the head broken in two, took him back upstairs into the hotel room. Mason stretched out a blanket neat in the corner. Garrett placed Tom O'Folliard down, broke open Tom's rifle, took the remaining shells and placed them by him. They had to wait till morning now. They continued their poker game till six a.m. Then remembered they hadn't done anything about Wild. So the four of them went out, brought Wild into the room. At eight in the morning Garrett b
A collection of novel excerpts, poetry, and memoir from the Booker Prize-winning author features selections from the novels In the Skin of the Lion, Anil's Ghost, and The English Patient, as well as excerpts from the author's autobiography Running in the Family, sections from The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, and poetry. Original. 15,000 first printing.
In his novels, poetry, and memoirs, Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje moves from the blasted landscape of Billy the Kid in 1880s New Mexico to the New Orleans jazz world of the legendary Buddy Bolden at the turn of the century, from his native Sri Lanka to the African desert of World War II. Compassionate, lyrical, spellbinding, the work he has created unfolds with mystery and eloquenceand enlarges our literature.
Included in Vintage Ondaatje are portions of the novels Anil’s Ghost, In the Skin of the Lion, Coming Through Slaughter, and The English Patient; the memoir Running in the Family; sections from The Collected Works of Billy the Kid; and a selection of the poetry.
Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers, presented in attractive, affordable paperback editions.
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