Compiled a century ago, when the wildness of the American West was still a living memory, these tales chronicle the rugged lives and audacious crimes of bank and train robbers, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, and other desperadoes. Recounted mainly by the outlaws themselves along with eyewitnesses to their deeds, the stories profile Billy the Kid, Frank and Jesse James, the Dalton Gang, Wild Bill Hickok, and other legendary figures of the era. In addition to famous instances and epochs of outlawry, this book relates equally fascinating but lesser-known incidents, including the Lincoln County War of the Southwest and the Stevens County War of Kansas. Atmospheric illustrations accompany these dramatic fables of adventure and conflict in the Old West.
"Buy my silks, pretty lady, buy my silks! Fresh from the Turkey walk on the Exchange, and cheaper than you can buy their like in all the city—buy my silks, lady!" Thus the peddler with his little pack of finery.
"My philter, lady," cried the gipsy woman, who had left her donkey cart outside the line. "My philter! 'Twill keep-a your eyes bright and your cheeks red for ay. Secret of the Pharaohs, lady; and but a shilling!"
"Have ye a parrot, ma'am? Have ye never a parrot to keep ye free and give ye laughter every hour? Buy my parrot, lady. Just from the Gold Coast. He'll talk ye Spanish, Flemish or good city tongue. Buy my parrot at ten crowns, and so cheap, lady!" So spoke the ear-ringed sailor, who might never have seen a salter water than the Thames.
"Powder-puffs for the face, lady," whispered a lean and weazen-faced hawker, slipping among the crowd with secrecy. "See my puff, made from the foot of English hares. Rubs out all wrinkles, lady, and keeps ye young as when ye were a lass. But a shilling, a shilling. See!" And with the pretense of secrecy the seller would sidle up to a carriage of some dame, slip to her the hare's foot and take the shilling with an air as though no one could see what none could fail to notice.