Riata and Spurs (Southwest Heritage) (Paperback)
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In his introduction to the 1927 edition of "Riata and Spurs," Gifford Pinchot said that "Charlie Siringo's story of his life is one of the best, if not the very best, of all books about the Old West, when cowpunchers actually punched cows." He goes on to say that "it is worth something to be able to lay your hand on a book written by a man who is the real thing, and who tells the truth." Others might not have the same opinion about the book and some might argue about Siringo's memories of things that happened during his lifetime. But, in any event, the book is a colorful portrayal of the ins and outs of cowboys, bad men, and the one detective who took out after them. Siringo originally had references to his experiences with the Pinkerton Agency, but which objected to his statements and they do not appear in the 1927 edition. There's plenty left, however, including stories about Billy the Kid, Kid Curry, Butch Cassidy, and even a mention of Will Rogers. All in all, this fascinating book will give today's readers a rare glimpse of what was once called "the Old West" and is now gone forever. Charles Angelo Siringo (1855-1928), for a number of years prior to 1922, was one of Santa Fe, New Mexico's most colorful and famous residents and was popularly known as "the cowboy detective." A small, wiry man, he was friends with practically everyone in town, from the governor to the dog catcher. He had access to many persons, on both sides of the law, who were on their way to winning a place in the history books. From them he got first hand information that he incorporated into several of his books and their many incarnations. In his later years he lived in near poverty, making small amounts of money from his book writing and consulting on western films for Hollywood producers. Charles Angelo Siringo fell victim to a heart attack on October 8, 1928 in Altadena, California. Humorist Will Rogers, who knew and respected him, sent a telegram upon learning of his passing. It read: "May flowers always grow over his grave.