Nine Lives

Nine Lives

Regular price $1,100.00

20"x24" oil on canvas by Phil Lear


The town of Frisco, NM had a cowboy problem. The rowdy passers-through would get roaring drunk, slap the local hombres around and man-handle the women. They were rough, hard to deal with, and always showed up together in droves. But one young neighborhood boy had had enough. When a drunken cowpolk left the saloon and decided to ride up and down mainstreet shooting out store windows, 19-yr old Elfego Baca walked into the sheriff's office, and demanded to be sworn in. The sheriff chuckled, pinned a play children's badge on him, and Elfego marched back out to arrest the man. At barely over 5 ½ ft tall, he was not the imposing figure of a Hickok or an Earp. Still he dragged the man from his horse, disarmed him, and stomped off to the jail with him. When two of the man's friends showed up to intervene, gunplay erupted and one of the interlopers fell dead. This brought every cowboy in town onto the scene.

Baca was chased into a nearby small house to take cover.