Wednesday, September 18, 2013

They Hung Him Twice

William Wilson was a gunman,
          the lowest kind of all:
A no-account bushwacker,
          who shot his ex-boss from behind a wall.
They hung him once and cut him down,
          he awoke and said, "I survive."
So they hung him again and he woke up in Hell
          claiming, "Hell, I'm burning alive!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ison Dart: cowboy to cattle rustler

Ison Dart was one of the rare
          black gunmen in the west.
But he had the misfortune
          to cross paths with one of the best.
From cowboy to cattle rustler,
          near a part of Wyoming called Brown's Hole.
But when Dart and the gang stepped out
          one morning to checkout what they stole,
Two shots rang out
          and tore open Dart's head;
A gruesome sight to see
          as he lay there dead.
The gang coward back in the cabin,
          and abstained from gun play,
As Tom Horn, who took the shots,
          casually mounted and rode away.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Two-Fisted Marshal: Thomas "Bear River" Smith

As a cop in New York on a tough Bowery beat,
Thomas "Bear River" Smith learned to never retreat.
He headed out West before
The tragic Civil War:
At first hauling freight before cleaning the street.

He took to cleaning when they gave him a star.
It weren't always easy, not easy by far.
In one vigilante rattle,
Fourteen died in the battle,
And it caused Smith to carry a deep unseen scar.

He still carried his pistol, but more often used skin.
He was a bare knuckle brawler with a sure knack to win.
From Bear River to Kit Carson,
And to Abilene like a parson,
He fought to keep peace when he brought outlaws in.

A brother lawman asked Smith to bring in two prey.
He took after Andrew McConnell and Moses Miles right away.
But Smith was waylaid,
And ax-chopped with a blade.
A sad tragic end to his legacy that day.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Poker Alice

Alice Ivers would become better known as "Poker Alice."
A teen bride whose husband was older and callous.
But he taught her about cards
With tricky sharps and friendly pards,
And it birthed a dream about having her own poker palace.

She was still a teen when she moved to Deadwood,
Where she was asked if she could deal cards, and she could.
Her husband was soon dead,
She became devoted to gambling instead,
And roamed the West like any good sharp would.

She smoked big black cigars and downed shots of whiskey.
She played for high stakes and dared to be risky.
She knew when to hold,
And she knew when to fold,
And there were times she did both if she began to feel frisky.

One thing she despised was a gambler who'd cheat.
And word got around that she always packed heat.
Her purse draw was quick,
And her dress draw quite a trick,
But more often than not the cheat would beat feet.

Alice was back up in Deadwood one August day,
When she was asked by Wild Bill Hickok if she wished to play.
But she couldn't sit in,
She had a promised game to win,
But she got a funny feeling as she turned to walk away.

Sometime later she heard a shot then shout.
She rushed to Saloon No. 10 to see what it's about.
Hickok lay dead.
Back-shooter McCall fled.
But they soon found the quivering cowardly lout.

As time moved on Alice married once more.
But his mediocre ways brought trouble to the door.
But when a man knifed her hubby,
She gut-shot the tubby,
And left him bellerin' and bleeding on the floor.

With a big win she bought a big spread.
But life threw in some unexpected dread.
The ranch flopped,
Her hubby dropped,
And Alice thought all her dreams were now dead.

Alice moved to Rapid City, a thriving western hub.
She found herself a new dream, sorta' like an English pub.
Just playing her cards,
And drinking with pards,
She never got her palace, but lived the rest of her life with a poker club.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Killing Gunman Bill Dunn

Bill Dunn was a hunter of men.
Hunting bounties was the trade of he and his kin.
Calvin, George, Dal, and Bee,
Brothers in a bloody family.
They spent most of their time engaged in some sin.

A road ranch was owned by the Brothers Dunn.
It was sometimes used by men on the run.
The men would salivate
Over teenage Rose, the bait,
Til each of her brothers came with a gun.

When Charley Pierce and Bitter Creek Newcomb came to spend the night,
They were caught by surprise like a deer in the light.
As a matter of course
Each stabled their horse,
Then were waylaid with an ambush done right.

When loading the bodies for a trip to town,
Newcomb -- thought dead -- started coming around.
No thought of their sister,
Just "a glass of water, Mister,"
But they sent him to Hell where no water is found.

Bill Dunn was with the posse that dropped Bill Doolin the same way.
But the townsfolk started wondering about their sense of fair play.
Bill tried to shift blame,
Using Frank Canton's name;
But his mouth charged a debt his body would have to pay.

Deputy Sheriff Canton faced Dunn on the streets of Pawnee.
And Dunn drew first for all witnesses to see.
But Canton was faster
To trigger his blaster,
And a head shot sent Bill Dunn to Death's mystery.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hang the Archer Gang

The Archer Gang was a set of four brothers,
Who took after the Reno's and a slew of others.
Their reign of crime
Spanned decades of time
And they share the blame with moral-less fathers and mothers.

The Archers robbed stagecoaches, travelers, and trains.
Then they hid among kin like wheat among grains.
The Dalton's and James,
The Fords and other lames,
Had similar families with outlaw-like brains.

They played the "good neighbor" until money ran low,
Then they grabbed pistols and shotguns and got up to go.
They roamed far and wide
To fleece others then hide,
But their years of success just darkened each soul.

After years on the run a mad posse came callin'.
And when their women-folk heard they all started bawlin'.
Tom, John, and Mort,
Vigilantes did abort
With nooses 'round necks that sparked caterwallin'.

The youngest brother Sam made it to trial,
And was quickly convicted and lost his smug smile.
A noose was soon fetched
And Sam's neck was stretched,
And the townsfolk commenced to party awhile.

History records the Archer Gang with one of the longest crime waves.
But the end was still the same: it sent them to their graves,
Where the outlaw soul
Has one place to go,
To Hell's deepest hole with the volcanic caves.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Head and Heart of the "Oklahoma Guardsmen."

Some men who wore a star were as bad as those they trailed.
But others had integrity and felt all law breakers should be jailed.
Evett Nix was one
Who used brain before gun,
And wished all outlaws, instead of victims, wailed.

Nix was Marshal over the Oklahoma Territory.
It was a vast expanse known for gore and glory.
Nix was spread too thin
So he hired more men:
Each of them top lawmen with a better story.

Frank Canton was associated with the Johnson County War.
And Chris Madsen had fought with Garibaldi on a foreign shore.
But the two known best
For their deeds in the West,
Were Thomas and Tilghman for their blood, guts, and gore.

Nix was the first marshal to ever deputize Heck Thomas.
'Cause he was good with a gun, had grit, and showed promise.
When settling the West
You go with the best,
'Cause justice works better with a law make, not a law miss.

When Bill Tilghman came from Dodge City he was a gunman feared.
But when he brought in Bill Doolin five thousand townsfolk cheered.
In the badge wearin' game
Tilghman earned fame;
Til shot dead by Wiley Lynn, a drunkin' coward who sneered.

When Nix' Oklahoma Guardsmen took control
The territorial crime wave began to slow.
All that was needed
Was for the law to be heeded,
When tough honest men bring their guns to the show.