Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gus Bogles: an onery cuss

Outlaws aren't outlaws
fer' havin' much smarts,
most are meaner than polecats
or dumber than dirt.
If they had ta' make a livin'
by honest means,
most law-breakers
would be in a world of hurt.
One such rogue named Bogles,
his first name Gus,
had a sole claim ta' fame
of bein' an onery cuss.
On June twenty-seventh,
in eighteen-eighty an' seven,
Gus killed a gent named J.D.
A railroad official
just doin' his job,
tellin' Gus he couldn't ride fer' free.
Gus wrapped a strap
around J.D.'s neck,
an' pistol-whipped the life out of him.
He stripped him near bare
of shoes, trousers, an' coat,
an' even his hat with wide brim.
They say he got on that train
without ticket ta' ride,
an' never a moments hesitation.
Leavin' behind
the corpse of J.D.
beside the rail-house station.
The law was sent forth
ta' follow the course
an' put ol' Gus in custody.
They nabbed him right quick,
an' jailed him at Fort Smith,
where Judge Isaac Parker said,
"What is yer' plea?"
They say in his cell
like a demon he'd yell:
he agitated all an' never cared.
But before the hanging judge
he plead "innocent" cuz'
down deep he really was scared.
Before a conviction
he never would say,
"I done what I done
an' would do it again."
Nor would he say,
"I done it...
an' that's a fact,
but now I'm sorry fer' my sin."
Cuz' Gus was unrepentant
throughout the ordeal,
even after he chose ta' confess.
He cared not a wit
fer' the good life he took,
just fer' his own
that he made such a mess.
Judge Parker could see
the fear in ol' Gus,
now that the tables did turn.
He chose ta' not man-up,
the choice of a coward:
now guilty an' his stomach did churn.
On July the sixth,
Gus would see his last sun:
he'd dangle at the end of a rope.
With no one ta' blame
fer' his death but himself:
he earned Hell's dunce cap as a dope.

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