David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

APED: "last chance saloon"

The kid came in from off the plains with scrubbed face and shiny star,
and tied his horse up by the reins and walked into the bar,
and the jingle of his spurs was loud as gunshots in the room,
the day that Billy Tipp came to the old Last Chance Saloon.

He said, "I'm here for Jack Larou!" like a name's enough to scare.
He said, "My name is Billy Tipp!" But no one seemed to care.
He said, "I'm here to call him out, for a gunfight at high noon!"
And a quiet settled over us, in the old Last Chance Saloon.

Tipp said, "I hear that Jack Larou's the meanest in the West.
But I'm the fastest gun, and now I've come to prove who's best.
I won't serve no warrants, though I could, this afternoon:
I'll challenge him to duel right here in the old Last Chance Saloon."

No one said a goddamn word. They just sat there and stared.
And Tip, he looked at each in turn, and that Eastern boy's eyes glared.
Defy him and his law, would they, these Westerner baboons?
In youthful pride he'd tear apart the old Last Chance Saloon.

To smooth things down I told him that Jack wasn't in just now,
but I'd like to help Tipp keep the law, if he would just allow.
Why, I'd be right proud if he would -- consider it a boon!
To uphold the honor of this town and the old Last Chance Saloon.

He said it was damn good to see one good man in this town.
I said, "I'll show you where to stand so you can bring him down."
His eyes lit up like shining stars to think about Jack's doom
as I drew him by the elbow from the old Last Chance Saloon.

We took a narrow alley to a spot behind the bar,
where if a man should try to run, he couldn't run too far.
He said, "Now, tell Jack I'm waiting here, and he should come at noon --"
and I shot him in the back behind the old Last Chance Saloon.

I said, "Well, Bill, I'm Jack Larou, and here's the honest truth:
it ain't about being fast as much as knowing when to shoot."
Then I took his pretty pistol and I left the town right soon,
and left Billy Tipp to rot back of the old Last Chance Saloon.
Tags: a poem every day

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