'Punch' Magazine (1938) Here's a tale of times departed When White Men had scarcely started To populate the Western spaces With their pale and spotty faces. Life in them days was quite tough. Folks would act exceedin' rough. An' the only form of law Was bein' quick upon the draw. The focal point of Bunker's toon Was then, of course, the gin saloon; There the cowboys used to drink. There the glasses used to clink. There the wildest scenes took place, An' life was lived at sech a pace' In the room behind the bar Hank, the keeper - door ajar— Sits and chuckles with delight At this alcoholic sight— Chuckles too to think that he Is just upon the point to be Wed to May, the local beauty. Why? Because it was her duty. Since her aged grandad couldn't Pay the rent or else he wouldn't She must sacrifice her life. He had said, ''Become my wife And I will let your grandpa stay. Leave the rent. He needn't pay!' At this moment, as we watch An' all the crowd consumes its Scotch The lovely May comes into sight With dragging footsteps, features white. On an old gent's arm she leans (Long white hair and wrinkled jeans). Close behind them treads a vision: It's the preacher from the Mission. Through the long saloon they pass Grandpa, preacher, lovely lass. In the room behind the bar The door no longer stands ajar. Hi! But half-a-minute, boys! What's that sweet familiar noise? It is! It is! - the welcome beat Of some pure-bredded horse's feet A murmur passes through the crowd. No one cares to speak out loud. Each one asks if it can be Quick Shot Walt, the single he, Who can save their local beauty From the fate she calls her duty, Arriving in the nick of time To prevent the shocking crime. Over hill and over dale The rhythm beats upon the trail. Now they're splashing through the river, Customers begin to shiver. Now they're rattlin' over rocks; The bar-tender pulls up his socks. Now there seems to be no sound: The broncho must have left the ground, Leaping high to leave below A disconcerted buffalo. Time to time each listener harks As the rider's pistol barks And sounds of shots ring through the hills As Indians bv the score he kills. Now he's coming up the hill. Will he make it? (Yes, he will.) Now he's coming down the street. Excitement is at fever-heat, Nearer, nearer come the beats; Customers have left their seats- Front of the saloon they halt: A man bounds in. It is! It's Walt! The fellows raise a hearty cheer. (Several offer pints of beer.) Oh, hurry, man, and cross the floor And open wide the fateful door. But Walter needs no second bidding. "Here be I to stop that widding.'' Then he kicks the door wide open (He's strong and good at cattle-ropin'). 'Stop, stop," he cries, "stop, stop, stop, stop! I'm just ashamed of you Grand pop, To let things come to such a pass, To think you'd sacrifice the lass To such a man in such a way. It's fair disgraceful, I must say,' Then the girl with radiant face Leaps into his strong embrace. The owner of the bar is quite Dumbfounded by the loving sight. "Hands off my bride!: he cries at last. But Walter chuckles thick and fast. "Your bride? My bride!" exclaims this Walter; "For you no matrimonial halter. No, Sir, you is just plain bad. And therefore (none will think it sad) I'm going to shoot you full of holes From feet ter crown, from head ter soles.'' Promptly Walter draws his gun. Fires the bullets, every one. Fills Hank with holes, as he'd said Down the villain falls: he's dead. "Hurrah! Hurrah! " the cowboys cried, "We always was on Walter's side.' Now cried Walter, "Carry on, Preacher dear, and make us wan.'' Which proves that though the West was tough They still had lots of time for lough.
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