Monday, December 30, 2013

Green River

A man rode down the lonesome trail
trying to hide himself from the incessant rain.
He came to a train crossing and led his horse over the rail.
The rain was so hard it was coming through his hat and pounding his brain.

He guided his horse around the back
and found a place to tie him up in a hidden location.
He looked around and saw what he was looking for by an old shack.
There were three gunmen standing boldly out in the rain looking the wrong direction.

He pulled his Winchester out of the saddle
and checked his two Colts to make sure they were ready.
They slid easily and quickly in and out of the holsters without a rattle.
He flipped the sides of his oil slicker out of the way and became quiet and steady.

Slowly, he worked his way towards the gunslingers.
Taking cover wherever he could find it he grew closer and nearer.
They were standing outside a saloon from which could be heard the sound of singers.
As their voices grew louder in crescendo, he stepped out of the shadows, looking like terror.

The three wet men turned to meet him as if by instinct.
But too late.  As their hands went for their guns, they were cut down.
Down they fell to the ground, blood flowing in the pouring rain red and distinct.
The lone rider stood for an instant to make sure, then holstered his guns with a frown.

He seems to have been hit by a richochet somehow.
He felt around his abdomen for any holes or wounds and found one.
It was in a most deadly place and he knew his time was up.  He would surely die now.
So, he walked into the saloon, now silent.  A gasp went up from the crowd as they saw his gun.

He ordered a whisky at the bar and there he picked his ground.
Keeping a wary eye on the crowd, he gulped down his last drink ever.
It burned in a good way but was like fire to his wounds that were oozing all around.
He suddenly felt light headed and collapsed there amongst the singers and strangers of Green River.

His few last ragged breaths were fast and light but warm.
Slowly, the crowd gathered around and saw who it was that lay dying there.
A boy shouted out, "It's him!" and ran out into the fading light of the after storm.
The lone rider died that day as alone as he was when he was born with no one to mourn or care.

He was buried in the mud just down by the river.
No one even put up a cross or monument of any sort.  An anonymous grave.
But the legend grew anyway and people came from all over to see the grave of The Deliverer.
He had shot three of the fastest and meanest gunmen in The West.  A quicker man he was, better and brave.

But he was now as dead as a doornail.
The West changed that day, some say for the worse.
Everything became riskier now, walking around at night or even delivering the mail.
He was no lawman he, but everyone now sang songs about him and told of his death and curse.

For his last dying words were that all evils
should be stamped from the land by a new breed of men.
The Rangers they became known as.  Men that joined had vigor and scruples,
and were fast.  Fast on the draw.  They scoured the land far and wide and sought to win
freedom from evil for all the homesteaders and farmers, railroad men, wives, children and pupils.

It was his legacy these Rangers.
From his heroic stand that day at the Green River Saloon
law was brought into a lawless land and settlers now poured in despite the dangers.
But his blood had been spilt and his life cut short there on the floor of the Green River Saloon.

mindbringer, 21 December 2013