Frank Maynard

Bill Springer's Hand

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Bill Springer, ranchman, lived south of Dodge,
He chose his bride from an Indian lodge.
He had a massive, athletic frame,
And a reputation for being game.

He often saddled and hit the trail,
And came up to town to get his mail,
As well as to meet some jolly pards
And enjoy a quiet game of cards.

They looked on the wine when it was red,
And drank quite deeply, so it was said.
Bill was known to have a handsome pile,
That he flung around in reckless style.

This caught the eye of a slick card shark,
Who thought he had found an easy mark;
With two of his ilk he laid a plan
To capture alive and skin their man.

They roped Bill into a game of "draw"
(Against which, in Dodge, there was no law).
The stakes for a time were very low,
In fact, the playing was very slow.

Till at last, all seemed to hold good cards.
And the card shark winked at cunning pards.
A "cold deck" deftly was brought in play,
And a great stake on the table lay.

Ten thousand dollars were there in sight,
Before they laid down their cards that night.
What have you? at last the card shark said,
And Bill Springer's face turned very red.

I hold four kings, he meekly replied;
I have four aces, the gambler cried,
And reached for the stakes on table spread,
But stopped dead short with a look of dread.

For a lurid light shone in Bill's eye,
He grabbed his Winchester standing by,
And, with a voice like an angry bull,
He roared, "But I've got a sixteen full;"

"You fellers can just git up and git,
You haven't robbed old Bill Springer, yit."
They looked on the stern, determined face,
And quietly slunk out from the place.

Then old Bill, gathering up his pile,
Said, "Come up now, boys, and have a smile,"
And the hangers-on came up and drank.
And then he hastened off to the bank.

With his wealth all safely put away,
He cared no longer in town to stay,
But saddled and bridled wild "Comanch"
And galloped away to Springer's ranch.

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Frank Maynard