Belle Siddon: a Southern Belle who fell

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Belle Siddon,

aka Madame Vestal,

aka Lurline Monte Verde,

was at first dealt a good hand

from well-to-do stock,

an’ she was highly educated in Missouri.

But times, they do change,

Civil War took the reins,

an’ many a plan became blurry.

From Southern lass

to Confederate spy,

Belle parlayed her status

for information with lies.

But wars go away

an’ loyalties change,

an’ Belle later married

a U.S. Army sawbones:

stationed down Texas way.

Stayed as true as she could

till his last breath did pass,

then found she must fend fer’ herself.

No trophy wives then

like there is today,

Pride had some sway

an’ Belle filled her own shelf.

She had a knack fer’ gambling,

an’ ran a few casinos

in Wichita, Denver, and Deadwood.

Supply and demand

always goes hand-in-hand:

clean cards,

dirty women,

straight whiskey.

And if she was cheatin… she was good.

Lawmen an’ badmen,

both gunmen fer’ hire,

sought Lady Luck in Belle’s place.

They’d gamble an’ cuss,

drink sour mash an’ fuss,

pinch bottoms

an’ get a slapped ‘cross the face.

If Lady Luck’s a no show,

they’d bed them a “ho,”

or belly on up ta’ the bar.

They’d swear off of gamblin’,

but always return,

even if the trip was quite far.

Once a Southern Belle

not always a Southern Belle,

she knew all her needs

an’ did fill ‘um.

But she still was a woman,

a romantic at heart,

an’ fell hard when Cupid came callin’.

Yet her choice of men

in her new life an’ trade

would even cause whores ta’ start bawlin’.

Archie McLaughlin,

notorious robber,

he craved the strong-box from the stage.

Yet robbing ain’t easy

with love in the mix

cuz’ Archie would tell Belle his plans:

after all, she’d been a spy.

But Belle’s tongue had loosened

since the days of the war.

With too much ta’ drink,

or in a rage,

Belle would speak out of turn.

Her slip of the tongue

sent vigilantes on the run,

an’ they caught up with Archie

still ridin’ the stage.

They brought the noose.

Arch brought the neck.

They had themselves a “necktie party.”

Out in the boonies,

swingin’ from a tree,

that was the end of “poor” Archie.

Belle took it hard,

he was dead cuz’ of her,

an’ how could she love a dead lover?

She wept out of grief,

she needed relief,

she wanted to hide undercover.

Deadwood’s a place

where you pick yer’ poison…

an’ Belle, she soon was addicted.

She tried ta’ forget

her disgrace an’ lost love.

She traded her memories fer’ opium.

Then off ta’ the coast,

San Francisco was calling,

time ta’ begin again.

Belle thought she knew what she wanted,

but she was still haunted:

Pain had hitched a ride.

For lack of her lover

she puffed on the pipe.

They found her sprawled out

in the opium den…

unconscious,

on the night that she died.

 

© JW Thomas

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Dynamite Dick dead in the dirt

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Daniel Clifton, also known as “Dynamite Dick,”

Cattle rustling and bank jobs were his chosen shtick.

With his criminal resume,’

He joined Bill Doolin’s “Oklahombres,”

With pistols and black powder his favorite tricks.

 

But an outlaw career can be boom or bust.

It ain’t no position to instill some trust.

Yer’ pals are all varmints

Who wear blood-stained garments

And when you retire it’s face down in the dust.

 

While the Doolin Gang took the bank in Southwest City,

They killed J.C. Seaborn, and it wasn’t pretty.

Doolin and Clifton were jailed;

Bribed a guard: the system failed,

But the posse that followed had sand and was gritty.

 

“Every man for himself” is the fugitive code.

Find a place to hole up and drop all yer’ load.

Clifton was found on a farm,

Tried to escape without harm,

But he was shot on the run and lay dead on the road.

 

© JW Thomas

Elinore Bazore: a bitter bitch

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A bitter estranged wife named Elinore Bazore

Was omitted from a reunion and her hatred did soar

So she crashed the fun

And brought out her gun

It was time to spray blood on the floor

She was not invited but she came to play

First she killed hubby, on the ground there he lay

Then his parents too

And a brother were through

And still she hadn’t finished her say

The only survivor she shot was her son

Showing no love in her heart for no one

But the cherry on top

Which made her stop

She ate her own bullet, the last from the gun

© JW Thomas

Bascom Affair: the case of the wrong Apache

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[Photo from TrueWestMagazine.com]

If somethin’ happens to ya’

don’t let the situation fool ya’

an’ make sure ya’ get the facts straight from the start.

Too many times we’ve seen it happen,

when the tongue begins its flappin’,

that the truth an’ what is said turn out ta’ be quite far apart.

There’s an Arizona case

which became a big disgrace,

cuz’ two men went about it both half-cocked.

Johnny Ward’s adopted son

an’ some cattle were on the run,

they were took right off his land an’ left him shocked.

So he mixed up some facts

on which Apaches left the tracks,

an’ he told this tale of falsehood to a Second Lieu:

George Bascom was the name

of the Second Looey who would gain “fame”

cuz’ he didn’t wait ta’ find out what was true.

Ward said it was Cochise

that shattered his family’s peace,

by absconding with his boy, an’ his beef.

So Bascom had a message sent,

come sit an’ talk within a tent,

yet it was only a trap ta’ catch the chief.

But Cochise could not be grabbed,

yet six braves of his were nabbed,

so the chief set his tribe on the warpath.

First, Cochise tried an exchange,

Bascom refused… mighty strange,

since it sparked a twelve-year war: a real bloodbath.

In just one week fer’ sayin’ “no”

sixteen whites to death did go,

an’ Bascom hung the six braves in reply.

From eighteen-sixty till seventy-two

this war would not be through,

an’ a heap of lives were lost over a lie.

Major General Howard,

quite the opposite of coward,

came out ta’ see if he can bring some peace.

So he met with the chief,

it was time ta’ end this grief,

an’ he bound the promise with the great Cochise.

The poor abducted boy

faced a life without joy,

he’d been taken by a different Apache band.

He resurfaced ten years late,

with a life he learned ta’ hate,

he was the symbol of the tension in the land.

Felix Tellez had been his name,

it was changed ta’ hide the shame,

the moniker he chose was “Mickey Free.”

Though years beyond his return

the anger still did burn,

cuz’ no one gave Cochise an apology.

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Belle Starr: Outlaw looking for love

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Cole Younger and Belle fell under a spell

that lasted many a day.

He was on the run for things he had done

so they shacked up in a cabin to play.

Soon time was at hand, he rejoined the band,

leaving Belle who started to show.

Soon out popped a girl, who she named Pearl,

and it’s still thought her father was Cole.

The next man to feed, a man named Jim Reed,

a robber just like the last.

The pair up and looted, then quickly scooted,

only to find they spent it too fast.

But Reed’s luck was raw, and he was slow on the draw,

and so he bit the dust.

Yet it was soon found that a new beau was around,

Blue Duck now gave Belle his trust.

Their new gang would hustle the livestock they rustle,

and some would actually say these two did care.

It was proven when Blue Duck ran out of luck

and Belle did more than her share.

He was sentenced to die; the old “hang ‘um high,”

but Belle kept the legal fight going.

There would be no noose; he was eventually cut loose,

but for Belle there would be no knowing.

Not one to tarry, Belle would soon marry

her aka namesake Sam Starr.

But their wheelin’ and dealin’ got them six-months for stealin’,

and their romance was now from afar.

When they left jail behind, right back to the grind,

they always sought a dishonest dollar.

But Sam would soon fall, killed in a brawl,

and Belle found another man to collar.

His name was Jim July, another on the sly,

it was obvious Belle had the itch.

She packed her own gun, joined in on the fun:

today they’d just call her a “bitch.”

But a life of crime dunks a soul in slime,

and there’s always victims who hurt.

So when one is despised, don’t be surprised,

like Belle… to be shot and left in the dirt.

© JW Thomas