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Volume 0003



Compiled by Bill Hillman

ERB's Other Side: Poetry 
Contents 
1. The Poem That Inspired the Mucker

2. OUT THERE SOMEWHERE by Henry Herbert Knibbs
3. Minidoka 937th Earl of One Mile Series M -- An Historical Fairy Tale by ERB
4. WHAT ARE THE WILD WAVES SAYING?
AN EVENING LULLABY FOR THE CHILDREN -- A poem by ERB finally published in MINIDOKA
5. HORSES AND DOGS
6. 89 S.S.S.!
7. CHICAGO
8."Once there was a man. . ." 1887
9. O, YES; IT’S GETTING THICK
10. NAY, IT HATH NOT GONE
11. THE CLIMATE AND THE VIEW
12. THE BALLAD OF THE B'S
13. IT’S ANTS!
14. Other Little-Known Poems by ERB
15. ALONG THE SHORE by Henry Herbert Knibbs
16. HER FAVORITE UNCLE WAS TARZAN'S "DAD"
...Evelyn Burroughs McKenzie
Tarzan Wasn't Her Uncle's First Writing...
17. THE BLACK MAN'S BURDEN (1898 or 1899)
18. BANDIT OF HELL'S BEND POEMS (3) 1924
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SERIES BY NORMAL BEAN
1. LOOK ON THIS PICTURE, THEN ON THAT
2. THE ROIL OF THE RED BLOOD
3. MUST FIGHT OR RUN OUT
4. O, YES; IT’S GETTING THICK
5. VIRULENT BUGGISHNESS
6. NAY, IT HATH NOT GONE
7.  THE CLIMATE AND THE VIEW
8. THE CONTRIBS OF YESTERYEAR




1. The Poem That Inspired the Mucker

The title of Henry Herbert Knibbs poem Out There Somewhere was ERB’s original title for Part II of THE MUCKER, written in 1916. A prominent feature of this story was the educated vagabond named Bridge, who was continually breaking into verse with affectionate odes to the open road. Almost everything that is quoted by Bridge in THE MUCKER comes from the same Knibbs poem. Knibbs, born in 1874, was a Canadian contemporary of Burroughs, and it is clearly apparent that ERB was much taken by his verse. It was published in 1914 by the Houghton Mifflin Co. as part of a collection called “Songs of the Outlands: Ballads of the Hoboes and Other Verse.”

There is every indication that ERB actually was inspired to use his poem as a framework around which to build his story. “Out There Somewhere” has fourteen stanzas and Burroughs took them individually (not in their original order) and quoted no less than eleven of them all through the story. Stanzas 2 and 3, which ERB did not quote, appear to be the source for the character of Bridge. In addition to this, he used the last stanza to end the book, thus linking the conclusions of both works.

 

2. OUT THERE SOMEWHERE by Henry Herbert Knibbs
(The numbers indicate the page where quoted in THE MUCKER) 
323 As I was hiking past the woods, the cool and sleepy summer woods,
I saw a guy a-talking to the sunshine in the air;
Thinks I, he’s going to have a fit -- I’ll stick around and watch a bit;
But he paid no attention, hardly knowing I was there.

He must have been a college guy, for he was talking big and high, --
The trees were standing all around as silent as a church --
A little closer I saw he was manufacturing poetry,
Just like a Mocker sitting on a pussy-willow perch.

I squatted down and rolled a smoke and listened to each word he spoke;
He never stumbled, reared or broke; he never missed a word,
And though he was a Bo like me, he’d been a gent once, I could see;
I ain’t much strong on poetry, but this is what I heard:

219 “We’ll dance a merry saraband from here to drowsy Samarcand.
Along the sea, across the land, the birds are flying South,
267, 297 And you, my sweet Penelope, out there somewhere
                            you wait for me,
341 With buds of roses in your hair and kisses on your mouth.

220 “The mountains are all hid in mist; the valley is like amethyst;
The poplar leaves they turn and twist; oh, silver, silver green!
Out there somewhere along the sea a ship is waiting patiently,
While up the beach the bubbles slip with white afloat between.

259 “The tide-hounds race far up the shore -- the hunt is on!
                    The breakers roar,
(Her spars are tipped with gold and o’er her deck the spray is flung);
The buoys that rollic in the bay, they nod the way, they nod the way!
The hunt is up! I am the prey! The hunter’s bow is strung!”

297 “Out there somewhere, --” says I to me.
                                                “By Gosh! I guess that’s poetry!
Out there somewhere - Penelope - with kisses on her mouth!”
And then, thinks I, “O college guy, your talk it gets me in the eye,
The North is creeping in the air; the birds are flying South.”

266 And yet, the sun was shining down, a-blazing on the little town,
A mile or so ‘way down the track a-dancing in the sun.
But somehow, as I waited there, there came a shiver in the air;
“The birds are flying South,” he says. “The winter has begun.”

252 Says I, “Then let’s be on the float; you certainly have got my goat;
You make me hungry in my throat for seeing things that’s new.
Out ere somewhere we’ll ride the range a-looking for the
                                                                            new and strange;
My feet are tired and need a change. Come on! It’s up to you!

316 “There ain’t no sweet Penelope somewhere that’s longing
                                                                            much for me,
But I can smell the blundering sea and hear the rigging hum;
And I can hear the whispering lips that fly before the outbound ships;,
And I can hear the breakers on the sand a-booming ‘Come!’”

322 And then that slim, poetic guy, turned and looked me in the eye:
“...It’s overland and overland and overseas to -- where?”
“Most anywhere that isn’t here. " I says. His face went kind of queer:
The place we're in is always here. The other place is there."

He smiled, though, as my eye caught his. “Then what a lot of
                                                                                there there is
To go and see and go and see and go and see some more.”
He did a fancy step or two. Says he, “I think I’ll go with you --”
... Two moons, and we were baking in the straits at Singapore.

223 Around the world and back again; we saw it all. The mist and rain
In England and the dry old plain from Needles to Berdoo.
We kept a-rambling all the time. I rustled grub, he rustled rhyme --
Blind baggage, hoof it, ride or climb -- we always put it through.

414 Just for a con I’d like to know (yes, he crossed over long ago;
And he was right, believe me, Bo!) if somewhere in the South,
Down where the clouds lie on the sea, he found his sweet Penelope,
With buds of roses in her hair and kisses on her mouth. 



3. Minidoka 937th Earl of One Mile Series M -- An Historical Fairy Tale (circa 1903 and adapted here from the Porges Bio) By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Minidoka is a captivating, humorous, satirical, and highly imaginative fairy story that presages the ERB talent that was to flower ten years later. Idaho was the setting for the tale and ERB created two imaginary kingdoms separated by the Raft River and “forever at war.” Burroughs’ facility in concocting names that were unusually rhythmic, colourful, or comical, which was strikingly evident in his later works, both the Tarzan and other worlds series, is noticeable at this early period. He liked to experiment with odd syllables and combine them to produce strange words that sounded realistic in the bizarre settings he created. He had a keen ear for original phonetic combinations. There are shades of Lewis Carroll here, and the style surfaces again in the work of John Lennon, the Monty Python comedy troupe and countless fantasy writers. The complete poem which follows, is contained on pages 63-65 of the unpublished Minidoka manuscript.

4. WHAT ARE THE WILD WAVES SAYING?
    AN EVENING LULLABY FOR THE CHILDREN by Edgar Rice Burroughs 1903 
This long poem is now finally available on pages 49-51
in the illustrated hardcover edition of:
MINIDOKA - 937th Earl of One Mile Series M
Illustrated by J. Allen St. John (cover painting), Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Wm. Kaluta
Published by Dark Horse Comics, Inc. (1998) $14.95

5. HORSES AND DOGS

Horses are large
And horses are small
Some horses kick
But hurrah for them all.

Dogs are good,
And dogs are bad,
Dogs are solom,
And dogs are sad,

Some dogs snarl,
And some dogs bite,
Some dogs are playfull
And their all right.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs, Circa 1887

6. 89 S.S.S.!

In eight teen hundred and eighty nine,
For my brothers to be seniors it will be time
And then you bet their hats will shine,
In eight teen hundred and eighty nine.
From September eighty seven to September eighty eight,
Will be the first and last of their Junior date.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs, Circa 1887


7. CHICAGO

The snow is falling thick and fast
In Chicago
And I hope every gust will be the last
In Chicago
And it falls on every side walk
In Chicago
And the lazy folks talk
In Chicago
How tired they will get Before it will melt,
In Chicago.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs Circa 1887


8."EARLY BURROUGHS"

Once there was a man who thought himself quite grand
There was a dagger in his belt and pistol in each hand
But when he saw a poor blind mole
He climbed up a very tall pole

But before he reached halfway to the top
One of his pistols he had to drop.
But at the bottom it hit the pole
And going off shot dead the mole.

Then this grand man came sliding down.
And carried the mole in to the town
And told the people (the wicked knave)
That he was good, and strong, and brave

He told them too he killed the mole,
But never mentioned climbing the pole.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs - (1887)
Accompanying this poem, included in a letter to his brothers George and Harry, are excellent examples of ERB's early artwork. He illustrated the poem with a man in a cowboy suit climbing an flagpole toward an American flag.


9. O, YES; IT’S GETTING THICK

My dear, he said at breakfast time,
The Cubs have lost some more;
But as a loser I’m sublime,
‘A Good Game Loser,’ that is I’m;
List’ not, you’ll hear no roar.

Say, what in -----is this-----stuff?
It tastes to me like slops;
As coffee it’s a rotten bluff.
This steak is raw and awful tough;
Those market guys are wops.

Then at the office; “Say, how much
Do you folks think I’ll stand?
That straight front blonde’ll get in Dutch
If she ain’t here on time. Lord, such
A bunch should all be canned.

“Say, boy, you ain’t no brickybrack,
You’re paid to do some work.
Hike out o’ here, and don’t come back.
Who wrote these credits here in black?
Where’s that-----------billing clerk?

“My sweet,” he said, at eats that night,
“Although it’s naught to me,
I note the Cubs played outosight
Today. They’ll nail that pennant right.
This is delicious tea”

Edgar Rice Burroughs Chicago Daily Tribune, Sept. 16, 1911


10. NAY, IT HATH NOT GONE

Oh, who hath copped the Wailing Place
I ask you, dear old pal.
No Place they keep where one may weep
In sunny southern Cal.
The butcher man he robs me blind;
Robs me the grocer deft;
The brigand cruel who sells me fuel
He taketh what is left.
The garage man (accent the gar),
Unmindful of my groans,
He wrecks my car with loud Har! Har!
And later picks my bones.
And now the Wailing Place is gone
Where shall we find us rest?
Unless you say: “Come hither pray,
And weep upon my vest.”

--Normal Bean, San Diego Cal. Chicago Daily Tribune, Feb. 3, 1914

11. THE CLIMATE AND THE VIEW

When one first comes to southern Cal
And gloms the cloudless blue,
One swallows nearly everything
While listening to the natives sing
The Climate and the View

And when one’s robbed and bilked and bled
And flimflammed through and through,
The native tries to ease the pain
By bleating loudly and amain
Of Climate and the View.

The lean and hungry realty man
Adheres to one like glue.
He has not eaten for a year,
Yet still one hears him bravely cheer
The Climate and the View.

And when one comes to leave for home,
And bids the south adieu.
One must admit, would one be fair,
That Sunny Southern Cal is there
With Climate and with View.*

*And nothing else.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs Chicago Daily Tribune, March 30, 1914
12. THE BALLAD OF THE B'S
LI'L B HER BOOK ~ June 16, 1937
Like cast iron pot
The sun was hot
TWixt Needles and Berdu
And you were off
That day at Goff
And off at Needles too

And we were two
And one was you
And Flagstaff far away
And that was when
That it was then
A hairpin saved the day

The wind she blew near Kingman town
She nearly blew the damn trees down
Where we were camped that night
 And tortured souls came out of holes
And shrieked around the bending boles
And laughed as we took flight

We stalled and stopped upon a grade.
While strong men fainted in the shade
You pooshed and grunted in the heat,
And fought for every inch you made.
There were no strong men there nor shade,
But I sat in the driver's seat.

(For the last time)

13. IT’S ANTS!
From Li'l B Her Book ~ June 16, 1937

I wonder what is wrong with us
And why the dither and the fuss
That we should travel anywhere
To get from here to go to there.
Nor give continental damn
Just so we can be on the lam.
Cuelebra Cut! Kailua hut!
We liked Havana also, but
We didn’t find sands point so bad,
Nor all the planters punch we had
With Mr. X and his Miss Z
Beside an azure tropic sea;
And I will bet that some pretext
Will take us on to Shanghai next,
It seems there’s something in our pants.
My diagnosis is: It’s Ants.

---Edgar Rice Burroughs


14. OTHER LITTLE-KNOWN POEMS BY ERB 
A number of typed manuscripts of poems by ERB were discovered in the office safe at Tarzana. The earliest, a short stanza written around 1908, bears the stark title, “Poverty”. Reflecting the family situation at that time, this was one of his first literary efforts. There are a number of ditties written circa 1925 for a Breakfast Club to which Mr. Burroughs belonged. There is also a humorous poem written in August 1936 entitled, The $ Steamship cow”, with references to the Dollar Line’s S.S. President Garfield, on which ERB as possibly a passenger. One of his most elaborate attempts at verse among the papers was a ten-page epic entitled, “Genghis Khan”. Other poems have been reported as having appeared in various newspapers, particularly during his younger days and perhaps even before 1908.

A sample of Burroughs poetry in his published novels is the corrupted version of “God Save the King” which appears on page 69 of the 1957 book edition of BEYOND THIRTY (page 64 in the Ace paperback, “The Lost Continent”). It first appeared in the February 1916 issue of All Around Magazine.

BEYOND THIRTY
Lord of Grabritin, we
Fall on our knees to thee,
This gift to bring.
Greatest of kings are thou!
To thee we humbly bow!
Peace to our camp allow.
God save thee, king!

Another example -- probably originally a Breakfast Club special -- is on page 231 of THE MUCKER.

Untitled Poem from March 27, 1887
Once there was a man who thought himself quite grand
There was a dagger in his belt and pistol in each hand
But when he saw a poor blind mole
He climbed up a very tall pole
But before he reached halfway to the top
One of his pistols he had to drop
But at the bottom it hit the pole
And going off shot dead the mole.
Then this grand man came sliding down.
And carried the mole in to the town
And told the people (the wicked knave)
That he was good, and strong, and brave
He told them too he killed the mole,
But never mentioned climbing the pole.

Very Early Untitled Poem
And if it is a Girl, sir
I'll dress her up in blue
And send her oiut to Saltonstall
To coach the freshman crew

Very Early Untitled Poem
Mamma's Lullaby.
Bye Baby, bye, bye;
Papa's gone to Waupi
He'll get a skate
And come home late;
Mamma'll meet him at the gate;
To run a flat-iorn at his pate;
By, Baby, bye, bye

Very Early Untitled Poem
Words fail us at a sight like this;
No verses come to save
When we behold Grandfather
Scorching down the pave.



Poems found in autographed copies of first editions.
The B.L.T. refers to Bert Leston Taylor of the "Line-O' Type or Two column

You may not read it, B.L.T. --
This book what I have worte --
But if you throw it on the floor
I hope it gets your goat.

I'm trying to think of something bright
Upon this fly leaf to indite
To make The Weston Tribe conceive me
To be some witty gink, believe me!
But now, at last, I must forsooth,
Reveal to Bert and Mag the truth.
And why, indeed, should I delay it?
With naught to say, I haste to say it.

Wend, Magnum opus, to the Press Club shelves,
Rewarding who for greater knowledge delves.
Upon thy way -- a gift to them from me,
Since Led'rer says they will not pay for thee.



15. ALONG THE SHORE by Henry Herbert Knibbs

It has been said that ERB put much of himself into character Bridge in The Mucker, and it has been speculated by some that for the use of Knibbs' verse in his books -- i.e. The Mucker and The Oakdale Affair -- ERB returned the favour by doing some writing for Knibbs.

The waves come walkin' up the sand;
"Weep! Weep! and "Hush!" along the shore,
Fretting' and teasin' at the land,
And rollin' up the smooth brown floor,
Frettin' and sayin' things galore.

One night in June I left the ties
And made a fire to boil some tea
Down on the beach; a paradise,
With nothin' round to bother me
Except the talkin' of the sea.

The stars were blinkin' big and still;
The drift-wood fire was snappin' bright;
The moon, back of me on the hill,
Was flirtin' with the summer night,
Just a-pertendin' to make light.

I had the makings and I smoked
and wondered over different things,
Thinkin' as how this old world joked
In callin' only some men kings
While I sat there a-blowin' rings.

Me? I was king of anywhere,
Peggin' away at nothing, hard.
Havin' no pet, paric'lar care;
Havin' no trouble, or no pard;
"Just me," filled up my callin' card.

The waves come walkin' up the sand;
"Weep! Weep! and "Hush!" along the shore;
Fumin' and frettin' at the land,
And rollin' something up the floor;
Frettin' and sayin' things galore.

Something -- The moon was growin' bright
And cold and high and big and round --
Something that floated limp and white;
Something I wish'd I hadn't found,
A woman in the moonlight, drowned!

And then I saw that she was young;
Was pretty-dressed and not long dead.
Her hair was black and thick and hung
Just like a cloth wound round her head.
"Weep! Weep!" and "Hush!" the ocean said.

No storm had lately been that June;
There was no sign of wreck of boat,
But shinin' in the rising moon
I saw a locket on her throat,
And in the locket was a note.

The note I read close to the flame;
--The fire with some fresh wood I fed --
Just one word, and below, a name;
-- Close to the fire a-dancin' red --
One word, "Good-bye" the locket said.

I thought I knew her story then,
For she was pretty-like and sweet;
"Good-bye" I stooped and read again,
I crossed her hands and made her neat;
Then shakin' I got on my feet.

I might 'a' left her there for such
As come and stare to see next day;
But thinks I, I can do this much;
I'll hide her from what folks will say,
Guessin' at why she went away.

I buried her there in the sand.
"Good-bye" I said for her once more.
I left the locket in her hand;
The waves were sayin' things galore;
"Weep! Weep!" and "Hush!" along the shore.

                                                               ---Henry Herbert Knibbs


16. HER FAVORITE UNCLE WAS TARZAN'S "DAD"
                                                                ...Evelyn Burroughs McKenzie
...Tarzan Wasn't Her Uncle's First...

Mrs. McKenzie has proof that ERB's writing career started much earlly than with Under the Moons of Mars. She has three small handmade books composed, lettered and illustrated by the man whose Tarzan of the Apes would beocme one of the most popular and profitable characters of all time.

Her Uncle Ed made them to entertain his little niece around the turn of the century, when he was gold-dredging with his brother Harry, her father, in the rugged Northwest. The books show the same imagination and liveliness their creator would display later in his published work. He was about 25 at the time, an impractical dreamer with a droll sense of humor.

"I adored him," (she) said...as she leafed through a neat collection of yellowed photographs from the time. "He was my favorite uncle. He was always full of jokes and nonsense. And he had a twinkle in his eye that was...well, it was just different."

When her uncle was producing his first books for her personal pleasure, she was a curly-haired child spending summers on the Snake River in southwest Idaho. Her mother would take the two children -- Evvie and her brother Studley -- from Chicago, their winter home, by train.

Her first book is called Snake River Cotton-Tail Tales, the cover embellished with two cotton-tail bunnies who continue through the book. Inside, neatly lettered and signed with a flourish is the inscription:
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED AND GIVEN
TO EVELYN BY HER UNCLE ED 1900
            Author's Autographed Edition -- Ed R. Burroughs --
Limited to One Copy Of Which This is No. 1
The young author used his imagination to play on words, but for his lively water color illustrations he took his models from the outdoor life around him. Facingthe page illustrations of an angry bull rushing after a man barely escaping by somersaulting the fence is the drawing of a bullrush (cattail) and the following poem:
"A bull rush in the meadow,
As the blue-jay on the wing,
Informs me, "said the rabbit,
"That we'll see an early spring."
Facing a page on which the bunnies watch a cow slippping
down a slope is this rhyme:
"When I see the little cow-slip,"
Said the rabbit to his chum,
"I can read the story plainly
That another Fall has come."
Opposite a ranch house scene with farm animals and barnyard fowls is:
"That great big ugly eggplant, ma.
"Just bit me on the leg."
"That is a hen you foolish child."
"Well I saw her lay an egg."
"Good morning Mrs. Bunnie, could you loan a friend some money?
"I have not tasted food for several days.
"I who used to be the real thing could eat a cast iron cinch ring
"Who's bucked th egiddy tender-foot
"Who's gi'en 'em all the shakes."
"Good morning Pinto Cayuse, you used to pass right by us,
"Your appetite's improving of your ways.
"If you starve a little longer your manners may grow strong.
"Since you're such a wondrous bucker"
"Why don't you Buckwheat Cakes?"
"Is this what they call a cabbage, ma,
"I've been eating for an hour?"
"No, you silly little child
"It's what they cauliflower."
Another book her uncle put together is Grandma Burroughs' Cook book, also illustrated in color and hand-lettered, inscribed (with old-fashioned long Ss like Fs), for Miftrefs Evelyn, Christmas 1901. The recipes are subdivided for a child, some of the measurements so small they are given in gills, drops and pinches. They seem quite accurate. "They must have been, for I remember making biscuits when I was 5 or 6 and getting praised for it." There are recipes for cookies, fried chicken, angel-food cake, and other goodies...all illustrated with performing angels, one of them startled by a star bouncing off her halo.
A third little book by the unknown author is a kind of family book, rhymed stories with jokes referring to the various personages of the household. It also gives advice to Mistress Evelyn on the kind of a man a girl should seek to marry -- not a Dude or a Ward Heeler or a "Hahvaahd Boy," but a real Yale Man. (Harry was Yale '89). The book shows the same playful wit as the others, and the pen-and-ink sketches exaggerate the costumes the times, including the women's big leg-o-mutton sleeves. Ed liked women of generous proportions, she said, and the illustrations bear her out. They are highly expressive of character. "He never had a drawing lesson," his niece said, "and he never studied writing.
                                     -- Mrs. Evelyn Burroughs McKenzie
interviewed for a Charlotte Observer feature article

17. THE BLACK MAN'S BURDEN (A Parody) (1898 or 1899)
(Introduction by the editor of the Pocatello Tribune: The following clever lines, in imitation of a recent very celebrated poem (The White Man's Burden by Rudyard Kipling), are the composition of one of the well-known young men of Pocatello --Ed.)
Take up the white man's burden,
The yoke ye sought to spurn;
And spurn your father's customs;
Your father's temples burn.
O learn to love and honor
The white God's favored sons.
Forget the white-haired fathers
Fast lashed to mouths of guns
Take up the white man's burden,
Your own was not enough;
He'll burden you with taxes;
But though the road be rough,
"To him who waits," remember,
"All things in time shall come;"
The white man's culture brings you
The white man's God, and rum.
Take up the white man's burden;
'Tis called "protectorate,"
And lift your voice in thanks to
The God ye well might hate.
Forget your exiled brothers;
Forget your boundless lands;
In acres that they gave for
The blood upon their hands.
Take up the white man's burden;
Poor simple folk and free;
Abandon nature's freedom,
Embrace his "Liberty;"
The goddess of the white man
Who makes you free in name;
But in her heart your color
Will brand you "slave" the same.
Take up the white man's burden;
'And learn by what you've lost
That white men called as counsel
Means black mean pays the cost.
Your right to fertile acres
Their priests will teach you well
 Have gained your fathers only
A desert claim in hell.
Take up the white man's burden;
Take it because you must;
Burden of making money;
Burden of greed and lust;
Burden of points strategic,
Burden of harbors deep,
Burden of greatest burdens;
Burden, these burdens to keep
Take up the white man's burden;
His papers take, and read;
'Tis all for your salvation;
The white man knows not greed.
For you he's spending millions --
To him, more than his God --
To make you learned, and happy,
Enlightened, cultured, broad.
Take up the white man's burden
While he makes laws for you,
That show your fathers taught you
The things you should not do.
Cast off your foolish feathers,
Your necklace, beads, and paint;
Buy raiment for your mother,
Lest fairer sisters faint.
Take up the white man's burden;
Go learn to wear his clothes;
You may look like the devil;
But nobody cares who knows.
Peruse a work of Darwin --
Thank gods that you're alive --
And learn the reason clearly: --
The fittest alone survive.
                    -- Edgar Rice Burroughs


THE BANDIT OF HELL'S BEND

Argosy All-Story Weekly ~ September-October 1924
THE PASSING O' MY PAL, BILL

"In the shade of a tree we two sat, him an' me,
Where the Haegler Hills slope to the Raft
While our ponies browsed 'round, reins a-draggin' the ground;
Then he looks at me funny an' laft."

"'Do you see thet there town?' he inquires, pintin' down
To some shacks sprawlin' 'round in the heat.
I opined thet I did an' he shifted his quid
After drowndin' a tumble-bug neat.
Then he looks at me square. 'There's a guy waitin' there
Then the sheep-men have hired to git me,
Are you game to come down to thet jerk-water town
Jest to see what in Hell you will see?'"

"So I told him I'd go, fer I liked thet there bo,
And I'd see thet the shootin' was fair;
But says he: 'It is just to see who starts it fust
Thet I wants anyone to be there.'"
 

"When the jedge says: 'Who drew his gun fust, him or you?'
Then I wants a straight guy on my side,
Fer thet poor puddin' head, why, he's already dead
With a forty-five hole in his hide."

"And thet wasn't jest jaw -- when it come to a draw
This here guy was like lightnin' turned loos.
Then we rolls us a smoke an' not neither one spoke
'Til he said: 'Climb aboard your cayuse.'"

Then we reined down the hill each a--puffin' his pill
to the town 'neath its shimmer o'heat
An' heads up to the shack that's a-leanin' its back
'Gainst the side o' The Cowboys' Retreat."

"It is Slewfoot's Good Luck where they hand you out chuck
Thet is mostly sow-belly an' beans.
Says he: 'Bub, let's us feed -- I'm a-feelin' the need
O' more substance than air in my jeans.'
So ol' Slewfoot was there, all red freckles an' hair,
An' we lined our insides with his grub.
Says Bill, then: 'Show your gait -- let's be pullin' our freight,
Fer I'm rarin' to go,' says he, 'Bub.'"

"'Now we'll sashay next door to thet hard-licker store
Where his nibs is most likely to be
An' then you goes in first an' starts drowdin' your thirst;
But a-keepin' your eyes peeled fer me.'"

"'Fer I wants you to see thet it's him draws on me
So the jedge he cain't make me the goat.'
So I heads fer that dump an' a queer little lump
Starts a-wrigglin' aroun' in my throat."

"Fer I wants you to know thet I likes thet there bo
An' I'd seen more than one good one kilt,
Fer you cain't never tell, leastways this side o' Hell,
When there's shootin' whose blood will be spilt."

"Jest inside o' the door with one foot on the floor
An' the other jist up on the rail
Stands a big, raw-boned guy with the orn'riest eye
Thet I ever seen outen a jail."

"An' beside him a girl, thet sure looked like a pearl
Thet the Bible guy cast before swine,
Was a-pleadin' with him, her eyes teary an' dim,
As I high-sign the bar-keep fer mine."

"Then the door swings agin an' my pal he steps in
An' the light in his eye it was bad,
An' the raw-boned guy wheels an' the girl there she squeals:
'O, fer gawd's sake don't shoot, Bill, it's dad!'"

"For the thing she had saw was bill reach for to draw
When the guy she called dad drawed on Bill.
In the door was my pal with his eyes on the gal
An' his hand on his gun -- standin' still."

"Then thet damned raw-boned guy with the ornery ey
Up an' shoots my pal dead in the door;
But I'm here to opine with this bazoo o' mine
Thet he won't shoot no hombres no more."

"Jest a moment, an' where they'd been five o' us there,
We hed suddenly dwindled to three.
The bar-keep, he was one -- the darned son-of-a-gun --
An' the others, a orphan an' me."



MY MOTHER WAS A WILD CAT
"My mother was a wild cat,
My father was a bear,"
"I picks my teeth with barb-wire.
With cactus combs my hair."



I STOOD AT THE BAR
"I stood at the bar, at The Spread Eagle Bar,
A-drinkin' a drink whilst I smoked a seegar

"When in walks a gent thet I ain't never see
An' he lets out a beller an' then says, says he: --"

"'I am the original bad un, I am;
I eats 'em alive an' I don't give a damn
Fer how fast they come er how many they be --
Of all the bad hombres the wust one is me.'"

"'So bring on yore bad men, yore killers an' sich
An' send out some Greasers to dig me a ditch,
Fer when I gits through, ef I takes any pains,
You'll need a big hole fer to plant the remains.'"

"He twirls two big guns an' he shoots out a light;
The fellows a-drinkin' there ducks out o' sight;
He shoots through a bottle thet stands on the bar;
An shoots the ol' ashes plumb off my seegar."

"'Come, set up the bottles, you gol darned galoot,'
Says he to the boss, 'Fore I opens yore snoot
With one o' these yere little babies o' mine,'
An' shoots out the no in the no credit sign."

"The boss he crawls out then, all shaky an' white,
From under the bar where he's ben sittin' tight.
'Now set out the pizen right pronto, you coot,'
The stranger remarks, 'Or I shore starts to shoot,
I only ben practicin' so far,' says he;
'A bar-keep er two don't mean nothin' to me,
Most allus I has one fer breakfast each day--
I don't mean no harm --it's jest only my way.'"

"'Come here!' he yells then to the rest o' us boys,
'Step up to the fun'ral an' don't make no noise
The while we inter all the barb-wire what's here,
After which we'll dispose o' the seegars an' beer.'"

"An' so we lines up at the bar, twelve or more;
The boss tries to smile, but he caint, he's so sore.
The stranger says: 'Pronto! youdurn little runt,'
Jest then we hears someone come in at the front.

"An' turnin' to look we see there in the door
A thin little woman -- my gosh, she was pore!--
Who lets her eyes range til they rest on this bloke
With funny ideas about what was a joke.

"She walks right accrost an' takes holt o' his ear.
'You orn'ry old buzzard,' she says, 'you come here!'
He give us a smile thet was knock-kneed an' lame,
An', 'Yes, dear, I'm comin'!' he says, an' he came."


THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SERIES BY NORMAL BEAN
1. LOOK ON THIS PICTURE, THEN ON THAT
Chicago Tribune, October 8, 1910
A study in contrasts shuffled up and presented by Dr. Normal Bean of Oak Park,
An adept with the physical and metaphysical speculum,
a man of broad and deep perspective and withal some pinch hitter at making verses.
Cut the cards:
CANTO 1.
A gang of lowbrows sits around
And chows and spits upon the ground.
They wear their hats and smoke cigars,
And reek of stables and of bars.
A gent, selected from a throng
Of pugs and tinhorns, pounds a gong.
Two husky guys invade the scene.
One raps the other on the bean.
The bruised one retreats a pace,
Then socks his comrade on the face;
But feeling, vaguely, brute alarms,
They fall into each other's arms,
And pass the merry quip and grin,
Till one lands on the other's chin.
A short-arm jolt -- and upper cut --
And one's a champ and one's a mutt.
A swollen lamp -- a leaky beak --
Some bumps that mend within a week.
For this the lowbrowed one will root --
Uncultured, vile "abysmal brute"!
Till horrified with holy shame,
We put the kibosh on the game.

CANTO II.
A throng of highbrows lines the way,
Attired like clowns on circus day.
They've brought their women and their kids
To show their manners and their lids.
They smoke cigars and cigarets,
And wager gentlemanly bets,
Until a party with a gun
Explodes the same and starts the fun
Which is, as near as I can tell
A cloud of dust -- a whiz -- a smell --
A punctured tire -- a deadly curve --
A mangled heap of blood and nerve --
A broken gear -- a lost control --
A dead man mussing up the goal --
A fractured thigh -- a busted head --
A dying son -- a sweetheart dead --
A young wife's shriek -- a mother's moan,
Some blasted hopes -- one left alone.

THE WIND UP.
The highbrowed gent, it seems to me,
Who takes his wife and kids to see
The mangled entrails, tortured bones,
And hear the shrieks and moans and groans,
Can learn a lesson from the dope
Of lowbrow's game, of "white man's hope"
He may not have a massive dome,
But -- wife and kids he left at home.



2. THE ROIL OF THE RED BLOOD
Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1910
Being a quasi-anarchistic tribute to the good game guy whom they had to go and get.
By Dr. Normal Bean, have at you:

The poor old guy he must be wrong
To go and play the game so strong.
He should have let them take his land,
And cow and horse and baby grand,
And pass the glad hand to the pack
That shot his daughter in the back.
I cannot see what he expects
When he so stubbornly objects
To every gent who owns a gun
A-shooting at his wife and son.
Perhaps he's making all this fuss
Because he's more or less like us
And hates to see the ones that filled
HIs life with love shot down and killed.
The right of it's not here nor there,
Nor causes me one whoop of care;
But something funny fills my throat
When thinking of this poor old goat
Who's putting up his hopeless fight
Because, forsooth, he thinks he's right.
Alone and wounded, stalked in stealth,
He still defied a commonwealth,
And by his presence filled with awee
The cowardly minions of the law,
(Believe me, Jane, that last's some verse,
and ought to open up the purse.)
The things they've done to this poor slob
Have almost turned my shiny knob,
And made a harmless optimist
A raving, wild-eyed anarchist
Who'd like to pack his little lunch
And o help pot the whole d----d bunch.


3. MUST FIGHT OR RUN OUT
October 15, 1910
They say that Rome began to rot,
And took the count, and then went to pot
Because the gladiator kids
Caved in each other's bloomin' lids.
These same highbrows likewise opine
That fighting bulls caused Spain's decline.
And when two gents pull off a scrap
They stand upon their ears and yap.
And pull their whiskers out and shriek:
"The Ship of State has sprung a leak."
If I were but a mental coot
I might their arguments refute.
I'd make a bow, and tip my hat,
And gracefully remind them that
The fact that Caesar loved a scrap
Was what put Rome upon the map;
And Spanish slaves did Moorish will
'Till Spaniards learned to fight to kill.
I'd hate to see this land all pugs,
Or mental gents, or baseball bugs;
But some of each helps on the rest
Provided each bloke does his best.
To those who say the fighter's worst
I might remark; "He's also first,
Because some ancient guy could fight
You owe the fact you're here tonight."
NORMAL BEAN


4. O, YES; IT’S GETTING THICK
Sept. 16, 1911

My dear, he said at breakfast time,
The Cubs have lost some more;
But as a loser I’m sublime,
‘A Good Game Loser,’ that is I’m;
List’ not, you’ll hear no roar.

Say, what in -----is this-----stuff?
It tastes to me like slops;
As coffee it’s a rotten bluff.
This steak is raw and awful tough;
Those market guys are wops.

Then at the office; “Say, how much
Do you folks think I’ll stand?
That straight front blonde’ll get in Dutch
If she ain’t here on time. Lord, such
A bunch should all be canned.

“Say, boy, you ain’t no brickybrack,
You’re paid to do some work.
Hike out o’ here, and don’t come back.
Who wrote these credits here in black?
Where’s that-----------billing clerk?

“My sweet,” he said, at eats that night,
“Although it’s naught to me,
I note the Cubs played outosight
Today. They’ll nail that pennant right.
This is delicious tea”


5. VIRULENT BUGGISHNESS.
September 28, 1911

Our friend the Good Game Loser is the guy who doesn't care,
He's too doggone indifferent to paw the air and swear;
But wops who take their baseball, or their football , or their mills
As one might take a toothache keep the same upon the bills.
Subtract the bug gazimbo from the games that draw the crowd,
Then telephone the coroner and measure for the shroud.
 *   *   *   *
Although this dope is bully in the abstracdt, so to speak,
God save us from the flannel mouith whose gas tank's sprung a leak.


6. NAY, IT HATH NOT GONE
Feb. 3, 1914

Oh, who hath copped the Wailing Place
I ask you, dear old pal.
No Place they keep where one may weep
In sunny southern Cal.
The butcher man he robs me blind;
Robs me the grocer deft;
The brigand cruel who sells me fuel
He taketh what is left.
The garage man (accent the gar),
Unmindful of my groans,
He wrecks my car with loud Har! Har!
And later picks my bones.
And now the Wailing Place is gone
Where shall we find us rest?
Unless you say: “Come hither pray,
And weep upon my vest.”


7.  THE CLIMATE AND THE VIEW
March 30, 1914
When one first comes to southern Cal
And gloms the cloudless blue,
One swallows nearly everything
While listening to the natives sing
The Climate and the View

And when one’s robbed and bilked and bled
And flimflammed through and through,
The native tries to ease the pain
By bleating loudly and amain
Of Climate and the View.

The lean and hungry realty man
Adheres to one like glue.
He has not eaten for a year,
Yet still one hears him bravely cheer
The Climate and the View.

And when one comes to leave for home,
And bids the south adieu.
One must admit, would one be fair,
That Sunny Southern Cal is there
With Climate and with View.*

*And nothing else.


8. THE CONTRIBS OF YESTERYEAR
May 31, 1915

From out the yellow, musty past
Of faded files and drear
I wriggle from oblivion
To answer, “Master, here!”

My old blood starts and almost flows -
Ah, memory sublime! -
Of long gone day when first I made -
(Aw, shucks! that doesn’t rime.)

Yet once again before I go
To reap reward condign,
I’m glad that I have heard the call -
The old call of the line;

The call that’s old, yet ever young,
Nor time, nor age can stint;
The ancient call for which I fall -
To see my name in print.



BILL HILLMAN
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