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The Ballad Of Jessie Hanks

A Song of the Eerie Saloon

by Christopher Leeson

 

   

Jesse Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
He robbed stages, he robbed banks,
A slicker owlhoot you never saw.
Wherever he would go,
Blood was sure to flow.
Not many men were quicker on the draw.

A lawman in the dirt
Was his concept of mirth;
He hoped to be the one to gun him down.
He and his brother Will
Both crossed the wastes to kill
The sheriff of an Arizona town.

They would shoot the man for pleasure
And then loot the town of treasure;
Those Hanks boys always dared the flames of Hell.
That's when fate stepped in
To save the lads from sin,
And now we have a strange story tell.

Jesse Hanks, Jesse Hanks,
He was purged from outlaw ranks,
Though he might have won a rep just like the Kid.
'Long with his six-gun band,
He drew a loco hand
And got euchred for the wicked things he did.

I don't recall the quote,
But the brothers swore an oath
To terrorize the Southwest chaparral.
That's when Jessie drank at Shamus'
The magic brew that made it famous
And got turned into a wasp-waist, straw-haired gal.

Ladies' shoes made Jessie sore
And she got so mad she swore
At the cowpokes who came in for cards and beer.
The chores were downright trying
And her corsets mortifying,
'Cause they made the fellers stand around and leer.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
She liked trouble, she played pranks.
Jessie ceased to mope when she got sly.
A fetching leg had power
Like a keg of blasting powder;
She could cause a lot of problems with a lie.

The sight of Jessie smiling
Was bewitching and beguiling,
But the lass was only out to have some fun.
She stirred up lusty beaus
And goaded them to blows,
'Specting they could get some damage done.

Shamus cried, "Tarnation!"
And pronounced a castigation,
Telling Jessie, "Sassy lassie ye shall pay!"
And pay she did in plenty,
Singing songs while dressing scanty.
It made Jessie give up trickery for a day.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
Spurned the Charlies and the Franks
By strolling to the porch to take some air.
Waylaid by a mishap
She fell into a trap;
An admirer of hers was lurking there.

He shoved her in a sack
And took her to his shack;
The feller's clutch filled Jessie with cold dread.
That's when she aimed her knee
At a place it shouldn't be;
The fool fell down and broke his addled head.

Jessie felt no grief
And sighed with deep relief,
But now she'd killed a man and had to run.
She packed up what she needed
And through the scarps retreated.
Jess was far away before the rising sun.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
Might as well been shooting blanks;
The magic wouldn't let her kill a man.
Jess robbed a stage by bluff,
But didn't get enough
Before she tied her saddle bags and ran.

Her head was full of plans
When she crossed the burning sands,
Toward Mexico beyond the law's long arm.
But her throat got parched and dry
And she didn't dare ride by
When she saw that well next to a tiny farm.

The lady there was rude
And put Jess in the mood
To answer her brusque questions flippantly.
But a dust plume o'er the land
From a Commanchero band
Added to the poor gal's misery.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks
Guessed her fate and her heart sank
When they told her she would be a red-light miss.
Though the bandits were damned rough,
Jessie, too, was plenty tough
And knife-fought them when they tried to steal a kiss.

If Jess had only known,
She wasn't on her own;
Paul followed as the Eerie deputy.
Keeping close upon her track,
Hard-set to bring her back,
He saved the wayward gal from jeapardy.

The ladrones were soon battered
And then only Jessie mattered:
She'd saved a little girl from a bad time.
The lawman was impressed
That Jess had passed a test;
Could she actually give up her life of crime?

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
Was looking wane and lank,
But it seemed to Paul she nursed a spark of good.
He'd consider it shame
If he didn't fan that flame,
But how could he know exactly where she stood?

That's when Jessie made a slip
And pecked him on the lip,
Spurred by things she'd so far never felt.
Then, ashamed to kiss a man,
She struck him with her hand,
With strength enough to raise a purple welt.

Grant warned, "Listen, girlie,
Don't be so dagblast surly;
I'll have no truck with any catamite.
But when Jessie set to kicking
Paul knew she needed licking,
And he was just the man to do it right.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
Got tamed with stinging spanks;
Either boy or gal, she'd always been a brat.
Slung o'er a strong man's knee
She could neither fight nor flee,
So got educated on the place she sat.

Though his numb hand felt like wood,
Paul had done the best he could:
He'd woke up a frisky filly deep inside.
From then on Jess was flirty
Whene'er he called her "pretty"
And her eyes laughed all along their sweat-drenched ride.

The judge's diction thundered
And Jessie knew she'd blundered
When he sent her back to where she'd been before.
But now with Paul around
Jess never wore a frown
While she scraped tobacco from the barroom floor.

Jessie Hanks, Jessie Hanks,
On her knees and giving thanks,
Glad her sorry life turned out this way.
To have a man to love
Is a blessing from above
And she made danged sure he'd never need to stray.

 

THE END

  

  

   

   

     

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2003 by Christopher Leeson. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, and compilation design) may be printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without the express written consent of StorySite and the copyright holder.