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  Welcome To Author James H. Wilson's Ol' Cowboy.

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Cowboy Poetry

The Old Cowboy
Author James H. Wilson
July 15, 2002
© Copyright 2002

THE OLD COWBOY Part Nineteen

"I rode off into the sunrise on Ol' 'Tanner'. I think he was very glad to get back on the trail, he was almost giddy as we pulled up next to the bunkhouse. I dismounted and said 'hi' to the pards, while I grabbed my self a cup of 'java'.

After that black coffee and little conversation with the straw-boss, 'Tanner' and me hit the trail. He had us gone off to the far end of the ranch to bring in a couple of 'stangs. He said we needed the fresh stock to be well broke by week after next. I'd normally have 'em broke by the weekend, but he decided I needed as extra week. I didn't argue.

We rode on out to 'welsh-better-falls' and stopped for a short cool break. It was a quarter days ride away from the corral and one of the prettiest spots on the ranch."

"Grandpa, what's a 'wells-butter-fall'?"

"Not 'wells-butter', 'welsh-better'. A 'welsh-better' is a guy who makes a bet on something, anything, and then won't pay up on his debt. Like I bet a quarter this black coffee is too hot to drink. Then I drink it, I owe you a quarter, ya see?"

"OK, you bet me a quarter you can't you can't drink the coffee 'cause it's to hot, you drink it you owe me a quarter?"

"That's right. Now I decide I'm not goin' to pay up,"

"That's alright Grandpa, you don't have to pay me."

"Well 'tween you an' me Grandboy, that may be an OK thing to do, 'cause I'll make it up to you some other way. But 'tween grown men a hundred or so years ago, you made a bet an' lost, you paid, or you welshed. Welshin' on a bet was taken very seriously back in that day.

Ya see, legend has it that a man from the country of Wales had been workin' two ranches over, and late one Saturday he'd been drinkin' and bettin' and talkin' bout his fortune back in Wales. He kept on bettin' on that fortune 'till 'bout one in the morn' when this big Scotsman stood up and called him out. 'Put your money on the table' he said. Well the Welshman ran out an' jumped on his horse an' left. 

The rest of the men at the table chased him to those falls where the horse stopped an' he went over the horse, an' over the falls never to heard from again..."

"OK Grandpa I promised mom...

To Be Continued. . .

THE OLD COWBOY  Copyright © 2001


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