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American Ballads and Folk Songs
THE GILA MONSTER ROUTE*
The lingering sunset across the plain, Kissed the rear-end door of an east-bound train* And shone on a passing track close by, Where a dingbat sat on a rotten tie.
He was ditched by a shack and a cruel fate. The con high-balled, and the manifest freight Pulled out on the stem behind the mail, And she hit the ball on a sanded rail*
As she pulled away in the falling night, He could see the gleam of her red tail-light. Then the moon arose and the stars came outó He was ditched on the Gila Monster Route*
Nothing in sight but sand and space j No chance for a gink to feed his face, Not even a shack to beg for a lump, Or a hen-house to frisk for a single gump.
As he gazed far out on the solitude, He dropped his head and began to brood j He thought of the time he lost his mate In a hostile burg on the Nickel Plate.
They had mooched the stem and threw their feet, And speared four-bits on which to eat; But deprived themselves of their daily bread, And sluffed their coin for "dago red"
Down by the track in the jungle's glade, On the cool green grass, in the tules* shade, They shed their coats and ditched their shoes And tanked up full of that colored booze.
* Written for the Railroad Man's M*z**ln*> \>y L. F, Pott and Ciena Norton.