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"You see, Ben'd slipped up quiet-like, An' 'fore they could much think to strike, He calls "handsup," but they don't heed, So two o' them get what they need, An' then what's left winds up the game— A quick, clean fight it was the same.
"Afore he dies Ben writes three words, A pencil scratch, fer when Death herds A man he don't write fancy, tho' 'Twas plain enuff fer her to know. 'I love her,' them's the words he wrote; 'I love her,' was his dyin' note.
"An" so we ropes him on his hoss— The painted one he names 'Old Boss/ An' when the sun was goin' down, We brings the sheriff into town.
"I finds her on the hotel step, An' 'round her great, queer shadders crept; Her face shone white, jes' like two stars Was her dear eyes—an' then the bars Of rough, hard talk I jes' let down, An' says, 'We brings him into town; He's dead, an' little does you care Of how or what or when or where!'
"She says no word, jes' goes stone-blind, An' stumblin', tries my hand to find, An' when I tells her what Ben wrote, She t'ars a cry from out her throat—