It was on the fourth of May,
Half past eight o'clock that day.
J.B. Marcum was standing in the courthouse of his town,
Where Curl Jett was lurking 'round
Just to get a chance to lay him on the floor.
Thomas White, a friend of Jett's,
No worse man was ever met,
Then came walking boldly through the courthouse hall.
As he was passing by, he looked Marcum in the eye,
Knowing truly that poor Marcum soon must die.
Judge Jim Harris and his man,
Sheriff Edward Callihan,
Were across the street in Hargis Bros.' store.
Some people knew the plot and were listening for the shot
And see Jett's victim fall :here in the door.
Jett advances through the hall
With his pistol, lead and ball,
And he killed poor Marcum on the spot.
B. J. Ewen, standing by saw him fall and heard him cry:
C. "O Lord! O Lord! They have killed me now at last."
Ewen kept the secret well
For he was afraid to tell;
For he feared they would kill him there and then.
They arrested White and Jett; and the courts of Jackson met;
And the prosecution labored with its might.
With the courts of Breathitt over,
Judge Redwine could do no more,
And he left it with the jury for the right.
One man began to plead that he thought they should be freed,
And it is believed Jim Harris paid that man a fee.
Then the courts at Harrison met
And condemned both White and Jett;
And sent them to the prison where they both will have to stay.
Their poor mothers grieve each day for their boys who have gone away
For there is nothing that can sever a mother's lore.
She'll pray for them with each breath
And cling to them until death
And hope to meet them in the courts above.
Marcum leaves a wife to mourn him all her life,
But his little children stand it well and brave.
But that little Curtis Jett, Thomas White, and others yet,
Are the men who laid poor Marcum in his grave.
But they'll let these men go free and they'll pay their lawyers fee
But they will get their judgment on that Judgment Day.
From Henry, Ballads and Songs
tune: Jesse James [Oh Marcum had a wife...Little Curtis Jett, Martin White and