Recited by A. J. Jackson.
Wal, you see. it's a queer story, Missy;
The little gal's none of our kin;
But, you bet, When the old men go under,
She's the one who will handle our tin.
My pard and me's rough minin' fellers,
We've got nary children nor wife,
But we love little yellow-haired Nellie,
An' we'll rear her up right-bet yer life.
How old? Wal, she's nigh eight, I reckon;
Five years since we brought her out here;
An' she was the cunnin'est baby
We'd looked at for many a year.
You see, 'twas the time the Apaches
Broke out. Blast the red imps of sin!
The emigrant train crossed their trail. Miss,
An' the Injuns they scooped 'em all in.
Yes, thar lay men, children and wimmin;
The red devils raised all their ha'r,
We couldn't do nothin' to help 'em,
So my pard and me buried 'em thar.
We found one likely-lookin' young cretur'
Lyin' out from the rest of the heap.
She was dead, like the rest, an' Nellie
Lay close by her side-fast asleep.
Wal, 'twas near ninety mile to the settlement,
Bill an' me turned the thing in our mind;
An' at last concluded to keep her,
An' bring her up lovin' and kind.
We buried her poor dad an' mammy,
Likewise all their unlucky mates;
An' we named her Nell, arter a sweetheart
My pard had once back in the States.
But the trouble we had with that young un
Was somethin' quite funny to see;
Bill gave her up for a mystery,
Likewise she was too much for me.
Her durned duds we couldn't get on right,
An' we cussed ev'ry butt'n an' string;
But arter a spell we did better,
When we once got the hang of the thing.
An' she growed up quite pertlike an' bloomin';
We take her to work ev'ry day.
While Bill and me's busy a minin'
She'll sit by the rock pile an' play.
And she's made better men of both of us, Miss,
We don't cuss now, nor go on no spree,
'Cause we're workin' And savin' for Nellie,
The pride of my old pard au' me.