The Ballad Of 'Soapy' Smith

Written by: Robert L. Hinshaw

Jefferson Randolph 'Soapy' Smith was the wiliest scoundrel in the west!
He was invited to leave numerous towns since he wasn't a welcome guest!
He swindled gullible dudes throughout the west endin' up in Colorado,
Where he earned the sobriquet 'Soapy' and where he found his El Dorado!

He'd set up a soap display on a Denver street and invite folks to gather 'round.
His spiel began: "Buy a bar for a dollar and inside money may be found!"
The rush was on and suckers fought to buy bars of soap, gamblin' on a win!
Cops were even called to the scene to maintain order and to quell the din!

Folks tore at wrappers and one feller hollered, "I got a hundred dollar bill!"
Little did the unsuspectin' boobs know that it was 'Soapy's' planted shill!
Dupes lost their dough and with a five-cent bar of soap they were stuck,
He pulled the scam time and again and that's how "Soapy's' name was struck!

'Soapy' pulled up stakes in Denver and migrated to other towns out west.
He was successful with the soap scam and was adept at hidin' aces in his vest!
He made his way to Creede where he established the Orleans Gamblers Saloon.
There, 'Soapy' was involved in nefarious affairs and left town none too soon!

The gold rush was on in the Yukon and he pined to go there ere it was too late.
He arrived in Skagway and later on in Juneau where he was to meet his fate.
'Soapy' met his end in a gunfight and his final words were, "My God, don't shoot!"
Thus ends the ballad of 'Soapy' Smith, that swindlin', cheatin', rotten galoot!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
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