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Maxon Hadcock's Long Ride, Part II

...The two toughs turned, both their eyes went wide,
then as one they stared in laughing,
“Look at this fool, he thinks he’s a cowboy!
I think his head must’ve taken a rapping.”

They advanced with their blades, not worrying,
from the look of him they judged him insane
Maxon had seen this often before,
modern folks often saw him this way.

He took aim at the thug on the left,
and fired a slug straight into this knee,
the enforcer went down, screaming aloud,
the other thug froze in disbelief.

Maxon pointed the gun, carefully took aim,
the thug dropped his blade and sprinted away,
behind them both the beaten man arose,
he sputtered, unsure of what to say.

He looked at Maxon, his horse and his gun,
his white hat and his vest and his spurs,
he said,”W-who are you? How can this be?”
Everything about it struck him as absurd.

Maxon said,’I’m a man who had many sins,
committed so many years ago,
but the Man Upstairs thought I was worth saving,
so this is the life that I now know.

“This is what He chose to be my fate,
Mm way of paying back all of my debts,
I know some day He will say it’s enough,
but that day has not happened just yet.

“You are not the first that I’ve had to save,
but I warn to you to make better choices in life,
because in fourteen decades of doing this,
I’ve never saved anybody twice.

“Get out of this town, away from those thugs,
from the vices that have taken their turn,
most criminals don’t end up like me,
they just get tossed in the pit to burn.”

The young man just nodded, too stunned to speak,
then scampered off past Maxon’s horse,
he prayed to God that his words had hit home,
then with a heavy sigh, altered his course.

The burning in his gut had subsided,
no more shooting would be done this night,
so Maxon loped off on his ageless stead,
to continue his long, ordained ride.

Copyright © David Welch