A dust storm was brewing outside of town,
But still everyone gathered around.
It was always a special day,
When the stagecoach came this way.
They usually avoided this small town,
Course most folks never heard of Maple Mound.
How it got that name only a few knew,
But wait, I'm getting off track, sorry I didn't mean too.
Inside the Maple Mound Bar And Grill,
Stood a man, called Lonesome Bill.
He was tall and lean with eyes of steel,
If you looked at him crossways he was apt to kill.
Really he was a gentle ole soul,
But how were they supposed to know.
They didn't associate with Lonesome Bill,
Because his eyes, held such a chill.
He had been hurt badly some time back,
And she had run off with his best friend Jack.
She had left behind their daughter and son,
He was in search for a wife, only cause he needed one.
An ad in the paper caught his eye,
Second page, paragraph five.
Who would have ever thought of a mail order bride?
But Lonesome Bill was desperate his daughter just turned nine.
She knew how to shoot, could round up cattle,
Bust stove wood, and hold her own in battle.
But she needed to learn womanly ways,
And so now here he was waiting on the stage.
He looked at the clipping one more time,
Just to make sure what he was doing was right.
Ordering a woman through the mail, he almost laughed,
Why he had even got ole Sam to cut his hair, and he even took a bath.
Put on some good smelling stuff, wasn't sure what it was called,
But Mavis at the mercantile called it cologne.
She eyed him warily when she offered him a red ribbon,
But she assured him that it was for his woman.
Would she have her own duds, he thought about buying bolts of cloth?
Well of course, she would have her own.
If not she could go shopping alone,
That was a woman's job he would stay home.
Could she even sew, well he reckoned she could,
It was in the second sentence, right after cook.
That's good cause his little Cassie had worn holes in her jeans,
From all that wrestling she did mostly in the knees.
Little Bill, he smiled with pride,
His little namesake, only six, but he was just as wild.
Didn't matter much wildness in a boy,
But the little gal now, she needed to be coy.
Once again he reached for the ad,
It was crumpled up pretty bad.
He opened it up one more time,
Just to ease his curious mind.
"Wanted, a husband, somewhere out West,
I can cook, and sew, and clean any mess.
I can cipher and read and even write,
I can dance, and sing, and if you have children, well that's alright."
He sent her a telegram the very next day,
And even sent the money for the stage.
He should have backed out, maybe thought a little more,
I mean, what if she wasn't what he was looking for.
He paced back and forth across the wooden floor,
Looked at his timepiece, half past four.
Where was the stage, should have been here an hour ago?
Did she even get on it he had to know?
He'd heard of them gold diggers from the east,
Was this woman just a tease?
Did she keep his money have it planned all along?
Well, he really hoped he was wrong.
But the stage didn't come, and it would have if she was on it,
Well she had pulled a good one on him he would have to admit.
What a sucker he was, yea, a mail order bride,
It wasn't losing the money that hurt, it was his pride.
Everyone knew, he couldn't keep his mouth shut,
And he felt the pain twisting in his gut.
No. They wouldn't say anything to his face,
But behind his back, well he had known all along he didn't belong in
He looked around the Bar and Grill,
And fear kept everyone still.
They wouldn't look him in the eye,
No siree, they didn't none of them want to die.
He stormed out to the hitching post and untethered Pride,
And he shook his head as he heard the laughter coming from inside.
He knew what caused all the commotion,
Poor ole Lonesome Bill, giving a mail order bride such devotion.
He galloped away with all possible speed,
He needed to race with the wind, blow off some steam.
There around the bend, where the White Oak rests next to the creek,
Lay the wrecked remains of the stagecoach, and only one horse
remained on its feet.
Quickly he checked for survivors, and where was his bride?
And for the first time in his life he felt fear inside.
Lying on the ground next to the broken wagon wheel,
Was a book, and tucked inside was a paper, with two words, Lonesome
Clues. He needed to find some clues.
`Don't worry my mail order bride, I'll find you"
Then he laughed. No not the laughter of someone having fun,
But the crazy laughter, letting them fools know, they had better run.
Funny, he didn't even think to ask her name,
But she was his woman all the same.
For weeks he had thought about the things they would do,
And often wondered if his dreams would come true.
Well even if she wasn't really pretty,
She knew life in the big city.
She could teach little Cassie to behave proper,
Cause when she looked at him with her big brown eyes, well he just
didn't have the heart to stop her.
She had him wrapped around her little finger,
But enough. He didn't have time to linger.
They had a good two hours head start,
And it was pert near time to get dark.
He spied the tracks heading for Clingmans Bluff
Bad area that. The going was pretty rough.
Poor little thing he had to find her,
She was probably scared over the events that occurred.
It was well past dark when he spotted the campfire,
She was tied to a tree, and her courage he admired.
Couldn't get a good look at her face, but she was holding her back up
He grinned. Always a lady, now that was great.
"Hello, the camp," he yelled, "could do with a cup of coffee."
As he passed her he whispered to her softly.
"Don't you worry, never fear,
I'm here to protect you, I am Lonesome Bill."
The look on her face, the shine in her eyes,
Why she was plumb pretty, just like the sunrise.
He walked on by, sat down without a care in the world,
Though he was really steaming cause, they had his girl.
His ease was such they had no suspicions,
They didn't realize he was a man on a mission.
He didn't look once at the woman they had tied,
So they reckoned he was all right, till it was their turn to die.
They didn't know what hit them as he shot each one,
So very quick he reached for his gun.
See the townspeople didn't really know, but there was something
Lonesome Bill was once known as Deadly Dan, a hired killer.
When he met his wife things had changed,
She had never even known his real name.
Thought it was over, he had settled down,
But seemed like trouble always followed him around.
He cut the ropes from his lady and she smiled beautifully,
And she thanked him with a kiss for setting her free.
Her hair was a mess, what on earth was she to do?
And he gave her the ribbon, but instead of red, he chose the blue.
Anna, her name felt good rolling of his tongue,
And like her smile, pretty as the morning sun.
They married the next day, in Maple Mound,
And all the town folk gathered round.
Lonesome Bill was lonesome no more,
Cause he had finally found what he was searching for.
Little Cassie quarreled, grumbled, and put up a fuss,
But Annie washed her mouth out with soap each time she cussed.
Of the night, after Annie tucked the three children in,
Oh yes, forgot to tell you of their new addition, little Ben.
Anyways didn't take long probably on their honeymoon,
Cause little Ben was born in June.
He had a smile, like the morning sunrise,
And the look of steel in his eyes.
No doubt who he belonged too,
And my what a handful at the age of two.
Well here I go off track again,
There's another story about little Ben,
Annie and Bill all alone in the night,
Listened to the crickets sing under the soft moonlight.
The perfect couple and who would have thought,
That a mail order bride would be the one woman that he would really
Happily, ever after sounds so cliche
But it's true, and there still together today.
© Cynthia Clark