The Legend of Calvin McDade
Calvin McDade was a Marshall-
In the days of the Cherokee strip.
The only type law that the strip understood
Was the law that he wore on his hip.
Calvin was raised in South Texas
Wes Hardin was some distant kin,
But Calvin was wearing a tin star
While Hardin did time in the pen.
McDade, and Hec Thomas, and Tilghman
Were some of the best in the game,
Tilghman and Thomas are famous
But no one remembers his name.
The strip was a haven for outlaws,
Murderers, rustlers, and scum-
The Marshalls of Judge Isaac Parker-
Were hard, and as mean as they come.
McDade was just south of Vinita-
On the trail of a bootlegging hound-
Determined the scoundrel would swing at Ft. Smith
As soon as the man could be found.
“Swing for bootleggin’”? someone may ask.
A mighty harsh judgement it seems.
But Darren McGiver committed a crime
Which haunted McDade in his dreams.
McDade had once had him a partner,
A boy named Larry McQueen-
He’d taught him the ropes, and got him a badge
The last time alive he was seen.
McQueen had been handed McGiver-
He’d found him, caught dead in the act
Of peddling whiskey to one of tribe.
He was dead set on bringing him back.,
A hard days ride short of the border-
The kid made the fatal mistake
Of taking the word of a scoundrel
Removing his irons for a break.
The boy’s mind started to wander-
McGiver was watching and then,
Grabbing his shotgun leaning nearby
He turned it, and used it on him.
As he stood by the grave of young Larry
He muttered a vow low and grim,
If he surrenders,I’ll see that he hangs
If not, I will take care of him.
That evening he entered a village-
And thought he would stay for the night,
The place was too quiet, the people on edge
He knew there was something not right.
He stabled his horse, and he entered...
The door to a dim lit cafe..
And asked the young lady who brought him his food
Of strangers who'd passed through that day.
Describing the man he was after,
He saw that she trembled with fear-
Her answer was, “No”. Her expression said, “Yes”.
And he knew that McGiver was here.
He heard stealthy steps in the back room
The door easing open a crack-
McGiver, the coward, was true to his type
His gun pointed right at his back.
He reached to his right for his coffee
Then threw himself flat on the floor
His pistol was drawn, and he fired it five times
Right straight through the half open door.
McGiver was shot all to doll rags-
McDade’s features calm and serene-
Aiming his pistol straight at his head,
He said, This is for Larry McQueen.
You hear of the famous gun fighters
Who rode for the Hanging Judge’s court
Tilghman, and Thomas were two of the best
McDade was a man of their sort.
They say ere he hung up his guns, friend-
He wrote large on history’s page..
When speaking of heroes let’s lift us a glass
To the mem’ry of Calvin McDade.
Live large, people!
[This message has been edited by Gunslinger (edited 11-30-1999).]