That 30 U.S. On The Wall

A poem by Pat O'Cotter

A man that's spent years knocking round "out in front"
Has most usually had lots of pals--
He's mixed up with pardners at various times
And he's had his affairs with the gals.
Now, a pardner's peculiar in lots of his ways
And he'll ditch you for various reasons,
And a gal never knows straight up from twice
And her mind seems to change with the seasons.

I've been in on good ground with pardners I've staked
And I thought they were square, till I found
They were trying to cross me, the miserable pups,
And whipsaw me out of my ground.
I've had a few pards that would stand the hard grind
And they'd stick through hard luck night and day;
They were all you could ask while you rustled for grub,
But they blew up when you uncovered the "pay."

Way back in the "eighties" when I'm just a kid,
I crossed up with a breed gal I'd met
One winter at Circle; she cleaned me that year
And skipped out with all she could get.
I've fallen for females in half of the camps
That's spread over this country up here,
But "square guys" or "pretzels" I couldn't get by
And none of them stuck for a year.

I got kind of discouraged and quit the she sex
And figgered I'd just herd with males,
But it don't make no difference, I guess that I'm wrong,
'Cause there's always the parting of trails.
I've had lots of dogs, but a dog always dies,
Or else the poor devil gets killed.
When you like 'em and lose 'em, their loss leaves a hole
That seems for a time can't be filled.

So pardners and females and dogs is taboo
And I know, 'cause I've fussed with 'em all.
There's only one pal that I know is true blue
And it's that Thirty U.S. on the wall.
She's stood by my shoulder and stopped a brown bear
And she keeps the cache full in the Fall;
She's got the one talk that a claim jumper knows
And she craves no attention at all.

I'm getting old now, and some sot in my ways,
And I don't loosen up like I did.
I'm slower to make friends and slower to trust
Than I used to be when I'm a kid.
So it's good-by to females and good-by to dogs,
And good-by to pardners and all,
For the only one pal that I find I can trust
Is that Thirty U.S. on the wall.

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