James Ambuehl

The stranger came a-ridin' into town one day,
Set to doom the whole blamed human race.
He set to whoopin' an' a-hollerin' "Hey!"
An' actin' like he owned the blasted place.
'Course, we didn't know what he was up to then,
But somethin' in his eyes just didn't look right;
So, Black Bart bought a last round for the men,
Then called the stranger out to a gunfight.

Now, Black Bart was just plain ole mean,
With a buzzard's eyes and a coyote's grin,
But them stranger's eyes was just obscene --
Somethin' you ain't too keen to look deep in.
An' as they squared off there in the street,
The townspeople all gathered for a peek.
For Black Bart had never, ever been beat,
An' the stranger's future surely looked bleak.

But then the stranger started a-chantin',
In a low whisper, as Black Bart looked on,
His hissin' voice turned to a-rantin';
Words Doc Jones said hailed from Necronomicon.
The sky turned black at his eldritch shout,
An' we couldn't move, we was mired.
But ole Black Bart was not put out,
As he slapped leather an' fired.

The lead hit its target, straight an' true,
An' perforated the stranger's vest.
Bullets punched an' went clean through,
Six Swiss Cheese holes in his chest.
But the stranger just stood there smirkin',
As from the holes smoke flew;
It just hung there, evil an' a-lurkin',
That black cloud that above his head grew.

The smoke became a tentacle,
As Doc Jones bravely rushed on,
And scratched in the dirt a pentacle
Around Black Bart and the Hell-Spawn.
Black Bart looked on in numbin' fear,
But for him it was too late.
Doc Jones again drew near,
As, heedless, the horror ate.

Then Doc Jones sang out words that hurled
The eldritch thing back, he said.
Like smoke, it faded back to its world,
And smiling, Doc fell down stone-dead.
The stranger's body began to fade,
An' the sun came out once again,
As we all knew Doc Jones had made
The world once again safe for men.

Now listen close, hear what I say:
For now though the Old Ones sleep,
It says in Doc's books that one day
They'll set up house here for keeps!
But maybe you'll just listen to me,
An' pray for a bright an' safer world;
Pray evil sleeps on, an' you don't see
That Abyss to which Black Bart's soul was hurled!


© 2006 Edward P. Berglund
"The Ballad of Black Bart": © 2006 James Ambuehl. All rights reserved.
Graphic © 1998-2006 Erebus Graphic Design. All rights reserved. Email to: James V. Kracht.

Created: October 28, 2006