Death Of A Stranger

    I’ve been working on this one for most of the month, and each time that I read it, I change it. So I’m not going to read it again.. For a while.. It is very long, but I hope that you’ll give it a chance.

     In the event that I don’t post again this week, I would like to wish each of you an especially Happy Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and to all others, have a great week.



RIP John Doe..

RIP John Doe..

Death Of A Stranger

 Well, the man was found dead

by the old railroad tracks,

of a line that don’t run


And on the side of his head

there was a large crack,

from which, exuded his blood

and the gore.


Still nobody knows

the dead stranger’s name

as he carried no wallet

or card,

but suspicions did grow

and so many the same,

think of whom might’ve whacked him

so hard.


Yes, most folks first thought

twas the wild Bowman twins

’cause they had a history

of mean.

But, twas them or not

that committed the sin

and then left him to bleed

at the scene?


The coroner had said

that the stranger had died

about two or three days

then gone by

from a blow to the head

about four inches wide.

But, had no answer to the question,

of why!


Most everyone thinks

that money’s the thing

that brought about

that fatal gash,

and that too much to drink

his demise it did bring,

when he was robbed of his life

and his cash.


The sheriff had summoned

the twins to the station

for a sit-down and a “friendly”

old chat,

and both had come in

with out too much persuasion

while smiling like two

Cheshire cats.


They told him a tale

of where they had been

on the days that may be

in question.

Yes, right there at the jail

they gave him their spin,

and then offered him up

a suggestion.


They said they had seen

old poor Jimmy Lee

flashin’ around

lots of dough.

And to them that had seemed

a great oddity,

and oh, what may have been blood,

on his clothes.


The sheriff no fool,

had been ’round the block

so he’d listened without smile

or a frown.

Yeah, the twins acted cool

and continued to talk,

til he told them they couldn’t

leave town.


Oh, those boys they were mean

but they sure were not dumb

then had figured that they’d

said enough.

Then with a glance in between

the realization had come

that maybe now, they had best,



And though not yet accused

they were quite well aware

that from now on, they’d be under

the scope.

And no longer amused

they walked out of there

and now in fear of the

gallows-man’s rope.


The sheriff had doubts

on the story they’d told

but was not yet convinced

either way.

Had they been there-a-bouts

and could their hearts be that cold,

as to bash in his head

on that day?


So he thought of a plan

that might get the proof,

needed to settle

their fate.

He’d want a man

to act somewhat aloof

but, then set himself up

as the bait.


So he called on a cop from the city

to go undercover in town,

to pretend to be just,

passing through.

While being charming and witty

spread some money around

to see if avarice, would reveal them

the who!


The “plant” had arrived at the Two River‘s Inn

and paid for a room for the night,

then asked the desk clerk for suggestions

on where to go, for a meal and a drink.

Well” said the clerk with his friendliest grin,

it’s at the ‘Devil‘s’ that you might,

get the whiskey you want

but on the food, you should pass, I would think.”


Not long of a walk down the street

sat “The Devil’s Den” bar and grill,

and seemingly twas properly named,

as the inside and out, looked like hell.

But, at the end of the bar was a seat

where he took out a very large bill,

he told the bar-keep to bring him a drink

and to set up the bar as well.


Well it wasn’t too long

before he’d made some new “pals”

and he hoped with free booze

they’d soon talk.

But, it seemed he was wrong

for neither guys nor the gal,

ever allowed their tongues

to unlock.


And so after last call

he arose from the bar

and started on back

to the inn.

But on legs like a rag-doll

he’d not gone very far

before his head had started

to spin.


He was trying to think of that stranger

and what may have happened that night.

But by then he was really unsteady

and began feeling his way on the wall.

So he was then unaware of the danger

that awaited him just out of sight.

By then he was down on all fours

and trying so hard, just to crawl.


Well they found him dead

near those same railroad tracks

of that line, that had long,

ceased to run.

Shot once in the head

and once in the back

and gone was his wallet, his badge,

and his gun!


Jack Downing

Nov. 2013


Death Of A Stranger


The stranger remained a John Doe

as of him no one’s ever inquired,

he was buried in the pauper’s graveyard

not far from where he’d expired.


Though the Bowman’s were not charged

with that crime,

just the same, they’re now both,

doing time.


The sheriff has never recovered

from the loss of his brother, the cop.

Now he spends the whole day drinkin’ whiskey,

and prayin’ the nightmares will stop.


Charged in that killing was the night-clerk

who was sentenced to forty to life.

As was the bar-keep, who slipped him the mickey.

But they hanged Jimmy Lee,

and his wife!


Jack Downing

Nov. 2013

Jack Downing, aka Jake All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD. 11/25/13

About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in cats, gun, innocent deaths, men, stranger, violence, whiskey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Death Of A Stranger

  1. loopyloo305 says:

    Sad tale that Jake! Hope your Thanksgiving is great, God bless you and your family!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s