The epic of outlaw Utah Beck
La Belle Rouge
He was a tall lanky man with an unusual name.
Utah Beck, and gun fighting was his game.
He had two brothers but he was the oldest,
Compared to brothers, Nevada and Arizona, Utah was the boldest.
They swore he could draw faster than any other man
In all the territories west of the Rio Grand.
Utah often went looking for a fight,
And he never ran from someone else who might.
The news spread fast in the frontier towns
Whenever the Beck gang came around.
They locked up their women and at the bank set a guard.
When the Becks started to shoot they knew it’d be hard
To find even one man willing to face them.
Utah would mock and completely disgrace them.
Then like lightening he’d pull his gun
And pick them off one by one.
Utah was fast and Utah was smart.
It seemed as though he had no heart.
Made no difference to him if a man was young or old
Soon the undertaker would be stretching him out cold.
The town folks would all file by
To shed their tears and say their goodbyes.
Another cowboy or lawman had died in shame
With a bullet from Utah’s gun to blame.
The Becks rode into a town called Perdition
There was gold in the bank vault
And the Becks were on a mission.
After this job they could all retire,
Raise a few cows and sit by the fire.
Find a good woman and have a few chaps.
Oh, this job would be easy, gold just landing in their laps!
There was only one lawman, and he was old.
They’d blast through the vault and grab the gold.
Then they’d ride out of town and never be caught,
At least that’s what the Beck gang thought.
They rode into town on a hot night in June
And swaggered into the Black Horse Saloon.
“Give me whiskey” Utah demanded.
The bartender trembled as he handed
A double to Utah and Nevada,
But Arizona was busy with another matter.
Blonde and blue-eyed, her name was Jenn .
She looked good to Arizona, young and slim.
She lived upstairs at the Black Horse Saloon
And she sang as the piano player banged out a tune.
He put his arm around her and slipped her a kiss.
But Jenn’s man Buck saw it all, drew his gun and didn’t miss.
Arizona stumbled out the swinging door
Fell in the street and never moved anymore.
Before Buck knew what happened, Utah drew his gun
Aimed it at Buck who tried to run.
“Turn around you coward, I don’t shoot men in the back”
Utah yelled after Buck, but his pace never slacked.
Utah shot him down outside in the street.
Now all of Perdition would feel the heat
Of outlaws out for gold and blood.
The bullets rained down like a flood.
The gold was the Beck’s and there in the street
16 brave men had gone their maker to meet.
“Let’s get out of here,” Utah yelled.
He’d been shot in the leg and it hurt like hell.
Nevada made no answer, it wasn’t his choice,
He sat dead in the saddle on his big, paint horse.
Utah knew the law would hunt him down,
No time for burying brothers, he had to get out of town.
On his way past the church he saw a body in the street
With a woman bent over it who loudly did weep.
When he passed by, she looked into his face,
What he saw caused his cold heart to race.
No woman had ever affected him this way,
He would love ‘em by night and leave ‘em by day.
She had eyes brown and soft enough to make a man cry,
Long hair as black as the midnight sky.
She was dressed in a nightgown , long and white
She mourned her husband that hot June night.
She had no time and nothing to say,
Utah pulled her up into the saddle and they rode away.
She beat on his chest and spit in his face.
“No man will ever take my husband’s place
You’re filthy and mean, a despicable disgrace.
My husband the pastor, was kind and good.
He shouldn’t be dead and, you snake, you should.
“I can be patient” said Utah, “Give it some time”
And sweet Miranda you’ll beg to be mine.”
Miranda replied, “I’ll kill myself that’s what I’ll do,
Before I’d love the likes of you.”
They ran to California and decided to stay.
She tended his wound and day by day
The bond between them grew
They became close friends and before Utah knew,
She and her God had won his heart.
They married and he made a new start.
Utah threw his guns away
And began to preach the narrow way.
One day he was preaching on the street
A robbery happened within a few feet.
They shot the holy man until he was almost dead.
Before he died in Miranda’s arms he said,
“When I am dead My Darling don’t cry.
I lived by the gun and now by the gun I die.
Sweet Miranda I should have known
Someday I’d reap what I had sown.”
They buried Utah on the hill
And on his gravestone you can see written still,
“Be careful of the things you do,
Someday the past will come for you.”
Copyright 2001 La Belle Rouge
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