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Halfway down Wolf Mountain...

Gold used as an analogy for something precious that you'd fight to keep.

My trail led out of wilderness,
a goat path headed down. 
For years somehow I'd stood the test 
of mining desperate ground. 

Now with rifle cradled like a child 
and pistols here and there. 
With eyes this world had not beguiled, 
that had a look that said: "Fair's fair." 

I was halfway down Wolf Mountain 
when several shots cut loose. 
I reigned my horse still, spun him round, 
gave him both my boots. 

He scrambled to the trails first bend where 
with a spank to his flank while jumping. 
I turned and shot that first fool. 
Then kept my lever carbine thumping.

They gave up on the ambush, 
and turned their thoughts to sneaking. 
Now they'd try and work a flush, 
that set my brain to thinking. 

Once five to one, now four to gun, 
for they're not through with me. 
Then, one dashed, I shot. He crashed 
and I'm just hunting three. 

Then a nervous voice said; "Toss your gold! 
We'll let it go at that!" 
I dropped down, crawled, half circled sound 
and kept my body flat.

I rose behind that nervous voice 
that now sounded ill at ease. 
I said; "Bushwhacker's pay is lead, not gold." 
As my finger squeezed.

The other two, was of one mind. 
I guess they'd had enough. 
I never saw their faces. 
Lord, they rode their ponies rough. 

I gentled out my mount. 
Nudged him heading down. 
That night I fed him oats. 
That night I slept in town.

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