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East Texas Red (Russell Tom)

Down in the scrub oak country To the southeast Texas Gulf There used to ride a brakeman, A brakeman double tough. He worked the town of Kilgore, And Long view twelve miles down, And the travelers all said Little East Texas Red He was the meanest bull around. If you rode by night or the broad daylight In the wintery wind or the sun, You would always see little East Texas Red Just a sportin' his smooth-runnin' gun. And the tale got switched down the stems and mains, And everybody said That the meanest bull On them shiney irons Was that little East Texas Red. It was on a cold and a windy morn' It was along towards nine or ten, A couple of boys on the hunt of a job They stood that blizzardy wind. Hungry and cold they knocked on the doors Of the workin' people around For a piece of meat And a carrot or spud just a boil of stew around. East Texas Red come down the line And he swung off that old number two. He kicked their bucket over a bush And he dumped out all of their stew. The travelers said, "Little East Texas Red, You better get your business straight Cause you're gonna ride Your little black train just one year from today." Well Red he laughed and he climbed the bank And he swung on the side of a wheeler, The boys caught a tanker to Seminole Then west to Amarillo. They caught them a job of oil-field work And followed a pipeline down. It took them lots of places Before that year Had rolled around. Then on a cold and windy day They caught them a Gulf-bound train. They shivered and shook with the dough in their clothes To the scrub oak flats again, With their warm suits of clothes and overcoats They walked into a store. They paid that man For some meat and stuff Just a boil of stew once more. The ties they tracked down that cinder dump And they come to the same old spot Where East Texas Red just a year ago Had dumped their last stew pot. Well, the smoke of their fire went higher and higher And Red come down the line. With his head tucked low in the wintery wind He waved old number nine. He walked on down through the jungle yard And he came to the same old spot And there was the same two men again Around that same stew pot. Red went to his knee's and he hollered "Please, don't pull your trigger on me. I did not get my business straight." But he did not get his say. A gun wheeled out of an overcoat And it played that old one two, And Red was dead when the other two men Sat down to eat their stew.