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Mister Shorty

Marty Robbins

Nobody knew where he came from
They only knew he came in
Slowly he walked to the end of the bar
And he ordered up one slug of gin

I could see that he wasn't a large man
I could tell that he wasn't too tall
I judged him to be 'bout 5 foot 3
And his voice was a soft Texas drawl

Said he was needin' some wages
'Fore he could ride for the west
Said he could do most all kind of work
Said he could ride with the best

There in his blue eyes was sadness
That comes from the need of a friend
And though he tried he still couldn't hide
The loneliness there deep within

Said he would work through the winter
For 30 a month and his board
I started to say where he might land a job
When a fella came in through the door

And I could tell he was lookin' for trouble
By the way that he came stompin' in
He told me to leave Shorty there by himself
And come down and wait on a man

The eyes of the little man narrowed
The smile disappeared from his face
Gone was the friendliness that I had seen
And a wild look of hate took its place

But the big one continued to mock him
And he told me that I'd better go
Find him a couple of glasses of milk
And then maybe Shorty would grow

When the little man spoke there was stillness
He made sure that everyone heard
Slowly he stepped away from the bar
And I still remember these words

"Oh it's plain that you're lookin' for trouble.
Trouble's what I try to shun.
If that's what you want, then that's what you'll get,
'Cause Cowboy we're both packin' guns."

His hand was already positioned
His feet wide apart on the floor
I hadn't noticed but there on his hip
Was a short-barreled Bass .44

It was plain he was ready and waitin'
He leaned a bit forward and said
"When you call me Shorty, say Mister, my friend.
Maybe you'd rather be dead."

In the room was a terrible silence
As the big one stepped out on the floor
All drinkin' stopped and the tick of the clock
Said death would wait ten seconds more

He cursed once or twice in a whisper
And he said with a snarl on his lips
"Nobody's mister to me little man."
And he grabbed for the gun on his hip

But the little man was like lightening
The Bass .44 was the same
.44 spoke and it sent lead and smoke
17 inches of flame

Oh the big one had never cleared leather
Beaten before he could start
A little round hole appeared on his shirt
The bullet went clear through his heart

The little man stood there a moment
Then holstered the Bass .44
"It's always this way, so I never stay."
Slowly he walked out the door

Nobody knew where he came from
They won't forget he came by
They won't forget how a .44 gun
One night made the difference in size

As for me I'll remember the sadness
Shown in the eyes of the man
"If we meet someday, you can bet I will say,
'It's me, Mister Shorty, your friend."

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