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It Happened One Night in Winton: a gunfight
Posted by wordsmith, Mar 5, 2009. 1280 views. ID = 2415

It Happened One Night in Winton

Posted by wordsmith, Mar 5, 2009. 1280 views. ID = 2415
This post was written in 5 minutes.
the true story of how my great grandpa Joe lost his life shortly after the birth of Beatrice. For those who want to know, Winton is just outside of Ely and had a reputation for lawlessness and wild west life styles. And yes, they were still packing six guns in the 1920's and 30's, I checked.
This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Hannah and her family.

It happened one night in Winton, when Joe Maki came to town
A carousing, drinking Finn man who’d let no one laugh him down.
He strolled into a Winton bar and he ordered up a brew,
And as he sipped his gaze roamed round for something fun to do.

A man was playing piano, a loud and jumpy ragtime tune,
While another man stirred coffee with a rusty worn out spoon.
Some fellows smoking cigarettes spoke loudly from a haze,
At a table in the back a stranger dealing cards looked up and met Joe’s gaze.

The stranger he was Swedish, or maybe he was Dutch,
It was kind of hard to tell and, anyway, Joe didn’t care too much.
As it happened, like all good Finns, Joe loved to gamble too,
So he joined the stranger at the back and cut the deck in two.

Joe watched closely as the stranger began to shuffle and deal the cards
The game began, the table shook as each thumped down his discards.
“I’ll take two.” Said Joe Maki, and the stranger doled them out,
Joe looked rather disappointed and his lips began to pout.

The stranger kind of smiled and he shifted in his seat,
With three Jacks and two Aces he just knew he had Joe beat.
But Joe Maki he was shifty and as he laid down his hand
It was clear four Queens beat three Jacks, and that pout had all been planned.

The stranger he was furious and he leapt up to his feet,
All heads turned in their direction as the stranger shouted “Cheat!”
The man playing at the piano stopped so he could listen in,
Nobody spoke and it was clear a fight would soon begin.

Joe Maki hadn’t cheated, and even if he had,
He couldn’t back down now because the stranger made him mad.
“I’m not a cheat!” Joe Maki cried as he reached for his gun,
But the stranger he was quicker and he would not be outdone.

A shot rang out and people stared, both men were still upright!
Joe Maki stared down at his shirt, now red, no longer white.
He toppled over backwards to lie stretched out on the floor,
As the stranger stared down shocked at the sight of all the gore.

The tension in the room was so thick you could have cut it with a knife,
Then the music started up again as the bar returned to life.

I couldn't say what happened next, I wasn't there you see,
but this story really happened, and that's a garuntee.

Copyright 2009 wordsmith. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Hannah and her family. The next part of this series can be found here: The Story of Valentine Karki.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version

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