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Judge Makes Powder Song

The expriest Tobin speaking to The kid The Judge He saved us all,

We come down off the Little Colorado we didnt have a pound of powder.

Just perched on a rock like a man waitin for a coach.

Like he'd been expectin us said How come you to have no powder?

We’d Shot it all fourteen men here

Lost many more

As soon as it was dusk and the bats was about the judge

Ridin and holdin onto his hat, lookin at the little animals.

We led the horses in the dark. When we reached the cave it was the nitre.

The nitre. The nitre, you see. It was the nitre.

We left all that we owned at the mouth of that cave

Filling wallets and panniers with the bat dirt before the break of day

Two days, the judge leached out the guano with creekwater and woodash

Precipitated it and built a clay kiln to burn the wood and charcoal,

Doused the fire by day fired it up come dark.

When he seen us

Went to the willows and come back with a pair of wallets

One eight pounds of pure crystal saltpetre

The other three pounds of fine alder charcoal.

He'd ground the charcoal into powder in the hollow of a rock, you could have made

You could have made, you could have made ink.

Then he set down and he begun to scale at a rock with his knife.

One by one we straggled up and he set with his back to that gapin hole

And he was chippin away it was brimstone and he told us to do the same.

A weal of brimstone at the rim of the caldron, bright yellow and shining

Pure sulphur flowers We chipped it loose

Chopped it fine with knives


Till we had about two pounds of it and then the judge took the wallets

Dumped the charcoal and nitre stirred them about and poured the sulphur in.

He worked it up dry with his hands and all the while the savages, the savages

The savages were drawin nigh

When I turned back the judge was standin, and he'd took out his pizzle

He was pissin into the mixture, and cried out for us to do likewise.

We hauled forth our members and the judge on his knees kneadin the mass with his naked arms

Workin up this foul black dough, a devil's batter by the stink of it

He pulls out his knife commences to trowel

On southfacin rocks,

Spread it out thin with the knifeblade and watchin the sun with one eye

Smeared with blacking and reekin of sulphur and grinnin like he did it every day.

When he was done his hands on chest

And then we watched, and then we watched

And then we watched the savages

The judge's foul matrix was dryin on the rocks

The judge spread out his leather shirt and called for us to bring the stuff

Every knife went to scrapin it up and him cautionin us not to strike them flints.

And we heaped it up and he commenced to chop and grind it with his knife.

Glanton was called charge that swivelbore charger all scooped

Charged both barrels and patched two balls and drove them home and capped the piece

Cocked the hammer and fired. You wouldnt hear that sound in a long day's ride.

The judge called us to fill our horns, and we commenced

We commenced, we commenced, we commenced to kill Indians.

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