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Capture of Cactus Center

From the Omaha Daily Bee, January 7, 1914. By Arthur Chapman.

Down here in Cactus Center our hull citadel’s been took
By a movin’ picture outfit that is fillin’ every nook;
We’ve been crowded out by actors till there ain’t a bed in town;
We sleep in traps and blankets, out on the prairie brown;
They’re doin’ light housekeepin’ on the Blue Front’s upper floor,
And the booze joint closes early, so’s to let the actors snore;
There’s a bunch of leadin’ ladies roped and hog tied the hotel,
And there’s actors first at table when throbs out the dinner bell.

They are stagin’ wondrous dramas on the ranches hereabouts,
And the cattle go plumb loco when they hear the actors’ shouts;
There are juveniles and “heavies” prancin’ round the lonely hills;
There are guns forever poppin’, but they ain’t the sort that kills;
There’s a sound like canvas rippin’ when a bunch shoots off some blanks,
While the sweatin’ operators turn them movin’ kodak cranks;
Roll my bed, give me a grubstake—I must mush out in the sand
Where there’s rattlesnakes and gilas, but there ain’t no movie band.

Lo the Injun dreams of goin’ to a huntin’ ground of peace,
Where there’s no objection follers when he lifts a white man’s fleece;
It is a land of runnin’ water, where the grass is always good,
Where there’s buffalo and fodder, and the squaws can gather wood;
But the cowboy now is dreamin’ of a place that’s like poor Lo’s,
Where there’s signs up, in addition, barrin’ movin’ picter shows;
For there ain’t no joy in Cow Land, and sighs fill the native’s breast,
Since the shutter’s took to clickin’ in the movie-haunted west!

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