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The Magic Mulligan

From The Sun, December 13, 1914. By Arthur Chapman.

A rider from the Two-Bar come with news from off the range:
He said he’d seen a dust cloud that looked almighty strange,
So he rode his bronco over, and there, as bold as brass,
He seen a sheepman feedin’ his flock upon our grass.
The rider turned home, pronto, and he got the boys aroused,
And then they started, whoopin’, for where them woolies browsed.
But I met ’em joggin’ homeward, and I heard the hull bunch groan
When I said: “Now, turn back, fellers, I must play this hand alone.”

I was mad clear to my gizzard when I started for the camp,
And I thought of how I’d punish this vile, sheep-herdin’ scamp;
I’d escort him to the deadline, where he’d run his sheep across,
And in case I had to kill him, why, it wouldn’t be much loss;
And with such thoughts churnin’ in me when I spied his wagon-top
I rode up to the herder as he watched his wooly crop.
But he simply grinned up at me, and he said: “Now, pardner, say,
Let’s set down and have some dinner ‘fore we start to scrap to-day.”

He had a stew jest ready and he dished a plateful out,
And I set and et that plateful and I heard far angels shout;
I could hear gold harps a-twangin’ and my rough thoughts seemed to melt
As he dished another plateful and I loosened up my belt.
Then I laid aside my six-guns while the herder dished more stew,
And at last my foreman rode up, as I knowed that he would do,
And he set cross-legged with me, and he et, and more hands come,
And afore that sheepman’s cookin’ quite the loudest was struck dumb.

It was mulligan he’d made there, all alone out on the hills,
This here cook whose magic humbled all my fightin’ Toms and Bills;
You kin talk of hotel dishes, made by chefs from furrin lands,
But I’ll back this sheepman’s cookin’ ‘gainst all European brands.
So I says, when we had finished: “You kin make yourself to home,
You kin pick the choicest grazin’ and allow your sheep to roam;
We will drive our cattle elsewhere—you kin have whate’er you seek—
If you let us come to dinner, say about three times a week!”

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