Home  »  Spoon River Anthology  »  41. The Town Marshal

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

41. The Town Marshal

THE PROHIBITIONISTS made me Town Marshal

When the saloons were voted out,

Because when I was a drinking man,

Before I joined the church, I killed a Swede

At the saw-mill near Maple Grove.

And they wanted a terrible man,

Grim, righteous, strong, courageous,

And a hater of saloons and drinkers,

To keep law and order in the village.

And they presented me with a loaded cane

With which I struck Jack McGuire

Before he drew the gun with which he killed me.

The Prohibitionists spent their money in vain

To hang him, for in a dream

I appeared to one of the twelve jurymen

And told him the whole secret story.

Fourteen years were enough for killing me.