Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

42. Jack McGuire

THEY would have lynched me 
Had I not been secretly hurried away 
To the jail at Peoria. 
And yet I was going peacefully home, 
Carrying my jug, a little drunk,         5
When Logan, the marshal, halted me, 
Called me a drunken hound and shook me, 
And, when I cursed him for it, struck me 
With that Prohibition loaded cane— 
All this before I shot him.  10
They would have hanged me except for this: 
My lawyer, Kinsey Keene, was helping to land 
Old Thomas Rhodes for wrecking the bank, 
And the judge was a friend of Rhodes 
And wanted him to escape,  15
And Kinsey offered to quit on Rhodes 
For fourteen years for me. 
And the bargain was made. I served my time 
And learned to read and write. 



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