One-Punch Willy Brown
Saddled up to a bar-room stool, at a place on the East Side of town,
Drinking beer from a can, sit a dangerous man known as One-punch Willy Brown.
The gals all sidled near him; the guys seemed to leave him alone.
We all knew his reputation and that Willy was bad to the bone.
They say he once knocked out a horse or a mule and his hands could move faster than light.
We all knew how he came by his nickname; with one punch he could end any fight.
I sat at a game with five cards in my hand. I was hoping to fill in a straight.
With a gambler’s face, I threw off an Ace and I hoped for a King or an eight.
Now, across the backroom at a table, all alone, just observing the scene,
Sit what I’d call, “one hell of a lady” with the dignity of a queen.
It was clear she was taking great interest in One-punch Willy Brown,
By the smile that swept over her features when he signaled the bar for a
Though you never would guess he had noticed the lady all dressed in blue,
Willy winked to the barkeep and whispered, “And take one over there to the shrew.”
I took it all in as I played out my hand; reading faces was part of my game.
And I saw in a moment, what most men would have missed,
Willy cringed and his smile seemed to wane.
And, from where I was playing the hand I was dealt, there by the backroom door,
I suddenly knew, as my Ace I threw, they had somehow met before.
And I knew by her smirk and by his crooked grin, that before this day would be o’er
That this lady in blue, called by Willy, “a shrew,” had come here to settle a score.
Then my blood ran cold and the tension grew, as I waited the luck of my
While her tears washed away the makeup that covered a hell of a bruise.
And I realized now why the lady was here and what she had come to do.
I wondered why he had beaten her so, and I hated what I now knew.
I raised the bet, and sorted my cards, and I noticed the hour was late.
And I filled my hand with a Queen high straight, for the dealer had passed me an eight.
As I made my spread and collected my win, the lady played her Ace.
She shot three times. And, as Willy fell, I saw he was shot in the face.
A hush fell over the bar room and Willy now lay on the floor.
No one else seemed to notice that the lady in blue had already slipped out the door.
When they ask if I knew what had happened, when they wanted to know what I’d seen,