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Road Agent's Lament

Let me tell you a story that's sad but it's true
About easy money and the things men will do
For the gold in the river that winds below town
They'll rob and they'll shoot a poor traveler down

Oh the road agent's hands have been stained with the blood
Of the innocent miner who toils in the mud
While he works in the placer fields, chilled to the bone
Then shot down and robbed as he's on his way home.

And the wind whispers softly as it moves through the sage
If you listen you can still the sound
It's a low  mournful murmur, the ghosts of the men
That t he road agents left on the ground

In the spring back in '63, making my way
Through the Idaho country
*, I happened to stray
Across two desperados, Bill Graves & Dutch John
And joining those outlaws is where I went wrong

We held up the mail coach to Salt Lake one day
And left two men dying as we rode away
O the murderous deeds that were wrought by the hands
Of the cut throats and thieves of the road agent band


We knew when a man and his money left town
Then we'd lighten his load before cutting him down
And with outlaws like Plummer, Stinson, & Ives
The men in the gold camps all feared for their lives

It was just after Christmas, and 20 below
When a lynch mob of miners hauled me out in the snow
They tried me right there and the verdict came down
I was hung by the neck on the North end of town.

*In 1863, the territory of Montana had not been formed, so the Road Agents, Virginia City and Bannack were actually in Idaho Territory



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