Now Just Look
by  Paula R.



Gideon Tanner

Now just look the whole town has turned out today to say a last prayer for me

And Lord only knows how surprised they would be

If they knew I could see them and could hear what they say.

Whoa if they knew I could see them and could hear what they say.


Some say I was a good man, some disagree

Some folks are sad, some are glad to see the last of me.

I know I was a happy man most of my days

And through it all if I had a time or two it was worth it to me.


I’m the last of my family, so I’m taking my name.

No children do I leave behind to sing ‘Rock of Ages’

For an old worn out cowboy

You can take way my body, but the spirit is mine.


Some say I was a good man, some disagree.

Some folks are sad and some are glad to see the last of me.

I know I was a happy man most of my days

And through it all if I had a time or two, it was worth it to me.

Some say I was a good man, some disagree.


Gideon Tanner from the Kenny Rogers album Gideon

Written by:  Kim Carnes and Dave Ellington.


Well, now, just look at how many people came.  I wouldna thought so many would be there.  I walk among them listenin’ to what they have to say.  It’s quite suprisin’ hearin’ their opinions.  Oh, I know that some of ‘em was gonna be nasty, but I didn’t think so many would have so many good things to say.

Murdoch is the first to stand to give a eulogy.  His leg musta been painin’ him some cause he was sorta walkin’ slow and almost stumbled.  He talked of how he wondered if I was gonna stay at Lancer and how much I meant to everyone there.  His voice  kinda cracked and he paused a coupla times.  He even said he was sorry he wasn’t sure he made me understand how good it was that I stayed on.  He also said I was gonna be dearly  missed.

Scott was next.  I bet he ruined his fancy hat the way he was crushing the brim in his hands as he talked.  He said he lost a good friend and that he’d miss me and the fun we had.  He seemed to be catching a cold, kept snifflin’ and coughin’.

Teresa just stood there leanin’ on either Murdoch or Scott.  She sobbed and dabbed at her eyes most of the time.  She’s so young to know the heartache she’s faced and then takin’ care of three men who have come to be like family for her.  I hope the future will be good for her – that she’ll find a good man to take care a her.

Now, I’ve been lookin’ around and I ain’t seen the face of the one I expected to be here.  I had hoped I’d mean enough to him that he’d be here and even give a eulogy for me.  Wait, there he is, standin’ to one side, away from the crowd.  That figures, he don’t like being crowded in.  Sheriff Val Crawford is with him.  Think I’ll mosey on over and see what they’re sayin’.

“You know, I-I think he’d be p-proud to see how many people showed up t-t-today.”

I never knowed that boy to stutter like that before.

“I’m not sure how any else felt, but…h-he was more l-like a father to me than Murdoch.  I’d talk to him sometimes when me and the Old Man butted heads.

“He’d listen and then tell me what was what.  Oh, he’d tell me if I was wrong – and he wasn’t afraid of Madrid.  He’d go right on givin’ his opinion.  Tell me, ‘don’t go givin’ me that look.  You ain’t gonna do nothin’ but hear me out.’ Most times, Val, he knew what I needed to hear.”

Yeah, but sometimes, you’d cuss me out and ride off.  You’d tell me to mind my own business, too.  You did listen though.  Not that it did any good at times.  You’d still go off half-cocked when you were dead-set to do something’ but it gave you something to think about.

“Lancer ain’t gonna be the same without him.  He’d grumble, but wasn’t a time that we needed him, he didn’t come through.”

I’d still be there for ya, Johnny, if they let me.  Jellifer B. Hoskins, don’t shirk his duties.  I’d be there a takin’ care of ya, if the Good Lord hadn’t decided it was my time.


“Looks like everyone’s leavin’, Johnny.  Guess we best go say a last prayer for him now.”

Well, even Mayor Higgs showed up.  Guess he has to make an appearance to get on Murdoch’s good side.  He uses any reason to show up if he thinks it’ll impress anyone who could vote for him in the next election.  He gave one a his fancy speeches used some a them, as Johnny says, ten-dollar words.  What’s he telling that fat pig of a daughter of his?


“I made some points with Murdoch Lancer and his older son today, praising that seedy Hopkins….”

“It’s Hoskins, Daddy.”

“Hoskins; Hopkins; what does it matter?  Good riddance, I say.  Why, I remember the trouble he caused when he first came to the area, him and that band of thieving, no-account, hoodlums he called his kids.  I kept a real close eye on him whenever he’d come into town.  Once a thief, always a thief, I say.  Now the only one I need watch is Madrid.  Don’t know why Murdoch hasn’t sent him packing.”

That ole toad.  Think I’ll just put my foot out and trip him.  He deserves to land in the dust face first – actually, it oughtta be face first in a fresh cow patty.  I’ll just put my foot out there like …wait a goldurn minute.  He just walked right through my foot, through my whole danged leg.


Some of my boys were here, too.  They were tryin’ ta be brave, but I saw tears shining in their eyes.  I sure am proud of them.  It sure was good of Johnny and Murdoch to work so hard at finding them all good families to adopt them.  Hope they don’t forget me now.  Maybe every once and a while they’ll think about me and remember how we all took care of each other when we were together.


Well, just about everyone has left the graveyard.  Just Lancer family out here now.  Murdoch has got Teresa’s arm, leadin’ her ta the buggy.  Scott’s waitin’ for ‘em. Now where is Johnny?  I don’t see him anywhere, tarnation, that boy needs me ta keep him straight.


“Johnny, Johnny…w-where are ya?”

“I’m right here, Jelly.  Open your eyes and look at me, you old fool.”

“Old fool, old fool….”

“Now you just calm down and lie still.  Doc says you’ll be fine as long as you get some bed rest for a couple of days.  He also said to feed you some broth, and because you have a concussion, we need to wake you every couple of hours or so until tomorrow morning.

“You sure gave me a scare.  Thought for sure you were a goner when your horse threw you and you went over that bluff and into the creek.”

Well, now, I’ll be, it was all a dream – or a nightmare.  I’ll be right as rain in a coupla days.   I wonder….

“Johnny, can ya find and bring me that bell Teresa had me use ta summon her or someone else if I needed something….



Paula R








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