Summer Family Connection 1999
Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

Wanted! Children after God's Own Heart!
THE BALLAD OF DAVY THE OUTLAW

A serial melodrammer in 5 Acts - by eldrbarry

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Act 3 - Hideouts! : Windy's Campfire stories

A campfire in a circle of rocks (lit by candles within), Hay bale rock(s), a grill, cowboy coffee pot and tin cup. Windy enters carrying a pick, a lantern, dressed as a miner with crooked flannel shirt and suspenders

Howdy cowboys and cowgirls. Come set a spell by my campfire. I got the coffee pot on. Let me get my lantern lit, so's it doesn't get too dark, and I'll tell you some tales about Davy the Outlaw.

I reckon you're a wondering about poor Davy the Outlaw. Not that he is an outlaw, cause he ain't, though Sheriff Saul sure does think he is. Circumstantial evidence, that what I call it - the bank being robbed by a robber with a slingshot and all. But Sheriff Saul, he's got a mean jealous spirit in his heart and I 'spect he'd be out to get Davy for some fool reason or another anyway.

But back to my story about Davy. Seems that after he took off from Cowtown in the middle of the night, he weren't really sure where to go. He didn't have him a horse, or any grub or nothin. So's he just headed up into toward the hills, the wild places where he used to take his sheep.

It seems that there were this preacher fellow called Sam, Preacher Sam. He was having an tent meeting out on the edge of the wilderness, in a place called Ramah. The mountain folks would gather there and they'd sing the Good Lord's praises and do some prayin, and Ole Preacher Sam, he'd open up the Good Book and preach some fine sermons.

For in fact, that's where I met Davy. I was down from the hills, where I'd been prospecting in some mighty lonely places. Places so dry, that even the Antelope get thirsty. And places so high that the goats get dizzy, and places so lonely, the coyotes howl just to listen to the echoes. I was up there prospecting places to hide my gold, for that's what I do - I hide the gold that all those fools seem to want to find. Fool's gold I call it, The gold they should be seeking is that which paves the streets of heaven. [Prov 8 - Windy represents the Spirit of God]

Well anyway, the Preacher was spouting some fiery words when Davy came along. I saw him there a listening to that Preacher go on about people's sins and all. Davy, now he was a praying to the Lord. I could hear him. He was wondering if'n he was guilty or done something wrong to make Saul hate him, and he was asking the Lord to Judge him. He knew the Lord was a righteous Judge. [Psalm 7:2-10]

Well, while Davy was praying, a posse rode up. Saul had sent several Posse's looking for Davy all over the hills. Well the Parson was preaching his sermon, and people was a listening and amen'ing. Then something strange happened. The Posse got caught up in the sermon and amens and forgot to look for Davy. Then the people started a prayin and praising the Lord. Another Posse rode up, and they too forgot to look for Davy and they too started a praisin the Lord. Then a third Posse rode and Sheriff Saul was with them. By now the Prayer meeting was getting crowded and it was late, but them mountain folks was having a good time singing hymns. Davy was certain they would spot him, but - it was practically a miracle - Ole Saul and his posse they started singing the hymns too and they got caught up in praising the Lord, too! I whispered to Davy that "The Lord's answered your prayers son, you'd better lit outta here and head fer the hills." So Davy walked right out that Tent meeting and escaped. (1 Sam 19:18ff)

But I think Davy was still feeling bad and all cause he did a bad thing. A couple of days later, he came to that Mission Church Settlement on Nob Hill. The Parson there was named King, we called him Brother King. He'd gone up there in the hills to minister to the Indians. (1 Sam 21:1-9; Ahimelech's name means "brother of the king".)

Well Davy stopped by his place hoping to get something to eat and some supplies for the wilderness. But Brother King, he was mighty curious about what Davy was doing and where he was going. He kept asking questions. He knew there were outlaws around and thought Davy might be one. Well Davy, I'm sad to say, he told some bald faced lies to that preacher man. Told him he was on a secret mission for the Sheriff, and that Sheriff Saul had told him to get some supplies from the Mission. So Brother King fixed him some vittles, and gave him a grubstake from the supplies people had sent to give to the Indians. Even a hunting rifle that used to belong to the Big! Bad! Man!. And, unfortunately while Davy was there, he was spotted by a number of folks hanging around the Mission. One of them was another shepherd, named Doug Edom. He was a real bad sort. Ugly and mean, and enjoying hurting people. Rumor has it that he had something to do with that scandal of Saul and those Indian sheep. Saul hasn't been able to stand the smell of sheep since. [1 Sam 15]

And then Davy headed off, thought he might hide among some Indians who had a camp near the mission, but they didn't want any part of him, either. So Davy finally hid out in a cave, I knew of in a place called Adullum. Davy he did a lot of praying in that cave. At first he was praying for help. He told God he had to hide in Him, cause there were folks out there out to get him. They was telling lies about him and setting traps to catch him. But despite it all, little Davy he kept praising and trusting the Lord. He always ended his prayers that way, telling God He was Davy's Fortress and praising Him for his lovingkindness. [Psalm 56, 57]

Well it wasn't long before Davy found out how wrong he had been to tell them lies to that missionary. For that Tent Meeting and singing those hymns didn't have much effect on Saul's heart at all. He was determined to get Davy and had put up a reward. When Doug Edom found out that Saul was looking for Davy, he told him about Davy being at the Mission at Nob Hill. Soon the posse rode up and found Brother King a tending his garden. Saul asked him about Davy. And Brother King, he admitted he'd helped Davy, but it was because of Davy's lies. Now Saul, he was very upset that the parson had helped Davy escape, and given him a hunting rifle and all. He was all for burning that Church down, but Deputy John talked him out of it, or thought he had, cause Saul made a deal with Doug Edom. That night Doug killed the Missionary and all his family (excepting one of Brother King's boys, who escaped with the Church Bible), and burned that church and settlement to the ground. And while Saul kept quiet about it, Doug, he did some bragging. [I Sam 22]

Now Davy was heart broken when Goodly King (that is a funny name isn't it, even for a missionary kid?)[Abiathar's name means "excellence"] showed up at the Cave where Davy was a hiding and told him about what had happened. And Davy, he felt really bad cause it was his fault that that trouble came upon the Kings. Davy did some confessing to the Lord, and asking for forgiveness. And praying about Saul and Doug Edom and the wicked things they was doing. [Psalm 52] Davy resolved then and there to never tell another lie, and to trust God to deliver him.

Ohh, that coffee's hot now, thin I will have a cup. That's good coffee!

Well to get back to my story. You know, an outlaw's life is hard. Things are mighty uncertain. You don't know who might turn you in, or who knows where your are hiding. You have to change hideouts often. And be might careful what you do. You are hungry a lot. Can't just go to town and get supplies. Cause the Sheriff, he has a lot of help trying to catch you. He's putting up posters all over, with a big reward offered. He's asking lots of people questions. And hiring bounty hunters like mean Doug Edom too. He's looking for any information on your whereabouts - so his posse can ride and catch you.

Davy wasn't the only one hiding in the wilderness. And soon a few other young men, like Goodly King, had found him and joined up with him. Davy. He was a strange Outlaw. For one thing he hadn't done anything wrong - though jealous Sheriff Saul was determined to get him. And for another thing, Davy insisted on doing things God's way. He read the Bible Goody had brought with him and prayed a lot. Asking God to guide him and give him directions. Davy and his gang moved around a lot. Saul kept a trying to catch him, but Davy always seemed one step ahead. It was a number of months later, that Davy decided to do something his gang thought was a very bad idea. [1 Sam 23]

Seems the Indians had been making trouble for this town of miners called Keilah! Davy, he knew he sould help them out, but if he did, they might get caught. But helping other people in troubles was God's way, so Davy and his gang rode down there and helped them fight off those raiding indians. The way I heard it, he saved the town. But it wasn't long before Davy got nervous. He was wondering if the miners might let Saul know where he was or turn him over to them. For in fact, Saul already had heard about Davy being there and his posse was getting ready to ride. And Davy prayed, asking if Saul was coming - and the Lord answered that he was. Then Davy asked if the folks in Keilah would hide him or turn him over, and the Lord again answered they would. So Davy and his men headed for the hills and just in time too. Sad isn't it that those fool miners would betray a boy who have saved their scalps, but that's the lure of gold, I guess. [1 Sam 23:1-13]

Anyway, Davy has been spending a lot of time lately in the wilderness of Ziph. That's a desolate place, with lots of twisty windy canyons and jagged mountains and plenty of desert country too. Game is scarce and water scarcer. The only folks there are some trappers and prospectors like me. Davy's been mighty careful. But Saul, he has been collecting lots of information about Davy and his whereabouts from those trappers and prospectors. [1 Sam 23:14-29; Psalm 54]

Jest yesterday, Davy had a real close call. Saul knew where he was, cause of those rascals. And his posse was a coming on fast, all hell bent to leather. Davy and his friends had to mount up and leave their camp stuff sitting and the fire a still burning. Just as Davy and his boys rode on the east side of the mountain, Saul came a riding on the West side of that very same mountain. They was that close!! Saul found his camp and the fire and was about to take off tracking Davy, when a man from Cowtown rode up and told him the Indians was raiding near Cowtown. Now Saul, he was sure mad he had to give up chasing Davy that day, being so close and all, but he and the Posse headed back to town.

Yessir. Davy's had his troubles and uncertainties, but he just keeps praying and trusting God to take care and deliver him. A RIGHTEOUS MAN MAY HAVE MANY TROUBLES, BUT THE LORD DELIVERS HIM FROM THEM ALL Hey, even mountain lions get hungry now and then, but Davy keeps saying that THOSE WHO SEEK THE LORD LACK NO GOOD THING. [Psalm 34:10] And God has delivered him again and again. Just like at that prayer meeting, or like yesterday at that mountain camp - where God first put a mountain in between, and then just in time came word of those Indians and Saul had to turn back. And no matter how many troubles come Davy's way, and how uncertain thing get, he is determined to trust God to take care of him.

Well, it's late and I do need my beauty sleep. Got a hit the trail at the crack of dawn, Davy's goona need my help, so I reckon I will turn in for now. Good night, boys and girls.


© 1999 Barry McWilliams and Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. Please e-mail for permission to use.

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