Tall Tale: Late With the Mail

Catron Courier - - News - by Sam “Sweet Wa­ter” Sav­age

Pony Ex­press rid­ers de­liv­ered mail with amaz­ing speed for the 1860’s. In order to ac­cel­er­ate the pace, when a rider ap­proached within half a mile of a sta­tion, they would ei­ther shout or blow a horn in order to no­tify the stock ten­der of their ap­proach, so the sta­tion could have a fresh horse sad­dled and wait­ing.

One day a Pony Ex­press rider neared the Rock Creek sta­tion in western Kansas where he was sched­uled to change horses. He be­gan shout­ing as usual at the proper dis­tance, but the stock-ten­der, who had just re­cently been mar­ried, did not make his ex­pected ap­pear­ance. The rider gal­loped up and in­stead of find­ing a fresh horse, he dis­cov­ered the stock ten­der ly­ing across the sta­ble door with the blood ooz­ing from a bul­let hole to his head.

The rider jumped from his horse and looked in the di­rec­tion of the house to see a man com­ing to­ward him. The ap­proach­ing man fired on him at once, but missed his aim. Quick as light­ning the rider pulled his re­volver and re­turned the fire. The stranger fell dead, shot through the head. You see, this Pony Ex­press rider was no reg­u­lar cow-puncher, this was Wild Bill Hickok in the flesh.

“Bill, Bill! Help! Help! Save me!” cried out the shrill and piti­ful voice of the dead stock ten­der's wife from a win­dow of the house. She had heard the ex­change of shots and knew that Wild Bill had ar­rived.

Hickok dashed over the dead body of the vil­lain whom he had shot, and just as he sprang into the door of the house, he saw two pow­er­ful men as­sault­ing the woman.

One of the des­per­a­does was in the act of strik­ing her with the butt end of a re­volver, and while his arm was still raised, Bill fired his re­volver, drop­ping the man in­stantly. Two other men now came rush­ing from an ad­join­ing room, and Bill, see­ing that the odds were three to one against him, jumped into a cor­ner, and then fired with dead aim, killing another of the vil­lains.

Be­fore he could shoot again the re­main­ing two men closed in upon him, one of whom had drawn a large Bowie knife. Bill wrenched the knife from the other man’s grasp and drove it through the out­law’s chest.

The fifth and last man now grabbed Bill by the throat, and held him at arm's length, but it was only for a mo­ment, as Bill raised his own pow­er­ful right arm and struck the an­tag­o­nist's left arm such a ter­ri­ble blow that he snapped the bone. The dis­abled des­per­ado, see­ing that he was no longer a match for Bill, jumped through the door. Mount­ing a horse, he suc­ceeded in mak­ing his es­cape, be­ing the sole sur­vivor of the Jake McCand­less gang.

Wild Bill re­mained at the sta­tion with the ter­ri­fied woman un­til the stage came along, and he then con­signed her to the care of the driver. Mount­ing his horse he at once gal­loped off at break­neck speed, and soon dis­ap­peared in the dis­tance, rid­ing hard to make up for lost time.

Do you have per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced any amaz­ing or funny events? Have you heard any tall tales? If you’d like to share them, please ei­ther write Tall Tales c/o Ca­tron Courier HC 32 Box 726, Que­mado, NM 87829 or email them to My.Ca­tron.Courier@gmail.com

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