The Ballad of Johnny O'Dell
Wild are the tales of the Pony Express
And most of them true if I don't miss my guess.
But wildest of all of the tales that they tell
Is that of fearless young Johnny O'Dell.
Johnny was little, but he was a man
Whom none could outride, outshoot or outplan.
Ride? he could ride anything that could run
And he could outdo any man with a gun.
Back in those days there were men in the West
And Johnny O'Dell was as good as the best.
Only the bravest could carry the mail
Through terrible dangers that haunted the trail.
Dangers there were on the night I describe,
For Johnny encountered an Indian tribe.
Blackie, his horse, gave a new burst of speed.
No Indian pinto could equal that steed.
Bullets and arrows whizzed over his head
As into the foe and right through them he sped.
Outlaws had raided the station ahead—
The horses were stolen, his partner was dead.
Onward went Johnny over the trail.
For such was the life when you carry the mail
Rivers they forded for bridges were none;
While crossing one stream he was stopped by a gun.
"Halt!" cried a man on the bank of the creek
As together they fired by the light of the sun.
Still lay the stranger whom Johnny had met,
For all that I know he is lying there yet.
Onward went Johnny into the West,
As a spot of crimson appeared on his vest.
Together continued their hazardous ride,
The powerful horse with the brave man astride.
Into the town of Red Gulch did they go,
As blotches of blood marked their way through the snow.
This was the end of the perilous trail
Through bullets, and arrows; through blizzards and hail.
Johnny dismounted and cried with a wail,
"Oh, Darn it all, I've forgotten the mail!"