Colin F. Jones

~ One Spur And The Arrow ~
Part 1 ~ THE GATHERING

~ 1 ~

The sun rose over the mountains,
Bright rays beaming down,
To spread across the valleys
And over the rocky ground

~ 2 ~

This was wild, harsh country
Where seldom man had trod,
Where rain had barely touched its face
To damp the rock and sod.

~ 3 ~

But in this wild brown country,
Thriving on the blades
A wild horse called Arrow
Ruled king of all the trades

~ 4 ~

Fifteen tall hands he stood,
Of arching neck and withers
Blacker than the darkest night,
More swifter than the rivers.

~ 5 ~

Fine he was, and handsome,
And worth a pot of gold
In every town West of the line
His story was often told

~ 6 ~

Many had heard of the Arrow
In a hundred different towns
But it was on a station in the west
That the story came to ground

~ 7 ~

The station boasted stockmen,
Was the finest in the land
It had ten top rank riders,
With a dozen more on hand

~ 8 ~

The owner of the station,
As “One Spur” he was known.
Told all that he intended
To bring the Arrow home

~ 9 ~

He shipped his finest mount
To a town near Arrow’s land
Took five stockmen with him
To ride the burning sand

~ 10 ~

Their mounts all had breeding
Sturdy, and were strong
Sure footed on the roughest range,
With seldom a hoof placed wrong

~ 11 ~

There was Jackson from the Bo Bo
With his powerful Arab grey
With Brother Ted; and Deacon,
With their horses black and bay

~ 12 ~

There was One Spur’s top hand rider,
Lockley was his name,
He rode a pure bred chestnut
With a dancing glossy mane.

~ 13 ~

Last, and from the east
On a Pinto, mountain bred
Rode Shep, the boundary man
A lonely life he led.

~ 14 ~

The town attracted interest
As they groomed and fed their mounts,
From miles around people came
With laughter and joyous shouts

~ 15 ~

Then on a Monday morning
The first day of a noisy week
One Spur and his riders
Fixed their gear to peak,

~ 16 ~

They saddled their fine horses
They slung their kits and guns
Then mounted in the sunlight
For ahead lay many suns.

~ 17 ~

Watched by crowds of people
They rode slowly from the town
Out across old Haddley’s plain,
Along the trail northward bound

~ 18 ~

One Spur smiled greetings
To the homesteaders by the way;
Luck was wished and silent minds
Envisaged an historic day

~ 19 ~

The cavalcade of riders
Left the town behind…
That soon the plains and hills,
Were part of life, and then

~ 20 ~

The things they knew were gone,
The cows, the milking field,
The home, the wife, the son,
The hot cooked homely meal

~ 21 ~

All day they rode in blazing sun,
Sweat turning dust to grime,
Brims pulled down to shade the eye
Against the austere shine

~ 22 ~

Night soon fell with shrouding cape
And a place was found to camp,
Down came saddle and bridle bit;
The fire glowed like a lamp.

~ 23 ~

Slumber came, the fire died
The breeze was soft and light
Soon the day would break the dark
The sun would be in sight

~ 24 ~

Soon it was, the sun on high
Found the fire burning
Tea thrown in the boiling pot
To quench their thirsty yearning.

~ 25 ~

Before the sun had risen up
Above the high terrain
One Spur and his mounted men
Were on the trail again

~ 26 ~

The heat beat down around them
The grey dust, rose in clouds
All about their stetsoned heads
The flies milled in crowds

~ 27 ~

Then Jackson reined his Arab in,
Leapt to the broken ground,
“The hoof mark by the gum tree!”
Was his only muttered sound

~ 28 ~

One Spur smiled, a knowing smile
He drew a lung of smoke,
Patting then his Blue grass mount
He cracked a funny joke.

~ 29 ~

Then Shep, sat upright on his horse,
Pointing across the plain,
His eyes grew wider as he gazed
Hands clutching stringy mane.

~ 30 ~

Magnificent in the morning sun
The Arrow broke his pawing stride,
Flicked his rump and tossed his head,
In regal valiant pride