Colin F. Jones

~ One Spur and the Arrow ~
Part 2 ~ THE FINAL RIDE

~ 31 ~

Jackson quickly spurred his horse,
And the Arab leapt ahead,
The earth in clumps skyward flew
As the grey horse took his head

~ 32 ~

The wild horse reared, tossed his head,
Then spun with violent speed.
He screamed, then sprang away,
Thundering through the weed

~ 33 ~

Jackson yelled, the Arab lurched,
His great hooves pounding deep
Resounding through the rocky draws,
A dazzling purebred streak.

~ 34 ~

But the Arrow widened country
And showed the Arab dust,
That Jackson spurred much harder,
For capture was a must.

~ 35 ~

But the wild horse weaved and spun,
Through gum tree down the slopes
That Jackson knew the run was lost
He saw no pleasant hopes.

~ 36 ~

He reined his horse in swirling dust,
And watched the wild horse go,
But there would be another day,
When the grey had a blow.

~ 37 ~

He turned and rode back along
To where the others waited still
Knowing that he’d been so wrong
As he reached them on the hill.

~ 38 ~

One Spur spoke no bitter word
Nor looked as in a rage
Instead he said, “Lets get that hoss
And put him in a cage.”

~ 39 ~

They trailed the Arrow all the day
Sighting nothing but his tracks,
Shep said “Man is he some horse
Can’t tell of what he lacks”

~ 40 ~

They split up into pairs,
Upon the following morn,
With Shep riding all alone,
To this he had been born

~ 41 ~

One Spur and Jackson headed north
And Ted and Deacon west
Shep, he rode back and forth
For this he thought was best.

~ 42 ~

The wild horse cut back through the hills
To give the men the slip,
But failed to count on meeting Shep,
Atop a ridges lip.

~ 43 ~

Shep was calm, held tight the rein,
As he watched the wild Arrow
Between them the distance wasn’t much
in fact ‘twas very narrow.

~ 44 ~

The wild horse the first to move,
Swung about to flee
Down the incline of the slope
Through sparsely scattered tree

~ 45 ~

Shep urged the Pinto down the grade
Easing off the rein
He tugged his hat lower down
As the Arrow reached the plain.

~ 46 ~

The wild horse thundered off
Across the grassy flats
The Pinto slithering down the slope
Upon nimble hoofy spats.

~ 47 ~

Then Shep allowed the Pinto rein,
The pure bred took the bit
Instantly his speed was gained
He needed not a hit.

~ 48 ~

The Pinto’s hooves grooved the ground
And battered down the blade
Yet though his speed was swift and strong
The Arrow held a shade.

~ 49 ~

But Shep, he knew his flying horse
Could hold this frantic pace
Longer than any other horse alive
He was a stayer in a race.

~ 50 ~

They drew closer to the foothills
With wind and dust awing
With tufts and splintered stones
from hoof thumps set a-fling

~ 51 ~

The wild horse held the pace
As he stretched with powerful stride
Hammering through the foothills
Head held aloft with pride.

~ 52 ~

Soon rocks replaced the grassland
And ravines dipped so deep
The Arrow slipped and scrambled
Then made an arching leap

~ 53 ~

Empty space below him
A crumpling edge ahead
Then suddenly firm ground beneath,
Away the Arrow sped.

~ 54 ~

Shep astride his Pinto,
Saw the yearning gap
Felt the Pinto shudder,
Heard the echoed slap.

~ 55 ~

He feared they could not make it
As the Pinto pawed in air
He saw the edge fall away
Like a moving stair

~ 56 ~

Shep’s heart stopped its beating
As the Pinto began to fall
They hit the ledge, but fell away,
Down the rocky wall.

~ 57 ~

They vanished in the shadow
Of the hollow gorge
Dying in its rocky depths,
Beyond the help of all

~ 58 ~

Shep’s sad death, so bravely done
Was indeed a tragic blow
And One Spur vowed that all the world
would of his efforts know

~ 59 ~

Together now they hunted
With anger in their veins
One Spur scouted up ahead
Gripping tight the reins

~ 60 ~

‘Twas Deacon who first sighted him,
To One Spur called its name
One Spur spun his horse around
His eyes ablaze with flame

~ 61 ~

Deacon cut from the cavalcade,
With Lochley by his side
Ted joined One Spur on the ridge
And together they began to ride.

~ 62 ~

The wild horse fled through scattered tree
Then Reared and wheeled to look
Lockley on his Chestnut mount
Lurched through a little nook.

~ 63 ~

The Wild Horse knew the danger
With Lockley to his right
Deacon moving down the slope
Ted behind him in full flight

~ 64 ~

One Spur cut across the ridge
To baulk the Arrow’s run
It seemed they had him in a net
Beneath the scowling sun

~ 65 ~

The wild horse, fearing capture,
did not turn to flee
Instead he galloped straight at Ted,
Through the scattered tree.

~ 66 ~

Ted saw the fury coming
And swerved his black aside
But as the wild horse thundered near
He altered his flashing stride

~ 67 ~

He slid with hind hoofs flashing
And the black horse hit the ground
Ted crashed down to lie so still
A dust covered lifeless mound,

~ 68 ~

Then the Wild horse leapt away
And opened his great stride
Behind him fanned the angry men
Another one had died.

~ 69 ~

They hit the plain, the dusty mat,
That stretched from hill to scrub
And only half a mile away
The Arrow was on the run.

~ 70 ~

Lockley tapped his chestnut
and the big horse lengthened stride
One Spur touched his Blue grass stud
And the pure bred weaved and shied

~ 71 ~

Deacon held there with them
Upon his gallant bay
As in the sun the Arrow ran;
A black streak in the day.

~ 72 ~

Stones and splinters flew to sky
The dust spurted from below
The pounding, throbbing iron shod hooves
And faded in the blow.

~ 73 ~

The sun blazed down the horses lathered
Held their speeding pace
The riders sore, hot and bothered
In this a frantic race.

~ 74 ~

Now the Arrow was losing ground,
And his scream was that of fear,
As he searched the plain for cover
That may help him gallop clear.

~ 75 ~

But the plain was flat and dusty
It held no rock or tree
‘Twas only through this open place
That he could hope to flee

~ 76 ~

Now Lockley on his Chestnut
Was setting out the pace,
With One Spur trying to hold him
Lest he should lose the race

~ 77 ~

In the rear rode Deacon
His bay a striding beauty
He rode contented where he was
For ‘twas his honest duty

~ 78 ~

Lockley saw the danger
Of the Arrow’s get away
He urged his chestnut forward
In a splintered, dusty spray

~ 79 ~

“The river!” cried bold One Spur,
“Is where he’s headed for.
We’ll have to try and turn him
Or we’ll lose him, that’s for sure!”

~ 80 ~

The chestnut shortened country
Drew closer to the Arrow
At his back rode One Spur
The gap no longer narrow

~ 81 ~

But the wild horse, strong and powerful
Held the men at bay
As closer now the river
Was cutting through the way

~ 82 ~

Deacon spurred his racing mount
And flew up from the rear
He tossed his can and rifle
To lighten up his gear

~ 83 ~

The Arrow hit the low hills
At a valiant charging pace
Down the slope towards the river
In an ebbing losing race

~ 84 ~

Close behind sped Lockley
On his mighty chestnut steed
He pounded down the slope
With a flash of giant speed

~ 85 ~

Closer came brave One Spur
With Deacon at his back
Many a mile they had rode together
Over many a dusty track

~ 86 ~

The Arrow hit the river
With violent smashing splash
And almost stride for stride
The chestnut also crashed

~ 87 ~

But then the river, stronger
Surged against their hides
As the Arrow and the chestnut
Fought against the tides

~ 88 ~

Lockley left the saddle
And hung on to the rein
The rivers pull was strong and swift
To swim was quite a strain

~ 89 ~

But here the wild Arrow
Proved might was his to claim
As he fought the raging river
Towards the far terrain

~ 90 ~

The chestnut sweeping downstream
Had no strength to fight
And Lockley hanging by his head
Vanished out of sight

~ 91 ~

One Spur reached the river
In time to see him drown
As he pulled the blue grass stallion
Over the slope and down

~ 92 ~

The chestnut still in trouble
Fought against the surge
Dipping ‘neath the rapid waves
Sunlit then submerged

~ 93 ~

Deacon raced the river
Along the sloping bank
To try to save the chestnut
Before he tired and sank

~ 94 ~

But the rapids were to fast
As they dragged the chestnut down
Deacon held a hopeless rein
As he saw the pure bread drown

~ 95 ~

Then One Spur and Deacon
Gazed across the foam
And on the other side
The Arrow was making home

~ 96 ~

Glistening in his wetted splendour
The Arrow raised his head
He screamed defiant over the river
The hunters he had shed

~ 97 ~

He flicked his rump, pawed the air
Then spun across the plain
The thunder of his hoof beats
Faded down the main.