Colin F. Jones

~ One Spur And The Arrow ~

~ 190 ~

Northward down the valley
Cut from his wild band
The magnificent wild Arrow
Fled across the thriving land

~ 191 ~

Marking him a mile wide
Was Dig with Billy Lorrel
Bill upon his screwball horse
Dig upon his sorrel

~ 192 ~

They did not try to take him
For One Spur had not said
So they followed along the ridgeline
Above a dry creek bed

~ 193 ~

Miles up the valley
The herds were driven on
through the narrow ravine
That soon they were gone

~ 194 ~

Then the riders joined together
To rest their tired mounts
The air grew calm and silent
Free of noise and shouts

~ 195 ~

Alone, and in his kingdom
Stood the glistening Wild horse
As he watched the bunch of riders
Follow the river’s course

~ 196 ~

He turned and tossed his wild head
As they spread across the way
He reared, snorted, pawed the air,
Then cut down through the clay

~ 197 ~

But Kane had watched his movements
And spurred his horse to speed
By his rump, One Spur slapped
His mighty Blue grass steed

~ 198 ~

Then wild eyed, the Arrow,
Thundered down the valley floor,
In the wind his flowing mane…
Behind, his black tail poured.

~ 199 ~

Over the rocky rises,
Down the yielding banks
Powered by mighty shoulder
Lathered to the flanks,

~ 200 ~

Across the open valley,
A beautiful graceful thing,
Splendid in his hammering run
Faster than a Falcon’s wing

~ 201 ~

In his wake the riders,
Let their horses go,
Like lightning through the heavens
like a flooded river’s flow

~ 202 ~

Ah! The wild horse gathered
His bunching legs and flung
Them down the stony hillsides
And breathed no ebbing lung

~ 203 ~

Tense with nerves appealing
To slow his shuddering pace
He turned towards the meadows
To seek to end the chase

~ 204 ~

Vibrant on the meadows
His thundering hooves beat down
Fleet with rhythmic effort
Power his unconquered crown

~ 205 ~

Through his wide blown nostrils
He screamed his fearless pride
As the scattered trees flew passed him
In his gallant streaking stride

~ 206 ~

Limbs that sought to sweep him
Were violently smashed aside
As bushes crashed before him
And a million insects died

~ 207 ~

Shrubs and plants and cacti
Were hurled from shattered ground
That sprayed the reeling grasses
And turned the rocks around

~ 208 ~

Throbbing yet his straining heart
Sought out greater speed
As he swerved into the streaking wind
For more power was his breed

~ 209 ~

And speed he gained with effort
That blurred his gallant pace
Wondrous was his boldness
And fine his wild race.

~ 210 ~

The horses now like lancers
Stretched through the swirling dust
With freedom in their paces
Their souls sort out the lust

~ 211 ~

Riders skilled to leather
Pulled their hat brims down
Gritted teeth from flying stone
That could slash a covered crown

~ 212 ~

Their horses trained for roughness
Felt not the bruising rocks
Ignored the razored splinters
That tore hair from bleeding hocks.

~ 213 ~

Dust was mattered in the foam
That slowed the horses not
With bleeding mouths and silent bits
O’er the trembling earth they shot

~ 214 ~

Now louder the thunder grew
As each rider sought to win
For all would here the rider’s name
Who brought the Arrow in

~ 215 ~

They loosed their ropes and stockwhips
And threw their kits away
As in the blue, God’s fiery eye
Burned watchful in the day

~ 216 ~

Now the horses too ran solo
Though as a vibrant team they swept
Through spraying twig and gumleaf
With many gullies leapt

~ 217 ~

With iron flinting iron
And saddle leather near
One Spur and his riders
From the foothills galloped clear

~ 218 ~

The wild horse turned westward
But One Spur marked him there
And to the east flashed Deacon
With his stockwhip in the air

~ 219 ~

He shied from flying saplings
That he himself cut down
As he tried to swerve from meadows
To higher rocky ground

~ 220 ~

But no trail opened for him
As the stockwhips forced him back
So he widened at the shoulder
To flee their fearful crack

~ 221 ~

Now the Arrow sensing capture
Rolled savage eye with fear
As One Spur and his riders
Held back a merry cheer

~ 222 ~

The horses that he guarded
Had fled through the ravine door
So the wild horse to his limits
Strained for a little more

~ 223 ~

Then the earth a stammer
Echoed to the beat
There wasn’t any way to go
He couldn’t now retreat

~ 224 ~

In the dust the hunters
Spurred their pounding steeds
Blood showed red upon their flanks
As they matched the Arrow’s speed

~ 225 ~

All the valley rumbled
To the rhythms of their hooves
In the air the dust clouds rose
From a dozen guttered grooves

~ 226 ~

Closer drew the ravine
Freedoms only door
Across its front a ten-foot fence
Blocked the valley floor

~ 227 ~

From the northern hillsides
Clive, and Billy Lorrel
Slipped down through the grasses
That shone like emerald coral

~ 228 ~

By the fence they waited
With looped and ready ropes
As in the distance vibrant thunder
Raised their wild hopes

~ 229 ~

The Arrow a shaft of velvet
A-shine in sapping sun
Shot from the dust a bullet
From freedoms powerful gun

~ 230 ~

His white eye rolled with horror
In his desperate straining flight
As the barrier at the ravine
Loomed before his wild sight

~ 231 ~

He reached the defiant fence rail
And heard the stockman’s cry
As from the ground he bravely leapt
And twisted in the sky

~ 232 ~

He leapt with grace and courage
As twin ropes curled and sung
Whipped his head and powerful neck
Where they held and clung

~ 233 ~

Half stretched over the fence rail
He felt the ropes jerk tight
But now it was all to late
To halt his hurling flight

~ 234 ~

His hind legs hit the fence bar
As his head was pulled low down
And in a smashing violent fury
The Arrow crashed to ground

~ 235 ~

Then all about were riders
Dismounting, jumping down
His wildly threshing pawing legs
Were pinned and quickly bound

~ 236 ~

So now this wondrous wild horse
Famed throughout the land
Was captive of a noble man
Of firm but gentle hand

~ 237 ~

Bye and bye the wild horse
Was carefully shipped away
To the station land of One Spur
Many miles away

~ 238 ~

Here time would be taken
To calm the Arrow down
To teach him not to fear
This man of such renown