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The Famous Pony Express

The Famous Pony Express image
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Twenty years ngo settlers starting for tlie tat west, witli their heavlly-ladon wagons, knew tliat the journey wttuld occupy six ïnontlis of hard travel, and migUt involvt' many danjjers of varled cliaracter - chlefly from hostile Indlnns, prairio tires, and rattlesnakes. Whën once started on tliat far journey, many i weary inonth must elapse ere iny tidingseould reach them from the home they had left. Qreat was the excitement when a compariy of t'earless, determined men, announced their resolution to carry letters froui the shores of the Atlantic to those of Ihe Pacific in fourteen days. Tlie feat was deemed impossible. Nevertlieless, Central Overland California and l'ike's Peak Kxpress was duly orjjanizcd, the vut eiMDH of country right acroM tlie Gieat Continent was divided into runs of sixty mile, and at each terminus rnde log liuts weru erected a stations and utables for men and beast. The latter were strong, swlft ponies, selected for their hardiness, and {reat powers of endurance, aud the r.ders were all picked men, experiented tcouts and trappers, noted - even in tliat reftiOJl ol keen, liard-riding men- tor courage and L'om] liorsemanhip; and muiy a time iimsL both have been tried to the uttei'most in the course of tliose terribly long and awfully lonesome rides across the trackle&s prairie, coiitinually In danier of atUKtk, by day or hy nlght, by wild Indians or highway robbers. Once a week. au Kxpress UMuenger started from either side of the Gieut Continent. From tlie tir.-t moment to the last, nota second must be lost. As long as Ihe pony c.oukl gdlap, galop he must; and the eager beasta teemed as keen as their riderf, and scarcely needed the cruel ípur to urge them on. For sixty miles at a streteh they must keep up their utmost peed and at lencth the jroal was reached wliure the next saetMngfr wa wttUiay In the laddle, ïeidy to start without one niinule's delay, the preclous letter-haj: was tosscd from oue postman to the other, and, ere the wearied incomer had even disiiKjiiiitcd, his successor had started on liis onward way. The pony'and man might rest and fecd, and rest a'ain, till the return of the messeneer with a refilled letter baj;, wliuh was warranU'd to accomplLsh iis joiirney of upwardg of 2000 miles in '240 hours. (Tlie railway on the New York side heing already eonstructed as far as Ht Joseph, that station was the ateten point to which the J'ony Kxpress Irnd to runi. This J'ony Kxpret-s was coutinued for two years, accomplUhing its work with unazing regularity, and involving many a feat of splendid rldin and wild adventure. It proyed, liowever, iv niinous failure from a commercial point of view, and the coiniianv collapscd with a dclicit of


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News