While this isn't quite our traditional kind of post, we thought you ladies might enjoy having a fun story to read! Especially if you are fond of adventure and historical fiction. :)
This short story is part of a special mission we have for you. B wrote this for history class and wants YOU to review it! Please read her story and comment on this post with your review!
P.S. Want to write a short story of your own? Check out B's post in Crafts and Activities.
Hello there! I suppose you are here to learn about the Pony Express. Many people have asked me about the Pony Express. It's only fitting that they would. After all, I was one of the riders that carried letters from the east coast to the west. Oh, my name is Joe Rider, by the way.
With a name like Joe Rider, it was no big suprise to anyone when I signed up for the Pony Express (but I am getting ahead of myself). Advertisements were everywhere. The Pony Express was expected to be a big business and they wanted lots of riders. It was going to be a tough and dangerous job. We would be expected to ride fast and cover many miles with each ride. I was young, so I jumped at the chance for adventure.
My route ran from Aurora, Nebraska to Ogallala, Nebraska. I would travel as many miles a day as I could, but I often had to stop at little towns in between to get a new horse and to get a meal. The stables I rested at were always the most comfortable, but after a long day of sitting on a horse's back, anything other than a saddle felt great.
My salary was $25 a week. Not a lot, but back in those days it wasn't too bad (especially for a young boy like I was). I valued every hard-earned penny.
Most days, I hauled a bulky bag full of letters to ordinary people. I often imagined to whom the letters might be. Maybe someone's lover had written them a kindly hello. Maybe some spy was sending coded messages to an accomplice. I imagined all sorts of possiblities, but never did I imagine what was to be in one special bag.
The day I received that bag, I was feeling a little glum. The sky was gray and I felt sore and stiff, no mood for riding. I walked into the stables at Aurora and prepared to saddle my horse. She was a beautiful pinto that seemed fairly steady. The man at the stables called me to a back room, away from a couple other riders who were trading out horses or adjusting their stirrups. The man had graying hair and smelled like tobacco.
“Alright boy. I got a bag for you to haul.” he said, looking through a pile of sacks. I was curious. It's usually not a big deal to get a bag. You mount your horse, they hand you the bag, you tie it on, and you're off! What was this man up to? He found the bag he was looking for and looked me straight in the eye.
“Don't look in this sack. Don't feel around in the sack. Whatever you do, don't let anyone else look or feel around in this sack. Tie it on to your waist tight. Ride fast. Keep your distance from other people. Don't take this sack off for one second. Go.” At this, he handed me the bag. I tied it on to my waist as he said and walked out of the back room. The man followed me and watched me mount the horse.
I was very confused. He had talked so quickly I was stunned. Why would he insist taking such weird precautions for this bag? I urged the pinto into a gallop as I pondered. Did he think that I was incapable of this job? I had dealt with people who thought I was too young to be trusted, but this guy was the worst. Not trusting me seemed like the most likely reason, but something told me that the reason was more.
Inspite of my directions, I carefully led my horse into a small cluster of trees, as soon as I was out of sight of the stables. I tied up the pinto and then untied the bag from my waist. I opened the bag behind a tree. There were lots of envelopes in the sack, none of which seemed odd. I plunged my hand deeper. I mixed up the bag's contents. Finally, a little package caught my eye. It was small and looked almost the same as any other small package. I weighed it in my hand. It was as light as a letter. It only stood out for a few little reasons. One reason was because is was bound so tightly. Most packages are closed somewhat tightly, but the sender of this package must have been very worried about whatever was enclosed. There must have been several layers of paper around it, and the rope around the paper was tied with many strong knotts.
I pulled out my small pocket knife at worked at the rope. I managed to cut through it and I began to unwrap the paper. I was careful to not rip it. I fully unwrapped the box and I carefully opened the lid. To my supprise, there was a little bag full of a shiny yellow powder inside.
“Gold dust.” I gasped. I quickly rewrapped the little box and tried to mimick the knotts that had fastened it. There were more boxes like the one I had opened in my bag too. I knew better than to open them all though.
The pinto horse was grazing when I untied her. I mounted her and then hurried her into a fast gallop. We sailed over the road. Even when my hat blew off, we kept going. Through a small town we went. Past farms we flew. Around corners we whizzed. The horse finally started to tire after me pushing her so hard. We were forced to slow down at a little village. My stomach growled. I left the horse at some stables, then headed to a tavern to rest.
I walked in with the bag bouncing at my side. Only a few men were there. I sat down a little way from them and they hardly looked at me. They were playing some game at a table. I tried to act natural but my heart was beating. One of the men noticed me after a while and called me over.
“Hey boy. You got coins for playing with?”
I timidly stood.
“No sir. I don't play.”
He saw the sack tied to me and started to chuckle.
“What you got in the bag boy?”
“Nothing.” My head started to panic.
“Awe. You got something.” he stood but fumbled, clearly drunk. I tried to move but my feet felt frozen. I was just a boy and this man was a lot bigger than me. “Give it here.”
“N-n-no.” I stepped back. “It is a mail bag. Private property.”
“Give it!” he hollered. Just in time, a door burst open and someone, I assume the tavern owner, came in.
“Leave the boy be, Al.” the new man said.
“Leave.” he repeated. The drunk man left and I thanked the tavern owner. After that close call, I didn't stay any longer.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. Ogallala came into sight and I was relieved. I settled the horse into a light trot and let off my guard. That was a mistake. I don't know why I let my guard down. I was not in the town yet, only in sight of it.
A man jumped out in front of me, making the normally gentle horse rear up. The man in front of me had a knife and was all dressed in black. I couldn't see his face. He lunged at me and my horse again.
“Give me the bag.” he ordered. I backed up the horse. He lunged a third time. This time, his hand brushed the bag and he tried to grasp it. I gave the man a swift kick, and because I was sitting up on a horse, managed to kick him in his chest. It stunned him and I urged the horse into a gallop once more.
I never gave that horse a rest until we reached the Ogallala stable. There, I gave the man at the stable the bag. This man had a cheerful smile and he patted me on the shoulder.
“You have done a mighty thing. You were hauling a precious bundle.”
“I know it.” I grinned. I told the man of my adventure. “Now I have an amazing story to tell.” The man's smile faded.
“Sorry lad. This is one tale you can't tell. Not until you are old or if this Pony Express should ever fall apart.”
Even after the Pony Express fell apart, I never told my story......until now.
Well, ladies? I would LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments!!