The Legend Of Katy Creek
Kathryn McClure was a wisp of a girl, lovely, green eyed and fair,
Born with a bit of a wild side and a touch of I don't care.
Kate loved her Da and rode at his side most days on the Bitter Wells range,
Each day she'd gallop her bantam paint pony across its rugged domain.
Now Malcolm McClure was an august man, with a stature like that of a bear,
He was known far and wide for his enterprise, and the water he would not share.
He had hired a man to ride his range and scout for those who would steal,
And his claim of their cattle as payment for theft was enforced without appeal.
McClure' s Indian wife had delivered him Kate, the center of all they had,
Together they feared for their only child, concerned that she might go bad.
For Scottish fire and Kiowa blood drove Kate hard on this desert expanse,
And she often sat in the shade by the creek where she'd fancy a life of romance.
Simone Ruybal was the young vaquero who rode the Bitter Wells fringe,
He'd often see Kate in the shade at the creek where he'd stop to check his cinch.
Just a young man who'd gone hired gun, now with too much time on his hands,
A boy overwhelmed with dreams of grandeur and of re-claiming his own range-lands.
One day at the creek Sam devised a quick plan to steal Kate and run away,
Then send back a note advising McClure how much he'd have to pay.
He would exchange the girl for gold and silver that would finance his future plans;
For a few thousand dollars he would keep her safe till she was back in her fathers hands.
So, one bright afternoon as they sat in their saddles in the shade by Katy's creek
He grabbed for her reins, then buried his spurs and they came away with a leap!
With a whoop! of surprise Kate kept her seat, settling in to enjoy the run,
Not afraid, nor even mildly concerned, to her it was outrageous fun!
When they'd galloped for miles, never slowing, Miss Kate began to wonder.
But, whatever his plans, she knew no doubt, she'd lay them all asunder.
So, seizing the knife kept at her hip, she reached low o'er her pony's neck
And deftly slashed the offending rein by which she was held in check
Simone never dreamed Katy could ride as if born in the saddle she sat.
His mouth was agape when she hurtled past, and vanished through the gap!
But, he could not lose this one chance at riches, he could not suffer defeat!
So, with new resolve he raced through the break then... was suddenly shoved out of his seat
That dancing paint pony had sprung from his left, Kate's face was a-flush with laughter.
Simone checked all his bones then gathered his horse and came at her in a lather.
"Your crazy!" he cried. "What a boneheaded stunt!" His words flew in a rage.
"I'm ruined" he moaned "and sacked for sure" Then, he galloped off into the sage.
Katy swiftly caught up, and as they raced along he tried his best to defer
This auburn haired imp who had injured his pride, this cause of his sad future.
"What do you mean you're ruined and sacked?" she asked as the sage blurred past.
Though he cut and dodged he could not shake her and, so, turned to answer at last.
They'd slowed to a walk as he finished his tale and found themselves back at the creek ,
Where Kate sat her pony and studied this boy whose future had quickly gone bleak.
She felt allied to this handsome young man, whose face was now full of chagrin.
If McClure should discover just what had transpired, she well knew her Daddy would kill him!
Her heart went out to this brave vaquero whose soul seemed much like her own;
It seemed he had plans to take him beyond this desert of cactus and stone.
So, she shared her dreams of daring and risk, of legend, lore and romance!
How she'd explore every mist, every splendid shadow if only given the chance!
They parted that day with a smile and look that read each others heart.
Exciting new feelings coursed in their veins as they waved good bye at dark.
Perhaps, together they'd unveil a way to finance his plans to go home,
And provide her a way of escape from this place and into the grand unknown.
Life danced and swayed with new meaning for Katy as she daily rode with McClure.
Keen ears and sharp eyes listened and searched for a plan that was swift and sure.
Then, while enjoying the shade by the station well where the Butterfield ran twice a week,
The ground shook and trembled and Kate gasped for air when the six up ran in wet and sleek!
She intently watched while the team was switched and a few passengers stretched and yawned.
While trunks and boxes were secured by the driver, an enticing new plan was dawned!
Katy finished her chores and went home with the package her Da had sent her to bring.
But, rational thought ceased, her mind was besotted, her heart was beginning to sing...
Only just once or maybe twice. They'd have more than they'd ever need!
It would be fun and exciting, no one would get hurt, no one would learn their misdeed !
Kate raced to find her handsome vaquero and told him her thrilling idea.
This plan would finance, Katy was sure, grand adventure incognita.
Not quite convinced, but drawn in by the passion of one who had stolen his heart,
he listened and pondered this scandalous plan, and they conferred until well after dark
Two weeks time they'd have it in order, knowing just which stage to hold up.
Plenty of time to develop good plans and be sure everything was clear cut.
Now, Kate spent her days in a bit of a haze while she worked with her Da on his range.
And he thought that his daughter was off in the clouds and acting a wee bit strange.
But, McClure and his wife ascribed it to youth; those strange whims that turn a young mind.
As she grew a bit older she'd settle herself and leave frivolous thought behind.
But, Simone and Katy just dug themselves deeper with every passing day.
They created disguises to throw off recognition and abet them in getting away.
Wearing bright colored blankets and bandoliers, ruffled shirts and gaudy vests,
Large black sombreros and conchos of silver, they'd ride out and achieve their quest!
One mist cloaked morning, with the sun just rising, they met just outside of town
where they hid in the rocks and watched for the stage fresh loaded and Phoenix bound.
Eastern folks carrying goods and money de-trained there in Maricopa,
Three thousand miles they had safely come, now to meet with their first outlaw!
The six up panicked at the colorful specter that suddenly appeared in the road,
They balked and reared and abruptly stopped, nearly capsizing their load
Driver and shotgun were too startled as well to perceive what lay just ahead,
Then a wraith in the road said "Just give us your goods, and there will be no bloodshed!"
The strongbox was opened, wallets were emptied and cash from pockets with- drawn
Ladies were left with their rings and gewgaws, and like that... the bandits were gone!
It happened so fast, no bluffing or blunder, so surreal, it seemed like a hoax,
the victims just stood there blinking, awaiting the missing punchline of the joke.
Katy and Sam rode off through the rocks then south, to the Bitter Wells Range,
Neither one laughing about this thing that had wrought them so much change.
Too surprised and scared at the ease of the game and how quickly it all came to pass,
But making the hideout they soon relaxed and counted their treasures en mass.
There was gold and bills of significant sum, though not enough to achieve their plan
It was not what they wanted, but, with a take such as this...they were bound to do it again!
They ran great risk of being discovered, of shaming themselves and Kate's Da,
But, so enticingly close to acquiring their dream, no way could they ever withdraw .
Word spread like fire through dry sage of apparitions who emerged from the mists.
Ghosts cloaked in blankets of turquoise and orange, scrimshawed pistols at ease in their fists!
Blue shadowed faces and soft spoken commands served up intrigue to victims at hand,
Enchanted and charmed they held forth their riches, giving in to the bandits' demands.
But, good law does prevail and a posse was formed to curtail this stage robbing spree
And, Malcolm McClure, to no ones' surprise, was the sheriffs first enlistee
In a surprising cruel twist and one spelling doom the young lovers never foresaw,
He approached Simone and asked if he'd go on this ride to restore the law!
To Be Continued...........
Copyright 2008 Nancy Ruybal