Utah Carroll, I'll tell to you the tale
And as, my friend, you ask me what makes me sad and still,
And why my brow is darkened like the clouds upon the hill;
Run in your pony closer and I'll tell to you the tale
Of Utah Carroll, my partner, and his last ride on the trail.
'Mid the cactus and the thistles of Mexico's fair lands,
Where the cattle roam in thousands, a-many a herd and brand,
There is a grave with neither headstone, neither date nor name,—
There lies my partner sleeping in the land from which I came.
We rode the range together and had rode it side by side;
I loved him as a brother, I wept when Utah died;
We were rounding up one morning, our work was almost done,
When on the side the cattle started on a mad and fearless run.
The boss man's little daughter was holding on that side.
She rushed; the cattle saw the blanket, they charged with maddened fear.
And little Varro, seeing the danger, turned her pony a pace
And leaning in the saddle, tied the blanket in its place.
In leaning, she lost her balance and fell in front of that wild tide.
Utah's voice controlled the round-up. "Lay still, little Varro," he cried.
His only hope was to raise her, to catch her at full speed,
And oft-times he had been known to catch the trail rope off his steed.
His pony reached the maiden with a firm and steady bound;
Utah swung out from the saddle to catch her from the ground.
He swung out from the saddle, I thought her safe from harm,
As he swung in his saddle to raise her in his arm.
But the cinches of his saddle had not been felt before,
And his back cinch snapt asunder and he fell by the side of Varro.
He picked up the blanket and swung it over his head
And started across the prairie; "Lay still, little Varro," he said.
Well, he got the stampede turned and saved little Varro, his friend.
Then he turned to face the cattle and meet his fatal end.
His six-shooter from his pocket, from the scabbard he quickly drew,—
He was bound to die defended as all young cowboys do.
His six-shooter flashed like lightning, the report rang loud and clear;
As the cattle rushed in and killed him he dropped the leading steer.
And when we broke the circle where Utah's body lay,
With many a wound and bruise his young life ebbed away.
"And in some future morning," I heard the preacher say,
"I hope we'll all meet Utah at the round-up far away."
Then we wrapped him in a blanket sent by his little friend,
And it was that very red blanket that brought him to his end.