Bill Peters, the Stage Driver
Bill Peters was a hustler
From Independence town;
He warn't a college scholar
Nor man of great renown,
But Bill had a way o' doing things
And doin' 'em up brown.
Bill driv the stage from Independence
Up to the Smokey Hill;
And everybody knowed him thar
As Independence Bill,—
Thar warn't no feller on the route
That driv with half the skill.
Bill driv four pair of horses,
Same as you'd drive a team,
And you'd think you was a-travelin'
On a railroad driv by steam;
And he'd git thar on time, you bet,
Or Bill 'u'd bust a seam.
He carried mail and passengers,
And he started on the dot,
And them teams o' his'n, so they say,
Was never known to trot;
But they went it in a gallop
And kept their axles hot.
When Bill's stage 'u'd bust a tire,
Or something 'u'd break down,
He'd hustle round and patch her up
And start off with a bound;
And the wheels o' that old shack o' his
Scarce ever touched the ground.
And Bill didn't low no foolin',
And when Inguns hove in sight
And bullets rattled at the stage,
He druv with all his might;
He'd holler, "Fellers, give 'em hell,
I ain't got time to fight."
Then the way them wheels 'u'd rattle,
And the way the dust 'u'd fly,
You'd think a million cattle,
Had stampeded and gone by;
But the mail 'u'd get thar just the same,
If the horses had to die.
He driv that stage for many a year
Along the Smokey Hill,
And a pile o' wild Comanches
Did Bill Peters have to kill,—
And I reckon if he'd had good luck
He'd been a drivin' still.
But he chanced one day to run agin
A bullet made o' lead,
Which was harder than he bargained for
And now poor Bill is dead;
And when they brung his body home
A barrel of tears was shed.