Summer of 1875, and the Wells Fargo stagecoach is slowly rattling through a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada gold country, bearing a cargo of passengers, U.S. mail, and gold.

The driver pulls the horses to an abrupt halt at the sight of a man standing confidently on the side of the road. He wears a long dirty duster, a sack of flour over his head with a pair of holes cut for the eyes and brandishes a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun. A deep and hollow voice utters the command destined to become the most famous five words in western outlaw history: “please throw down the box.”

The legend of Black Bart is born.

For further edification:
» a site including list of holdup dates
» capture of Black Bart – 1920′s reminiscence
» Wild West Magazine

thanks to Tom Joad for the cool banjo tunes “Sand River Belle” and “West Fork Gals”. Use licensed under Creative Commons.