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Jack of the Pony Express

By Frank V. Webster

“Your father is a little late tonight, Jack?”

“Yes, Mrs. Watson, he should have been here a half-hour ago, and he would, too, if he had ridden Sunger instead of his horse.”

“You think a lot of that pony of yours, don’t you, Jack?” a motherly-looking woman came to the doorway of a small cottage and peered up the mountain trail, which ran in front of the building. Out on the trail itself stood a tall, bronzed lad, who was, in fact, about seventeen years of age, but whose robust frame and athletic build made him appear several years older.

“Yes, Mrs. Watson,” the boy answered with a smile, “I do think a lot of Sunger and he’s worth it, too.”
“Yes, I guess he is. And he can travel swiftly, too. My goodness! The way you sometimes clatter past my house makes me think you’ll sure have an accident. Sometimes I’m so nervous I can’t look at you.”

“Sunger is pretty sure-footed, even on worse mountain trails than the one from Rainbow Ridge to Golden Crossing,” answered Jack with a laugh, that showed his white, even teeth, which formed a strange contrast to his tanned face.

“Sunger,” repeated Mrs. Watson, musingly. “What an odd name. I often wonder how you came to call him that.”

“It isn’t his real name,” explained Jack, as he gave another look up the trail over which the rays of the declining sun were shining, and then walked up to the porch, where he sat down. “The pony was once owned by a Mexican miner, and he named him something in Spanish which meant that the little horse could go so fast that he dodged the sun. Sundodger was what the name would be in English, I suppose, and after I bought him that’s what I called him.

“But Sundodger is too much of a mouthful when one’s in a hurry,” and Jack laughed at his idea, “so,” he went on, “I shortened it to Sunger, which does just as well.”

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Frank V. Webster

Frank V. Webster was a pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. A total of 25 novels in The Webster Series For Boys were published by Cupples & Leon between 1909 and 1915. Titles were reprinted in 1938 by Saalfield Publishing.

Frank V. Webster’s name

Effort was made to present Webster as if he were a real person. A 1911 advertisement stated: “We have made a distinct find in Mr. Frank V. Webster, who is under contract to write exclusively for us.” Part of a 1921 newspaper advertisement read: “Mr. Webster’s style is much like that of the late lamented Horatio Alger, Jr., but his tales are all up-to-date. These are clean, clever boys’ stories.”

Actual authors

Many of the novels were written by Howard R. Garis. Other authors were George Rathbone, J. W. Lincoln, and Weldon J. Cobb.


1. Only a Farm Boy (1909)
2. Tom the Telephone Boy (1909)
3. The Boy from the Ranch (1909)
4. The Young Treasure Hunter (1909)
5. Bob the Castaway (1909)
6. The Young Firemen of Lakeville (1909)
7. The Newsboy Partners (1909)
8. The Boy Pilot of the Lakes (1909)
9. Two Boy Gold Miners (1909)
10. Jack the Runaway (1909)
11. Comrades of the Saddle (1910)
12. The Boys of Bellwood School (1910)
13. Bob Chester’s Grit (1911)
14. Airship Andy (1911)
15. The High School Rivals (1911)
16. Darry the Life Saver (1911)
17. Dick the Bank Boy (1911)
18. Ben Hardy’s Flying Machine (1911)
19. The Boys of the Wireless (1912)
20. Harry Watson’s High School Days (1912)
21. The Boy Scouts of Lennox (1915)
22. Tom Taylor at West Point (1915)
23. Cowboy Dave (1915)
24. Two Boys of the Battleship (1915)
25. Jack of the Pony Express (1915)

Frank V. Webster

Frank V. Webster