Way up in the far north country,
In a place called Arroyo;
'Twas there I met my brother,
His story you will know.
We were best pals from childhood,
And times he rode by my side;
I'll tell you first how he lived, boys,
Then I'll tell how he died.
We were boys together,
I remember how we cried;
I was only seventeen,
He, ten, when Mother died.
Jack grew up as a cowboy,
Could ride and rope with the best;
But he fell in with evil companions,
In the fur-trapping business out west.
One day when he came from his trap-line,
He wasn't surprised when he saw;
A red-coated ranger in the doorway,
For he knew he had broken the law.
In a cabin in Canada's Rockies,
Where there's nothing but beauty and trees;
Jack took the life of a ranger,
A Canadian Mounted Police.
The captain then called me beside him,
Said, "Rod, you're not to blame;
Before that young ranger died, son,
He mentioned your young brother's name."
"I hope that Jack isn't guilty,
But I'll get him if I can;
I'll leave here with your orders,
A Mountie will get his man."
For days and days I trailed him,
Broken, disgusted, and sad;
He finally left me a letter,
Saying, "Rod, you'll take me in dead."
I finally found his trail, boys,
From tracks they left in the snow;
They led to a little log cabin,
Back to our old Arroyo home.
I told him to surrender,
His answer to me was in lead;
I fired three shots in the darkness,
And my little brother lay dead.
O, Mother in heaven, forgive me,
For sending the boy to his grave;
And God up in heaven, I'm grateful,
You've answered this young Mountie's prayer.