Of all the tall tales of the west, tales of the Pony Express may reach the highest. It was impressive at the time, the feat of delivering mail across 1,966 miles in 10 days when it had previously taken a month or more. But posting a letter from Missouri to California initially cost $5, or more than $100 in today's money. So when the telegraph came along in late 1861, the costly private mail delivery business vanished, along with its records. Then the legend began: after the Civil War former rider Bill Cody brought the Pony Express back to life in his traveling show, Buffalo Bill 's Wild West. For thirty years, riders dashed past Indian raiders and leapt from one moving horse onto the next, finding the glory, adventure and excitement in a failed business that had lasted less than two years.
Among those who said they rode for the Pony Express was "Broncho Charlie" Miller, who was only 11 years old at the time.