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Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE WRANGLER - Chapter three

The Horse and Joe

Joe asked where the hands were and Louis said, “Some are riding herd and the rest are gone to town for it was Payday.”

Down the Drain !
Joe said, “That explains it.”  He knew what Payday meant to a cow hand. They would come back with a hangover and broke. They might have bought a new shirt but the rest of their money would have gone to the saloon and some women.

Huston (The Owner) got his business taken care of in town and spent the night for his daughter and wife was coming back from the big city and had been on a shopping spree.

Joe got up the next morning and was repairing some harness as the hands came in one by one.  The guys riding herd wanted them to relieve them so they could have their night in town.

It was a sorry looking bunch that changed their horses and headed out to take over the herding.  Joe and the two stable hands had to help some of them for they were still a little drunk.

It was afternoon before Huston and his family and a cousin his daughter’s age made it home.

When they arrived Joe took the horses reins and steadied the buggy while everyone got out. He then unloaded their goods and took the buggy to the barn. After tending to the team he shoved the buggy into the barn.

A little later Huston came out and when he saw Joe he called him over and asked him who he was.  “I don’t remember hiring you.”

Joe said, “No sir you haven’t yet but I hoped you would.”

Huston said, “Why would I do that…?  What could you do? You’re pretty young.”

Joe said, “I can do everything on a ranch. I can work cattle, be a horse wrangler and shod them and break them if needed; Mend harness, clean stables, everything on a ranch.”

Huston said, “You’re pretty proud of yourself aren’t you?”

“No sir, but you asked me and I just answered you.”

“How old are you boy?”

“I’m fourteen sir.”

“You can break horses you say.”

“Yes sir I can do that. I can ride most anything.”

Several hands had come around and were listening to Joe and Huston talk. They had an idea where this conversation was leading.

After a little more talk Huston said, “You think you could ride that horse in the corral.?”

Without hesitation Joe said, “I can ride him.”

Huston said, “If you can ride him I will give you a job, if not hit the road.”

Joe said, “After I ride him I would like to buy him from you for I have never seen such a fine horse.”

Huston said, “You know good horse flesh but where would you get enough money to but this horse?”

Joe said, “I will work that out, how much do you want for him?”

Huston and all the hands were laughing out loud by this time and Huston said, “I will give him to you if you can ride him but you will have to saddle him yourself.”

Joe said, “Okay but I will ride him bareback if that’s all right.”

Everyone was laughing their heads off by now and Joe said, “You are serious? You will give me the horse if I ride him.”

Huston said, “I never fail to back up my word, everyone knows that.”

Joe said, “Fine, here goes.”

He leaped over the corral fence and approached the horse that was a little skittish. Joe got him over in a corner and patted his nose.

Huston figured Joe would have been run out of the corral and been bitten and Pawed by now but he was petting the horse and the horse was enjoying it.
A Couple Bucks for Show

Joe then took hold of the horse’s Mane and swung up on his back and the horse gave a couple of halfhearted bucks and then just walked around in the corral.

Joe said, “Open the gate,” and he went off in a gallop. A few minutes later he rode back and put the horse in a stable; rubbed him down and then fed him.

After Joe came out the whole of the ranch were talking about how they didn’t believe what they just seen.

Huston said, “Something isn’t right here.  No one has ever rode that horse.”

Joe didn’t respond to Huston’s ravings but just waited. All the men were hanging around to see if Huston was going to give Joe a job like he promised and oh yes the horse.

Huston realizing everyone was looking at him even his wife and the girls who saw the whole thing so he said, you got a job! 

See Smith for what you have to do and you will have to pay for the horse’s keep unless you use him in doing your duties. Joe said, “Thank you sir.” 

As Huston walked off he was talking to himself saying … “Something isn’t right here.”


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