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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
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September 20, 1945     The Billings County Pioneer
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September 20, 1945
 

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i / 'PT-T~ ]~TT,T,TI~Tr~,q C~OTTRFI~T PTON~R THE STORY THUS FAR: In a cold rainstorm, Flicka's colt, long overdue, iS born. Ken McLaughHn, Fllcka'$ 12- year-old owner, finds her at last in a gully, of which there are many on his fatker's big horse ranch in the Rockies. Ken is astonished to see that the colt is white, and evidently a throwback to the Albino, a wild stallion that is FUcka's grandsire. He realizes that the mare and her colt should be in the warm stables. When he attempts to lead Flicka she balks. Ken then tries to lift and drag the foal, but the Httle animal kicks and bites. Knowing then that he must get help, Ken runs to the ranch- house. There he finds only his brother Howard at home. CHAPTER H "Fllcka's colt's born! You've gotta help me get it in! It's down in the stable pasture. Down at the foot of that red cliff--the one you and I ride up and down!" Ken paused for breath and How- ard stared at him. Howard always took his time. He glanced down again at the page opened on the table before him and finished reading "I'll alter your life --success depends on your bodily de- velopment-" "Gee, Howard! Come along!" Howard closed the pamphlet and got up from his chair. "Won't it follow Flicka up the path?" "It can't. It's too steep. It tried but it can't make it." "Jiminy Christmas!" said How- ard. "what'll we do? It might die if it stays out in this storm all night." "We'll carry it!" cried Ken im- patiently. "Come on! That's what I came to get you for. We gotta--" The two boys ran up the gorge. Passing the stables Ken hesitated. "He's a regular little kicking devil," he said doubtfully, "may- be we'll have to tie him--" He headed into the stables. "Bring a lantern!" shouted How- ard, and Ken emerged with two halter-ropes, a halter and lead-rope for Flicka and the stable lantern. The temperature was falling rap- idly. Kerfs face flamed and burned from the heat within him and the stinging cold without but he didn't notice. All he could think of was the white foal--white--! They slithered down the steep path, not much more than a gully cut by the rain in the cliff, and saw the mare and foal just as Ken had left them. "White!" exclaimed Howard, halt- ing just as Ken had done. Ken slipped her halter on and dropped the rope. Then the two boys together tried to grip the foal but he squealed and bit and seemed to have a dozen thrashing legs. Suddenly Howard slipped and sat down. The colt, too, lost his footing and fell and Flicka whirled nervous. ly and stood over him. Ken threw himself on the foal, "Here, Howard!" he said, keeping his voice calm, "while I'm lying on him--tie his hind feet together, can you? Howard accomplished this, then Ken rolled over and the two boys tied the front feet and stood up, panting, while Fltcka grunted anx- iously over the prone body of her bleating foal. "We can't ever carry him up that path," said Howard, Hghting the lantern. "He weighs a ton--never saw such a husky colt. And is he strong!" "He sure is," said Ken proudly, "ought to be--he's been in there two months more than a year--just growin' and eatin'--Iook Howard, we'll have to get him up on Flicka. She'll carry him." "He'd fall off," objected Howard doubtfully. "I'll ride her too and hold him on --you can lead her." "How'll we get him up?" "Lift him." Howard hung the lantern on the bough of a tree and the two boys lifted the struggling foal in their arms and hoisted him onto the back of his dam. Flicka stood with her head turned, watching them, but she seemed to know the moment her own foal was cross her withers, and though she kept her head turned to see what the boys would do next, she became quiet. "Gimme a leg up," gasped Ken, leaning against her side, holding the foal in position. And Howard placed his knee and hand and Ken scrambled up behind the colt. "Can you hold him?" asked Howard. "Yep. I think so---" Ken leaned over the colt, grasping Flicka's 13"lane. --| Howard took the lantern, picked[ up Flicka's lead rope, and went| ahead. Flicka knew now Just what she had tO do. And the Httle procession wound its way up the cliff, pausing occasionally for. a breath, or for Howard to lift the lantern high and pick out the way in the smother, of snow which was beating against them. The foal lay like a sack of meal across Flicka's withers. The first part of the journey was the worst. When that was accom. plished they were on level ground, going rapidly toward the stables. Flicka whinnied with joy as the familiar smell reached her nostrils. And when she was in her staR, and the boys had untied the colt and ~owered him to the floor, she stood MARY OeH Aria W.N.U. F A'ruRr $',~, ,~ o,~"~"~ i over him and smelled and licked him and gave the deep, soft, grunt- ing whinny by which a mare re- assures her little one. The foal struggled to its feet, staggered about uncertainly, shook itself, then hunted for the teat. Finding the bone of the thigh, instead, it gave a sav- age bite at it and kicked out in anger. ,Gosh! Look at it!" exclaimeddisappeared. There began to be talk Howard. "What a mean little of a white stallion, "a big ugly devil devil!" but a lotto horse," who had for- Ken said nothing but watched anx. merly ranged: the open land of Mono iously. The foal found the teat at t~na, had come across the border last. "You stay here, Howard, will you?" asked Ken. "I'll go down and make her some mash. You might give her some clean straw." "I'll rub her down," offered How- ard generously, and as Ken left the stable he got a dry sack and rubbed her streaming back and flanks and neck. A half hour later the mare and foal stood content and dry and com- fortable with a deep bed of dry straw under them and a pail of mash for Flicka in the feed box. "She's all right now," said How- ard, at the door of the barn. "Come 0n--" Ken pretended to be casual and offhand. "I want to wait till she's The foal lay Hke a sack of meal across Flicka's w/thers. finished her mash. You go on down. I won't be long." Howard still hesitated, eyeing his younger brother where the boy stood leaning on the rail of the manger, almost under the mare's head. "Well--I'll go ahead. I'm goin' to make some hot cocoa--want some?" Howard was handy at making chocolate and flipping eggs and giv- ing his mother a hand with the cook- ing. " "Sure!" said Ken. "You betl" But he sat still on the manger rail, watching his mare, and Howard went out, closing the door behind him. Ken stood listening to Howard's retreating steps. He heard the rasp of the corral gate being opened and closed again. Now they were the mare, the foal and himself. In the stable was a sweet quietness and the smell of hay and horses. Ken sat on the manger rail close to the feed box in which he had placed the bucket of mash, and the mare dipped her muzzle into it, ate hungrily, then' lifted her head and chewed, looking at Ken, her long ears pointed forward. She had gentle golden-brow~ eyes with a see- ing expression in them. Looking at Ken, her intelligent face was not a foot from his. He straightened the flaxen forelock that hung between her eyes, murmuring her name now and then. She swung her head around to look at the sleeping foal. The lantern, hung on the corner post, only half lit the stall. Ken too looked at the foal. Now that he had it safely in the stable, the surprise and worry that he had felt when he first saw it took pos- session, of him again. What a to.do this was going to make! A white foal out of Flicka! A white foal on the Goose Bar ranch where every- one knew Bav.ner, the big golden sorrel stud that gired the yearly crop of colts. Ken's uneasiness was linked to a series of nearly disastrous events of past years in. which he and a cer- tain line of horses kad been in- volved. This train of events led di- rectly to the small white foal lying there so innocently on the clean hay, and it had begun long before, when a Wild staRion of the,plains, called the Albino because of his white col- or, had stolen a mare from the Goose Bar ranch. She was the Thor- oughbred, Gypsy, one of Rob Mc- Laughlin's foundation mares. He had bought her when he was a cadet at West Point and used her for polo. When he graduated and then re- signed from the Army in order to go in for horse-breedlng, there were three of them that came west to- gather and settled down on the Goose Bar ranch, Rob McLaughlin, Nell, his young New England wife, and the black mare, Gypsy. Rob bought more mares and built up his foundation stock. Then, one spring, Gypsy disappeared. The McLaughlin ranch was not the only .one in that section of Wyoming from which a fine mare during a drought, and had gathered a band of mares in the open land of Wyoming, stealing from ranchers, tearing down fences, fighting and even killing other stallions. He reigned for six years. Then number of ranchers banded to- gether, held a round-up, and caught the Albino and his mares, finding brands fL~om all over the state on the hides of the stolen mares. Gypsy of the Goose Bar ranch was there with four beautiful colts. Rob McLaughlin was delighted with their looks and speed and outstand- ing personalities, and took them home with him, feeling that Gypsy's philandering might contribute valu- able qualities to his polo stock. Rut he found it impossible to break and train the colts. Even though the fillies were bred by Ban- ner, the Goose Bar stud, than whom t no horse could be more intelligent or better mannered, yet the off- spring showed the outlaw strain. He explained it to his boys. "Colts learn from their mothers. They copy them. That's why it's practically im- possible to raise a good-tempered colt from a bad-tempered dam. The colts are corrupted from birth. That is the rule. There are, of course, ex- ceptions--we have some very strik- ing exceptions among our own horses. Here is Gypsy, the best-man- nered mare in the world--with a bunch of wild hoodlum colts--abso- lutely unbreakable." "Is it because theywere born and brought up with that gang of wild horses?" asked Howard. "It's because of the prepotency of the stallion," said Rob grimly. "His wildness outweighs all her gentle- ness and that of her long line of aristocratic forbears. Some stal- lion!" But all of this was an old story to Howard and Ken. They had grown up on the Goose Bar ranch, familiar with talk and speculation about the near-mythical personage, the Al- bino, and witnessing their father's struggles with the outlaw strain which, through Gypsy, had been in- troduced into the breeding stock. Ken's actual involvement in this tangle was of more recent date. On a day a little more than three years ago he and Gus had been working in the meadow, and came upon a new-born foal and its dam. "Lnk at de little flicka!" ex- claimed the Swedish ranch hand. "What does flicka mean, Gus?" asked Ken. "Swedish fur leetle gurl," ex- plained Gus. And when, a year after that, Rob McLaughlin told Ken he could have for his own any colt on the ranch up to one year of age, Ken chose that same little golden filly and named her Flicka. Flicka was out of Rocket by Ban- ner, And Rocket was. by common consent, the wildest of the offspring brought home by Gypsy from her sojourn with the Albino. Rob McLaughiin was exasper- ated. "I was hoping you'd make a wise choice, son," be said. "You know what I think of Rocket, of that whole line of horses--it's the worst I've got. There has never been one amongst them with real sense. The mares are hellions and the stal- lions outlaws. I'd have got rid of this whole line of stock if they weren't so damned fast that I've had the fool idea that some day there might turn out one gentle one in the lot and I'd have a race horse. But it's not going to be Flicka." But Ken had fallen in love with her and could not give her up. That summer one nightmare dis- aster followed the other. Flicka, as wild as her wicked black mother, fought beyond all reason when she was roped and brought in. When she could escape no other way, she made a suicidal leap into the high barbed-wire fence, and there ensued her long illness from the infected wire-cuts, terminating in McLaugh- fin's command that, next day, she should be shot and put out of her misery. Ken spent that night with her, sitting in the stream where she had fallen, holding her head in his arms. Gun came looking for them tn the morning, and carried Ken, helpless with cold and exl~aus- tion, up to the house. This caused Ken's long and severe attack of pneumonia, during which, miraculously, the filly recovered. At the end of the summer, there was one triumph which made up for everything. The filly loved Ken as dearly as he loved her, and he was able to say to his father, "She did get gentled, didn't she, dad?" And Rob McLaughlin answered, with a softer note than usual in his voice, "Gentle as a kitten, son." And now here she stood tn the stall, a husky three-year-old, docile, gentle, beautifully trained, resting her liquid, trusting eyes on the face of her young master. (TO BE CONTINUED} (Note--In Drew Pearson's ab. sence, Herbert Bayard Swoon, long a student of British politi- cal aHairs,contributes a guest column on the new labor gov- ernment.) By HERBERT BAYARD SWOPE Former Editor of the New York World and Public Relations Advise~ to the Secretary of War. NEW YOI~K. -- The conservative defeat in England is not so striking a blow as some portray it. Unques- tionably, there will be a trend to- ward socialization, but I think that this will be confined, at least for the next few years, to the natural mo- noplies--power, light, heat, trans- portation, communication (already in the state'a hands except for cables) and, of course, mining, steel, and the Bank of England. But much of this has been on their program for the last 25 years. In fact, even the Lloyd George government gave support to the ba- sic plan. There will be a trend on the part of the radical movement In this country to affiliate itself with the British program. And I think there will be efforts to gain a wider and deeper associa- tion politically with Britain and Russia. But I do not discern any , trend toward communism. I Whatever Britain does will be donei not by dictatorship, but under the rule of a true democracy. That char- acteristic saves it from becoming ai repetition of Stalinism. After all, only two Communists were elected out of 27 who ran. That's not dan-[ gemus, even though the propagand- tats can--and do-claim 100 per cent increase! (The Commies had one member in the last House.) No New Foreign PeRcy. I should doubt that there will be any decisive changes in foreign pol- icy. Britain has consistently adhered to a pretty well formulated foreign policy for almost 300 years. However, it is reasonable to expect a greater sympathy on the part of the British foreign office for the movement left of center than with the kings and Tortes the expiring government sup- ported. An approach to self-govern- ment in India l~ to be expected. I think foreign trade will become more international minded and more collective. I think it will move to- ward further caxtellzation. The ques- tion about British commerce grow- ing will be dependent upon their range of wage. Labor will drive for wider employment and higher pay. Probably it will take over many fea- tures of Beveridge's plan. To hold the British position in world markets will require subsidle~ In other words, Britain will embark upon a species of protection. Long Labor Rule. Attlee ts a good man, overshadow- ed by his association with Churchill My guess is that labor is in for a long run and, if there is any change it will be to displace Attlee for one of Its own, such as Bevtn or Mor- rison. As its name implies, this is a labor victory, built In a democratic framework. Unquestionably, the fact that labor received a clear majority of all the votes, will tend to unify the country I believe there is nothing to fear from England. In fact, we may be able to lesr~ from this great ezl~rimmt. My hope is that there will not be too grit a limitation set upon free ente~rt~. We should remember t~t Ram~ ~ld's labor governm~t swung steadily to the right. In fact it Is ~v3omatic that the ins grow con- servatlve and the outs more radical. That is happening in America right now. It wouldn't be surprising ff the Republ~ were gradually to move to the left, as against the c~- servattsm of the southern de~. Universal War-Wes~mem. In my reading, it is alm~t a tled law of history that every coun- try engaged in a war repudla~ the leadership that brought its people into the war. We saw that ezempli- fled after World War L All the vic- tom were repudlsted--Wfl~m in America, Lloyd George in Britain, Orlando in Italy, Clemenceau in France. And the losers, too: the Hohenzollerens, the Hapshurgs and the Romanoffs. Apparently a great wave of war- weariness overwhelms $11 peoples, and they throw out anyone remotely connected with the war. If that be true, it disposes of any question-of military candidates, But there is small likelihood of that; America" has chosen a great military figure really only once. That was Grant-- and his presidency was a stench. Attlee's cabinet is a strong one and certainly as good as Churchill had. There is an additional point, In connection with the English result, on which .I should like to expatiate for Just a moment: We Won't Copy EnglLud, There is an insistent belief that the English elections axe definitely a~ indication of how ours axe going. Whtle, unquestionably, the result shows a tendency~ in reality there is nothing to waxrsnt the belief that it is any more than such a tendency. In 1908 to 1911, Lloyd George was beginning his successful campaign for vast social reforms in Britain. We remained con~ervaUve, electing Taft in 1908, and would have elected a Republican in 1912 had it not been for the Bull Moose split. England went UberM during the war. and thereafter, but we turned solidly to the right Immediately after the war, while England, in the early ~0s elected a labor government. 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