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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
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October 11, 1945     The Billings County Pioneer
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October 11, 1945
 

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9 / / THE BILLINGS COUNTY PIONEER THE STORY THUS FAR: Flicka's colt, long overdue, is born on Goose Bar ranch, high in the Rockies. Ken Mc- Laughlin, Flicka's 12.year-old owner, is startled to see that the foal is white, and $o a throwback to the Albino, the wild white stall/on that is Fllcka'g grandsire. Next morning Colonel Harris and Charles Sargent, a millionaire horse breeder, are house guests. The colonel has brought his mare to be bred by Banner, Bob MeLaughlln's stallion. Colonel Harris, Sargent and MeLaughlin rlde out to bring back Banner. The big red horse goes them at a distance, and runs over to Iris master. Banner then turns to drive the mare Harris is riding into Ms band. The con/used mare obeys Banner. .a CHAPTER V ~ Rob and Charley caught sight of Harris's white face and the sound of a single profane shout as he swept past them. Leaning back like a steeple-chaser, he kept his seat and his knee-grip, allowing his body to whip pliantly from side to side. Any guidance or control of his mount Was out of the question and he did hot attempt it--merely held the reins and let her go. Charley Sargent chuckled. "Even an artilleryman don't often take part in such a charge as that." The mares disappeared over the crest of a rise and then, for a few moments, all that Rob and Charley could see was a cloud of dust above the mountainside. Howard and Ken had the gates to the pasture open. The mares knew the way. As Banner got them close he slowed up. They made the turn. Presently the stable ser- geant and the Coloners orderly burst into exclamatory and profane speech which expressed their ad- miration ancl astonishment at the sight of the red stallion bringing the band of mares and colts at a headlong gallop down through the pasture and into the corral. Gus closed the gates. ' Only then did the two soldiers see that their Colonel was in the band. He was dismounting from Taggert, straightening his hat with a hand that trembled slightly. His face was very white. Gus took the mare's bridle. "Some ride!" he remarked, brush- ing himself off, for he was cov- ered with dust and foam and bits of gravel. The orderly presented him- self and saluted. "Where's the more?" asked Har- ris. He might have saved himself the question, for Banner was already rearing and pawing at the gate of the eastern corral. The men opened the gate and the stallion~ went in. Charley and Rob rode down to the corral with innocent faces, ano me Colonel met them, impassive, thoughtful as ever, his eyeglasses neatly on the bridge of his nose. 'You yelled something as you passed us," said Rob. "I didn't quite catch it." The Colonel grinned. "You may not have heard--just as well you didn't. But you knew what I was saying all right. However, it's over now, and it's all right--it's all right .-" he turned away grinning. "Quite an experience. I wouldn't have missed it." "Makes you feel good now, Mort, don't it?" said Charley, "to be standing here in the corral, all safe and sound and on your own two legs, nice sunshine--dinner comin' up--" "I must have been asleep at the switch when I let you two hand me that mare." Ken and Howard arrived at a gal- lop and flung themselves off their horses. The Sergeant and orderly were blanketing the mare again and Banner was put hack with his own mares by Tim. Gus and Tim filled the feed boxes which stood on the ground near the corral fence with oats and the mares and colts began to feed. There was nipping and kicking and some scrimmages. Rob supervised the process, his harsh voice quell- ing the disturbances. He had Ban- ner's share of oats--a generous half- bucketful--in his hand, and the stal- lion would put his head in cautious- ly, his eyes looking up over the edge into Rob s face, then withdraw it and chew the oats, turning his head to watch the-mares, then dip it in again and take another mouthful. The process of covering his eyes and nose--upon which depended the safety of his mares--outraged his every instinct and he shook all over, Only his trust of Rob made it pos- sible. At last Rob dropped the bucket and told Tim to,open the corral gates. "That's all, he said to Ban- ner, "there isn't any more.". He gently raised his arms aria aa- vanced toward the mares, as it were, pushing them before him. '"rak6 'era beck, Banner," ha said to the stallion. The band drifted slowly out through the gates and began to graze on the long lush grass beside the little stream. "What'll they do now?" asked Harris. "T1wy'll hang around the corral for a while, grazing and thinking about oats. Then they'll work up through the pasture to the county road gate. It's open. They'll go through it and on up to the range again. Banner'll hold them together. Tim, keep a look-out. When they've all gone through the county road ~6atq, close iL" MAnY o'. Aria -4: W.N.U. FEATURE.S'"~ w,- ~.~,~ ~ I trailer, loading the Colonel's mare. The sergeant and orderly got into the front seat of the car and drove away with her. The men stood watchin~ a mo- ment. "Dad," said Ken. "Well, son?" "I've got a surprise for yOU." "Sure enough?" "I've been saving it since last night." Everyone turned to look at him. He had their attention at last. "It's in the stable," he added. "Come and see it." He seized his father's arm and urged him through the corral gate. Suddenly Rob guessed. "Not Flieka's colt?" he asked. Ken nodded, beaming, his blue eyes shining with excitement. "Yap!" Rob explained to the others. "Ken's saddle mare should have foaled in the spring. She's been up here in the pasture all summer like Banner was already rearing and pawing at the gate. Sitting Bull, waiting for the event, swelling up like a balloon. It must ths " be fourteen mon -- "You wait here!" said Ken ex- citedly~ when they were all in the corral. "I'll bring them out. They're in the stable." In a moment the stable door opened, Flicka trotted out, then, for a space, nothing. Flicka turned and looked back and nickered. Still noth- ing. At last an angry little squeal was heard and Ken appeared, shov- ing the white foal before him. Nell was the first to speak. "WhY, , - --1^lined "a white Kenniel sne e~c, , colt[" Charley Sargent found his tongue and with delight in his eyes looked at Rob. "I suppose this is an ex- ample of Banner's true breeding. I remember you said, one sorrel after the other--as like as peas in the pod--" He turned to Mort Harris and said sadly, I sure do sym- pathize most deeply with your bad hair. Ken was caught in one of those agonizing moments of life where extravagant hopes and deep despair were somehow reconciled by ~wish- ful thinking. Also, he was trying with all his wits to think of a way to suggest to them that this was a happy event. Also, he was on the watch for anything his mother would say, for, from out of her first words, the colt would be named. Also, he must keep his guilty secret. "Isn't he a beauty?" he cried hap- pily, "and a white horse is good luck, you know. Everybody knows saw Highboy standing against the fence with reins loosely thrown over a post. and ran to him instead and tried-to nurse on him. A sn0Ut Ot amusement and indr edu.Hty rose from the spectators. l~gnnoy, an- noyed, moved away horn' the foal,~ turned around and butted.it g.enrtlaYn The foal stood, bleating, men it ra to Cigarette and tried to nurse on her. Fllcka called it unavailingly. When it passed near its mother it seemed to recognize no difference in her from the others. Nell's face showed horror. "Why --it doesn't know its own motheri" The foal surged about the corraL "A white horse is good luck," re- pealed Ken desperately. "Gus said so. Everybody knows thaL" Rob found words at last. "A throwback[" he exclaimed disgust- ed . He looked at Ken--one of those blasting looks which Ken could not meet. Somehow, it was his fault. Nell was studying the foal. It did not look like the Goose Bar colts. A newborn foal of pure breed is built on the perpendicular, its little back so short that all four legs seem to be in a close group underneath it--and the neck con- tinues the perpendicular line, car- ried straight up to a small inquir- ing head like a sea-horse's. But this foal was built on the horizontal like a full-grown horse. It had a repel- lent look of precociousness and ma- turity, with its heavy neck and the big knobby head on the end of it, the large mouth with thick rather loose black lips, the short, uneven legs- "Why," she exclaimed in a shocked voice, "it's a goblin!" The blood rushed to Ken's head and made hm dizzy. He went to the corral fence and took hold of the rails to steady himself. No one spoke for a moment. Goblin. She had named it. "Goblin," shouted Howard, "Gob- lin, Goblin, Goblin!" But Ken was not licked yet. He turned to his mother. He would pre- tend it was just a word. He would pretend that she hadn't named it. "Mother, would you think of a name for him?" he pleaded, "some- thing about his being white--and-- and--about his going to be a won- derful race horse--" "Rac~ horse!" The exclamation was a chorus. Suddenly Ken's face flamed. He looked at his father. "You said--- there might be one gentle one in the lot and you'd have a race horsel And Flicka did get gentle. I gentled her. As gentle as a kitten. You said that too. And then, because of her bad leg, she couldn't be a race- horse and it had to be her colt in- stead of her. And here he is. And he's a horse colt. And he's big and strong. And he's got her blood and her speed. And the speed and spirit of all the Albino's colts. And his mother will teach him manners be- cause she is gentle so he can be schooled and trained for a race horse---he won't be hard to handle even if he has got a white coat from the Albino!" "The Albino was his great grand- sire," explained Nell to Sargent. "And Banner's his sire," drawled Sargent. "Now what about all Rob's theories of line breedin'? He bred Flicka back to her own sire, and took what he got!" But Rob was looking at his small son standing there red in the face and with fire in his eye, fighting for his foal! And the anger went out of his heart and a silent cheer was there instead. Good for you, son! "Name him, Mother," insisted Ken desperately. "Give him a name that will be right for a big winner of races. And something about his being white." "Cottage cheese!" yelled Howard derisively, and then, mincing about delicately, "or Cream Puff!" "Pearl of the Harem," joshed Sar. gent. , Mooley Cow! exclaimed How- ard and cantered awkwardly across the corral. "Somebody stop that guy or he'll go on forever," said Rob, making a pass at Howard. Howard ducked but fell into the arms of Sargent who grabbed him and clapped his hand over his mouth. Nell had not spoken. Ken watched her. "Mother," he urged her, "go on, mother--" Sargent let go of Howard who, casting a glance at his ,father, de- cided he had gone far enough. There was an ache in Nell's heart. She looked at the foal--that stub- bornness, the 'mulisl~ head, that stupidity, trying ~ nurse on every horse in sight, not knowing his own mother; and its anger--it ran across the corral head down, kicking out with one hind leg--it seemed full of hatred. "Motherl" insisted Ken. In despair Nell raised her eyes and saw, up behind the line of the green hill, a great thunderhead pushing up into the dark blue of the skY. It was so dazzling white it half blinded her. j,J, 'There, she said calmly, see that? A thunderhead. And it's pure white. We'll call him Thunderhead, Ken--and that's a fine enough name ;for any race horse." No one spoke. The silence was like a cool shadow on a hot, dusty d en stood q et, fe g w.k-- the name was so beautiful. Thun. derhead. He looked at the great cloud, and turned away so that the others could not see his face. Thunderhead. That would carry the colt to glory. With that name what ~e could fail? The colt, still making little rushes about the corral, kicking and bleat- ing, came up against the group of people by the fence. He had no fear of them. An ordinary colt would have veered away bt~t Colonel Har- ris got it by the neck and was nipped and let it loose. Nell put out her hand. The foal careened against her and for a mo- ment its face was hidden and there was darkness-that welcome and familiar darkness of all the long months inside its mother. He pressed closer and stood quiet. (TO BE CONTINUED) TOO much has already been writ- ten about the "T." And yet it is surprising the number of sidelln- ers who keep writing in to ask just what the "T" is and how it works. We'll try, with no promise of suc- cess, to make it simple--for the last time. I. The "T" doesn't demand old-fuhtoned blocking or hard body pressure. It depends more on speed and deception. $. It needs a hard-hitting full- back who can split an opened line. 3. It needs a fast-moving back who can circle a n~assed or tightened line. 4. It demands a good passer who can work with decel~tion and smooth baH-handling. These latter three qualities put heavy pressure on any defense. The greatest pro "T" I ever saw operate was the old Bear brigade with Luck- man, Standlee, Gal- lernau and McAfee, if my memory isn't too fuzzy. They hit you every known way. The greatest col- lege "T" I ever saw at work was Notre GrantlandRice Dame's 1943 outfit with Bertelli, Creighton Miller, Kelly and two or three good fullbacks. They fell far away when Bertelli left, who was not only a great passer but the smoothest and trickiest ball-handler I've seen around. Ask Rip Miller, Captain Johnny Whelchel of Navy or Bill Alexander of Georgia Tech. It's true that the old Bears and Notre Dame's 1943 squad would have been hard to handle under any sys- tem. Material makes the system more than any system ever made material. And material has made more coaches than any coaches ever made material. The main answer to football suc- cess is your playing strength--the forward wall and the backfield-- your man power. And don't ever let anyone tell you a different story. Football coaches have done great jobs. Their general average is the highest in sport But the best still need good football players to have winning teams. After all, they can't rush out on the field and do their own pass- ing, running, blocking and tackling. a $ $ Sports Falu' Squawks Sports fans who move up into the 50 or 60-million class, ranging from ages between i0 and 80 years, are certainly entitled to their beliefs, their squawks, their praise and their blame. For, after all, they are the big part of sport, the major part by at least 90 per cent. They pay all the ex- penses, all the salaries. They make both amateur and pro sports pos- sible. And in too many cases they only get shoddy treatment and take the big shove around by both ama- teur and professional promoters. They are taken for granted. They are rarely given any consideration from baseball, football, racing, box- ing, golf or other sporting directors. They are usually the goats, who have grown accustomed to taking the worst of it. Their hardihood and their capacity for punishment is the most amazing feature ef sport. They are too often packed in after the manner of human sardines at race tracks and other sporting cen- ters. They are too often over- charged. It has been said there is no law that forces them to take this beating. This is true. But they happen to Iove their games, whether it is box- ing, baseball, football, racing, golf or something else. They are astonished at little couro tesies they are so seldom shewn any-. where or any time by the hired people who live off their main outlet for recreation and entertainment. They are really an amazing breed. They take it on the chin and on the shin, back of each ear, in the stom- ach and also in the pocketbook. Courses Too Tough Take golf, for example. It has always been my belief that any golf course should be trapped only for the star player. Put all trouble but beyond~ the 200 yard mark which the average player can't reach. The duffer or average player has enough trouble trying to hit the ball or get his bogeys. Why should he pay uncounted millions to make his golfing life more miserable? We have built too many golf courses against the sk/ll of the pros and the crack amateurs who, aft- er all, give most of their life to golf --and who~pay noth/ng in return. Who cS~ whether a pro shoots 63 or aM? Why bu/M courses to keep him from breaking par on courses which the average I~olfer can't handle in a 95? The Nelsons and the other par- breaking stars are a breed apart. Let them go around /n even 3's. Who cares? But why keep punishing the 98 per c~nt who pay all the freight? Golf is our greatest playing game for everyone. It is a friendly and a companionable game, demanding its share of psychology, philosophy, sportsmanship and nerve control-- as well as physical skill. "And So Again the Early Birds Got the Worms Morris Gest, the theatrical pro- ducer, was a genius when it came to thinking up effective publicity stunts. "I think I'll put an ad in the newspapers announcing the fact that tickets will be on sale at our box office at 5 a. m. tomorrow," he confided in a friend. "It sounds crazy," reproved his companion. "What's the idea?" "I want people to think our show is such a smash hit that if they don't get tickets first thing in the morning, they'll be out of luck." It worked out, too. Next morn- ing at the crack of dawn patrons stormed the box office and bought out every ticket in the house! CHEST COLD SORENESS, ?' quickly soothed by Penetro-- l~ ~ Grandma's old-tireD rout ton suet ~ idea developed by modern science ~--]~ h ~,t into a cotmter-ir rit ant,vaporizing ~ I salve that brings quick, comfor t- ing relief. 25e, doublo sizo 3,5o. ~ETRO ] PENETRO IB&SS R I[H IN MUTTON SUET ~='tL4 Dr. 6. S. mallurinn 1140 Bdwy Fargo. 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