Pasture Gossip: The Doctor's Wild Ride

by Mary Waddell

Gypsy and Barney had just been turned into the pasture and were trotting across the field to join Gray.  "Barney," said Gypsy, "what makes youbreathe like a wheezy old engine whenever you trot a little bit? I should think you would break yourself of such a habit."

An image of the publication titled Pasture Gossip
Pasture Gossip

"The young often express their opinions toofreely," replied Barney.  "Had you been older you would have knownthere is no cure for a wind-broken horse.  I did a lot of
Hardpulling in my younger days which brought on this trouble.  My life hasbeen much easier since the Doctor bought me.  Only once has heovertaxed my strength.  I almost had the thumps that day."

"Why, I didn"t know he ever treated a horse that way.  I am disappointed in the Doctor, "said Gypsy indignantly.

"There you go again, Gypsy.  Wait till you hear all of my tale before you criticize him."

Bythis time they had reached Gray, who pricked up her ears when she foundBarney had something to tell.  "Let"s have the story," said she.  Afterwaiting a moment, he began.

"One day the Doctorwas just starting to put the buggy harness on me, when his wife camerunning out to tell him there was a telephone message for him to godown to Mr. Addison"s as quickly as he could, for a little girl hadbeen badly hurt near there.  The Doctor didn"t wait to hear more. Dropping the harness on the ground, he grabbed a saddle, swiftlyfastened it on my back and away we flew up hill and down hill, leavinga cloud of dust behind us/  Soon after passing through the coveredbridge we came in sight of Addison"s.  Hearing a woman screaming, theDoctor urge me to go faster if possible."

"Was the woman hurt too?" interrupted Gypsy.

"No, it was the child"s mother who was afraid her little girl would die before the Doctor came."

"Did she die? What hurt her?"

Barneystamped his foot impatiently. " If you will just give me time, Gypsy,I"ll tell you."  Gypsy tossed her head and flitted her tail, but saidno more. "We found the poor little thing moaning pitifully," continuedBarney.  "The Doctor did all he could to make her comfortable, and thenturning to the crowd that had gatherd he began: "If you had all helpedPUT INTO OFFICE men who would ENFORCE THE LAW AGAINST DRINK, thislittle girl would not have been hurt.  I said to myself as I came, Ijust bet that bootlegger, Dick Garnes, is at the bottom of thistrouble." "

"Did the bootlegger hurt the child?" asked Gray.

"No,but he persuaded Morris Eno to buy whiskey for him and of course he gotdrunk.  Then he went tearing down the road in a big wagon, whipping hishorses unmercifully.  They were so excited they did not see the littlegirl coming up the road, and Morris drove right over her.  He is akind-hearted fellow, but alcohol made him crazy.  When he was soberagain he felt very badly about it.  The little girl did not die, buther face is badly scarred.  Morris just feels terrible every time hesees her."

"I suppose he learned a lesson and never drank again," remarked Gray.

"He vowed he"d never drink another drop," replied Barney, "but Dick did not intend to let him keep his vow."

"You don"t mean to say he allowed that man to sell him more whisy?" Gray"s eyes were flashing.

"Don"tget excited, Gray.  You ought to know what bootleggers are like.  Hedidn"t mind being put in jail, for the officers of the law were easywith him and he was soon out again ready for more meanness.  The slyold sneak kept quiet for a while after the accident, but when theexcitement died down he was ready for business again.  One day Morristook a load of wheat to town.  Just before he started home the moneyfor the wheat in his pocket, Dick, who had been watching him, stole upwhere his team was standing while Morris was in the mill, and from asmall bottle he carries in his pocket SMEARED WHISKY ON THE DRIVINGLINES.  When the boy started home the scent of the whisky so stirredhis appetite, he was just crazy for a drink.  About a mile out of town,Dick, who had driven on ahead and turned around, met him. "Hello,Morris" he called as he held out a bottle. "Don"t you want a drink?" The temptation was too great.  As soon as he tasted it he lost allcontrol and drank till his reason was gone.  Hitching his horses to thefence he went down a byroad with Dick and treated a company of boys thebootlegger had waiting there.  Later his father found him beside theroad in a drunken sleep with most of his money gone.

"Did Morris continue to drink after this?"  inquired Gypsy.

"No,he went to live with his grandfather, out of the reach of Dick Garnes,until he learned to control his appetite.   Before coming back HEBECAME A CHRISTIAN and lived as he should ever since."

"Well" said Gypsy as she proudly pranced around.  "I am glad I am not a man.  I"m not afraid of bootleggers."

"Iam truly glad you are a horse," Gray answered, "for with yourhigh-strung disposition no doubt you would be the first to fall ifunder the influence of a bootlegger."

Gypsy gavea disdainful toss of her head and TROTTED TO THE CREEK FOR A DRINK,while Gray and Barney sought the shade and entered a contest to see whocould keep off the most flies.

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Published by the Licoln-Lee Legion, Westerville Ohio
Copyright, 192l. The American Issue Publishing Co.

A hard copy of this story can be found at the Anti-Saloon League Museum: ID Number: Story.

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