Archive for ‘fiction’

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When Hoboes Have Reasons

Illustration by Chet Phillips

Illustration by Chet Phillips

Mangy. That’s how I felt and how he looked, sitting there beside the road with the hot Mojave sun beating down. He’d been there since morning. I passed him while delivering two yearlings to a Thorobred farm in Lone Pine. He hadn’t budged an inch since. One of the truck’s features wasn’t air conditioning — who could afford it? — so the windows were down. I rolled to a stop and yelled for him to get in. Agile, he leaped into the back without a sound.

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The Genuine Mexican Plug by Mark Twain

I resolved to have a horse to ride. I had never seen such wild, free, magnificent horsemanship outside of a circus as these picturesquely-clad Mexicans, Californians and Mexicanized Americans displayed in Carson streets every day. How they rode!

Leaning just gently forward out of the perpendicular, easy and nonchalant, with broad slouch-hat brim blown square up in front, and long riata swinging above the head, they swept through the town like the wind! The next minute they were only a sailing puff of dust on the far desert. If they trotted, they sat up gallantly and gracefully, and seemed part of the horse; did not go jiggering up and down after the silly Miss-Nancy fashion of the riding-schools. I had quickly learned to tell a horse from a cow, and was full of anxiety to learn more.

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