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So he grew up strong of limb, restless of spirit, and rebellious at any thought of restraint. Even the kindly curb of the hayyard or the stable was unwelcome, and he soon showed that he
would rather stand out all night in a driving storm than be locked 6 in a comfortable stall where he had no vestige of the liberty he loved so well.
He became very clever at dodging the horse wrangler whose job it was to bring the horseherd to the corral. The very sight
of that man set Coaly-Bay going. He became what is known 10 as a “Quit-the-bunch”—that is, a horse of such independent mind
that he will go his own way the moment he does not like the way of the herd.
So each month the colt became more set on living free, and more cunning in the means he took to win his way. Far down 16 in his soul, too, there must have been a streak of cruelty, for he
stuck at nothing and spared no one that seemed to stand between him and his one desire.
When he was three years of age, just in the perfection of his young strength and beauty, his real troubles began, for now his 20 owner undertook to break him to ride. He was as tricky and
vicious as he was handsome, and the first day's experience was a terrible battle between the horse-trainer and the beautiful colt.
But the man was skillful. He knew how to apply his power, and all the wild plunging, bucking, rearing, and rolling of the 25 wild one had no desirable result. With all his strength the horse
was hopelessly helpless in the hands of the skillful horseman, and Coaly-Bay was so far mastered at length that a good rider could use him. But each time the saddle went on, he made a new fight.
After a few months of this the colt seemed to realize that it was 30 useless to resist; it simply won for him lashings and spurrings, so
he pretended to reform. For a week he was ridden each day, and not once did he buck, but on the last day he came home lame.
His owner turned him out to pasture. Three days later he seemed all right; he was caught and saddled. He did not buck, 36 but within five minutes he went lame as before. Again he was
turned out to pasture, and after a week, saddled, only to go lame again.
His owner did not know what to think, whether the horse really had a lame leg or was only shamming, but he took the first chance to get rid of him, and though Coaly-Bay was easily worth
fifty dollars, he sold him for twenty-five. The new owner felt he 6 had a bargain, but after being ridden half a mile Coaly-Bay went
lame. The rider got off to examine the foot, whereupon CoalyBay broke away and galloped back to his old pasture. Here he was caught, and the new owner, being neither gentle nor sweet,
applied spur without mercy, so that the next twenty miles was 10 covered in less than two hours, and no sign of lameness appeared.
Now they were at the ranch of this new owner. Coaly-Bay was led from the door of the house to the pasture, limping all the way, and then turned out. He limped over to the other horses.
On one side of the pasture was the garden of a neighbor. This 15 man was very proud of his fine vegetables and had put a six-foot
fence around the place. Yet the very night after Coaly-Bay ar, rived, certain of the horses got into the garden somehow and did a great deal of damage. But they leaped out before daylight and no one saw them.
The gardener was furious, but the ranchman stoutly maintained that it must have been some other horses, since his wer behind a six-foot fence.
Next night it happened again. The ranchman went out very early and saw all his horses in the pasture, with Coaly-Bay be25 hind them. His lameness seemed worse now instead of better.
In a few days, however, the horse was seen walking all right, so the ranchman's son caught him and tried to ride him. But this seemed too good a chance to lose; all his old wickedness returned
to the horse; the boy was bucked off at once and hurt. The 30 ranchman himself now leaped into the saddle; Coaly-Bay bucked
for ten minutes, but finding he could not throw the man, he tried to crush his leg against a post, but the rider guarded himself well. Coaly-Bay reared and threw himself backward; the rider slipped
off, the horse fell, jarring heavily, and before he could rise the 35 man was in the saddle again. The horse now ran away, plunging
and bucking; he stopped short, but the rider did not go over his head, so Coaly-Bay turned, seized the man's boot in his teeth,
and but for heavy blows on the nose would have torn him dreadfully. It was quite clear now that Coaly-Bay was an "outlaw” -that is, an incurably vicious horse.
The saddle was jerked off, and he was driven, limping, into 8 the pasture.
The raids on the garden continued, and the two men began to quarrel over them. But to prove that his horses were not guilty the ranchman asked the gardener to sit up with him and watch. That
night as the moon was brightly shining they saw, not all the 10 horses, but Coaly-Bay, walk straight up to the garden fence—no
sign of a limp now—easily leap over it, and proceed to gobble the finest things he could find. After they had made sure of his identity, the men ran forward. Coaly-Bay cleared the fence like
a deer, lightly raced over the pasture to mix with the horse herd, 15 and when the men came near him he had—oh, such an awful limp.
"That settles it," said the rancher. "He's a fraud, but he's a beauty, and good stuff, too."
"Yes, but it settles who took my garden truck," said the 20 other.
"Wal, I suppose so," was the answer; "but luk a here, neighbor, you haven't lost more'n ten dollars in truck. That horse is easily worth—a hundred. Give me twenty-five dollars, take the horse, an' call it square."
“Not much I will,” said the gardener. "I'm out twenty-five dollars' worth of truck; the horse isn't worth a cent more. I'll take him and call it even."
And so the thing was settled. The ranchman said nothing about Coaly-Bay being vicious as well as cunning, but the gar30 dener found out, the very first time he tried to ride him, that the horse was as bad as he was beautiful.
Next day a sign appeared on the gardener's gate:
and gentle, $10.00
THE BEAR BAIT Now at this time a band of hunters came riding by. There were three mountaineers, two men from the city, and the writer of this story. The city men were going to hunt bear. They had
guns and everything needed for bear-hunting, except bait. It is 6 usual to buy some worthless horse or cow, drive it into the moun
tains where the bears are, and kill it there. So seeing the sign the hunters called to the gardener: "Haven't you got a cheaper horse?"
The gardener replied: "Look at him there, ain't he a beauty? 'o You won't find a cheaper horse if you travel a thousand miles.”
"We are looking for an old bear-bait, and five dollars is our limit,” replied the hunter. Horses were cheap and plentiful in that country; buyers were
The gardener feared that Coaly-Bay would escape. 18 “Wal, if that's the best you can do, he's yourn.”
The hunter handed him five dollars, then said: "Now stranger, the bargain's settled. Will you tell me why you sell this fine horse for five dollars ?
"Mighty simple. He can't be rode. He's dead lame when 20 he's going your way and sound as a dollar going his own; no fence
in the country can hold him; he's a dangerous outlaw. He's wickeder nor old Nick.”
"Well, he's an almighty handsome bear bait,” and the hunters rode on.
Coaly-Bay was driven with the pack horses, and limped dreadfully on the trail. Once or twice he tried to go back, but he was easily turned by the men behind him. His limp grew worse, and toward night it was painful to see him.
The leading guide remarked: “That thar limp is no fake. 30 He's got some deep-seated trouble.”'
Day after day the hunters rode farther into the mountains, driving the horses along and hobbling them at night. Coaly-Bay went with the rest, limping along, tossing his head and his long
splendid mane at every step. One of the hunters tried to ride 35 him and nearly lost his life, for the horse seemed possessed of a
demon as soon as the man was on his back.
The road grew harder as it rose. A very bad bog had to be crossed one day. Several horses were mired in it, and as the men rushed to the rescue, Coaly-Bay saw his chance of escape. He
wheeled in a moment and turned himself from a limping, low5 headed, sorry, bad-eyed creature into a high-spirited horse. Head
and tail aloft now, shaking their black streamers in the wind, he gave a joyous neigh, and, without a trace of lameness, dashed for his home one hundred miles away, threading each narrow trail
with perfect certainty, though he had seen it but once before, 10 and in a few minutes he had steamed away from their sight.
The men were furious, but one of them, saying not a word, leaped on his horse—to do what? Follow that free-ranging racer? Sheer folly. Oh, no!—he knew a better plan. He knew the
country. Two miles around by the trail, half a mile by the rough 15 cut-off that he took, was Panther Gap. The runaway must pass
through that, and Coaly-Bay raced down the trail to find the guide below awaiting him. Tossing his head with anger, he wheeled on up the trail again, and within a few yards recovered
his monotonous limp and his evil expression. He was driven into 20 camp, and there he vented his rage by kicking in the ribs of a harmless little pack horse.
HIS DESTINED END This was bear country, and the hunters resolved to end his dangerous pranks and make him useful for once. They dared not
catch him; it was not really safe to go near him, but two of the 25 guides drove him to a distant glade where bears abounded. A
thrill of pity came over me as I saw that beautiful untamable creature going away with his imitation limp.
"Aren't you coming along?" called the guide.
“No, I don't want to see him die,” was the answer. Then as 30 the tossing head was disappearing I called: "Say, fellows, I wish you would bring me that mane and tail when you come back!”
Fifteen minutes later a distant rifle crack was heard, and in my mind's eye I saw that proud head and those superb limbs,
robbed of their sustaining indomitable spirit, falling flat and limp 35 —to suffer the unsightly end of fleshly things. Poor Coaly-Bay;
he would not bear the yoke. Rebellious to the end, he had fought