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 A Horse Of A Different Color

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Posts : 1447
Join date : 2013-08-24
Location : Over the rainbow

A Horse Of A Different Color Empty
PostSubject: A Horse Of A Different Color   A Horse Of A Different Color EmptyMon Feb 22, 2016 11:32 am

“Lead the horse parade?”  The Kid cast questioning eyes towards his partner.  “As jobs go it sounds pretty good.”

“Why do you have to pay someone?”  Heyes scratched his chin.  “I’d have thought folks taking part in the parade would have been keen to do it.”

“We’ve got the chance of a decent job for a change,” the Kid hissed, “don’t give him ideas.”

The Mayor shrugged.  “There’s been lots of trouble in the past with some families thinkin’ their rivals are getting preferential treatment.  For years now the town has led out the parade; then the races and judgin’ can start without anyone gettin’ uppity.  Besides, the fellas who usually do it are under the weather.”

“We saw them, sir.”   Heyes smiled.  “I think it’d be more accurate to describe them as under the table.”

“Sure enough,” snorted the Mayor.  “They’ve been celebratin’ and left us short-handed.  I was nearly forced into makin’ some of my staff do it.”

“Well, we know a fair bit about good horseflesh,” the Kid grinned.  “Do we lead the animals or ride them?”

“Strictly speakin’ you walk.”  The Mayor grinned.  “Ridin’ would be cruel but real entertainin’.  It’s a thought though.  Maybe next year, when we’ve had time to practice.  I thought you said you knew about this job.”

“Yeah, yeah, so the horse is old,” the Kid cut in.  “We spoke to the man in the bar and he told us all about it.  I just wanted to get in there quick before anyone else snapped the job up.  Twenty dollars for half a day’s work is pretty good.”  He gestured towards Heyes with his head.  “He wanted to take more time, to find out about it, but it’s just walkin’ and leadin’ a parade, ain’t it?”

“Well there ain’t been no others rushin’ in to take the job,” the Mayor stretched out a hand to shake on the deal.  “Yeah, it’s just walkin’, it ain’t dangerous unless you hate horses.  It’s a horse parade.  The place is full of ‘em.”

“Why is everyone else so reluctant to do it?” Heyes asked.

“Just shy I guess.  They can’t handle the attention,” grinned the Mayor.  “Some folks can’t take them all lookin’ and pointin’.”

“Pointin’?  Ain’t they seen a horse before?  Why would they point?”

The Mayor’s knowing smile deepened Heyes’ worry lines.   “Well, old Bucephalus, that’ll be your job.  He ain’t exactly run of the mill.  The circus left him behind, but folks loved him so much they kept him and made him part of the parade.  It just wouldn’t be the same without him.  He leads out the parade every year.”                 

“The circus?”  Heyes eyes glittered suspiciously.  “Is he some kind of freak?”

“Yeah,” the Kid cut in.  “Is he one of them stripy ones?  I heard they’re kinda wild, and real bitey.”

“No, he ain’t stripy, he’s brown; and whether he bites is completely up to you.  He’s your job.”  The Mayor shrugged.  “He ain’t any more weird than you’d expect.  He’s Bucephalus.  He’s all over the posters, so people want to see him.  They’d be real disappointed if he ain’t there.”     

The Mayor opened the door to his office.  “Go and change.  The parade starts in twenty minutes.  You get paid when the job’s done.”

They strode into the room, the Kid frowning at the pile of dun-colored fabric draped over the chair. “I guess he wants us to wear this.”

Heyes froze at the sight of the wide-eyed, open-mouthed, vacuous face staring at him from the corner.  “Thaddeus, how bad do we need this job?”

“Pretty bad.  We can’t even afford a room for the night.  That’s why I jumped at the chance to earn some easy money.  Why?”

Heyes picked up the poster sitting conveniently on the desk.  “This is why....”

A Horse Of A Different Color Bucephalus_zpsmnqtlp97

Na sir 's na seachainn an cath - Neither seek nor shun the fight      Old Scottish proverb
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