Pioneer Friday and More Unwanted Changes in Two Pan
Bricker’s been thinkin’ again. That means hold onto your skirts, a new adventure will beset us. According to him, we need a team of horses. Not work horses, mind you. We’ve still got the broken-down oxen we brought over the trail.
No, he wants a team to pull his mining supplies around. I think it’s because his jackass, Daisy, is smarter than him, so he wants an animal that’s so timid and stupid it believes everything will eat it. An animal that’ll spook at its own shadow. A horse. Last week, it was a miracle moron horses didn’t kill the Woolsey children.
Mrs. Patricia Woolsey was driving her wagon back from Elgin where she’d been visiting her sister. Her two small children, Walt, and Elias were in the back. They were four miles out of town when a gust of wind blew Mrs. Woolsey’s parasol onto the road. (She’s from Nebraska and too fancypants to wear a useful sunbonnet).
She hauled the horses to a stop, handed the lines to her six-year-old, Walt, and climbed out to get her parasol.
Well, what else would you expect a child to do, but shake the reins? Of course, the horses started up. Mrs. Woolsey’s petticoats fouled her step and she wasn’t able to hop in the rig before it got going. (Maybe this will teach her not to get so dolled up just to go visiting kin.)
In a quarter of a mile, those horses were flying the downgrade to Two Pan. The wagon was bouncing in the air at every crossing. Roxie and Icel Poley saw the team race by their place, and expected, “that wagon to turn over and smash to pieces with every bump.”
Somehow little Walt hung onto the reins until opposite the Hopkins place, then he was thrown out. They say he only showed some bruises and no serious hurt.
Those horses kept going until they reached the our place, two and half miles distant from where they started. Both wheels on one side of the wagon had broke off, and both axletrees were dragging and thumping the ground.
When the horses were stopped, the other child was still sitting in the back of the rig. Less than a year old, little Elias wasn’t even crying and only bruised from rolling in the bottom of the buckboard like a beer barrel.
Patricia Woolsey fainted dead away after it was all over. Good thing her kids are knit from her husband’s iron constitution, and free of her lacy bones.
Bricker’s going over there tomorrow; he figures he can get a team cheap. He can have ‘em. Me? I’ll take the slow, intelligent jackass.