In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09

By Mabel Reed; Mary Ellicott Arnold | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
Innocents Abroad on the Professional Trail

At long last we are to have horses. Frank Offield has rented us two of his and has sent Ernest up into the mountains to get them. You cannot be properly equipped schoolmarms in this country without horses, and you certainly can't get anywhere without them.

The first week on horseback has definitely set us up in our own estimation. My horse is to be called Sally, so named because she is "the darling of my heart." It is true, as Frank put it, that she is "a good one to buck you off," and when we start out in the morning she hunches her back in a very disagreeable way, so I mount very, very gently and try to get her going without hurting her feelings. But as soon as we get to the mountain above the Offields', where the slope is extremely steep and any nonsense on her part will take Sally off into the view, I stick in my spurs and show my real disposition.

Meantime, Mabel is some distance behind me, on Jane. Mabel calls her Jane because her "temper is so very odd today." I judge from the language Mabel uses that Jane's temper is a little odd most days. But here on the Rivers your affection for the animals does not depend on the sweetness of their dispositions but upon the number of miles they can travel. My devotion to Sally is based on the way she cheerfully trots up the little hills (that is, after the slight unpleasantness of the start), and the way she comes in fresh after a twenty-mile jaunt up river.

You may think we mount in an ordinary, everyday

-86-

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