"No! No!" the bird squawked. "I don't think so!"
"What d'ya want me to do?" Rowland asked.
"Oh, nothing much. Just cut off his head or something."
"I can't," said Rowland. "He always talks me out of it."
The room was crammed with horse owners in the uniform of the day: jeans, top and bottom, with straw cowboy hats flared straight up above the ears so as to present the least wind resistance in front, and cowboy boots in black or brown. A few wore riding helmets, and one man had on traditional farm-gray pinstripe overalls hanging long and floppy over his high-top work shoes, perhaps to convey a false impression of rusticity. Here in the race office the name of the game was to outwait the other owners, make them show their hands, so you could enter your horse in the most advantageous race. And yet you could not wait too long, else you would be shut out. Owners eyed owners warily and made cautious conversation.
"Whatcha got up at your place? Anything?"
"Yeh, I got a coupla dinks."
"Hey, Ron, you got any slow horse races?"
"Sure. All of 'em."
A young man presented himself at the cluttered desk, and Stull said, "Are you prepared to pay your share of the entry fee for this horse?"