Then he stood
with a lariat in his hands, talking to Howard Meek about a young sorrel, an
exceptionally fine and bright-eyed animal, with the long silky forelock and
dished face of an Arab. "Some cow in him, they say. But you know—they tell
me anything." He threw the loop casually at the heading dummy. Every time,
he caught both horns. Danny called to him, "Darrell, you want to see the
"Aw, yeah. If
he rears I'll throw a rock at him."
him and hit me."
In the round
corral Edward mounted the scarred little blue that had tossed Tony Mendes.
"Beat him vigorously," Winfield ordered. Edward walked, trotted,
reversed the blue repeatedly, but nothing happened. "He don't seem to have
it in mind," Edward said.
reenacting, as it does every year, the great annual gathering of mountain men,
trappers, Indians and traders that took place near here between 1830 and 1840:
the Rendezvous on the Green. The streets are full of horses ridden bareback by
nubile girls in black pigtail wigs, buckskin dresses, red paint on their bare
legs, and by bearded men in the furs of wild animals. There are portents of a
night of pagan revels.
The two sold
horses having been picked up, Winfield and Lennie go downtown with a friend for
a very rare sirloin and tequila at the Stockman's restaurant. A parade is
passing by, wagons and buggies and stagecoaches; Bridger, Bonneville, Stewart
in skins, with muskets; then a gap, a long gap, where the Indians are supposed
to be. Somebody hollers that they probably stopped off in a bar. A lady comes
up to Winfield saying, "I had to drive to Baltimore last month. Saw you on
a billboard about every three miles and I wasn't homesick at all." Somebody
else, standing about as high as the giant image's chin, had taken a picture of
Darrell the other day up in Montana.
At the entrance
to the rodeo grounds a girl wearing a change-apron is stopping cars. Winfield
in the right front seat suddenly becomes obstreperous. The idea of paying to
get on the grounds of a rodeo in which he is a participant purely infuriates
him, even though the dollar will be taken off his entry fee. At least the fit
he throws is convincing.
"I am not
going to pay!" he shouts. "I am not going to pay!"
The girl ducks
her worried brow to look at this lunatic. "Sir..."
"I am not
going to pay! I am not!"