Once again everyone is healed and the drive gets under way. Jack and the guys are about to meet the Range Rovers
Once again everyone is healed and the drive gets under way. The spring of 1923 was particular in so many ways. One day it might snow and two days later be 50 degrees. This day was one of those bright sunny days that make life a delight to wake up.
Jack rolled outta the sack at about 6 AM. He stumbled over to where Cookie and Vard were sitting. Without a word Vard poured Jack a cup of coffee and handed it to him.
“Good lord, Jack, you look like I felt when I had appendicitis. How can one man so healthy look like death warmed over?”
“It’s a gift, you smart ass. I’ve worked many years on getting it right,” said Jack with a sly smile.
Sitting there in morning’s early light, the three men listened to the sweet refrain of a Meadow Lark. This was life at its very best.
Watching the steam raising from the coffee, the men heard the horses begin to fussing. They acted like something was coming that was not safe or right.
Little did they know, but they were about to meet the Range Rovers.
J came riding in like a cyclone from hell. “Jack! Jack! There’s a huge herd of Mavericks heading this way. We could see ‘em from on the bluff. They’re about four miles out and coming this way. I left Orville, Ander, and Sven to watch the herd, but we’re gonna need everyone to keep the cows at bay!”
Helga was the first to mount and went lookin’ fer her boys; meanwhile Jack, Vard and Cookie hopped right to it, as well, and in less ‘an the time it takes to sing Yankee Doodle, they were out on the bluff. There in the scrub brush they could see the herd emerging with a very large Buckskin leading the charge.
Jack was lookin’ through his field glasses and exclaimed, “I’ll be damned. I’ve heard of the Range Rovers, but I ain’t never seen ‘em before. Vard, you, me and J are gonna ride straight into the wild bunch and turn ‘em. The rest of you get out with our herd.”
The two dogs were at the front of the herd and began to turn them to the north. As the rovers followed their lead, Jack and the boys rode hell bent fer leather to the south and straight into the Rovers.
The lead horse was that same buckskin Jack had seen with the field glasses. About 30 yards from the men, it reared and let out a gawd awful sound. Its eyes seemed to be red in the early morning light. Baldy sensed she was going to go headlong into him, because she jumped forward with Jack hollerin’ like a wild man. He had drawn his side arm and was about to fire at the stallion, when J came flying past hollering, “Jack, don’t shoot him! I’m gonna rope him.”
Vard was right on J’s flank as they came up on it. They each let their lassos go about the same time, and dadgum iffen they didn’t both slip over the surprised stallion’s head. Now, hell was surely awakened when that big horse started to charge the men. It stomped and screamed like there would be no tomorrow.
Jack got there just in time to throw the third rope, so that no matter which way it turned, it was held at bay. The rest of the herd came thundering by, but stopped up closer than a man could chuck a rock. They were nervous and rearing, but none came forward. They knew that the big guy had to break free or be conquered.
Jay had announced, back when they had their first run in with the mustang mares, that someday he was gonna rope one and make it his own. Well, sir, it looks like this might be that day. He just didn’t know that he was going to tackle breaking the Range Rover itself.
The herd hung around for several days. J had tied the Range Rover to a cedar tree from two sides and let him rant and rave until he was totally exhausted. The group settled in for the next three days to help J and tend to their own remuda.
They were nearly three weeks out when two riders came moseying in one night at sunset. Now what?
NOTE: Rearing occurs when a horse or other equine “stands up” on its hind legs with the forelegs off the ground when acting in aggression, but may rear if it needs to strike at a threat in front of it.
Remuda: The herd of horses from which those to be used the next day are chosen