By Frederick J. Bowlen,
Battalion Chief San Francisco Fire Department 1938
As stated in another part of this book, that we worked twenty-four hours a day with only one day off a month, it was provided for that a man could lay off duty at any time for from one to four days, if he had a good excuse and in such event, he was required to put a "substitute" in his place which he paid for out of his own pocket. There was a list of about twenty men at headquarters who were not members of the Fire Department but who were satisfied with a few days work a week doing this substitute work.
There was occasion one day Truck Company No. 3 to employ one of these substitutes and he was assigned the night "watch" from ten o'clock to two o'clock in the morning.
In this engine house was a horse known as McKinley and he was known to be mischievous, so much that he would have to be watched from crawling out of his stall quietly and manipulating the small slide door on the grain cute letting down a quantity of oats and having his fill.
Well, this substitute fireman knew all the horse's tricks and to guard against such a thing happening on his "watch" he decided to sit facing the grain chute with his feet up against the wall. McKinley couldn't fool him!
However, as the early hours of the morning rolled by Mr. Substitute Fireman dozed off to sleep and finally into a sound slumber. McKinley evidently knew that he was safe for out of his stall he crawled and over to the grain chute, where he lifted the shutter and down from the hay loft came twenty sacks of grain, all over the floor, completely surrounding and covering the chair and the substitute fireman up to his neck and he never awoke during the procedure until he was almost smothered by the grain.
When he finally awakened and found the condition of affairs, he knew that he would be in for it if the captain of the company found it out so he went to the dormitory and called several of the men to come down stairs and help him. They spent the rest of the night passing buckets of grain to each other up a ladder and back into the grain bin. The old-time firemen even talk of that incident to this day.
The story just told is amusing but it was a common thing for many of the horses to do almost the same trick as McKinley did. For instance, there was a mystery that puzzled the firemen of Truck Company No. 8, located at 38 Bluxome Street, for a long time as to how a certain horse was gaining more weight than the rest of the horses, which supposedly were getting the same allowance of forage. After a hard-working fire one night the house watchman laid down and stretched himself out on the long, wide, running board of the truck to rest. He noticed that the Teddy horse was crawling out of his stall and so he laid perfectly still and awaited results.
Soon Teddy walked quietly over to the supposedly sleeping fireman and put his nose close to the fireman's face, evidently satisfying himself he was asleep. He then went to the grain chute and lifting the sliding door, let down just enough to satisfy his appetite and left no clues that he had been stealing grain.
Mush, of Engine No. 2, 412 Bush Street, was another horse that would steal grain from the chute if he were not watched.
Whenever the opportunity would come to San Francisco's firemen of old, notable horsemen of the days before, the drivers who helped to make the "heaviest" (a fitting title for San Francisco's Fire Department) to meet and exchange reminiscences, they would enjoy exchanging stories of their particular favorites among the faithful four-footed crew. By stages, the talk would drift to these loyal aides and good pals that, before the days of the motorized apparatus, were as important a part of the Fire Service as the firemen themselves.
Most of them are out of the business long since, but somehow, maybe from that far beyond to which they have gone on the last call, comes the urge to acclaim the facts and feats of these Captains of Valor who served so well in their places and who remain in memory as most definite and important links between our fast moving age of technocracy and their age of romance with all its alluring stages.
There were many revered horses in the San Francisco Fire Department whose heroic feats and unusual exploits traveled far and beyond the narrow limits of Department "gossip."
There seemed to exist at all times a feeling of cooperation, companionship and understanding between the firemen and these horses that nothing else equaled. They became accustomed to mutual temperaments and responses and there were few transfers of men and horses after the necessary adjustments had been made between them, and throughout the long and continuous association together an understanding grew that were truly astonishing to a stranger.
The men made much of these comrades who shared the long hours in the firehouses with them, saving choice t.i.d. bits and dainty morsels from their meals for this or that horse that had a taste for just that particular dainty or as a reward for some little extra display of intelligence or ability, and many a velvety nose learned that trick of searching jacket pockets for red apples which somehow found their way to the firehouse by that route from the nearby fruit stands.
Almost all of the houses at one time or another had sheltered a Department "champion" and at all times there was in each house a horse which, more than the others, was the particular pet of that company. Some of these might have especially distinguished themselves by their heroism or intelligence and thereby became the pride and talk of the entire Department. Others were born to less lasting fame and sooner or later their popularity gave way in favor of the brighter and cleverer favorites.
Stupid Joe was the name given the long legged, lanky but powerful roan horse which was bought about the year 1900 and according to all outward indications the men at the training quarters believed that there were several reasons why Joe should serve thirty days trial before enlistment. He might prove too stupid to learn, he might lack self-reliance and level-headedness and might refuse to become reconciled to the stifle of smoke, the roar of the orange flames and the crashing of falling buildings. He might prove too excitable to use his horse sense and to share of right things at the right time. He might even develop ugliness, or an illness, or a weakness, or, when hungry or thirsty around meal-time, he might stamp for lunch or for a drink making sleep overhead impossible for men who fought fires all night.
Finally after thirty days training at the Department Stables he was sent to Engine Company No. 29 in the heart of the industrial district where alarms and fires were numerous.
Joe struck it lucky the first day. Not even a false alarm came in, and he spent an hour after breakfast giving a reception. Men lined up in front of his stall to visit and inspect. They talked to him and went into his stall and stroked his face and patted his neck and shoulders and the broad, deep chest where the hard flesh and muscle lay heaped in the shape of a great upside-down heart. He felt very much at home at all this, nibbled silver buttons and made friends until, finally, he was led forward to another bigger and finer wagon than he had seen in the training stables. Gently he was led and coaxed and patted and he recalled the harness as he had seen at his training quarters and allowed himself to be backed under it while Frank and Barney, two magnificent friendly blacks were led to either side of him. Lightly the suspended harness was lowered onto the broad backs—then it was raised softly, only to come down heavier and heavier, until Joe no longer feared the shining collar and the massive black tangle that sweeped and floundered suddenly down upon him.
A horse in training for a circus would have been fed sugar and dismissed for the day had he shown half the progress Joe displayed, although he had been named "Stupid Joe." But in Joe's company there was little sugar and less circus, viewed from the inside. Three times a day, for half an hour, morning, noon and night, the horses were driven to engines or backed under harness until broken. Often, even before broken to this, the lessons for running from stalls to harness were begun. This training of the new horse took place with the fire "gong" and every horse in the company, including the two long-legged bays belonging to the hose wagon. With the first tap of each alarm, as the stall chains fell, the animals clattered to the front, while the driver, led the big fellow at a gallop under the center harness. At first the roan was immeasurably panic-stricken. The loud sonorous stroke of the big "gong" and the sudden stampede of the horses startled the very heart in him. But ever there was a kindly voice or a friendly hand. Again and again the "gong" was struck and each time with infinite patience, Joe was urged by the head.
Finally this horse who had served in the down town busy district for years was sent to Engine Company No. 36, 551 - 26th Avenue, an outside company in the Richmond District about the year 1907. One day at noon, the regular time for practice hitch-up the driver was not satisfied with the way Joe went to his place under the harness so he returned the horse to his stall for a second trial and as Joe was leaving his stall the driver clipped Joe on the flanks with a whip. That was too much for Joe. He broke through the guard rope across the front of the building and made a dash over the sandhills towards Golden Gate Park about one mile away. The company was, of course, one horse short should an alarm have come in and which would have made it impossible for the company to respond. Men were sent out in different directions on the backs of the remaining horses each man carrying a can of oats hoping to entice the runaway horse to return to quarters, but each time they approached close to him he would turn around, switch his tail and scamper further away and it was only after the mounted police in the district was summoned that he was finally caught and returned to quarters. Of course, nothing was ever said of the incident for years after as the officer as well as the driver, would have been held accountable for the condition at that time. However, a whip was never raised to old Joe again, in fact the men seemed to show more respect to him after that incident.
There was a Chiefs horse that could be trusted at any time, or in any place, according to his reputation. He was named Abe Reuf after a well-known politician of the day. This horse was known for his patience in standing in any one stop untied, where his Chief would leave him, and remaining there until the Chiefs return.
However, one day the horse was left standing at Third and Townsend Streets while the Chief was attending to some official business in the neighborhood, a large truck load of hay stopped alongside to water the horses and Abe Reuf began to nibble at the hay. As the dray pulled away from the watering trough Abe forgot his good reputation and followed, still nibbling hay as the truck moved along Third Street. He was picked up by a pedestrian and returned to his Chief after going a distance of several blocks.
There is, also, another story of a driver who had a fine roan assigned to him that was knows as Billy, the Goat, of which he became passionately fond, and which by gentleness of disposition and uniform docility, equally evinced its affection. The sound of the driver's voice and the sight of his uniform were sufficient to throw this animal into a state of excitement and he appeared to be pleased and happy only when under the reins of this particular driver of a company far out in the residential district.
Indeed, he was unruly and almost useless to anyone else for once on being removed to another engine house, he resolutely refused to perform his evolutions. He broke away from his new quarters one day and bolted straight to his old quarters, and there took his stand jostling alongside his former master. He was restored to his favorite driver and there after carried him, during hundreds of fires, through many difficulties and hair breadth escapes.
About three o'clock of an unusually cold January morning in 1917, a rather positive form of confusion seemed to take hold of the horses in Engine Company No. 2's house. While the man on "watch" was keeping warm as best as he could by staying as close to the horses as possible, he was also trying to study with the objective goal in mind that when he became an officer he would not have to keep this night "watch." All officers were permitted to retire after 10 o'clock unless they were called out to an "inside box," which term applies to an alarm to which officers are obliged to respond. But, the persistently annoying noises made study almost impossible and each one of the five horses had his own way of attracting attention.
Trix would chew on the wooden stall—Min would continually thump her body against the stall—Mike would whinny- Sugar would snap her tail back and forth—and our hero, Brownie, would paw. Brownie, all the firemen agreed, was the out-pawingest-horse that ever came into the Department. He would paw when hungry, paw when thirsty, paw when he wanted to be petted, and paw when he didn't, which was not at all frequent. So the exasperated watchman would appeal first to one horse and then to another and, at last, almost losing all patience with Brownie, he would reach for a small strap as a warning that he most likely would never have fulfilled.
Generally, the threat of the strap was enough to quiet Brownie, but not so this time. He pawed on unremittingly and in such an unearthly manner that it put fear into the watchman's heart.
I will digress a moment from the story and tell you more of Brownie and the reason for his being in No. 2's Engine House. He was a very large horse, strong, powerful and willing. Hills did not balk him and he loved the excitement of the fire game. He had come from the best stock of the Livermore District, close to the Bay Region so long famed-for the breeding of just such thoroughbreds as Brownie.
The district about Engine Company No. 2 comprised a number of the very steep hills and, consequently, Chief Engineer Thomas R. Murphysaw to it that this company received strong and able horses. That was why Brownie and his four team mates had been assigned to that company, in spite of the influence of other Captains who tried to bring all possible pressure to bear to get this fine team in their respective quarters. Due to his large size, Brownie could easily look out of the transom window over the door and this window the watchman could scarcely reach. These factors proved to be the point of difference or lack of understanding in the case.
Directly across the street from the firehouse was a large printing house which adjoined a frame building used as a hotel. At three o'clock in the morning in this district there was seldom any one to be see, though usually day and night and at almost any other time there was always someone about. Most of the Chinese gamblers were retired or busily engaged in counting their winnings. The newsboys had turned their thoughts and steps towards home. The other denizens of the streets had departed for their places of abode and the milkman had not yet made his rounds.
All was quiet in the morning stillness, as the watchman thought, but Brownie knew that just outside that solid door there was an inferno roaring and tearing away within the building before his very eyes and that was the reason Brownie could not be stopped from pawing. The watchman became unusually concerned. He was not a perverse horse. What could be the matter? Could he be sick? So the Captain was awakened. He spoke sharply to Brownie, but with no results. Then he thought maybe a draft of cold air would do the work so he walked to the front door and opened it to be faced full with the seething flames across the street and the realization that already too many pervious moments had elapsed. Quickly regaining his composure, he turned to the watchman and ordered "Press the still bell." He then reached for the telephone and in a cool, distinct tone told the fire dispatcher to tap in a second alarm.
Brownie and his mates were under the harness at the first stroke of the bell and hitched almost instantly, a snap of the hook and they were outside. Then the speedy connection of water was pouring into the flaming structure and all credit was given to Brownie. Time was the one essential thing which had prevented a tragedy—due to the explosive contents of the building, seconds had counted.
When the fire was completely extinguished and the Chief had made certain there were no smoldering sparks remaining, Engine No. 2, with the other companies, returned to their quarters. On arrival, Brownie had his morning oats, barley and water and pawed a bit—Mike whinnied—Trixie chewed on the wooden stall—Min, as usual, thumped against the wall and Sugar snapped her tail back and forth. All was again normal and the boys of Engine No. 2 felt about Brownie the way Joaquin Miller must have felt when ending his "Pache" with these lines:
"If there was a place where good horses go—
I know my horse, Pache, will be there—."
Though providence seems to have implanted in the horse a benevolent disposition, with at the same time a certain awe of the human race, yet there are instances on record of his recollecting injuries and fearfully revenging them.
There is on record in our Department a driver who had a horse, who, when the bit was taken from his mouth while being given a drink of water, would resist all efforts on the part of the driver to put it back. The driver got in the habit of taking a quantity of grain in his hand and feeding the horse by way of bait while the bit was placed back in position. The driver deceived the horse several times when he did not have any oats in his hand.
The horse at length began to suspect the design and one day as usual, looked into the driver's hand and seeing it empty, turned to the side, opened his mouth, and grabbed the driver in the seat of the pants. The only thing saved the driver was the fact that he had stored in the back pocket of his trousers a can of smoking tobacco, which the horse bit into instead of the fleshy portion of that part of the body where the tobacco can was carried. In this instance, the provocation was deceit and trickery.
Dennis T. Sullivan was the Chief Engineer of the San Francisco Fire Department during the years 1894 to 1906, partly inclusive. It was towards the end of his term as active engineer that this story is written.
Chief Sullivan was a physical giant, but the years were beginning to tell on his strength, and the nervous strain, occasioned by the constant apprehension and attendance upon the fire bell, was taking its toll of that iron will that had fought so many battles, so prevalent during his time of endeavor.
While his friends had been constantly advising him to seek rest and some form of retirement after his strenuous years, he would not relinquish his post. However, he did do this much. He built a
home near the ocean beach where he could have quiet and rest from the noise and turmoil of the city. It was about seven miles from his headquarters at Engine Company No. 2.
Brownie, the hero firehorse of this story, was his horse, and Brownie would trot or gallop this seven, or seven and a half miles, to as many alarms as would be called in; seconds, thirds, or greater ones, as the bell might call for, willingly and even enthusiastically at each call.
At 1:30 o'clock in the morning on April 18, 1906, Box 194, north Beach District, struck. This location was a dangerous spot in the vicinity of lumber yards, planing mills, etc. However, the box was not "inside" for Engine No. 2 so the man on "Watch" drove the horses back to their stalls and put out the lights.
A few minutes after the first alarm, a second alarm came in, so the Chief was instantly on the floor. The Chief Engineer responds to all seconds, or greater alarms. The horse was already hitched and the men on "watch" gave the reins to the Chief, telling him the exact location of the fire. The Chief and his operator, with Brownie pulling the rig, made a picture of determination, stamina and the will to conquer.
Roaring flames and billowing clouds of smoke presented a warning and hazardous spectacle, a third alarm was instantly sent in to headquarters and soon twelve engines were clattering on their way as the early morning stillness was broken by the thundering hoofs and racketing bells.
On returning to quarters shortly before 5 o'clock, the aging Chief climbed the spiral stairs unusually tired. It might even have been that the premonition which sometimes precedes death as presented to his mind as he climbed into his bed, preparatory to getting some rest, for at 5:18 of that same morning occurred the earthquake.
I will not dwell here on the excitement attendant upon the earthquake. Many notable writers have written about its pathos, horrors, and incidents of human sympathy and human interest, with all the various other emotions and strange features.
The building of Engine Company No. 2 adjoined the old California Theatre. The walls, which were of brick, crashed and in the crumbling Fire Chief Sullivan's body was crushed. Life was not entirely gone when his body was rescued, but the great and powerful body of the Chief that had battled men and fires could not hold out in a battle of such elements and the much-needed Chief was powerless to lend aid when he was taken in the toll of its victims.
In looking around for Brownie, he was nowhere to be found. He had not been quartered in the engine house, but in the St. George Stables close by, as a horse and buggy of a Battalion Chief was quartered with Engine No. 2. With the crashing in of walls and the crumbling of the buildings, and in the general panic attending, the horses in the stables had become panicky. The more spirited the horse the more likely he was to bolt. Naturally, Brownie broke the chain which held him and got away but he got away so good that no one could find him.
One day, about two months later, Big Bill Tobin, who had complete charge of all the firehorses, asked to be excused for a day. He wished to attend the funeral of a friend and on the return trip from the cemetery, as the home ward progress became a little slower, the discerning eye of Tobin sighted a familiar friend. Stopping the hack he dismounted and accosted the driver of a vegetable wagon with none other than the illustrious Brownie pulling it, and strange to say, it seemed that the law of attraction worked simultaneously in this case, for as Bill spied Brownie, Brownie spied Bill. Then commotion reigned but Brownie's rope defied his power and so he had to remain until Tobin could encounter the driver. Whereupon, the driver told the following story:
While walking through the black hills (the range which divides San Francisco from San Mateo County) he had noticed the rather wild actions of a lost horse and his instinct told him this was no ordinary horse, but to whom did it belong? The country was wild all about and unfenced, and anyone who owned such a fine horse would certainly not let him run loose in this wild section so the finder appropriated Brownie and was going to use him until he should be claimed or advertised for. So the driver willingly turned Brownie back to the Fire Department.
After a few days of rest and proper care and nourishment, Brownie was at his old work again. He always seemed ready to please his new Chief, but we somehow felt we could see him wishing for the one he had served so long.
Rattler was a big chestnut horse who was very particular as to whom he permitted to try on his shoes, and even then he had his own ideas on the subject. He would not permit any one to shoe him unless he was in his own engine house and then only under very specific conditions.
He was tried out in several of the horse shoeing shops, but he would not act as if wild on sight of the horse-shoer and usually after an exhibition of this kind, he would be so exhausted for a week that perspiration would constantly drop from him. The horse-shoer tried to shoe him in the Department stables, but he would raise the same kind of objections and even though he was put in stocks, he would manage to rear about and tear things generally to pieces.
The veterinarians happened by the stables one day when this procedure was under way. Poor Rattler was in a much excited state, whinnying and kicking, until it seemed as if his heart would break.
The doctor predicted that the horse would drop dead if any further pressure was continued. He suggested that Rattler be returned to the engine house that he knew as home. So Rattler was taken back to the engine house where he was given some oats as a feeler and they tried in various ways to coax him. Nothing doing! Finally, one of the men suggested giving him grass. Grass was the charm and from then on he would nibble contentedly on the grass given him while the blacksmith spiked on the shoes which had been previously fitted to his feet. Thereafter, for years, this was the only method followed in shoeing Rattler. He was always a willing and gentle horse outside of his aversion to being shod elsewhere than in his own home surroundings.
Spike was the name of a horse attached to the hose tender of Fireboat No. 1. This horse was given the name of Spike for the reason that he had a very long and pointed face with a somewhat flat head, and looking at him from a side view, his head resembled a 20-penny spike, so the fire boys said, and therefore, christened him "Spike." He was a fine, fast, gentle horse.
Every morning the driver, when returning from his breakfast, which he partook of at a nearby restaurant, brought a doughnut to Spike. By way of a prank the driver would put the doughnut in his right hind trouser pocket, and leaving at least one-half of the doughnut protruding, would walk up in front of the horse, and gently but firmly, the horse would pick the doughnut from its place.
One morning, a recruit fireman witnessed the performance and he thought he too would be kind to Spike, so the next morning he put a doughnut in HIS rear trouser pocket, but he put the doughnut too far down. However, Spike was not to be deprived of his morning treat. He grabbed that portion of the recruit's anatomy where the doughnut should have been readily available, and ripped the seat of the trousers almost off the newcomer of a fireman, at the same time leaving the marks of his teeth so deep in that portion that the fireman had to take his meals standing up for the next few days.
Frank and John were full brothers, coming from the same sire and dame. When they were sold to the Fire Department, the owner requested the Department officials as a favor to him to never separate the team. The promise was made and faithfully kept.
John was the first horse to arrive at the quarters of Engine No. 14 at 1051 McAllister Street. One week later, his brother, Frank, arrived, and as Frank was brought into the firehouse, John started to bray, whinny and prance in his stall. He evidently was happy to see his brother again. This team won many prizes at horse shows.
Funny Face was the nickname given to a horse in the Engine House No. 39, at 2136 Geary Street, near Scott, by the children of the neighborhood. This horse was peculiarly marked on the forehead and around the mouth. The children going to school in the neighborhood did not take long to notice the funny looking horse and they found that by standing at the door of the firehouse and making faces and at the same time saying the word "Boo," the horse would open his mouth wide, rear on his hind legs and endeavor to spring at them. The horse was moved to another company before he could do any damage. Perhaps, the horse enjoyed frightening the children as well as they enjoyed looking at him.
Doc and Dan were two beautiful horses that lived at Engine Company No. 2, on Bush Street, near Kearny. They were the team that pulled the hose wagon and they were the team that was known as the professional beggars of the Fire Department because of their fondness for sugar.
Whenever the two of them saw any one approaching particularly ladies, they would stretch their glossy necks and whinny to attract attention, and seldom failed to make plain their wants and appreciation.
In almost every instance, any one of the divers was quite proud to drive a chiefs horse, and many times the competition between chiefs vying for the use of a particular horse would furnish interesting side talk for the men on duty about the firehouses.
However, there was one horse that no one ever felt the urge to drive. His name was Whoa! Bill. He and his chief, a man considered to be a bit fussy by the men under his command, were both endowed with individuality and temperament. No one ever could see why this chief kept the horse when he was so positive in his own preferments. The horse had his own ideas about going to fires, or anywhere else, for that matter. On being hooked up, he would turn his head around and look at his driver with an expression which seemed to say, "I'll go if I want to and if I don't want to go—well, that's that!
One day, as the chief was leaving quarters, Whoa! Bill apparently had more important business to attend to first. He refused to respond to the pull of the reins, and with great speed and dispatch, took the Chief for a ride which ended almost as suddenly as it had begun, in the front garden of a private residence directly across the street. The proudly cared for flowers and lawn presented no obstacle to him. However, the outside wall of the house brought him to attention and likely appealed to his reason.
The chief had a rather bad few minutes trying to explain the situation. The activities of Whoa! Bill and his chief were always anticipated with expectant humor and watched with undisguised satisfaction. Whoa! Bill was known to run the range between the two extremes. He would invariably stop very positively if pulled up short to avoid an accident, and then instead of "getting up" as almost any intelligent horse would, he remained still in the same spot until he had turned his head deliberately and given his "Commanding Officer" one of his characteristic horse looks.
It so happened that Fritz, of whom we shall hear more later, had a lady friend in a stall at the rear of the same engine house where he was employed, and whenever he got an opportunity, or could make one, he would slip away from his stall and could be usually found visiting his object of admiration, with both rubbing noses and biting each other's necks. However, ropes were arranged at the front of his stall so it would be impossible for him to leave by this route. He was not to be outdone by our small ingenious frustration of his pleasure. One night he tried to turn around in his stall just to get one satisfying look at his lady friend and in so doing he fell, and became so tightly wedged in between the narrow sides that it was necessary for the entire company to chop away one whole side of his stall in order to release him.
For his punishment he was sent to another company where he would not be so tempted. It was found, however, that horses would be horses, regardless of the good moral examples set by the firemen.
It was not an uncommon thing for horses to turn around in their stalls and face the other way. They evidently became bored and restless standing in the same position 24 hours of the day, year in and year out. But, at the first stroke of the bell, they would be back in position and under the harness.
It has been a custom and almost a tradition in the San Francisco Fire Department for many years for the members of all engine houses to have coffee and doughnuts at 9 o'clock each evening. One company had three magnificent dapple grays, one of which was known as Coffee Dan. The eating place of the men was at the rear of the main floor and as they sat down each evening for the "coffee" and this horse would be released from his stall and would walk to the table and be fed doughnuts. When he finished, he would be told to go back to where he belonged, and away he would scamper. This same horse was very fond of oranges. If given an orange, he would refuse to eat it unless it was peeled for him.
One horse called Chris Buckely occupied the place of the off side of a three-horse hitch in a Hook and Ladder Company. His stall was at the rear of the center horse and far removed from the front of the building.
Chris Buckley always wanted to be in the front stall and when, after an alarm was received to which the company did not respond, the horse, on obeying the signal to return to his stall, invariably would go to the front stall. The men had to watch this horse when he was returning to his stall. He knew that he was being watched for he would look around, and if any of the men were watching him in the slightest manner, he would go to his own stall, but if they were not taking any notice of him, he would go to the stall of the center horse. There were many instances as above mentioned.
One time two horses who fell after a fight had become so tightly wedged in one of the narrow stalls, that it was necessary to remove the partition to get them out.
Many times in the Horse and Buggy days, we had visiting chiefs and firemen from the eastern states and other states throughout the Union, as well as from European countries, who would tell us of similar actions of their horses to those related herein.
On To Chapter VIII
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