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Chiquita


Beautiful! Sir, you may say so. Thar isn't her match in the county;
Is thar, old gal,--Chiquita, my darling, my beauty?
Feel of that neck, sir,--thar's velvet! Whoa! steady,--ah, will you, you vixen!
Whoa! I say. Jack, trot her out; let the gentleman look at her paces.

Morgan!--she ain't nothing else, and I've got the papers to prove it.
Sired by Chippewa Chief, and twelve hundred dollars won't buy her.
Briggs of Tuolumne owned her. Did you know Briggs of Tuolumne?
Busted hisself in White Pine, and blew out his brains down in 'Frisco?

Hedn't no savey, hed Briggs. Thar, Jack! that'll do,--quit that foolin'!
Nothin' to what she kin do, when she's got her work cut out before her.
Hosses is hosses, you know, and likewise, too, jockeys is jockeys:
And 'tain't ev'ry man as can ride as knows what a hoss has got in him.

Know the old ford on the Fork, that nearly got Flanigan's leaders?
Nasty in daylight, you bet, and a mighty rough ford in low water!
Well, it ain't six weeks ago that me and the Jedge and his nevey
Struck for that ford in the night, in the rain, and the water all round us;

Up to our flanks in the gulch, and Rattlesnake Creek just a-bilin',
Not a plank left in the dam, and nary a bridge on the river.
I had the gray, and the Jedge had his roan, and his nevey, Chiquita;
And after us trundled the rocks jest loosed from the top of the canyon.

Lickity, lickity, switch, we came to the ford, and Chiquita
Buckled right down to her work, and, a fore I could yell to her rider,
Took water jest at the ford, and there was the Jedge and me standing,
And twelve hundred dollars of hoss-flesh afloat, and a-driftin' to thunder!

Would ye b'lieve it? That night, that hoss, that 'ar filly, Chiquita,
Walked herself into her stall, and stood there, all quiet and dripping:
Clean as a beaver or rat, with nary a buckle of harness,
Just as she swam the Fork,--that hoss, that 'ar filly, Chiquita.

That's what I call a hoss! and-- What did you say?-- Oh, the nevey?
Drownded, I reckon,--leastways, he never kem beck to deny it.
Ye see the derned fool had no seat, ye couldn't have made him a rider;
And then, ye know, boys will be boys, and hosses--well, hosses is hosses!



Bret Harte

I: National

II: Spanish Idyls and Legends

III: In Dialect

IV: Miscellaneous

V: Parodies

VI: Songs Without Sense

VII: Little Posterity

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