The practical pun upon Simon Renard's name embodied in the fox-tail, with the allusion to the effect of the manifold squibs perpetrated by that most bitter and lively enemy upon Granvelle, were understood and relished by the multitude.
Then he slowly mounted along the broad blade of a meadow fox-tail grass, which bent under him as if to afford him an elastic send-off upon his flight.
Rix, released, trotted away. "Guess he'll stay out of fox-tail after this," said Sid. "I dunno," said Dave. "Critters walk right into trouble with their eyes wide open. I'm going to make bread now." Sid followed into the shanty, and watched Dave stir together sour milk and soda for bread. The ranch was away in the hills, much too far from any town for visits from the baker's wagon.
Another cured all manner of fevers and agues on the spot, only with hanging a fox-tail on the left side of the patient's girdle. One removed the toothache only with washing thrice the root of the aching tooth with elder-vinegar, and letting it dry half-an-hour in the sun.
Another explorer had under his arm a fat little bear cub that he had picked up somewhere. Rolf's deftness at stone-throwing had secured him a bushy yellow fox-tail for a trophy.
"I'm a-holding, Dave!" The two-year colt, Rix, lay on the ground. Sid was holding tightly to the lasso, while Dave was trying to put the points of a pair of small nippers into Rix's right eye. Rix had objected very much, but Dave was determined; he knew something was wrong with that eye. "There!" said Dave at last, holding up the nippers. "See? Fox-tail, just's I thought. Got it in his eye."
A spotted dog sprang into the open space; the girl's monotonous tread, as she advanced into the middle of the square, the ringing of the little bell, and the fox-tail which moved in the wind, excited the dog, which began to bark, and wanted to bite the fox's tail.
That's what makes farmers hate sheep-men so. Folks down 'n the valley round up the hogs every June to pick fox-tail out of their eyes. If they didn't, half the hogs'd go blind." "Round up?" questioned Sid. "Drive 'em together," explained Dave. "You'll see a round-up of my cattle 'fore long. Got to go out and hunt the hills for 'em, and drive 'em away down to the railroad.
They were welcomed on board with a hubbub of curiosity. Almost every article of value upon the ship was offered in exchange for the cub and the fox-tail. The uncanny accounts of the place were swallowed with open-mouthed greediness; so greedily that it was little wonder that at each repetition the narratives grew longer and fuller.
We find in them a quantity of small seed which we cannot sift out, and which we are obliged to send through the mill-stones; there are tares, fennel, vetches, hempseed, fox-tail, and a host of other weeds, not to mention pebbles, which abound in certain wheat, especially in Breton wheat. I am not fond of grinding Breton wheat, any more than long-sawyers like to saw beams with nails in them.