I saw such an expedient would be certain death, and I wound one arm round her waist, and held her forcibly down in her seat, while with the other I endeavoured to assist her in the hopeless task of stopping the runaway ponies.
It should be remarked, that all three were mounted Alexis and Ivan upon stout, active ponies, of that race for which the Pyrenees, especially the western section of them, are celebrated. Pouchskin's mount was not of the genus equus, nor yet an asinus, but a hybrid of both genera, in short, a mule.
They assure us that we cannot reach the river, that we cannot make our way into the depths of the canyon, but promise to show us the springs and water pockets, which are very scarce in all this region, and to give us all the information in their power. Here we fit up a pack train, for our bedding and instruments and supplies are to be carried on the backs of mules and ponies. September 5, 1870.
The next morning, before John went into the town, he was greeted by the two boys on their ponies, and came out to admire and hear the conditions. "We mayn't have them at school," said Johnnie, bringing out the last word with laudable distinctness, "but Grand will let them live in hith in his stables."
Lashing their ponies into mad gallop, now sitting erect, the next moment lying hidden behind the plunging animals, constantly screaming their shrill war-cries, their guns brandished in air, they swept onward, seeking to crush that thin line in one terrible onset. But they reckoned wrong. The soldiers waited their coming.
In the evening we enjoyed hearing the Governor's band performing on the beach and seeing Madras society congregated there, and for the first time since we left America saw full-sized horses again. Several gentlemen were riding animals that would pass muster in Central Park. Thus far we have found only little ponies in use.
Three fellows on ponies were doing nothing but watch for these flying firebrands, galloping after them and putting them out as they fell." Jim paused. "Say you put your hook in the water, Wally, old chap," he suggested. Wally looked and blushed. In the excitement of the moment he had unconsciously pulled up his line until the bait dangled helplessly in the air, a foot above the water.
A part of the herd was caught in sight of the camp and there was a counter chase, but the Crows got away with the ponies. Of course his mother was frantic, believing her boy had been killed or captured; but after the excitement was over, he appeared in camp unhurt.
The gallant little blacks, looking like a pair of ponies before the huge van, seemed to lie flat on their bellies as they strained forward, digging their sharp little hoofs into the hillside. The van gave an inch two! A foot!
"'I know it, says I. 'And I'll bet you his pictures are on valentines, and fool men are his game, red and white. "'You win on the red, says John Tom, calm. 'Jeff, for how many ponies do you think I could buy Mrs. Conyers? "'Scandalous talk! I replies. ''Tis not a paleface custom. John Tom laughs loud and bites into a cigar.