“He was not much of a saddle-horse; not that he would attempt to throw his rider, but whenever a saddle was put on him it made his back itch, and he would always insist upon rubbing it against the first tree or fence or corner of a house that he came to; and if he could bark the rider’s leg, he seemed to be better contented. The last time I rode him was upon the day of Mr. Johnson’s wedding. I had on my best suit, and on the way to the festival there was a creek to be forded. When the horse got into the middle of it, he took a drink, and then looked around at the scenery. Then he took another drink, and gazed again at the prospect. Then he suddenly felt tired and lay down in the water. By the time he was sufficiently rested I was ready to go home.
[Illustration: MR. BUTTERWICK’S HORSE LIES DOWN]
“The next day he was taken sick. Patrick said it was the epizooty, and he mixed him up some turpentine in a bucket of warm feed. That night the horse had spasms, and kicked four of the best boards out of the side of the stable. Jones said that horse hadn’t the epizooty, but the botts, and that the turpentine ought to have been rubbed on the outside of him instead of going into his stomach. So we rubbed him with turpentine, and next morning he hadn’t a hair on his body.
“Colonel Coffin told me that if I wanted to know what really ailed that horse he would tell me. It was glanders, and if he wasn’t bled he would die. So the colonel bled him for me. We took away a tubful, and the horse thinned down so that his ribs made him look as if he had swallowed a flour-barrel.
“Then I sent for the horse-doctor, and he said there was nothing the matter with the horse but heaves, and he left some medicine ’to patch up his wind.’ The result was that the horse coughed for two days as if he had gone into galloping consumption, and between two of the coughs he kicked the hired man through the partition and bit our black-and-tan terrier in half.
“I thought perhaps a little exercise might improve his health, so I drove him out one day, and he proceeded in such a peculiar manner that I was afraid he might suddenly come apart and fall to pieces. When we reached the top of White House hill, which is very steep by the side of the road, he stopped, gave a sort of shudder, coughed a couple of times, kicked a fly off his side with his hind leg, and then lay down and calmly rolled over the bank. I got out of the carriage before he fell, and I watched him pitch clear down to the valley beneath, with the vehicle dragging after him. When we got to him he was dead, and the man at the farm-house close by said he had the blind staggers.
“I sold him for eight dollars to a man who wanted to make him up into knife-handles and suspender-buttons; and since then we have walked. I hardly think I shall buy another horse. My luck doesn’t seem good enough when I make ventures of that kind.”