That afternoon, however, came an aftermath in the shape of Happy Jack galloping wildly out to where the others were holding a herd and “cutting out.” He was due to come and help, so nobody paid any attention to his haste, though it was his habit to take his time. He shot recklessly by the outer fringes of the “cut” and yelled in a way to stampede the whole bunch. “Jakie’s dying,” he shouted, wild-eyed. “He’s drunk up all the lemon extract and most uh the v’nilla before I could stop him!”
Chip and Weary, riding in hot haste to the camp, found that it was true as far as the drinking was concerned. Jakie was stretched upon his back breathing unpleasantly, and beside him were two flat bottles of half-pint size, one empty and the other very nearly so; the tent and Jakie’s breath reeked of lemon and vanilla. Chip sent back for help.
For the second time the Flying U roundup was brought to an involuntary pause because of its cook. There was but one thing to do, and Chip did it. He broke camp, loaded Jakie into the bed-wagon, and headed at a gallop for Dry Lake in an effort to catch the next train for Great Falls. Whether he sent Jakie to the hospital or to the undertaker was a question he did not attempt to answer; one thing was certain, however, that he must send him to one of those places as soon as might be.
That night, just before the train arrived, he sent another telegram to Johnny Scott at rush rates. He said simply:
“Send another cook immediately this
one all in am returning him in
baggage coach this train.
Just after midnight he went to the station and received an answer, which is worth repeating:
“C. BENNETT, Dry Lake: Supply cooks running low am sending only available don’t kill this one or may have to go without season on cooks closed fine attached to killing, running with dogs or keeping in captivity this one drunk look for him in Pullman have bribed porter. J.G. SCOTT.”
It was sent collect, which accounts perhaps for the facetious remarks which it contained.
It was morning when that train arrived, because it was behind time for some reason, but Chip, Weary, Pink and Big Medicine were at the depot to meet it. The new cook having been reported drunk, they wanted to make sure of getting him off the train in case he proved unruly. They were wise in the ways of intoxicated cooks. They ran to the steps of the only Pullman on the train and were met by the grinning porter.
“Yas sah, he’s in dah—but Ah cyan’t git ’im off, sah, to save mah soul,” he explained toothily. “Ah put ’im next de front end, sah, but he’s went to sleep and Ah cyan’t wake ’em up, an’ Ah cyan’t tote ’em out nohow. Seems lak he weighs a ton!”
“By cripes, we’ll tote him out,” declared Big Medicine, pushing ahead of Chip in his enthusiasm. “You hold the train, and we’ll git ’im. Show us the bunk.”