Get a Horse
by Jeff Baker
“What do you mean the car’s gone?” Roddy asked.
“Gone.” Alec said. “Not here. I went into the Old Courthouse or about thirty minutes and the car was, well gone when I got here.”
“You don’t have a car alarm in that piece of junk do you?” Roddy asked.
“No. I chained the car to this old horse hitch, this ring still in the pavement on the curb.” Alec said.
“Chained it?” Roddy asked “Didn’t you lock it?”
“I haven’t fixed the locks yet, so I padlocked the chain to the bumper.” Alec said.
“The car doesn’t lock? Where did you get this? How much did it cost?” Roddy asked.
“From an estate sale.” Alec said. “You know that old guy who said he was a wizard? His family wanted to get rid of all his stuff cheap. Real cheap.”
“Better call the police. Hey, was that a horse I heard?” Roddy asked.
“Haven’t been horses in this part of the city in a hundred years or so.” Alec said.
“What on earth is this?” Grover said.
“An automobile, I think.” Dillard said. “I saw an engraving in Leslie’s Illustrated a few months ago. Wheels, metal.” Dillard tapped the windshield of the dingy green Nova out of place in the brick streets of the still-new city.” “Still, I’ve never seen one like this.”
The two men stopped to tip their hats to the lady in the hoop skirt who walked past, barely acknowledging them.
“When did you find this…thing?” Grover said.
“I stepped into the courthouse on business and I admit I lingered a bit to take in the brand-new building.” Dillard said. “When I stepped out, to ride home, my horse was gone and this was chained in its place!”
“You left your horse hitched here?” Thorne asked, kicking the ring sticking out of the curb.
“As I always do.” Dillard said. “But it was gone, the rope was gone and in it’s place this…this…”
“My Uncle saw an automobile in Paris.” Thorne said. “He called it a fire-breathing monstrosity.” Thorne sighed and shook his head. “He told me it would never replace the horse.”
All I can think of, is deodorant dude, “I’m