He came trotting along before the gig, a broad black hulk, his fetlocks dancing, his mane sweeping in billows down his neck, his eyes shooting fire two red prize ribbons waving at his ears. He raised his head and snuffed the breeze, monarch of all he surveyed; then he lifted up his voice and split the welkin—believe me, that was a trumpet call that fetched the echoes out of the mountains. In the gig sat Peter Lo, holding the reins relaxed, a veiy debonair man not over thirty-five, broad of shoulder, vigorous, smiling out of a.comer of his mouth above his chin-whiskers.
It was certainly too bad that his wife, sitting beside him, was so much older than he; her every feature drooped, her red cheeks drooped, her eyes drooped, the comers of her mouth drooped; she always spoke in whimpering tones. As for Peter Lo himself, he had a weakness for all things pretty, even for such as were not his own. As Skobelef neighed to his affinities, Peter Lo glanced at good friends of his own among the crowd and smiled. Skobelef came to a stop, but got a cut of the whip; he reared and got another stroke; then he bounded up the road toward the parsonage, the crowd in his wake, we boys flying ahead like birds on the wing.
Peter Lo maneuver Skobelef
It was a circus to watch Peter Lo maneuver Skobelef out from the shafts of the gig and over toward the stable door. Peter Lo for sure looked swell that day; the horse must have lent him a new dignity, his gray suit was so. well brushed and he wore a stiff hat just like the teacher’s. But every now and then his polished boots flew up in the air. The crowd stared for all they were worth. Too soon the magic horse disappeared behind the stable door; presently Peter Lo came out again brushing the horse hairs from his hands.
He picked his way carefully so as not to soil those shiny boots as he walked down to the church. The crowd trekked after him. Peter Lo mounted the steps to the hall and walked in. The congregation followed at his heels. Peter Lo sat down in one of the pews, opened a hymn book, and began to sing. The congregation did likewise, and the singing rose in volume.
But on this particular day we youngsters kept watch and ward outside the stable door. It was a mighty good thing it was locked; there was no telling what Skobelef would do if he got loose on his own account. The cold chills ran down our spines as we heard him rattling his halter and stamping on the floor. Now and again the walls shook with his neighing. Talk about thrills! We stood still, put our heads together, and spoke in whispers.