The Hundredth Meridian

The Phantom Horse

"What does 'AQHA 1990 gelding, bred Actual Spark' mean?"

"It means someone has a neutered ten-year-old American quarter-horse, sired by Actual Spark, for sale. Why?"

Rhonda looked up from the Casper Star-Tribune she held spread in her lap.

"I want to buy a horse."

"What sense does that make? You're moving back to California in less than two months."

"I'll take him with me. Horses aren't just for Wyoming rednecks, you know."

"Well, if you're going to buy a horse, for God's sake don't get a quarter-horse."

"I'd rather have an Arab, like Star and Larki."

"Good luck finding an Arab for sale in Wyoming."

"Why is that?"

"Because they're as tough to sell as surfboards here. That's why."

"I don't get what you're telling me, dude."

"A lot of Arabs are too small to rope a cow from, let alone a bull. And even if they weren't, they look funny. In addition to being Arabs, of course."

"People in Wyoming are so dumb."

I removed the cylinder pin from the .41 magnum revolver I was cleaning and ran a copper brush dipped in solvent through the barrel.

"Here's an Arabian for sale." She turned the...

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