The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt
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Bonfire, the Black Stallion’s colt who is a champion harness racer, is in training for the biggest race of his career: the Hambletonian. But a routine practice race turns disastrous in a collision of wood, metal, horses, and jockeys. Bonfire escapes unharmed, but is spooked and refuses to race. Alec Ramsey, the owner of the Black, witnesses the crash and is determined to see that Bonfire follow in the winning footsteps of his world-famous sire.
face. George broke the tense silence by closing his suitcase and saying, “Jimmy said to send the colt home just as I’d arranged. He’s meeting Tom and me at the Pittsburgh airport.” Trying to keep the anger out of his voice, Henry asked, “Did you tell him I was here and wanted to talk to him?” “No,” George said. “Then you’d better come with me now while I call him,” Henry said, taking George by the arm and moving him toward the door. “I want you to hear what he has to say so you’ll know it’s
for a few more minutes and then Henry said, “When George gets back I want you and me to go over to the hospital.” Alec felt his face stiffen. Finally he said, “Sure, Henry. I want to see Tom before he leaves.” It was going to be difficult, Alec knew, seeing Tom in the hospital and knowing what lay ahead of him before he’d be able to walk again. Henry must be well aware of this. Perhaps that’s why he had suggested the visit. Henry wanted him to face what he’d done to Tom, and then forget it.
Jimmy had seen for himself that Henry was right about the colt. No words could have done as much. After the race Jimmy had been a beaten man. He’d kept repeating that he was a fool, an old fool. And Henry kept saying that he was, too. It had been a strange aftermath to their previous fiery encounter. An hour later Henry came into the tack room. “Turn on the light,” Alec said. “I’m awake.” “I can undress in the dark,” Henry answered. “I’ve had enough lights for one night.” Alec wondered if he
he didn’t take his eyes off the golden, empty track ahead; nor did the other drivers when their names were called out by the multitude. The time had come to race. It was written on the face of every driver, young and old. After they had passed the mobile gate the barrier wings unfolded, stretching across the track. A short distance behind the gate the marshals let them go, and the announcer told the crowd, “The horses are now in the hands of the starter.” The colts in the first tier were the
yards from the finish wire. They said Bonfire seemed to gather himself in a great effort without loss of stride or time. They compared it to a tightly coiled spring that is suddenly unwound. They admitted his hoofs must have touched the track but said it was hard to believe because he went forward at such incredible speed. Those on the rail had something to say about the wheels of the sulky as well. They claimed the forward thrust of the blood bay colt carried the wheels and Alec Ramsay off the