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Tuerto, the One-Eyed Killer Study Horse From Hank the Cowdog #8: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse
A wild and ornery one-eyed killer horse is destroying the ranch. Who will protect Sally Mae and Little Alfred? It's Hank the Cowdog to the rescue (with Drover about a mile behind) in another exciting adventure.
"Mayday, mayday! Drover, I'm picking up a horse at ten o'clock!"
"What are you going to put him in?"
"And we're already an hour late."
"No, no, you don't understand. In combat situations, we switch over to combat terminology."
"Imagine that the enemy is standing on a giant clock." (I had to explain all this while we were running.)
"The twelve is facing due east, which means that the six is facing due west. Now, the enemy is located where the ten would be, if he were the little hand."
"If he's the little hand, I'd hate to see the big one. Hank, is this an alarm clock?"
"Well, I'm not sure. Why do you ask?"
"I keep hearing alarm bells in my head. Do you see who that horse is?"
I squinted my eyes at the alleged horse and...
You might recall that only hours before, High Loper had told Sally May about the neighbor's one-lawed out-eyed stud horse ? that is, one-eyed, outlawed stud horse, a heartless brute named Tuerto.
"Hank, my leg's starting to hurt! I'm losing speed and altitude and attitude and just about everything else!"
"You're losing courage, is what you're losing. This is no time to come up lame."
"I know. It's already ten o'clock but the machine shed's back at six o'clock, so maybe I'd better..."
"Stay in formation, Drover. We're going in for a look."
We zoomed in for a look. Sure enough, it was Tuerto of the Gotch Eye. When he saw us streaking towards him, he tossed his head and stamped his right front foot.
"Hank to Drover, over. Confirm visual sighting at eleven o'clock."
"Time sure flies when you're scared."
"Roger. Suspect has invaded our territorial territory. Prepare to initiate Growling Mode!"
"Hank, let's don't growl at him, he might think we're being unfriendly."
"That's the whole point, Roger."
"Of course you are. Ready? Mark! We have initiated Growling Mode One and are proceeding toward the target!"
I had hoped that, once we initiated Growling Mode One, the enemy would take the hint and leave. He didn't. He continued to stamp his foot and make threatening gestures with his ears, mouth, teeth, and his one good eye.
"Hank to Drover, over. Stand by to initialize Growling Mode Two!"
"Oh my gosh!"
"Ready? Mark! We have initiated Growling Mode Two! Stand by to initialize Barking Mode One."
"Maybe I'd better go back to the machine shed and read..."
"Negative on the machine shed. Once you're in the soup, it's too late to read the recipe. Stand by to initiate Barking Mode One."
"You already said that once."
"No, the first time we initialized. Now we're fixing to initiate. Stand by. Mark and bark! We have initiated Barking Mode One. The enemy should begin showing fear at any moment."
We barked. Boy howdy, did we bark! Should have scared that horse right out of his skin but... well, you might say that he didn't appear to be in a state of panic. What he did was toss his head and give us a toothy grin. "Come a leetle closer, leetle duggies, and I weel stomp you eento the dert."
O-kay, if that's the way he wanted it, we would have to proceed with the procedure and give him the whole nine yards of Scary and Terrifying Gestures.
"Hank to Drover, over. This is getting serious."
"I was afraid of that."
"Stand by to lift hair on back of neck and hair on back of back! Ready? Mark! We have hair lift-up."
"We have a wreck, is what we have."
"Now stand by to arm tooth-lasers."
"Roger on the tooth-lasers. Stand by. Ready?"
"Mark! We have initialized tooth-lasers! All tooth-lasers armed and ready! Stand by for Attack Mode. Bearing: three-two-zirro-zirro."
"I thought it was eleven o'clock. Now he says it's thirty-two. I don't understand..."
"Stand by to lock on target! Three-two-one...Mark!"
"Who are all these people?"
"Never mind. We have locked on Target Tuerto. Stand by for attack! Ready? Charge, bonzai!"
Will Hank be able to save the ranch from Tuerto? Find out in Hank the Cowdog #8: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse (Copyright John R. Erickson).