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The Big Showdown(From Hank the Cowdog #10: Every Dog Has His Day)
It's roundup time on the ranch, but Hank's been left behind! Benny ? a hot shot, high-priced cowdog ? is running the show while Hank is tied to a fence post. After breaking his insulting restraint, Hank is heading to the corrals when he meets Drover and the lovely Miss Scamper.
"Well, hello there, you big hairy thing dragging a rope around." Miss Scamper said.
"You like that rope? I broke it just for you, just so I could come down here and feast my eyes on the roast beef of your face."
"You have a way with words. The only question is ? which way?"
She laughed. I laughed. We both laughed. I could tell she was impressed.
Drover barged into the conversation.
"Hank, there's cattle coming this way."
"Hush, Drover. Tell me, Miss Scamper, what can I do to convince you that my heart is in the right place?"
"Take it out and let me look at it."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Don't believe everything I say, big boy. It could get you into trouble."
"Oh, I see. You were joking? Ha ha, ho ho. You have a strange and delightful sense of humor, Miss Scamper."
"And it was subtle too, until you came along."
"Exactly. I don't know how you've managed all these years without me."
"It's been a real struggle."
"I can imagine! It might surprise you to know that I'm quite a humorist myself, Miss Scamper."
"You hide it very well."
"Yes, I've tried to disguise my humor behind a gruff facade, a French word meaning 'the front part of anything.'"
Her eyes widened in amazement.
"I didn't know you spoke French too."
"Oh yes. French, Thousand Island, Opengloppish, Pig Latin, Spanish, as well as several of the coyalect diotes...coyote dialects, that is."
Drover was beginning to hop up and down.
"Hank, something's going on, the cattle are coming this way, and here comes that new cowdog."
I peered out into the pasture. Sure enough, Benny the So-called Cowdog, was padding toward us. I squared my shoulders and waited. Some ten feet away, he stopped and glanced around.
"And so, Benny, we meet again," I said in one of my smoother tones of voice. "I'm not sure this ranch is both enough for big of us."
"Do you suppose you fellows could move out of the way?" he said. "We're trying to bring in cattle. Aren't you supposed to be tied?"
"Yes, I was tied. Yes, I broke the rope. No, we're not moving out of the way. And no, you're not bringing in any cattle without my permission. Any more questions?"
"Just one. Are you completely out of your mind?"
At that very moment, and for reasons which I didn't understand, Miss Scamper nodded her head.
"Because this is a roundup, you see, and we have work to do and you really don't fit into the overall dynamics." "That's where you're wrong, Benny. I've let this thing go far enough, and now I'm fixing to shut 'er down. The fact of the matter is that YOU don't fit into the overall hydraulics."
"Uh, dynamics, I think is the word you wanted."
"I said what I meant, Benny, and I'm afraid the old trick of putting words into my mouth won't work this time."
He shook his head.
"Good heavens, I thought I'd seen it all."
"No, as a matter of fact, you've only seen the beginning. Now pack your bags and get off my ranch."
He gave me a smirk.
"You obviously don't understand what you're saying, so I'll not argue. We WILL bring in the cattle, your opinions on the matter notwithstanding."
I took two steps toward him.
"Benny, old buddy, let me tell you something. I'll be withstanding in the gate when you start those cattle this way, and I'll see to it that you're exposed for what you are ? an impostor and a fraud."
"Well, it appears there's nothing more to be said."
"Exactly. Bring on the cattle. We'll see who's the cowdog around here."
Will Hank bring in the cattle and take back his rightful place as Head of Ranch Security? Find out in Hank the Cowdog #10: Every Dog Has His Day (Copyright John R. Erickson).