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Billings, Josh, 1818-1885 [1866], Josh Billings, hiz sayings. With comic illustrations. (Carleton, New York) [word count] [eaf674T].
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“Grate rase! at Sulphur Flat trotting Park, on
Thursda, April 9th, for a puss ov 13 dollars, and a
bulls-eye watch, free for awl hosses, mares, geldings,
mules, and Jackasses!”

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Seeing the above anounsement, pasted up on a
gide board, at “Jamaka rum four corners,” and
having never saw a hoss trot, on a well regulated
rase koarse, for the improvement ov the breed ov
hosses, i agreed i wud go, jist tew encourage the
breeding ov good hosses. I found the village of
Sulphur Flats located in a lot and well watered bi a
griss-mill and 2 tannerys. The prinsipal buildings
seem tu consiss ov a tavern stand, 3 groserys, an insurance
offiss, and anuther tavern stand, awl condukted
on strik whiskee prinsiples. I found the
inhabitants a good deal tired in their religus views,
and i thought the opening wud admit 3 or 4 missionarys

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The moste prinsipal bizness ov the peopil waz
pealing bark in the winter, and pitchin cents az soon
az warm wether sot in. I asked a gentleman present,
who ced he waz a reporter for “The Yung
Man's Christian Gide,” if he knew what the poplashun
ov the plase definitely waz, and he ced he
definitely didn't, but if i would set out a pail ov
whiskee, with a dipper into it, on the top ov a hemlock
stump, that grew in front ov the tavern, it
wouldn't be 60 minnits befour i cud count the whole
ov them, and then we both ov us smiled, az it were,
tew onst. Having asked sum uther inquirys, ov a
mexed natur, i santered down tu where the rase
koarse waz.


I found the track waz about a mild in circumferense,
and ov a sandy disposishun, fensed in by a
kranbury mash on one side, and a brush fense on
tuther, and in jist about 3 minnet condishun. The
judge's stand waz an ox cart surrounded on the
sides bi a ha rigging, and the reporters waz invited
tew git intu the cart.

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Waz a gra mare, about the usual stature, not verry
fat, and laboring under a spring halt, which tha ced
she had caught ov anuther hoss, about 10 days ago.
Tha ced she had trotted tu a kamp-meeting last fall
inside ov a verry short time, and that her back bone
waz awl game. I asked a yung man with long
yeller hair and bedtick pantyloons on, who waz
currying oph the mare, what her pedigree was, and
he with a wink tew anuther feller who stood clus bi,
ced, “she waz got bi the Landlord out ov a Methdiss
minister,” and then tha both laffed. I found
out bi inquirin, that her name waz “Fryin-Pan.”
The uther hoss waz a red hoss, rather hastily konstructed,
with a spare tale on him, which tha ced
waz kaused by his trotting so fast, in a windy day; i
shud think he waz about 5 feet and a haf in hite,
and ov a kickin natur. Tha ced he waz a stranger in
theze parts, and that his rite name waz “Juise Harp.”


The hosses both cum up tew the skore in the immejiate
visinity ov each uther, and got the wurd

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tew go, the fust time. The gra mare waz druv bi
“Dave Larkin,” and the hoss was handled bi
“Ligh Turner.” Tha trotted sublimely, az clus az
the Siamese twins; the mare with her hed hi up and
her noze full ov winde; the hoss waz stretched out
tite, like a chalk line; tha passed the haf mile pole
simultaneously, time, 2 minnits. Now the kontest
becum exsiting, “Dave” hollered, and “Ligh”
yelled — on tha kum, the mare gru higher, and the
hoss gru longer — tha make the last turn tew onst—
tha look like a dubble team — the exsitement
grows more intensely — the crowd sways to and fro—
the ox cart trembles — tha cum! tha cum! sich
shouting, sich yelling, sich swearing, sich chawing
terbacker, waz never herd before; the mare iz ahed!—
no, the hoss iz ahed! 'tis even, 'tis a ded hete, tha
pass the ox-kart — the hoss wins bi 3 quarters ov an
inch, time 4 minnits lacking 2 seckunds.


The hosses ar surrounded bi a crowd ov men,
wimmin, and children. Each party are sanguinary
ov suckces. The bettin iz 2 quarts ov whiskee to
anything, on the red hoss. At this junkture the

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gentleman, reporter for the Young Man's Christian
Gide, propozed tew bet 75 cents that the mare wud
win the nex heat; i tuk the proposishun forthwithly,
and the steaks, bi mutual consent, was placed in mi
hat and sot under the kart, and here let me stait,
before i forget it, that i haint saw the steaks nor the
hat sinse.


The hosses oth sho signs ov distress. The gra
mare's ears hang down the side ov her hed, like two
wet rags, and the hoss rests his tale on the ground.
Tha go slola bak tew the distanse pole, and cum up
agin tew the skore, az tho tha waz yoked together.
Awa tha go; the hoss a leetle ahed. The hoss
leads tew the haf mild pole in 2:30. On the bak
stretch, “Dave” went at the mare with hiz long
purswader; she trots like litening, she passes the
hoss! no! she busts! she busts! and befour
“Dave” cud flatten her down tew her work, she
broke from the trak and trotted clean up tew her
hips in the krambery mash. The hoss cum in awl
alone, trotting fast, and so clus down, that 2 feet
ov his tale dragged on the ground. Time ov this

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heat, not fur from 5 minnits, “Juise Harp” winning,
bi a quartev ov a mild. Thus ended the grate
rase at “Sulphur Flats.” I immejiately started on
foot for “Jamaka Rum four corners,” bare headed,
but fully impressed that, tho men, and even whiskee
mite deteryoate, the breed ov hosses must begin tew
improve in that seckshun ov the kuntry in a fu dais.

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Billings, Josh, 1818-1885 [1866], Josh Billings, hiz sayings. With comic illustrations. (Carleton, New York) [word count] [eaf674T].
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