Tag: contest

#15 – Bermuda Hurricane

Dad wrote this book over 60 years ago but it’s the same news about Bermuda today … at least in the beginning of the story.
We had just been there on a family trip and it was the first time I had seen a shark in the water while we were snorkeling. That and the old shipwrecks with the cannons and anchors made for a fabulous adventure for us all.
Have you ever been in a hurricane or tornado? We had them almost every year while I was growing up in Florida. That was before there was all the local radar and hurricane tracking. Sometimes we would be “surprised” by a storm. Now we might have days or weeks to prepare, even though with a bad one like Katrina, you still can’t do much except evacuate. It’s mother nature and often you can tell a lot from how your horse or dog or the birds are behaving so listen to your mother ;)
Find all the books and more @ the Trading Post.
Here’s the beginning, do you know this one?

BAT 29167

Like a giant bat the transatlantic plane flew through the night, using sensitive antennas to find its way. There was no beauty of flight, only a boiling turbulence that obliterated the stars high above and the sea down below. Red, white and green lights sought hopelessly to pierce the murk, blinking on and off. The four straining engines spoke loudly in defiance of the elements as driving rain pelted the plane’s aluminum skin.
The wind grew stronger, spewing rain with explosive force against glass and metal. The engines labored a little more and the night grew blacker still. Suddenly the plane lurched, its wings slicing thickly through the heavy air. It righted itself and for a moment more held a steady course, then it shuddered again as if the weight of the air mass had become too great to bear. The pitch of its propellers changed, urgently straining, pounding, seeking to thrust the plane forward and upward.
The storm fought back viciously, changing rain to sleet and hail, pummeling the plane with boiling white ice and seeking to beat it down. Beneath this attack the plane was forced to descend. In the lower air there was relief from the icy blows.
But the storm did not leave it alone for long. Lightning stabbed the sky and shattered the blackness. Suddenly the plane lurched again. It was bathed in a weird light and there seemed to be a ball of fire on its nose. Propellers became whirling wheels of green vapor. What seemed like huge balloons of red, blue and green exploded everywhere in the heavens, and storm clouds took on ever-changing, fiery shapes.
Directly in the center of this beautiful but frightening spectral light the plane flew unharmed. It could now be seen clearly and the name on its side read BERMUDA ATLANTIC TRANSPORT. On its vertical tail fin were the large initials:
There was nothing soft about this plane or the men flying it. Together they’d made one hundred and twenty-six trips across the South Atlantic—from Portugal to the Cape Verde Islands, on to Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and then, if the cargo payload warranted it, to New York.
The red linoleum floor of the flight deck heaved beneath the seats of the crew and the captain said, “A couple more jolts like the last one and we’ll end up in the drink for sure.” His eyes didn’t leave the shaking instrument panel with its blurred figures.
Strapped in the seat to the captain’s right was the copilot, his hands, too, on the control yoke trying to keep the plane steady. “I can take jolts better than the fire,” he said. “I don’t like it. I never did.”
“Harmless. If all we had to worry about was St. Elmo’s fire we’d be sitting fine.”
“I know, but I still don’t like it,” the copilot said. “But, baby, just as long as the fans keep turning …” He didn’t finish his sentence, nor did he bother to look in the direction of the propellers. There was nothing on the other side of the windows anyway but swirling darkness. The fire—a discharge of electricity combined with sleeting rain—was gone.

More story (pdf) 15th book chapter

Met some really nice people yesterday that are working to rescue wild mustangs. It’s a big job and a huge need. I’ll tell you more about it soon, maybe even visit their Sky-Dog Ranch. Until then have a great and safe weekend!

Enjoy the ride – tim

14 or fight!

A movie long ago … know it? It’s an election year so it’s good to look back as well as forward 8-)

Here’s the next book chapter, #14;


Azul Island broke the turquoise blue waters with a startling suddenness. One saw it not as an island but as a massive, egg-shaped boulder dropped into the sea. The islands of the Caribbean Sea are tropical and luxurious in their soft green vegetation and colorful flowers. There was nothing soft or green or colorful about Azul Island.

Its precipitous walls rose naked from the sea, rising a thousand or more feet in the sky until they rounded off to form the dome-shaped top of Azul Island. It was barren and foreboding, with the sea beating white against its barrier walls, seeking entrance and finding none.

Only on large-scale navigation maps of the far eastern area of the Caribbean Sea could the island be found. It ran north and south, nine miles long. But no ships ever passed it unless driven far off their course. Neither did any air lane come within five hundred miles of it. So except for the people of the nearest inhabited island, Antago, a little more than twenty miles to the southwest, Azul Island was little known and untouched.

Only at the southern tip of the island did the mountainous rock break away abruptly to become a low, sandy spit of land where the waves were permitted to roll high upon the shore. This spit was the only part of Azul Island that the people of Antago knew, and very seldom did they have any occasion to visit it.

When they did, they would dock their boats at the narrow wooden pier which was the island’s sole connecting link with the outside world, and set out across the dunes of the windswept reef. They would walk up the spit to a small canyon at the end of which was a sheer wall rising five hundred feet above them. They would stop and look up, knowing this was as far as they could go on Azul Island.

“Solid rock,” they usually said. “The rest of the island is nothing but rock, eight solid miles of it.”

And soon they would leave this desolate, foreboding place, sometimes looking back, once they were at sea, at the bare, yellow rock and the dome-shaped top of Azul Island which gleamed in the sun’s rays.

Never, even by the widest stretch of the imagination, could they suspect that running down the dome was a long, narrow gap which allowed the rays of the sun to find a valley … a lost valley within a lost world; a valley as soft and green and colorful as any tropical island in the Caribbean Sea. And it was inhabited!

Long and narrow, the valley extended almost the length of the island; a bluish-green gem set deep amidst towering walls that were the yellow of pure gold. High up on the wall at the southern end of the valley an underground stream rushed from blackness to sunlight, plummeting downward in a silken sheet of white and crashing onto the rocks of a large pool two hundred feet or more below.

From the great opening where the falls began a trail led down the wall. Halfway to the valley floor it leveled off at a wide ledge fronting a cave. A man sat there, writing. He used empty wooden boxes for his seat and desk, and his pen moved quickly over the paper before him. As he finished each page, he dropped it beside him, and with no hesitation went on to the next sheet.

He was a small man, thin but wiry of build. His knobby knees were uncovered, for he wore tropical walking shorts. Earlier in the day he had put on his white pith helmet to shade his eyes from the glare of the hot sun. He was still wearing the helmet, even though the sun had dropped behind the high walls of the valley. But he hadn’t noticed, for he was much too absorbed in his writing. His round tanned face, usually boyish and jovial, was drawn taut from the intensity of his concentration.

He continued writing until two short whistles broke the stillness of the valley. Looking up, he noticed for the first time that it was sunset. The shadows from the walls had reached the valley floor, turning the cropped grass to an almost brilliant blue. His gaze traveled far up the valley where a band of horses was grazing. He tried without success to locate his friend Steve.

The two short whistles came again. Reaching for his high-powered binoculars, the man brought them close to the steel-rimmed glasses he wore. Near the edge of the tall sugar cane which grew wild on the sides of the valley, he located the boy. Apparently Steve had been sitting there watching the mares and foals since his arrival in Blue Valley a few hours ago. But now he was getting to his feet. The man saw him place his fingers to his lips; again came the two short whistles. Steve was calling Flame, but the stallion was nowhere in sight.

Then from far up the valley came an answering scream. Steve’s whistles were the softest of whispers compared to it. Shrill, loud and clear, it rose to such a high pitch that it seemed it would shatter the towering walls. And when it finally died the valley echoed to the fast, rhythmic beat of pounding hoofs.

The man moved his binoculars to pick up the running stallion. He was coming through the tall cane far up on the opposite side of the valley, the stalks bending and breaking beneath his giant body. When he reached the short, cropped grass, his strides lengthened as he swept toward the boy who awaited him. He was beautiful, swift and strong, and his chestnut coat and mane were the glowing red of fire.

The man put down his binoculars when the stallion came to a stop before the boy. It’s so good to have Steve back again in Blue Valley, he thought. Flame’s glad. I’m glad. Everybody’s happy. Smiling contentedly, the man turned once more to his writing.

Tall and long limbed, the red stallion stood as motionless as a statue; his small head was raised high, not in defiance but in haughty grandeur. Yet his large eyes never left the boy and there was soft recognition in them. Finally he tossed his head and his heavy mane rose and fell with the high arch of his neck.  “Flame.”

More of the story – 14th book chapter
Sometimes I hate barbwire, and that’s what fixing old fences leads to … little cuts all over the hands. Finished the south side, though, and tomorrow on to the west and that’s gonna take longer.
Hope your week is going great and you’re able to “git ‘er done”.
Ride – on!
Your friend – tim

A dozen stories about horses

Trying to catch up from the weekend … funny how fun can cost so much – here’s the next book / chapter … maybe you’ve already read it but take a look, it’s my favorite;
The countryside through which they were now driving was heavy with green fields of tall cane, but occasionally there would be open pasture land with lush grass upon which cattle, goats and horses were grazing. Steve had thought it best to wait awhile before mentioning his desire to visit Azul Island, but the sight of the horses caused him to consider bringing up the subject at once. What’s the sense of putting it off? he thought. I like Antago all right, but only as a place from which to get to Azul Island. I’ve only a little over two weeks, and I might as well find out now if Pitch knows how I can get there.
Pitch had been quiet for a while but now he turned to Steve. “Steve,” he asked, “are you still interested in horses? I remember that as a youngster you sold me about ten subscriptions to a magazine I never wanted just because you were going to win a pony.” Pitch’s tone was hopeful again, as though he was still striving to find something of real interest to Steve.
“Yes,” Steve replied, “very much so. I’ve ridden a lot during the past year.”
“Good,” said Pitch. “I was hoping you would be.” He paused a moment and Steve noticed an intentness in his pale blue eyes that hadn’t been there before. “I’d like to tell you something,” Pitch went on, “that’s been of great interest to me of late.” He paused again, and Steve waited impatiently for him to continue.
“Yes, Pitch,” Steve had to say finally. “What is it?”
“Do you recall the picture I sent your father several weeks ago? The one of our rounding up the horses on Azul Island?”
Did he remember it! “Yes, Pitch, I do. That’s why I …”
But Pitch interrupted with evident eagerness to tell his story. “It was the only time I’ve been to Azul Island,” he began. “Oh, I’d heard about it, of course; Tom spoke of it occasionally. And before I arrived here he had written me once or twice about wrangling horses on a small island not far from Antago. But,” and Pitch smiled, “you know I’m pretty much of a greenhorn about things like that, and I never really understood any of it. That is, not until I went to Azul Island with Tom and the others.”
Pitch paused and glanced at Steve. Then, as though pleased with the boy’s obvious interest, he went on: “I remember that we all looked upon our visit to Azul Island as very much like a day’s outing. And we spent the time there imagining ourselves as cowboys. I couldn’t help thinking, as we ran after the horses, how strange we’d look to any people from our western states. All of us, of course, were wearing our shorts and had on our sun hats because the day was extremely hot. We had no trouble chasing the horses into the canyon, because the island is very narrow at that point; and twenty of us, walking about thirty yards apart, I would say, easily forced the horses into the canyon. Tom was in charge because he was the only one who knew anything about horses. The rest of us were plantation men, laborers, fishermen and the like with no experience whatsoever in this business of wrangling horses. However, as I’ve said, there was little to it, because Tom told us what to do, and it was he who selected thirty of the most likely looking animals to take back with us to Antago.”
Pitch stopped, thought a moment, then said in an apologetic tone, “I must tell you, Steve, that the horses are small, scrawny beasts and not very much to look at, really. But if you’d seen the desolateness of that small bit of the island, with the sparse grass and only the few, meager fresh-water holes, you’d wonder that they’d survived at all.”
Pitch paused again before adding with renewed enthusiasm, “But they have, Steve! Their breed has survived for centuries on Azul Island!” His words came faster now. “It was on the way back from the island, with the animals crowded into the barge we towed behind our launch, that I first learned of it. I was sitting next to the photographer of our weekly newspaper, and I mentioned that I had been surprised to find so many horses on Azul Island. He mentioned, very casually, that these horses were believed to be descended from the ones that the Spanish Conquistadores rode centuries ago! I tried to learn more, but that was all he knew. His editor had told him, he said. It was just an assignment to him. He wasn’t really interested. It shocked me, actually, because I’ve always been so very much interested in Spanish colonial history that I suppose I assumed everyone else would be. To think that here was a breed of horse the Conquistadores rode, and which had survived all these hundreds of years, and no one—not even Tom, who knew of my interest—had thought it important enough to tell me!

the rest of the story – 12th book chapter

ride on! — tim

The first eleven books

Been on the trail and nowhere near a connection so out of touch for the last few days … but BIG fun! Hope you enjoyed these fading days of summers too:)





Here’s the books / chapters we’ve read so far;
The Black Stallion (1941) – 3rd book chapter
The Black Stallion Returns (1945) – 5th chapter
Son of the Black Stallion (1947) – 7 chapter
The Island Stallion (1948)
The Black Stallion and Satan (1949) – 2nd book chapter
The Black Stallion’s Blood Bay Colt (1950)
The Island Stallion’s Fury (1951)
The Black Stallion’s Filly (1952) – 9th chapter book
The Black Stallion Revolts (1953) – 11th book chapter
The Black Stallion’s Sulky Colt (1954) –1st book chapter
The Island Stallion Races (1955)
The Black Stallion’s Courage (1956) – 10th book chapter
The Black Stallion Mystery (1957)
The Horse-Tamer (1959)
The Black Stallion and Flame (1960)
Man O’ War (1962) – 8th book chapter
The Black Stallion Challenged (1964)
The Great Dane Thor (1966)
The Black Stallion’s Ghost (1969)
The Black Stallion and the Girl (1971) – 4th book chapter
The Black Stallion Legend (1983)
The Young Black Stallion (1989)

& the beginner book,   “The Horse That Swam Away” (1965) – 6th book chapter

Another chapter tomorrow. Back to fixing fence and getting firewood!! Winter’s comin’ soon.

enjoy the ride – tim

Lucky # 11!!

Here’s the next chapter and a bit of news as this book is slated to be the next movie. It’s been in the works for awhile, it even has three scripts already written … but maybe you haven’t read the book?? Like to know what your favorite scenes are, what do you think would be the most exciting parts for a film.


The gray gelding, Napoleon, was built from the ground up and butter fat. His roundness was not due to overfeeding or lack of exercise but to a most placid disposition and an ease of adapting himself to any kind of situation or way of life. He stood with one hind foot drawn in an easy, relaxed position and eyes half-closed. Only his long ears moved, and they just wobbled as if the weight of them was too much for him to bear at this particular moment. He was the picture of contentment; as peaceful as the June night which enveloped him. There was no reason for him to appear otherwise. He was perfectly happy with his life.

The grass of his paddock moved in the night breeze, giving it the soft, liquid motion of the sea. There were stars and a moon, and together they shone frostlike on the fences and roofs of the barns and main house a short distance away.

Finally the old gray roused himself to saunter about his paddock. His movements were slow and quiet. He was very particular in his choice of grass. He would stop only long enough to crop a few mouthfuls, then go on to other grasses that appealed more to his fancy and discriminating taste. But it wasn’t long before he returned to his favorite haunt beneath the billowing oak tree. He closed his eyes again.

All was quiet, and as it should be. The inky silhouette of a tall, black stallion moved in the adjacent paddock to his left. Teeth clicked sharply as the stallion cut the grass low and even.

The gray’s wobbling ears were keen, and by using them he followed the movements of the Black. He was well aware, too, of the whereabouts of the burly black horse in still another paddock, the one on his right. He had heard Satan snort a few moments ago.

The breeze became stronger, gently whipping his body with a shower of deep evening coolness. After the heat of day it felt very good. That there were no flies to bother him added to his enjoyment. For ideal comfort this was the way it should be. A fly-protected barn during the day, and at night the freedom of the paddocks. For several weeks now the horses had been allowed this privilege. It would continue as long as there was peace in the paddocks. All this the old gray knew very well; his vast experience told him so.

He knew why he occupied the paddock between the Black and Satan. To keep his head, to think for himself, to do what was expected of him … these things he had learned long ago. He did his duties willingly, whether he was on the track, helping to school young and eager yearlings in their first lessons, or here in the paddock, where he was ever watchful of the actions of mature stallions. Knowing that he was wanted, that he had a job to do, gave him a warm consciousness of virtue and well-being. He opened his eyes, took in the paddock fences, and then, as though receiving comfort and security from their great height, permitted his eyelids to drop again. This time he went fast asleep.

He awakened to the sound of a strong wind. The skies had turned black. The moon was blanketed by heavy, running clouds and the stars were mere pinpoints in the heavens, shedding no light below. The oak tree afforded the gray horse protection against the wind and he was loath to leave it. Besides, there was no reason for him to go. He need only stay here and wait out the wind. If it got worse and became a storm, he was certain that soon he would see the lights go on in the house and barn, and shortly thereafter he and the others would be taken into their stalls. He moved closer to the great trunk of the tree, and for a while just listened to the racing winds above him.

It was the wind and the blackness of the night that diverted Napoleon’s attention from the movements of the tall stallion in the next paddock. For a long while the Black had trotted lightly and warily along the fence, only his eyes disclosing the excitement that burned within him. He made no sound except for the slight, hushed beat of his hoofs over the grass. He did not shrill his challenge to the burly stallion two paddocks away from him. It was not yet time. The Black was clever and able to control the savage instinct that sought release within his great body.

The wind whipped his mane, and his tail, set high, billowed behind him. He stopped again to measure the height of the fence. In spite of his long limbs he had to stretch his head to touch the top board. He moved on to the front corner of the paddock, facing the barn. Once more he tested his strength against the center boards at this particular spot. They bent as they had before. He pushed harder this time. They cracked and split. He stopped using his strength, waiting almost cunningly until deciding on his next move. The fire in his eyes was mounting.

the rest of the story pdf – 11th book chapter