Read Part 1 of this story HERE.
Our whole family went to the California State Fair this summer. It was, in one word . . . HOT! Not much shade, unless you paid your nickel to go inside the tent of one of the dozens of thrill shows. It was almost worth the nickel, just to get out of the sun.
I've never seen such strange freaks: a tiny man, no taller than my knee; a fellow who could swallow a sword, and somebody who could lift more than a dozen men standing on a board! My eyes nearly popped out of my head at that!
To get into the fair, we each had to buy a ticket. This is a later ticket (1898), but it looks the same, probably. (keep reading . . .)
Sometimes I had to follow Mother around and look at the exhibits in the huge halls. How would YOU like to walk around and look at stuff like this? This is an exhibit of cut flowers and flower seeds. Come on! Why would I care about cut flowers and seeds? I'd rather watch the horse race!
Speaking of the horse race, guess what! Chad got crazy old Prince Loco trained well enough to race him at the fair. It was the most exciting race ever! It was a one-mile race, and the purse (prize) was $5,000! The governor had his horse competing, too, along with a dozen others. Near the end, Prince Loco and that high-falutin' governor's horse ran neck-to-neck. I was screaming so loud, my throat got sore. I couldn't hear myself because 8,000 other folks in the grandstand were screaming too.
And what do you know? Prince Loco won! Yep, fair and square, by a hoof beat. $5,000! Chad was pretty proud. We all ran onto the field and hugged him, and then Governor Perkins came out of the grandstand and shook Chad's hand. "No hard feelings," he said. "Good race."
Then Chad surprised me! Right there, in front of everybody (and the governor too), he tossed me up on Prince Loco (my first time on his back, by the way). I guess Chad wanted to show any potential buyers that Prince Loco isn't so loco anymore--not if a young girl can ride safely on his back. Mother was a bit horrified, on account of I was wearing my Sunday-best. But I was just proud as Chad about the mean old stallion finally being good for something.
And then, just when I didn't think I could be surprised anymore, Governor Perkins made an offer to buy Prince Loco! (Lots of folks buy and sell prize-winning livestock at the fair).
So we came home from the fair a lot richer than when we went. And I'm not sorry in the least that Prince Loco is gone . . . for good. Probably he'll end up being a famous race horse somewhere. But I bet he won't be calling him "Prince Loco!"