The First Auto

[A ROMANCE OF THE LAST HORSE
AND THE FIRST HORSELESS CARRIAGE]

1
Once upon a time, a
horse was a horse.....and
was loved as such. This
was even before Dan Patch
started breaking records, or
the Vanderbilt cup races
had come to displace the
county fair.

2
The latest thing then
was a bicycle built for
two.....Bryan hadn't been
heard of.....and a nickel
was still respected --
[fades in below:]
of course this was in 1895.

3
"Come on Hank!"

4
"Hank Armstrong wins!"

5
"Maple City is proud of
you, Hank - and as its
Mayor - I congratulate
      you."

6
THE WINNER

7
Hank's livery stable
sheltered the finest 
thoroughbred horses
in the state.

8
THE LOSER

9
"Sam - cheer up -- an'
better luck next time!"

10
"Say, Hank - did you
ever think of selling
   'Sloe Eyes'?"

11
"I owned her grandmother -
I owned her mother - and
I owned her father, too -"

12
"- sooner than sell her -
I'd cut off my right arm."

13
A wild party in
Maple City.

14
"Don't look -- and I'll
show you a surprise!"

15
"It's awfully cute -
but what is it?"

16
"A new invention called
the 'horseless carriage' -
I saw a picture of one
  in a magazine -"

17
"It has an engine inside -
runs with kerosene oil."

18
"If it hasn't a horse in 
front - how does it go?"

19
"I didn't see you at the
    race, son -"

20
"Have a cigar, boys -
this is the day I
  celebrate!"

21
"Blue Jay says he never
      smokes."

22
Throughout the following 
year Hank Armstrong
remained the popular
hero of Maple City, and
'Sloe Eyes' the heroine
-- winning every race --

23
Until --

24
Mother and daughter.

25
"'Sloe Eyes' done had
   a stroke, suh."

26
"Where's my son?"

27
"I don't know, suh -
but Ah've done sent
for th' hoss doctah!"

28
"Sorry, but the muddy 
roads held me up."

29
"Too late, hank - there
isn't a chance in the
world to save her -"

30
"There must be something
you can do -- we can't
let her die like this --"

31
"Don't give up, Old Girl -
this is one race you've
    got to win!"

32
"And there's lots of other
races you're going to 
win - you an' me - pals."

33
"You're on the home
stretch, Old Girl --
please, don't fail me -
don't leave me now -"

34
"Hank - 'Sloe Eyes'
  is dead."

35
"Little girl - you're all
I've got left now --"

36
"Bob -"

37
"'Sloe Eyes' is dead."

38
"Gee, Dad - that's
    too bad."

39
The Death of 'Sloe Eyes'
would have been the 
sensation of Maple 
City if a greater
sensation had not
arisen.

40
"It looks easy - but you 
can have the fifty cents
   if you do it."

41
"Hank - this is Mr. Hays,
who says he's going to
put the horse out of 
    business."

42
"Glad to meet you - even
if you are responsible for 
such a rash statement."

43
"Mr. Armstrong, the world
progresses - everything's 
    speeding up -"

44
"The Horseless Carriage
is not a dream - it has
come to stay, or rather,
it has come to -- go!"

45
"Mr. Hays, let me work 
the magic lantern for 
       you."

46
"First, behold the faithful
old horse -- the animal
that my invention will 
render a curiosity -"

47
"Now, behold the steam 
carriage - the first crude 
effort made by man to 
travel without the aid 
    of a horse."

48
"The modern 'Horseless
Carriage'....It will out-
run and out-live its
four-footed rival -"

49
"Also, I might add, it 
eliminates the horsefly."

50
"He talks like a damn fool!"

51
"Think of it, Dad -
isn't it great!"

52
"Nothin' great - except -
he's an awful liar!"

53
"This is our factory, employing
twenty men, and turning out
three cars per month --
which will soon be increased 
      to five!"

54
"With the bold prophecy that
'Horseless Carriages' will
someday attain a speed of
thirty miles an hour, I will
conclude my few remarks."

55
It remained for Squire 
Rufus Stebbins, Maple
City's richest and most
conservative citizen, to
give the town its most
breathless sensation.

56
"There's Stebbins' new-
fangled buggy, what he
sold his horses to buy!"

57
"It's a great contraption
- nothin' to pull it an'
nothin' to push it!"

58
"Talk sense - every horse
on the road'll laugh itself
      to death."

59
"They'll laugh, all right -
'cause they won't have 
nothin' else to do --
pretty soon the only
horses you'll see will
  be stuffed ones!"

60
"A horse is practical - a
horse has got sense -
a horse is an animal -
     you fool!"

61
"You ain't safe to shave 
a man! You're crazy! 
I'll never come in here 
        again!"

62
"Can I wind it up for 
you, Mr. Stebbins?"

63
But progress isn't halted 
by ridicule nor by 
sentiment, even when 
it is as warm and fine 
as Hank's love for man's 
faithful friend - the horse.

64
"Better hide, Bob - your
    dad's comin'!"

65
"So you've quit th' honest 
work of horse-shoeing to
make a fool of yourself
over these loud smellin'
     machines!"

66
"And you, Joe Saunders -
you're just plain fool to
buy a tin boiler when
you could get a horse for
    half th' money!"

67
"This auto's got more power
than all your dray horses
put together - and it an
go faster than 'Sloe Eyes'
    ever went!"

68
"'Sloe Eye's' little colt can
leave your kerosene can
so far behind you'll forget
you're in a race -- for
money, chalk or marbles!"

69
"I'll take that bet fer a
hundred dollars, Jockey!"

70
"Listen, folks - if you want
to see a little colt beat one
of these explosion buggies,
be at the Fair Grounds in
      ten minutes!"

71
"Ready?"

72
"Go!"

73
"Hurry up, Progress --
don't keep me waitin'!"

74
"One more explosion, 
Joe, an' she'll fly!"

75
"The horse wins!"

76
"What are they doin' over
there - don't they know
      we won?"

77
"Sure, Hank, but it's
nothing to see a buggy
go with a horse - the
wonder is to see a 
buggy go without a
     horse!"

78
"You wouldn't have beat
me, Hank Armstrong, if I
hadn't dropped somethin'
      vital."

79
For the first time,
Hank realized the 
importance of the
automobile --

80
"I'm glad you came, Sam -
that bay mare can be had 
for th' price you said
    you'd pay."

81
"I hate to tell you, Hank -
but - I don't think I'll buy
      the mare."

82
"Sam, don't tell me you
are getting interested in
      them autos."

83
"You see, Hank - the
family is urging me to
put the money in -
something modern."

84
"Hank, we can still 
be good old friends, 
    can't we?"

85
"I can't be friends with
any man who'd rather
feed kerosene to a buggy
than look into the eyes
of a faithful horse!"

86
"Mr. Robbins, did you
  sell your horses?"

87
"I've changed my mind -
it didn't seem quite right."

88
"I'll bet Dad talked you
out of it - everybody
in town is buying an
auto, but he's too
  old-fashioned."

89
"Bob!"

90
"I said - come here!"

91
"So it's you that's been
talkin' Mayor Robbins
into sellin' his horses, eh?"

92
"I never beat a horse 
in all my life - I've 
always believed in 
 usin' kindness -"

93
"I've tried to teach you by 
th' same methods - but 
you weren't worth it -"

94
"But, Dad - you're losing 
      your reason!"

95
"A horse is loyal - a horse
remembers - a horse knows
  what gratitude is -"

96
"But you -- you bite the
hand that feeds you - you
betray your own father!"

97
"You've been driving 
horses so long - you've 
turned into a brute!"

98
"Remember, Dad - I could 
have done the same to 
you - but I had too much 
 respect - Good-bye."

99
In the nearby city 
   of Detroit.

100
"Leave Mr. Ford's personal
     hammer alone!"

101
Not even Bob, with all
his enthusiasm, dreamed
that in this group was the
man who would make the
automobile as democratic
as stoves, and the racing
driver who would thrill
the world with his speed.

102
Barney Oldfield
-- Played by Himself.

103
"Everything set?"

104
"Plenty oil?"

105
"Yes, Mr. Oldfield,
   plenty oil."

106
"He's been here since
sun-up getting in
everybody's way."

107
"I'll do my best, Henry,
to put her up to sixty
   miles an hour."

108
"A mile a minute! A 
new world's record!"

109
With the passing of but 
a few years, the 'Horseless
Carriage' evolved into the
automobile, and horses
gradually disappeared
from the highways.

110
And with the disappearance 
of the horse, Hank
Armstrong's business
dwindled and died --

111
His last valuable and
cherished possession --
Bright Eyes, the colt for 
whose life Sloe Eyes, the
mother, had sacrificed
her own --

112
"- you all know the pedigree
of this little thoroughbred,
valued once at ten thousand -
  what am I bid now?"

113
"Three hundred."

114
"Four hundred."

115
"Four fifty!"

116
"Come on - I'm bid four
hundred fifty dollars -
who'll make it an even 
       five?"

117
"Five hundred!"

118
"Six hundred!"

119
"Six hundred fifty!"

120
"Third and last call -
sold to Ned Jarvish
for six hundred and
  fifty dollars!"

121
"I know your reputation,
Ned - don't let me ever
hear of your beatin' this
    little mare."

122
"I bought her an' I'll do 
what I please with her!"

123
"You'll pull this load or
I'll beat yuh to death!"

124
"I warned you not to 
     abuse her!"

125
"Shut up - I'll do as 
     I please!"

126
Estranged from the 
son he had wronged
-- haunted by
memories of happy
days gone by --

127
"Bright Eyes!"

128
"You're all I've got. little
girl - I knew you'd come
         back --"

129
In the good old
 summertime.

130
"Look at this picture Bob
sent from Detroit - one
is Barney Oldfield, and
I think the name of the 
other fellow is Ford."

131
"Forget Bob - he ain't
comin' back, and I 
ain't goin' away."

132
"He is coming back --
and we're going to be 
     married."

133
"I'll never ride in your 
  old buggy again!"

134
Thus, in 1904, the
first girl in the world
to walk home from
an automobile ride --

135
"Fair one, wilt thou
join me in a ride?"

136
"No thanks - I'm walking
  home from one now."

137
"The junk pile's right
around the corner -
and the stable's here."

138
Business and friends gone --
despair his only companion
-- madness seemed waiting
in the distorted visions
that tormented him.

139
"They all ought to
   blow up!"

140
"If somebody was to put
sulphur in that racing car
tomorrow, it sure
would discourage people from
buying automobiles -"

141
"Why, I'll bet they couldn't
sell a car in Maple City 
for years afterwards -"

142
"What made it explode?"

143
"That's easy - all you
have to do is put a
little sulphur in the
   gas tank."

144
"Did you say - sulphur -
   in the gas tank?"

145
"Sure, sulphur - you've 
got a lot of it in your 
stable right now - for
   horses' hoofs."

146
All Logan County
gathered to witness
its first auto races --

147
"Dad doesn't know I'm
driving - Rose is bringing
him as a surprise to see me."

148
"Mr. Armstrong, I want
you to go to the auto 
race with me. I've got
a surprise for you."

149
"I'm not interested in 
races of that kind."

150
"But your own son is 
in town - he's going
to drive in the race!"

151
"Nonsense - Bob's in 
    Detroit."

152
"He was in Detroit - but
he came yesterday --
this is his car -"

153
"Are you sure my son 
is going to drive that
         car?"

154
"Of course - it's the same
car that was on display
last night in the park."

155
"God! That car will never
    finish the race!"

156
"So - even you - you
     failed me -"

157
While the rest of 
Maple City slumbered
one man walked in
a trance -- crushed
by the thought he
had killed his own
son.

158
The stable he had
once loved meant 
nothing now -- his
son was dead --

159
"They're going to be able
to pull Bob through - he
keeps calling for you."

160
"You mean Bob's all right -
that he's forgiven me?"

161
"Quick - come with me!"

162
"Why didn't Bob and Rose
come to the auto races?"

163
"Oh - they went to the
    horse show."

164
"How fast are they going?"

165
"Average speed, 138 miles
      per hour!"

166
"How fast is that bird 
       going?"

167
"I read those darn things
go over two hundred
   miles an hour."

168
"Gosh - what's the world
    coming to next?"

169
The end of the trail --

THE END



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