Tate Buckthorn Knits '. . .you have a problem with that? Let's hear it on your hind legs, barkside out, Pard.'
Some cowboys sing, some play the Guit-box, some others toss the lasso, but Tate Buckthorn's knits. He knits sweaters, throw rugs, baby socks and when perturbed his bushy eyebrows. Many a dry-gulching, back shooter learned that the purl'n and stich'n irons in the thick calloused hands of Tate Buckthorn can be as deadly as the shoot'n irons on his hips and tied to his thighs.
Back in '38, when the Amerikadeutscher Volksbund was grabbing all of the best tables in Chicago's beer-gardens, Tate Buckthorn drovered a herd from the louvered rail-cars on the tracks above Canaryville's Root Street and into the Union Stockyards of Chicago. He was tall on the saddle and knitting away like a widow woman with an eye for the Sears Catalog boys in swimming trunks, but her mind on the gospel messages. Yep, he was busy on the saddle, but with an eye on the 94% of beeves that survived the rail passage to the slaughter pens.
A group of boys from Morgan Park Military Academy were on field trip to the stockyards that day and noted the tall, bronzed figure standing on the ornate Charro saddle hugging the back and belly of his14.2 hand bucksin stallion, Purl. Tate was doing what the Mex charros call a suerte - showing off.
The teenage boys were wowed by the cowboy's balance and command.
One big, red-headed lunk with jug-ears and buck teeth under his garrison cap halloed, " Hey Lady! Better take a chair and tend to your knitting!"
Tate slowed the pace of Purl some and went as bright-eyed as that school marm back in Fort Smith went,when Tate presented her with a hand knitted sampler containing a pornographic two-dimensional suggestion for a mutual day off and answered, " Pard, let me tend to your knitting." With that, he sprung from the back of Purl and landed square in front of the cadet.
" Well, Red, ain't you the curly wolf, just! I knit to keep focused and focus is the difference between keepin' a whole skin and taking a steer's antlers in the ribs, Pard. Some Pokes sing, some twirl the lasso and I knit."
Tate leaped back into the saddle, " Follow me, Red and drag along all them army loafer Pards of your'n and we'll all get familiar with some Sasparilla." They repaired to a corner store at Wentoworth and Root streets with a blue and white painted coffin- like ice cooler packed with bottles of root beer next to the store's front steps and entrance to the shop.
Tate Buckthorn treated each of the score of boys ( that's twenty Bufflao Head, brethren) in caps and green uniforms to a bottle of Old Dutch a piece while he squatted on his haunches and knit. The boys petted and cooed over the great horse caparisoned in silver latigos and saddle strings. The door swung open with great noise and violence. A man emerged wearing very tight fitting black top-coat. Under his black bowler hat set the pair meanest grey eyes this side of the Old Man. He had a muscular thick neck that challenged the collar of his tan shirt and bulged the knot of bow tie out into the public.
" Move on away from my door so people can traffic into my shop You have ( he said Half) your Pop now go!. This is private, now!"
" No reason to put the bulge on, Pard. Me and these h'yar saddled-chaps and my old Cayuse, Purl, don't mean to obstruct the trail none."
" Well, take your knitting elsewhere."
It got quiet. . ..two quiet.
Tate stood full to the flush, but let the insult pass.
" Hombres, lets move across the street to that other corner." Indicating the sign above the grocery and notions shop hung sign bearing the name of the owner.
" I take it you are Mr. Hintern-Schnüffeln."
" I have that honor. Why?"
"Some handle. I see you do not sell beer to Indians. Get a crowd of Comanch are these parts?"
The Bowler'd square head went blood red, " There are many tribes of Indian."
Tate Buckthorn sized up the warning sign as well as the owner proprieter.
" I'appears to me, that you lay claim to a wide field."
" Soon, we will not need such signs, nor require an explanation to the likes of you and all Untermenschen."