Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Day Old Wheezer Earned His Biscuits

By Paisley Kirkpatrick
I found this nugget from western history and thought it would be fun to share a bit of humor today.
Captain Hub Smith of the Yuma, Arizona, Territorial Prison knew a good bloodhound when he saw one, and the one he was looking at right now wasn't worth his biscuits. The captain was on a manhunt and Old Wheezer had chased off after a jack rabbit, an unforgivable sin. It was the second time that day this had happened.
"You blankety-blank idiot!" Smith fumed. "You cross between a worthless bloodhound and a bitch beagle. I'll teach you a thing or two. Hand me that club."
Old Wheezer's pitiful howls echoed out over the desert as the captain laid into him with a vengeance, but fifteen minutes later he chased off again on what was believed to be another rabbit track. No human footprints were visible in the sandy soil.
"That's the end," Smith said. "When that hound comes back, shoot him."
The dog had been given the name "Old Wheezer" because when he was on a trail, with his head down, his heavy breathing caused him to wheeze like a locomotive going up hill.
The rest of the pack chased on up the wash, confused, running every which way and finally had to be called in, the trail hopelessly lost.
The fleeing convict, a man named Cooley, apparently had made good his escape. He was armed with a rifle stolen from a guard at the penitentiary and was considered extremely dangerous. The rifle was known to have contained three cartridges. How many more Cooley had managed to get his hands on before he pulled out, no one knew.
The posse made camp and prepared for a new start in the mornng.
Throughout the night Old Wheezer, at almost regular intervals, sent his baying cry winging across the lonely desert, and this kept up until dawn.
"What do you suppose that fool's got up a tree?" Smith said, vexed. "Maybe we better go see."
"Like as not he's treed that rabbit," a guard said and everybody laughed. The remark was to become still funnier -- later.
They found Cooley sitting dejectedly in the fork of a live oak, just out of the hound's reach. He'd been there all night, he said.
"Where's that rifle you took?" Smith asked warily.
"Threw it away, Cap. What good's a rifle without ammunition? You don't think I'd let myself be treed by a hound if I'd had a cartridge left, do you?"
"What happened to your ammunition? You didn't fire at us. What did you shoot at?"
"Jack rabbits. I was skinning them and wrapping the hides around my feet to throw the dogs off. See?" He pointed down at his prison shoes around which he'd wrapped the furry pelt of a rabbit. "Fooled them all, except this old mutt."
After that Old Wheezer got his biscuits -- regularly.
Published in the Frontier Times, Spring 1969 -- Submitted by Dan King


  1. Funny story, Paisley. Poor, misunderstood Old Wheezer. Glad they didn't shoot him! :)

  2. That's what I was thinking, Ashley. I thought it was something light for the weekend. :)

  3. Glad Old Wheezer got his biscuits. Hate he got beaten, though. Thanks, Paisley. This is the kind of story I love - a true one from the Old West.

  4. I agree, Caroline. I cringed at the beating, but that is how they did it way back when. Glad he ended up the hero in the story. :)

  5. Well leave it to Miss Paisley to find a cute story like this one. I knew there had to be a happy ending.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. HI Patricia. You know me too well. Thanks for visiting with us this morning. :)


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