Blister Jones

John Taintor Jones
Blister Jones, by John Taintor

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Blister Jones, by John Taintor Foote
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: Blister Jones
Author: John Taintor Foote
Illustrator: Jay Hambridge
Release Date: August 14, 2006 [EBook #19041]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Al Haines

[Frontispiece: "Micky's standin' in the track leanin' against Hamilton."]





I dedicate this, my first book, with awe and the deepest affection, to
Mulvaney--Mowgil--Kim, and all the wonderful rest of them.
J. T. F.

A certain magazine, that shall be nameless, I read every month. Not
because its pale contents, largely furnished by worthy ladies, contain
many red corpuscles, but because as a child I saw its numbers lying
upon the table in the "library," as much a part of that table as the big
vase lamp that glowed above it.
My father and mother read the magazine with much enjoyment, for,

doubtless, when its editor was young, the precious prose and poetry of
Araminta Perkins and her ilk satisfied him not at all.
Therefore, in memory of days that will never come again, I read this
old favorite; sometimes--I must confess it--with pain.
It chanced that a story about horses--aye, race horses--was approved
and sanctified by the august editor.
This story, when I found it sandwiched between Jane Somebody's
Impressions Upon Seeing an Italian Hedge, and three verses entitled
Resurgam, or something like that, I straightway bore to "Blister" Jones,
horse-trainer by profession and gentleman by instinct.
"What that guy don't know about a hoss would fill a book," was his
comment after I had read him the story.
I rather agreed with this opinion and so--here is the book.

Lead him away!--his day is done, His satin coat and velvet eye Are
dimmed as moonlight in the sun Is lost upon the sky.
Lead him away!--his rival stands A calf of shiny gold; His masters
kneel with lifted hands To this base thing and bold.
Lead him away!--far down the past, Where sentiment has fled; But,
gentlemen, just at the last, Drink deep!--the thoroughbred!

I Blister II Two Ringers III Wanted--a Rainbow IV Salvation V A Tip
in Time VI Très Jolie VII Ole Man Sanford VIII Class IX Exit Butsy X
The Big Train

"Micky's standin' in the track leanin' against Hamilton" . . . . . .
"Très Jolie!" he shrieked.
"I see the Elefant stamp him."

How my old-young friend "Blister" Jones acquired his remarkable
nickname, I learned one cloudless morning late in June.
Our chairs were tipped against number 84 in the curving line of
box-stalls at Latonia. Down the sweep of whitewashed stalls the upper
doors were yawning wide, and from many of these openings, velvet
black in the sunlight, sleek snaky heads protruded.
My head rested in the center of the lower door of 84. From time to time
a warm moist breath, accompanied by a gigantic sigh, would play
against the back of my neck; or my hat would be pushed a bit farther
over my eyes by a wrinkling muzzle--for Tambourine, gazing out into
the green of the center-field, felt a vague longing and wished to tell me
about it.
The track, a broad tawny ribbon with a lace-work edging of white fence,
was before us; the "upper-turn" with its striped five-eighths pole, not
fifty feet away. Some men came and set up the starting device at this
red and white pole, and I asked Blister to explain to me just what it
"Goin' to school two-year-olds at the barrier," he explained. And
presently--mincing, sidling, making futile leaps to get away, the boys

on their backs standing clear above them in the short stirrups--a band of
deer-like young thoroughbreds assembled, thirty feet or so from the
Then there was trouble. Those sweet young things performed, with the
rapidity of thought, every lawless act known to the equine brain. They
reared. They plunged. They bucked. They spun. They surged together.
They scattered like startled quail. I heard squeals, and saw vicious
shiny hoofs lash out in every direction; and the dust spun a yellow haze
over it all.
"Those jockeys will be killed!" I gasped.
"Jockeys!" exclaimed Blister contemptuously. "Them ain't
jockeys--they're exercise-boys. Do you think a jock would school a
A man, who Blister said
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 65
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.