Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
I had originally intended to finish my ride in New York City; but, after two fairly serious
accidents with motorcars, I decided it would be better to finish in Washington, having ridden
from capital to capital. I did not wish to expose Mancha to further danger, for, after all, both
horses had more than proved their worth. Considering that the short ride from Washington to
New York would only amount to a stunt that might give the impression that I was seeking
vulgar publicity, I shipped Mancha to New York, where, as usual, the army was again to the
fore. Without being asked, the commander of Fort Jay, on Governor's Island, offered to look
after my pal. From that island, which is only a short distance out in the middle of New York
district of the town, with its colossal skyscrapers, which at the time had a golden tint from
the setting sun. I was held spellbound for quite a while; I looked at Mancha and then at these
towering masses of concrete and steel, one the product of the wild, arid and windswept plains
of Patagonia, the other the result of the working of human brains, initiative, science and skill.
Before I realised it I was again talking to my horse as I had become accustomed to do - 'Yes,
old boy, this is New York, but I know the rolling pampas are calling you - be patient, I'll take
you back - you deserve it!'
Busy Days
When the horse had been housed in a comfortable stable I was shown round the army post
which occupies the whole of Governor's Island, and later the ferry-boat took me back to
the mainland. Soon I was lost in the hustle and turmoil of New York's busy life and gazing
up at the towering walls of the skyscrapers. The breathtaking traffic much reminded me of
swift-flowing mountain rivers in deep canyons, the countless cars being jammed together like
masses of driftwood and logs that have been washed away by the irresistible force of the wa-
ters after a storm; and yet these moving masses obeyed the signals of red and green - organ-
isation and discipline.
I was invited to make my headquarters at the Army and Navy Club, where I thoroughly
enjoyed myself all the time I was in New York.
Mancha seemed to be doing the same on Governor's Island, for when I went to visit him
one day, a sergeant who had wanted to ride him to give him a little exercise greeted me with
the following words: 'Good morning, sir, would you mind telling me what kind of hell-pet
your horse is supposed to be?' He informed me that Mancha had 'acted as gentle as a lamb'
until he mounted him, and then he had 'gone off like a stick of dynamite'. After three un-
successful attempts to ride him the sergeant had given it up as a very bad job, and was quite
pleased when I told him that he was by no means the first one to have had such an experience
- in other words, that this was Mancha all over.
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