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Chapter 8 Title
Chapter 8 – page 2

The Hoo stagger-wobbles up, brushes himself off, and gives himself the once-over …. picking up a couple of Chips that had fallen off Pepper’s mane & tail. The baby Chips were looking up at him like he was their mom or something. The ones on his shoulders still hung on, but their eyes were huge and sorta popping out of their heads. J went a ways back up the road and turned to look at the horses. Then he went a ways further and blew the thing again. Pepper started to run away, but Mober caught hold of her with her teeth.

G & J waited about 5 minutes and … bound, bounce, lick, lick.. Flop .. Flop .. here came da Muff. "Man, what a lot of trouble you are!" says Julio, as he sorta limped over to a big rock. G rode over with Pepper and J got ahold of her bridle and led her up.

Pepper was not all too sure of him now. So he began whispering in her ear, sweet nothins … and she calmed down. Then J remembered the carrots in the beaverskins. "We need a carrot, Granma" said J. So she fished one out of the beaver bag, and another for Mober. Mober batted her eye lashes. She loved carrots. Pepper wasn’t that fond of them, but it was a nice gesture, she thought. "K" she said. I’ll trust you, but don’t ever do that again! Bout gave me an attacky cardia!" (heart-attack: Pepper was raised on a ranch with a lot of Mexicans, so she was sorta bilingual.)

Julio was on, G was on, da Muff was there wagging, so off they started again. One-two-three: that-a-way! J put the whistle back in his pocket and the Chips back on Pepper’s mane & tail. "Wait!" cried J. "We gotta look in the baskets and see if the Chips are ok." "Brilliant idea, Hoo! Check ‘em out." "I’m afraid to. What if they are squished with bananas and … what if we’ve killed them! What if the Big Tortilla finds out?" blubbers Hoo.

"Ok, I’ll look," says G. She pulled up next to Pepper and peeked in, but it was dark. She opened the lid wider and shouted "Hurray!" There are only 3 in here and they are hanging on to the sides of the basket for all they are worth. Most of them musta been outside already," said G. "Lemme look in the other basket. Well there’s a smushy banana . . . Ah oh …. I see a furry leg sticking out from underneath the banana. Julio, you gotta pick it up. I can’t stand to touch Chips … er ..ah .. No offense, Chips …. dear little ones" said G. All the eyes on Peppers mane and tail were looking in the direction of the basket. Julio picked the Chip up; limp as a dishrag, it was. "Maybe if we just blow on it, sorta like respiration." "Yeah, do that, Hoo, in the NAME !"

He did and a blue leg jerked and then they heard a teeny sputter .. "I’m alive! I’m alive!" it said. "I saw a light and a long tunnel and .. I’m alive!" The Chips had not spoken at all so far on the trip. Now they were all crawling down Pepper’s mane, giving her the heebie jeebies, to have a look-see. "Ok, alright! Show’s over" said J. "Back to the mane!" he yelled, "and you two, back to the tail!" "Thata boy Hoo. You tell 'em! We’ve already been hangin' out here an hour, what with finding da Muff, the whistle dump, the Chips …. cheesh!" said G.

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