Puss 'N Cahoots
Cast of Characters
Mary Minor Haristeen, “Harry”
—A few days shy of her fortieth birthday, she’s fit, looking forward to the future, and in love with her husband, whom she’s remarried after a former divorce.
Pharamond Haristeen, “Fair”
—One year older than his wife, whom he’s thrilled to have won back; he’s an equine veterinarian and a gentleman.
—The proprietor of Kalarama Farm. She’s justly famed as an extraordinary breeder of Saddlebreds and is an old friend of Harry’s.
—Joan’s husband, as famous as a trainer as she is as a breeder. Larry possesses good humor and can defuse potentially upsetting situations.
—At forty-one, he is a fierce competitor to Larry Hodge. He keeps a pet monkey, Miss Nasty, as well as snakes. The snakes he keeps at home. He’s vain and spends a boatload of money on clothes.
—He, too, is in the first flush of his forties, and his ambition grows with each passing year. He is a trainer with an exclusive client list. There are those who think he has an exclusive lover list, as well.
—Younger than the big-three trainers, he shows talent. At twenty-nine, he wants to break into the spotlight but currently he’s held back by lack of money. If he can just knock out a big win, he will attract clients with heavy checkbooks.
—A movie star who feels the encroachment of middle age, she has suffered a string of flops. Naturally she’s beautiful, but she’s at loose ends, unsure which way to turn next. A good rider, she shows Saddlebreds and her trainer is Charly Trackwell. Renata is the jewel in Charly’s crown, and she would be the jewel in any trainer’s crown.
Paul and Frances Hamilton
—In their eighties, they are a long-married couple, parents to Joan. Paul loved Saddlebreds as a boy on the farm. Frances loves people, and the people are at the Saddlebred shows. They have eight children. Joan commands the Saddlebred world. Her siblings pursue other venues.
—Head groom at Kalarama Farm, he’s good with a horse, well organized, and greatly trusted. Manuel is in his late forties.
—He understudies Manuel. In his thirties, very responsible, he’s well liked and a quiet-living man.
—Ward Findley’s jack-of-all-trades. He’s a man who married too many times.
—Charly Trackwell’s head man, who knows when to look the other way.
The Really Important Characters
—Harry’s tiger cat possesses high intelligence and marvelous athletic ability.
—Mrs. Murphy’s rotund gray sidekick lacks some of the tiger cat’s athletic ability, but she makes up for it by being grouchy. However, Pewter is perfectly capable of seeing what humans cannot.
—The bravest corgi who has ever lived. She loves Harry and Fair, too, and she loves the cats, even if they pluck her last nerve.
—The monkey is aptly named and is as much of a clotheshorse as Booty Pollard, her owner. She takes an instant dislike to Pewter, and it’s mutual. No good can come of this.
—Renata’s three-gaited mare is talented, expensive, and beautiful. She’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, however.
—Renata’s young three-gaited gelding is wonderfully intelligent, game, and a good citizen.
—Renata’s flashy older gelding, who taught her a lot. He was the first expensive horse she bought once she started to make money in Hollywood. Clearly, he won’t be the last as Renata means to win, win, win.
—A ginger cat, battle-scarred, who lives in the barn at Shelbyville by the practice arena. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Harlem’s Dreamgirl, Point Guard, Golden Parachute
—Outstanding Kalarama horses.
Frederick the Great—
A five-gaited stallion shown by Charly Trackwell. Both horse and trainer are at the peak of their powers.
—Frederick’s fierce competition. A five-gaited stallion originally bred at Callaway Farm and bought by one of Booty’s wealthy clients. Booty believes this is his year to win all the big shows with Senator.
L ong, golden rays raked the rolling hills surrounding Shelbyville, Kentucky, on Wednesday, August 2. At six P.M ., the grassy parking lot of the famous fairgrounds accepted a steady stream of spectators. By seven P.M ., the lot would be overflowing and the shift to backup
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