The Search for Truth Contents: Looking Forward; Case Histories; The Great Pyramid; The Ancient Cambodians; The Infant Prodigy; The Treaty of Croton; Paralyzed and Petrified; Through the Tunnel; Bogged; Escape; Heathen Gods; Science and Religiosity; Old Clo’; The Great Emancipator; The Fourth Dimension; The Last Idol; Retrospect; and The Priesthood of Science.
WHENEVER I see some brilliant young scientific theory dashing along toward the final solution of the last and toughest of all the many riddles of the universe, I am reminded of black Sam’s mule. After about two hundred years of the race track, the Kentucky colonels decided that there was nothing more to be learned about horseflesh, and they were fed up with it anyway. Who or what could deliver them from boredom ?
The silence lasted twenty-five years, till Colonel Cornbottle broke it with an eloquent oration that lasted almost as long. Boiled down to its quintessential element, the Colonel’s speech advocated that mules be substituted for the played-out horses, and that the races proceed. Colonel Cornbottle was elected by acclamation on the spot to scour the whole beautiful state of Kentucky for mules worthy to succeed such famous trotters as Blue Moon, Silver Belle, and Long Julep.
In the course of his travels the Colonel kept hearing rumors of a fabulous mule, “fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid,” which was being j ealously hidden by the black folk from the covetous eyes of their white masters. Voodoo was hinted, and one rumor insinuated that this speediest of all mules was being worshipped as a god by the superstitious blacks. The story of how the Colonel finally traced the rumors to their true sources, not five miles from his own back yard, and located the legendary mule in the flesh, is an Odyssey in itself that must be passed over here.
The mule was the pet and constant companion of black Sam . Although Sam himself was poorer than a crow, the mule was as plump and enticingly sleek as . . . . (name your favorite !) . . . . and just about as full of the devil.