The Red Pony
How we cite our quotes:
They turned and walked slowly down the hill toward the barn. Jody was tortured with a thing he had to say, although he didn't want to. "Billy," he began miserably, "Billy, you won't let anything happen to the colt, will you?"
And Billy knew he was thinking of the red pony, Gabilan, and how it had died of strangles. Billy knew he had been infallible before that, and now he was capable of failure. (3.91-3.92)
Okay, maybe Jody doesn't admire Billy as much as he used to, but he still wants to believe that the guy knows his stuff. And maybe the promise of this new colt will redeem the ranch hand in Jody's eyes. Heck, maybe Carl will grow wings and fly them all to the moon. Anything's possible.
Sometimes in the night the ranch people, safe in their beds, heard a roar of hoofs go by. They said, "It's Jody, on Demon. He's helping the sheriff again." (3.97)
In Jody's fantasies, he is a man of high regard, a hero even. The townspeople admire him and his colt Black Demon. Is that what he wants to grow up to be? Someone whom others worship?
The mare turned her head and looked full into his eyes for a moment, and this is a thing horses practically never do. Billy was proud and sure of himself now. He boasted a little. "I'll see you get a good colt. I'll start you right. And if you do like I say, you'll have the best horse in the county."
That made Jody feel warm and proud, too; so proud that when he went back to the house he bowed his legs and swayed his shoulders as horsemen do. (3.119-3.120)
All it takes is a little bit of Billy fluffing his own feathers to get Jody back into his corner again. If good ol' Billy Buck says things are going to be okay, then by golly, that's just how it's gonna be. We hope.