The Black Gelding

On the morning of the 13th of September 1873, the temptation to take Anton Wick’s horse, which hasn’t been ridden for two months, is too great for Joe and he catches the black gelding and takes him up to Kennedy’s yard. Saddling and bridling the horse with either his, or Kennedy’s tack, Joe mounts and rides out of the paddock. Meanwhile, William Wick, Anton’s son, has been looking for the gelding and ventures close to the Byrne selection, (the horse is usually turned out to graze between the Wick and Byrne selections), where he sees Joe riding the ‘lost’ horse towards El Dorado with Kennedy. Spotting William, and knowing exactly what he is looking for, Joe cheekily calls ‘cooee’ as he passes the boy.
Joe keeps the gelding for four days, possibly up at Aaron’s selection at Sheepstation Creek and returns him to the Wick selection on Tuesday, saddle sore and steaming with sweat.
Later, on the 22nd of September, Joe is arrested and appears before the Beechworth court on a charge of ‘Illegally Using’, where he is defended by solicitor Mr William Zincke. After evidence from both Antonio and William, Joe is fined 20s, with 1s 6d plus costs.

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