by Hallie June Peavey
730 13th St., Clarkston, Wash.

Day for the stage coach driver dawns with the first break of day. Chores are done, then a nice breakfast of sour-dough hotcakes. He is next off to the red barn. The harness he stayed up half the night oiling and repairing is inspected once more just before he curries and brushes his horses.

Time to prepare the rig is here so he places the collars on first, making sure the buckle is on top. The hames fit into the groove in the collar, two pieces with hames straps in between at top and bottom. Throwing the harness over the horse, the pole strap hangs from the bottom of the collar. The breast strap goes on the right side of the harness, (a double strap with a snap in the other end), this passes through a ring in the neck yoke and snaps into a ring on the other hame.

A tug is attached to each hame running back along side of the horse (it has a 4 or 5 linked butt chain on the end for adjustment. The belly band fastens to a ring on the outside of the tug, goes under the horses belly and snaps into the rings on the other tug.

Two long straps snap into a pole strap and go lengthwise under the horses belly. These buckle into breeching rings with side straps coming from hame to ring in tug.

The longer side strap fastens into the same ring and goes up to the rump ring on top of the hoses hip. The breeching hangs from rump ring and crupper fastens on under the horses tail (crupper hangs from rump ring).

Next the driver puts the bridles on the horses. There are two lines, one for each harness's main line. These snap into bridle bit, going through hame ring back to hands of the driver. Each line has an inside check buckled to main line for adjustment. The check on the right hand horse is through Ring in Hame or Spreader Strap Ring, and snaps into the Bridle bit on opposite horse. The left hand horse has check that hooks up the same way, but snaps into bridle bit on the right hand horse.

With the horses all harnessed he takes a quick inventory; his harness stock; his Concord Farm harness is now on the horses, and there hangs the Back Pad Breeching Harness, the Double Driving Harness, Gag Check Rein & Straight Check & Over Check Bridles.

On the floor in a heap is his old Farm Chain Harness, and there along the wall on the West hangs his repair stock.

At a glance he notices his decorative brass tongue snaps & side straps, belly bands, hip drops, center rings, buckles and square dees, celluloid ring spreader, tug repair ends, tug buckles, trace, and tug carrier hame ring, roller snap (for breast strap), neck yoke ring, tug hook, coak eye, sweat pads, reins & face peices, breast strap slides, saddle cinch and dee, saddles & bolt snaps, tongue snaps, yankee snaps. Also his silver, nichel plate and brass spots, bridle face piece, keepers, muly hame and lots of celluloid rigns and loops.

At this point he notices a fly net and decides to use it. He installs the nose baskets and almost falls over his hack harness.

While hanging it back up, he notices his lazy straps, halters, tug hanger hooks, spreaders, pole straps, decorated stamped leather, brow band, winker stays, and throat latches.

Grabbing his gauntlet gloves he drives the team to the coach. He had the rim of the wheel set last week on the right front side, but the left rim was loose last night so he parked the rig in the creek to swell the wood.

A quick check of the coach reveals all is well with the hub and spokes, tires, felly, fifth wheel, brake shoe, tongue, neck yoke and brake lever.

After hitching up the teams he places clean lap robes in the passenger seats, loosens the wheels and smears on the axle grease, then heads for town. It is quite a long drive from Anatone Flat to Asotin.

The dust fans the air as he comes to a stop in front of the Post Office in Asotin. The town dogs begin to bark, and the town drunk is still asleep on the Board-Walk, just outside the tavern.

The young McCready kid who is called Charlie is sitting playing with scissors again.

Mail and passengers loaded into the coach and then Asotin Creek has to be forded. Next the coach rolls along the narrow old trail to Lewiston.

After passing through the hot, sandy, Jaw-Bone Flat (later called Vineland, then Clarkston) the ferry crosses the Snake River. The coach driver proceeds to the Lewiston Depot where the mail and more passengers are loaded in the coach. They then head back.