The Kid – Chip’s son – had the legs and eyes of a roper but the Flying U hands said he didn’t have the guts, until. . .
“They think the West has slowed down!”, the Kid thought angrily. “They’re wrong, dead wrong! It isn’t tame yet, by a long shot! They just think it’s slowed down because they’ve slowed down themselves! They don’t hit the pace they used to hit. It – oh heck, it’s their youth that’s gone and they don’t know it!”
It wasn’t entirely the Kid’s fault. He had remembered the Happy Family, Stetsoned booted and spurred, riding recklessly across the prairies, their careless laughter keeping time with the quick staccato hoofbeats. And now, at the reunion at the old Flying U, just look at them! The Native Son wore gray plaid knickers and low tan shoes. Andy Green and Pink and Weary wore gray whip-cord breeches, leather puttees and Panamas. The Kid – Chip’s son – was grown up, tall, lean and hard from riding and roping (even though the only steers he had to rope were five-hundred-dollar calves). But the Happy Family treated him as if he were still a child.
The Kid was fed up, resentful, disillusioned. After a battle of words with Chip and the Native Son he packed up and headed for the big rodeo in Chicago, riding and leading his own ponies. He’d show those washed-out oldtimers how to rope and ride! As it happened, Chip and the old Flying U boys were attending the rodeo, too. The old West came back to life in that huge metropolitan arena. The Native Son held up the reputation with his fists, but the Kid showed he had not only the legs and eyes of a roper, but he had the guts too. He was what he should be – Chip’s son.