The three partners got along surprisingly well, considering they all had different makeups. Charlie was high strung, Dave was easy going, and Johnnie was in between.
Their horse powered outfit was unique. Eight heavy sweeps stuck out like spokes in a wagon. A couple of nags were hooked to each sweep. The 16 horses had to walk around in a circle without getting dizzy. This rotated the power through a long tumbling rod that was connected to the threshing separator.
A near tragedy of the season arrived when the tumbling rod came apart and the sweeps from the instant light load hit all the nags in the fanny. This scared them into a whirling run-away. In the center of all this uncontrolled power, stood the teamster on a little round platform. He was getting scared and nauseated from watching all those horses go flying around. Relief came when every sweep got broken off and the wild-eyed cayuses scattered near and far.
During the long breakdown, a conference was held and a decision was made to locate a mule. The theory was that if the tumbling rod came apart again, this lone sterile animal was supposed to get stubborn enough to pull back, thus preventing another run-away.