Cover image for San Domingo : the medicine hat stallion
San Domingo : the medicine hat stallion
Henry, Marguerite, 1902-1997.
First Aladdin Books edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Aladdin Books ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992.

Physical Description:
230 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
In Pre-Civil War Wyoming, a teenager's life is complicated when his strangely hostile father trades the boy's beloved horse to the Pony Express.
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 8.0 141160.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.4 10 Quiz: 09981 Guided reading level: T.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In pre-Civil War Wyoming, a teenager's life is complicated when his strangely hostile father trades the boy's beloved horse to the Pony Express

Author Notes

Marguerite Henry was born on April 12, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After high school, she attended the Milwaukee State Teachers College. She became an English teacher.

She sold her first published story to a woman's magazine in 1913. Her first book, "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" was named a Newberry Honor Book. This and her other titles to follow were written in collaboration with illustrator, Wesley Dennis. They worked together until his death in 1996. Her other works included "King of the Wind," the story of the Godolphin Arabian horse, which won a Newberry Award, "Misty of Chincoteague," which won the Junior Book Award Medal of the Boys' Clubs of America, and "Justin Morgan Had a Horse," which won the Junior Scholastic Gold Seal Award. She was presented the Children's Reading Roundtable Award for her lasting contribution to children's reading in 1961. At the time of her death she had written 58 books. Her works have been translated into eight languages.

Marguerite Henry died of complications from a series of strokes on November 26, 1997 in California.



His name is Peter Lundy and he has just turned twelve, and he thought the letter he'd found was meant for him. It began, Dear, dear Peter... There was no mistaking his mother's fine, round handwriting, and it was like her to plant surprises in secret, yet where he'd be sure to find them. Sometimes he came upon a picture she'd sketched, or a piece of rock candy, or a riddle. And one merry Christmas, she made an Indian headdress of magpie feathers and hung it on the hatrack without a word. He knew from the way the headband fitted that she intended it for him. He wore it for weeks, even to bed. But never before had there been a letter. His mother was always inventing ways for him to enjoy himself. Every spring when he caught the quinsy sore throat, like now, she planned exciting things for him to do. Last year she taught him to slit-braid rawhide into quirts and headstalls. And this year-this very night when he was still abed but practically well-she handed him her treasure chest with its gold harp, and gold key in the shape of a question mark. "Likely you'll laugh at my tomboy keepsakes," she said. "Some go 'way back to when I was eleven, twelve." As Peter turned the key and lifted the lid, a curious feeling came over him. The treasure he saw might well have been his own-that is, if his father had permitted the hoarding of stones flecked pink and green, and a miniature nest that must have belonged to a hummer bird, and hairs from a horse's tail, and a blue-racer snakeskin. He was pleased to find a tiny exercise book with childish printing on the cover: Historick Dates to Remember Columbus landed in the New World 1492 First horses landed at Santo Domingo 1493 Funny, Peter thought, that his mother would care when or where the first horses landed. Or was it her schoolmaster who cared? Rummaging deeper into the chest, he came upon a piece of oiled paper folder over several times. Gingerly he laid the paper open and found a coil of hair so silken he couldn't help stroking it with his fingertips. The color matched the gold of a California sorrel he'd once seen-not flaxen, like the mane or tail, but pure glinty gold. Now he spied a tag. In his mother's handwriting he read, Peter Lundy. His first haircut. November 13 1847. Age two years; eight months. Peter laughed to himself, blushing for admiring his own baby hair! He looked around the room to see if anyone were watching. But Grandma Lundy was dozing in her rocker, the almanac forked over her head like a tepee to shut out the firelight. Baby Aileen slept too, while his mother foot-rocked the cradle and worked on his new shirt. He noticed that his mother's hair almost matched the lock he held, except that hers was coppered some by the firelight. He tucked the curl back into the paper and placed it where he'd found it. He was about to close the chest when his eye fell upon a pocket in the lid, and edging out of it the letter. His excitement mounted as he unfolded it and saw the pictures flying across the pages. It was like finding a book written just for him. He settled deeper into bed, squirming and pawing like a dog until the cornhusks made a snug nest around him. He pulled up the buffalo robe covering. Then, holding the pages aslant to catch the candlelight, he began again: Dear, dear Peter... He could hear his mother say the words with a bird-lilt to her voice. But as he read on, a nameless fear spread over him. This didn't sound like her at all. Why, she was forever humming or singing, until Pa said she made him jumpy. Could it be that her happiness was all make-believe? He read the disturbing sentence again, wondering how anyone who sang most all day could write: There is nothing half so sad as living. I feel like one forsaken... Was the letter planted on purpose? Did his mother figure that writing him about her feelings was easier than talking them out? ...Jethro, as you know, has never been the same since that terrifying experience. Why did she say Jethro instead of your father? And what experience did he have? Far out on the plain a coyote wailed his thin, quavering note. Usually the sound sent him off to sleep, like the wind of the prairie. But tonight the familiar howl chilled him. Peter longed to cry out, "Ma! Oh, Ma! What was it that happened to Pa?" But his throat choked on the words. The woolen sock around his neck was suffocating him. Having the quinsy used to be cozy; he felt isolated and free of his father. Would the "terrifying experience" explain why Pa seldom spoke-or else burst into rages? Excerpted from San Domingo: The Medicine Hat Stallion by Marguerite Henry, Robert Lougheed All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.