Breaking Smith’s Quarter HorsePaul St. PierreThroughout the story “Breaking Smith s Quarter Horse” Smith aims to “mind his own business”. This however seems to back fire on him and doesn t quite turn out how he d like it to. This happens mainly due to his character traits. Smith feels strongly about what is right and wrong, he doesn t like to see his friends misrepresented or in trouble, he sees the good in people and he hates it when people take advantage of others. Even though he has a strong belief about minding his own business, these other traits seem to eventually win him over; mostly for the worse. Quite early in the story Smith shows that he doesn t want to have anything to do with anything. When Ol Antione visits him about breaking his quarter horse, Norah brings up the topic of Gabriel staying in the cabin with Ol Antione. Smith says “He is not bothering you. Why are you all bothered about him?” This is the first indication the Smith doesn t really care or mind what s going on. He later reassures Norah by saying ” even if it should happen to be him, he is a quiet sort of man. He wouldn t bother you or anybody else.” Even though Jimmyboy is charged with murder, Smith still gives him credit. At the beginning of the conversation with Norah, he didn t want to have anything to do with Gabriel. At the end of the conversation, Smith leaves to talk to Gabriel. This is the first of many times Smith “gets involved” even though he didn t want to. In the cabin Gabriel tries to ask Smith s help but fails. Smith merely replies “Leave me out of this, Gabriel. I have got nothing to do with it. Like I say, I don t know you are even in this cabin.” Chapter 4 gives a hint on why maybe Smith does get involved in matters against his will. At the end of Chapter 4 Norah asks questions about Gabriel. She ends up telling Smith that he should maybe help Gabriel because she feels sorry for him. She also asks him is he trusts Walter Charlie. Smith knows that Gabriel is in trouble and that Walter will not help him. Also, Smith quotes that he minds his own business because he knows it s trouble if he doesn t. He says ” that there is only two times where you can get into trouble with Indians. One time is when you try to hurt them and the other is when you try to help them”. Chapter 5 is significant because it proves that when it comes to taking advantage of people, Smith will have nothing to do with it. This proves that he is a good person. On most other things Smith says that he will not get involved but usually ends up doing so. When Walter Charlie came to make Smith some money at the cost of Gabriel, Smith refused. Smith could have easily made some money; and it would have went along way considering he is broke. Instead Smith says to Walter “something I have learned in this life is to mind my own business. You should try it doing that yourself sometime, Walter. Be a real experience for you. I recommend it.”
In the next chapter Smith gets further encouragement to get involved in the trail from Herman Samuels. Herman requests that Smith testify on Gabriels behalf at the trial. Smith gets Norah to write back and say that he wouldn t be of any help. This is not surprising for Smith. Smith usually only goes against what he believed in if one of his close friends are in trouble. As for Gabriel, if it wasn t for Ol Antione Smith would never have gone near the trail. Smith s character traits become more evident in chapters 9 and 10. Earlier in the book no one could get Smith to get involved in the trail of Gabriel Jimmyboy. Smith finally gives in to help his friend Ol Antione. He knows that Ol Antione is in trouble and comes to help. This shows that Smith cares for his friends regardless of what he acts like. Smith pays Ol Antione s bail even when all he had to do was wait till the end of the day for Ol Antione to be released for free. Smith later tries his best to get Ol Antione out of town by telling him that they could go hunting together. Ol Antione refuses. Instead of going home like Smith said he was going to do, he stays to help his friend stay out of trouble. Smith s hidden good nature shows clearly with these acts. It is also a burden for Smith to stay in town because of the fact that he has to harvest his hay. This has been one of the best years in a long time that the weather is actually hot. The last couple of chapters really show what trouble Smith gets into when he gets involved in things. First when Smith was drinking in a bar and decided to help the bouncer throw someone out, he ended up getting thrown out himself! Also during Gabriel s trail, Smith got into a fight with Walter Charlie. Walter wasn t interpreting Ol Antione correctly and Smith got angry. Smith cares for Ol Antione and doesn t like it when things like this happen. He must really feel strong about this because he started the fight with Walter right in the courtroom! Smith ends up getting sentenced 2 months for this!So the story ends with Smith getting the bad end of the stick. Even though Smith didn t want to get mixed up in this, he did and got punished. Everybody ends up happy except Smith. Even Norah starts to smile at the end. Maybe this has happened to him before which is why he likes to mind his own business. Everything just seems to go wrong with Smith. He didn t even get his Quarter Horse broken by Ol Antione!