Time bomb of the timeless sierra, the Mountain Quail has a proximity fuse set for three feet. He explodes like a cubist painting of a Mountain Quail exploding, quickening the pulse, rocketing stroboscopically into the chaparral. For him a cliché was coined: He went thataway. Plumed like a drum major, he avoids parades but dry cleans his uniform and freshens up by taking a dust bath. A family man, he believes in large ones—fifteen, more or less.