BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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JAMES HOWARD.
61
down the oats and come here; I am very glad to find that John's opinion of your character agrees so exactly with my own. John is a cautious man," he said, with a droll smile, " and it is not always easy to get his opinion about people, so I thought if I beat the bush on this side the birds would fly out, and I should learn what I wanted to know quickly; so now we will come to business. I have a letter from my brother-in-law, Sir Clifford Williams, of Clifford Hall. He wants me to find him a trustworthy young groom, about twenty or twenty-one, who knows his business. His old coachman, who has lived with him thirty years, is getting feeble, and he wants a man to work with him and get into his ways who would be able, when the old man is pensioned off, to step into his place. He would have eighteen shillings a week at first, a stable suit, a driving suit, a bed room over the coach-house, and a boy under him. Sir Clifford is a good master, and if you could get the place it would be a good start for you. I don't want to part with you, and if you left us I know John would lose his right hand.''
" That I should, sir," said John, " but I would not stand in his light for the world."
How old are you, James?" said his master.
" Nineteen next May, sir."
"That's young; what do you think, John?"
"Well, sir, it is young; but he is as steady as a man, and is strong and well grown, and though he has not had much experience in driving, has a light, firm hand and a quick eye, and he is very careful, and I am quite sure no horse of his will be ruined for want of having his feet and shoes looked after."
" Your word will go the furthest, John," said the master, :'for Sir Clifford adds in a postscript, ' If I could find a man trained by your John, I should like him better than any other;' so James, lad, think it over, talk to your mother at dinner-time, and then let me know what you wish."
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