BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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68
BLACK BEAUTY.
we can," and we were moving toward the entry, when from the market-place there came a sound of galloping feet and loud, rumbling wheels.
" 'Tis the fire engine! the fire engine !" shouted two or three voices; "stand back, make way!" and clattering and thundering over the stones two horses dashed into the yard with the heavy engine behind them. The firemen leaped to the ground; there was no need to ask where the fire was—it was rolling up in a great blaze from the roof.
We got out as fast as we could into the broad, quiet market-place; the stars were shining, and, except the noise behind us, all was still. Master led the way to a large hotel on the other side, and as soon as the ostler came he said, " James, I must now hasten to your mistress; I trust the horses entirely to you ; order whatever you think is needed ;" and with that he was gone. The master did not run, but I never saw mortal man walk so fast as he did that night.
There was a dreadful sound before we got into our stalls; the shrieks of those poor horses that we left burn­ing in the stable—it was very terrible! and made both Ginger and me feel very bad. We, however, were taken in and well done by.
The next morning the master came to see how we were and to speak to James. I did not hear much, for the ostler was rubbing me down, but I could see that James looked very happy, and I thought the master was proud of him. Our mistress had been so much alarmed in the night that the journey was put off till the afternoon, so James had the morning on hand, and went first to the inn to see about our harness and the carriage, and then to hear more about the fire. When he came back, we heard him tell the ostler about it. At first no one could guess how the fire had been caused, but at last a man said he saw Dick Towler go into the stable with a pipe in his mouth, and when he came out he had not one, and went to the tap for
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