BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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70                                   BLACK BEAUTY.
" He is fourteen and a half," said John.
" But he is such a little chap I"
" Yes, he is small, but he is quick, and willing, and kind-hearted, too, and then he wishes very much to come, and his father would like it; and I know the master would like to give him the chance. He said if I thought he would not do he would look out for a bigger boy; but I said I was quite agreeable to try him for six weeks."
" Six weeks ?" said James; " why, it will be six months before he can be of much use! It will make you a deal of work, John."
"Well," said John, with a laugh, "work and I are very good friends; I never was afraid of work yet."
" You are a very good man," said James; " I wish I may ever be like you."
" I don't often speak of myself," said John, " but as you are going away from us out into the world, to shift for yourself, I'll just tell you how I look on these things. I was just as old as Joseph when my father and mother died of the fever, within ten days of each other, and left me and my crippled sister Nelly alone in the world, with­out a relation that we could look to for help. I was a farmer's boy, not earning enough to keep myself, much less both of us, and she must have gone to the workhouse but for our mistress (Nelly calls her her angel, and she has good right to do so). She went and hired a room for her with old Widow Mallet, and she gave her knitting and needlework when she was able to do it, and when she was ill she sent her dinners and many nice, comfortable things,, and was like a mother to her. Then the master, he took me into the stable under old Norman, the coachman that was, then. I had my food at the house and my bed in the loft, and a suit of clothes, and three shillings a week, so that I could help Nelly. Then there was Norman; he might have turned round and said at his age he could not be troubled with a raw boy from the plow-tail, but he was
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