BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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One night, a few days after James had left, I had eaten my hay and was lying down in my straw fast asleep, when I was suddenly roused by the stable-bell ringing very loud. I heard the door of John's house open, and his feet running up to the Hall. He was back again in no time; he unlocked the stable door, and came in, calling out, "Wake up, Beauty! you must go well now, if ever you did ;" and almost before I could think he had got the saddle on my back and the bridle on my head. He just ran around for his coat, and then took me at a quick trot up to the Hall door. The Squire stood there, with a lamp in his hand.
" Now, John," he said, " ride for your lifeóthat is, for your mistress's life; there is not a moment to lose. Give this note to Dr. White; give your horse a rest at the inn, and be back as soon as you can."
John said, " Yes, sir," and was on my back in a min≠ute. The gardener who lived at the lodge had heard the bell ring, and was ready with the gate open, and away we went through the park, and through the village, and down the hill till we came to the toll-gate. John called very loud and thumped upon the door; the man was soon out and flung open the gate.
" Now," said John, " do you keep the gate open for the doctor; here's the money," and off we went again.
There was before us a long piece of level road by the river-side. John said to me, " Now, Beauty, do your best," and so I did. I wanted no whip nor spur, and for two miles I galloped as fast as I could lay my feet to the
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