74 BLACK BEAUTY.
ground. I don't believe that my old grandfather , who won the race at Newmarket, could have gone faster. When we came to the bridge, John pulled me up a litt'e and patted my neck. " Well done, Beauty! good old fallow," he said. He would have let me go slower, but my spirit was up, and I was off again as fast as before. Tht air was frosty, the moon was bright; it was very pleasa,.it. We came through a village, then through a dark wciod, then uphill, then downhill, till after an eight mile*,' run we came to the town, through the streets and into the marketplace. It was all quite still except the clatter of my feet on the stones—everybody was asleep. The church clock struck three as we drew up at Doctor White's door. John rang the bell twice, and then knocked at the door like thunder. A window was thrown up, and Doctor White put his head out and said, " What do you want?"
" Mrs. Gordon is very ill, sir; master wants you to come at once; he thinks she will die if you cannot get there. Here is a note."
" Wait," he said, " I will come."
He shut the window and was soon at the door.
"The worst of it is," he said, "that my horse has been out all day and is quite done up; my son has just been sent for, and he has taken the other. What is to be done? Can I have your horse?"
" He has come at a gallop nearly all the way, sir, and I was to give him a rest here; but I think my master would not be against it, if you think fit, sir."
"All right," he said; "I will soon be ready."
John stood by me and stroked my neck; I was very hot. The doctor came out with his riding-whip.
" You need not take that, sir," said John; " Black Beauty will go till he drops. Take care of him, sir, if you can; I should not like any harm to come to him."
" No, no, John," said the cloctor, " I hope not," and in a minute we had left John far behind.