BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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CHAPTER XIX.
ONLY IGNORANCE.
I do not know how long I was ill. Mr. Bond, the horse« doctor, came every day. One day he bled me; John held a pail for the blood. I felt very faint after it, and thought I should die, and I believe they all thought so, too.
Ginger and Merrylegs had been moved into the other stables, so that I might be quiet, for the fever had made me very quick of hearing; any little noise seemed quite loud, and I could tell every one's footstep going to and from the house. I knew all that was going on. One night John had to give me a draught; Thomas Green came in to help him. After I had taken it and John had made me as comfortable as he could, he said he should stay half an hour to see how the medicine settled. Thomas said he would stay with him, so they went and sat down on a bench that had been brought into Merrylegs's stall, and put down the lantern at their feet, that I might not be dis­turbed with the light.
For a while both men sat silent, and then Tom Green said in a low voice—
" I wish, John, you'd say a bit of a kind word to Joe. The boy is quite broken-hearted; he can't eat his meals, and he can't smile. He says he knows it was all his fault, though he is sure he did the best he knew, and he says, if Beauty dies, no one will ever speak to him again. It goes to my heart to hear him. I think you might give him just a word ; he is not a bad boy."
After a short pause, John said slowly, " You must not be too hard upon me, Tom. I know he meant no harm;
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