84 BLACK BEA UTY.
The news fell upon the household like the tolling of a death-bell. Everybody was sorry r but the master began directly to make arrangements for breaking up his establishment and leaving England. We used to hear it talked about in our stable; indeed, nothing else was talked about.
John went about his work, silent and sad, and Joe scarcely whistled. There was a great deal of coming and going. Ginger and I had full work.
The first of the party who went were Miss Jessie and Flora with their governess. They came to bid us goodbye. They hugged poor Merry legs like an old friend, and so indeed he was. Then we heard what had been arranged for us. Master had sold Ginger and me to his
old friend, the Ear] of W-----, for he thought we should
have a good place there. Merrylegs he had given to the Vicar, who was wanting a pony for Mrs. Blomefield, but it was on the condition that he shoidd never he sold, and that when he was past work he shoidd be shot and buried.
Joe Was engaged to take care of him and to help in the house, so I thought that Merrylegs was well off. John had the offer of several good places, but he said he should wait a little and look round.
The evening before they left, the master came into the stable to give some direction, and to give his horses the last pat. He seemed very low-spirited; I knew that by his voice. I believe we horses can tell more by the voice than many men can.
" Have you decided what to do, John ?" he said. " I find you have not accepted either of those offers."
" No, sir; I have made up my mind that if I could get a situation with some first-rate colt-breaker and horse-trainer, it would be the right thing for me. Many young animals are frightened and spoiled by wrong treatment, which need not be if the right man took them in hand. I always get on well with horses, and if I could help some