BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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102                                 BLACK BEAUTY.
it very unlike him not to see about the shoe, as he was generally wonderfully particular about loose nails in our .shoes. He did not come at six, nor seven, nor eight, and it was nearly nine o'clock before he called for me, and then it was with a loud, rough voice. He seemed in a very bad temper, and abused the ostler, though I could not tell what for.
The landlord stood at the door and said, " Have a care, Mr. Smith!" but he answered angrily with an oath, and almost before he was out of the town he began to gallop, frequently giving me a sharp cut with his whip, though I was going at full speed. The moon had not yet risen, and it was very dark. The roads were stony, having been re­cently mended ; going over them at this pace, my shoe became loose, and when we were near the turnpike gate it came off.
If Smith had been in his right senses he would have been sensible of something wrong in my pace, but he was too madly drunk to notice anything.
Beyond the turnpike was a long piece of road, upon which fresh stones had just been laid—large sharp stones, over which no horse could be driven quickly without risk of danger. Over this road, with one shoe gone, I was forced to gallop at my utmost speed, my rider meanwhile cutting into me with his whip, and with wild curses urg­ing me to go still faster. Of course my shoeless foot suf­fered dreadfully; the hoof was broken and split down to the very quick, and the inside was terribly cut by the sharpness of the stones.
This could not go on; no horse could keep his footing under such circumstances; the pain was too great. I stumbled, and fell with violence on both my knees. Smith was flung off by my fall, and, owing to the speed I was going at, he must have fallen with great force. I soon recovered my feet and limped to the side of the road,, where it was free from stones. The moon had just risen
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