BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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A LONDON CAB HORSE.
133
find it out till it finds me out, eh ? And if so, I'll keep up my spirits a little longer."
Then there came up a broad-faced man, dressed in a great gray coat with gray capes and great white buttons, a gray hat, and a blue comforter loosely tied around his neck; his hair was gray, too; but he was a jolly-looking fellow, and the other men made way for him. He looked me all over, as if he had been going to buy me, and then straightening himself up with a grunt, he said, " He's the right sort for you, Jerry; I don't care what you gave for him, he'll be worth it." Thus my character was estab­lished on the stand.
This man's name was Grant, but he was called " Gray Grant," or " Governor Grant." He had been the longest on that stand of any of the men, and he took it upon him­self to settle matters and stop disputes. He was generally a good-humored, sensible man; but if his temper was a little out, as it was sometimes when he had drunk too much, nobody liked to come too near his fist, for he could deal a very heavy blow.
The first week of my life as a cab horse was very try­ing. I had never been used to London, and the noise, the hurry, the crowds of horses, carts and carriages, that I had to make my way through, made me feel anxious and harassed; but I soon found that I could perfectly trust my driver, and then I made myself easy, and got used to it.
Jerry was as good a driver as I had ever known, and what was better, he took as much thought for his horses as he did for himself. He soon found out that I was willing to work and do my best; and he never laid the whip on me, unless it was gently drawing the end of it over my back, when I was to go on; but generally I knew this quite well by the way in which he took up the reins; and I believe his whip was more frequently stuck up by his side than in his hand.
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