BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

188
BLACK BEAUTY.
morning more, I think, than he had ever done before; quietly on and on, as if he were thinking of something else. I loved to feel his hand on my neck, and arched my crest proudly and happily; but I stood very still, for I knew all his moods, and when he liked me to be quiet, and when gay.
" I cannot tell all that happened on that day, but I will tell of the last charge that we made together: it was across a valley right in front of the enemy's cannon. By this time we were well used to the roar of heavy guns, the rattle of musketry fire, and the flying of shot near us; but never had I been under such a fire as we rode through on that day. From the right, from the left, and from the front, shot and shell poured in upon us. Many a brave man went down, many a horse fell, flinging his rider to the earth; many a horse without a rider ran wildly out of the ranks; then, terrified at being alone, with no hand to guide him, came pressing in amongst his old compan­ions, to gallop with them to the charge.
" Fearful as it was, no one stopped, no one turned back. Every moment the ranks were thinned, but as our com­rades fell we closed in to keep them together; and instead of being shaken or staggered in our pace, our gallop be­came faster and faster as we neared the cannon, all clouded in white smoke, while the red fire flashed through it.
" My master, my dear master, was cheering on his com­rades with his right arm raised on high, when one of the balls whizzing close to my head struck him. I felt him stagger with the shock, though he uttered no cry ; I tried to check my speed, but the sword dropped from his right hand, the rein fell loose from the left, and sinking back­ward from the saddle, he fell to the earth; the other riders swept past us, and by the force of their charge I was driven from the spot where he fell.
" I wanted to keep my place by his side and not leave him under that rush of horses' feet, but it was in vain;
Previous Contents Next