BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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144                                 BLA CK BE A UTY.
to take up a passenger, obliging the horse that is coming to pull up too, or to pass, and get before them ; per­haps you try to pass, but just then something else comes dashing in through the narrow opening, and you have to keep in behind the omnibus again; presently you think you see a chance and manage to get to the front, getting so near the wheels on each side that half an inch nearer and they would scrape. Well—you get along for a bit, but soon find yourself in a long train of carts and car­riages all obliged to go at a walk; perhaps you come to a regular block-up, and have to stand still for minutes to­gether, till something clears out into a side street or the policeman interferes; you have to be ready for any chance —to dash forward if there be an opening, and be quick as a rat dog to see if there be room and if there be time, lest you get your own wheels locked or smashed, or the shaft of some other vehicle run into your chest or shoulder. All this is what you have to be ready for. If you want to get through London fast in the middle of the day, it wants a deal of practice.
Jerry and I were used to it, and no one could beat us at getting through when we were set upon it. I was quick and bold and could always trust my driver; Jerry was quick and patient at the same time, and could trust his horse, which was a great thing, too. He very seldom used the whip; I knew by his voice, and his click, click, when he wanted to get on fast, and by the rein where I was to go; so there was no need for whipping. But I must go back to my story.
The streets were very full that day, but wre got on pretty well as far as the bottom of Cheapside, where there was a block for three or four minutes. The young man put his head out and said, anxiously, " I think I had better get out and walk; I shall never get there if this goes on."
" I'll do all that can be done, sir,'' said Jerry; " I think we shall be in time; this block-up cannot last much
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