BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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156                              BLACK BEAUTY.
suffered very much that winter. When we horses had worked half the day we went to our dry stables and could rest; whilst they had to sit on their boxes, sometimes staying out as late as one or two o'clock in the morning, if they had a party to wait for.
When the streets were slippery with frost or snow, that was the worst of all for us horses; one mile of such trav­elling with a weight to draw, and no firm footing, would take more out of us than four on a good road ; every nerve and muscle of our bodies is on the strain to keep our bal­ance; and, added to this, the fear of falling is more ex-hausing than anything else. If the roads are very bad indeed, our shoes are roughed ; but that makes us feel ner­vous at first.
When the weather was very bad, many of the men would go and sit in the tavern close by and get some one to watch for them; but they often lost a fare in that way, and could not, as Jerry said, be there without spending money. He never went to the Rising Sun; there was a coffee-shop near, where he now and then went, or he bought of an old man, who came to our rank with tins of hot coffee and pies. It was his opinion that spirits and beer made a man colder afterwards, and that dry clothes, good food, cheerfulness, and a comfortable wife at home, were the best things to keep a cabman warm. Polly always supplied him with something to eat when he could notget home, and sometimes he would see little Dolly peeping from the corner of the street, to make sure if" father " was on the stand. If she saw him, she would run off at full speed and soon come back with something in a tin or basket, some hot soup or pudding that Polly had ready. It was wonderful how such a little thing could get safely across the street, often thronged with horses and car­riages ; but she was a brave little maid, and felt it quite an honor to bring " father's first course," as he used to call it. She was a general favorite on the stand, and there was not
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