At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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Diamond Makes a Beginning 167
time however—the other cheek was so far off on the other side of his big" head.
His father mounted the box with just the same air, as Diamond thought, with which he had used to get upon the coach-box, and Diamond said to himself, " Father's as grand as ever anyhow." He had kept his brown livery-coat, only his wife had taken the silver buttons off and put brass ones instead, because they did not think it polite to Mr. Coleman in his fallen fortunes to let his crest be seen upon the box of a cab. Old Diamond had kept just his collar; and that had the silver crest upon it still, for his master thought nobody would notice that, and so let it remain for a memorial of the better days of which it reminded him—not un­pleasantly, seeing it had been by no fault either of his or of the old horse's that they had come down in the world together.
"Oh, father, do let me drive a bit," said Diamond, jumping up on the box beside him.
His father changed places with him at once, putting the reins into his hands. Diamond gathered them up eagerly.
" Don't pull at his mouth," said his father; " just feel at it gently to let him know you're there and attend­ing to him. That's what I call talking to him through the reins."
"Yes, father, I understand," said Diamond. Then to the horse he said, "Go on, Diamond." And old Diamond's ponderous bulk began at once to move to the voice of the little boy.
But before they had reached the entrance of the mews,
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