Diamond Goes On 177
By this time all the men in the stable were gathered about the two Diamonds, and all much amused. One of them lifted him down, and from that time he was a greater favourite than before. And if ever there was a boy who had a chance of being a prodigy at cab-driving, Diamond was that boy, for the strife came to be who should have him out with him on the box.
His mother, however, was a little shy of the company for him, and besides she could not always spare him. Also his father liked to have him himself when he could; so that he was more desired than enjoyed among the cabmen.
But one way and another he did learn to drive all sorts of horses, and to drive them well, and that through the most crowded streets in London city. Of course there was the man always on the box-seat beside him, but before long there was seldom the least occasion to take the reins out of his hands. For one thing he never got frightened, and consequently was never in too great a hurry. Yet when the moment came for doing something sharp, he was always ready for it. I must once more remind my readers that he had been to the back of the north wind.
One day, which was neither washing-day nor cleaning-day, nor marketing-day, nor Saturday, nor Monday —upon which consequently Diamond could be spared from the baby—his father took him on his own cab. After a stray job or two by the way, they drew up in the row upon the stand between Cockspur Street and Pall Mall. They waited a long time, but nobody seemed to want to be carried anywhere. By and