230 At the Back of the North Wind
"A good deal better, thank you," she answered, closing the window in some fear lest her husband should have been made anxious by the news of Diamond's expedition. He knew pretty well, however, what his boy was capable of, and although not quite easy was less anxious than his mother. But as the evening drew, the anxiety of both of them increased, and every sound of wheels made his father raise himself in his bed, and his mother peep out of the window.
Diamond had resolved to go straight to the cabstand where he was best known, and never to crawl for fear of getting annoyed by idlers. Before he got across Oxford Street, however, he was hailed by a man who wanted to catch a train, and was in too great a hurry to think about the driver. Having carried him to King's Cross in good time, and got a good fare in return, he set off again in great spirits, and reached the stand in safety. He was the first there after all.
As the men arrived they all greeted him kindly, and inquired after his father.
" Ain't you afraid of the old 'oss running away with you?" asked one.
" No, he wouldn't run away with me," answered Diamond. " He knows I'm getting the shillings for father. Or if he did he would only run home."
" Well, you're a plucky one, for all your girl's looks!" said the man; " and I wish ye luck."
"Thank you, sir," said Diamond. " I'll do what I can. I came to the old place, you see, because I knew you would let me have my turn here."
In the course of the day one man did try to cut him