Another Early Bird 235
Diamond got out the nose-bag again. Old Diamond should have his feed out now.
" Yes, he is a friend o' mine. One o' the best I ever had. It's a pity he ain't a friend o' yourn. You'd be the better for it, but it ain't no fault of hisn."
When Diamond went home at night, he carried with him one pound one shilling and sixpence, besides a few coppers extra, which had followed some of the fares.
His mother had got very anxious indeed—so much so that she was almost afraid, when she did hear the sound of his cab, to go and look, lest she should be yet again disappointed, and should break down before her husband. But there was the old horse, and there was the cab all right, and there wras Diamond on the box, his pale face looking triumphant as a full moon in the twilight.
When he drew up at the stable-door, Jack came out, and after a good many friendly questions and congratulations, said:
"You go in to your mother, Diamond. I'll put up the old 'oss. I'll take care on him. He do deserve some small attention, he do."
"Thank you, Jack," said Diamond, and bounded into the house, and into the arms of his mother, who was waiting him at the top of the stair.
The poor, anxious woman led him into his own room, sat down on his bed, took him on her lap as if he had been a baby, and cried.
"How's father?" asked Diamond, almost afraid to ask.