340 At the Back of the North Wind
all, and he did nothing but eat his head off. He's an awtul eater. I've taken the best part of six hours a day out of him since, but I'm always afraid of his coming to grief again, and so I couldn't make the most even of that. I declare to you, sir, when he's between the shafts, I sit on the box as miserable as if I'd stolen him. He looks all the time as if he was a-bottling up of complaints to make of me the minute he sets eyes on you again. There! look at him now, squinting round at me with one eye! I declare to you, on my word, I haven't laid the whip on him more than three times."
" I'm glad to hear it. He never did want the whip."
"I didn't say that, sir. If ever a horse wanted the whip, he do. He's brought me to beggary almost with his snail's pace. I'm very glad you've come to rid me of him."
" I don't know that," said Mr. Raymond. " Suppose I were to ask you to buy him of me—cheap."
" I wouldn't have him in a present, sir. I don't like him. And I wouldn't drive a horse that I didn't like— no, not for gold. It can't come to good where there's no love between 'em."
" Just bring out your own horse, and let me see what sort of a pair they'd make."
Joseph laughed rather bitterly as he went to fetch Diamond.
When the two were placed side by side, Mr. Raymond could hardly keep his countenance, but from a mingling of feelings. Beside the great red round barrel Ruby, all body and no legs, Diamond looked like a clothes-horse with a skin thrown over it. There was hardly a spot of