The Prospect Brightens 341
him where you could not descry some sign of a bone underneath. Gaunt and grim and weary he stood, kissing his master, and heeding no one else.
"You haven't been using him well," said Mr. Raymond.
" I must say," returned Joseph, throwing an arm round his horse's neck, "that the remark had better have been spared, sir. The horse is worth three of the other now."
" I don't think so. I think they make a very nice pair. If the one's too fat, the other's too lean—so that's all right. And if you won't buy my Ruby, I must buy your Diamond."
"Thank you, sir," said Joseph, in a tone implying anything but thanks.
"You don't seem to like the proposal," said Mr. Raymond.
"I don't," returned Joseph. "I wouldn't part with my old Diamond for his skin as full of nuggets as it is of bones."
" Who said anything about parting with him?"
"You did now, sir."
" No; I didn't. I only spoke of buying him to make a pair with Ruby. We could pare Ruby and patch Diamond a bit. And for height, they are as near a match as I care about. Of course you would be the coachman—if only you would consent to be reconciled to Ruby."
Joseph stood bewildered, unable to answer.
" I've bought a small place in Kent," continued Mr. Raymond, "and I must have a pair to my carriage,