Chapter 44: Old Captain and His Successor
"I've a great mind to try at it," said Grant, "for 'tis a poor thing
not to be one's own master."
"Do, governor, do, you'll never repent it, and what a help it would be
to some of the poor fellows in our rank if they saw you do without it.
I know there's two or three would like to keep out of that tavern
if they could."
At first Captain seemed to do well, but he was a very old horse,
and it was only his wonderful constitution, and Jerry's care,
that had kept him up at the cab work so long; now he broke down very much.
The farrier said he might mend up enough to sell for a few pounds,
but Jerry said, no! a few pounds got by selling a good old servant
into hard work and misery would canker all the rest of his money,
and he thought the kindest thing he could do for the fine old fellow
would be to put a sure bullet through his head, and then he would
never suffer more; for he did not know where to find a kind master
for the rest of his days.
The day after this was decided Harry took me to the forge for some new shoes;
when I returned Captain was gone. I and the family all felt it very much.
Jerry had now to look out for another horse, and he soon heard of one
through an acquaintance who was under-groom in a nobleman's stables.
He was a valuable young horse, but he had run away, smashed into
another carriage, flung his lordship out, and so cut and blemished himself
that he was no longer fit for a gentleman's stables, and the coachman
had orders to look round, and sell him as well as he could.
"I can do with high spirits," said Jerry, "if a horse is not vicious