Chapter 47: Hard Times
I went on the stand at eight in the morning, and had done
a good share of work, when we had to take a fare to the railway.
A long train was just expected in, so my driver pulled up at the back
of some of the outside cabs to take the chance of a return fare.
It was a very heavy train, and as all the cabs were soon engaged
ours was called for. There was a party of four; a noisy,
blustering man with a lady, a little boy and a young girl,
and a great deal of luggage. The lady and the boy got into the cab,
and while the man ordered about the luggage the young girl came
and looked at me.
"Papa," she said, "I am sure this poor horse cannot take us
and all our luggage so far, he is so very weak and worn up.
Do look at him."
"Oh! he's all right, miss," said my driver, "he's strong enough."
The porter, who was pulling about some heavy boxes,
suggested to the gentleman, as there was so much luggage,
whether he would not take a second cab.
"Can your horse do it, or can't he?" said the blustering man.
"Oh! he can do it all right, sir; send up the boxes, porter;
he could take more than that;" and he helped to haul up a box so heavy
that I could feel the springs go down.
"Papa, papa, do take a second cab," said the young girl in a beseeching tone.
"I am sure we are wrong, I am sure it is very cruel."
"Nonsense, Grace, get in at once, and don't make all this fuss;
a pretty thing it would be if a man of business had to examine
every cab-horse before he hired it -- the man knows his own business
of course; there, get in and hold your tongue!"
My gentle friend had to obey, and box after box was dragged up
and lodged on the top of the cab or settled by the side of the driver.
At last all was ready, and with his usual jerk at the rein
and slash of the whip he drove out of the station.