Chapter 23: A Strike for Liberty
"Confound these check-reins!" he said to himself; "I thought we should have
some mischief soon. Master will be sorely vexed. But there,
if a woman's husband can't rule her of course a servant can't;
so I wash my hands of it, and if she can't get to the duchess' garden party
I can't help it."
York did not say this before the men; he always spoke respectfully
when they were by. Now he felt me all over, and soon found the place
above my hock where I had been kicked. It was swelled and painful;
he ordered it to be sponged with hot water, and then some lotion was put on.
Lord W---- was much put out when he learned what had happened;
he blamed York for giving way to his mistress, to which he replied
that in future he would much prefer to receive his orders only from
his lordship; but I think nothing came of it, for things went on
the same as before. I thought York might have stood up better
for his horses, but perhaps I am no judge.
Ginger was never put into the carriage again, but when she was
well of her bruises one of the Lord W----'s younger sons
said he should like to have her; he was sure she would make a good hunter.
As for me, I was obliged still to go in the carriage, and had a fresh partner
called Max; he had always been used to the tight rein.
I asked him how it was he bore it.
"Well," he said, "I bear it because I must; but it is shortening my life,
and it will shorten yours too if you have to stick to it."
"Do you think," I said, "that our masters know how bad it is for us?"