Chapter 32: A Horse Fair
There was one man, I thought, if he would buy me, I should be happy.
He was not a gentleman, nor yet one of the loud, flashy sort
that call themselves so. He was rather a small man, but well made,
and quick in all his motions. I knew in a moment by the way he handled me,
that he was used to horses; he spoke gently, and his gray eye had a kindly,
cheery look in it. It may seem strange to say -- but it is true
all the same -- that the clean, fresh smell there was about him
made me take to him; no smell of old beer and tobacco, which I hated,
but a fresh smell as if he had come out of a hayloft.
He offered twenty-three pounds for me, but that was refused,
and he walked away. I looked after him, but he was gone,
and a very hard-looking, loud-voiced man came. I was dreadfully afraid
he would have me; but he walked off. One or two more came
who did not mean business. Then the hard-faced man came back again
and offered twenty-three pounds. A very close bargain was being driven,
for my salesman began to think he should not get all he asked,
and must come down; but just then the gray-eyed man came back again.
I could not help reaching out my head toward him. He stroked my face kindly.
"Well, old chap," he said, "I think we should suit each other.
I'll give twenty-four for him."
"Say twenty-five and you shall have him."
"Twenty-four ten," said my friend, in a very decided tone,
"and not another sixpence -- yes or no?"
"Done," said the salesman; "and you may depend upon it
there's a monstrous deal of quality in that horse, and if you want him
for cab work he's a bargain."