Chapter 38: Dolly and a Real Gentleman
One cold windy day Dolly had brought Jerry a basin of something hot,
and was standing by him while he ate it. He had scarcely begun
when a gentleman, walking toward us very fast, held up his umbrella.
Jerry touched his hat in return, gave the basin to Dolly,
and was taking off my cloth, when the gentleman, hastening up, cried out,
"No, no, finish your soup, my friend; I have not much time to spare,
but I can wait till you have done, and set your little girl
safe on the pavement." So saying, he seated himself in the cab.
Jerry thanked him kindly, and came back to Dolly.
"There, Dolly, that's a gentleman; that's a real gentleman, Dolly;
he has got time and thought for the comfort of a poor cabman
and a little girl."
Jerry finished his soup, set the child across, and then took his orders
to drive to Clapham Rise. Several times after that the same gentleman
took our cab. I think he was very fond of dogs and horses,
for whenever we took him to his own door two or three dogs
would come bounding out to meet him. Sometimes he came round and patted me,
saying in his quiet, pleasant way, "This horse has got a good master,
and he deserves it." It was a very rare thing for any one to notice
the horse that had been working for him. I have known ladies to do it
now and then, and this gentleman, and one or two others have given me
a pat and a kind word; but ninety-nine persons out of a hundred
would as soon think of patting the steam engine that drew the train.
The gentleman was not young, and there was a forward stoop in his shoulders
as if he was always going at something. His lips were thin and close shut,
though they had a very pleasant smile; his eye was keen,
and there was something in his jaw and the motion of his head
that made one think he was very determined in anything he set about.
His voice was pleasant and kind; any horse would trust that voice,
though it was just as decided as everything else about him.