Chapter 39: Seedy Sam
The men who stood round much approved this speech, and one of them said,
"It is desperate hard, and if a man sometimes does what is wrong
it is no wonder, and if he gets a dram too much who's to blow him up?"
Jerry had taken no part in this conversation, but I never saw his face
look so sad before. The governor had stood with both his hands
in his pockets; now he took his handkerchief out of his hat
and wiped his forehead.
"You've beaten me, Sam," he said, "for it's all true,
and I won't cast it up to you any more about the police;
it was the look in that horse's eye that came over me.
It is hard lines for man and it is hard lines for beast,
and who's to mend it I don't know: but anyway you might tell the poor beast
that you were sorry to take it out of him in that way.
Sometimes a kind word is all we can give 'em, poor brutes,
and 'tis wonderful what they do understand."
A few mornings after this talk a new man came on the stand with Sam's cab.
"Halloo!" said one, "what's up with Seedy Sam?"
"He's ill in bed," said the man; "he was taken last night in the yard,
and could scarcely crawl home. His wife sent a boy this morning
to say his father was in a high fever and could not get out,
so I'm here instead."
The next morning the same man came again.
"How is Sam?" inquired the governor.
"He's gone," said the man.
"What, gone? You don't mean to say he's dead?"
"Just snuffed out," said the other; "he died at four o'clock this morning;
all yesterday he was raving -- raving about Skinner, and having no Sundays.
`I never had a Sunday's rest,' these were his last words."