Chapter 44: Old Captain and His Successor
Captain and I were great friends. He was a noble old fellow,
and he was very good company. I never thought that he would have to
leave his home and go down the hill; but his turn came,
and this was how it happened. I was not there, but I heard all about it.
He and Jerry had taken a party to the great railway station
over London Bridge, and were coming back, somewhere between the bridge
and the monument, when Jerry saw a brewer's empty dray coming along,
drawn by two powerful horses. The drayman was lashing his horses with
his heavy whip; the dray was light, and they started off at a furious rate;
the man had no control over them, and the street was full of traffic.
One young girl was knocked down and run over, and the next moment they
dashed up against our cab; both the wheels were torn off and the cab
was thrown over. Captain was dragged down, the shafts splintered,
and one of them ran into his side. Jerry, too, was thrown,
but was only bruised; nobody could tell how he escaped;
he always said 'twas a miracle. When poor Captain was got up he was found
to be very much cut and knocked about. Jerry led him home gently,
and a sad sight it was to see the blood soaking into his white coat
and dropping from his side and shoulder. The drayman was proved to be
very drunk, and was fined, and the brewer had to pay damages to our master;
but there was no one to pay damages to poor Captain.
The farrier and Jerry did the best they could to ease his pain
and make him comfortable. The fly had to be mended, and for several days
I did not go out, and Jerry earned nothing. The first time we went to
the stand after the accident the governor came up to hear how Captain was.