Chapter 46: Jakes and the Lady
I was sold to a corn dealer and baker, whom Jerry knew, and with him
he thought I should have good food and fair work. In the first
he was quite right, and if my master had always been on the premises
I do not think I should have been overloaded, but there was a foreman
who was always hurrying and driving every one, and frequently
when I had quite a full load he would order something else to be taken on.
My carter, whose name was Jakes, often said it was more than I ought to take,
but the other always overruled him. "'Twas no use going twice
when once would do, and he chose to get business forward."
Jakes, like the other carters, always had the check-rein up,
which prevented me from drawing easily, and by the time I had been there
three or four months I found the work telling very much on my strength.
One day I was loaded more than usual, and part of the road
was a steep uphill. I used all my strength, but I could not get on,
and was obliged continually to stop. This did not please my driver,
and he laid his whip on badly. "Get on, you lazy fellow," he said,
"or I'll make you."
Again I started the heavy load, and struggled on a few yards;
again the whip came down, and again I struggled forward.
The pain of that great cart whip was sharp, but my mind was hurt
quite as much as my poor sides. To be punished and abused
when I was doing my very best was so hard it took the heart out of me.
A third time he was flogging me cruelly, when a lady
stepped quickly up to him, and said in a sweet, earnest voice:
"Oh! pray do not whip your good horse any more; I am sure he is doing
all he can, and the road is very steep; I am sure he is doing his best."
"If doing his best won't get this load up he must do something
more than his best; that's all I know, ma'am," said Jakes.
"But is it not a heavy load?" she said.