Chapter 49: My Last Home
"Give you a fair trial! I should think so indeed! I wonder who
the rascal was that broke your knees, my old Beauty! you must have been
badly served out somewhere; well, well, it won't be my fault
if you haven't good times of it now. I wish John Manly was here to see you."
In the afternoon I was put into a low park chair and brought to the door.
Miss Ellen was going to try me, and Green went with her. I soon found
that she was a good driver, and she seemed pleased with my paces.
I heard Joe telling her about me, and that he was sure I was Squire Gordon's
old "Black Beauty".
When we returned the other sisters came out to hear how I had behaved myself.
She told them what she had just heard, and said:
"I shall certainly write to Mrs. Gordon, and tell her that her favorite horse
has come to us. How pleased she will be!"
After this I was driven every day for a week or so, and as I appeared to be
quite safe, Miss Lavinia at last ventured out in the small close carriage.
After this it was quite decided to keep me and call me by my old name
of "Black Beauty".
I have now lived in this happy place a whole year. Joe is the best
and kindest of grooms. My work is easy and pleasant, and I feel
my strength and spirits all coming back again. Mr. Thoroughgood said to Joe
the other day:
"In your place he will last till he is twenty years old -- perhaps more."
Willie always speaks to me when he can, and treats me as his special friend.
My ladies have promised that I shall never be sold, and so I have
nothing to fear; and here my story ends. My troubles are all over,
and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake,
I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my old friends
under the apple-trees.