Chapter 22: Earlshall
"Of course," said York, "I quite understand; but you know it is not easy
in stables like these to have all the grooms just what they should be.
I do my best, and there I must leave it. I'll remember what you have said
about the mare."
They were going out of the stable, when John stopped and said,
"I had better mention that we have never used the check-rein
with either of them; the black horse never had one on,
and the dealer said it was the gag-bit that spoiled the other's temper."
"Well," said York, "if they come here they must wear the check-rein.
I prefer a loose rein myself, and his lordship is always very reasonable
about horses; but my lady -- that's another thing; she will have style,
and if her carriage horses are not reined up tight she wouldn't look at them.
I always stand out against the gag-bit, and shall do so,
but it must be tight up when my lady rides!"
"I am sorry for it, very sorry," said John; "but I must go now,
or I shall lose the train."
He came round to each of us to pat and speak to us for the last time;
his voice sounded very sad.
I held my face close to him; that was all I could do to say good-by;
and then he was gone, and I have never seen him since.
The next day Lord W---- came to look at us; he seemed pleased
with our appearance.
"I have great confidence in these horses," he said, "from the character
my friend Mr. Gordon has given me of them. Of course they are not
a match in color, but my idea is that they will do very well for the carriage
while we are in the country. Before we go to London I must try
to match Baron; the black horse, I believe, is perfect for riding."
York then told him what John had said about us.