Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/127

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CHAPTER XXVI.

How it ended.

It must have been nearly midnight, when I heard at a great distance the sound of a horse's feet. Sometimes the sound died away, then it grew clearer again and nearer. The road to Earlshall led through plantations that belonged to the Earl: the sound came in that direction, and I hoped it might be some one coming in search of us. As the sound came nearer and nearer, I was almost sure I could distinguish Ginger's step; a little nearer still, and I could tell she was in the dog-cart. I neighed loudly, and was overjoyed to hear an answering neigh from Ginger, and men's voices. They came slowly over the stones, and stopped at the dark figure that lay upon the ground.

One of the men jumped out, and stooped down over it. "It is Reuben!" he said, "and he does not stir."

The other man followed and bent over him, "He's dead," he said; "feel how cold his hands are." They raised him up, but there was no life, and his hair was soaked with blood. They laid him down again and came and looked at me. They soon saw my cut knees.