Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/164

This page has been validated.

This man's name was Grant, but he was called "Grey Grant," or "Governor Grant;" he had been the longest on that stand of any of the men, and he took it upon himself to settle matters, and stop disputes. He was generally a good-humoured, sensible man; but if his temper was a little out, as it was sometimes, when he had drank too much, nobody liked to come too near his fist, for he could deal a very heavy blow.

The first week of my life as a cab horse was very trying; I had never been used to London, and the noise, the hurry, the crowds of horses, carts, and carriages, that I had to make my way through, made me feel anxious and harassed; but I soon found that I could perfectly trust my driver, and then I made myself easy, and got used to it.

Jerry was as good a driver as I had ever known; and what was better, he took as much thought for his horses, as he did for himself. He soon found out that I was willing to work, and do my best; and he never laid the whip on me, unless it was gently drawing the end of it over my back, when I was to go on; but generally I knew this quite well by the way in which he took up the reins; and I believe his whip was more frequently stuck up by his side, than in his hand.

In a short time I and my master understood each other, as well as horse and man can do. In the stable too, he did all that he could for our comfort. The stalls were the old-fashioned style, too much on the slope; but he had two moveable bars fixed across