Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/241

This page has been validated.
237
HARD TIMES.

In the evening I was sufficiently recovered to be led back to Skinner's stables, where, I think they did the best for me that they could. In the morning Skinner came with a farrier to look at me. He examined me very closely, and said, "This is a case of overwork more than disease, and if you could give him a run off for six months, he would be able to work again; but now there is not an ounce of strength in him."

"Then he must just go to the dogs," said Skinner, "I have no meadows to nurse sick horses in—he might get well or he might not; that sort of thing don't suit my business, my plan is to work 'em as long as they'll go, and then sell 'em for what they'll fetch, at the knacker's or elsewhere."

"If he was broken-winded," said the farrier, "you had better have him killed out of hand, but he is not; there is a sale of horses coming off in about ten days; if you rest him and feed him up, he may pick up, and you may get more than his skin is worth at any rate." Upon this advice, Skinner rather unwillingly, I think, gave orders that I should be well fed and cared for, and the stable man, happily for me, carried out the orders with a much better will than his master had in giving them. Ten days of perfect rest, plenty of good oats, hay, bran mashes, with boiled linseed mixed in them, did more to get up my condition than any thing else could have done; those linseed mashes were delicious, and I began to think after all, it might be better to live than go to the dogs. When the twelfth day after the accident