hands the meekest and most tractable of animals. It is true that in exact proportion as he became manageable by Kit he became utterly ungovernable by anybody else (as if he had determined to keep him in the family at all risks and hazards), and that, even under the guidance of his favourite, he would sometimes perform a great variety of strange freaks and capers, to the extreme discomposure of the old ladys nerves; but as Kit always represented that this was only his fun, or a way he had of showing his attachment to his employers, Mrs Garland gradually suffered herself to be persuaded into the belief, in which she at last became so strongly confirmed, that if in one of these ebullitions he had overturned the chaise, she would have been quite satisfied that he did it with the very best intentions.
Besides becoming in a short time a perfect marvel in all stable matters, Kit soon made himself a very tolerable gardener, a handy fellow within doors, and an indispensable attendant on Mr Abel, who every day gave him some new proof of his confidence and approbation. Mr Witherden, the Notary, too, regarded him with a friendly eye; and even Mr Chuckster would sometimes condescend to give him a slight nod, or to honour him with that peculiar form of recognition which is called taking a sight, or to favour him with some other salute combining pleasantry with patronage.
One morning Kit drove Mr Abel to the Notarys office, as he sometimes did, and having set him down at the house, was about to drive off to a livery stable hard by, when this same Mr Chuckster emerged from the office-door, and cried Woa-a-a-a-a-a! dwelling upon the note a long time, for the purpose of striking terror into the ponys heart, and asserting the supremacy of man over the inferior animals.
Pull up, Snobby, cried Mr Chuckster, addressing himself to Kit. Youre wanted inside here.
Has Mr Abel forgotten anything, I wonder? said Kit as he dismounted.
Ask no questions, Snobby, returned Mr Chuckster, but go and see. Woa-a-a then, will you? If that pony was mine, Id break him.
You must be very gentle with him, if you please, said Kit, or youll find him troublesome. Youd better not keep on pulling his ears, please. I know he wont like it.
To this remonstrance Mr Chuckster deigned no other answer, than addressing Kit with a lofty and distant air as young feller, and requesting him to cut and come again with all speed. The young feller complying, Mr Chuckster put his hands in his pockets, and tried to look as if he were not minding the pony, but happened to be lounging there by accident.
Kit scraped his shoes very carefully (for he had not yet lost his reverence for the bundles of papers and the tin boxes,) and tapped at the office-door, which was quickly opened by the Notary himself.
Oh! come in, Christopher, said Mr Witherden.
Is that the lad? asked an elderly gentleman, but of a stout, bluff figure who was in the room.
Thats the lad, said Mr Witherden. He fell in with my client, Mr Garland, Sir, at this very door. I have reason to think he is a good lad, Sir, and that you may believe what he says. Let me introduce Mr Abel Garland, Sir his young master; my articled pupil, Sir, and most particular friend. My most particular friend, Sir, repeated the Notary, drawing out his silk handkerchief and flourishing it about his face.
Your servant, Sir, said the stranger gentleman.
Yours, Sir, Im sure, replied Mr Abel mildly. You were wishing to speak to Christopher, Sir?
Yes, I was. Have I your permission?
By all means.
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