I never knew a better man than my new master. He was kind and good, and as strong for the right as John Manly; and so good-tempered and merry that very few people could pick a quarrel with him. He was very fond of making little songs, and singing them to himself. One he was very fond of was this:
And sister and brother,
Come, all of you, turn to
And help one another.
And so they did; Harry was as clever at stable-work as a much older boy, and always wanted to do what he could. Then Polly and Dolly used to come in the morning to help with the cabto brush and beat the cushions, and rub the glass, while Jerry was giving us a cleaning in the yard, and Harry was rubbing the harness. There used to be a great deal of laughing and fun between them, and it put Captain and me in much better spirits than if we had heard scolding and hard words. They were always early in the morning, for Jerry would say:
Throw minutes away,
You cant pick them up
In the course of a day.
And flurry and worry,
Youve lost them forever,
Forever and aye.
He could not bear any careless loitering and waste of time; and nothing was so near making him angry as to find people, who were always late, wanting a cab horse to be driven hard, to make up for their idleness.
One day two wild-looking young men came out of a tavern close by the stand, and called Jerry.
Here, cabby! look sharp, we are rather late; put on the steam, will you, and take us to the Victoria in time for the one oclock train? You shall have a shilling extra.
I will take you at the regular pace, gentlemen; shillings dont pay for putting on the steam like that.
Larrys cab was standing next to ours; he flung open the door, and said, Im your man, gentlemen! take my cab, my horse will get you there all right; and as he shut them in, with a wink toward Jerry, said, Its against his conscience to go beyond a jog-trot. Then slashing his jaded horse, he set off as hard as he could. Jerry patted me on the neck: No, Jack, a shilling would not pay for that sort of thing, would it, old boy?
Although Jerry was determinedly set against hard driving, to please careless people, he always went a good fair pace, and was not against putting on the steam, as he said, if only he knew why.
I well remember one morning, as we were on the stand waiting for a fare, that a young man, carrying a heavy portmanteau, trod on a piece of orange peel which lay on the pavement, and fell down with great force.
Jerry was the first to run and lift him up. He seemed much stunned, and as they led him into a shop he walked as if he were in great pain. Jerry of course came back to the stand, but in about ten minutes one of the shopmen called him, so we drew up to the pavement.
Can you take me to the South-Eastern Railway? said the young man; this unlucky fall has made me late, I fear; but it is of great importance that I should not lose the twelve oclock train. I should be most thankful if you could get me there in time, and will gladly pay you an extra fare.
Ill do my very best, said Jerry heartily, if you think you are well enough, sir, for he looked dreadfully white and ill.
I must go, he said earnestly, please to open the door, and let us lose no time.
The next minute Jerry was on the box; with a cheery chirrup to me, and a twitch of the rein that I well understood.
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