The Golden Rule
Two or three weeks after this, as we came into the yard rather late in the evening, Polly came running across the road with the lantern (she always brought it to him if it was not very wet).
It has all come right, Jerry; Mrs. Briggs sent her servant this afternoon to ask you to take her out to- morrow at eleven oclock. I said, Yes, I thought so, but we supposed she employed some one else now.
Well, said he, the real fact is, master was put out because Mr. Barker refused to come on Sundays, and he has been trying other cabs, but theres something wrong with them all; some drive too fast, and some too slow, and the mistress says there is not one of them so nice and clean as yours, and nothing will suit her but Mr. Barkers cab again.
Polly was almost out of breath, and Jerry broke out into a merry laugh.
Twill all come right some day or night: you were right, my dear; you generally are. Run in and get the supper, and Ill have Jacks harness off and make him snug and happy in no time. After this Mrs. Briggs wanted Jerrys cab quite as often as before, never, however, on a Sunday; but there came a day when we had Sunday work, and this was how it happened. We had all come home on the Saturday night very tired, and very glad to think that the next day would be all rest, but so it was not to be.
On Sunday morning Jerry was cleaning me in the yard, when Polly stepped up to him, looking very full of something.
What is it? said Jerry.
Well, my dear, she said, poor Dinah Brown has just had a letter brought to say that her mother is dangerously ill, and that she must go directly if she wishes to see her alive. The place is more than ten miles away from here, out in the country, and she says if she takes the train she should still have four miles to walk; and so weak as she is, and the baby only four weeks old, of course that would be impossible; and she wants to know if you would take her in your cab, and she promises to pay you faithfully, as she can get the money.
Tut, tut! well see about that. It was not the money I was thinking about, but of losing our Sunday; the horses are tired, and I am tired, toothats where it pinches.
It pinches all round, for that matter, said Polly, for its only half Sunday without you, but you know we should do to other people as we should like they should do to us; and I know very well what I should like if my mother was dying; and Jerry, dear, I am sure it wont break the Sabbath; for if pulling a poor beast or donkey out of a pit would not spoil it, I am quite sure taking poor Dinah would not do it.
Why, Polly, you are as good as the minister, and so, as Ive had my Sunday-morning sermon early to- day, you may go and tell Dinah that Ill be ready for her as the clock strikes ten; but stopjust step round to butcher Braydons with my compliments, and ask him if he would lend me his light trap; I know he never uses it on the Sunday, and it would make a wonderful difference to the horse.
Away she went, and soon returned, saying that he could have the trap and welcome.
All right, said he; now put me up a bit of bread and cheese, and Ill be back in the afternoon as soon as I can.
And Ill have the meat pie ready for an early tea instead of for dinner, said Polly; and away she went, while he made his preparations to the tune of Pollys the woman and no mistake, of which tune he was very fond.
I was selected for the journey, and at ten oclock we started, in a light, high-wheeled gig, which ran so easily that after the four-wheeled cab it seemed like nothing.
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