Chapter 20: Joe Green
"Halloo, young man! You seem in a hurry; any orders from the squire
"No, Mr. Clay, but there's a fellow in your brick-yard
flogging two horses to death. I told him to stop, and he wouldn't;
I said I'd help him to lighten the cart, and he wouldn't; so I have come
to tell you. Pray, sir, go." Joe's voice shook with excitement.
"Thank ye, my lad," said the man, running in for his hat;
then pausing for a moment, "Will you give evidence of what you saw
if I should bring the fellow up before a magistrate?"
"That I will," said Joe, "and glad too." The man was gone,
and we were on our way home at a smart trot.
"Why, what's the matter with you, Joe? You look angry all over," said John,
as the boy flung himself from the saddle.
"I am angry all over, I can tell you," said the boy, and then in hurried,
excited words he told all that had happened. Joe was usually such a quiet,
gentle little fellow that it was wonderful to see him so roused.
"Right, Joe! you did right, my boy, whether the fellow gets a summons or not.
Many folks would have ridden by and said it was not their business
to interfere. Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is
everybody's business to interfere when they see it; you did right, my boy."
Joe was quite calm by this time, and proud that John approved of him,
and cleaned out my feet and rubbed me down with a firmer hand than usual.
They were just going home to dinner when the footman came down to the stable
to say that Joe was wanted directly in master's private room;
there was a man brought up for ill-using horses, and Joe's evidence
was wanted. The boy flushed up to his forehead, and his eyes sparkled.
"They shall have it," said he.