Chapter 41: The Butcher
During this speech the boy had stood by, sullen and dogged,
but when his father ceased he broke out angrily. It wasn't his fault,
and he wouldn't take the blame; he was only going by orders all the time.
"You always say, `Now be quick; now look sharp!' and when I go to the houses
one wants a leg of mutton for an early dinner and I must be back with it
in a quarter of an hour; another cook has forgotten to order the beef;
I must go and fetch it and be back in no time, or the mistress will scold;
and the housekeeper says they have company coming unexpectedly
and must have some chops sent up directly; and the lady at No. 4,
in the Crescent, never orders her dinner till the meat comes in for lunch,
and it's nothing but hurry, hurry, all the time. If the gentry would think
of what they want, and order their meat the day before,
there need not be this blow up!"
"I wish to goodness they would," said the butcher; "'twould save me
a wonderful deal of harass, and I could suit my customers much better
if I knew beforehand -- But there! what's the use of talking --
who ever thinks of a butcher's convenience or a butcher's horse! Now, then,
take him in and look to him well; mind, he does not go out again to-day,
and if anything else is wanted you must carry it yourself in the basket."
With that he went in, and the horse was led away.
But all boys are not cruel. I have seen some as fond of their pony or donkey
as if it had been a favorite dog, and the little creatures have worked away
as cheerfully and willingly for their young drivers as I work for Jerry.
It may be hard work sometimes, but a friend's hand and voice make it easy.
There was a young coster-boy who came up our street with greens and potatoes;
he had an old pony, not very handsome, but the cheerfullest
and pluckiest little thing I ever saw, and to see how fond those two were
of each other was a treat. The pony followed his master like a dog,
and when he got into his cart would trot off without a whip or a word,
and rattle down the street as merrily as if he had come out of
the queen's stables. Jerry liked the boy, and called him "Prince Charlie",
for he said he would make a king of drivers some day.