A third time he was flogging me cruelly, when a lady stepped quickly up to him, and said in a sweet, earnest voice:
"Oh! pray do not whip your good horse any more; I am sure he is doing all he can, and the road is very steep; I am sure he is doing his best."
"If doing his best won't get this load up he must do something more than his best; that's all I know, ma'am," said Jakes.
"But is it not a heavy load?" she said.
"Yes, yes, too heavy," he said; "but that's not my fault; the foreman came just as we were starting, and would have three hundredweight more put on to save him trouble, and I must get on with it as well as I can."
He was raising the whip again, when the lady said:
"Pray, stop; I think I can help you if you will let me."
The man laughed.
"You see," she said, "you do not give him a fair chance; he cannot use all his power with his head held back as it is with that check-rein; if you would take it off I am sure he would do better - do try it," she said persuasively, "I should be very glad if you would."
"Well, well," said Jakes, with a short laugh, "anything to please a lady, of course. How far would you wish it down, ma'am?"
"Quite down, give him his head altogether."
The rein was taken off, and in a moment I put my head down to my very knees. What a comfort it was! Then I tossed it up and down several times to get the aching stiffness out of my neck.
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