"No, lad, no!" said John, "and if ever I can do you a good turn I hope you won't forget me."
The next day Joe came to the stables to learn all he could before James left. He learned to sweep the stable, to bring in the straw and hay; he began to clean the harness, and helped to wash the carriage. As he was quite too short to do anything in the way of grooming
Ginger and me, James taught him upon Merrylegs, for he was to have full charge of him, under John. He was a nice little bright fellow,
and always came whistling to his work.
Merrylegs was a good deal put out at being "mauled about," as he said, "by a boy who knew nothing;" but toward the end of the second week
he told me confidentially that he thought the boy would turn out well.
At last the day came when James had to leave us; cheerful as he always was, he looked quite down-hearted that morning.
"You see," he said to John, "I am leaving a great deal behind; my mother and Betsy, and you, and a good master and mistress, and then the horses, and my old Merrylegs. At the new place there will not be a soul that I shall know. If it were not that I shall get a higher place, and be able to help my mother better, I don't think I should have made up my mind to it; it is a real pinch, John."
"Ay, James, lad, so it is; but I should not think much of you if you could leave your home for the first time and not feel it. Cheer up,
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