Beautiful Joe
Chapter 27, Page 2


Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


Fleetfoot stared at the miserable-looking creature as if he did not know what it was. The horse had no sores on his body, as the cow had, nor was he quite so lean; but he was the weakest, most distressed-looking animal that I ever saw. The flies settled on him, and Miss Laura had to keep driving them away. He was a white horse, with some kind of pale-colored eyes, and whenever he turned them on Miss Laura, she would look away. She did not cry, as she often did over the sick and suffering animals. This seemed too bad for tears. She just hovered over that poor horse with her face as white as her dress, and an expression of fright in her eyes. Oh, how dirty he was! I would never have imagined that a horse could get in such a condition.

All this had only taken a few minutes, and just after she got the horse out, Mr. Harry appeared. He came out of the house with a slow step, that quickened to a run when he saw Miss Laura. "Laura!" he exclaimed, "what are you doing?" Then he stopped and looked at the horse, not in amazement, but very sorrowfully. "Barron is gone," he said, and crumpling up a piece of paper, he put it in his pocket "What is to be done for these animals? There is a cow, isn't there?"

He stepped to the door of the log hut, glanced in, and said, quickly: "Do you feel able to drive home?"

"Yes," said Miss Laura.

"Sure?" and he eyed her anxiously.

"Yes, yes," she returned; "what shall I get?"

"Just tell father that Barron has run away and left a starving pig, cow, and horse. There's not a thing to eat here. He'll know what to do. I'll drive you to the road."

Miss Laura got into the buggy and Mr. Harry jumped in after her. He drove her to the road and put down the bars; then he said: "Go straight on. You'll soon be on the open road, and there's nothing to harm you. Joe will look after you. Meanwhile I'll go back to the house and heat some water."

Miss Laura let Fleetfoot go as fast as he liked on the way home, and it only seemed a few minutes before we drove into the yard. Adele came out to meet us. "Where's uncle?" asked Miss Laura.

"Gone to de big meadow," said Adele.

"And auntie?"

"She had de colds and chills, and entered into de bed to keep warm. She lose herself in sleep now. You not go near her."

"Are there none of the men about?" asked Miss Laura.

"No, mademoiselle. Dey all occupied way off."

"Then you help me, Adele, like a good girl," said Miss Laura, hurrying into the house. "We've found a sick horse and cow. What shall I take them?"

"Nearly all animals like de bran mash," said Adele.

"Good!" cried Miss Laura. "That is the very thing. Put in the things to make it, will you please, and I would like some vegetables for the cow. Carrots, turnips, anything you have; take some of those you have prepared for dinner tomorrow, and please run up to the barn, Adele, and get some hay, and corn, and oats, not much, for we'll be going back again; but hurry, for the poor things are starving, and have you any milk for the pig? Put it in one of those tin kettles with covers."