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When the twelfth day after the accident came, I was taken to the sale, a few miles out of London.

I felt that any change from my present place must be an improvement, so I held up my head, and hoped for the best.


48 Farmer Thoroughgood and His Grandson Willie

At this sale, of course I found myself in company with the old broken-down horses - some lame, some broken-winded, some old, and some that I am sure it would have been merciful to shoot.

The buyers and sellers, too, many of them, looked not much better off than the poor beasts they were bargaining about.

There were poor old men, trying to get a horse or a pony for a few pounds, that might drag about some little wood or coal cart. There were poor men trying to sell a worn-out beast for two or three pounds, rather than have the greater loss of killing him.

Some of them looked as if poverty and hard times had hardened them all over; but there were others that I would have willingly used the last of my strength in serving; poor and shabby, but kind and human, with voices that I could trust.

There was one tottering old man who took a great fancy to me, and I to him, but I was not strong enough - it was an anxious time!

Coming from the better part of the fair, I noticed a man who looked like a gentleman farmer, with a young boy by his side; he had a broad back and round shoulders, a kind, ruddy face, and he wore a broad-brimmed hat.

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