“You never do,” replied Miss Laura. “I love to talk about animals. I think the best story about Cleve and Pacer is the one that uncle told me last evening. I don’t think you were there. It was about stealing the oats.”
“Cleve and Pacer never steal,” said Mr. Harry. “Don’t you mean Scamp? She’s the thief.”
“No, it was Pacer that stole. He got out of his box, uncle says, and found two bags of oats, and he took one in his teeth and dropped it before Cleve, and ate the other himself, and uncle was so amused that he let them eat a long time, and stood and watched them.”
“That was a clever trick,” said Mr. Harry. “Father must have forgotten to tell me. Those two horses have been mates ever since I can remember, and I believe if they were separated, they’d pine away and die. You have noticed how low the partitions are between the boxes in the horse stable. Father says you wouldn’t put a lot of people in separate boxes in a room, where they couldn’t see each other, and horses are just as fond of company as we are. Cleve and Pacer are always nosing each other. A horse has a long memory. Father has had horses recognize him, that he has been parted from for twenty years. Speaking of their memories reminds me of another good story about Pacer that I never heard till yesterday, and that I would not talk about to any one but you and mother. Father wouldn’t write me about it, for he never will put a line on paper where any one’s reputation is concerned.”
* * * * *
THE BOX OF MONEY
“This story,” said Mr. Harry, “is about one of the hired men we had last winter, whose name was Jacobs. He was a cunning fellow, with a hangdog look, and a great cleverness at stealing farm produce from father on the sly, and selling it. Father knew perfectly well what he was doing, and was wondering what would be the best way to deal with him, when one day something happened that brought matters to a climax.
“Father had to go to Sudbury for farming tools, and took Pacer and the cutter. There are two ways of going there—one the Sudbury Road, and the other the old Post Road, which is longer and seldom used. On this occasion father took the Post Road. The snow wasn’t deep, and he wanted to inquire after an old man who had been robbed and half frightened to death, a few days before. He was a miserable old creature, known as Miser Jerrold, and he lived alone with his daughter. He had saved a little money that he kept in a box under his bed. When father got near the place, he was astonished to see by Pacer’s actions that he had been on this road before, and recently, too. Father is so sharp about horses, that they never do a thing that he doesn’t attach a meaning to. So he let the reins hang a little loose, and kept his eye on Pacer. The horse went along the road, and seeing father didn’t direct him, turned into the lane leading to the house. There was an old red gate at the end of it, and he stopped in front of it, and waited for father to get out. Then he passed through, and instead of going up to the house, turned around, and stood with his head toward the road.