• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Advertising
 Title Page
 The cock of the walk
 Old Betty's cow and calf
 Advertising
 Back Cover






Group Title: Bessie's country stories ;, 4
Title: The cock of the walk
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055066/00001
 Material Information
Title: The cock of the walk
Series Title: Bessie's country stories
Physical Description: 60, 4 p. : ill. ; 12 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Miller, Thomas, 1807-1874
Sheldon & Company (New York, N.Y.) ( Publisher )
Boston Stereotype Foundry ( Electrotyper )
Publisher: Sheldon & Company
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: Electrotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry
Publication Date: 1871, c1868
Copyright Date: 1868
 Subjects
Subject: Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1871   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1871   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1871
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Miller ; illustrated.
General Note: Added series t.p., engraved.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055066
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002447035
notis - AMF2289
oclc - 03737190

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Advertising
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    The cock of the walk
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Old Betty's cow and calf
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Advertising
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
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Bessie's Country Stories.

SIX VOLUMES.

THE SHEEP AND LAMB.
THE YOUNG DONKEY.
THE LITTLE RABBIT-KEEPERS.
THE COCK OF THE WALK.
THE COWS IN THE WATER.
THE YOUNG ANGLER.










THE


COOK OF THE WALK,



BY THOMAS MILLER.


ILLUSTRATED.






SHELDON AND COMPANY.
1871.

























Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868,
BY SHELDON AND COMPANYi
In the Clerk's Offic i r Court of the Southern
I, I. .. York.














Eleetrotyped at the
BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY,
No. 19 Spring Lane.














ES, little boy, having
Started it myself, and ap-
proved of it, I will permit
you to throw a portion of
that cake to my wives and children;
nor need you have any dread of my
flying at you, or giving you a stroke
with my spur. You may look on,
little girl, but you had better not
put the child down, as his bare legs
are rather tempting, and some of my
ladies might take a fancy to peck at
(7)





8 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

them; and though I am the cock of
the walk, and have no one to inter-
fere with me, I do not like' to chas-
tise them for every trifling fault they
commit, as it is beneath the dignity
of a gentleman of any standing and
descent to do so."
Having thus spoken, he flapped
his wings, stretched himself, shook
out his hackles, then, with his chest
well thrown out, went strutting up
and down the gravel walk, timing
the jerk of his arched tail to his
footsteps, and looking every inch
the swell that he was proud of
being.
While he was strutting about as
if all the world belonged to him, a





THE COCK OF TAE WALK. 9

cock crowed from a great distance.
At first he took no notice, but after
holding his head aside as if to make
sure that his ears had not deceived
him, he turned to the speckled hen,
which was the wife he generally
consulted, and said, Mary Ann,
my dear, as you have the sharpest
hearing, may I take the liberty of
asking your opinion as to whether I
shall answer yonder distant crowing
or not? You are a good judge of
sounds; do you think it was a real
gentleman who called? If you do,
common courtesy requires me to
answer."
After giving one of her chickens
a peck, and saying, "Be still you





10 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

little brat, will you ?" the speckled
hen listened very attentively, turning
round to try both ears; then she
said, "No, sir, it is not a gentle-
man who called, but a common
barn-door fellow, who drops his
aitches: I should not return the
call." All his wives called him
Sir, excepting the little brown hen
nearest the boy's leg. She called
him anything that came readiest to
her tongue, and never stopped to
select her words.
"That isn't the call of a common
barn-door cock," said the little
brown hen; "it's mealy-gray, that
lives up at the mill-house, the very
same fellow that came over and gave





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 11

somebody you know such a licking
last week, as sent him to roost with
his comb bleeding. He is a real
game-cock, if there ever was one,
and bears the Banhivi brand about
him. From his manner of calling,
he seems to me to want to know if
he thrashed the party quite enough,
or they would like him to come
over and give them a little more;
he seems to wish for a speedy an-
swer, too, and crows more angrily
every time. As you know the
party, had you not better crow and
just tell him they've had quite
enough of it, and will feel obliged
to him not to give them another
licking? that if he does, they shall





12 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

feel compelled to send two or three
of their wives to him, and that they
are only cock of the walk so long
as they have a parcel of women to
domineer over?"
"I didn't speak to you, madam
impertinence," said the cock, looking
down upon her with withering con-
tempt, "and it will be quite time
enough to give your opinion when
you are asked for it. You know
well enough that when the gentle-
man at the mill attacked the party
alluded to, they were under the
doctor's hands, undergoing a course
of medicine, and were far from
well. I was told so; but instead
of taking the party's word, as one





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 13

gentleman ought to do another's, he
said he didn't believe it, and should
come over and judge for himself,
and feel the party's pulse. He did
so, and the consequence was a dis-
agreement."
"And you call such a licking as
you never had before in your life,
a 'disagreement,' do you? thought
the little brown hen to herself,
though she didn't say so, and she
was the only one present when the
cock of the mill gave her haughty
lord and master such a thrashing,
which I don't think she was very
sorry for, as he had given her a
peck an hour or two before, for
picking up a worm, which the





14 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

speckled hen was making a snatch
at.
Now the cock of the walk
thought the best thing he could do
was to change the subject, lest by
dwelling upon it too long, the rest
of his wives should begin to suspect
that he was the party that had been
licked; for he had always impressed
upon their minds that he had no
equal for courage, and he knew
that if it were once discovered that
he had run away from mealy-gray,
his authority would be lessened.
He had proof of this in the little
brown hen, who saw his defeat, and
though to a certain extent she kept
his secret, still she was always tanta-





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 15

lizing about "the party" who had
been thrashed, and, as her language
and conduct showed, she had no
longer any fear of him, and he be-
lieved very little respect, though he
had threatened what he would do
when he found her by herself in the
fields outside their walk if she openly
disgraced him. And he looked dag-
gers at her when he made the threat.
On the present occasion, as be.
fore stated, he thought it best to
change the subject, and began by
pretending to take a great interest
in the younger members of his
family, to all of whom he gave
names, teaching them, by his pecu-
liar crowing, to understand him,






16 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

though the little things could only
just lisp. William," he said, ad-
dressing a young cockerel, I am
astonished at your want of manners;
how rude you are, sir, to go and
pick up that little beetle before your
sister, even running to get it first,
like the greedy fellow you are, when
you saw it was in her walk; and I
have told you no end of times, to
keep a line while pecking, and never
to step aside from it, especially when
with your sisters The ladies first,
always; that has been my motto
through life." And be went strut-
ting up and down the walk, while
the little white hen whispered to her
companion, "He always was quite
the gentleman."





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 17

The next instant the challenge
from the mill came clearer, louder,
and more defiant than before; the
cock of the walk heard it, and his
comb and wattles turned quite pale.
You are not looking at all well,
sir," said one of the little white
hens; my sister and I have our
nests in a hayrack in the stable,
where we live in the greatest of
peace, never having any one to dis-
turb us, unless it be some rat in the
night, eating up the corn that is
left in the manger. I think, sir, if
you were to creep in behind us, you
would be so well covered up by the
hay, that no one would be likely to
disturb you. And were that rude
2





18 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

gentleman at the mill who is so
clamorous in his inquiry, even to
call, he would never be so rude as
to intrude upon ladies, when he
found they were taking their siesta."
"Thank you, kindly," said the
cock of the walk, bowing to both
the white hens, who were perfect
ladies, and highly accomplished.
"I will avail myself of your kind
offer; and as my head aches,
and I have got a slight cold in the
chest, and a little inflammation in my
throat, I think it will be better to
take a little rest for a time than
straining myself to reply to that
low-bred person, who breaks up our
rural tranquillity by his incessant
crowing."





THE COOK OF THE WALK. 19

"I am sure you are perfectly
right, as you always are, and I can
but admire your discretion," said
the white hen, making a most grace-
ful courtesy.
"And that is the better part of
valor," added the little impudent
brown hen, cocking up her head.
"And I think, fair lady," she added,
bowing to the pretty white hen,
" the half of that broken egg-shell
lying there might be put on his
head for a night-cap, and if tied
under his wattles with that bit of
dirty tape you might make a perfect
cure of him between you, if you
get him to bed at once. By the
way, should the cock of the mill






20 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

call to inquire after the party that
you and I have the honor of being
acquainted with, shall I present
your compliments, and say that you
are laid up with a dreadful tooth-
ache, and that when better you will
be most happy to wait upon him at
any time and place he may please
to appoint ?"
I shall not write down the reply
that the cock of the walk made,
but it caused the two white ladies to
raise their eyes in amazement, after
exchanging glances with each other;
for it was not such language as you
would expect from a gentleman, as
he threatened to kick her crinoline
if she didn't take herself off at once.






THE COCK OF THE WALK. 21

It tries the temper of even a very
good natured person to keep on
shouting to any one within hearing,
and receive no answer; and as the
cock of the mill was rather hot
tempered, he got quite angry at call-
ing so long to the cock of the walk,
and getting no reply. He's a-
sulking," said the cock of the mill,
after the third time of crowing;
" He can't forget it," said he, after
the fourth crow; He bears me
malice," he continued, after the
fifth; "He's afraid of me," he
added, after the sixth; He's treat-
ing me with silent contempt," said
he, after the seventh crow; I'll not
put up with it, but go at once and






22 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

see what he does mean," said the
cock of the mill, after crowing
again several times. So saying, he
flew over the palings, ran across the
home field, mounted the five-barred
gate, and, shutting his eyes, gave
one of his loudest crows, listened a
moderate time, and, receiving no
answer, flew and ran across the rest
of the fields, and alighted in the
centre of the walk, amid the speck-
led hen and her chickens.
"What might be your pleasure,
sir?" said the speckled hen, march-
ing up to him boldly, with her head
well up, her chest thrown forward,
and every feather all of a quiver,
showing it was only by a great effort






THE COCK OF THE WALK. 23

of temper she was able to keep
them down, while her little chickens
clustered around her.
"O, I merely called to inquire
about the state of your husband's
health," said the cock of the mill, a
little bit out of countenance, for he
knew from experience that a lady,
with all her children about her, was
rather a dangerous subject to be un-
courteous to, as upon the slightest
provocation, as he well knew from
experience, she was pretty sure to
make rather free use of her pointed
beak, and he saw that the speckled
hen had a very sharp one.
I don't believe you," replied the
speckled hen, who had a rare spirit





24 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

of her own; you came with no
such intent. I heard the insulting
language you made use of, and I
can tell you, the sooner you take
yourself off, the better it will be
for you." And she raised all her
feathers in an instant, and began to
beat her wings, while there was a
fire in her eye, which, like a warning
beacon, gave notice of danger to all
who came near her.
"I never in my life raised spur,
beak, or claw against a lady," said
the cock of the mill, drawing back,
"for I know it would be considered
cowardly by every thorough-bred
game-cock were I to disgrace my-
self, and I should be crowed down






THE COCK OF THE WALK. 25

by them. But I'll tell you what I
do, madam; I always look up to a
husband for satisfaction when the
wife has misconducted herself to-
wards me, and I never let him rest
until he gives it;" so saying, he
turned round, and began to peck
about the walk as if it belonged to
him.
The little brown hen, though
some distance off, heard every word
that had been said, and came peck-
ing her away up to the cock of the
mill, and when he saw her, he said,
softly, Where is he? "
Hiding :iin-. ii in the hay-rack
behind the nests of the white hens,
in the stable," whispered the mis-






26 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

chief-making brown hen; "he has
got a nightcap on, and his wattles
tied up: you never saw such a guy
in your life."
"I should very much like to see
him," said the cock of the mill.
So you shall, if you'll keep on
pecking away behind me, and seem-
ing to take no notice of anything
or anybody, while you follow me,"
said the little brown hen. Come
into the stable after me, and when
you see me stop and begin to scratch
up the straw, that will be the rack
facing me, in which he is hidden."
"All right, peck away," said the
cock of the mill, following her.
"I'll have a peep at him, never fear,






THE COCK OF THE WALK. 27

by some means or another; and if
I am the cause of throwing him
into a good steaming perspiration,
it will do him no harm I hope."
So he followed the little brown
hen into the stable, and when she
began to scratch among the straw,
he left off pecking, and looked up
at the hay-rack, where he saw the
two white ladies sitting on their
nests, and he knew from the motion
of the straw that the cock of the
walk, who was hidden behind them,
was all of a tremble. I congratu-
late you, ladies, on possessing so
beautifully clean and airy a resi-
dence, which your graceful presence
so much adorns; only to look at






28 THE COCK OF THE WALIt.

your state of tranquillity suggests
repose, and makes one repine at the
very thought of the crowing and
cackling in the straw-yard. One
feels almost a wish to be an invalid,
to be watched over by such beauty
as yours, and confined to such an
abode of peace; and he bowed very
low.
The cock of the walk heard every
word, while he fairly shook in his
shoes.
Yes, gallant sir, we are very
peaceful, and very contented up
here," said one of the white ladies,
rising up in her nest and courtesy-
ing; but I am sorry to say my sister
does not feel very well to-day her
nerves are a little out of order."





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 29

I am exceedingly grieved to
hear of it," said the cock of the
mill, and as I have had great ex-
perience in such cases, I should
strongly advise her to make an
effort, get up, and take a little
gentle exercise."
"You are very kind, sir," replied
the other sister, and I should like
it very much, but am really afraid
that I have hardly strength enough
to get down to day, I feel so weak."
"I never allow a lady to ex-
press a longing for anything in my
presence that I am able to procure
her; and as to getting down, it will
be quite a pleasure to me to alight
with you on my back; so saying,





80 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

and without giving her time to reply,
the cock of the mill flew up over the
heads of the white hens into the
rack, and came down behind them
with all his weight on the top of the
cock of the walk.
"0, murderI help you'll kill
me!" crowed out the cock of the
walk, raising his head with the
white shell on it for a night-cap;
"this would be very dangerous
treatment to a person in robust
health, to come jumping on him
with all your weight, as you have on
me, when I'm suffering under scarlet
fever."
"Scarlet fever! Why, that's
catching !" exclaimed the cock of





THE COCK OF THE WALK. 31

the mill, in great alarm. And with-
out another word he flew down
from the hay-rack, out of the door,
and over the fields back to the straw-
yard of the mill, and never again
paid a visit to the cock of the
walk.
"So, you see, though mealy-gray
was as brave as a lion, and could
lick any game-cock in the neigh-
borhood, and give him a pound in
weight, he was frightened at only a
shadow; and even supposing the
other cock had got some complaint
that was contagious, why, he showed
far less courage than those pretty
white hens, who had not half his
strength, and were much less able





32 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

to bear the burden of suffering. All
this the cock of the mill ought to have
thought of; but he ran away, leaving
an impression on the minds of the
little white hens that he was at
heart a very great coward; which
he was not, so far as brute-courage
went.
Had the cock of the walk, instead
of only shamming, really been
smitten with the pip, those white
hens would have nursed him through
it all, though while doing so they
might have cast every feather, and
ended by being as naked as if they
were trussed.
As for the cock of the walk,
though he was a regular Master






THE COOK OF THE WALK. 33

Bounce amongst his hens, and tried
all he knew to make them believe
that his equal never crowed, yet
having once found his conqueror,
he was as much afraid of a second
licking, as a chicken is of a peck
from'its mother. Some fowls would
have come for a fight as regularly
as they did for their food, and never
cried "die" if they had been de-
feated every time.
3





34 THE COCK OF THE WALK.



OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF.

SHE cow and calf in tha-
beautiful park which you
see in the picture belonged
to a poor old woman,
whose necessities compelled her
to sell them, as soon as the
little calf was able to walk the
two miles which lay between
her cottage and the next market
town. It was a great trouble to her
to part with the cow, as it had been
her chief means of support ever
since she was a widow; but there
was no help for it, as the little croft









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Cow" ADCALF..
Cow AND CALF.
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OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 37

at the back of her cottage had been
purchased by a railway company,
which came so close, that the foot
of the embankment touched the
hedge which divided the small field
that afforded pasturage for her cow
from her little bit of a garden.
Her husband had been a very hard-
working man, and out of his ill-paid
labor, and through the humble way
in which they lived, had saved up
enough to buy the cottage and
morsel of garden-ground, which
was now the widow's own freehold;
while the little field belonged to the
Squire who owned the hall and park,
and he had let her keep the cow in
it, without taking any rent of her,





38 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

as she was a poor old widow. Now
the new railway swept all the way
down one side of his great park,
and took in many little fields
which lay behind the cottages, the
whole length of the village street,
and for miles beyond it. Though
the Squire would be paid many
thousands of pounds for his land,
he would much rather have been
without the money, if his estate had
been left untouched, for he was very
rich, and liked best to see his tenants
cultivating their farms, as had been
done through many generations, but,
as he said, "I cannot help myself;
the railway company have got an
Act of Parliament, and power to take





OLD'BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 39

the land at a fair valuation, and
very thankful I am they have not
come across my park." He was a
good, kind landlord, as his fore-
fathers had also been, the proof of
which was shown through some of
the farms having been cultivated by
the same families for above two
hundred years, without a change of
name among the tenants, the last
born son tilling the same acres as
his great great grandsire ploughed
and sowed in the reign of Charles.
The old woman locked her cottage
door, and left the key with a neigh-
bor, who promised to keep her fire
in, and have her kettle boiling
by the time she returned from





40 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

market, as she said "she should
like a dish of tea most of all things
in the world; and off she set,
driving before her, very gently, her
cow and calf. She was nearly two
hours going the two miles; for if the
cow took a fancy to a mouthful of
road-side grass, or the little calf
wanted its milk bottle, she waited pa-
tiently until both had finished, when
off they started again. The old wo-
man was well known and greatly
respected, for, like her husband, she
had led a blameless life, and many
a good morning, Betty," and in-
quiries after her health, were given
by the people who passed her on
their way to market; and to those





'OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 41

who came from a greater distance,
and loitered a minute or two to
gossip with her, she told all about
the loss of her little paddock, and
the new railway company, and why
she was forced to sell her cow and
calf, and they hoped she would meet
with a good customer.
As what was called the Beast
Market" was in an open space at
the back of the little town, she had
not to drive her cow and calf
through the crowded market-place,
but by what was known as the
back way," where cattle always
stood to be sold, and pens were put
for the pigs and sheep. When the
toll collector came round, Betty





42 THE COOK OF THE WALK.

offered him twopence, as she knew
that the market toll was a penny a
head for all cattle, and a halfpenny
a head for pigs and sheep.
"I shan't take for the little 'un,
IBetty," said the tollman, patting
the calf, as I see it hain't been
weaned, so mustn't charge for
babies, you know. Farmer Furley
asked me if I saw a nice milch cow
to let him know, and that he
shouldn't mind if there was a calf.
When I've collected my tolls, I
shall see him at the White Hart,
where he puts up, as I always meet
the market-treasurer there to pay in
my money. I'll send him round,
shall I? "





OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 43

I'll be greatly obleeged to thee,"
said Betty, who never said oblige,
" if thou wilt, for I know Farmer
Furley's a fair-dealing gentleman.
My poor old man used at one time
to work on his farm."
The market collector got Betty a
little stool from somewhere or anoth-
er, and fetched her half a pint of
the best ale from the Rising Sun
opposite; so she sat down and
munched the bread and butter which
she had brought with her, and
"quite enjoyed her gill of ale," as
she told a neighbor.
Men learned in the good qualities
of cattle came and looked at her
cow, walked round and felt it, asked





44 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

how old the calf was, and then in-
quired the price, which was twenty
guineas, as the cow was of a first
rate breed, none better. One farmer
offered her nineteen guineas, but
Betty said, "No, she must have
twenty." The farmer said they
were worth it, but it was more than
he ever paid, as he bought to sell
again, but he would stick to his
offer after the market was over, so
that if she hadn't sold them, she
could drive them round to the Old
Black Bull, and have her money, if
she had no better offer.
Betty thanked him kindly, and
promised to do so, if she could not
get twenty, as she had nowhere to






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 45

keep them, if she drove them home
again. Soon after Farmer Furley
came up, shook hands with Betty,
and as he knew the cow was first-
rate, and all about it, he only ex-
amined the calf, and saying, I'll
have them, Betty; will you have
notes or gold ? pulled out his great
yellow money bag, in which he kept
both gold and silver, then his
pocket-book, from a great pocket
inside his waistcoat, and giving her
eleven sovereigns and two five pound
notes, called to one of the drovers
to drive them gently to his farm,
and went his way. No receipt was
given or asked for; such is the cus-
tom in our old English market





46 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

towns, and tens of thousands are
paid in the same way, in the course
of a year. When Betty got home,
she found her kettle boiling, and
having bought herself a nice two-
penny tea-cake at the pastry-cook's,
and having toasted and buttered it
well, she sat down and enjoyed her
good strong dish of tea. While
sipping her tea, Betty began to
think how she must eke out her very
limited income. It wasn't much I
ever made from the milk," said
Betty to herself, "for that's not
a very marketable thing in a village,
where any well-to-do farmer will
almost give anybody a jugful that
likes to fetch it. But I did very





OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 47

well at times with my butter, for
she was a good milker. Well, that's
gone now, and I must make the
most I can of my bit of a garden.
The currants and gooseberries al-
ways bring in a,few shillings when
I take them to market, though they
are a goodish weight to carry, and
my plums and damsons I can al-
ways sell. I must try and get a
little early spring stuff in, such as
lettuces, radishes, onions, and mint;
they are very marketable, though I
fear that nasty high railway embank-
ment will rob me of a good deal of
sunshine, as it faces the south. It
isn't much longer I shall want a
crust to gnaw, for I've only three





48 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

teeth left, and when they are gone
I must sop my bread, if I can get
any to sop, -and I've never yet
known the want of it, thanks to
God, though I've lived over my
threescore years and ten, and have
been a stirring woman all my life,
excepting when I've had the rheuma-
tics very bad indeed. Well, well,
I've parted with my old cow, as I
have with many other friends I hope
to meet hereafter."
On the following morning, Betty
lay in bed a little later than usual,
for she had now no cow to milk,
and the journey to market and back
had made her feel rather more tired
than before. Why, bless me,





OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 49

whatever can that be ?" said Betty,
stopping with the stay-lace in her
hand, in the midst of her dressing;
for though there was no whalebone
in her stays, they were well pad-
ded, and, as Betty said, "after
wearing a thing for fifty years, and
getting used to it, it is hard to
leave it off altogether; so she
made up the stiffness with padding,
given to them formerly by whale-
bone; "not that there's much left
that was in them when I was a
young lass, and they were new,"
Betty used to say, "for they're
much of a muchness with Jackey
Thrift's old knife, that had had three
new blades and two new handles to
4





.50 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

it." So she finished lacing her stays,
and ,;n just slipping her gown
over her head, when she stopped
with her arms out of the sleeves to
listen once more, and say, Why,
whatever can it be?" "Boo, boo,
boo," was the answer. Goodness
gracious me !" said Betty, peeping
out of her chamber window. "If
my old cow hasn't come back again
and brought the calf with her."
It was true enough, the cow had
found her way back in the night, and
was seen soon after daylight lying
down with her calf beside her at the
front of Betty's cottage, by the wood-
man, who went early to his labor.
A neighboring farmer was not






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 51

only kind enough to put the cow
and calf into his field, but as he had
to send a load to the market town
where Betty had sold it, and Farmer
Furley did not live more than a
mile beyond, he told his man to go
on and tell him where they were,
and to send for them on the follow-
ing day, as they had better rest
a night.
How they had found their way
back, the cow only knew; one
thing was clear enough, there was a
toll-gate close to the market town,
at the end of the road which led
past Mr. Furley's farm, and the
toll-man said he was called up to
open the gate for the mail-coach as





52 THE COCK OP THE WALK.

usual about midnight, and he re-
membered seeing the cow and calf
rush through while the gate was
open; that he tried to drive them
back, but could not overtake them.
So they must have waited until the
toll-gate was opened for the Lon-
don mail, or have gone some miles
round, to have got home.
Betty was sorry for the trouble it
caused to both her kind neighbor
and to Farmer Furley, though I do
believe in her heart she was glad to
see her cow again; for she said to
the woman who kept her fire in,
and boiled her kettle, "It shows I'd
been kind to the poor dumb creature,
or it wouldn't have wanted to come
back again to me, would it ?"






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 53

After a day or two's rest they
were driven back, and put into
another field, with a very high old
hawthorn hedge all round it, and
left there with the strong five-barred
gate securely locked. All was of
no use: before the end of the week
they were back again! for she
managed to break through where a
tree grew in the hedge, and the
branches had been thinned a little
to let the tree grow clear up.
Three times did this occur, and
one day it was talked about at the
farmers' dinner, in the White Hart,
where the Squire himself sat at the
table.
She's a sweet pretty cow," said






54 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

Farmer Furley, "and comes of a
good breed. But she'll soon neither
have milk, nor much flesh on her
bones, going over the space of
ground that she does nearly every
night. I must sell her to somebody
that lives too far off for her ever to
find her way back. I don't see
what else I can do."
"Look you!" said the Squire,
"there's about thirty of us here;
let's buy Old Betty's cow, and give
it her back. I'll not only be my
five pounds to head the subscription,
but I'll let it feed rent-free in the
low park, and she may put it up in
one of my sheds in winter. The
poor old woman had enough to do to






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 55

make both ends meet when she had
her cow, and how she'll get on with-
out it, I don't know." It was a short
speech, but to the purpose, and as
Mr. Furley- offered his sovereign,
twenty pounds were raised in a few
minutes, and handed over to him,
and Betty had her cow and calf
back again, and went on the follow-
ing market-day to thank the gentle-
men in the market-house, after they
had dined, when they made her
have a glass of wine.
As there was a foot-road across
the lower park, leading to another
village, the children were permitted
to walk about and play in it; and as
Betty's cow was very quiet, and had






56 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

been a good deal talked about,
through the journeys she had made
to reach home again, after she had
been sold, the cow found a great
many admirers; for she was so
good tempered as to even let the
children sit upon her when she was
lying down; as you see in the pic-
ture.
Now, what Betty in her short-
sightedness had grieved over, and
thought a great trouble, which was
the railway that cut off her little
field, proved to be the best thing
that had ever happened to her, for it
took her milk every morning to a
large town about twenty miles away,
in less time than she could have






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 57

carried it to the little pottering
market town, where she sold her
cow and calf. Then she obtained
such a price for it, and the Squire
was so kind as to offer her pasturage
in the lower park for nothing, that
she bought another cow, a capital
milker, for very little money, as it
was in a poor state at the time.
But it soon improved on the rich
feeding the park afforded, and gave
more milk than the one Farmer
Furley had bought of her. So she
kept on adding to her stock by the
Squire's advice, that she was able at
last to send up eight great cans of
milk, holding many gallons each,
twice a day, to a milk-seller,






58 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

in the large manufacturing town,
by the railway. Then she was
able to keep a milkmaid, who did
all her household work as well,
and that is her you see sitting
milking the red and white cow, a
little beyond the sheep and great
tree in the park, and who is called
" Cherry-cheeked Patty."
The calf you see is not the one
old Betty drove to market : that is
now a cow and gives milk, and this
one lying down is its little sister,
and will also give milk in another
year or two.
I'm sure I often feel very sorry,
and quite ashamed of myself, when
I think how I used to grumble and






OLD BETTY'S COW AND CALF. 59

growl like a dog with a sore throat,
because the railway had cut off my
bit of a croft," said Betty one day
to her old neighbor. How true
that line is in the hymn-book which
says something about the clouds
that hang threatening over our
heads, bringing down blessings
when they pour with rain. Just so
with the railway, Sally, isn't it? I
dreaded it, and talked against it,
and wished it at the deuce, and
farther; and now it pours out my
milk into a large town twenty niles
off, and is a blessing to all who can
afford to buy it and famous milk
it is."
"It was just so with me when my






60 THE COCK OF THE WALK.

little Billy had a stiff neck," said
Sally. "I went on so about it, for
he couldn't move it the least, but had
to go with his head all on one side,
as if it had been half chopped off,
and could never be made straight
any more. But when I asked the
doctor, as he was a-going by, to
look at it, so that he mightn't charge
for a visit, 'It's the greatest bless-
ing that could have happened him,'
says he. So it was; for you see,
Betty, it was like you with the rail-
way and Billy's never had a day's
illness since."








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