Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 501
The Devil’s Trade Mark
One day John is riding Black Beauty on an errand for the Squire. At a distance, they see a boy trying to make a pony jump a gate. The horse refuses to leap, and the boy whips the horse. When the horse continues to refuse to jump, the boy gets even more incensed and begins beating and kicking the pony. Finally, the horse refuses the rider by rearing up and throwing him into a hedge of thorns. With the reins dangling, the pony gallops home leaving the boy in his indignity.
When the boy sees John approaching, he calls for help; however, John thinks a little scratching might teach the boy a lesson about trying to make a pony leap over a fence which is too high for him. John recognizes the boy as the son of Farmer Bushby and drives to their home. He finds the parents worried about the fate of their son after the pony returned without him. John explains what he saw and asks forgiveness for not helping the boy but hopes he will learn something from the experience.
The boy’s mother begins to cry, fearing her son Bill is hurt; however, her husband tells her to go into the house. He intends for the boy to learn something from the experience. This is not the first or even the second time that Bill has abused the pony, and the farmer thanks John for letting him know what happened.
When John and Black Beauty arrive home, John shares the story with James, who laughs because he knows the boy from school and knows he was a bully to the younger children even then. As a farmer’s son, Bill used to believe he was superior to the children of laborers, but the older boys (including James) let him know that on the playground every child was the same.
One afternoon James discovered Bill...
(The entire section contains 501 words.)
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