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Chapter 36 Summary

The Sunday Cab

One morning Jerry is hooking Jack up to the cab when a gentleman walks into the yard. He wants to make arrangements for Jerry to take his wife, Mrs. Briggs, to church on Sundays, as their church is now farther than she can walk. Jerry tells the man it would be illegal for him to drive on Sundays because he has only a six-day license. Briggs offers to change the license, but Jerry is still not interested.

He used to have a seven-day license, but working on Sunday was simply too much strain on both him and his horses. He missed having the day with his family and going to church; for the past five years, he has taken Sunday as a day of rest. Briggs continues to make his case, saying Jerry still would have most of the day with his family—and Mr. and Mrs. Briggs have always been very good customers. While Jerry is grateful for their trust and is willing to do what he can for them, he will continue to give himself and his horses a day of rest. Briggs walks away in a bit of a huff.

Jerry calls his wife out to the yard and explains the offer just made to him, including the reality that the Briggses have been fair and honorable in all their dealings with him. They are his best customers. His refusal today is likely to lose them the Briggses' business, and he asks Polly’s opinion about the proposition. Polly speaks very slowly, telling her husband she would not want him to work on Sundays again even if Mr. Briggs paid him an outrageous sum for the job. She would rather they struggle together than not have her husband (and the children’s father) with the family on Sundays. That is exactly what he had told Briggs, Jerry says, and he assures his tearful wife that he will stick to his word.

Three weeks have passed; there has been no call from Mrs. Briggs for a cab. Soon the other drivers realize...

(The entire section is 524 words.)