Chapter 37 Summary

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The Golden Rule

One evening several weeks later, as Jerry and Jack return to the yard, Polly runs to them with a light. She is excited to tell Jerry that everything will be all right now, since Mrs. Briggs sent her servant this afternoon to hire Jerry’s cab for eleven o’clock the next morning. Briggs has been trying other cabs after Jerry refused his offer, but something has been wrong with each one. Nothing will suit Mrs. Briggs but Jerry and his cab. Jerry laughs with joy. From then on, Mrs. Briggs always uses Jerry’s cab as she once did. Only one time does Jerry’s cab make a Sunday run.

One Sunday morning Jerry is grooming Jack when Polly comes to tell him that Dinah Brown has received word her mother is dangerously ill; she must go to her mother directly if she wants to see her alive. Her mother lives more than ten miles away. If Dinah takes the train, she will still have four miles to walk with her four-week-old baby. Dinah would like Jerry to take her to her mother, and she will be faithful to pay him as she gets the money. Jerry is not concerned about the money, but he is concerned about the time away from his family. Also, both he and the horses are tired.

Polly agrees his going will be a sacrifice for all of them, but she reminds him they are to do for others what they would want others to do for them. Jerry thanks his wife for her small sermon and says he will pick up Dinah and her baby at ten o’clock. He also asks Polly to ask the butcher if he can borrow the man’s light trap, something the butcher does not use on Sundays and would be easier for Jack to pull. The butcher readily agrees to the use of his trap, and Polly tells Jerry she will have a hot meal waiting for him when he returns.

It is a beautiful day in May. Pulling the borrowed carriage seems very easy to Jack; the drive begins to feel refreshing to the horse as they stop to pick up Dinah Brown. A young man (Dinah’s brother) asks Jerry to bring the trap into the meadow. Jack spends time enjoying the quiet, beautiful meadow while Jerry waits for the woman. When the horse’s harnesses are removed, he can't decide if he should eat or roll over in the grass, lie down and rest or gallop freely across the meadow. Eventually he does all of them, as Jerry sits by the side of a brook, singing and reading his Bible.

Finally Jerry prepares to leave, gathering a lovely bouquet of wildflowers and feeding Jack the oats Jerry brought with him. Jack has not been in a field since he left Ginger at Earlshall. They do their errand of mercy and come home. Jerry tells Polly he did not lose his Sunday after all, since the birds near the brook were singing hymns, and Jack was allowed a wonderful romp in the meadow. He hands the wildflower bouquet to Dolly, who accepts them with great joy.

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