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So, Nicholas merely observed that he shouldn’t wonder if he was.
‘Many and many is the circuit this pony has gone,’ said Mr
Crummles, flicking him skilfully on the eyelid for old
acquaintance’ sake. ‘He is quite one of us. His mother was on the
‘Was she?’ rejoined Nicholas.
‘She ate apple-pie at a circus for upwards of fourteen years,’
said the manager; ‘fired pistols, and went to bed in a nightcap;
and, in short, took the low comedy entirely. His father was a
‘Was he at all distinguished?’
‘Not very,’ said the manager. ‘He was rather a low sort of pony.
The fact is, he had been originally jobbed out by the day, and he
never quite got over his old habits. He was clever in melodrama
too, but too broad--too broad. When the mother died, he took the
‘The port-wine business!’ cried Nicholas.
‘Drinking port-wine with the clown,’ said the manager; ‘but he
was greedy, and one night bit off the bowl of the glass, and choked
himself, so his vulgarity was the death of him at last.’
The descendant of this ill-starred animal requiring increased
attention from Mr Crummles as he progressed in his day’s work,
that gentleman had very little time for conversation. Nicholas was
thus left at leisure to entertain himself with his own thoughts, until
they arrived at the drawbridge at Portsmouth, when Mr Crummles
‘We’ll get down here,’ said the manager, ‘and the boys will take
him round to the stable, and call at my lodgings with the luggage.
You had better let yours be taken there, for the present.’