Study Guide

Black Beauty Chapter 14

By Anna Sewell

Chapter 14

James Howard

  • One December morning, Squire Gordon comes into the stable and begins asking John questions about James, the stable boy. John insists that James is the finest stable boy in all the land, noting "that a steadier, pleasanter, honester, smarter young fellow I never had in this stable" (14.9). (Is honester a word? John, you're getting carried away.)
  • Squire Gordon completely agrees with John—he was just double-checking. Turns out he's asking because his brother-in-law is looking for a groom, which is a step up in the world from stable boy. Squire Gordon doesn't want to lose James, but he also doesn't want to deny him the opportunity.
  • John agrees, saying, "I would not stand in his light for the world" (14.11). These guys are so nice, right?
  • They all decide that James should go to Squire Gordon's brother-in-law's house, Clifford Hall, and until then James practices his driving, leaving Beauty to comment that they're driving into the city a lot, which is a hectic place to take a horse.

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