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such as the "'undred and a arf," referred, it
was interesting to learn, to the cats' meat of
ordinary horse-flesh; the "penn'orths" are "tripe,"
and divide the quantities of each customer in
the cart. "Tripe" is for the dog and cat of
jaded appetite, who cannot relish plain food. Mr.
Potler has no check upon his memory. He
drives round in a certain direction, calling at
the same houses in regular rotation, and delivers
the "meat" as ordered, without scales or
weighing-machine, and purely by eye and head.
He is said rarely to make a mistake, and on
his return at eleven o'clock will bring back from
ten to twelve pounds sterling and an empty cart.
Cash on delivery, is his motto, and the amount
he hands in always tallies with the entries in
the trade-sheet of his employer.

This employer is himself a study. At our
previous visit we saw him dispensing hospitality
in a cosy back parlour behind his counting-house.
He now wears a low-crowned white hat,
a little on one side; a large crimson shawl envelops
his bulky neck, and hides his chin at will,
and a big cutaway coat with flapped pockets,
and waistcoat to match, covers his capacious
frame. He is up to his knees in cats' meat.
That is, the quantity on the floor is piled so high
that when he is behind it at the scales he
becomes what painters call a three-quarter
length. He makes a decidedly sporting portrait.
A jolly, burly, red-faced farmer from the
Yorkshire wolds; a stage-coachman of the old
school, when stage-coachmen were sometimes
humorists and gentlemen; a prosperous
church-warden sort of man, who could fill the large
corner pew of a country church admirably; a
sharp-witted, free-handed trader, who'd give
sovereigns away out of generosity, and
bargain keenly for sixpences in the way of
business;—any of these characters would fit our
host's appearance. The history of his
present calling is told us thus, with many a
jolly laugh and shrewd twinkle of the eye,
slapping his trowsers-pocket meanwhile for
emphasis, and proffering excellent cigars: "If any
one had told me two years ago that I'd ever have
been a cats' meat man, I'd just have laughed
them down. No more thought of it than you
have at this moment, I give you my word. I'd
done pretty well in my own business, and had
retired. Got settled down in a pretty place
in the suburbs, but used to pop in and
out the city for amusement like; putting a bit
of money in here and there as a spec, and
watching how it would turn out. I used to
dine among my friends, very often, at a place
I dare say you know, where there's a four-o'clock
ordinary and a capital glass of punch.
Well, sir, one afternoon when three of us were
chatting over our cigars, a man came in we all
knew, and asked us if we were game to go in
for a really good thing, though a funny one.
We'd a rare laugh when we heard it was the
horse-killing and cats' meat trade. After a
little talk, however, very littlefor we'd all
been accustomed to go in to new things, and
to have several irons in the firewe agreed
to try it together. The three of us paid the
deposit-money next morning, and became the
proud possessors of the largest horse-slaughtering
business in the world. Then came the
question, How was it to be worked? Not
one of us had the least notion of doing what
you see me doing now. To drop in on a
Saturday, and divide the profits, to have little
partnership dinners, with our managers coming
in to dessert, drawing in a good deal of money,
and having very little to dothat was our game.
But the first three months told us it wouldn't
do. We lost money, instead of making it. The
'meat' went anyhow, as you may say. Pounds
slipped away without being accounted for. We
could blame no one in particular, because we
didn't know where the fault lay. What we did
know, and precious quick too, was that it wouldn't
answer. So another partner and myself came to a
friendly arrangement with the thirdthe gentleman
you saw here the other nightand agreed
to become managers ourselves. Three days a
week I'm here, as you've seen me, from five in
the morning often until twelve at night, and
the other three days my partner does the same.
Having lived a good deal in America, where
they say, 'if a man can't edit a newspaper, he
can print it, and if he can't print it, he can sell
it,' I always go in well when I go in at all.
So I know this business thoroughly. Where
the meat goes to, what it fetches, and when its
price is to rise, are all A B C to me now. I
can knock horses on the head too, and could
manage the concern if all the old servants were
to leave me to-morrow. What affects the price
of cats' meat? Why the cost of horses, and
the number of them. Sometimes they drop off
like rotten sheep, at others the season's healthy,
and the supply low. We buy 'em dead and
alive, remember. We've standing contracts with
many of the largest employers of horses to
take their diseased and worn-out and dead ones
at a fixed price all round."

Turning round suddenly, and with a brisk
chaffy manner, which was a strong contrast
to his philosophic air when speaking to us,
"Hallo! Jack, where's the pony this morning?"
asked the acting partner. "Out earning money
for you, master, again the summer," shouted a
hoarse voice in reply. This was the first trade
customer of the morning. He had wheeled a
neat little barrow into the shed, which was filled
from the heaps of "meat" still on the floor, and
paid for with all speed. From this time, about
half-past six, until half-past eight the flow of
customers was strong and steady. The food was
carried off in a variety of ways. Shabby-genteel
women brought perambulators; children, baskets
and barrows; men and boys, little carts. "Mind
my doggie don't bite yer!" was shouted in the
ear of one of our party, which made him jump
away from a harmless panel-fresco of a
Newfoundland dog who was eating "royal cats'
meat" with an air of an epicure.

Most of the carts had pictorial panels. Some
were scenes in high life. The late Prince
Consort, her majesty, and the royal children

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