Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/254

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Omnibuses and Cabs

grievances, and from that year to this they have never been without a good supply of them. Some were reasonable, but the majority were imaginary or frivolous. Of the latter nothing need be said. Of the former, one of the chief was that passengers expected cabmen to get down and ring the bell or knock at the door of the house where they wished to alight. For years the cabmen's objection to performing this duty was a source of continual squabbles, and consequent police-court cases. But at length one magistrate decided that cabmen were not obliged to ring bells or knock at doors. Other magistrates agreed with him and cabmen were jubilant. But an old gentleman, who used cabs daily, objected strongly to the new arrangement and determined to teach the cabmen a lesson. One cold winter's evening, he hired a cab and rode home—a shilling distance. On arriving at his destination, he requested the cabman to knock at the street door. But cabby declined to do so. "This is a free country," he said, "and knocking at doors ain't no part of my duty."

"Very well, then," the old gentleman replied, looking at his watch, "by the law of this free country I sentence you to remain idle, in the cold,