Several weeks ago, we began a read-along of sorts: small weekly morsels containing the chapter on tandem driving in the first volume of  The Sports Library (by Mr. T. F. Dale), published in 1899.

If you didn’t start reading along with us from the beginning, you can catch up by reading part of the book’s introduction (and the introduction to our look back at this nineteenth-century book) and parts one, two, three, and four of Chapter 10.

Today, the fifth part:

… Over smooth or level roads the leader should do little or no work. It is a fault of young drivers that they allow the leader to pull the whole affair; this should never be. Consequently, when the leader is wanted to help he will require a reminder with the whip. This must be quickly and lightly done with a sure hand so as not to disturb the wheeler, still less to hit him by mistake. Then after a time, wheelers grow cunning and hang back to let the leader do more than his share, and many wheelers require reminders from time to time. Of course in long journeys over bad roads such as those I have described above when both animals will have to work hard in order to get the load through, the whip will be of still greater use and value, and the mastery of it will be much rewarded.

For example, in the sandy bed of a river, I have known a not too high-couraged leader to pull up, and turning half round look at me as much as to say, “You never expect me to pull through this stuff, do you?” but a sharp touch with the whip, and as he straightened a tap on the other side, often served to get him to work again. All the use of the whip in a tandem in bad ground should be quick, neat, and light. As soon as you come to flogging it is only a question of time when the team will stop. It is better then to send a man to the leader’s head. It is always necessary and wise to remember the weak point of a tandem, which is this — if your leader will not work and wishes to turn round, you cannot really prevent him. Much must be trusted to the honor of the leader.

To paraphrase slightly a well-known coaching saying, much that the four-in-hand coachman can do by direct means the tandem driver must achieve by artifice. …