By Marshall Saunders
Beautiful Joe an Autobiography By Marshall Saunders With an Introduction By Hezekiah Butterworth Of Youth's Companion Philadelphia
To George Thorndike Angell President of the American Humane Education Society The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention Of Cruelty to Animals, and the Parent American Band of Mercy 19 Milk St., Boston. This Book Is Respectfully Dedicated By the Author
BEAUTIFUL JOE is a real dog, and "Beautiful Joe" is his real name. He belonged during the first part of his life to a cruel master, who mutilated him in the manner described in the story. He was rescued from him, and is now living in a happy home with pleasant surroundings, and enjoys a wide local celebrity.
The character of Laura is drawn from life, and to the smallest detail is truthfully depicted. The Morris family has its counterparts in real life, and nearly all of the incidents of the story are founded on fact.
The wonderfully successful book, entitled "Black Beauty," came like a living voice out of the animal kingdom. But it spake for the horse, and made other books necessary; it led the way. After the ready welcome that it received, and the good it has accomplished and is doing, it follows naturally that some one should be inspired to write a book to interpret the life of a dog to the humane feeling of the world. Such a story we have in "Beautiful Joe."
The story speaks not for the dog alone, but for the whole animal kingdom. Through it we enter the animal world, and are made to see as animals see, and to feel as animals feel. The sympathetic sight of the author, in this interpretation, is ethically the strong feature of the book.
Such books as this is one of the needs of our progressive system of education. The day-school, the Sunday-school, and all libraries for the young, demand the influence that shall teach the reader how to live in sympathy with the animal world; how to understand the languages of the creatures that we have long been accustomed to call "dumb," and the sign language of the lower orders of these dependent beings. The church owes it to her mission to preach and to teach the enforcement of the "bird's nest commandment;" the principle recognized by Moses in the Hebrew world, and echoed by Cowper in English poetry, and Burns in the "Meadow Mouse," and by our own Longfellow in songs of many keys.
Kindness to the animal kingdom is the first, or a first principle in the growth of true philanthropy. Young Lincoln once waded across a half-frozen river to rescue a dog, and stopped in a walk with a statesman to put back a bird that had fallen out of its nest. Such a heart was trained to be a leader of men, and to be crucified for a cause. The conscience that runs to the call of an animal in distress is girding itself with power to do manly work in the world.
The story of "Beautiful Joe" awakens an intense interest, and sustains it through a series of vivid incidents and episodes, each of which is a lesson. The story merits the widest circulation, and the universal reading and response accorded to "Black Beauty." To circulate it is to do good, to help the human heart as well as the creatures of quick feelings and simple language.
When, as one of the committee to examine the manuscripts offered for prizes to the Humane Society, I read the story, I felt that the writer had a higher motive than to compete for a prize; that the story was a stream of sympathy that flowed from the heart; that it was genuine; that it only needed a publisher who should be able to command a wide influence, to make its merits known, to give it a strong educational mission.
I am pleased that the manuscript has found such a publisher, and am sure that the issue of the story will honor the Publication Society. In the development of the book, I believe that the humane cause has stood above any speculative thought or interest. The book comes because it is called for; the times demand it. I think that the publishers have a right to ask for a little unselfish service on the part of the public in helping to give it a circulation commensurate with its opportunity, need, and influence.
(Of the committee of readers of the prize stories offered to the Humane Society.)
Chapter I. ONLY A CUR Chapter II. THE CRUEL MILKMAN Chapter III. MY KIND DELIVERER AND MISS LAURA Chapter IV. THE MORRIS BOYS ADD TO MY NAME Chapter V. MY NEW HOME AND A SELFISH LADY Chapter VI. THE FOX TERRIER BILLY Chapter VII. TRAINING A PUPPY Chapter VIII. A RUINED DOG Chapter IX. THE PARROT BELLA Chapter X. BILLY'S TRAINING CONTINUED Chapter XI. GOLDFISH AND CANARIES Chapter XII. MALTA THE CAT Chapter XIII. THE BEGINNING OF AN ADVENTURE Chapter XIV. HOW WE CAUGHT THE BURGLAR Chapter XV. OUR JOURNEY TO RIVERDALE Chapter XVI. DINGLEY FARM Chapter XVII. MR. WOOD AND HIS HORSES Chapter XVIII. MRS. WOOD'S POULTRY Chapter XIX. A BAND OF MERCY Chapter XX. STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS Chapter XXI. MR. MAXWELL AND MR. HARRY Chapter XXII. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE TEA TABLE Chapter XXIII. TRAPPING WILD ANIMALS Chapter XXIV. THE RABBIT AND THE HEN Chapter XXV. A HAPPY HORSE Chapter XXVI. THE BOX OF MONEY Chapter XXVII. A NEGLECTED STABLE Chapter XXVIII. THE END OF THE ENGLISHMAN Chapter XXIX. A TALK ABOUT SHEEP Chapter XXX. A JEALOUS OX Chapter XXXI. IN THE COW STABLE Chapter XXXII. OUR RETURN HOME Chapter XXXIII. PERFORMING ANIMALS Chapter XXXIV. A FIRE IN FAIRPORT Chapter XXXV. BILLY AND THE ITALIAN Chapter XXXVI. DANDY THE TRAMP Chapter XXXVII. THE END OF MY STORY
CHAPTER I ONLY A CUR
MY name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size. I am not called Beautiful Joe because I am a beauty. Mr. Morris, the clergyman, in whose family I have lived for the last twelve years, says that he thinks I must be called Beautiful Joe for the same reason that his grandfather, down South, called a very ugly colored slave-lad Cupid, and his mother Venus.
I do not know what he means by that, but when he says it, people always look at me and smile. I know that I am not beautiful, and I know that I am not a thoroughbred. I am only a cur.
When my mistress went every year to register me and pay my tax, and the man in the office asked what breed I was, she said part fox-terrier and part bull-terrier; but he always put me down a cur. I don't think she liked having him call me a cur; still, I have heard her say that she preferred curs, for they have more character than well-bred dogs. Her father said that she liked ugly dogs for the same reason that a nobleman at the court of a certain king did namely, that no one else would.
I am an old dog now, and am writing, or rather getting a friend to write, the story of my life. I have seen my mistress laughing and crying over a little book that she says is a story of a horse's life, and sometimes she puts the book down close to my nose to let me see the pictures.
I love my dear mistress; I can say no more than that; I love her better than any one else in the world; and I think it will please her if I write the story of a dog's life. She loves dumb animals, and it always grieves her to see them treated cruelly.
I have heard her say that if all the boys and girls in the world were to rise up and say that there should be no more cruelty to animals, they could put a stop to it. Perhaps it will help a little if I tell a story. I am fond of boys and girls, and though I have seen many cruel men and women, I have seen few cruel children. I think the more stories there are written about dumb animals, the better it will be for us.
In telling my story, I think I had better begin at the first and come right on to the end. I was born in a stable on the outskirts of a small town in Maine called Fairport. The first thing I remember was lying close to my mother and being very snug and warm. The next thing I remember was being always hungry. I had a number of brothers and sisters six in all and my mother never had enough milk for us. She was always half starved herself, so she could not feed us properly.
I am very unwilling to say much about my early life. I have lived so long in a family where there is never a harsh word spoken, and where no one thinks of ill-treating anybody or anything; that it seems almost wrong even to think or speak of such a matter as hurting a poor dumb beast.
The man that owned my mother was a milkman. He kept one horse and three cows, and he had a shaky old cart that he used to put his milk cans in. I don't think there can be a worse man in the world than that milkman. It makes me shudder now to think of him. His name was Jenkins, and I am glad to think that he is getting punished now for his cruelty to poor dumb animals and to human beings. If you think it is wrong that I am glad, you must remember that I am only a dog.
The first notice that he took of me when I was a little puppy, just able to stagger about, was to give me a kick that sent me into a corner of the stable. He used to beat and starve my mother. I have seen him use his heavy whip to punish her till her body was covered with blood. When I got older I asked her why she did not run away. She said she did not wish to; but I soon found out that the reason she did not run away, was because she loved Jenkins. Cruel and savage as he was, she yet loved him, and I believe she would have laid down her life for him.
Now that I am old, I know that there are more men in the world like Jenkins. They are not crazy, they are not drunkards; they simply seem to be possessed with a spirit of wickedness. There are well-to-do people, yes, and rich people, who will treat animals, and even little children, with such terrible cruelty, that one cannot even mention the things that they are guilty of.
One reason for Jenkins' cruelty was his idleness. After he went his rounds in the morning with his milk cans, he had nothing to do till late in the afternoon but take care of his stable and yard. If he had kept them neat, and groomed his horse, and cleaned the cows, and dug up the garden, it would have taken up all his time; but he never tidied the place at all, till his yard and stable got so littered up with things he threw down that he could not make his way about.
His house and stable stood in the middle of a large field, and they were at some distance from the road. Passers-by could not see how untidy the place was. Occasionally, a man came to look at the premises, and see that they were in good order, but Jenkins always knew when to expect him, and had things cleaned up a little.
I used to wish that some of the people that took milk from him would come and look at his cows. In the spring and summer he drove them out to pasture, but during the winter they stood all the time in the dirty, dark stable, where the chinks in the wall were so big that the snow swept through almost in drifts. The ground was always muddy and wet; there was only one small window on the north side, where the sun only shone in for a short time in the afternoon.
They were very unhappy cows, but they stood patiently and never complained, though sometimes I know they must have nearly frozen in the bitter winds that blew through the stable on winter nights. They were lean and poor, and were never in good health. Besides being cold they were fed on very poor food.
Jenkins used to come home nearly every afternoon with a great tub in the back of his cart that was full of what he called "peelings." It was kitchen stuff that he asked the cooks at the different houses where he delivered milk, to save for him. They threw rotten vegetables, fruit parings, and scraps from the table into a tub, and gave them to him at the end of a few days. A sour, nasty mess it always was, and not fit to give any creature.
Sometimes, when he had not many "peelings," he would go to town and get a load of decayed vegetables, that grocers were glad to have him take off their hands.
This food, together with poor hay, made the cows give very poor milk, and Jenkins used to put some white powder in it, to give it "body," as he said.
Once a very sad thing happened about the milk, that no one knew about but Jenkins and his wife. She was a poor, unhappy creature, very frightened at her husband, and not daring to speak much to him. She was not a clean woman, and I never saw a worse-looking house than she kept.
She used to do very queer things, that I know now no housekeeper should do. I have seen her catch up the broom to pound potatoes in the pot. She pounded with the handle, and the broom would fly up and down in the air, dropping dust into the pot where the potatoes were. Her pan of soft-mixed bread she often left uncovered in the kitchen, and sometimes the hens walked in and sat in it.
The children used to play in mud puddles about the door. It was the youngest of them that sickened with some kind of fever early in the spring, before Jenkins began driving the cows out to pasture. The child was very ill, and Mrs. Jenkins wanted to send for a doctor, but her husband would not let her. They made a bed in the kitchen, close to the stove, and Mrs. Jenkins nursed the child as best she could. She did all her work near by, and I saw her several times wiping the child's face with the cloth that she used for washing her milk pans.
Nobody knew outside the family that the little girl was ill. Jenkins had such a bad name, that none of the neighbors would visit them. By-and-by the child got well, and a week or two later Jenkins came home with quite a frightened face, and told his wife that the husband of one of his customers was very ill with typhoid fever.
After a time the gentleman died, and the cook told Jenkins that the doctor wondered how he could have taken the fever, for there was not a case in town.
There was a widow left with three orphans, and they never knew that they had to blame a dirty careless milkman for taking a kind husband and father from them.
CHAPTER II THE CRUEL MILKMAN
I HAVE said that Jenkins spent most of his days in idleness. He had to start out very early in the morning, in order to supply his customers with milk for breakfast. Oh, how ugly he used to be, when he came into the stable on cold winter mornings, before the sun was up.
He would hang his lantern on a hook, and get his milking stool, and if the cows did not step aside just to suit him, he would seize a broom or fork, and beat them cruelly.
My mother and I slept on a heap of straw in the corner of the stable, and when she heard his step in the morning she always roused me, so that we could run out-doors as soon as he opened the stable door. He always aimed a kick at us as we passed, but my mother taught me how to dodge him.
After he finished milking, he took the pails of milk up to the house for Mrs. Jenkins to strain and put in the cans, and he came back and harnessed his horse to the cart. His horse was called Toby, and a poor, miserable, broken-down creature he was. He was weak in the knees, and weak in the back, and weak all over, and Jenkins had to beat him all the time, to make him go. He had been a cab horse, and his mouth had been jerked, and twisted, and sawed at, till one would think there could be no feeling left in it; still I have seen him wince and curl up his lip when Jenkins thrust in the frosty bit on a winter's morning.
Poor old Toby! I used to lie on my straw some times and wonder he did not cry out with pain. Cold and half starved he always was in the winter time, and often with raw sores on his body that Jenkins would try to hide by putting bits of cloth under the harness. But Toby never murmured, and he never tried to kick and bite, and he minded the least word from Jenkins, and if he swore at him Toby would start back, or step up quickly, he was so anxious to please him.
After Jenkins put him in the cart, and took in the cans, he set out on his rounds. My mother, whose name was Jess, always went with him. I used to ask her why she followed such a brute of a man, and she would hang her head, and say that sometimes she got a bone from the different houses they stopped at. But that was not the whole reason. She liked Jenkins so much, that she wanted to be with him.
I had not her sweet and patient disposition, and I would not go with her. I watched her out of sight, and then ran up to the house to see if Mrs. Jenkins had any scraps for me. I nearly always got something, for she pitied me, and often gave me a kind word or look with the bits of food that she threw to me.
When Jenkins come home, I often coaxed mother to run about and see some of the neighbors' dogs with me. But she never would, and I would not leave her. So, from morning to night we had to sneak about, keeping out of Jenkins' way as much as we could, and yet trying to keep him in sight. He always sauntered about with a pipe in his mouth, and his hands in his pockets, growling first at his wife and children, and then at his dumb creatures.
I have not told what became of my brothers and sisters. One rainy day, when we were eight weeks old, Jenkins, followed by two or three of his ragged, dirty children, came into the stable and looked at us. Then he began to swear because we were so ugly, and said if we had been good-looking, he might have sold some of us. Mother watched him anxiously, and fearing some danger to her puppies, ran and jumped in the middle of us, and looked pleadingly up at him.
It only made him swear the more. He took one pup after another, and right there, before his children and my poor distracted mother, put an end to their lives. Some of them he seized by the legs and knocked against the stalls, till their brains were dashed out, others he killed with a fork. It was very terrible. My mother ran up and down the stable, screaming with pain, and I lay weak and trembling, and expecting every instant that my turn would come next. I don't know why he spared me. I was the only one left.
His children cried, and he sent them out of the stable and went out himself. Mother picked up all the puppies and brought them to our nest in the straw and licked them, and tried to bring them back to life; but it was of no use, they were quite dead. We had them in our corner of the stable for some days, till Jenkins discovered them, and swearing horribly at us, he took his stable fork and threw them out in the yard, and put some earth over them.
My mother never seemed the same after this. She was weak and miserable, and though she was only four years old, she seemed like an old dog. This was on account of the poor food she had been fed on. She could not run after Jenkins, and she lay on our heap of straw, only turning over with her nose the scraps of food I brought her to eat. One day she licked me gently, wagged her tail, and died.
As I sat by her, feeling lonely and miserable. Jenkins came into the stable. I could not bear to look at him. He had killed my mother. There she lay, a little, gaunt, scarred creature, starved and worried to death by him. Her mouth was half open, her eyes were staring. She would never again look kindly at me, or curl up to me at night to keep me warm. Oh, how I hated her murderer! But I sat quietly, even when he went up and turned her over with his foot to see if she was really dead. I think he was a little sorry, for he turned scornfully toward me and said, "She was worth two of you; why didn't you go instead?"
Still I kept quiet till he walked up to me and kicked at me. My heart was nearly broken, and I could stand no more. I flew at him and gave him a savage bite on the ankle.
"Oho," he said, "so you are going to be a fighter, are you? I'll fix you for that." His face was red and furious. He seized me by the back of the neck and carried me out to the yard where a log lay on the ground. "Bill," he called to one of his children, "bring me the hatchet."
He laid my head on the log and pressed one hand on my struggling body. I was now a year old and a full-sized dog. There was a quick, dreadful pain, and he had cut off my ear, not in the way they cut puppies' ears, but close to my head, so close that he cut off some of the skin beyond it. Then he cut off the other ear, and, turning me swiftly round, cut off my tail close to my body.
Then he let me go and stood looking at me as I rolled on the ground and yelped in agony. He was in such a passion that he did not think that people passing by on the road might hear me.
CHAPTER III. MY KIND DELIVERER AND MISS LAURA
THERE was a young man going by on a bicycle. He heard my screams, and springing off his bicycle, came hurrying up the path, and stood among us before Jenkins caught sight of him.
In the midst of my pain, I heard him say fiercely, "What have you been doing to that dog?"
"I've been cuttin' his ears for fightin', my young gentleman," said Jenkins. "There is no law to prevent that, is there?"
"And there is no law to prevent my giving you a beating," said the young man angrily. In a trice he had seized Jenkins by the throat and was pounding him with all his might. Mrs. Jenkins came and stood at the house door crying, but making no effort to help her husband.
"Bring me a towel," the young man cried to her, after he had stretched Jenkins, bruised and frightened, on the ground. She snatched off her apron and ran down with it, and the young man wrapped me in it, and taking me carefully in his arms, walked down the path to the gate. There were some little boys standing there, watching him, their mouths wide open with astonishment. "Sonny," he said to the largest of them, "if you will come behind and carry this dog, I will give you a quarter."
The boy took me, and we set out. I was all smothered up in a cloth, and moaning with pain, but still I looked out occasionally to see which way we were going. We took the road to the town and stopped in front of a house on Washington Street. The young man leaned his bicycle up against the house, took a quarter from his pocket and put it in the boy's hand, and lifting me gently in his arms, went up a lane leading to the back of the house.
There was a small stable there. He went into it, put me down on the floor and uncovered my body. Some boys were playing about the stable, and I heard them say, in horrified tones, "Oh, Cousin Harry, what is the matter with that dog?"
"Hush," he said. "Don't make a fuss. You, Jack, go down to the kitchen and ask Mary for a basin of warm water and a sponge, and don't let your mother or Laura hear you."
A few minutes later, the young man had bathed my bleeding ears and tail, and had rubbed something on them that was cool and pleasant, and had bandaged them firmly with strips of cotton. I felt much better and was able to look about me.
I was in a small stable, that was evidently not used for a stable, but more for a play-room. There were various kinds of toys scattered about, and a swing and bar, such as boys love to twist about on; in two different corners. In a box against the wall was a guinea pig, looking at me in an interested way. This guinea pig's name was Jeff, and he and I became good friends. A long-haired French rabbit was hopping about, and a tame white rat was perched on the shoulder of one of the boys, and kept his foothold there, no matter how suddenly the boy moved. There were so many boys, and the stable was so small, that I suppose he was afraid he would get stepped on if he went on the floor. He stared hard at me with his little, red eyes, and never even glanced at a queer-looking, gray cat that was watching me, too, from her bed in the back of the vacant horse stall. Out in the sunny yard, some pigeons were pecking at grain, and a spaniel lay asleep in a corner.
I had never seen anything like this before, and my wonder at it almost drove the pain away. Mother and I always chased rats and birds, and once we killed a kitten. While I was puzzling over it, one of the boys cried out, "Here is Laura!"
"Take that rag out of the way," said Mr. Harry, kicking aside the old apron I had been wrapped in, and that was stained with my blood. One of the boys stuffed it into a barrel, and then they all looked toward the house.
A young girl, holding up one hand to shade her eyes from the sun, was coming up the walk that led from the house to the stable. I thought then that I never had seen such a beautiful girl, and I think so still. She was tall and slender, and had lovely brown eyes and brown hair, and a sweet smile, and just to look at her was enough to make one love her. I stood in the stable door, staring at her with all my might.
"Why, what a funny dog," she said, and stopped short to looked at me. Up to this, I had not thought what a queer-looking sight I must be. Now I twisted round my head, saw the white bandage on my tail, and knowing I was not a fit spectacle for a pretty young lady like that, I slunk into a corner.
"Poor doggie, have I hurt your feelings?" she said, and with a sweet smile at the boys, she passed by them and came up to the guinea pig's box, behind which I had taken refuge. "What is the matter with your head, good dog?" she said, curiously, as she stooped over me.
"He has a cold in it," said one of the boys with a laugh; "so we put a nightcap on." She drew back, and turned very pale. "Cousin Harry, there are drops of blood on this cotton. Who has hurt this dog?"
"Dear Laura," and the young man coming up, laid his hand on her shoulder, "he got hurt, and I have been bandaging him."
"Who hurt him?"
"I had rather not tell you."
"But I wish to know." Her voice was as gentle as ever, but she spoke so decidedly that the young man was obliged to tell her everything. All the time he was speaking, she kept touching me gently with her fingers. When he had finished his account of rescuing me from Jenkins, she said, quietly:
"You will have the man punished?"
"What is the use? That won't stop him from being cruel."
"It will put a check on his cruelty."
"I don't think it would do any good," said the young man, doggedly.
"Cousin Harry!" and the young girl stood up very straight and tall, her brown eyes flashing, and one hand pointing at me; "will you let that pass? That animal has been wronged, it looks to you to right it. The coward who has maimed it for life should be punished. A child has a voice to tell its wrong a poor, dumb creature must suffer in silence; in bitter, bitter silence. And," eagerly, as the young man tried to interrupt her, "you are doing the man himself an injustice. If he is bad enough to ill-treat his dog, he will ill-treat his wife and children. If he is checked and punished now for his cruelty, he may reform. And even if his wicked heart is not changed, he will be obliged to treat them with outward kindness, through fear of punishment."
The young man looked convinced, and almost as ashamed as if he had been the one to crop my ears. "What do you want me to do?" he said, slowly, and looking sheepishly at the boys who were staring open-mouthed at him and the young girl.
The girl pulled a little watch from her belt. "I want you to report that man immediately. It is now five o'clock. I will go down to the police station with you, if you like."
"Very well," he said, his face brightening, and together they went off to the house.
CHAPTER IV THE MORRIS BOYS ADD TO MY NAME
THE boys watched them out of sight, then one of them, whose name I afterward learned was Jack, and who came next to Miss Laura in age, gave a low whistle and said, "Doesn't the old lady come out strong when any one or anything gets abused? I'll never forget the day she found me setting Jim on that black cat of the Wilsons. She scolded me, and then she cried, till I didn't know where to look. Plague on it, how was I going to know he'd kill the old cat? I only wanted to drive it out of the yard. Come on, let's look at the dog."
They all came and bent over me, as I lay on the floor in my corner. I wasn't much used to boys, and I didn't know how they would treat me. But I soon found by the way they handled me and talked to me, that they knew a good deal about dogs, and were accustomed to treat them kindly. It seemed very strange to have them pat me, and call me "good dog." No one had ever said that to me before to-day.
"He's not much of a beauty, is he?" said one of the boys, whom they called Tom.
"Not by a long shot," said Jack Morris, with a laugh. "Not any nearer the beauty mark than yourself, Tom."
Tom flew at him, and they had a scuffle. The other boys paid no attention to them, but went on looking at me. One of them, a little boy with eyes like Miss Laura's, said, "What did Cousin Harry say the dog's name was?"
"Joe," answered another boy. "The little chap that carried him home told him."
"We might call him 'Ugly Joe' then," said a lad with a round, fat face, and laughing eyes. I wondered very much who this boy was, and, later on, I found out that he was another of Miss Laura's brothers, and his name was Ned. There seemed to be no end to the Morris boys.
"I don't think Laura would like that," said Jack Morris, suddenly coming up behind him. He was very hot, and was breathing fast, but his manner was as cool as if he had never left the group about me. He had beaten Tom, who was sitting on a box, ruefully surveying a hole in his jacket. "You see," he went on, gaspingly, "if you call him 'Ugly Joe,' her ladyship will say that you are wounding the dear dog's feelings. 'Beautiful Joe,' would be more to her liking."
A shout went up from the boys. I didn't wonder that they laughed. Plain-looking I naturally was; but I must have been hideous in those bandages.
"'Beautiful Joe,' then let it be!" they cried, "Let us go and tell mother, and ask her to give us something for our beauty to eat."
They all trooped out of the stable, and I was very sorry, for when they were with me, I did not mind so much the tingling in my ears, and the terrible pain in my back. They soon brought me some nice food, but I could not touch it, so they went away to their play, and I lay in the box they put me in, trembling with pain, and wishing that the pretty young lady was there, to stroke me with her gentle fingers.
By-and-by it got dark. The boys finished their play, and went into the house, and I saw lights twinkling in the windows. I felt lonely and miserable in this strange place. I would not have gone back to Jenkins' for the world, still it was the only home I had known, and though I felt that I should be happy here, I had not yet gotten used to the change. Then the pain all through my body was dreadful. My head seemed to be on fire, and there were sharp, darting pains up and down my backbone. I did not dare to howl, lest I should make the big dog, Jim, angry. He was sleeping in a kennel, out in the yard.
The stable was very quiet. Up in the loft above, some rabbits that I had heard running about had now gone to sleep. The guinea pig was nestling in the corner of his box, and the cat and the tame rat had scampered into the house long ago.
At last I could bear the pain no longer. I sat up in my box and looked about me. I felt as if I was going to die, and, though I was very weak, there was something inside me that made me feel as if I wanted to crawl away somewhere out of sight. I slunk out into the yard, and along the stable wall, where there was a thick clump of raspberry bushes. I crept in among them and lay down in the damp earth. I tried to scratch off my bandages, but they were fastened on too firmly, and I could not do it. I thought about my poor mother, and wished she was here to lick my sore ears. Though she was so unhappy herself, she never wanted to see me suffer. If I had not disobeyed her, I would not now be suffering so much pain. She had told me again and again not to snap at Jenkins, for it made him worse.
In the midst of my trouble I heard a soft voice calling, "Joe! Joe!" It was Miss Laura's voice, but I felt as if there were weights on my paws, and I could not go to her.
"Joe! Joe!" she said, again. She was going up the walk to the stable, holding up a lighted lamp in her hand. She had on a white dress, and I watched her till she disappeared in the stable. She did not stay long in there. She came out and stood on the gravel. "Joe, Joe, Beautiful Joe, where are you? You are hiding somewhere, but I shall find you." Then she came right to the spot where I was. "Poor doggie," she said, stooping down and patting me. "Are you very miserable, and did you crawl away to die? I have had dogs do that before, but I am not going to let you die, Joe." And she set her lamp on the ground, and took me in her arms.
I was very thin then, not nearly so fat as I am now, still I was quite an armful for her. But she did not seem to find me heavy. She took me right into the house, through the back door, and down a long flight of steps, across a hall, and into a snug kitchen.
"For the land sakes, Miss Laura," said a woman who was bending over a stove, "what have you got there?"
"A poor sick dog, Mary," said Miss Laura seating herself on a chair. "Will you please warm a little milk for him? And have you a box or a basket down here that he can lie in?"
"I guess so," said the woman; "but he's awful dirty; you're not going to let him sleep in the house, are you?"
"Only for to-night. He is very ill. A dreadful thing happened to him, Mary." And Miss Laura went on to tell her how my ears had been cut off.
"Oh, that's the dog the boys were talking about," said the woman. "Poor creature, he's welcome to all I can do for him." She opened a closet door, and brought out a box, and folded a piece of blanket for me to lie on. Then she heated some milk in a saucepan, and poured it in a saucer, and watched me while Miss Laura went upstairs to get a little bottle of something that would make me sleep. They poured a few drops of this medicine into the milk and offered it to me. I lapped a little, but I could not finish it, even though Miss Laura coaxed me very gently to do so. She dipped her finger in the milk and held it out to me and though I did not want it, I could not be ungrateful enough to refuse to lick her finger as often as she offered it to me. After the milk was gone, Mary lifted up my box, and carried me into the washroom that was off the kitchen.
I soon fell sound asleep, and could not rouse myself through the night, even though I both smelled and heard some one coming near me several times. The next morning I found out that it was Miss Laura. Whenever there was a sick animal in the house, no matter if it was only the tame rat, she would get up two or three times in the night, to see if there was anything she could do to make it more comfortable.
CHAPTER V MY NEW HOME AND A SELFISH LADY
I DON'T believe that a dog could have fallen into a happier home than I did. In a week, thanks to good nursing, good food, and kind words, I was almost well. Mr. Harry washed and dressed my sore ears and tail every day till he went home, and one day, he and the boys gave me a bath out in the stable. They carried out a tub of warm water and stood me in it. I had never been washed before in my life and it felt very queer. Miss Laura stood by laughing and encouraging me not to mind the streams of water trickling all over me. I couldn't help wondering what Jenkins would have said if he could have seen me in that tub.
That reminds me to say, that two days after I arrived at the Morrises', Jack, followed by all the other boys, came running into the stable. He had a newspaper in his hand, and with a great deal of laughing and joking, read this to me:
"Fairport Daily News, June 3d. In the police court this morning, James Jenkins, for cruelly torturing and mutilating a dog, fined ten dollars and costs."
Then he said, "What do you think of that, Joe? Five dollars apiece for your ears and your tail thrown in. That's all they're worth in the eyes of the law. Jenkins has had his fun and you'll go through life worth about three-quarters of a dog. I'd lash rascals like that. Tie them up and flog them till they were scarred and mutilated a little bit themselves. Just wait till I'm president. But there's some more, old fellow. Listen: 'Our reporter visited the house of the above-mentioned Jenkins, and found a most deplorable state of affairs. The house, yard and stable were indescribably filthy. His horse bears the marks of ill-usage, and is in an emaciated condition. His cows are plastered up with mud and filth, and are covered with vermin. Where is our health inspector, that he does not exercise a more watchful supervision over establishments of this kind? To allow milk from an unclean place like this to be sold in the town, is endangering the health of its inhabitants. Upon inquiry, it was found that the man Jenkins bears a very bad character. Steps are being taken to have his wife and children removed from him.'"
Jack threw the paper into my box, and he and the other boys gave three cheers for the Daily News and then ran away. How glad I was! It did not matter so much for me, for I had escaped him, but now that it had been found out what a cruel man he was, there would be a restraint upon him, and poor Toby and the cows would have a happier time.
I was going to tell about the Morris family. There were Mr. Morris, who was a clergyman and preached in a church in Fairport; Mrs. Morris, his wife; Miss Laura, who was the eldest of the family; then Jack, Ned, Carl, and Willie. I think one reason why they were such a good family was because Mrs. Morris was such a good woman. She loved her husband and children, and did everything she could to make them happy.
Mr. Morris was a very busy man and rarely interfered in household affairs. Mrs. Morris was the one who said what was to be done and what was not to be done. Even then, when I was a young dog, I used to think that she was very wise. There was never any noise or confusion in the house, and though there was a great deal of work to be done, everything went on smoothly and pleasantly, and no one ever got angry and scolded as they did in the Jenkins family.
Mrs. Morris was very particular about money matters. Whenever the boys came to her for money to get such things as candy and ice cream, expensive toys, and other things that boys often crave, she asked them why they wanted them. If it was for some selfish reason, she said, firmly: "No, my children; we are not rich people, and we must save our money for your education. I cannot buy you foolish things."
If they asked her for money for books or something to make their pet animals more comfortable, or for their outdoor games, she gave it to them willingly. Her ideas about the bringing up of children I cannot explain as clearly as she can herself, so I will give part of a conversation that she had with a lady who was calling on her shortly after I came to Washington Street.
I happened to be in the house at the time. Indeed, I used to spend the greater part of my time in the house. Jack one day looked at me, and exclaimed: "Why does that dog stalk about, first after one and then after another, looking at us with such solemn eyes?"
I wished that I could speak to tell him that I had so long been used to seeing animals kicked about and trodden upon, that I could not get used to the change. It seemed too good to be true. I could scarcely believe that dumb animals had rights; but while it lasted, and human beings were so kind to me, I wanted to be with them all the time. Miss Laura understood. She drew my head up to her lap, and put her face down to me: "You like to be with us, don't you, Joe? Stay in the house as much as you like. Jack doesn't mind, though he speaks so sharply. When you get tired of us go out in the garden and have a romp with Jim."
But I must return to the conversation I referred to. It was one fine June day, and Mrs. Morris was sewing in a rocking-chair by the window. I was beside her, sitting on a hassock, so that I could look out into the street. Dogs love variety and excitement, and like to see what is going on outdoors as well as human beings. A carriage drove up to the door, and a finely-dressed lady got out and came up the steps.
Mrs. Morris seemed glad to see her, and called her Mrs. Montague. I was pleased with her, for she had some kind of perfume about her that I liked to smell. So I went and sat on the hearth rug quite near her.
They had a little talk about things I did not understand and then the lady's eyes fell on me. She looked at me through a bit of glass that was hanging by a chain from her neck, and pulled away her beautiful dress lest I should touch it.
I did not care any longer for the perfume, and went away and sat very straight and stiff at Mrs. Morris' feet. The lady's eyes still followed me.
"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Morris," she said, "but that is a very queer-looking dog you have there."
"Yes," said Mrs. Morris, quietly; "he is not a handsome dog."
"And he is a new one, isn't he?" said Mrs. Montague.
"And that makes."
"Two dogs, a cat, fifteen or twenty rabbits, a rat, about a dozen canaries, and two dozen goldfish, I don't know how many pigeons, a few bantams, a guinea pig, and well, I don't think there is anything more."
They both laughed, and Mrs. Montague said: "You have quite a menagerie. My father would never allow one of his children to keep a pet animal. He said it would make his girls rough and noisy to romp about the house with cats, and his boys would look like rowdies if they went about with dogs at their heels."
"I have never found that it made my children more rough to play with their pets," said Mrs. Morris.
"No, I should think not," said the lady, languidly. "Your boys are the most gentlemanly lads in Fairport, and as for Laura, she is a perfect little lady. I like so much to have them come and see Charlie. They wake him up, and yet don't make him naughty."
"They enjoyed their last visit very much," said Mrs. Morris. "By the way, I have heard them talking about getting Charlie a dog."
"Oh!" cried the lady, with a little shudder, "beg them not to. I cannot sanction that. I hate dogs."
"Why do you hate them?" asked Mrs. Morris gently.
"They are such dirty things; they always smell and have vermin on them."
"A dog," said Mrs. Morris, "is something like a child. If you want it clean and pleasant, you have got to keep it so. This dog's skin is as clean as yours or mine. Hold still, Joe," and she brushed the hair on my back the wrong way, and showed Mrs. Montague how pink and free from dust my skin was.
Mrs. Montague looked at me more kindly, and even held out the tips of her fingers to me. I did not lick them. I only smelled them, and she drew her hand back again.
"You have never been brought in contact with the lower creation as I have," said Mrs. Morris; "just let me tell you, in a few words, what a help dumb animals have been to me in the up-bringing of my children my boys, especially. When I was a young married woman, going about the slums of New York with my husband, I used to come home and look at my two babies as they lay in their little cots, and say to him, 'What are we going to do to keep these children from selfishness the curse of the world?'
"'Get them to do something for somebody outside themselves,' he always said. And I have tried to act on that principle. Laura is naturally unselfish. With her tiny, baby fingers, she would take food from her own mouth and put it into Jack's, if we did not watch her. I have never had any trouble with her. But the boys were born selfish, tiresomely, disgustingly selfish. They were good boys in many ways. As they grew older they were respectful, obedient, they were not untidy, and not particularly rough, but their one thought was for themselves each one for himself, and they used to quarrel with each other in regard to their rights. While we were in New York, we had only a small, back yard. When we came here, I said, 'I am going to try an experiment.' We got this house because it had a large garden, and a stable that would do for the boys to play in. Then I got them together, and had a little serious talk. I said I was not pleased with the way in which they were living. They did nothing for any one but themselves from morning to night. If I asked them to do an errand for me, it was done unwillingly. Of course, I knew they had their school for a part of the day, but they had a good deal of leisure time when they might do something for some one else. I asked them if they thought they were going to make real, manly Christian boys at this rate, and they said no. Then I asked them what we should do about it. They all said, 'You tell us mother, and we'll do as you say.' I proposed a series of tasks. Each one to do something for somebody, outside and apart from himself, every day of his life. They all agreed to this, and told me to allot the tasks. If I could have afforded it, I would have gotten a horse and cow, and had them take charge of them; but I could not do that, so I invested in a pair of rabbits for Jack, a pair of canaries for Carl, pigeons for Ned, and bantams for Willie. I brought these creatures home, put them into their hands, and told them to provide for them. They were delighted with my choice, and it was very amusing to see them scurrying about to provide food and shelter for their pets, and hear their consultations with other boys. The end of it all is, that I am perfectly satisfied with my experiment. My boys, in caring for these dumb creatures, have become unselfish and thoughtful. They had rather go to school without their own breakfast than have the inmates of the stable go hungry. They are getting a humane education, a heart education, added to the intellectual education of their schools. Then it keeps them at home. I used to be worried with the lingering about street corners, the dawdling around with other boys, and the idle, often worse than idle, talk indulged in. Now they have something to do, they are men of business. They are always hammering and pounding at boxes and partitions out there in the stable, or cleaning up, and if they are sent out on an errand, they do it and come right home. I don't mean to say that we have deprived them of liberty. They have their days for base-ball, and foot-ball, and excursions to the woods, but they have so much to do at home, that they won't go away unless for a specific purpose."
While Mrs. Morris was talking, her visitor leaned forward in her chair, and listened attentively. When she finished, Mrs. Montague said, quietly, "Thank you, I am glad that you told me this. I shall get Charlie a dog."
"I am glad to hear you say that," replied Mrs. Morris. "It will be a good thing for your little boy. I should not wish my boys to be without a good, faithful dog. A child can learn many a lesson from a dog. This one," pointing to me, "might be held up as an example to many a human being. He is patient, quiet, and obedient. My husband says that he reminds him of three words in the Bible 'through much tribulation.'"
"Why does he say that?" asked Mrs. Montague, curiously.
"Because he came to us from a very unhappy home." And Mrs. Morris went on to tell her friend what she knew of my early days.
When she stopped, Mrs. Montague's face was shocked and pained. "How dreadful to think that there are such creatures as that man Jenkins in the world. And you say that he has a wife and children. Mrs. Morris, tell me plainly, are there many such unhappy homes in Fairport?"
Mrs. Morris hesitated for a minute, then she said, earnestly: "My dear friend, if you could see all the wickedness, and cruelty, and vileness, that is practiced in this little town of ours in one night, you could not rest in your bed."
Mrs. Montague looked dazed. "I did not dream that it was as bad as that," she said. "Are we worse than other towns?"
"No; not worse, but bad enough. Over and over again the saying is true, one-half the world does not know how the other half lives. How can all this misery touch you? You live in your lovely house out of the town. When you come in, you drive about, do your shopping, make calls, and go home again. You never visit the poorest streets. The people from them never come to you. You are rich, your people before you were rich, you live in a state of isolation."
"But that is not right," said the lady in a wailing voice. "I have been thinking about this matter lately. I read a great deal in the papers about the misery of the lower classes, and I think we richer ones ought to do something to help them. Mrs. Morris, what can I do?"
The tears came in Mrs. Morris' eyes. She looked at the little, frail lady, and said, simply: "Dear Mrs. Montague, I think the root of the whole matter lies in this. The Lord made us all one family. We are all brothers and sisters. The lowest woman is your sister and my sister. The man lying in the gutter is our brother What should we do to help these members of our common family, who are not as well off as we are? We should share our last crust with them. You and I, but for God's grace in placing us in different surroundings, might be in their places. I think it is wicked neglect, criminal neglect in us to ignore this fact."
"It is, it is," said Mrs. Montague, in a despairing voice. "I can't help feeling it. Tell me something I can do to help some one."
Mrs. Morris sank back in her chair, her face very sad, and yet with something like pleasure in her eyes as she looked at her caller. "Your washerwoman," she said, "has a drunken husband and a cripple boy. I have often seen her standing over her tub, washing your delicate muslins and laces, and dropping tears into the water."
"I will never send her anything more she shall not be troubled," said Mrs. Montague, hastily.
Mrs. Morris could not help smiling. "I have not made myself clear. It is not the washing that troubles her; it is her husband who beats her, and her boy who worries her. If you and I take our work from her, she will have that much less money to depend upon, and will suffer in consequence, She is a hard-working and capable woman, and makes a fair living. I would not advise you to give her money, for her husband would find it out, and take it from her. It is sympathy that she wants. If you could visit her occasionally, and show that you are interested in her, by talking or reading to her poor foolish boy or showing him a picture-book, you have no idea how grateful she would be to you, and how it would cheer her on her dreary way."
"I will go to see her to-morrow," said Mrs. Montague. "Can you think of any one else I could visit?"
"A great many," said Mrs. Morris; "but I don't think you had better undertake too much at once. I will give you the addresses of three or four poor families, where an occasional visit would do untold good. That is, it will do them good if you treat them as you do your richer friends. Don't give them too much money, or too many presents, till you find out what they need. Try to feel interested in them. Find out their ways of living, and what they are going to do with their children, and help them to get situations for them if you can. And be sure to remember that poverty does not always take away one's self-respect."
"I will, I will," said Mrs. Montague, eagerly. "When can you give me these addresses?"
Mrs. Morris smiled again, and, taking a piece of paper and a pencil from her work basket wrote a few lines and handed them to Mrs. Montague.
The lady got up to take her leave. "And in regard to the dog," said Mrs. Morris, following her to the door, "if you decide to allow Charlie to have one, you had better let him come in and have a talk with my boys about it. They seem to know all the dogs that are for sale in the town."
"Thank you; I shall be most happy to do so. He shall have his dog. When can you have him?"
"To-morrow, the next day, any day at all. It makes no difference to me. Let him spend an afternoon and evening with the boys, if you do not object."
"It will give me much pleasure," and the little lady bowed and smiled, and after stooping down to pat me, tripped down the steps, and got into her carriage and drove away.
Mrs. Morris stood looking after her with a beaming face, and I began to think that I should like Mrs. Montague, too, if I knew her long enough. Two days later I was quite sure I should, for I had a proof that she really liked me. When her little boy Charlie came to the house, he brought something for me done up in white paper. Mrs. Morris opened it, and there was a handsome nickel-plated collar, with my name on it Beautiful Joe. Wasn't I pleased! They took off the little shabby leather strap that the boys had given me when I came, and fastened on my new collar and then Mrs. Morris held me up to a glass to look at myself. I felt so happy. Up to this time I had felt a little ashamed of my cropped ears and docked tail, but now that I had a fine new collar I could hold up my head with any dog.
"Dear old Joe," said Mrs. Morris, pressing my head tightly between her hands. "You did a good thing the other day in helping me to start that little woman out of her selfish way of living."
I did not know about that, but I knew that I felt very grateful to Mrs. Montague for my new collar, and ever afterward, when I met her in the street, I stopped and looked at her. Sometimes she saw me and stopped her carriage to speak to me; but I always wagged my tail, or rather my body, for I had no tail to wag, whenever I saw her, whether she saw me or not.
Her son got a beautiful Irish setter, called "Brisk." He had a silky coat and soft brown eyes, and his young master seemed very fond of him.
CHAPTER VI THE FOX TERRIER BILLY
WHEN I came to the Morrises, I knew nothing about the proper way of bringing up a puppy. I once heard of a little boy whose sister beat him so much that he said he was brought up by hand; so I think as Jenkins kicked me so much, I may say that I was brought up by foot.
Shortly after my arrival in my new home, I had a chance of seeing how one should bring up a little puppy.
One day I was sitting beside Miss Laura in the parlor, when the door opened and Jack came in. One of his hands was laid over the other, and he said to his sister, "Guess what I've got here."
"A bird," she said.
"No a pup."
"Oh, Jack," she said, reprovingly; for she thought he was telling a story.
He opened his hands and there lay the tiniest morsel of a fox terrier puppy that I ever saw. He was white, with black and tan markings. His body was pure white, his tail black, with a dash of tan; his ears black, and his face evenly marked with black and tan. We could not tell the color of his eyes, as they were not open. Later on, they turned out to be a pretty brown. His nose was pale pink, and when he got older, it became jet black.
"Why, Jack!" exclaimed Miss Laura, "his eyes aren't open; why did you take him from his mother?"
"She's dead," said Jack. "Poisoned left her pups to run about the yard for a little exercise. Some brute had thrown over a piece of poisoned meat, and she ate it. Four of the pups died. This is the only one left. Mr. Robinson says his man doesn't understand raising pups without their mothers, and as he is going away, he wants us to have it, for we always had such luck in nursing sick animals."
Mr. Robinson I knew was a friend of the Morrises and a gentleman who was fond of fancy stock, and imported a great deal of it from England. If this puppy came from him, it was sure to be good one.
Miss Laura took the tiny creature, and went upstairs very thoughtfully. I followed her, and watched her get a little basket and line it with cotton wool. She put the puppy in it and looked at him. Though it was midsummer and the house seemed very warm to me, the little creature was shivering, and making a low murmuring noise. She pulled the wool all over him and put the window down, and set his basket in the sun.
Then she went to the kitchen and got some warm milk. She dipped her finger in it, and offered it to the puppy, but he went nosing about it in a stupid way, and wouldn't touch it. "Too young," Miss Laura said. She got a little piece of muslin, put some bread in it, tied a string round it, and dipped it in the milk. When she put this to the puppy's mouth, he sucked it greedily. He acted as if he was starving, but Miss Laura only let him have a little.
Every few hours for the rest of the day, she gave him some more milk, and I heard the boys say that for many nights she got up once or twice and heated milk over a lamp for him. One night the milk got cold before he took it, and he swelled up and became so ill that Miss Laura had to rouse her mother and get some hot water to plunge him in. That made him well again, and no one seemed to think it was a great deal of trouble to take for a creature that was nothing but a dog.
He fully repaid them for all his care, for he turned out to be one of the prettiest and most lovable dogs that I ever saw. They called him Billy, and the two events of his early life were the opening of his eyes and the swallowing of his muslin rag. The rag did not seem to hurt him, but Miss Laura said that, as he had got so strong and greedy, he must learn to eat like other dogs.
He was very amusing when he was a puppy. He was full of tricks, and he crept about in a mischievous way when one did not know he was near. He was a very small puppy and used to climb inside Miss Laura's Jersey sleeve up to her shoulder when he was six weeks old. One day, when the whole family was in the parlor, Mr. Morris suddenly flung aside his newspaper, and began jumping up and down. Mrs. Morris was very much alarmed, and cried out, "My dear William what is the matter?"
"There's a rat up my leg," he said, shaking it violently. Just then little Billy fell out on the floor and lay on his back looking up at Mr. Morris with a surprised face. He had felt cold and thought it would be warm inside Mr. Morris' trouser's leg.
However, Billy never did any real mischief, thanks to Miss Laura's training. She began to punish him just as soon as he began to tear and worry things. The first thing he attacked was Mr. Morris' felt hat. The wind blew it down the hall one day, and Billy came along and began to try it with his teeth. I dare say it felt good to them, for a puppy is very like a baby and loves something to bite.
Miss Laura found him, and he rolled his eyes at her quite innocently, not knowing that he was doing wrong. She took the hat away, and pointing from it to him, said, "Bad Billy!" Then she gave him two or three slaps with a bootlace. She never struck a little dog with her hand or a stick. She said clubs were for big dogs and switches for little dogs, if one had to use them. The best way was to scold them, for a good dog feels a severe scolding as much as a whipping.
Billy was very much ashamed of himself. Nothing would induce him even to look at a hat again. But he thought it was no harm to worry other things. He attacked one thing after another, the rugs on the floor, curtains, anything flying or fluttering, and Miss Laura patiently scolded him for each one, till at last it dawned upon him that he must not worry anything but a bone. Then he got to be a very good dog.
There was one thing that Miss Laura was very particular about, and that was to have him fed regularly. We both got three meals a day. We were never allowed to go into the dining room, and while the family was at the table, we lay in the hall outside and watched what was going on.
Dogs take a great interest in what any one gets to eat. It was quite exciting to see the Morrises' passing each other different dishes, and to smell the nice, hot food. Billy often wished that he could get up on the table. He said that he would make things fly. When he was growing, he hardly ever got enough to eat. I used to tell him that he would kill himself if he could eat all he wanted to.
As soon as meals were over, Billy and I scampered after Miss Laura to the kitchen. We each had our own plate for food. Mary the cook often laughed at Miss Laura, because she would not let her dogs "dish" together. Miss Laura said that if she did, the larger one would get more than his share, and the little one would starve.
It was quite a sight to see Billy eat. He spread his legs apart to steady himself, and gobbled at his food like a duck. When he finished he always looked up for more, and Miss Laura would shake her head and say: "No, Billy: better longing than loathing. I believe that a great many little dogs are killed by overfeeding."
I often heard the Morrises speak of the foolish way in which some people stuffed their pets with food, and either kill them by it or keep them in continual ill health. A case occurred in our neighborhood while Billy was a puppy. Some people, called Dobson, who lived only a few doors from the Morrises, had a fine bay mare and a little colt called Sam. They were very proud of this colt, and Mr. Dobson had promised it to his son James. One day Mr. Dobson asked Mr. Morris to come in and see the colt, and I went, too. I watched Mr. Morris while he examined it. It was a pretty little creature, and I did not wonder that they thought so much of it.
When Mr. Morris went home his wife asked him what he thought of it.
"I think," he said, "that it won't live long."
"Why, papa!" exclaimed Jack, who overheard the remark, "it is as fat as a seal."
"It would have a better chance for its life if it were lean and scrawny," said Mr. Morris. "They are over-feeding it, and I told Mr. Dobson so; but he wasn't inclined to believe me."
Now, Mr. Morris had been brought up in the country, and knew a great deal about animals, so I was inclined to think he was right. And sure enough, in a few days, we heard that the colt was dead.
Poor James Dobson felt very badly. A number of the neighbors' boys went into see him, and there he stood gazing at the dead colt, and looking as if he wanted to cry. Jack was there and I was at his heels, and though he said nothing for a time, I knew he was angry with the Dobsons for sacrificing the colt's life. Presently he said, "You won't need to have that colt stuffed now he's dead, Dobson."
"What do you mean? Why do you say that?" asked the boy, peevishly.
"Because you stuffed him while he was alive," said Jack, saucily.
Then we had to run for all we were worth, for the Dobson boy was after us, and as he was a big fellow he would have whipped Jack soundly.
I must not forget to say that Billy was washed regularly once a week with nice-smelling soaps and once a month with strong-smelling, disagreeable, carbolic soap. He had his own towels and wash cloths, and after being rubbed and scrubbed, he was rolled in a blanket and put by the fire to dry. Miss Laura said that a little dog that has been petted and kept in the house, and has become tender, should never be washed and allowed to run about with a wet coat, unless the weather was very warm, for he would be sure to take cold.
Jim and I were more hardy than Billy, and we took our baths in the sea. Every few days the boys took us down to the shore and we went swimming with them.
CHAPTER VII TRAINING A PUPPY
"NED, dear," said Miss Laura one day, "I wish you would train Billy to follow and retrieve. He is four months old now, and I shall soon want to take him out in the street."
"Very well, sister," said mischievous Ned, and catching up a stick, he said, "Come out into the garden, dogs."
Though he was brandishing his stick very fiercely, I was not at all afraid of him; and as for Billy, he loved Ned.
The Morris garden was really not a garden but a large piece of ground with the grass worn bare in many places, a few trees scattered about, and some raspberry and currant bushes along the fence. A lady who knew that Mr. Morris had not a large salary, said one day when she was looking out of the dining-room window, "My dear Mrs. Morris, why don't you have this garden dug up? You could raise your own vegetables. It would be so much cheaper than buying them."
Mrs. Morris laughed in great amusement. "Think of the hens, and cats, and dogs, and rabbits, and, above all, the boys that I have. What sort of a garden would there be, and do you think it would be fair to take their playground from them?"
The lady said, "No, she did not think it would be fair."
I am sure I don't know what the boys would have done without this strip of ground. Many a frolic and game they had there. In the present case, Ned walked around and around it, with his stick on his shoulder, Billy and I strolling after him. Presently Billy made a dash aside to get a bone. Ned turned around and said firmly, "To heel!"
Billy looked at him innocently, not knowing what he meant. "To heel!" exclaimed Ned again. Billy thought he wanted to play, and putting his head on his paws, he began to bark. Ned laughed; still he kept saying "To heel!" He would not say another word. He knew if he said "Come here," or "Follow," or "Go behind," it would confuse Billy.
Finally, as Ned kept saying the words over and over, and pointing to me, it seemed to dawn upon Billy that he wanted him to follow him. So he came beside me, and together we followed Ned around the garden, again and again.
Ned often looked behind with a pleased face, and I felt so proud to think I was doing well, but suddenly I got dreadfully confused when he turned around and said, "Hie out!"
The Morrises all used the same words in training their dogs, and I had heard Miss Laura say this, but I had forgotten what it meant. "Good Joe," said Ned, turning around and patting me, "you have forgotten. I wonder where Jim is? He would help us."
He put his fingers in his mouth and blew a shrill whistle, and soon Jim came trotting up the lane from the street. He looked at us with his large, intelligent eyes, and wagged his tail slowly, as if to say, "Well, what do you want of me?"
"Come and give me a hand at this training business, old Sobersides," said Ned, with a laugh. "It's too slow to do it alone. Now, young gentlemen, attention! To heel!" He began to march around the garden again, and Jim and I followed closely at his heels, while little Billy, seeing that he could not get us to play with him, came lagging behind.
Soon Ned turned around and said, "Hie out!" Old Jim sprang ahead, and ran off in front as if he was after something. Now I remembered what "hie out" meant. We were to have a lovely race wherever we liked. Little Billy loved this. We ran and scampered hither and thither, and Ned watched us, laughing at our antics.
After tea, he called us out in the garden again, and said he had something else to teach us. He turned up a tub on the wooden platform at the back door, and sat on it, and then called Jim to him.
He took a small leather strap from his pocket. It had a nice, strong smell. We all licked it, and each dog wished to have it. "No, Joe and Billy," said Ned, holding us both by our collars; "you wait a minute. Here, Jim."
Jim watched him very earnestly, and Ned threw the strap half-way across the garden, and said, "Fetch it."
Jim never moved till he heard the words, "Fetch it." Then he ran swiftly, brought the strap, and dropped it in Ned's hand. Ned sent him after it two or three times, then he said to Jim, "Lie down," and turned to me. "Here, Joe; it is your turn."
He threw the strap under the raspberry bushes, then looked at me and said, "Fetch it." I knew quite well what he meant, and ran joyfully after it. I soon found it by the strong smell, but the queerest thing happened when I got it in my mouth. I began to gnaw it and play with it, and when Ned called out, "fetch it," I dropped it and ran toward him. I was not obstinate, but I was stupid.
Ned pointed to the place where it was, and spread out his empty hands. That helped me, and I ran quickly and got it. He made me get it for him several times. Sometimes I could not find it, and sometimes I dropped it; but he never stirred. He sat still till I brought it to him.
After a while he tried Billy, but it soon got dark, and we could not see, so he took Billy and went into the house.
I stayed out with Jim for a while, and he asked me if I knew why Ned had thrown a strap for us, instead of a bone or something hard.
Of course I did not know, so Jim told me it was on his account. He was a bird dog, and was never allowed to carry anything hard in his mouth, because it would make him hard-mouthed, and he would be apt to bite the birds when he was bringing them back to any person who was shooting with him. He said that he had been so carefully trained that he could even carry three eggs at a time in his mouth.
I said to him, "Jim, how is it that you never go out shooting? I have always heard that you were a dog for that, and yet you never leave home."
He hung his head a little, and said he did not wish to go, and then, for he was an honest dog, he gave me the true reason.
CHAPTER VIII A RUINED DOG
"I WAS a sporting dog," he said, bitterly, "for the first three years of my life. I belonged to a man who keeps a livery stable here in Fairport, and he used to hire me out shooting parties.
"I was a favorite with all the gentlemen. I was crazy with delight when I saw the guns brought out, and would jump up and bite at them. I loved to chase birds and rabbits, and even now when the pigeons come near me, I tremble all over and have to turn away lest I should seize them. I used often to be in the woods from morning till night. I liked to have a hard search after a bird after it had been shot, and to be praised for bringing it out without biting or injuring it.
"I never got lost, for I am one of those dogs that can always tell where human beings are. I did not smell them. I would be too far away for that, but if my master was standing in some place and I took a long round through the woods, I knew exactly where he was, and could make a short cut back to him without returning in my tracks.
"But I must tell you about my trouble. One Saturday afternoon a party of young men came to get me. They had a dog with them, a cocker spaniel called Bob, but they wanted another. For some reason or other, my master was very unwilling to have me go. However, he at last consented, and they put me in the back of the wagon with Bob and the lunch baskets, and we drove off into the country. This Bob was a happy, merry-looking dog, and as we went along, he told me of the fine time we should have next day. The young men would shoot a little, then they would get out their baskets and have something to eat and drink, and would play cards and go to sleep under the trees, and we would be able to help ourselves to legs and wings of chickens, and anything we liked from the baskets.
"I did not like this at all. I was used to working hard through the week, and I liked to spend my Sundays quietly at home. However, I said nothing.
"That night we slept at a country hotel, and drove the next morning to the banks of a small lake where the young men were told there would be plenty of wild ducks. They were in no hurry to begin their sport. They sat down in the sun on some flat rocks at the water's edge, and said they would have something to drink before setting to work. They got out some of the bottles from the wagon, and began to take long drinks from them. Then they got quarrelsome and mischievous and seemed to forget all about their shooting. One of them proposed to have some fun with the dogs. They tied us both to a tree, and throwing a stick in the water, told us to get it. Of course we struggled and tried to get free, and chafed our necks with the rope.
"After a time one of them began to swear at me, and say that he believed I was gun-shy. He staggered to the wagon and got out his fowling piece, and said he was going to try me.
"He loaded it, went to a little distance, and was going to fire, when the young man who owned Bob said he wasn't going to have his dog's legs shot off, and coming up he unfastened him and took him away. You can imagine my feelings, as I stood there tied to the tree, with that stranger pointing his gun directly at me. He fired close to me, a number of times over my head and under my body. The earth was cut up all around me. I was terribly frightened, and howled and begged to be freed.
"The other young men, who were sitting laughing at me, thought it such good fun that they got their guns, too. I never wish to spend such a terrible hour again. I was sure they would kill me. I dare say they would have done so, for they were all quite drunk by this time, if something had not happened.
"Poor Bob, who was almost as frightened as I was, and who lay shivering under the wagon, was killed by a shot by his own master, whose hand was the most unsteady of all. He gave one loud howl, kicked convulsively, then turned over on his side and lay quite still. It sobered them all. They ran up to him, but he was quite dead. They sat for a while quite silent, then they threw the rest of the bottles into the lake, dug a shallow grave for Bob, and putting me in the wagon drove slowly back to town. They were not bad young men. I don't think they meant to hurt me, or to kill Bob. It was the nasty stuff in the bottles that took away their reason.
"I was never the same dog again. I was quite deaf in my right ear, and though I strove against it, I was so terribly afraid of even the sight of a gun that I would run and hide myself whenever one was shown to me. My master was very angry with those young men, and it seemed as if he could not bear the sight of me. One day he took me very kindly and brought me here, and asked Mr. Morris if he did not want a good-natured dog to play with the children.
"I have a happy home here and I love the Morris boys; but I often wish that I could keep from putting my tail between my legs and running home every time I hear the sound of a gun."
"Never mind that, Jim," I said. "You should not fret over a thing for which you are not to blame. I am sure you must be glad for one reason that you have left your old life."
"What is that?" he said.
"On account of the birds. You know Miss Laura thinks it is wrong to kill the pretty creatures that fly about the woods."
"So it is," he said, "unless one kills them at once. I have often felt angry with men for only half killing a bird. I hated to pick up the little warm body, and see the bright eye looking so reproachfully at me, and feel the flutter of life. We animals, or rather the most of us, kill mercifully. It is only human beings who butcher their prey, and seem, some of them, to rejoice in their agony. I used to be eager to kill birds and rabbits, but I did not want to keep them before me long after they were dead. I often stop in the street and look up at fine ladies' bonnets, and wonder how they can wear little dead birds in such dreadful positions. Some of them have their heads twisted under their wings and over their shoulders, and looking toward their tails, and their eyes are so horrible that I wish I could take those ladies into the woods and let them see how easy and pretty a live bird is, and how unlike the stuffed creatures they wear. Have you ever had a good run in the woods, Joe?"
"No, never," I said.
"Some day I will take you, and now it is late and I must go to bed. Are you going to sleep in the kennel with me, or in the stable?"
"I think I will sleep with you, Jim. Dogs like company, you know, as well as human beings." I curled up in the straw beside him and soon we were fast asleep.
I have known a good many dogs, but I don't think I ever saw such a good one as Jim. He was gentle and kind, and so sensitive that a hard word hurt him more than a blow. He was a great pet with Mrs. Morris, and as he had been so well trained, he was able to make himself very useful to her.
When she went shopping, he often carried a parcel in his mouth for her. He would never drop it nor leave it anywhere. One day, she dropped her purse without knowing it, and Jim picked it up, and brought it home in his mouth. She did not notice him, for he always walked behind her. When she got to her own door, she missed the purse, and turning around saw it in Jim's mouth.
Another day, a lady gave Jack Morris a canary cage as a present for Carl. He was bringing it home, when one of the little seed boxes fell out. Jim picked it up and carried it a long way, before Jack discovered it.
CHAPTER IX THE PARROT BELLA
I OFTEN used to hear the Morrises speak about vessels that ran between Fairport and a place called the West Indies, carrying cargoes of lumber and fish, and bringing home molasses, spices, fruit, and other things. On one of these vessels, called the "Mary Jane," was a cabin boy, who was a. friend of the Morris boys, and often brought them presents.
One day, after I had been with the Morrises' for some months, this boy arrived at the house with a bunch of green bananas in one hand, and a parrot in the other. The boys were delighted with the parrot, and called their mother to see what a pretty bird she was.
Mrs. Morris seemed very much touched by the boy's thoughtfulness in bringing a present such a long distance to her boys, and thanked him warmly. The cabin boy became very shy and all he could say was, "Go way!" over and over again, in a very awkward manner.
Mrs. Morris smiled, and left him with the boys. I think that she thought he would be more comfortable with them.
Jack put me up on the table to look at the parrot. The boy held her by a string tied around one of her legs. She was a gray parrot with a few red feathers in her tail, and she had bright eyes, and a very knowing air.
The boy said he had been careful to buy a young one that could not speak, for he knew the Morris boys would not want one chattering foreign gibberish, nor yet one that would swear. He had kept her in his bunk in the ship, and had spent all his leisure time in teaching her to talk. Then he looked at her anxiously, and said, "Show off now, can't ye?"
I didn't know what he meant by all this, until afterward. I had never heard of such a thing as birds talking. I stood on the table staring hard at her, and she stared hard at me. I was just thinking that I would not like to have her sharp little beak fastened in my skin, when I heard some one say, "Beautiful Joe." The voice seemed to come from the room, but I knew all the voices there, and this was one I had never heard before, so I thought I must be mistaken, and it was some one in the hall. I struggled to get away from Jack to run and see who it was. But he held me fast, and laughed with all his might. I looked at the other boys and they were laughing, too. Presently, I heard again, "Beautiful Joe, Beautiful Joe." The sound was close by, and yet it did not come from the cabin boy, for he was all doubled up laughing, his face as red as a beet.
"It's the parrot, Joe!" cried Ned. "Look at her, you gaby." I did look at her, and with her head on one side, and the sauciest air in the world, she was saying: "Beau-ti-ful Joe, Beau-ti-ful Joe!"
I had never heard a bird talk before, and I felt so sheepish that I tried to get down and hide myself under the table. Then she began to laugh at me. "Ha, ha, ha, good dog sic 'em, boy. Rats, rats! Beau-ti-ful Joe, Beau-ti-ful Joe," she cried, rattling off the words as fast as she could.
I never felt so queer before in my life, and the boys were just roaring with delight at my puzzled face. Then the parrot began calling for Jim. "Where's Jim, where's good old Jim? Poor old dog. Give him a bone."
The boys brought Jim in the parlor, and when he heard her funny, little, cracked voice calling him, he nearly went crazy: "Jimmy, Jimmy, James Augustus!" she said, which was Jim's long name.
He made a dash out of the room, and the boys screamed so that Mr. Morris came down from his study to see what the noise meant. As soon as the parrot saw him, she would not utter another word. The boys told him though what she had been saying, and he seemed much amused to think that the cabin boy should have remembered so many sayings his boys made use of, and taught them to the parrot. "Clever Polly," he said, kindly; "good Polly."
The cabin boy looked at him shyly, and Jack, who was a very sharp boy, said quickly, "Is not that what you call her, Henry?"
"No," said the boy; "I call her Bell, short for Bellzebub."
"I beg your pardon," said Jack, very politely.
"Bell short for Bellzebub," repeated the boy. "Ye see, I thought ye'd like a name from the Bible, bein' a minister's sons. I hadn't my Bible with me on this cruise, savin' yer presences an' I couldn't think of any girls' names out of it: but Eve or Queen of Sheba, an' they didn't seem very fit, so I asked one of me mates, an' he says, for his part he guessed Bellzebub was as pretty a girl's name as any, so I guv her that. 'Twould 'a been better to let you name her, but ye see 'twouldn't 'a been handy not to call her somethin', where I was teachin' her every day."
Jack turned away and walked to the window, his face a deep scarlet. I heard him mutter, "Beelzebub, prince of devils," so I suppose the cabin boy had given his bird a bad name.
Mr. Morris looked kindly at the cabin boy "Do you ever call the parrot by her whole name?"
"No, sir," he replied; "I always give her Bell but she calls herself Bella."
"Bella," repeated Mr. Morris, "that is a very pretty name. If you keep her, boys, I think you had better stick to that."
"Yes, father," they all said; and then Mr. Morris started to go back to his study. On the doorsill he paused to ask the cabin boy when his ship sailed. Finding that it was to be in a few days, he took out his pocket-book and wrote something in it. The next day he asked Jack to go to town with him, and when they came home, Jack said that his father had bought an oil-skin coat for Henry Smith, and a handsome Bible, in which they were all to write their names.
After Mr. Morris left the room, the door opened and Miss Laura came in. She knew nothing about the parrot and was very much surprised to see it. Seating herself at the table, she held out her hands to it. She was so fond of pets of all kinds, that she never thought of being afraid of them. At the same time, she never laid her hand suddenly on any animal. She held out her fingers and talked gently, so that if it wished to come to her it could. She looked at the parrot as if she loved it, and the queer little thing walked right up and nestled its head against the lace in the front of her dress. "Pretty lady," she said, in a cracked whisper, "give Bella a kiss."
The boys were so pleased with this and set up such a shout, that their mother came into the room and said they had better take the parrot out to the stable. Bella seem to enjoy the fun. "Come on, boys," she screamed, as Henry Smith lifted her on his finger. "Ha, ha, ha come on, let's have some fun. Where's the guinea pig? Where's Davy, the rat? Where's pussy? Pussy, pussy, come here. Pussy, pussy, dear, pretty puss."
Her voice was shrill and distinct, and very like the voice of an old woman who came to the house for rags and bones. I followed her out to the stable, and stayed there until she noticed me and screamed out, "Ha, Joe, Beautiful Joe! Where's your tail? Who cut your ears off?"
I don't think it was kind in the cabin boy to teach her this, and I think she knew it teased me, for she said it over and over again, and laughed and chuckled with delight. I left her and did not see her till the next day, when the boys had got a fine, large cage for her.
The place for her cage was by one of the hall windows; but everybody in the house got so fond of her that she was moved about from one room to another.
She hated her cage, and used to put her head close to the bars and plead, "Let Bella out; Bella will be a good girl. Bella won't run away."
After a time the Morrises did let her out, and she kept her word and never tried to get away. Jack put a little handle on her cage door so that she could open and shut it herself, and it was very amusing to hear her say in the morning. "Clear the track, children! Bella's going to take a walk," and see her turn the handle with her claw and come out into the room. She was a very clever bird, and I have never seen any creature but a human being that could reason as she did. She was so petted and talked to that she got to know a great many words, and on one occasion she saved the Morrises from being robbed.
It was in the winter time. The family was having tea in the dining room at the back of the house, and Billy and I were lying in the hall watching what was going on. There was no one in the front of the house. The hall lamp was lighted, and the hall door closed, but not locked. Some sneak thieves, who had been doing a great deal of mischief in Fairport, crept up the steps and into the house, and, opening the door of the hall closet laid their hands on the boys' winter overcoats.
They thought no one saw them, but they were mistaken. Bella had been having a nap upstairs and had not come down when the tea bell rang. Now she was hopping down on her way to the dining room, and hearing the slight noise below, stopped and looked through the railing. Any pet creature that lives in a nice family hates a dirty, shabby person. Bella knew that those beggar boys had no business in that closet.
"Bad boys!" she screamed, angrily. "Get out get out! Here, Joe, Joe, Beautiful Joe. Come quick. Billy, Billy, rats Hie out, Jim, sic 'im boys. Where's the police. Call the police!"
Billy and I sprang up and pushed open the door leading to the front hall. The thieves in a terrible fright were just rushing down the front steps. One of them got away, but the other fell, and I caught him by the coat, till Mr. Morris ran and put his hand on his shoulder.
He was a young fellow about Jack's age, but not one-half so manly, and he was sniffling and scolding about "that pesky parrot." Mr. Morris made him come back into the house, and had a talk with him. He found out that he was a poor, ignorant lad, half starved by a drunken father. He and his brother stole clothes, and sent them to his sister in Boston, who sold them and returned part of the money.
Mr. Morris asked him if he would not like to get his living in an honest way, and he said he had tried to, but no one would employ him. Mr. Morris told him to go home and take leave of his father and get his brother and bring him to Washington street the next day. He told him plainly that if he did not he would send a policeman after him.
The boy begged Mr. Morris not to do that, and early the next morning he appeared with his brother. Mrs. Morris gave them a good breakfast and fitted them out with clothes, and they were sent off in the train to one of her brothers, who was a kind farmer in the country, and who had been telegraphed to that these boys were coming, and wished to be provided with situations where they would have a chance to make honest men of themselves.
CHAPTER X BILLY'S TRAINING CONTINUED
WHEN Billy was five months old, he had his first walk in the street. Miss Laura knew that he had been well trained, so she did not hesitate to take him into the town. She was not the kind of a young lady to go into the street with a dog that would not behave himself, and she was never willing to attract attention to herself by calling out orders to any of her pets.
As soon as we got down the front steps, she said, quietly to Billy, "To heel." It was very hard for little, playful Billy to keep close to her when he saw so many new and wonderful things about him. He had gotten acquainted with everything in the house and garden, but this outside world was full of things he wanted to look at and smell of, and he was fairly crazy to play with some of the pretty dogs he saw running about. But he did just as he was told.
Soon we came to a shop, and Miss Laura went in to buy some ribbons. She said to me, "Stay out," but Billy she took in with her. I watched them through the glass door, and saw her go to a counter and sit down. Billy stood behind her till she said, "Lie down." Then he curled himself at her feet.
He lay quietly, even when she left him and went to another counter. But he eyed her very anxiously till she came back and said, "Up," to him. Then he sprang up and followed her out to the street.
She stood in the shop door, and looked lovingly down on us as we fawned on her. "Good dogs," she said, softly; "you shall have a present." We went behind her again, and she took us to a shop where we both lay beside the counter. When we heard her ask the clerk for solid rubber balls, we could scarcely keep still. We both knew what "ball" meant.
Taking the parcel in her hand, she came out into the street. She did not do any more shopping, but turned her face toward the sea. She was going to give us a nice walk along the beach, although it was a dark, disagreeable, cloudy day when most young ladies would have stayed in the house. The Morris children never minded the weather. Even in the pouring rain, the boys would put on rubber boots and coats and go out to play. Miss Laura walked along, the high wind blowing her cloak and dress about, and when we got past the houses, she had a little run with us.
We jumped, and frisked, and barked, till we were tired; and then we walked quietly along.
A little distance ahead of us were some boys throwing sticks in the water for two Newfoundland dogs. Suddenly a quarrel sprang up between the dogs. They were both powerful creatures, and fairly matched as regarded size. It was terrible to hear their fierce growling, and to see the way in which they tore at each other's throats. I looked at Miss Laura. If she had said a word, I would have run in and helped the dog that was getting the worst of it. But she told me to keep back, and ran on herself.
The boys were throwing water on the dogs and pulling their tails, and hurling stones at them, but they could not separate them. Their heads seemed locked together, and they went back and forth over the stones, the boys crowding around them, shouting, and beating, and kicking at them.
"Stand back, boys," said Miss Laura, "I'll stop them." She pulled a little parcel from her purse, bent over the dogs, scattered a powder on their noses, and the next instant the dogs were yards apart, nearly sneezing their heads off.
"I say, Missis, what did you do? What's that stuff? Whew, it's pepper!" the boys exclaimed.
Miss Laura sat down on a flat rock, and looked at them with a very pale face. "Oh, boys," she said, "why did you make those dogs fight? It is so cruel. They were playing happily till you set them on each other. Just see how they have torn their handsome coats, and how the blood is dripping from them."
"'Taint my fault," said one of the lads, sullenly. "Jim Jones there said his dog could lick my dog, and I said he couldn't and he couldn't, nuther."