Under the Dog-star

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Under the Dog-star from the dog-Latin of Jock, for boys and girls
Physical Description:
315 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Vandegrift, Margaret
Paterson, Robert, fl. 1860-1899 ( Engraver )
Weir, Robert Walter, 1803-1889 ( Illustrator )
Porter & Coates ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Porter and Coates
Place of Publication:
Philadelphia
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Obedience -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1881   ( local )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1881   ( local )
Bldn -- 1881
Genre:
Family stories   ( local )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Margaret Vandegrift.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Paterson and others after Weir.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy illustrations are hand-colored: probably by young owner.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002239187
notis - ALH9713
oclc - 02664898
System ID:
UF00049087:00001


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Full Text
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Frontispiece.










UNDER THE DOG-STAR:

FROM THE DOG-LATIN OF JOCK.
FOR
BOYS AND GIRLS.
By MARGARET VANDEGRIFT,



AUTHOR OF CLOVERR BEACH."



PORTER & COATES,



PHILADELPHIA.













































Copyright by
PORTER & COATES.
1881.























CONTENTS.




CHAPTER I.



EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. ... ...



CHAPTER



PACG
9



II.



My\I NEw MISTRESS..........



S. ...... .. ..



36



CHAPTER III.

MR RO(B IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY .....



CHAPTER



I MAKE A FRIEND



65



IV.



87



CHAPTER V.

I DEFEND THE FAMILY, AND HEAR AN UNPLEAS-



ANT STORY



CHAPTER VI.

IN WHICH I TELL OF MY DISGRACE, AND OF THE

OUTLAW CAT ............. . . . 149


CHAPTER VII.

THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUN-



DERSTOOD .....



. . . . .



..... . .. 174



5



* *



. .... .. 118










6 CONTENTS.



CHAPTER VIII.
PAGE
I VISIT THE OUTLAW CAT, AND LEARN AN IM-

PORTANT LESSON ....................... 201


CHAPTER IX.

MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY.... .. 221


CHAPTER X.

MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE...... 246


CHAPTER XI.

HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE

STORIES ....... ......... ..... 267


CHAPTER XII.

THE HAPPY CONCLUSION OF THE OUTLAW'S His-

TORY; A HAPPY CHRISTMAS; A HAPPY CHANGE

Nd- FOR MY MISTRESS; AND-THE END........ 291



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Irft- I



ILLUSTRATIONS.






PAGE
FRONTISPIECE-" JOCK."
CROSSING ON THE STEPPING-STONES......................... 13
"I FOUND JET HOLDING THE WHITE KITTEN "......... 17
"BIDDY WAS SITTING WITH LITTLE MIKE IN HER
LAP ............................................................ 23
"HONORA MADE THAT CAKE ................................ 29
"I COULD SEE AN OLD BROKEN SORT OF BUILDING "... 41
" I SAW A SWEET PALE FACE LYING ON THE PILLOW ".. 47
"SNOWBALL DASHED AFTER IT".......................... 55
" THE LITTLE BOY STOOD THERE LEANING AGAINST THE
POST ................................ ................ .... ....... 63
"SHE SAW HERSELF PICKING BUTTERCUPS".............. 71
"IN THE PLAY-ROOM, BRISK AS A BEE, WHIPPING HER
D OLL" ....................................... ............ .. .. 83
"THE MOUSE WAS STEALING BY SNOWBALL'S HEAD".. 91
"A PRETTY SNOWY FIELD'.................................. 95
"THE KIND, STEADY GAZE OF GERTRUDE".............. 103
"THIS IS A VERY SICK BABY." ............................ 113
ROLAND HAD GONE FISHING ".............................. 121
"THEY HAD FILLED THE BUCKET"......................... 125
"MR. ROB THREW HIMSELF BESIDE HER ON THE
GRASS ........... ...... .......................... ...... .... 129
"MAY TOOK HER SEAT BY THE OPEN WINDOW"...... 135
"HE WAS LOOKING WITH THREATENING EYES "......... 143
7






ILL USTRA TIONS.



PAGE
W E ALL WENT FISHING".................................... 150

THE HAYMAKERS WERE STACKING HAY................ 155

"A LARGE FIERCE-LOOKING CAT"........................... 159

"I STOOD LISTENING FOR A MOMENT "..................... 169

"JET RACING HOME IN FRONT OF THE WAGON "........ 177

HE PULLED OUT A LUMP OF SUGAR, AND OFFERED IT
TO H ER" ........................... ............ ................ I83

AN OLD BLACK RAM CAME FORWARD "................. 189

"A BOY AND GIRL SITTING BEFORE THE ('IIMNEY "... 195

THE SWEET SISTER STOPPED SMELLING HIER FLOWERS". 203

A PLATFORM WHERE WE COULD STAND TO FEED
TH EM .................. .......... .. ..................... 207

"GATHERING FLOWERS.".......... ............................. 223.

"' RATS, JOCK! RATS!"'........................................ 227

RUTH WAS RETURNING FROM AFTERNOON SERVICE".. 233

W OOD-CUTTING ............................................... 249

"WE ASKED THE LUMBERMEN FOR THEIR TENT "...... 255

THE SWEET SISTER WENT TO THE PASTURE AT DUSK ". 263

"THEY ALWAYS LET ME GO WITH THEM AS FAR AS
THE CHURCH PORCH "..... ............................... 269

A GOOD LIKENESS OF MYSELF".......................... 275

"ASLEEP ON THE VERY BRINK OF THE PRECIPICE."... 287

"I SAW THE OLD WOMAN GOING HOME WITH A BUN-
DLE OF STICKS ON HER BACK". ....................... 295

"MAY AND ROLAND PUT THE CHIRISTMAS GREENS
WHEREVER THEY WOULD GO" ............. ........ 299

SPRING CAM E................... ................................. 303

"THEY WERE PLOUGHING UP AN OLD PASTURE-FIELD
DOWN BY THE CREEK-BRIDGE."........................ 307
"'IT'S AS WARM AS TOAST,' HE SHOUTED."............. 311







t



UNDER



DOG-STAR.


CHAPTER I.

EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.

S tAVE heard a great
rl many books and sto-
be is in the course of
_- m life; and the more
SI hear the more I am
convinced that nothing should be
written without an object. For this reason,
although my head is quite full of the most inter-
esting recollections and reflections, and although I have
been urged in the most flattering manner to write these
down before it is too late, I have always declined to do so.
But I have no respect for a dog who cannot be made to change
his mind when there is a good reason for doing so: firmness is
one thing, obstinacy is quite another. My mind has been changed
by two things. The first half was changed by a book which
Madame some time ago was reading to the children; the second
9








UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR.



by a remark which I heard made yesterday for about the one
thousandth time. The book was written-or rather dictated-by a
little dog whose ignorance, self-conceit, unfaithfulness, and selfish-
ness made me blush for my kind. Was this little creature, so
full of himself, so low in the scale of dog-morality, to be allowed
to represent our race? His was only the second book by a dog
which I had ever seen. The other, written many years ago, was
a beautiful story of a dog whose honesty and courage carried him
through great difficulties; but it was about dogs only: there was
hardly a human person in the whole book.
The remark was that foolish old saying about "a dog's life." A
poor woman who often comes to Madame for help was telling how
she had to work at anything she could find to do-berry-picking,
weeding, even hoeing corn sometimes, and gathering the stones out
of the farmers' fields. "It's a dog's life, ma'am," she said, "but
what can I do? The children go hungry half the time as it is."
Now, that was too much. In all my dog's life I had never but
once known what it was to be more than pleasantly hungry, and
that once was quite my own fault, as you will hear when I come to
it. And, as for work, my work had always been mere play. I tried
to make that woman understand how foolishly she was talking: I
stood on my hind legs and put my paw on her arm, giving a sort
of gentle bark, but wagging my tail hard all the time, that she might
know it was all friendly. And what do you think she did? She
gave a great scream, and nearly fell down. But that was not the



10






EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS.



worst: Madame-my dear Madame, who so often understands what
I mean by my different barks and by my eyes-looked reproachfully
at me, opened the door and said sternly, "Go out, Jock! I am
ashamed of you!" I went. It comforted me a little to hear
Madame say to the woman as I passed under the window, "In-
deed, he would not hurt you, or any one. The children do all
sorts of things to him, and I have never known him even to snap
at them. He was wagging his tail all the time; so he could not
have been angry. I often think he is trying to talk."
How well Madame understood me! I did not care any more
what that poor silly woman thought; still, I was a little pleased to
hear her say very meekly, Indeed, I beg your pardon, ma'am, I'm
sure, for being so foolish: I might have known he would not hurt
me, for it was only yesterday he drove off that cross little Short-
Horn, when I do believe she meant to hook me; and last week,
when the children persuaded my little Tim to cross the brook on
the stepping-stones, and he fell in-as they might have known he
would-it was your little dog, ma'am, that pulled him out, and then
barked till he made some one come from the kitchen." I did not
wait to hear any more: I was quite satisfied; but I had a great
deal to think about, and so I went into the hay-loft. Perhaps you
will wonder how I got there, and will say to yourself, "Dogs do
not climb ladders. He is telling a story." I know quite well that
dogs do not, as a general rule, climb ladders: they have not all had
my great advantages; but I could tell you of three dogs besides



II








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



myself who can do it. Their masters and mine all wished to have
a circus, and they taught us a number of difficult tricks, among
which was going up a ladder forward and coming down back-
ward. You will have a full description of this circus in its proper
place.
Whenever anything worries me, or I want to have a good quiet
think, or I feel in danger of being cross, I just go to the hay-loft.
It is very quiet there; and when I have sat quite still for half an
hour or so watching the pretty purple and white pigeons flying
about in the gable cooing to each other,,and the long dusty rays
of sunlight which look almost strong enough for me to walk up
them, and smelling the sweet-scented hay, which sometimes makes
me sneeze a little-but I don't mind that at all: I rather like'a good
sneeze, for it seems to clear my head up,-somehow, everything
begins to seem different. If I have been worried, the worries
seem too small and foolish to keep any longer; if I have been
feeling cross, I seem to remember all the kind, lovely things that
have made my life so pleasant, until I am heartily ashamed of
myself.
And, as for thinking, there is no place like a hay-loft for a real
think. The more I thought that day, the more it seemed to me that
I really ought to write a book which would set the world straight
about dogs. I should not be obliged, as was that ignorant little
animal whose book so offended me, to ask for any help, for I had
learned to write when I was quite young: a very intelligent old cat



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had taught me, and she never would let me pay her so much as a
rat or a mouse for my lessons. A great many dogs laughed at and
made fun of me for being willing to take lessons of a cat, but I did
not care much for their laughing: she was the only animal at that
time in the whole neighborhood who could write, and I had been
obliged to ask her to write me a letter. She did it very kindly,
but she noticed how hard it was for me to say what I wished to;
and when she had finished, she looked at me over her spectacles and
said, "Why don't you learn to write for yourself? You would find
that your thoughts would come out of a pen much more easily than
out of your mouth." I told her I knew of no one who would take
the trouble to teach me. She washed her ear thoughtfully for
a minute or two, and then she said suddenly, "I'll do it myself.
You don't look like a fool." You may be sure that made me very
anxious not to act like one.
I had already learned to read from the children's letter-blocks
and primers and from hearing them spell to Madame, and in two
months from my first lesson Mrs. Tabitha--that was this good old
cat's name-said to me in her very kindest manner, "I can teach
you no more, my dear Jock: you write quite as well as I do
myself." You may think that I was a proud and happy dog as
I trotted home with my copy-book and pen in my mouth that
afternoon.
And this makes me think of something else: there is another
of those foolish old sayings which I wish to contradict. When



bbaici, ;








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



people are quarrelsome and rude to each other, they are often said
to lead "a cat-and-dog life." Now, my very first lesson from a
dog was about kindness to cats. I can only say in excuse for
myself that I was very young indeed that day when I barked and
growled because I found Jet holding the white kitten, Snowball,
between his paws, and now and then gently licking her head. I
behaved dreadfully: I set up my ears and showed my teeth, and I
do believe I should have given that cat a little pinch if I had not
been afraid of Jet. You see, Jet was my friend, and I did not like
to see him petting that foolish kitten so. He gave me a steady
look out of his beautiful brown eyes, and said severely, You have
a great deal to learn, little puppy; no gentlemanly dog will ever be
rude to a cat, or to any animal, in fact, but particularly not to any
one smaller than himself." I felt so ashamed that I went behind
the door and whined for five minutes, for that was before I had
learned to climb into the hay-loft. But I have often since then
thanked Jet for that speech; for among my many friends some
of the very best and truest have been, and are, cats.
But I did not mean to begin my story in this rambling sort of
way. I am going to begin right at the beginning, and then go
straight on without skipping anything, it is all so interesting.
The fact is, I had a few general remarks to make, and I intended
to have a Preface, but, fortunately, I heard Master say this very
morning, "Oh, nine people out of ten are sure to skip the
preface !" He was not talking to me, but I always try to listen to







































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"I FOUND JET HOLDING THE WHITE KITTEN."



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS.



19



what Madame and he say to anybody, for it is nearly sure to be
something worth while. I am not so careful about the children;
for, although I love them all dearly, I must confess that they say
a great many foolish things.
This remark about prefaces came just in time. Of course, if I
take the trouble, with my stiff paw and dim eyes, to write an
instructive and amusing book, I do not wish any of it to be
skipped; so I have just written the preface part as if it were the
beginning of a chapter, and nobody will dream of its being a
preface until it is safely read. It is just-like taking a pill in jelly:
not that I have ever done that myself, but I have often seen the
children do it.
But I really am going to begin now, and in telling my story I
shall try to put things in as they come, without always stopping to
explain how, very often, I did not really understand about them
until long afterward. Of course I was very ignorant and foolish
when I was young, and especially before I knew how to read and
write. And even now I meet with many things which I cannot
understand at all, and the more earnestly I beg for an explanation
the more they all laugh at me, and say, "Jock really behaves more
like a puppy now than he did when he was young." So little do
they understand me. Only Madame and my Helen of them all
seem often to guess what I mean, and so, of course, I love them
best of anybody. Ah! there is nothing that I would not do to
please my dear, dear Helen and Madame.








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



I was a little doubtful as to which of two beginnings to take.
Some of the people whose lives I have heard read begin right in
the middle of things, then go backward to the real beginning
and catch up with themselves before they go on. I never liked
that way, it seems to mix things up so; and so I am going to
begin the other way-with the very first thing I can recollect.
You may think, from some little things which I have already
said, that I have always been a country dog; and so I have-
almost, but not quite. I was born in a large city, in the very top
room of a five-story house. My mother, whom I can barely
recollect, belonged to the janitor of this great building-that is,
the man who took care of all the fires and with the help of his
wife and daughters kept the rooms and passages clean. They
lived at the top of the house, because nobody wanted those rooms
for offices, it was such a long climb up all those stairs; and then
the ceiling was lower than it was on the other floors. But the
rooms were cheerful and sunny; there was a nice large "flat"
for drying clothes, and in summer the daughters used to put
boxes with flowering plants in them all along the edges by the
railing; it was really beautiful. The janitor's name was Jimmy,
and his wife was called Mrs. Jimmy. All my people now have at
least two names apiece, but perhaps when people are very poor
they can only afford to have one.
I used to wonder what made Jimmy keep so many dogs. There
were so many that Mrs. Jimmy, who moved very quickly, used to



20








EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.



be treading on their poor little toes and tails all the time, -and
then, when the unfortunate things would howl, as it was quite
natural and right that they should, she would say angrily, "Sure,
Jimmy, your dogs will be the death of me yet." And Jimmy
would laugh and say, "It seems to me more like you'll be the
death of the dogs, my dear."
However, she never did kill any of them, though I think that
was merely because she happened always to step on a paw or a
tail; and she only stepped on me once: I took good care never
to give her a second chance. And I soon found that of all the
dogs she liked me best; she would point me out to Jimmy and
say, "Of them all, he's the only wan with any sinse: ke's never
under foot, but sits up in the corners, like the gentleman he is."
. People kept coming and choosing dogs and taking them away,
and everybody who took a dog left some money in Jimmy's hands,
which he always divided with Mrs. Jimmy, because, he said, she
had "full half the bother of them." My mother kept telling me
that my turn to be sold would come some day, and she taught me
all the tricks she knew, because, she said, if I turned out well
Jimmy would be more particular as to whom he sold me, and I
should probably have a better home. I have never been sorry
that I began to learn things so early, for it made it easier for
me to learn all my life; but the way it turned out taught me that
there is no use in our thinking we know what is going to happen,
for we never do. I was not sold at all; I was given away!



21








2 2 UNDER THE DOG-STAR.


Now, you must not think that Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy gave me away
because they thought me worthless. Not at all! They gave me
away because at that time I was the very best thing they had. I
do not say this out of vanity, but merely to show you how gen-
erous they were. I was still quite small, but I had learned a
number of things; one of these was to help my mother watch
the two smallest children while Mrs. Jimmy and the girls were
hanging out clothes on the flat: they took in washing, and had a
great many clothes to hang out. The very smallest was a baby,
and the next smallest was a nice little thing about five years old,
who thought she helped her mother a great deal. I found that
what my mother and I had to do was to watch these two little
things closely, and bark as loudly as we could if they went near
the fire or the tubs of water.
The day before I was given away little Biddy was sitting before
the fire, in her own chair, with little Mike in her lap: she had
begged so hard to hold him on her lap that their mother had put
him there for a few minutes. All the rest were out on the flat,
when Jimmy suddenly came in, and with him a gentleman who
wished to buy a dog. I was one of five brothers and sisters, and
Jimmy took the gentleman into the lumber-room, where we were
all supposed to live, though we really lived in the kitchen more
than anywhere else. I never before knew Biddy to do such a
thing. She had been sitting there, as good as gold, singing to
Mike and feeling for his new tooth, when she saw a piece of












- t L 7



~,Z-~;C'~L-->--~-i-g~


-;;~-"



"BIDDY WAS SITTING WITH LITTLE MIKE IN HER LAP."



Sepe2



- .. ',J i



-: _. __ '
>9' /7/!i







S.. ...



-. V y-r --
I ~~-'...'





;lI\ s~. ,
\V e



r ~ ~&&





'-----a~~~2Tsa~B? ,



See page 22.











EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS.



twisted paper lying on the floor. She picked it up and lighted
it at the fire, and held it close to Mike's face, saying, "Pretty!
pretty!" to make him laugh. But the lighted paper soon burned
her fingers, and she let it fall on her old cotton dress; and then,
in a minute, the dress was on fire. I was all alone with them, for
my mother had followed Jimmy and the gentleman into the lumber-
room to see if any of her children would be chosen. I would not
have known that fire was dangerous if I had not burned my paw
dreadfully one day not long before that trying to play with a pretty
red coal which fell into the ashes. The way my paw felt when I
touched that coal made me know that a great deal of fire must
be more than any one could bear; so when I saw Biddy's little
cotton frock beginning to blaze, I barked with all my might; and
when nobody came-for I often barked at different things, and no
one paid much attention to it-I rushed into the lumber-room and
howled, and ran back and howled some more, until I made Jimmy
come; and the gentleman came with him. They were just in
time, and no more; and it was the gentleman who saved little
Biddy: he rolled a piece of rag carpet around her, and the blaze
went out in a minute, and then in rushed Mrs. Jimmy and the girls;
and such a time as there was! Biddy was kissed and scolded and
cried over and spanked, and the baby was nearly hugged to
death.
The gentleman stood quiet with a queer sort of smile on his
face, and then he stooped down and picked me up. "If every-



25








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



body had his deserts," said he, "the kisses and hugs would all go
to Jock here, and the spanks to the naughty little girl who played
with fire."
"And what would go to you, Mr. Rob?" said Mrs. Jimmy, her
face shining with happiness as she looked at him. "Sure, if you
hadn't put the carpet on her, with us all too far out of our sinses
to throw so much as a tub of water at her, she'd have been a
black coal by now."
"No," said this beautiful gentleman, firmly; "you must thank
Jock for it all.-His name is Jock, isn't it?-If he had not raised
such a row, the child would have been 'a black coal' before any
one knew she was on fire; so I say, Long life to him !" and he gave
me a sort of wave in the air; but, somehow, I did not feel one bit
afraid, although I had never been so high up before; and as I came
down I managed to give his face a good, wide kiss with most of
my tongue. I don't know why they all laughed at this, but they
did. "I suppose I ought to ask you to let my friend have Jock,"
said Mr. Rob when they had finished laughing, "but I don't sup-
pose you would, if I were to."
"I'm afraid not, sir," said Jimmy; "I'd not like to part with him
after this."
"Well, then I'll take that one you called Pete.-I think he's
more like Jock than any of them."
Very well, sir; if you'll leave me the address, I'll send him this
very day, when the boy comes from school. And wouldn't you



26








EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.



like to have one for yourself, sir ?-I'd let you have Jock, and be
proud to."
Mr. Rob laughed. "That's very good of you, Jimmy," he said;
" but where should I keep him ? I've barely room for myself and
my furniture down below here."
"Oh, if that's all, sir," said Mrs. Jimmy, eagerly, "you could
entertain yourself here with him for a few days longer, and then
you could take him to that sweet young lady, your sister, that was
here taking care of you when you were sick, and you'd have the
benefit of him whenever you went home to spend a Sunday."
I hope it was not ungrateful to Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy, but I did
hope Mr. Rob would take me. Nobody had ever picked me up.
before except little Biddy, and she had always .done it by taking,
hold of either my head or my tail. Besides, I wanted to see the-
sweet young lady; so I was a good deal disappointed when Mr..
Rob said, pleasantly but quite firmly, "No, no, Jimmy! I've too)
many other uses for what little money I have than buying Skye
terriers. You send Pete-here's the address: I've written it down
for you-and sometimes of an evening, when I'm not busy, you
can lend me Jock for a while, and I'll teach him some new tricks..
I must go now. Good-afternoon to you all." He ran down stairs
before they could say anything more, and they all looked very
much disappointed.
He never could have thought we meant him to buy Jock,"
exclaimed Mrs. Jimmy.



27








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



"Faith, I'm afraid



that he



did, then,"



said Mr. Jimmy,



mourn-



"( Then



it's



we that'll



show him



he's wrong,"



said Mrs. Jimmy,



excitedly, "and more, by
way of convincing him.



above



the best dog



token, we'll throw in a little extra by



Does he think we don't



that ever was or will



value



be,



our little
I wonder



"Be aisy, old woman, be aisy!"



said Jimmy,



soothingly.



the baby ye'll
That made



be throwing in to
Mrs. Jimmy laugh.



convince



foolish man!"



she said.



"No, my dear.



I happened to hear him say he couldn't



get off home till the very



day before



Christmas; so it's



all fixed



in me head.
resate-book
for the like



Honora there shall make him



a cake out of that old



the mistress gave me, that's always been too rich



of us-a real ladies'



and gentlemen's



cake, with all



that's good, and plenty of fruit in it-and we'll



take him that and



Jock, all in one, the night



before



he goes."



You'
looking
earnest.



d never
so grave



bake the poor dog
a that Mrs. Jimmy



in a cake?"



thought



he



said Jimmy,



was quite



"A body must explain



impatiently.



to you word



by



word !"



she said,
you might



know."



I was very much interested watching



Honora



make that cake,



partly because it was to go with me-and I could not help hoping



fully.



Biddy
now ?"



"Is it



him, or what?"



"But you're the



in



"It was all in one present I meant, as



28-














j:.



'''Ii II.i I i ir
;i:li/I( ji 1 'ii
i iilI i 1


i"!
ii
ii
ii I
i
ii
I ii ii!
;I i"
1 I it Ii'



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I



<'K\`~



K,



"HONORA MADE THAT CAKE."



ii i I;\ r i i 1



I/ I,i i -



G



d1



^



-- I



See page 31.



I
9











EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS.



31



that I might have a small piece given to me-and partly because
of all the little Jimmys I liked Honora best. My mother had
warned me that I had better not get fond of any of them,
because, she said, Jimmy kept us only to sell, and it would just
make it harder when we had to go; but I really was obliged to
love Honora. The other girls were sometimes untidy, and did
not always keep their hands and faces clean, but Honora liked to
be neat just as much at home, when no one beside her family was
to see her, as she did when she was going out in the street. Her
collar was always fastened with a little bow of ribbon, and her
hair-she had very pretty hair-tied neatly back off her face with
a piece of ribbon like the bow; and she put on a clean apron
every morning before she went to school, and sometimes another
when she came home in the evening; and, as she washed and
ironed them herself before school-hours in the morning, her
mother never objected.
She made that cake the next Saturday after little Biddy came
so near being burnt, and such pains as she took to weigh and
measure everything and go exactly by the recipe! I can't begin
to tell you all the good things that went into it. Her mother
helped her bake it; and when it came out of the oven a beautiful
rich brown, the smell of it nearly made me cry, I wanted some
so badly. Mrs. Jimmy had made Honora bake a little of it in a
saucer, that they might taste it and make quite sure that it was
good, for they had never tried the recipe before; and, though








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



each of them, of course, had only a very little taste, that dear
Honora gave me half of hers. Perhaps I should not have taken
it, but I was such a little puppy then, you know, and it did smell
so very, very good! Everybody said it was the best cake that
ever was made, and they praised Honora so much that she blushed
and smiled and looked prettier than ever.
The evening but one before Christmas all the Jimmys made a
procession. Mr. Jimmy carried me, and Mrs. Jimmy carried the
cake, with a beautiful bough of holly, full of berries, sticking right
out of the top of it, as if it grew there. Then I found that Mr.
Rob lived on the fourth floor, right under the lumber-room. Mr.
Jimmy knocked, and he said Come in !" so we all went in. He
was sitting by a little table writing, and he looked pale and tired.
There was an ugly wrinkle in the middle of his forehead, too:
it had not been there when I saw him before. But he smiled
very pleasantly when he saw Mr. Jimmy, and then, when he saw
me and the cake and all the rest of us, he looked so astonished
that we could not help laughing. "Why, here's a torchlight
procession without the torches!" he said. "To what am I
indebted for the honor conferred on me by this deputation?"
and he stood up and made a beautiful bow.
"To saving little Biddy," said Mr. Jimmy solemnly.
"To bringing me the grapes and the jelly and the flowers
when I had the fever, as if I was a lady," said Mrs. Jimmy,
almost crying as she spoke.



32








EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS.



33



"To helping me up the stairs the day I sprained me ankle,"
said the oldest girl.
"To speaking for me and getting me a place with the best
-mistress ever was," said the next girl.
"To the parcel of school-books you gave me," said the oldest
boy.
"To many's the time you've helped me when I was breaking
me head with me sums," said the next boy.
"To the flower-roots and seeds you brought me when you
were home last," said Honora.
"To the grand doll you gave me," said little Biddy.
I suppose the baby must have been, like me, unable to talk.
I have noticed that all babies are that way for a while, and, as
they always learn how to do it afterward, I can't help hoping that
some day we dogs shall. But this is what my master would call
a "digression;" it is rather a hard word, I know, but it sounds
well, and it means leaving one thing for another, like stopping
to dig for a mole when one is chasing a rabbit.
The baby did the best he could: he made a noise very like one
of the noises that I make when I am pleased, and it sounded quite
well.
"He's thanking you for his new red shoes," said Mrs. Jimmy;
and, sure enough, he did kick up his heels when he made that
noise, so that the girl who was carrying him nearly dropped
him.



3








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



34



Mr. Rob had been looking more and more astonished all the
time they were talking. It was very silly in me, of course, to
fancy that he was going to cry, for as soon as they all stopped
he burst out laughing. "It takes kind hearts like yours to make
so much of so little," he said.
"(But, sure, it's not been little to us, sir," said Mr. Jimmy,
earnestly: "the knowing your kind heart was in the house has
cheered us all up many a time and oft; and I hope you'll accept
of Jock, sir; and a very happy Christmas to you, sir;" and he
held me out to Mr. Rob, so that he could not help taking
me.
Then Mrs. Jimmy came forward with that cake and set it on the
table with a flourish. "And here's a thrifle of a cake for Christmas,
sir," she said; "and it's proud I'll be, and Honora that made it
here, if you'll not think it too great trouble to carry it home and
ask that sweet young lady, your sister, to cut it for you."
"I don't know what to say," said Mr. Rob; "you overwhelm
me with your goodness. I will be a great deal prouder than you
and Honora when I give my sister that cake.-But you oughtn't
to give me that dog, Jimmy-you really ought not. I heard you
refusing twenty-five dollars for him on the stairs this morning;
and, besides, a full-blooded Skye is much too swell a dog for a
poor clerk and scribbler like me. I ought to have a fast horse
and good clothes and a gold-headed cane before I sport a dog
like that."








EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.



35



"You'll take the dog to begin with, sir," said Mr. Jimmy
severely, "and you'll see that the rest will coom."
Mr. Rob saw that this family was not to be trifled with: it had
made up its mind before it came down stairs as to what it was
going to do; so he laid me down on the foot of his bed, and then
he insisted on shaking hands with every one of them, and on
kissing the baby. When he kissed that baby-which he did, I
noticed, very much as if he were afraid it would bite him-Mrs.
Jimmy's face shone like a new tin pan, and I heard her murmur
to herself, "To think of that, now! and he the ilegant young man
that he is!"
Then they all wished him "A Merry Christmas, and many of
them," and "Good-night," and trooped off up stairs; and Mr.
Rob and I were left quite alone. He took me in his arms,
sat down by the fire, and said softly, "Jock! little Jock!"
Nobody had ever spoken to me like that before. I felt that I
must kiss him again, and put up my nose to do it; and-what do
you think?-a great tear rolled down his nose and fell right on
mine; he really was crying this time. I comforted him until I
made him laugh, and then we went to bed, he under the blankets
and things, and I on the outside about where his feet were, with
a large tidy spread over me to keep me warm. He took it off
the back of his chair on purpose, and did not seem to care a
bit that taking it off showed a great hole in the cover of the chair
where its stuffing, or whatever you call it, was all coming out.

















CHAPTER II.



MY NEW MISTRESS.

F I had not made a sort of promise
to keep straight on without skipping
Anything, I think I should skip the next
day, for I am a little ashamed of it.
We left Richmond-just as I was leav-
ing it I heard that I had been living in
Richmond all this while-early the next
morning, and travelled all day, first in
thout ithe cars, then in a stage, and last of all
in a funny old carriage, which was more comfortable, however, than
the stage.
Before I tell on myself I must beg you to remember that until
that eventful day I had never been anywhere at all. I had a sort
of feeling that the only safe places were high up in the air, and my
first panic was when Mr. Rob carried me down all those stairs. I
thought, if he should fall with me in his arms, we would certainly
both be killed, and before I knew what I was doing I gave a little
howl. Mr. Rob laughed, and called back to Mrs. Jimmy, "He's



36








MY NEW MISTRESS.



37



saying good-bye!" and then he stopped on those dreadful stairs
and dropped me into the great pocket of his ulster. It was soft
and warm, and so deep that I could not see over the top of it; and
so, although I felt that we were still going down, I managed to
keep still, and every few minutes Mr. Rob's nice big hand would
drop into his pocket and give me a pat, and his kind voice would
say, "Jock! poor little Jock! Don't be frightened. I will take
good care of you."
It seemed to me that the noise in the street would split my
head, and I began almost to wish that I could go back to Mrs.
Jimmy and the baby and all of them. I was not worrying much
about my mother, for, to tell the painful truth, she had not been
very kind to me since that day when Mr. Rob and I saved little
Biddy and the baby from burning: she had got into a way of
growling a good deal, and saying they "made too much fuss"
about me.
But if I was frightened in the street, I really can't describe
my feelings when we came to the place where we were to get
into the car. I thought the locomotive was some horrible new
sort of dog, and when, just after we started, it gave one of
those awful shrieks which only a locomotive can give, I was
quite sure of it; and I did not see any reason why he should
not turn round and eat us all up, for I had taken a good look
at him, in spite of my fear, and he was quite large enough.
Of course I know now that he is not really alive, but I wish I








38 UNDER THE DOG-STAR.

felt a little more certain about it, and I do wish he would not
scream in that dreadful manner. Why, if I were to make only
half as much noise at a time, everybody would think I had gone
mad and run away from me; and I should not blame them at
all. But this is another digression.
How I ever stood that railroad-journey I don't know. I did
give one more howl, but Mr. Rob looked so worried when I did
it that I made up my mind to keep still if it "killed me entirely,"
as Mrs. Jimmy used to say; and I was nearly sure that it would,
too. And if it didn't, I was quite sure that locomotive would;
only I did not call it a locomotive then: I called it a dog, you
know; and I have often thought since how Mr. Rob would
have laughed if he had known it.
Everything must come to an end some time, and so at last
that dreadful railway-journey did; but just as I was congrat-
ulating myself that we had escaped with our lives, and was
beginning not to shiver and tremble quite so much, I found
that the worst was still to come. By the platform of the rail-
way-station stood four great creatures-you will, of course,
guess at once that they were only horses-fastened to a large
coach, and I saw that they really were alive. They were
prancing and jumping so that the driver could hardly make
them keep still long enough for Mr. Rob and me to get into
the coach, and then they went tearing off, jolting us over the
frozen road until I thought we should be shaken to pieces.








MY NEW MISTRESS.



39



We were the only passengers, and Mr. Rob seemed to grow
happier and happier every minute. First he began to whistle, and
then he began to sing. When he did that, I thought perhaps
I might cry a little without being noticed; but, although I did
it very softly indeed, he heard me, and took me out of his
pocket at once. "You poor little Jock!" he said, holding me
up close to his face, "I know just how you feel: you feel as I
did when I first left my lovely home here among the fields and
went to that great, noisy, uncomfortable city. But you ought
not to cry if you could only understand, for you are going to
stay all the time in that dear home, while I must go back in
two days. But I'm not going to bother about that now," he
added; "I'm going to enjoy my two days."
SI did not understand all that he said at that time, but his kind
face and voice made me feel better somehow, and then I found
that nothing happened here, any more than on the railway-
train, and so I began to think that maybe nothing would
happen; and when the stage stopped I gave a pleasant little
bark, for I thought we must certainly be at the home now, and
that I should see the sweet sister directly. So you may judge
of my disappointment when I found that we were only going
from one stage to another. At least, I thought it was another
stage then; I found out afterward that it was our own carriage.
However, there were only two horses to this one; and, though
I felt very much alarmed when I saw that the driver was per-








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



fectly black, yet when I saw that Mr.



Rob clid not seem to



notice it, and even shook hands with him, I made up



that I would try not to care about it either.



that this good man-who is



my mind



I found afterward



one of my best friends, by the way-



was not perfectly



black,



but was the color of



nice coffee



just a little cream in it.



And the color never rubs off:



I know



that, for I looked at Mr. Rob's hand to see, not



ing, but once or twice afterward.
He seemed so delighted to see



only that



even-



Mr. Rob! He only said,



" Howd'ye,



Mars'



Robert,



sir?



Howd'ye?" but he



chuckled



and grinned and bowed



as if he would never stop.



Mr. Rob said,



"First rate, thank you, Uncle



Jake.



Every-



body well at home ?"



"Well as kin be, Mars' Robert, and all



just crazy



to think



you's a-comin'!"



"I don't believe the
with a joyful laugh;



half as crazy as



and then he began



I am," s
to sing



;aid Mr. Rob



at the



very



top of his voice,



"Home, home, can I forget thee?
Dear, dear, dearly-loved home !"



but he stopped



suddenly



and held me up



to the carriage-



window,



for by



this time



we had started.



It was nearly



but I could



see an



old, broken sort of building with snow all



Mrs.



it: I thought the snow was flour, and I did so wish



with



dark,



40



around

















-;-*' -.
- -
C -



"Nh..



1 14



K,



= >41



401



irr



N^



St



/-



..g' ~ -~



UY



"I COULD SEE AN OLD, BROKEN SORT OF BUILDING."



See page 40.



=1



I-



AAN^



2-\



-



.. .....



akr -



1Po
c L



--^rf



3F;--------=c,--
---- V



5'r,
,,



s LL-r/r, I-
iy\(:f
q\k
r,
.!pr, h3











MY NEWV MISTRESS.



43



Jimmy had been there to scoop up all she wanted. I had often
heard her complain because flour cost so much money.
", Look there, Jock!" said Mr. Rob; "that's the old mill where
I used to spend half my holidays. You'll have many a good
time there next summer, old boy!" and I thought he sighed,
but perhaps I was mistaken.
What he said then must have been what is called a prophecy-
that means telling of something before it has happened-for, of
all my many, many good times, some of the very best have been
at that old mill.
Very soon after Mr. Rob held me up to see the mill the carriage
stopped at a gate, and when Uncle Jake had opened this gate we
drove into a long lane; and presently Mr. Rob held me up again,
and I saw a great brick house, with lights shining in nearly all the
windows. The front door was wide open, the hall was full of light,
and the doorway seemed to me to be full of heads.
Mr. Rob could hardly wait for the carriage to stop; he dropped
me into his pocket again, sprang out and dashed up the steps,
jolting me so that I came near howling again. I could not see
anything yet, the pocket was so deep and dark, but I heard the
sweetest voice-it was my dear Madame's voice, as I found after-
ward-say, My own dear boy!" And then Mr. Rob said, My
precious little mother!" And then nobody said anything for a
minute. But it was a very short minute. Such shouting and
laughing and talking as I heard presently! Mr. Rob seemed to








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



be dragged into the hall, and the door was shut; and now, at last,
my turn had come, and I was too glad for anything that I had not
howled: it would have quite spoiled the fun.
They all seemed trying to take off Mr. Rob's coat, but he said,
"Wait a minute. I defy you all to guess what I have in my
pocket."
I can't remember all the things they guessed, but not one of
them thought of a twenty-five-dollar Skye terrier; and when Mr.
Rob at last took me out and held me up to view, there was a
perfect shout, and I really was afraid I should be pulled to pieces.
Somebody whom I guessed at once to be the sweet sister made
them behave. "Gently, gently, little chicks !" she said. I'll sit
down on this stool, and Rob shall put him in my lap, and then you
shall all pat him nicely, one at a time, so as not to frighten him."
I did not mind being put in her lap at all, and she managed those
children, somehow, so that they really did come quietly, one at a
time, and pat my head gently, instead of all falling upon me and
killing me, as I was at first afraid they would. The sweet sister
said, "We will go by ages-oldest first."
A bright, handsome boy about fourteen years old stepped up and
gave me a loving pat; then came a girl with pretty rosy cheeks
and dark eyes, and then a little boy, and then a little girl who
looked about as old as Biddy, and then a baby about as large
as Mike.
They were so quiet that I heard Mr. Rob say to his mother,



44








MY NEW MISTRESS.



45



" But where is Helen ? Uncle Jake said you were all well, so I
hoped to find her on the sofa, at least."
She is no worse, dear," said Madame, "and I suppose Uncle Jake
meant we were all as well as usual. She is 'saving up,' so as to be
bright to-morrow, and I persuaded her to stay in bed, but she is
quite ready to see you. Come, we will go up.-No; only Rob,"
she added as she saw the whole troop making ready to follow.
Rob caught me up from the sweet sister's lap. Children," he
said, I have been thinking all day how pleased Helen would be
to have Jock. I am going to give him to her, out and out, but
of course she will often lend him to you."
I expected to see them all frown or make some of the faces
which I had seen the Jimmy children-all except Honora and the
baby-make when things did not please them; but instead of that
they shouted, "Oh yes! That will be lovely! Poor Helen, who
can't have any fun at all! it'll be such fun for her to have a dog
all her own !"
So Mr. Rob and I went up stairs alone, and he knocked gently
at a door. Somebody said Come in !" and he opened it. I had
never been in so pretty a place before. I don't know much about
colors, but everything looked warm and soft and like a nice fire on
a cold day. A pleasant-faced woman got up from a chair by the
bed; she had a book in her hand. But I did not look at her long;
I saw a sweet pale face lying on the pillow, two little thin hands
clasped together, and two mournful dark eyes looking up at the








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



woman. I knew the sick one must be Helen. "I am afraid he is
not coming." she said; "he ought to be here by this time."
"And here he is !" said Mr. Rob joyfully; and I really thought
they would never stop hugging and kissing each other. He had
put me back in his pocket, and I kept very still, for I once heard
Mrs. Jimmy say that sick people liked to be quiet. He remem-
bered me at last, but he did not make Helen guess: he just put
me on the bed beside her, and said "There!"
Oh, the dear little thing !" said Helen rapturously; and I knew
in a minute that I should love her dearly. "Oh, Rob, where did
you find him? Are you to keep him? Is he yours ?"
"I did not find him-he found me; and I am not to keep him,
but you are; and he is not mine, but yours," said Mr. Rob gayly.
Mine ?" answered Helen, as if she could hardly believe it.
"Then I shall always have him to be company for me when
mamma is busy and the children are out of doors. But no," she
said suddenly; "that would be too selfish. He will like to run
about and play with the children, and he shall, as much as ever he
wants to; only, when he is tired, he must always come here and lie
on my bed: he will be so nice to keep my feet warm;" and she
laughed merrily.
How I did love her, right away! I wanted to tell her so, and I
licked her hand and talked a little, but in a low voice, for I did not
wish to disturb her. Then I licked her hand again; I did not dare
to lick her pretty face, but I wanted to, dreadfully.



46











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MY NEW MISTRESS.



49



"The dear little thing !" she said again.-" Just see, Rob, how he
is kissing my hand! and I do believe he tried to say something just
now. Has he a name ?"
"Yes; his name is Jock," answered Mr. Rob; "and he seems
to know it so well that I think we had better not give him another.
Besides, it's a pretty good name, I think."
Yes, it's a very good name indeed," said Helen; "and I'm so
glad he knows it! I should not have liked to wait for him to learn
one.-Jock! little Jock!"
I really had never known before how pleasant my name was.
I kissed Helen's hand again, and talked a little more, and just
then a great bell rang somewhere, and Mr. Rob jumped up at
once. "There's the tea-bell," he said joyfully, "and I'm as
hungry as a hawk. Good-bye, darling; I'll come up and say
good-night. Shall I take Jock down stairs, or leave him with
you ?"
"You'd better take him down, I think," replied Helen: "he
must be hungry too. Did he 'eat anything on the way?"
"No; he seemed too frightened," said Mr. Rob. "'So I'll
leave him in the kitchen to Uncle Jake's tender mercies, and
then I'll go wash my face and hands, and eat my supper-two
or three, several suppers: one will not satisfy me."
He picked me up and carried me down a back stairway to
the kitchen; and it was a good thing that. I had made up my
mind not to be afraid of Uncle Jake because he was black, for
4








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



every one here-and the kitchen seemed quite full-was as black
as he was, at least.
But they were all so good and kind that it would really have
been foolish to be afraid of them. Uncle Jake held me on his
lap, and stroked me and talked to me, while Aunt Nancy, the
fat cook, made me up the loveliest plateful of bones and pieces
of meat that I had ever seen. There was enough there for a
dozen hungry dogs, and I could not help wishing that my
mother and brothers and sisters might have had all that I
could not eat. But this did not keep me from making a hearty
supper, for I really had been too frightened to eat at dinne'r-
time; it was while we were on that dreadful railway and I was
expecting every moment to be eaten myself. I did not know
what a hawk was then, but I felt that" I was as hungry as it
could possibly be.
But when I heard Aunt Nancy say, with a great laugh, He
will mos' certainly bust hisse'f if he eats another mou'ful," I
thought perhaps I had better stop. I did not wish to "bust"
myself just as I had found a home where more kind things
were said and done to me in an hour than had been said and
done in all my life before. Besides, I was thirsty as well as
hungry, and I knew that if I ate any more I could not possibly
take a drink. So I stopped eating, and looked all around for
the spigot. There was none, but I saw a bucket standing in
the corner; and I went to it, hoping to find water in it. It was



50








MY NEW MISTRESS. 51

half full, and I was just going to drink, when Aunt Nancy
pulled me away. "No, honey !" she said; "he mustn't drink
outen aunty's clean pail. Wait till I fetches de basin."
I was a little provoked at this, for at Mrs. Jimmy's they did
not care what we drank out of; but when she brought a
beautiful bright basin, that looked much cleaner than the
wooden pail, and poured me out a nice drink in that, I forgot
to be provoked any longer. Although my supper had tasted so
very good, it seemed to me that that drink of water was the
best thing I had ever had in all my life. And then all at once
I was so tired and sleepy that I almost fell down; I just heard
Aunt Nancy say, "Poor little thing! he's all done out," and
felt her lay me on a soft rug; and I never knew another thing
till she came to light the fire in the morning.
That was the beginning of my happy life at Ladysmede,
and from that time to this I have never known a trouble that
was not caused by some foolishness or naughtiness of my
own-never but once; and, although that once was the very
saddest one of all my life, they did so much to make up to me
for it that if I could only forget that one day I should not be
sorry that it happened. But, somehow, I cannot forget it, and
so I am sorry. However, it is not time to tell this just yet: it
will come in the right place.
The next morning Aunt Nancy gave me my breakfast as
soon as she had made the fire, and I licked her hand when she








INDER THE DOG-STAR.



set the plate down. Perhaps you will think was a beautiful
thing for me to do. It was not: it was one of those mean
things which always make me feel hot and uncomfortable when
I think of them. I had seen that the black did not rub off
these people, but still I thought perhaps it would wask off, and
I wanted to see. It did not, of course; and Aunt Nancy turned
to Uncle Jake, saying, Now, if he isn't de gratefullest little
dog! Kissin' my black hand for his breakfus' as ef I was de
queen !"
You may think how ashamed I felt. Many a time since then
have I kissed Aunt Nancy's hand in earnest to make up for that
false kiss, and many a time have I tried to make her understand
about that one, but I never could. It comforts me to know that if
this work ever finds a translator-and I am nearly sure that it
will-she may hear the truth, and about my repentance, through
it. She has been my firm friend from that hour, and I have tried
in every way of which I could think to be worthy of her friendship,
but I can never forget that mean action. And that is the worst of
doing anything mean: it is like the ink-spots that the children get
on their school-aprons; the rest of the apron washes nice and clean,
but that only make the spot show the more. It fades a little,
perhaps, after a good many washes, but it never quite goes away
until the apron is worn out and put in the rag-bag; and then it is
only gone because the whole apron is. I do hope nobody skip-
ped that.



52








MY NEW MISTRESS.



53



When I had had my breakfast, Uncle Jake took an old piece of
a comb out of his pocket, set me on his lap, and combed my hair
smooth from the tip of my nose to the end of my tail. I had
never had my hair combed before, and at first I was a little fright-
ened, but when I found it did not hurt I held quite still, and before
he was done I rather liked it: it was like scratching myself very
gently all over-with this difference: he scratched just as easily
and as well as he did the rest of me that one place on my back
which I never can quite reach. I don't think I have ever gone a
day since then without having my hair combed by somebody; and
sometimes it is done two or three times a day, for it is the sort of
hair which never stays smooth very long. When Uncle Jake set
me down I gave myself a good shake, and it all flew up in a
minute, but I knew, from what they said, that I looked much
better for it.
Just then I heard ever so many voices somewhere, and then the
children came rushing in. They were all talking at once, so that
I could not hear everything that was said, but I heard, "Merry
Christmas, Aunt Nancy !-Merry Christmas, Uncle Jake !"' a great
many times; and every time Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jake would
say, Christmas-box, little missy," or Christmas-box, little mars';"
and they all seemed so happy that I was really obliged to bark;
and they laughed and seemed to like it. I found they had not yet
had their breakfasts, and when they all called me to go with them
to the breakfast-room, I was very glad I had had mine, and so








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



could go with them with an easy mind. It was on our way to the
breakfast-room that I first met Snowball, the white cat of whom I
spoke in my first chapter.
We were obliged to go through a great many doors and
passages, which surprised me a good deal, for I supposed all
rooms which were on one floor must come one right after the other,
as they did in my Richmond home. When I had thoroughly
explored that house I discovered that the kitchen was quite in
a separate building, but, for the sake of convenience, passages
had been built connecting it with the house and the cellars.
We had gone some distance, when one of the boys suddenly
called out, "A rat! a rat! S'ketch him, Jock! s'ketch him!"
Now, how was I to understand all this ? I had never even seen
a rat; I did not in the least know what "S'ketch him!" meant;
and so I stood still looking all around to see what was the matter,
and, as I saw something was expected of me, I barked. They all
burst out laughing at this, and one of the boys exclaimed, "He
doesn't know a rat when he sees one, and he a terrier! Call
Snowball! Quick! She knows what to do with a rat."
They all began to call, "Puss! Snowball! Kitty! Pussy !"
and presently I heard a little "Meow!"' which seemed to come
from right under my feet; and up from the cellar trotted a beautiful
white cat with a large bow of red ribbon tied around her neck.
All this time the boys had been trying to keep the rat in a corner
with sticks and their feet, and I had been pitying the poor thing,



54








MY NEW MISTRESS.



55



he had such a wild, unhappy look in his eyes, which were really very
pretty. I did not know until afterward how much mischief these
rats do, and that it is every terrier's duty to catch them. It was
painful to me at first, but I must confess that it has not been for a
good while, and, old as I am now, I can be waked from the deepest
sleep by any one who just whispers Rats !"


,,//4 l 7A r I
.-" .






---- -l-t --/ii)!ill-"








precisely! She flew at him like a tiger-I have never actually
seen any tigers, but I have heard so much about them that I know



a hole in the ground, which I have no doubt he had dug himself,
for he seemed to know just where to look Snowball dashed
after him, but by this time a very queer feeling, for which I have








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



never been able to account, had come over me. I am afraid I
cannot explain it clearly: it was something as if I had at one
time in my life, long, long ago, known all about catching rats,
and liked it very much. I could not remember when it was, nor
where-and of course, as you all know, it never was at all-but
the feeling was so strong that with one bound I pushed Snow-
ball aside and caught that rat by the hind legs just as he was
disappearing into the hole. I got him by the neck, gave him one
little shake, and threw him away: I didn't want him. He was
quite dead, and Snowball, who had been growling dreadfully,
picked him up and carried him off to the cellar, where, I am
afraid, she ate him, for she was quite ill that afternoon. The
children had shouted and cheered at a great rate when I had
accomplished the feat of killing the rat, and they talked so much
about me after we were in the breakfast-room that I was quite
embarrassed.
Everybody whom I had seen the night before was there,
excepting poor little Helen; and there was one more person,
whom nearly all the children called "Papa," and whom Madame
called "Dear." I liked his face-he looked a good deal like
Mr. Rob-but I had a sort of feeling that if I ever did anything
bad I should not wish him to look at me. I soon made out, from
the talk, that he was a doctor-though I did not know then exactly
what that was-and that he had been obliged the evening before,
just at the time when Mr. Rob was expected, to go and see



56








MY NE VW MISTRESS.



57



some one who was very ill. I suppose he got home after I had
had my supper and gone to sleep.
When they sat down to breakfast I went to the pretty bright
rug before the fire and stretched myself out in great content-
ment. I- had had a good supper, a good breakfast, a good
bed; I had suddenly made a host of warm friends; and,
instead of being only one dog of a dozen or so, I was, or
thought I was, the only dog "entirely," as Mrs. Jimmy would
have said. I am sometimes afraid that I shall never get rid of
some of the expressions I learned of the Jimmys: it is so very
hard to break one's self of one's first tricks and manners. I found
after breakfast that there really was a number of other dogs on
the place, but I was not at all sorry for this: it would have been
stupid to have no dog-companions; and, besides, they were all
large hunting- or watch- dogs: not one of them would have
dared to lie at the foot of Helen's bed, as I did whenever L
wished too.
Perhaps you will think that, as I was only a dog, I could not
have any Christmas presents? If you think this, you were
never more mistaken in your life. Madame gave me a very
nice basket for my bed; Master, a house in the yard which was
to be all my own, and which I might sleep in, if I liked, when
the warm weather came; the sweet sister, a beautiful bow of
ribbon for my neck, of which I was very proud, for I must con-
fess that Snowball's red bow had made me feel a little jealous.








58 UNDER THE DOG-STAR.


Mine was dark blue, which they said would be more becoming
to my complexion than red. May gave me a whole pound of
sweet crackers. I am very fond of sweet crackers, but I was
not allowed to eat them all at once, for fear they would make
me ill. Roland gave me half his candy, which was put away
for me with the crackers, and while it lasted I had a small piece
every day after dinner. The three little ones also gave me a
share of their candy; so, as you may imagine, I had a sweet
cracker and a piece of candy for dessert every day for
weeks.
Mr. Rob waited till all the rest had given me their presents;
and then he pulled out of his pocket a most beautiful red collar
with a bright place on one side, and said, I'll read you what it
says on your collar, Jock, and you must never forget it;" and
he read aloud:
JOCK.
The property of Helen Laurence,
CHRISTMAS, 18-."


Did I ever forget it? Oh my little mistress-my dear little
mistress!-if, as I earnestly hope you may, you some day trans-
late these pages, you will surely say that I did not.
"Now," said Mr. Rob, when he had fastened the collar on my
neck with a little key, "we will take him up to Helen; no doubt
she too has a Christmas present for him."








MY NEW MISTRESS.



59



So up we all went, and, sure enough, she had the loveliest
feather cushion to put in my basket-bed.
Mr. Rob put me on her lap that she might see my new collar,
and then he gave her the key. Her pretty pale face grew quite
pink with pleasure, and she hugged Mr. Rob all over again, as
if she had not done it at all the night before; but he did not
seem to mind it in the least. And sometimes, since I have been
older and gone about more, when I have seen brothers who did
not like to wait on their sisters, and thought it was unmanly
to kiss them, and said "Oh, botheration!" whenever they were
asked to do anything for them, I have longed to say, Do you
call this manly? Oh, if I could show you all my master and
my Mr. Rob, two big, brave men, afraid of nothing but of
doing wrong, and just as gentle with women and little children
as the gentlest woman could be !"
They were all going to church excepting my dear new mis-
tress; she was sitting in a large chair this morning, dressed in
a pretty soft white wrapper, and I thought she looked well
enough to go anywhere, but I soon saw that no one even
thought of her going. It has always puzzled me, this church,
to which all my people go every Sunday when they possibly
can, but, as they have never once taken me with them, in spite
of all my begging and entreating, I cannot tell you what it is
like. This has made Sunday the saddest day of the week to
me, and, though they sometimes laugh at me for my mournful








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



looks, yet I notice that whenever Master is obliged to visit his
patients on Sunday he always takes me with him; and this has
comforted me a good deal.
However, this time, before I knew anything about it, I was
very glad to stay with Helen; and I had so very much to think
about that I did not mind lying still in her lap while she read.
It seemed to me at least a year since I had left all the Jimmys,
and then there were so many things that I was trying to puzzle
out. She stopped reading after a while, and began to play with
me and pet me. No one else ever had such soft, white little
hands as hers. I wanted to kiss them all the time. "We will-
see if you can learn a little new trick while they are gone, Jock,"
she said; and then she took my right paw in her right hand, and,
looking into my eyes, she said, "Jock, whose dog are you ?"
I knew perfectly well that I was hers, but how was I to tell
her? She showed me: she put my paw on her arm. I soon
saw what she meant, and after she had shown me two or three
times I did it by myself. How pleased she was! She made me
do it several times, to be sure I understood; and just then they
all came back from church, and I had to do it five or six times
more, to let them all see. They so praised and petted me that
I was growing very vain and self-conceited; and it was a good
thing that Jet, the oldest of the hunting-dogs, who saw how my
head was being turned, had a plain talk with me that afternoon,
and made me see how foolish I was. That was after dinner,



6o







,



MY NEW MIIS TRESS. 61


and was the time of which I told you when my head was so
full of myself that I did not like to see him holding Snowball
between his paws.
But first we all went down to dinner. Helen rode in a lady-
chair made by Mr. Rob and Roland, and the rest all sang,

"Give me a pin to stick in my cushion,
To carry my lady to London."

I could not think what this meant, and I was forced to conclude
that it did not mean anything.
We were very merry at dinner. I had a plate, and Jet and:
Snowball each had one, on a large newspaper spread out oni
the hearth-rug, and everybody gave us something. I had!
never, in all my life, enjoyed a dinner as I did that one; and'
I have often thought since that, if people only knew it, it is the
laughing and joking and saying pleasant things to each other
that really make a happy dinner, even if the things to eat are
quite common and plain. Not that they were common and
plain that day: Madame and Aunt Nancy had seen to that. I
had once before seen a roasted turkey, but it was a mere nothing
compared with the one Master carved that day. We had Honora's
cake with the dessert. The sweet sister cut it, everybody praised
it, I had quite a large piece, and Mr. Rob told about the pro-
cession. Dinner was over at last, and we were all saying how
crood it was that no one had sent for Master all day, when the
C_








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



office-bell rang and we ran to the window. It was snowing fast,
but the little boy who stood there leaning against the post of
the porch, as if he felt afraid of falling down, looked pale even.
in the snow. He had not stopped to fasten his ulster all the
way, nor to put on his gloves, cold as it was.
Master himself opened the door. "Well, my little man, what's
the matter ?" he said kindly.
"Oh, sir," answered the boy, so out of breath that he could
hardly speak, "Nelly is very ill indeed, and mamma says will you
please to come at once?"
"Yes, I'll come, if it's as bad as all that," said Master, "though
I did hope nobody would need me to-day. Step inside a minute
and get warm while Jake harnesses the horse, and then you can
ride back in the sulky with me."
The little boy thanked him and stepped in, but to all the doctor's
questions about Nelly he only answered, "I don't know, sir, but
mamma said to tell you she was very ill indeed."
So they went off together, and we were left to spend our
Christmas evening without Master, which made us all feel very
sorry.



62













































































































































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CHAPTER III.



MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY.

S-7E did not know what to do at first; we were
Going to have a game of "Snap-Dragon," but
that was not to be till after dark, and we wished to
wait till Master came home, too. I don't know what
we should have done if he had stayed at home, but
we somehow felt as if we could not do it, now that
he was gone.
Mi\r. Rob put Madame in Master's chair, and then
sat down in hers with Helen in his lap. It was
already beginning to grow dark, for we had been a
long time at the dinner-table.
"It's a great, great while since you told us a story, Rob," said
Helen, stroking his face.
That was enough The children all shouted at once, "A story!
a story! He's got to tell us a story!"
"' If you please,'" said Mr. Rob, half laughing; and then they
all shouted, If you please."
"I have a rather good story in stock just at present," said Mr.
5 65








UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR.



Rob musingly. "I've been for some weeks intending to. write it,
but I really have not had time. If I tell you all this story, I shall
expect you to tell me in return how clever it is, and that the first
editor to whom I send it will fairly jump at it."
"Is it a true story?" said Helen.
"I hardly know," said Mr. Rob, "but I am inclined to think it is.
At any rate, it is the result of a remarkably vivid imagination
working with equally remarkable powers of observation."
He's making poetry without even knowing it!" cried Roland.
S"That's genius," said Mr. Rob, nodding solemnly at them all:
"the very highest grade of genius is often unconscious."
But what we want at present, you know, is the story," said the
sweet sister; "you may let your genius fly about as much as it
pleases after you've told us this-possibly-true story."
"Cruel creature !" said Mr. Rob, making Helen's little hand pull
out the sweet sister's comb and let her hair fall down to the floor.
It rolled down so that I thought it was coming quite off, until I saw
that it was fastened on at one end, just as mine is.
"Has your story a name?" asked the sweet sister, pretending
not to notice about her hair.
"Indeed it has," replied Mr. Rob--" a first-rate name. I am
going to begin now.-Take your head out of my mouth, Helen,
and put it on-my shoulder;, so.-I would remark, by way of
introduction, that if there is one thing above all others which I
cannot endure, it is being interrupted. So I give fair warning



66








MR. ROB IS IN'D'CED TO TELL A STORY



67



that when any one interrupts me I shall go straight back to the
beginning and tell my story over again, in as nearly as possible
the identical words which I used before. Now I really am going
to begin. My story is called THE ONION THAT SPROUTED.'"
Madame and the children all looked at one another, as if they
thought that a very queer name for a story, but nobody dared to
say anything, and Mr. Rob kept on:
"It happened in this way. There was a large basketful of them
sitting in front of the green-grocer's store. The day was a warm
one in February-one of those days that make you begin to think
about your spring bonnet, just as some of the days in March make
you sure that you never will live to want one.
"A sunbeam crept in through a little hole in the awning and fell
right upon the top of a large red onion. The onion liked it at
first, and took a good deal of credit to itself because the sunbeam
had picked it out of the whole basketful to shine on: it never
noticed the hole in the awning. But in a little while it began to
feel very uncomfortable, and whispered to. the onion which sat
next to it, 'Do you see any signs of a sprout on top' of my
head ?'
"l No,' said the other, looking it over carefully. 'Or-wait a
minute : yes, it's all but through.'
"' Oh, my goodness gracious me !' said the first onion, in dreadful
consternation. 'I heard the grocer say only yesterday that we
were good for nothing after we were "growed," and he threw








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



away out into the street two poor fellows who had the loveliest
green topknots you ever saw, and one of those dreadful goats ate
them up in a minute.'
"'( Well,' said the other, briskly, 'your topknot isn't quite through
yet, and perhaps you can stop it. You can butt up against my
hard side if you like. I wouldn't mention it to every one, but I
don't mind telling you, that I'm going a little soft on one side;
and the grocer knows it, for he felt me this morning-gave me
an awful pinch. But you just lean your head against me-here-
and I'll push against the basket. It's lucky I'm so near the
edge.'
"'Oh, thank you!' said the first onion gratefully; and it put the
place where it felt the sprout coming against the hard side of its
friendly neighbor, and pushed with all its might and main. It had
to crowd the other onions a little to do this, but when they heard
what was the matter they were very good-natured about it; for,
although they were too polite to say so, they felt that the case was
desperate.
But it was noon, the sun shone hotly through the hole in the
awning, and presently the friendly onion said uneasily, 'I don't
wish to alarm you, but I'm sure I felt something tickle my side!'
"'I'm afraid to pull my head away and look,' the poor onion that
was sprouting said in a smothered voice; and just as it spoke it
gave a sort of spring and rolled across the basket. The sprout
was through!



68








MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 69


"At that very moment a sharp-eyed woman with a long thin
nose came into the shop, glancing at the basket of onions as she
passed. How much'll you let me have that basket of onions at
the door for?' she said to the grocer, in a voice which seemed to
come through her thin nose.
"' Onions are going up, ma'am,' said the grocer, rubbing his
hands together; but before he could say any more she interrupted
him with-
"'I don't know how it is about onions in general-I haven't
heard that they were-but yours are, that's certain, for they're
sprouted.'
"The grocer looked a little nervous, and went out to the basket..
He gathered up five or six of the onions in his hands. 'There's
only one that's sprouted, ma'am,' he said soothingly, 'and you can,
see for yourself that it's but just begun.'
The woman picked one up to satisfy herself, and, unfortunately,.
it was the one with the soft side. She pinched it until it fairly
winced, and a tear rolled out of its eye-it only had one eye-
and stained her old cotton glove. 'There!' she said angrily;
'look at that for an onion! They're as soft as mush, those that
haven't sprouted. I'll give you fifty cents for what's left in the
basket. 'Tain't full; I can see some have been taken out.'
"'I give you my word, ma'am,' said the grocer solemnly, 'that
it's just as I bought it; and I should be robbing my family if I said
a cent less than seventy cents for that basket of onions. Why,








THE DOG-STAR.



when spring's this



near, before the new ones come, they're



almost



worth their weight in gold.'
The onions all swelled with pride until they nearly burst their
skins.



"' Come, now,' said the woman, 'I'll split the



difference, and



sixty.'



"'It's like



giving 'em



since it's you, ma'am, and



away,'



said the



you always



grocer



resignedly;



pay cash, take



'em.



boy shall carry the



basket home for you."



"The onions



subsided, and their skins



began



to feel



again.
"The boy carried them home



for the



sharp-nosed woman.



lived



last got



on a flat,'



there,



up four flights



panting



of stairs; and when



and grumbling,



a little girl



the boy
as thin



the woman's
into a tub.



"As she
it eagerly.



nose took the onions from him and emptied



did



them



so she saw the one which had sprouted, and seized



'It's growing,' she murmured; 'it's all lovely and green.



I wonder



if it is going



to be a tree ?



Oh, I wish she would let



me have it for my own!



knew what I



said



to it;



It's alive, and I could make believe



it



and I could watch it grow a little every



Would



she box my ears if



I asked



her?



I don't



I will ask her.'
little girl-her



And just then



name was Mary



the woman came back,



Ann-said



quickly,



and the



as if she



her courage would fail,



say



'but
The



quite



easy



She



at
as



day.



care;



UNDER



70



were afraid



' Please, ma'am,



the grocery-













"U!rl



At



]1 'r



i



Iv



\\ i \\,



I
\\



"SHE SAW HERSELF PICKING BUTTERCUPS."



See page 73.



------%tw-r-qq



--



,sis--,



*- '''*
4'



' I



-
r.-




1:i



i



I



, Id



r



\-











MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 73


boy brought some onions; and might I have just this one ? It's
almost the littlest one there.'
"'I wonder what you'll ask for next?' said the woman in a tone
of voice which would have led anybody to believe that the last
thing that Mary Ann had asked for had been a. pair of diamond
ear-rings. 'What do you want with it? Dear knows, you eat
enough at your meals, without eating between-times! I little
knew what I undertook when I said I'd board and clothe you.'
"' No indeed, ma'am!' said Mary Ann very eagerly. 'You give
me a plenty to eat, and I never had butter on my bread for
breakfast till I came to live with you; and, besides, I can't bear
onions nor anything that's got 'em in. But-don't you see?-
it's growing, ma'am, and I thought perhaps it would turn out to
be a tree.'
"The woman laughed a harsh, ugly laugh, that was not pleasant
to hear; but whether the compliment about the butter had pleased
her, or whether it could have been that her rusty old memory
worked for a minute, and she saw herself, a little child about the
size of Mary Ann, in the country with her sisters, pickirig butter-
cups in a field so full of them that she might have picked all day
and the field wouldn't have known it, I do not know; but, at any
rate, she said, not very gruffly, 'Well, you may take it, since
you're so crazy for it.' And then, as Mary Ann said joyfully,
'Oh, thank you, ma'am, you're very kind.!' she began to think
that perhaps she had been too indulgent, for Mary Ann was








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



only a 'taken girl,' who worked for her 'victuals and clothes;'
so her mistress added, severely, 'But don't go asking for any-
thing else, and don't go cluttering your onions and things about
my kitchen, for I won't have it.'
"'No, ma'am, I won't, neither,' said Mary Ann humbly; 'I'll
take it right to my room.' And she went away with the onion
which had sprouted, and set it in the sunshine on the window-sill
in what she called her room.
"It was only a large closet with a cot bedstead in it, and a
cracked wash-basin and pitcher on a three-legged stand which
was obliged to lean against the wall or else fall over, and a chair-
with only half a back, and a little looking-glass with two corners
gone hung by a string over the wash-stand; but to Mary Ann,
who before she came to live with Mrs. Diggles had owned an
uncertain third of a bed on the floor in a room of which she
was entitled to a small seventh, it left nothing to be desired.
So long as she kept this stately apartment perfectly clean, she
was welcome to decorate it with picture-cards-when she could
find any-or pictures from illustrated newspapers; and here,
when her hard day's work was at last done, she tucked her
aching little legs into the 'bed all to herself,' which no amount
of sleeping in could rob of its sweetness.
"When the onion found that the sprout which it had so much
dreaded had actually saved its life, it began to grow as hard as
ever it could, and soon had a fine green topknot waving on its



74








MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY.



75



head. For, looking through the door-which Mary Ann always
left open now, when she was not in her room, that the heat from
the kitchen might make the onion grow faster-it saw, to its
horror, one after another of its mates skinned, cut up, or
dropped whole into boiling water.
"It did not occur to Mary Ann that there was any connection
between her telling Mrs. Diggles that she couldn't bear onions
and the fact that while the basketful lasted nearly all the meat
that came into the house was cooked with them, any more than
it occurred to her that bread, even with a thin scrape of butter
on it, was cheaper than meat. I don't know that she would
have been any happier if it had occurred to her.
Mrs. Diggles took a few boarders-'just to fill up the flat,' she
told Mary Ann-and they seemed to enjoy the meat quite as much
with the onions as without them-rather more, perhaps; and Mary
Ann was always pleased when they 'liked their victuals,' as she
put it, for then one or other of them would sometimes give her
a penny.
There was only one thing now that worried her. The hole in
her shoe ? The big patch, of a different color, on the front of
her Sunday frock? The way in which her hands cracked and
bled when she had been scrubbing or washing?
No. These trifles annoyed her when she thought of them,
but the time had been when she had no shoes, with or without
holes, no Sunday frock, patched or not patched, and when her feet








UNDERR THE DOG-STAR.



as well as her hands had been cracked and bleeding with the
cold.
"It was this: the onion would roll over. She never left the
room without feeling afraid that when she came back she would
find it lying on the floor, on its head, of course, with all its lovely
leaves-in the midst of which a tall stem with a sort of mysterious-
looking white flower was now appearing-hopelessly mashed on
the bare boards.
"She at last summoned courage to confide her trouble to the
boarder who had given her pennies oftener than all the rest put
together. His name was Dennis O'Dowd, and he always had.a
kind word and a smile for her; 'Because,' he told her once, 'you
are the size of a little slip of a daughter I once had.'
"' And where is she now?' Mary Ann had asked.
"'With the holy angels, my dear,' Dennis had answered; and
Mary Ann had been a little frightened: she thought that perhaps
looking that way meant that she was going to die. She did not
wish to die just as she had found such a nice place, and Mrs.
Diggles was saying that she might possibly give her-Mary Ann-
fifty cents a week next year.
It was on a Sunday afternoon that she asked advice of Dennis
about the onion, and, as she found that he seemed interested, she
took him to her room to see it. If he laughed, he did it quite
inside of him; he was perfectly grave, so far as his face and
voice went, while she explained things to him and showed him



76







4



MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 77


how, on account of the narrowness of the window-sill and the
roundness of the onion, she was always afraid of its tumbling off.
"'We'll soon fix that, my dear,' said Dennis cheerfully, 'and
improve its looks besides. Get me a small bit of a kindling-stick
and a paper to catch the shavings. I think it no harm to whittle
a bit on Sunday by way of pleasuring a girl that's as good as you
are, but the old lady might not agree with me entirely; so we'll
keep on the safe side.'
Mrs. Diggles had gone to afternoon meeting, and Dennis had
promised to stay at home till she came back, for she was always
sure that Mary Ann had lurking tendencies to mischief which
were only waiting for a good chance to develop themselves.
"The little girl brought the stick and paper, and Dennis sat
down on the foot of the cot and whittled out three small pegs,
each about two inches long and pointed at one end. These he
carefully stuck into the under side of the onion, far enough apart
to make it stand steadily, and then he set it on the window-sill with
a triumphant 'There!' And it was no wonder he said it, for the
onion stood up now like a little man, waving his greei plumes
jauntily.
"'Oh, thank you, dear Mr. O'Dowd!' cried Mary Ann raptu-
rously; and then they heard Mrs. Diggles coming up the stairs,
and gathered up the chips in a hurry.
", The onion had not enjoyed having the sharp sticks thrust into
it, but when it found how steadily it stood, and how now it could








78 UNDER THE DOG-STAR.

shake its green top at the sparrows and see out over the roofs, it
was more than resigned, especially as the unpleasant feeling had
lasted only a few minutes.
Fairly up in the sunlight which daily streamed into the south
window, it soon burst the funny-looking pointed nightcap which
held its blossom, bloomed a few days, and went to seed.
While the bloom was in its glory Mary Ann could not find it
in her heart to object that it smelt oniony, but when it began to
look seedy she began to think how very unpleasant it was, when
she bent over it to look at it, to be obliged to smell it also.
"Mrs. Diggles had on her bureau a bottle labelled 'Bay Rum.'
Mary Ann had once taken a sniff in trembling haste, and thought
that it did not smell at all like the rum for which her father used to
send her. If she might but have a teaspoonful of this to pour
upon her onion, surely it would be sweetened for the rest of its
life, and perhaps the seeds -she meant to save the seed of
course-would all come up sweet-scented onions!
"So Mary Ann laid a deep plot. She worked for one whole
week as if she had two heads and four hands, and when Mrs.
Diggles, who was not altogether unpleasant-is anybody, I
wonder?-offered her bond-slave not exactly the half of her
kingdom, but a three-cent piece with a hole in it, she timidly
said, 'Please, ma'am, you're very good, but would you as lieve
give me, instead, a little teaspoonful of that sweet-smelling stuff
on your bureau?'








MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY.



79



"Mrs. Diggles had just secured a new boarder, and she was in
a good humor; so she laughed, put the three-cent piece back into
her purse with alacrity, and poured into a dingy little old bottle
which she hunted out of a miscellaneous closet a generous tea-
spoonful of her bay rum.
"Was ever such liberality? A bottle, so that she might keep
a little drop for future refreshment, besides scenting the onion!
Mary Ann would have kissed Mrs. Diggles had she dared, but she
only said, 'I'm very much obliged, ma'am,' and hastened with her
new treasure to her old one.
"Very carefully she dropped some bay rum over the seed-stalk
first, then over the leaves, until all were wet. She did not hear
the poor onion shrieking, 'Don't! for pity's sake, don't! It
will be the death of me!' But when Mary Ann came out of her
room to light the fire the next morning, her eyes were red with
crying. Onions have made a great many people cry, but I doubt
if anybody ever cried quite so much over one before.
Dennis lingered a minute after breakfast to ask what was the
matter.
"' I've killed him,' said Mary Ann in a quivering voice. 'I
tried to make him smell sweet, and it must be poison, for his
beautiful tall head's all flopped down, and all his green leaves
are withered.'
"'Then that's a great pity,' said Dennis; 'and in the country
where I came from they've a notion to leave well enough alone.








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



You had a grand little man with a plume to his hat, and you'd
no call to keep smelling him; it was enough for you to look at
him. But take comfort, my dear; there's more onions than one
in the wide world.'
"I don't think this comforted Mary Ann very much, because,
you know, they were not her onions.
"But the next Sunday afternoon Dennis stayed at home again,
and when Mrs. Diggles was fairly off he drew from his coat-
pocket a small flower-pot very new and red. "'Would you
oblige me, my dear,' he said to Mary Ann, 'by going down to
the ground-floor and asking the old gentleman for the full of
this out of his flower-bed? I'm loath to ask him, for it will
take near half of it; but, as it's Sunday, belike he'll be in a
giving humor.' And Mary Ann went, wondering.
"The old gentleman generously heaped the flower-pot with the
precious earth. You never thought, perhaps, that some people
can't even have a little earth when they want it until they get
the 'six feet' which is coming to everybody-or, to speak more
correctly, to which everybody is coming.
"When Mary Ann brought back the flower-pot, Dennis took
a little parcel from another pocket and carefully unwrapped it.
"'Oh, it's another onion-a great big, beautiful one-and it'll
grow ever so much better in earth!' cried Mary Ann, dancing
around Dennis while he carefully planted it, leaving its little
green nose just sticking up out of the earth.



80







4



MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 8I


"'This is a kind,' said Dennis, handing her the flower-pot,
'which is warranted not to have the scent of the one you
killed with kindness. It must have nothing whatever poured
on it but a taste of water every morning.'
"Day after day the little green nose pushed its way up, warmed
by the April sunshine, for it was April by this time. But, although
Mary Ann would not for the world have said so to Dennis, she
was disappointed. The leaves were different; the stalk was
thick and clumsy-looking.
"Dennis said nothing, but his eyes would twinkle as he watched
the child's puzzled face bent over the flower-pot.
"I cannot tell you what Mary Ann's thoughts were when, this:
strange onion at last bloomed. A stalk of pure white bells
dazzled her eyes; a fragrance which filled her little room andi
floated out into the kitchen made her think she must dreaming,.
until Dennis's chuckle convinced her that she was awake.
When she went to bed that night the moon was shining on her
fairy-flower; but, bless you! she didn't call it a fairy-flower: she
called it an onion! And she whispered softly to it-foolish little
thing that she was-'You are very sweet! you are perfectly
lovely !' and she touched her lips gently to the snowy bells. Then,
as she turned away, she whispered to herself, But I wish-I wish-
I had not been so faultfinding, and killed my dear old first onion.'"


Nobody said anything for several minutes after Mr. Rob stopped
6








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



speaking. I suppose they were afraid he had not finished and
would begin all over again; and, although I liked the story very
well, it seemed to me that it was rather long. You see, I had
never heard a story before, and I kept thinking the end was
coming all the time; and, instead of that, there would be another
beginning. I know better now. A full stop does not always
means that one has got to the end.
Master had come in just where the onion was killed; but, as he
had taken off his hat and coat and boots and put on a nice soft
pair of slippers, he did not make any more noise than I do when,
for any reason, I wish to come in quietly. He had rolled the
lounge near the fire and spread himself out over it without saying
a word, for all the children, the minute he came in, had begged
him, by putting their fingers on their lips and making very curious
faces, to be perfectly still; and, as he did not know why, I suppose
he just did it to please them: I very often do things in that way
for Madame.
Mr. Rob waited a few minutes, and then he said, "That's all !"
"It seems to have been very affecting," said Master; "I wish
I had come in sooner. Were your feelings too deep for words ?"
Then Madame explained to him why every one had been afraid
to speak; and he laughed, and said that on those terms an interrup-
tion would have been the highest possible compliment, and if he
had only known the situation when he came in he would have made
one, and so got a chance to hear the first of the story.



82









MR. ROB IS INDUCED



TO TELL A STORY.



"The first part of it was the funniest, uncle," said May, "but

I liked the last part best; only I wish she hadn't killed the poor

onion."



. < \
KI~

'Nl-



-- _



"Was the little girl really very ill, dear?" said M\adame. Rob's

imaginary onion had nearly driven her out of our minds.



Master began to laugh.



" I found her in the play-room brisk as



" She was administering a severe whipping to that



4



83



a bee," he said.








84



UNDER THE DOG- S TAR.



long-suffering wooden doll you gave her, and when I asked her
what her poor child had done, she said, 'Her eated too much
dinner.' I guessed what had been the matter then, for the little
thing was looking rather pale and weak, but I had to cross-
question her mother a good deal to get at the truth. It seems
the child nearly had. a convulsion, but her mother did have sense
enough to give her a hot drink; and, though it had a rather
unexpected effect-made the poor little soul very sea-sick-it
brought her nearly right again. What do you think she had had
for dinner? Besides the usual 'fixin's,' mince-pie, ice-cream, wine-
jelly, lobster-salad, a 'taste' of wine, and a doll's cup of black
coffee to wind up with,' because it was Christmas.'"
"And they made you go out in all this storm, papa," said the
sweet sister indignantly, "all because of such dreadful foolishness
as that!"
Never mind, dear," said Master soothingly; "I've been waiting
for a first-rate chance to read that misguided woman a lecture, and
I had it to-night, and improved it. Those children all three look
as if they had grown in the shade, but I think I have frightened
her thoroughly at last.-Come, my blossom," he said, stooping
over Helen, who was still on Mr. Rob's lap, "I must practise
what I preach: it's high time you were in bed. Do you feel
any worse for your dissipation?"
"Oh no, papa," Helen answered; I have not felt so well for a
long time: nothing rests me like having Rob hold me;" and she








MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 85

nestled her cheek against Mr. Rob's. He seemed to like it, and
I'm sure I don't wonder he did.
Can't she stay just five minutes longer, papa ?" asked the sweet
sister; we want to sing While shepherds watched their flocks
by night,' and you know her voice comes in so nicely with
Rob's."
"Very well," said Master; but she needn't ask to stay down to
tea. I feel like a stern and cruel tyrant, and shall act like one if I
have the opportunity."
They all sang some beautiful thing which began with the words
the sweet sister had said. She played for them on an organ
which stood in one corner. I thought it was something alive,
and that she was pinching it, and that, and a sort of miserable,
lonely feeling that it all gave me, made me cry. I knew I ought
not to make a noise. Jet was lying there with Snowball on his
back, and they both kept as still as mice. I stood it as long as
I possibly could, and then, when they all stopped, and I thought
it was done, she kept making more noises with her hands, and
I could not help it. What I wished to say was, Oh, do stop!
Don't you hear how it hurts him ?" and I stood on my hind legs
and put my hand on hers, and tried to say it. I don't know,
to this day, why they all laughed so, and I did not care, for I
stopped her, and that was what I wanted.
Master and Mr. Rob carried Helen up on a new lady-chair,
and Roland brought up my basket and May my new feather-bed,








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



for we all had our presents spread out
not help thinking that mine looked
wishing the Jimmys could see them.
I was to go too, so I went, and was



in
as
I
in



the parlor; and I could
well as anybody's, and
understood by this that
bed before Helen was.



I, often pity these human people for the ti
and hair and teeth give them. One shake,
bed; another shake in the morning, and I
day. It is true I have my hair combed, but
my breakfast first, which I think is much the
Helen made the young girl who helped
troublesome things put my bed close by
from their talk that I was to have slept in
before, but that when she heard I was so



rouble



their clothes



and I am ready for
am dressed for the
then I always have
best way.
her with all these
hers, and I found
her room the night
sound asleep in the
JV-"I I'



kitchen



she would



not have



me disturbed.



Ihat



was just



my Helen. She always wanted people to be pleased in their
way, instead of in her way. The last thing I thought of was
that child that ate too much dinner; I wondered if she knew
about "busting." and I felt so glad I had not "busted" myself the
night before that I had hard work not to bark a little. I'm
afraid I should have done it, but somehow I went to sleep
instead, and never remembered till the next morning that I had
not had any supper. I am afraid I did eat a good deal of dinner
that first Christmas Day!



like



86



i

















CHAPTER IV.



I MAKE A FRIEND.

WAS exceedingly provoked with myself, when I woke up,
to remember that I had missed the game of "Snap-
Dragon" by going up stairs. I was very curious to
know what it was, and of course I could not make any one
understand and tell- me. And then I began to think why I
had rushed up after Helen without even being called. At first
I ".told myself," as Mr. Trollope says-I have heard several of
his books, and all the people he tells about do that,-I told
myself that it was because I was her dog and I loved her.
And then I seemed to hear another dog saying, "What a dreadful
story! Tell the truth, Jock !" and I looked .round, quite expecting
to see Jet, but he was not there; and I knew the other 'dog was
myself, too. So I said, very much ashamed, "It was because I
wanted Helen and all of them to see how clever I was, and that
I knew I was her dog." The other dog seemed to say, "Then



it served you quite right to miss the 'Snap-Dragon,'
no one will tell you about it until next Christmas."
will believe it, no one did.



and
And,



I hope
if you



87








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



You will wonder, perhaps, how I can remember all these little
things that happened so many years ago. You know I mentioned
in my first chapter that I learned to write when I was quite young;
it was early in the spring of this my first year at Ladysmede.
As soon as I knew how, it occurred to me that before I forgot
about my youth and all the first things I could remember it
would be a good plan to write them down, and that when I
grew old I should like to read what I had written. I did not dream
then of ever making a book of it, and I am only taking pieces of it
now: there is too much of it, considering that it is all about one
dog, to make a book of it just as it is; and besides, my ideas as
to what is interesting and what is not have changed a good deal
since I first began to keep my journal.
This is a good place in which to explain, too, how it is that I
can tell Mr. Rob's stories word for word. We have them all in
papers and books, and, by great good luck, the children keep
leaving them where I can get at them, and so I have copied the
ones I thought would be liked best. I have taken those that the
children asked him to tell them a good many times over; for he
always "tried them on" the children, as he said, before they
were printed.
We had such a good time the next day that I don't think I
should ever have forgotten it even if I had not written it down.
In the first place, I made up my mind to be friends with Snowball.
I had never seen any cats before: I don't know why the Jimmys



88








I MAKE A FRIEND.



89



did not keep them, but they certainly did not. But when I saw
how much more Snowball knew about mice, and the way about the
house, and singing, and various other things, than I did, I thought
she would be a friend worth having; and we agreed to be friends,
and have been ever since. My friendship was put to a severe test
that very day, but I am glad to be able to say that it stood it. Aunt
Nancy found a mouse in her pantry, so she set the door open and
called Snowball. It was just as we were having our little talk, so
I came too. The mouse ran behind the flour-barrel, and Aunt
Nancy said to Snowball, Set right down in front of de do',. honey,
and don't you stir till Mr. Mouse comes out again."
Snowball understood her business, but she had grown so used to
it that perhaps she was a little careless. She said to me, "It may
be hours before that mouse comes out, but he will come out-he
has no hole in the pantry-and I shalbe obliged to stay here till
he does; but don't wait for me if you've any engagement." I
said that I had not, and that I should like, if she did not object,
to stay and see how it was done. She said, "Not at all, if you'll
excuse my taking a nap: the slightest noise wakes me." She
curled herself up close by the doorway, and was fast asleep in a
minute. I went under the table, but I was too excited to sleep.
Aunt Nancy had scattered a few crumbs about to entice the
mouse out, and then she had gone into the kitchen: the pantry
opened out of a little sort of store-room among the passages.
Everything was very quiet, and presently a little head with two



C--








UNDER THE DOG-STAR.



very bright eyes stuck out from behind the barrel. I had never
seen a mouse, but I had been ashamed to say so to Snowball, and
I was expecting to see quite a large creature, from the fuss that
had been made. It took me some time to learn that small things
can do as much mischief as large ones. But, as it came from
behind the flour-barrel, I concluded this must be the mouse; and
when it crept softly out, and was stealing by Snowball's head, I
was just on the point of springing at it, when I remembered my
rudeness of the day before, and instead I gave a loud bark.
Snowball was on her feet in a second, and had Mr. Mouse" off
his in another; and when he was disposed of she asked me so
many questions that I was obliged to tell her why I did not catch
him myself; and she declared that even Jet could not have acted
more chivalrously, which made me very happy, for I was beginning
to have a great respect for Jet. She said that after this proof of
my friendship, and of what she was pleased to call my gentlemanly
conduct, she should consider me as an intimate friend, and no
longer as a new-comer; and I cannot tell you all the kind things
she did from that time to make me feel completely at home.
This mouse-business took place quite early in the morning, and
the good feeling it gave us both lasted all day.
Snowball had rather a dislike to staying long in one place, but
when she saw that I was hesitating about going to the hill with Mr.
Rob and the children, because I was afraid Helen would be lone-
some if we all left her, and for the whole morning too, she offered,



90





4



"THE MOUSE WAS STEALING BY SNOWBALL'S HEAD."



See page 90.














































































































































































































































































































































































I








I MAKE A FRIEND. 93

in the kindest manner, to sit with Helen herself, assuring me that
she had been up so late mousing the night before that she should
be perfectly contented to lie on the foot of Helen's bed and sleep
till we came back. As I really did want very badly to go with the
children, and as I knew she did not care for coasting-she told me
she did not when she explained to me what it was-I took her at
her word; and she assured me afterward that she would never
again object to sitting with Helen. "She does not jerk me about
by the legs, as the children do," said Snowball, "and she knows
the little places under my chin and behind my ears where it is so,
delightful to be rubbed. Besides, she talks to me quite as if she
knew I can understand her."
With my mind so much at ease that I really could not help
barking, I set off with the children for the hill. I dislike to tell
you how foolish I was at first; but if I do not mention that sort
of things, it will not be fair to tell about my compliments and
successes; so I will just narrate both impartially.
You know I had never been anywhere but in the Jimmys' fifth-
story rooms, and at first everything out of doors frightened me.
When a puff of wind came, I expected to see the great creature
which had blown so hard coming after it-and me! When the
trees waved and beckoned, I thought they were great people with
their hands full of dreadful switches, and would all begin to switch
me presently. The snow made my feet ache, and I wished I had
stayed with Helen. I suppose I must have looked rather dismal,








Lr'DER THE DOG-STAR.



94



for Mr. Rob stooped to lift me over a fence at the edge of a pretty
snowy field which looked like the top of Madame's Christmas-cake.
"Jock," he whispered, "you must not be a cowardly little dog.
Nothing is going to hurt you: we are all your friends. Your toes
will keep warm if you'll scamper about, instead of standing still
and shivering; and remember you are Helen's dog now. You
surely don't want the children to go home and laugh at you to
her ?"
I rather thought I didn't. I barked close to Mr. Rob's ear to
make him know that I understood him, and then he laughed and
put me down. I found it was just as he said: nothing was really
going to hurt me; and when I was running about and barking
I forgot that the snow was cold. It was great fun to try to get
to the bottom of the hill before the sled; and whenever I did it
the children shouted and hurrahed, and I barked; and they taught
me to pull the sled up for them by taking the rope in my teeth;
and I really got so full of fun that I could not help jumping away
just as they would go to take the rope from me, and then they
all laughed; and whenever I dropped the rope to bark a little,
they would get hold of it- again.
If Mr. Rob had not been so tall, I should have thought he was
the very youngest of them all, except, perhaps, myself. I have
never met with anybody who knew how to play and whistle and
sing and talk as Mr. Rob can. In fact, he can do everything.
I have often wondered that I did not take cold that winter, for






























































































" A PRETTY SNOWY FIELD."



See page 94.



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I MAKE A PWFRIEND.



97



my coat was not long and thick, as it is now; but I suppose it
was taking so much exercise which kept me warm: there was
a sort of kinky feeling in my legs if I kept still long, which
would oblige me to get up and tear about after something, if it
was only my own tail. This feeling is nearly gone now, but it
still comes over me at times.
We went home so hungry that we were almost ready to eat one
another, Mr. Rob told Madame; and although the dinner was not
half so grand as it had been the day before, it somehow tasted
even better.
After dinner we all went up to Helen's room. She was lying
on the lounge in her pretty soft white dress, and Mr. Rob pushed
the lounge up to the window and wrapped a shawl around her,
and then he took us all down to make a snow-man right under
her window, where she could see it. I helped all I could, and
before dark we had a snow-man as tall as Mr. Rob, and with
much thicker legs than his, standing there with a pipe in his
mouth-not a real pipe, but a piece of corn-cob with a stick in
it-and a flag in his hand, which he held out toward .Helen's
window. Madame gave him an old hat of Master's, and he
looked so fierce that I felt a little afraid of him. I was never
quite sure that he was not alive until he melted away several
weeks afterward, and even then I thought he might have been.
Helen laughed, and clapped her hands, and bowed to the snow-
man when he was done; and then we all came in again, and Mr.



7








98 UNDER THE DOG-STAR.


Rob and Roland put on their slippers and carried Helen down,
and we sat down around the fire to wait for Master, who was
out seeing sick people, as usual.
Helen and May and Roland all begged Mr. Rob for another
story; only they said that this time they must be allowed to
interrupt, for they thought of so many questions while the story
was going on which they forgot by the time it was done. So
Mr. Rob said that as it was his last evening, he would indulge
them, for this time he would tell them a story which he had
written down, but which was not printed yet. So he settled
Helen comfortably in Master's chair, and then he lay down
by me on the hearth-rug, with his head in Madame's lap, and
began, in a very lazy voice, to tell this story. I am not going
to give the interruptions, because they were foolish, and I liked
his other way of telling a story best.
"Must it have a name?" he asked before he began.
"Of course it must !" said three or four of them at once; and
May added, Now you know it has a name already, Rob, if it's
written down."
"Astute creature!" said Mr. Rob. Its name is

"OVERCOMING.
"Part of my audience has been in New York; and the part
that has not can imagine, from pictures and descriptions, how it
looks to-day with its crowded and hustling wharves and markets,





Full Text

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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "You deny yourself far too much for us, as it is;" and she gave Mr. Rob a kiss. "Fiddlesticks !" said he; and I wondered what in the world he meant by that, but I saw one of those mole-tracks moving,. or thought I did, and I had to be off again. As we walked home I heard him tell her not to say anything, for fear of a disappointment, but that he thought he should have money enough if it would not cost more than-something; I never can remember about money-and that she must manage to see the well-digger and find out just what it would cost, and let him (Mr. Rob) know as soon as she could. She promised to do this, although she said Mr. Rob needed too many things himself to be spending so much money on them ; but he called her a goose, and that seemed to settle it. For once, I was glad that I could not talk, for I really think that if I had been able to, I should have been obliged to tell my Helen, she so often went without a drink of water because she was afraid that if she asked they would go to the spring for fresh: she never told any one but me, and I think she only told me because she knew that I could not possibly tell any one else. Of course after supper Mr. Rob was obliged to tell the children a story, and, as Helen was not well enough to come down stairs, we all went up to her room. I am only putting this story in because the children all seemed to like it: I do not like it myself at all, and when you have read it I will tell you why. He called 128



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- ..C------ -----. --'.....-I~c~ The Baldwin Library Univrcnil RmBirid-



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282 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. in the shape of a carriage-house. Our dogs-there are two of them-would be called curs by people who had no particular affection for them, and they owe it to Will's kind heart that they have not, at different times, met with a cur's too common fate. The conservatory is a bay-window, which, in winter, owing to the skilful care of Will's mother, is the pride and glory of the house, a place of bloom and beauty from October till May.' "The professor bowed and withdrew, and Will, with burning cheeks, was turning to follow him, when one of the boys, a finelooking little fellow, somewhat younger than Will, laid a detaining hand on his shoulder. 'Never mind, old boy,' he said kindly. 'The professor had you, and no mistake; but we all do more or less bragging, I suppose.' Only one or two had giggled, and now the smallest boy said gravely, 'I think it was real mean, if he is your father. He might have told you when he had you by yourself.' 'No,' said Will, struggling bravely with a queer choking feeling in his throat, 'papa did just right. He has spoken to me a thousand-I mean, a great many-times alone, and I forget as soon as I'm around the corner. He knew I'd remember this; and I rather think I shall.' "Will had already made himself a favorite by his pleasant manners and obliging disposition, and the boys soon ceased to twit him about this incident, chiefly because he gave them no further ground for doing so. The lesson appeared really to have made



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. I was a little doubtful as to which of two beginnings to take. Some of the people whose lives I have heard read begin right in the middle of things, then go backward to the real beginning and catch up with themselves before they go on. I never liked that way, it seems to mix things up so; and so I am going to begin the other way-with the very first thing I can recollect. You may think, from some little things which I have already said, that I have always been a country dog; and so I havealmost, but not quite. I was born in a large city, in the very top room of a five-story house. My mother, whom I can barely recollect, belonged to the janitor of this great building-that is, the man who took care of all the fires and with the help of his wife and daughters kept the rooms and passages clean. They lived at the top of the house, because nobody wanted those rooms for offices, it was such a long climb up all those stairs; and then the ceiling was lower than it was on the other floors. But the rooms were cheerful and sunny; there was a nice large "flat" for drying clothes, and in summer the daughters used to put boxes with flowering plants in them all along the edges by the railing; it was really beautiful. The janitor's name was Jimmy, and his wife was called Mrs. Jimmy. All my people now have at least two names apiece, but perhaps when people are very poor they can only afford to have one. I used to wonder what made Jimmy keep so many dogs. There were so many that Mrs. Jimmy, who moved very quickly, used to 20



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. said-and when she had, his medicine always stopped it. The thing that worried me most was, that she never seemed to wish to sit up any more, or even to have her pretty wrapper on and lie on the lounge. She seemed perfectly contented just to lie in bed; and sometimes I used to fancy what would become of me if Madame, for any reason, should say, "Jock, I wish you to go to bed and stay there for a week." And then I used to wonder with all my might how she could be so very patient, and if anything that anybody could say to her could possibly make her feel as I did when anybody said Rats!" to me. By this time I was considered a very good rat-dog, and between us all we kept the place in pretty good order, though just as we thought there was not a rat on it a whole lot would come from somewhere and keep us busy again. Master came in one day and said the people on the next place were building a new barn, and pulling down the old one for the timbers. I did not think much about it at the time, but in a day or two our barns and stables and cribs, and even the cellar and kitchen, were suddenly swarming with rats. We had our paws full for the next week, but I rather think we made the place too warm for them, for what were left marched off one night as suddenly as they had come. We were a good deal troubled with snakes too that summer, and I learned to kill them as quickly and cleverly as I could kill rats. It was Roland who taught me that, and I have reason to be grateful to him, as you will see. It so happened that the first one I ever 208



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. So I let him put me in, and when I found how pleasant the felt I jumped about a good deal, and all of a sudden I found that the ground seemed to have gone away, and there was nothing under 0-1 "my w feet but water! And then the strangest thing happened. I had never learned to swim a stroke, suddenly began to do it as if I had been swimming all my life. water but I 50o



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~.4 *'G A-a^t I~-


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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. away out into the street two poor fellows who had the loveliest green topknots you ever saw, and one of those dreadful goats ate them up in a minute.' "'( Well,' said the other, briskly, 'your topknot isn't quite through yet, and perhaps you can stop it. You can butt up against my hard side if you like. I wouldn't mention it to every one, but I don't mind telling you, that I'm going a little soft on one side; and the grocer knows it, for he felt me this morning-gave me an awful pinch. But you just lean your head against me-hereand I'll push against the basket. It's lucky I'm so near the edge.' "'Oh, thank you!' said the first onion gratefully; and it put the place where it felt the sprout coming against the hard side of its friendly neighbor, and pushed with all its might and main. It had to crowd the other onions a little to do this, but when they heard what was the matter they were very good-natured about it; for, although they were too polite to say so, they felt that the case was desperate. But it was noon, the sun shone hotly through the hole in the awning, and presently the friendly onion said uneasily, 'I don't wish to alarm you, but I'm sure I felt something tickle my side!' "'I'm afraid to pull my head away and look,' the poor onion that was sprouting said in a smothered voice; and just as it spoke it gave a sort of spring and rolled across the basket. The sprout was through! 68



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EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. be treading on their poor little toes and tails all the time, -and then, when the unfortunate things would howl, as it was quite natural and right that they should, she would say angrily, "Sure, Jimmy, your dogs will be the death of me yet." And Jimmy would laugh and say, "It seems to me more like you'll be the death of the dogs, my dear." However, she never did kill any of them, though I think that was merely because she happened always to step on a paw or a tail; and she only stepped on me once: I took good care never to give her a second chance. And I soon found that of all the dogs she liked me best; she would point me out to Jimmy and say, "Of them all, he's the only wan with any sinse: ke's never under foot, but sits up in the corners, like the gentleman he is." .People kept coming and choosing dogs and taking them away, and everybody who took a dog left some money in Jimmy's hands, which he always divided with Mrs. Jimmy, because, he said, she had "full half the bother of them." My mother kept telling me that my turn to be sold would come some day, and she taught me all the tricks she knew, because, she said, if I turned out well Jimmy would be more particular as to whom he sold me, and I should probably have a better home. I have never been sorry that I began to learn things so early, for it made it easier for me to learn all my life; but the way it turned out taught me that there is no use in our thinking we know what is going to happen, for we never do. I was not sold at all; I was given away! 21





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210 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. me do it two or three times, to make sure I understood his directions, for he said it was very important indeed; and I did it just as fiercely each time as if it were the first, until he was quite satisfied. And now just listen to what happened. Not three days after this I got to thinking of that poor Outlaw Cat, and I thought it would be only kind to go and see her, and tell her how nicely two of her children were getting along, and that I hoped the other one would learn to be good in time, for Snowball and Jet and I were all taking so much pains with her. I had nearly come to her den, and was trotting along with my head in the air, watching a flock of wild ducks, and wishing Roland might see them in time-they do have such lovely bones!-when I heard an unearthly scream. It came from the Outlaw Cat: she was up a tall tree, and she yelled out to me, "Stop! stop! there's a copperhead in the path! Stop !' I had never heard this word but once before, and then I had heard Uncle Jake tell Aunt Nancy that a man who kept a store in the neighborhood was a "copperhead all through the war, and would be yet if he had a chance. So I looked along the path, expecting to see this man, but all I saw was a great big, ugly, angry-looking snake. It was coiled up, most of it, just like one of Aunt Nancy's gingerbread cakes, but it was waving its head about, and had a horrible angry glitter in its eyes. "It's kept me up here ever since yesterday," howled the



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. evening and told Aunt Nancy to bring in supper. She would have waited till midnight if Madame would have let her, for she had stewed a pair of her own chickens without telling Madame, and made a johnny-cake, and boiled some bacon, until I do believe Mr. Rob smelt that supper when he was half a mile off. He did a good deal more than smell it, I can tell you, when he came where it was. I was thankful not to hear them ask him for a story after supper. We all went up to Helen's room, and he made the sweet sister and Helen, and even Madame, try to draw a pig with their eyes shut; and they all laughed so much that I got very much excited, and barked, I am afraid, a little louder than Helen liked; but she would not let any one scold me, for she said it was my joy at seeing Mr. Rob! I was very glad to see him, of course, but it was their laughing that made me bark-it always does; and when I tried to tell her this she thought it was more joy, so I gave it up. Before the children went to bed they were telling Mr. Rob how many tricks I had learned, and that the funniest of them all was my playing sick. He said he would like to see that, so they spread me out on the lounge, and I did it, I do believe, better than ever before, for I wished him to see that they had not praised me too highly. But just as I was hanging my head and crying gently, Roland, who was sitting behind the lounge, leaned forward a little and whispered, "Rats, Jock! rats !" so low that nobody else heard him; and before I thought how ridiculous it was to say Rats!" 222



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a 134 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. It was just here that May, who had been sitting on a low chair near Helen's bed, stole away and took her seat by the open window in a distant part of the room; and when Helen asked her why, she said she was too warm. I went over to her in a few minutes, for I did not like the story, and she was looking so sad that I felt obliged to lick her hand; meanwhile, Mr. Rob went on with the story, which grew more ridiculous all the time: Don gave a low growl, and looked very much as if he would like to spring at the kitten. Isabel reproved him rather severely for this exhibition of temper, telling him gravely that the kitten was little and helpless, and that he was large and strong-that he must be a good friend to her, and protect her from all other dogs and from boys. She sat down on the step with the kitten in her lap, and coaxed Don to lay his black head on her knee, but he did it reluctantly, and the kitten shrank away from him in terror. His manners did not improve when he found that the intruder, as he considered her, was to stay, and Isabel, between his jealousy and newly-manifested ill-temper and her new pet's fear of him, had her hands full, and was always afraid that Don would do something desperate while her back was turned. The kitten, apparently grateful for its rescue and her care, became almost as devoted as Don himself, and was on her lap or her shoulder half the time, in spite of Don's glowering looks and low growls. "' I thought Don was such a good-tempered dog, grandpa,' said





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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. good scamper about the grass before any of us could catch them. At last I could stand it no longer: I felt that I must go down and sit by that ugly hole until I was quite certain that the children were asleep. I tried to tell Helen about it, but I was not sure that I made her understand: she saw that I wanted to leave her for something, and yet did not like to, and she said, "Yes, go if you wish to, Jock; mamma, will be here presently." It was a very warm evening, and all the windows and doors were open. Aunt Nancy had left her door-I suppose when she saw the children go up stairs-and was in the kitchen-garden with Uncle Jake. Madame and the sweet sister and May were all in the dairy taking care of the milk, which Uncle Jake had just brought in, and Master was out seeing sick people, and had taken Roland with him. I lay down on the nice cool earth, and before I had been there five minutes I heard a little laugh behind me, and looked around; and there stood Phil in his night-gown, with his little white feet quite bare. He came on, talking to himself in a funny fashion he had, and I heard him say, Man tell Phil mustn't look in hole-Phil will look in hole; Phil will go down hole if he wants to." There was no time to lose: he was almost at the edge of the hole. I caught his night-gown, but it was old and thin, and parted in my teeth; that would not stop him. There was nothing else to do; if I waited to call some one, he would be gone. It made me 192



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CR UELL Y MISUNDERSTO OD. 179 and I understood, from some little remark that she made, that she was afraid I did not quite trust her because she could not fetch" and bark and do one or two other things which I knew how to do, I thought my truest self-denial would be to go as if nothing had happened. She seemed already to have forgotten my painful confession, so I said no more about that, but merely that if she really had no engagement for the afternoon I believed I would go, after all. On my way down stairs it occurred to me that if I really did wish to deny myself as much as I thought I did, I could spend the time in instructing those kittens, as I had promised to do. I had already taken them a share of my dinner, and been pleased to find that between them they had caught a rat and a mouse. I had been wondering how I should let Aunt Nancy know about them, and bespeak her good will for them; and now I thought I saw a way. I ran to the corncrib to see whether they had eaten the rat and mouse, and, to my great joy, I found that they had not, and that they had caught two more mice: they told me that they had often wished to go hunting with their mother, but that she never would allow them to. As for eating the things they caught, they all agreed that nice cooked bones were much pleasanter eating than raw things with hair on them. This I was very much pleased to hear them say: it sounded like an evidence of refinement, and made me hopeful for their future. I explained to them that I was going to bring Aunt Nancy, and that they must



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-t L 7 ~,Z-~;C'~L-->--~-iŽ-g~ -;;~-" "BIDDY WAS SITTING WITH LITTLE MIKE IN HER LAP." Sepe2 -.. ',J i -: _. __ ' >9' /7/!i S.. ... -. V y-r --I ~~-'...' ;lI\ s~. \V e r ~ ~&& '-----a~~~2Tsa~B? See page 22.



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INDER THE DOG-STAR. set the plate down. Perhaps you will think was a beautiful thing for me to do. It was not: it was one of those mean things which always make me feel hot and uncomfortable when I think of them. I had seen that the black did not rub off these people, but still I thought perhaps it would wask off, and I wanted to see. It did not, of course; and Aunt Nancy turned to Uncle Jake, saying, Now, if he isn't de gratefullest little dog! Kissin' my black hand for his breakfus' as ef I was de queen !" You may think how ashamed I felt. Many a time since then have I kissed Aunt Nancy's hand in earnest to make up for that false kiss, and many a time have I tried to make her understand about that one, but I never could. It comforts me to know that if this work ever finds a translator-and I am nearly sure that it will-she may hear the truth, and about my repentance, through it. She has been my firm friend from that hour, and I have tried in every way of which I could think to be worthy of her friendship, but I can never forget that mean action. And that is the worst of doing anything mean: it is like the ink-spots that the children get on their school-aprons; the rest of the apron washes nice and clean, but that only make the spot show the more. It fades a little, perhaps, after a good many washes, but it never quite goes away until the apron is worn out and put in the rag-bag; and then it is only gone because the whole apron is. I do hope nobody skipped that. 52



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306 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. a heavy rain, and the stepping-stones on which Bess used to cross -for she did not like wading-were nearly covered. They were very anxious to get across, for it was blackberry-time, and they had promised Madame to pick her all she wanted for canning and jam and blackberry cordial, because May's father had taken her and Roland away on a journey, and nobody else had any time to spare. I went on ahead, but when I found they were not coming, I stopped and looked back, and there stood Charlie in the water, trying to persuade Bess to take off her shoes and stockings and wade, but she only stood on the bank and shook her head. "It's as warm as toast," he shouted,-" and it's not deep, Bess.' I wouldn't be afraid to cross backward;" and he began to do it, looking up at her, laughing. He had forgotten that there was a pretty deep hole on one side of the stepping-stones, even when the brook was not swollen, as it was now, and the first thing he knew he had tumbled backward into water that was over his head. It did not have to be very deep for that, you know, for his head was not high up at all. Bess gave a scream, and I was afraid she would jump in after him; so I barked to say that I was coming, and dashed into the water, and caught his jacket as he came up, for he had gone right down at first. He was too heavy for me to pull him all the way out, but I towed him to a shallow place, and he very soon got on his feet and scrambled out; and as he could not give a shake and run himself dry, as I could, we all had to go home. I did not think I had done anything much, for I think he would have



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290 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. many a partial fall, since that evening, but he knows, and owns in all humility, that God's strength can be made most perfect through the weakness of some of His weakest creatures, and in that strong Hand, so mighty to save, he has laid his heart and life."



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. of anybody that would do better, dear-who would be willing to come just for her board?' "'No, mamma,' replied Ruth, 'but you know I am very fond of that saying about proceeding as the way opens," and if the way doesn't open I think it is a sign one isn't to proceed. Don't you see ?' "' We will not give up about it just yet,' said her mother cheerfully; the way may open in some other direction, and I would not answer the letter before to-morrow evening if I were you.' "It seemed to Ruth the next morning that she had been asleep about a minute when she heard her mother saying gently, 'I'm sorry to wake you out of such a good sleep, dearie, but it is after seven o'clock, and I have not heard Jennie moving about yet; I'm afraid she must be sick.' Very sleepily Ruth washed and dressed herself, and mounted to Jennie's room, to find the little maid-servant crying with a feverish cold and sore throat, and unable to get up. Ruth comforted her with promises of hot bread and milk and the doctor, and then hurried down to have breakfast in time for the boys to go to school. It was ready by a few minutes after eight, for there was a good fire, fortunately, and she called her family down to a steaming dish of oatmeal, another of milk-toast, boiled eggs, and a nicely-made cup of tea for her mother. She rather enjoyed cooking, and enjoyed without any' rather' at all the praise which her success in this branch of business so frequently called forth. 242



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CHAPTER VI IN WHICH I TELL OF MY DISGRACE, AND OF THE OUTLAW CAT. S W E all-all, that is, except the sweet sister and Helen-went fishing the next morning to the pond above an old Smill. We took our dinners, and had a lovely time, but I must admit that I caught the only thing that was caught that day, and that was a muskrat. After that they all stopped fishing, and set me Sto scratching at every muskrat-hole they could find. I did not catch any more, but I got so very muddy that Mr. Rob coaxed me to go into the water and let him wash me before we went home. I was a good deal afraid at first, and was just going to run away when Mr. Rob said, "Now, Jock, you will not be drowned; you can trust me, and you really must be washed. If you go home in this condition, Helen will not let you come near her, but if you take a nice bath you will be all clean and dry by the time we get home." 149



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. worst: Madame-my dear Madame, who so often understands what I mean by my different barks and by my eyes-looked reproachfully at me, opened the door and said sternly, "Go out, Jock! I am ashamed of you!" I went. It comforted me a little to hear Madame say to the woman as I passed under the window, "Indeed, he would not hurt you, or any one. The children do all sorts of things to him, and I have never known him even to snap at them. He was wagging his tail all the time; so he could not have been angry. I often think he is trying to talk." How well Madame understood me! I did not care any more what that poor silly woman thought; still, I was a little pleased to hear her say very meekly, Indeed, I beg your pardon, ma'am, I'm sure, for being so foolish: I might have known he would not hurt me, for it was only yesterday he drove off that cross little ShortHorn, when I do believe she meant to hook me; and last week, when the children persuaded my little Tim to cross the brook on the stepping-stones, and he fell in-as they might have known he would-it was your little dog, ma'am, that pulled him out, and then barked till he made some one come from the kitchen." I did not wait to hear any more: I was quite satisfied; but I had a great deal to think about, and so I went into the hay-loft. Perhaps you will wonder how I got there, and will say to yourself, "Dogs do not climb ladders. He is telling a story." I know quite well that dogs do not, as a general rule, climb ladders: they have not all had my great advantages; but I could tell you of three dogs besides II



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r ---_ -I LO d im IrftI ILLUSTRATIONS. PAGE FRONTISPIECE-" JOCK." CROSSING ON THE STEPPING-STONES......................... 13 "I FOUND JET HOLDING THE WHITE KITTEN "......... 17 "BIDDY WAS SITTING WITH LITTLE MIKE IN HER LAP ............................................................ 23 "HONORA MADE THAT CAKE ................................ 29 "I COULD SEE AN OLD BROKEN SORT OF BUILDING "... 41 I SAW A SWEET PALE FACE LYING ON THE PILLOW ".. 47 "SNOWBALL DASHED AFTER IT".......................... 55 THE LITTLE BOY STOOD THERE LEANING AGAINST THE POST ................................ ................ .... ....... 63 "SHE SAW HERSELF PICKING BUTTERCUPS".............. 71 "IN THE PLAY-ROOM, BRISK AS A BEE, WHIPPING HER D OLL" ....................................... ............ .. .. 83 "THE MOUSE WAS STEALING BY SNOWBALL'S HEAD".. 91 "A PRETTY SNOWY FIELD'.................................. 95 "THE KIND, STEADY GAZE OF GERTRUDE".............. 103 "THIS IS A VERY SICK BABY." ............................ 113 ROLAND HAD GONE FISHING ".............................. 121 "THEY HAD FILLED THE BUCKET"......................... 125 "MR. ROB THREW HIMSELF BESIDE HER ON THE GRASS ........... ...... .......................... ...... .... 129 "MAY TOOK HER SEAT BY THE OPEN WINDOW"...... 135 "HE WAS LOOKING WITH THREATENING EYES "......... 143 7



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-'2I y,, ;ZMS \5'-,^ I,,' a -'----. 7/ -\ -61 '\ I* 3' / Nr .*t [I&,_ /* / N i \\ N. A C-f r .*0 <'I I "MR. ROB THREW HIMSELF BESIDE HER ON THE GRASS." See page 127. 9, 'I 1~4~ / ---\^-g ^ *" --. r ii ii : -Yn*" "'* / 17 t *; r t '4:"' "';



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. 191 Madame and Master had chosen the place for the new well: they said they would have it close by the kitchen, and then, Master said, some day, when the people paid him for curing them, there should be a nice shed built out from the kitchen over the well, so that nobody need get wet or cold going for water. I thought this was a very good plan indeed, and I did hope those mean people would hurry and pay, so that the shed could be built, it is such fun to have anything like that going on. When the men went away it was nearly sunset. Madame said something about the children and covering the hole with boards, but there were no boards anywhere near. The men were coming very early in the morning, and Master said the children would be in bed so soon that he did not believe there was any danger. Madame looked a little uneasy, and called to Aunt Nancy to have an eye to the well until the children were safely in bed; and Aunt Nancy said she would, and as soon as her work was, done she sat right down in the doorway. The children were sent to bed a little earlier than usual that' night, for Madame still felt uncomfortable about that hole. I suppose it was knowing this that set me to thinking about it: I cannot account for what I did in any other way. I was sitting with Helen, but the more I thought of the hole the more uneasy I felt. I knew the children had been put to bed, but once or twice that summer, when the evenings had been very warm, they had come down stairs in their little night-gowns and taken a



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. In a minute or two I heard my friend the lumberman at the tentdoor, saying, "Where's that dog-that one they call Jock ? I'm not going back to camp till I've shaken hands with him again and told him what I think of him." I ran to him at once, for I really was beginning to like him very much, and held out my paw in my most engaging manner. He shook it gravely, just as if it had really been a hand, and said, I'm proud of your acquaintance, Mr. Jock, and when I go home I'll tell my boys about you, and ask 'em if they don't think it's a poor story that they can't do more than read and write after three winters' schooling, when a little feller like you can do all I've seen you do to-day." Of course I had not been called upon to do all my tricks, and I thought perhaps he would like to see the rest; so I stood on my head, and played sick, and spoke in a whisper, and shook things, and talked; and he laughed till I was afraid he would break something. Just before he said good-bye I saw him reading what was on my collar, and when Roland came to call me, and tell me to go home with Madame and Master and the children, because he was obliged to stay and help with the tent and things, my lumberman said to him, pointing to the collar, Young man, is she here ? I'd like to shake hands with her too." "No," said Roland sadly, "she isn't here: she is ill, and never leaves her room." "Now, you don't tell me?" said the lumberman. "Well, if that 262



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MY DISGRA CE.THE 0 UTLA W CA T. I53 at Ladysmede seemed to know that I was Helen's dog, and that I hardly ever failed to find some one to. open the doors for me and let me go to her room when I wished to. Aunt Nancy would leave her work, the children their play, Madame and the sweet sister their sewing or reading or writing, until I really believed that this was only right; and, although I always thanked them, I did it as we do when we think people have only done what they ought to have done for us. If I could once get to the door of Helen's room, I was all right, for a very little scratch or call would bring Sarah to open that for me. Sarah was a nice young girl who had no father and mother and home of her own, and she was very glad to live at Ladysmede and wait on my Helen for the sake of 'a home and what clothes Madame was able to give her. I am sure I do not wonder she was, for Jet and the other dogs, and Snowball and myself, were all glad enough to stay there, without any clothes at all, unless you call collars "clothes;" and anybody might have been glad to do it. But it seemed to trouble Madame that she could not pay Sarah any wages, and I heard her tell Sarah more than once that if she ever had a chance to go to a place where they could pay her something, she must certainly go. This always made Sarah cry, and ask Madame what she took her for; so that I used to wish that Madame would not say it. On the dreadful day of which I am going to tell you I had been out with the children nearly all the morning superintending the haymakers, who were stacking hay that morning in the large



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I,, I, i 'I S1 I II ,, "! ,i\ iI S.1 "2 H A 4 i "I FOUND JET HOLDING THE WHITE KITTEN." See page 16. 2 Iil il'l ilr i II )ii R!II1 iiii I ;! l "A



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. each of them, of course, had only a very little taste, that dear Honora gave me half of hers. Perhaps I should not have taken it, but I was such a little puppy then, you know, and it did smell so very, very good! Everybody said it was the best cake that ever was made, and they praised Honora so much that she blushed and smiled and looked prettier than ever. The evening but one before Christmas all the Jimmys made a procession. Mr. Jimmy carried me, and Mrs. Jimmy carried the cake, with a beautiful bough of holly, full of berries, sticking right out of the top of it, as if it grew there. Then I found that Mr. Rob lived on the fourth floor, right under the lumber-room. Mr. Jimmy knocked, and he said Come in !" so we all went in. He was sitting by a little table writing, and he looked pale and tired. There was an ugly wrinkle in the middle of his forehead, too: it had not been there when I saw him before. But he smiled very pleasantly when he saw Mr. Jimmy, and then, when he saw me and the cake and all the rest of us, he looked so astonished that we could not help laughing. "Why, here's a torchlight procession without the torches!" he said. "To what am I indebted for the honor conferred on me by this deputation?" and he stood up and made a beautiful bow. "To saving little Biddy," said Mr. Jimmy solemnly. "To bringing me the grapes and the jelly and the flowers when I had the fever, as if I was a lady," said Mrs. Jimmy, almost crying as she spoke. 32



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"U!rl At ]1'r i Iv \\ i \\, I \\ "SHE SAW HERSELF PICKING BUTTERCUPS." See page 73. ------%tw-r-qq -,sis--, *'''* 4' I r.1:i i I Id r \-





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WaQ~ :lI4 IIFiiR~luy~ Iii Za p b / II i' ILI it f ___I L >7 I~. I i_:/_ "I SAW A SWEET PALE FACE LYING ON THE PILLOW." See page 45. -1 "'i 1' it i, a '9, I ^J~ ^ ^ I 1 Ir! ci



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 75 head. For, looking through the door-which Mary Ann always left open now, when she was not in her room, that the heat from the kitchen might make the onion grow faster-it saw, to its horror, one after another of its mates skinned, cut up, or dropped whole into boiling water. "It did not occur to Mary Ann that there was any connection between her telling Mrs. Diggles that she couldn't bear onions and the fact that while the basketful lasted nearly all the meat that came into the house was cooked with them, any more than it occurred to her that bread, even with a thin scrape of butter on it, was cheaper than meat. I don't know that she would have been any happier if it had occurred to her. Mrs. Diggles took a few boarders-'just to fill up the flat,' she told Mary Ann-and they seemed to enjoy the meat quite as much with the onions as without them-rather more, perhaps; and Mary Ann was always pleased when they 'liked their victuals,' as she put it, for then one or other of them would sometimes give her a penny. There was only one thing now that worried her. The hole in her shoe ? The big patch, of a different color, on the front of her Sunday frock? The way in which her hands cracked and bled when she had been scrubbing or washing? No. These trifles annoyed her when she thought of them, but the time had been when she had no shoes, with or without holes, no Sunday frock, patched or not patched, and when her feet



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t ZIP RYap. 13ile, Mb" rjIfr~ iix -044-Ti 4a.1 CKOSI~G N TE STPP~U'G-~I'(N ES SeepV5 !II.



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198 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "Why," said the man, that's Dr. Laurence's little girl, the one that's sick, and no doubt she's fretting finely to think her dog's lost. I must take him home when I've done my supper. I wonder how he came here all by himself?" When he said this I thought I would steal out of the door and run still farther: I could not go back to be shut up in that coachhouse. And then I thought, Was I right, after all ? I was Helen's dog; I had not even waited to hear what she said about my trouble: no doubt if I had only waited she would have asked questions, and found out how things really were. I had behaved like a coward, and given them good reason to think that I had done the very thing of which they suspected me. So when the man got up and whistled for me to go with him, I went without making any fuss, though I had never felt more miserable in my life. The two children were very sorry to part with me, and I resolved that if things ever came straight again I would pay them an occasional visit. The walk home seemed much shorter than the walk to this good man's house had seemed, and before I could make up my mind how I had better act he was knocking at our own door. Master opened it, and the man said, "Good-evening, doctor. This little dog of yours strayed as far as my house, and I thought I had better bring him home. I see by his collar that he belongs to your little sick girl." Master thanked him very warmly, and slipped something into his



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6 CONTENTS. CHAPTER VIII. PAGE I VISIT THE OUTLAW CAT, AND LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON ....................... 201 CHAPTER IX. MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY.... .. 221 CHAPTER X. MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE...... 246 CHAPTER XI. HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES ....... ......... ..... .267 CHAPTER XII. THE HAPPY CONCLUSION OF THE OUTLAW'S HisTORY; A HAPPY CHRISTMAS; A HAPPY CHANGE NdFOR MY MISTRESS; AND-THE END........ 291 W"ea --,c



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278 UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR. rapid and apparent growth in Will's heart and life. Mrs. Allerton was sitting on the pleasant vine-shaded piazza one warm afternoon, putting the finishing touches to a certain blue flannel shirt in which Will had manifested much interest, when she saw him coming up the walk with two or three of his school-friends. She spoke to them pleasantly as they came up the steps and passed into the library, and Will said, 'We're after the big atlas, mamma. We want to see something about the Tyrol.' "For a few minutes the boyish voices came through the window pretty well mixed, and Mrs. Allerton smiled to herself, thinking how each one seemed to care only to hear what he himself had to say. But presently Will's clear, agreeable voice sounded by itself, and she heard these words: 'I don't know which we shall visit first-the Bavarian or the Austrian. Of course we shall take a courier when we get on the other side.' "Mrs. Allerton stepped to the window. 'When did your father decide upon that, dear?' she asked, looking steadily at Will. 'He has said nothing to me about it.' "Will looked exceedingly foolish. I-he-I supposed he would of course, mamma,' he stammered. 'People 'most always do, don't they?' "' No, my dear. It is the exception rather than the rule,' she answered gravely, 'and your father and I have no thought of incurring what would be, in this case, a needless expense.' And she returned to her chair and her sewing.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. of boards which had just been sawed for a new barn-floor, to make the seats. I helped a little about this, but not much, for when I found they would be busy all day, and would not want to rehearse that afternoon, I went back to my Helen. But I saw it that evening when it was all done, and I thought it looked very well. They had driven in stakes, three at each end and three in the middle, and rested the boards on them; and I thought they had a great many more seats than there would be people, but that was just all I knew about it. I do not wish to seem boastful, but they had given me a part of the performance to which, they said, none of the other dogs were equal. It was rather difficult, but there was so much fun and excitement in it that I was quite willing to do it. They had made a bench with very long legs-as long as Roland's stilts-and this they planted firmly in the ground on one side of a large circle around which the pony was to trot. The tallest of the boys put me up on this bench, the legs of which were far enough apart to let. the pony pass through. He had a sort of wide saddle strapped to his back. The boy who led him made him go slowly while he passed under the bench; I dropped on his back, and then he went around the ring very fast indeed until he came to the bench again, when he went slowly, and I jumped up on my bench again. We had been practising this in the barn, but the last few times we did it in the ring. The pony, who was a very intelligent animal, seemed to understand after a few lessons and a good deal of 254



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2



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CHAPTER XI. HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. -f 0 our great joy, Mr. Rob announced that he was going to stay until the day after Helen's birthday: it was not so very long, for I heard them say there would be only two days beSi tween it and Thanksgiving Day. It came on Sunday, and I tried not to be -as gloomy as I always am on Sunday, or, rather, as I always was at that "time. Since I have grown old, and have settled down a good deal, and Madame can depend on my minding her, they always let me go with them as far as the churchporch: when it is cold or stormy weather the sexton lets me wait in the vestibule, and once or twice, when it has been very cold, he has taken me round to a place he calls the vestry-room, where there is a nice fire. But in good weather I like to lie on the grass in the graveyard and watch the birds fly in and out of the belfry; and I never cry when I hear the music-at least, not out loud-for 267



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Uncle Jake had come to the window in great excitement to say that a balloon was coming down right in the hay-field, and they all rushed to the door, seeming to forget Phil entirely. I did not in the least know what a balloon was, and was just going to see, when I suddenly thought about Phil: I could at least bark if he should pick up that dreadful knife. So I stayed close by him; and it was a good thing that I did, for presently that cat climbed up on the back of his chair, rubbed herself, purring, all around his neck, and, I am quite certain, whispered something in his ear. He instantly drew the sugar-bowl toward him, pulled out a lump, and offered it to her. To do her justice, she refused to take it, but you ought to have seen her grin when he popped it into his own mouth! I barked as hard as I could, and said just what I thought about that cat, and about their leaving him alone. Two or three of them came back in a minute, and thanked me for staying and barking, and said they didn't know what they could have been thinking of, to leave Phil alone with the sugar-bowl and breadknife, and that they were very thankful he fancied the sugar-bowl first. As for that cat, she was down on the rug, curled up in a ball and apparently fast sleep, by the time they came in. And of course I could not make them understand where she had been, although I tried to with all my might. I never can get used to people's being so stupid about what I wish to tell them: I am sure I speak quite as plainly as Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jake do, and nobody pretends not to understand them. I82



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EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. 35 "You'll take the dog to begin with, sir," said Mr. Jimmy severely, "and you'll see that the rest will coom." Mr. Rob saw that this family was not to be trifled with: it had made up its mind before it came down stairs as to what it was going to do; so he laid me down on the foot of his bed, and then he insisted on shaking hands with every one of them, and on kissing the baby. When he kissed that baby-which he did, I noticed, very much as if he were afraid it would bite him-Mrs. Jimmy's face shone like a new tin pan, and I heard her murmur to herself, "To think of that, now! and he the ilegant young man that he is!" Then they all wished him "A Merry Christmas, and many of them," and "Good-night," and trooped off up stairs; and Mr. Rob and I were left quite alone. He took me in his arms, sat down by the fire, and said softly, "Jock! little Jock!" Nobody had ever spoken to me like that before. I felt that I must kiss him again, and put up my nose to do it; and-what do you think?-a great tear rolled down his nose and fell right on mine; he really was crying this time. I comforted him until I made him laugh, and then we went to bed, he under the blankets and things, and I on the outside about where his feet were, with a large tidy spread over me to keep me warm. He took it off the back of his chair on purpose, and did not seem to care a bit that taking it off showed a great hole in the cover of the chair where its stuffing, or whatever you call it, was all coming out.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. fortable place in the house. I thanked her warmly, and told her I knew Helen liked to have her on the bed, and that she never need feel that, because I was there, she was not wanted. I told her where I was going, and she was very much interested, and after a moment's hesitation told me that if I would look under the edge of the summer-house I would find the breast-bone of a chicken, which Aunt Nancy had given her when she really could not eat another mouthful. It was so nice that she had saved it for supper, but she would be glad, she said, if I would take it to that poor cat: it might help to convince her that a virtuous life was a happy one. I thought this very generous, and said so: we might just as well say the pleasant things we think. So I set off, feeling really happy for the first time since Mr. Rob went, although it was not at all a pleasant day for a walk. The weather had changed very much since the afternoon we had the circus: I don't think anybody would have sat on a bench out of doors this afternoon to see the most wonderful tricks that ever were played. A high wind had carried off what leaves were left on the trees, a little snow had fallen, and it was really very cold. I was casting about in my mind for some plan which would induce the poor Outlaw Cat to go and live with a respectable family, for I could not bear to think of how she would suffer all winter, but I could think of nothing. I knew she would not come to us, for she had intimated that she would not blight her children's prospects by going where they were. I was just passing a little 292



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"AbLEEi UN iTHE. VEKY 1BKINK UO THE FYKRECICFE." See page 286.



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MY FIRST AND ZAST PUBLIC APPEARAN CE. sugar, and really did his part very well. when she heard about Helen was a little anxious this trick, but Roland assured her that I stuck to the pony like wax, and that he was so little that even the bench was no higher up from. This was quite trn than places he had often e : the highest jump I ever seen me jump made was out of the haymow once, when I thought Z-1. a rat would get away from 0 S me before I could come down the ladder; and the next highest was out of Helen's window once, when I had wished to go to the stage with Mr. Rob. and somebody had shut the door on me. Roland had written Mr. Rob about the circus, and he had written back, begging that the performance might be ____ 255 put off till Thanks-



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THE END. 293 cottage on the edge of the wood, which was about halfway between our house and the Outlaw's den, when I saw the old woman who lived there going home with a bundle of sticks on her back. I often saw her in our wood gathering sticks, and we always spoke to each other; so I put the bone down safely at the foot of a tree, and went to shake hands with her. She patted and stroked me very pleasantly-she had nice large hands, and has yet, for that matter-and then she said, "Eh, Jock my dear, where are you going so late in the evening? You don't need to go so far from home to hide that fine bone?" Of course I could not possibly make her understand that I had. not been able to get off sooner because I could not find Snowball,. or that I was not going to hide the bone at all; so I just shook hands again, and was going to trot on, when she said, "I'd' be glad; of a dog like you, Jock, or even of a cat, for company: the evenings seem long when a body's all alone." I really was obliged to go, but I felt like barking all the way: here was the poor Outlaw Cat's chance, and she should take it. Happily, I found her at home, and she looked so thin and miserable that it was easy to introduce the subject; but first I gave her the bone, which she took with tears of gratitude, for she said that raw things had begun to disagree with her, and she did not know what she should do. This made a capital opening for my suggestion, and I improved it so well that by the time she had finished the bone she had actually consented to go back with me



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. rickyard. You need not laugh at that: I really had, for whenever one of the workmen sat down or leaned up against the rick, instead of doing his share of the work, I barked at him until he went to work again. I came home very hot and tired, and was thinking what a nice drink Sarah would give me out of Helen's basin, and how I would spend all the afternoon in that lovely cool, shady room taking a nap. The outside doors were all open, and I went up the front way, and down the passage which led to Helen's room, which was rather in the back part of the house. But there was a door in the passage before the one which opened into her room; and this I found shut, and asthere seemed to be no one about to ask to open it for me, I went down again and round to the back stairs, fully expecting to find all the doors there open on such a warm day, but a good deal tired out by having to go up and down so much when I was so warm and tired. So, when I found that the back stairfoot door was shut too, I began to lose my temper; but just then Aunt Nancy came out of the kitchen, and I had no trouble in making her understand that I wished her to open the door. She refused to do it! Her voice sounded as if she were crying, and she kept putting her apron up to her eyes, but she said, Honey, you isn't wanted up stairs jes' now. Come out wid aunty, and she'll give you de beautifulest bone." This made me very angry indeed, and, instead of coming out with her, I began to scratch at the door with all my might and I54



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ILL USTRA TIONS. PAGE W E ALL WENT FISHING".................................... 150 THE HAYMAKERS WERE STACKING HAY................ 155 "A LARGE FIERCE-LOOKING CAT"........................... 159 "I STOOD LISTENING FOR A MOMENT "..................... 169 "JET RACING HOME IN FRONT OF THE WAGON "........ 177 HE PULLED OUT A LUMP OF SUGAR, AND OFFERED IT TO H ER" ........................... ............ ................ I83 AN OLD BLACK RAM CAME FORWARD "................. 189 "A BOY AND GIRL SITTING BEFORE THE ('IIMNEY "... 195 THE SWEET SISTER STOPPED SMELLING HIER FLOWERS". 203 A PLATFORM WHERE WE COULD STAND TO FEED TH EM .................. .......... .. ...................... 207 "GATHERING FLOWERS.".......... ............................. 223. "' RATS, JOCK! RATS!"'........................................ 227 RUTH WAS RETURNING FROM AFTERNOON SERVICE".. 233 W OOD-CUTTING ................................................ 249 "WE ASKED THE LUMBERMEN FOR THEIR TENT "...... 255 THE SWEET SISTER WENT TO THE PASTURE AT DUSK ". 263 "THEY ALWAYS LET ME GO WITH THEM AS FAR AS THE CHURCH PORCH "..... ............................... 269 A GOOD LIKENESS OF MYSELF".......................... 275 "ASLEEP ON THE VERY BRINK OF THE PRECIPICE."... 287 "I SAW THE OLD WOMAN GOING HOME WITH A BUNDLE OF STICKS ON HER BACK". ....................... 295 "MAY AND ROLAND PUT THE CHIRISTMAS -GREENS WHEREVER THEY WOULD GO" ............. ........ 299 SPRING CAM E................... ................................. 303 "THEY WERE PLOUGHING UP AN OLD PASTURE-FIELD DOWN BY THE CREEK-BRIDGE."........................ 307 "'IT'S AS WARM AS TOAST,' HE SHOUTED."............. 311



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158 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. I was going to do, I had bolted out of a window and was halfway across the lawn. I expected to hear them call me back, but they did not; so, as the day was very warm, I trotted quietly along the edges of the fields until I came to the wood-lot. I had made up my mind what I would do: I would live in the woods and be a wild dog, until they all came out to hunt for me, and beg my pardon, and promise never to treat me so again. Then, if they would come soon-within a day or two-I might perhaps forgive them, and go home with them, entirely for Helen's sake; but if they did not come by the next afternoon, when they did I would bark scornfully and dash into the woods, leaving them all to mourn for me. I don't believe I ever should have thought of all this if it had not been for a ridiculous story in a paper which Uncle Jake had picked up somewhere, and which I had heard him spelling out to Aunt Nancy a day or two before. It was all about a boy that acted in this way, and I thought it was very fine indeed. This is my only excuse for being such a perfect fool as I was that day, and, although it is a very poor one, it is perhaps better than none. I took a good drink from a stream before going into the wood, and then I hunted about for a place to sleep in, for I was quite resolved not to go home that night, or at any rate not unless they came for me; and somehow I did not much believe they would. I had just found a tolerably good place, and was scratching some dead leaves together for a bed, when I was a good deal startled to hear a voice, which I at once



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t UNDER DOG-STAR. CHAPTER I. EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. S tAVE heard a great rl many books and stobe is in the course of _m life; and the more SI hear the more I am -convinced that nothing should be written without an object. For this reason, although my head is quite full of the most interesting recollections and reflections, and although I have been urged in the most flattering manner to write these down before it is too late, I have always declined to do so. But I have no respect for a dog who cannot be made to change his mind when there is a good reason for doing so: firmness is one thing, obstinacy is quite another. My mind has been changed by two things. The first half was changed by a book which Madame some time ago was reading to the children; the second 9



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*



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CHAPTER II. MY NEW MISTRESS. F I had not made a sort of promise to keep straight on without skipping Anything, I think I should skip the next day, for I am a little ashamed of it. We left Richmond-just as I was leaving it I heard that I had been living in Richmond all this while-early the next morning, and travelled all day, first in thout ithe cars, then in a stage, and last of all in a funny old carriage, which was more comfortable, however, than the stage. Before I tell on myself I must beg you to remember that until that eventful day I had never been anywhere at all. I had a sort of feeling that the only safe places were high up in the air, and my first panic was when Mr. Rob carried me down all those stairs. I thought, if he should fall with me in his arms, we would certainly both be killed, and before I knew what I was doing I gave a little howl. Mr. Rob laughed, and called back to Mrs. Jimmy, "He's 36



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4 6. I'. S .I 10 ,Y tj E. If I -Ilk S 7,^ ^ ^fa* ^ ^Mi FT -------~ -~~ --4-'-r a-> .--// 71. IA -I J' ,I I/ N; If 'I 1I WOOD-CUTTING." See page 247. IaI r3 ^ / 'I g: ,_ t /aiZ; r III I ) It



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MR. ROB IS IN'D'CED TO TELL A STORY 67 that when any one interrupts me I shall go straight back to the beginning and tell my story over again, in as nearly as possible the identical words which I used before. Now I really am going to begin. My story is called THE ONION THAT SPROUTED.'" Madame and the children all looked at one another, as if they thought that a very queer name for a story, but nobody dared to say anything, and Mr. Rob kept on: "It happened in this way. There was a large basketful of them sitting in front of the green-grocer's store. The day was a warm one in February-one of those days that make you begin to think about your spring bonnet, just as some of the days in March make you sure that you never will live to want one. "A sunbeam crept in through a little hole in the awning and fell right upon the top of a large red onion. The onion liked it at first, and took a good deal of credit to itself because the sunbeam had picked it out of the whole basketful to shine on: it never noticed the hole in the awning. But in a little while it began to feel very uncomfortable, and whispered to. the onion which sat next to it, 'Do you see any signs of a sprout on top' of my head ?' "l No,' said the other, looking it over carefully. 'Or-wait a minute : yes, it's all but through.' "' Oh, my goodness gracious me !' said the first onion, in dreadful consternation. 'I heard the grocer say only yesterday that we were good for nothing after we were "growed," and he threw



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. write, and I think you'll see him soon. Do you have more pain now, or is it only that you are weaker ?" "It's both, Rob," said my Helen; and after a few minutes she added, I don't think that doctor can do anything; and, Rob, you needn't be sorry when-" Mr. Rob stopped her mouth with a kiss. Then he said, "You shall not talk so, darling; you are going to be made well for all of us; we could not do without you." I never wanted to howl so much as I did when they talked in this way, but I managed not to; I was afraid of making my Helen worse. I waited until some one opened the door, and then I slipped out and went away to the woods, and howled all I wanted to. I was a little disappointed to find that it was not much, after all. By the time I had reached the woods I felt almost certain that the Richmond doctor would make Helen well; so I ran home as hard as I could, and was just in time for supper, and after supper, instead of a stupid story, we had a nice lively game of Blindman's Buff. And the next morning Mr. Rob went back to Richmond. It is quite difficult, even with the help of my journal, to keep things straight about this time, for so many things began to happen -all at once, as it were-that I hardly know which I had better tell first. But as one of them is a thing about myself which is worrying me until I get it told and done with, I will tell that first, and then it will be over and I never need speak of it again. To make you quite understand it, I must tell you that every one 152



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I



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. 187 The sweet sister's face cleared up, like the sky after a shower. "You're very kind," she said, "and I know we can pay you the rest after a while. I can't bear to give it up, for it is so troublesome to have to fetch all the drinking and cooking water from that spring half a mile away !" "Of course it is," said Mr. Wells heartily-"a great deal too troublesome. I'll be there bright and early to-morrow morning, and I'll be bound my well won't cave in if you live to drink out of it a hundred years; and I'm sure I hope you may!" They all laughed at this, and then we bade good-evening again, and really started this time. I was so pleased about the well, and it was such a pleasant evening, that I felt even friskier than common as we went home. We came another way, which took us through the sheep-pasture and near the river. We were not afraid to leave the road when we were so near the house as that, for the man that did the farming lived down by the river; so it was not lonesome, like the path through the woods. I did not take any notice of sheep as a general thing-they are such very stupid animals-but as we were passing through this field an old black ram came forward and lowered his horns, and baa-ed at us in such an impertinent manner that I flew at him. I was not going to hurt him, but I did want to frighten him a little, and teach him better manners. But it was I who got the teaching that time. Instead of running, as I expected he would, when I flew at him, he flew at me, and the



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. be dragged into the hall, and the door was shut; and now, at last, my turn had come, and I was too glad for anything that I had not howled: it would have quite spoiled the fun. They all seemed trying to take off Mr. Rob's coat, but he said, "Wait a minute. I defy you all to guess what I have in my pocket." I can't remember all the things they guessed, but not one of them thought of a twenty-five-dollar Skye terrier; and when Mr. Rob at last took me out and held me up to view, there was a perfect shout, and I really was afraid I should be pulled to pieces. Somebody whom I guessed at once to be the sweet sister made them behave. "Gently, gently, little chicks !" she said. I'll sit down on this stool, and Rob shall put him in my lap, and then you shall all pat him nicely, one at a time, so as not to frighten him." I did not mind being put in her lap at all, and she managed those children, somehow, so that they really did come quietly, one at a time, and pat my head gently, instead of all falling upon me and killing me, as I was at first afraid they would. The sweet sister said, "We will go by ages-oldest first." A bright, handsome boy about fourteen years old stepped up and gave me a loving pat; then came a girl with pretty rosy cheeks and dark eyes, and then a little boy, and then a little girl who looked about as old as Biddy, and then a baby about as large as Mike. They were so quiet that I heard Mr. Rob say to his mother, 44



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7 .-, 'I,. lot --... -' 7: :. i -fit Z-.-.." '-zir~ --4g A--.--....... .... "THE KIND, STEADY GAZE OF GERTRUDE." See page 102. --RE-U-



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"RUTH WAS RETURNING FROM AFTERNOON SERVICE." See page 232. J



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286 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. to decide him, and he went, although in a silent and preoccupied fashion. "Having reached the point to which they had been directed, they turned to look across the valley, filled with sunset light, when they started at sight of a boy, apparently about Will's age, lying fast asleep on the very brink of the precipice, which fell sheer down from just beyond his feet. He was in the picturesque peasant-dress of the country; his felt hat, with its cock's feather, lay, with his alpenstock, at his side, and his brown, healthy-looking face, flushed with sleep, wore a half smile, as if in his dreams he had forgotten the hard pillow against which it lay. "Will was about to rush forward, but his father held him back. 'You might slip yourself, my boy,' he said, 'and that little fellow, if we were to wake him roughly, might be over the edge before we could stop him. I will wake him.' And, cautiously seating himself on a great stone which lay so near the edge that Will and his mother shuddered, Mr. Allerton took the boy's hand and gently spoke to him in the patois of the peasants, which, with his knowledge of German, he had easily acquired. The little fellow was sleeping heavily, and woke with a start, which, but for Mr. Allerton's restraining hand, must have thrown him over the edge, for the grass was dry and slippery. When he was fairly roused and made sensible of the danger which he had just escaped, he poured out a torrent of grateful words, which



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78 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. shake its green top at the sparrows and see out over the roofs, it was more than resigned, especially as the unpleasant feeling had lasted only a few minutes. Fairly up in the sunlight which daily streamed into the south window, it soon burst the funny-looking pointed nightcap which held its blossom, bloomed a few days, and went to seed. While the bloom was in its glory Mary Ann could not find it in her heart to object that it smelt oniony, but when it began to look seedy she began to think how very unpleasant it was, when she bent over it to look at it, to be obliged to smell it also. "Mrs. Diggles had on her bureau a bottle labelled 'Bay Rum.' Mary Ann had once taken a sniff in trembling haste, and thought that it did not smell at all like the rum for which her father used to send her. If she might but have a teaspoonful of this to pour upon her onion, surely it would be sweetened for the rest of its life, and perhaps the seeds -she meant to save the seed of course-would all come up sweet-scented onions! "So Mary Ann laid a deep plot. She worked for one whole week as if she had two heads and four hands, and when Mrs. Diggles, who was not altogether unpleasant-is anybody, I wonder?-offered her bond-slave not exactly the half of her kingdom, but a three-cent piece with a hole in it, she timidly said, 'Please, ma'am, you're very good, but would you as lieve give me, instead, a little teaspoonful of that sweet-smelling stuff on your bureau?'



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY -AN UNPLEASANT STORY. They had looked in the stable, in the cellar, and in the kitchengarden, until it grew so dark that they gave up the search, and were returning, disappointed, to the house, when a low growl from a distant corner of the lawn made them turn in that direction; and there was the truant, standing motionless in the moonlight on a wall at the foot of a tree, into which he was looking with threatening eyes, while, clinging to the lowest bough and mewing piteously, was the unfortunate gray kitten. "' Oh, grandpapa!' said Isabel, almost crying,'he has had her here all day, and she must be nearly starved.-Oh, you wicked dog! Go away directly, and let her come down!' and, for the first time since she had owned him, she picked up a little stick and struck him lightly. Don gave a melancholy howl-so utterly out of proportion to the stick and the blow that Mr. Gordon could not help smiling-and shrank away, leaving the poor kitten at last free to come down. But fright and hunger had so entirely demoralized her that she seemed unable to realize that since there was a way up there must. be a way down, and the gardener had to be called to the rescue.. He brought a ladder and restored the kitten to Isabel's arms, and' Miss Pussy, finding herself once more in safety, did ample justice to her saved dinner. "'Don't you suppose, dear, that Don must be as hungry as the kitten is?' said Mr. Gordon as he and Isabel stood watching the. recovered treasure to see that she ate her dinner in peace. 10 I45



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I MAKE A FRIEND. 93 in the kindest manner, to sit with Helen herself, assuring me that she had been up so late mousing the night before that she should be perfectly contented to lie on the foot of Helen's bed and sleep till we came back. As I really did want very badly to go with the children, and as I knew she did not care for coasting-she told me she did not when she explained to me what it was-I took her at her word; and she assured me afterward that she would never again object to sitting with Helen. "She does not jerk me about by the legs, as the children do," said Snowball, "and she knows the little places under my chin and behind my ears where it is so, delightful to be rubbed. Besides, she talks to me quite as if she knew I can understand her." With my mind so much at ease that I really could not help barking, I set off with the children for the hill. I dislike to tell you how foolish I was at first; but if I do not mention that sort of things, it will not be fair to tell about my compliments and successes; so I will just narrate both impartially. You know I had never been anywhere but in the Jimmys' fifthstory rooms, and at first everything out of doors frightened me. When a puff of wind came, I expected to see the great creature which had blown so hard coming after it-and me! When the trees waved and beckoned, I thought they were great people with their hands full of dreadful switches, and would all begin to switch me presently. The snow made my feet ache, and I wished I had stayed with Helen. I suppose I must have looked rather dismal,



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. least, will do no harm; and if we find it is too hard, we can always stop.' "' But you will not stop,' said Gertrude coaxingly, adding, in a lower voice, 'For I shall ask the dear Father in heaven every day to help you.' "'There is no doubt that you are a good girl, Trude,' said Peter, with a gentler look on his mischievous face than it often wore; 'and perhaps, since you are so very good, we may be able to be just a little good between us, you know.' The master often wondered at the gradual change which came over the two most troubldsome boys in the school, but he never guessed the reason of it. "And Michael owned to Gertrude that her way of overcoming was the best." I liked this story better than I did the first one: it seemed to me to be more sensible. The only thing in it that annoyed me-except that it was too long-was that nice little girl's saying, Only a dog or a cat." Now, I do wonder if she thought that pain was any easier for us to bear than it was for the creatures who can speak and tell each other all about it? I tried to stop Mr. Rob just there: I put my hand on his arm and barked, but they only laughed. Oh, how many, many times have my best and dearest friends laughed at me when I was saying something quite serious! It is a painful thing to be misunderstood. II 0



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CHAPTER XII. THE HAPPY CONCLUSION OF THE OUTLAW'S HISTORY; A HAPPY CHRISTMAS; A HAPPY CHANGE FOR MY MISTRESS; AND-THE END. HE next day, after Mr. Rob had gone, something set me to thinking of that Spoor Outlaw Cat. Perhaps it was Mr. -----Rob's saying to me the last thing that __ he would tell the Jimmys all about the Circus and my riding the pony; and it flashed across my mind, What a very different story he would have had to tell if I had taken that poor creature's advice and S made her way of living mine! I would not leave Helen that day, for I knew' she was 'I. feeling lonely too, but a day or two after I asked Snowball to take my place; and she said that she would be very glad to do so, as she was thinking of giving up taking exercise-it did not make her any thinner, and was a great deal of trouble-and that whenever I wished to go out she was quite at my service, for Helen's bed was really the most com291



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. topics, until the approach of night warned me that I must finish my bed if I wished to sleep in it. We bade each other good-night in the most friendly manner, and she again expressed her pleasure at my arrival. But after I had left her, and had curled myself up in the miserable little nest of leaves and grass which was the best attempt at a bed which I could make-when the dreadful stillness seemed like some great creature sitting on my head, and every little noise of rustling leaves or snapping boughs like somebody coming to kill me,-then I could not help seeing what a wicked, degraded creature this poor cat was, and that if I took her for my chief associate I should soon be as bad, and even worse, for I could see that this cat had never had my opportunities. That other dog talked to me so that I could not possibly sleep. "Jock," he seemed to say, "poor foolish Jock! have you forgotten all the good and beautiful things you have heard Madame and Master and Mr. Rob and Helen say? After all the pains they have taken with your education, all the things they have given you and done for you, is this the way you reward them? Oh, for shame! for shame! Think of what will have to be told Mr. Rob when he comes again-how much worse than the dog he spoke of you will be if you go on in this way! No doubt Helen is crying now, and the rest looking for you, and here you are on a miserable bed of leaves, instead of your lovely Christmas-present bed. You have had no supper but some unpleasant raw rabbit, which is making I62



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t MY DISGRA CE.THE O UTLA W CA T. recognized as that of a cat, saying crossly. Now, ask for another thing to-day! If you want anything more, you can just go out and of hunting for catch it for yourselves, for I am tired to death you." I stepped cautiously in the direction from which the voice seemed to come, and saw a large, fierce-looking cat who had just laid down before three kittens a freshly-caught rabbit. I did not like the expression of her face, which was both bold and was very lonesome in the wood: cunning, but it I saw at once that this place better try to make I thought that I had I59 not you need friends was her home, and



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THE END. 309 managed to get out even if I had not pulled him; but you ought to have heard the things they said! Anybody might have thought that I had pulled him out of the middle of the sea. Of course I was very much pleased, and Madame talked to me so beautifully that I quite forgot that I was wet, and jumped right into her lap. She had a nice clean calico gown on, too, and when I saw what a mess I had made of it I expected her to say, "Jock! Jock !" as she did when I happened to tear the children's clothes, but she never so much as frowned. She certainly has a very sweet disposition. I should not have wondered if it had been Helen, because, you know, I am her dog. When autumn came, and we began to go for nuts, Master was taking my Helen out for little drives every pleasant day; and now, if you were to come here and look at us all, I don't believe you could tell which is the sweet sister, and which is May, and which is my Helen, for she does not look ill any more than the others do. I think it is partly because Mr. Rob came home to live: you may think how happy that has made us all. It seems he is a doctor too, and he always goes now whenever anybody is ill at night or in stormy weather, and that lets Master stay at home. After Mr. Rob came home to live he showed the sweet sister how to pinch Helen and punch her in a way that I should have thought would hurt, but she said it only tickled. And she began to get better faster and faster, until at last she was able to go out with Mr. Rob to see the sick people on her own horse, which, I heard them say, she had not



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K (**" ;i i.. i i" YOURS FAITHFULLY, JOCK. /C-T i? i\-- /' -T13-ii -i Frontispiece.



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"THE SWEET SISTER WENT TO THE PASTURE AT DUSK." See page 261



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MY DISGRA CE.THE 0 UTLA W CA T. I readily undertook to do this, and we parted in the most friendly manner, I assuring her that if she ever felt that she could reform she had only to come under the kitchen window at dusk and meow three times, and I would give her every assistance in my power in return for her kindness to me. But she said firmly that this would never be-it was too late. She gave her children so many instructions that I grew quite impatient, but at last, after hastily licking. them all over and telling them to mind every word I said, she let them go, and we trotted off for the house. I was a little limbered by that time, but I still felt very stiff and miserable. It did not occur to me until afterward that it was strange these kittens manifested no grief at leaving their mother, and no hesitation about going off with a dog whom they had never even seen till the day before, and that the Outlaw Cat's anxiety for her children's welfare looked curiously like a desire to be rid of them. I wish it had never occurred to me at all: it isn't pleasant to think that one has been made a fool of. I instructed the kittens to hide themselves under the corncrib, promising them a share of my dinner, and an introduction to the kitchen as soon as I considered it safe. While I was settling the kittens comfortably one of the largest rats I had ever seen sprang out of the corncrib and scuttled away. In a minute I forgot all about my stiffness and flew after him, catching him before he had gone a yard. Instead of throwing him away, I happened to think that it would be a good plan to take him to the 167



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. Perhaps you would like to hear of such of the tricks as I can remember, in case you should ever wish to have a performance of that kind. Two large spaniels played seesaw, and they balanced so carefully that neither tumbled off, even when they stopped. I heard my friend the lumberman say, "There'll be a tumble for one or the other of those dogs when that game stops." But he was quite mistaken. At a word from the boy who had trained them they made the seesaw stop with the board quite straight; then he said, "One, two, three," and at "three" they both jumped at exactly the same instant. It had. taken the boy a long while to teach them that, and he looked very much pleased with the applause that followed it. Then one of us pretended to steal a handkerchief from Roland's pocket-he had left it sticking out on purpose-and Roland said the thief must be hung, and told him to get into the cart; and two of the dogs took hold of the tongue and drew him to the clotheshorse, and put a loop over his neck, and took hold of the other end, as if they were just going to draw him up; and Roland said, Now, Jock !" to me in a very low tone; and I came forward and sat up, and waved my paws in the air and rubbed them in my eyes as if I were crying, and did some of my talking and moaning; and then Roland said, "Your petition is granted. Take off the rope." So the other two took it off, and I and the dog who was to have been hung walked away together on our hind legs. 259



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THE END. such as no dog ever had before, a host of kind human friends, and another host of dog and cat and horse friends. The children have all grown up a good deal-even Phil, the very youngest, is as large as Roland was when I first came here-and instead of teasing me and pulling me about, as they did when we were all young, they call me to put my head on their knees and have it stroked and patted; and this is a real mercy, for, although of course I should try to put up with it if they still wished to treat me as they did when they were little, I should mind it a great deal more now than I did then, for there is a curious sort of stiffness in my legs, and, in fact, all over me. Helen still has the down-stairs room which Mr. Rob furnished so beautifully for her, but she has a delightful desk, which he gave her, there now, and she sits writing at it a great deal; and sometimes she smiles, and even laughs aloud, and sometimes she looks as if she were going to cry. She has put a soft sheepskin rug under her desk, where her feet go, and on this I love to lie when she is writing. When I was quite young I had a trick of tearing up bits of paper-I don't see why, for it seems to me now an exceedingly foolish amusement-and when any of them received a letter I would beg for the envelope to tear up, and sometimes, when it was just a note or something they did not care for, they would give me the whole letter. So, not long ago, when I was wondering how I could possibly get the paper for writing my book, I suddenly re"3I3 ,3 T



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Lr'DER THE DOG-STAR. 94 for Mr. Rob stooped to lift me over a fence at the edge of a pretty snowy field which looked like the top of Madame's Christmas-cake. "Jock," he whispered, "you must not be a cowardly little dog. Nothing is going to hurt you: we are all your friends. Your toes will keep warm if you'll scamper about, instead of standing still and shivering; and remember you are Helen's dog now. You surely don't want the children to go home and laugh at you to her ?" I rather thought I didn't. I barked close to Mr. Rob's ear to make him know that I understood him, and then he laughed and put me down. I found it was just as he said: nothing was really going to hurt me; and when I was running about and barking I forgot that the snow was cold. It was great fun to try to get to the bottom of the hill before the sled; and whenever I did it the children shouted and hurrahed, and I barked; and they taught me to pull the sled up for them by taking the rope in my teeth; and I really got so full of fun that I could not help jumping away just as they would go to take the rope from me, and then they all laughed; and whenever I dropped the rope to bark a little, they would get hold of itagain. If Mr. Rob had not been so tall, I should have thought he was the very youngest of them all, except, perhaps, myself. I have never met with anybody who knew how to play and whistle and sing and talk as Mr. Rob can. In fact, he can do everything. I have often wondered that I did not take cold that winter, for



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/ *



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148 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. ever was a dog so thoroughly disagreeable as that Don; and, in the second place, even if there was, I do not see the least use in telling about him. I think stories should be only, or almost only, about good and happy dogs and people. Of course, I cannot speak for the people, although I think, from what I have seen, that they are very much like dogs; that is, that the bad ones have a great deal of goodness, and the good ones a great deal of badness, about them. But I can say quite certainly as to dogs, that every dog has his trials and temptations, no matter how happily he may be situated, and it is encouraging to hear about good and happy dogs. For this very reason I have said nothing, and mean to say little, about the other dogs at Ladysmede. Jet was, and is, a dog of really fine character, whose friendship has been a great benefit to me; to the other dogs I have, I hope, always, or nearly always, been civil, but I am intimate with none of them. To tell the truth, I did not think it very polite of Mr. Rob to tell that story with me lying on his lap, and I went over to May because I had a sort of feeling that she did not like it either. She seemed very glad to have me on her lap, and when the story was done Mr. Rob came and sat by us a while, and had a little talk with May, but I do not intend to repeat it, for they talked so softly that I know they would not like me to.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. for we all had our presents spread out not help thinking that mine looked wishing the Jimmys could see them. I was to go too, so I went, and was in as I in the parlor; and I could well as anybody's, and understood by this that bed before Helen was. I, often pity these human people for the ti and hair and teeth give them. One shake, bed; another shake in the morning, and I day. It is true I have my hair combed, but my breakfast first, which I think is much the Helen made the young girl who helped troublesome things put my bed close by from their talk that I was to have slept in before, but that when she heard I was so rouble their clothes and I am ready for am dressed for the then I always have best way. her with all these hers, and I found her room the night sound asleep in the JV-"I ..I' kitchen she would not have me disturbed. Ihat was just my Helen. She always wanted people to be pleased in their way, instead of in her way. The last thing I thought of was that child that ate too much dinner; I wondered if she knew about "busting." and I felt so glad I had not "busted" myself the night before that I had hard work not to bark a little. I'm afraid I should have done it, but somehow I went to sleep instead, and never remembered till the next morning that I had not had any supper. I am afraid I did eat a good deal of dinner that first Christmas Day! like 86 i





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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. woman. I knew the sick one must be Helen. "I am afraid he is not coming." she said; "he ought to be here by this time." "And here he is !" said Mr. Rob joyfully; and I really thought they would never stop hugging and kissing each other. He had put me back in his pocket, and I kept very still, for I once heard Mrs. Jimmy say that sick people liked to be quiet. He remembered me at last, but he did not make Helen guess: he just put me on the bed beside her, and said "There!" Oh, the dear little thing !" said Helen rapturously; and I knew in a minute that I should love her dearly. "Oh, Rob, where did you find him? Are you to keep him? Is he yours ?" "I did not find him-he found me; and I am not to keep him, but you are; and he is not mine, but yours," said Mr. Rob gayly. Mine ?" answered Helen, as if she could hardly believe it. "Then I shall always have him to be company for me when mamma is busy and the children are out of doors. But no," she said suddenly; "that would be too selfish. He will like to run about and play with the children, and he shall, as much as ever he wants to; only, when he is tired, he must always come here and lie on my bed: he will be so nice to keep my feet warm;" and she laughed merrily. How I did love her, right away! I wanted to tell her so, and I licked her hand and talked a little, but in a low voice, for I did not wish to disturb her. Then I licked her hand again; I did not dare to lick her pretty face, but I wanted to, dreadfully. 46



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. twisted paper lying on the floor. She picked it up and lighted it at the fire, and held it close to Mike's face, saying, "Pretty! pretty!" to make him laugh. But the lighted paper soon burned her fingers, and she let it fall on her old cotton dress; and then, in a minute, the dress was on fire. I was all alone with them, for my mother had followed Jimmy and the gentleman into the lumberroom to see if any of her children would be chosen. I would not have known that fire was dangerous if I had not burned my paw dreadfully one day not long before that trying to play with a pretty red coal which fell into the ashes. The way my paw felt when I touched that coal made me know that a great deal of fire must be more than any one could bear; so when I saw Biddy's little cotton frock beginning to blaze, I barked with all my might; and when nobody came-for I often barked at different things, and no one paid much attention to it-I rushed into the lumber-room and howled, and ran back and howled some more, until I made Jimmy come; and the gentleman came with him. They were just in time, and no more; and it was the gentleman who saved little Biddy: he rolled a piece of rag carpet around her, and the blaze went out in a minute, and then in rushed Mrs. Jimmy and the girls; and such a time as there was! Biddy was kissed and scolded and cried over and spanked, and the baby was nearly hugged to death. The gentleman stood quiet with a queer sort of smile on his face, and then he stooped down and picked me up. "If every25



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. I never missed him, aunty. I'm glad he has been so faithful and good." It seemed to me that something cut right into my heart. I faithful and good! I could not stand it. I cried and moaned, and kissed my Helen's little hands, until I found I was frightening her. I never could make her understand; she would always believe that I left her that night for a miserable rat! This was the hardest of all. There was no use in saying anything, so I lay quite still; and after Aunt Nancy went down Helen began to talk to me, as she often did when we were alone. I heard you at the door yesterday afternoon, little Jock," she said, but we could not let you in, for that doctor from Richmond was here with papa, and mamma was afraid you would disturb them. He says I never can be well, Jock, but that I may not die for a great many years, and that pretty soon this dreadful pain will go away and I shall be quite comfortable. I don't know why mamma and papa cried-it was a great deal better than I expected; and he told papa of a lovely new medicine that will always quiet the pain. So now we will not fret, Jock, but will be just as happy as we can. It would be too bad for me to be gloomy and cross when I give so much trouble that I can't help: I can help this, and I will, Jock, and you must help me." Oh, how I longed to tell my Helen all that was in my wretched, broken heart! I would not cry: that would relieve my feelings, but it would only worry her, for she would not understand what it 172



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"I SAW THE ULD WOMAN GOING HOME WITH A BUNDLE OF STICKS ON HER BACK," See page 293



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. tainly never have tasted such good water as that was and is. And the very first thing I heard Helen say the next morning was, I drank a whole tumblerful, Jock, and it has not made me ill at all !" By the next evening the well was quite finished-they had done a good deal of the wall the day they blasted-the windlass was put up and the bucket hung, and Uncle Jake, who was a very good carpenter, made the box, with a spout at one side, into which to pour the water from the bucket. Afterward he built a sort of house over the well, with lattice-work sides made of laths, and the sweet sister and May planted vines and rose-bushes all around it, until now it is a beautiful bower, and when all the things are in bloom it looks like a monstrous bouquet. Jake made a trough to carry off the waste water too, and led it off behind the barn, and there he dug a hole for a duck-pond: he had heard Madame say that she lost a great many ducks, because they had to go down to the brook, and then they wandered off into the fields. Jake only told Aunt Nancy and me about the pond, and I helped him dig like everything. I pretended there were moles, and that they were down very deep; and I tell you I made the earth fly Uncle Jake said I was 'most as good as a man with a shovel." When the pond was done we waited till a nice rain had nearly filled it; then we drove all the ducks we could find into it, and they seemed as pleased as we were. Then we called Madame; and when she thanked Uncle Jake, and said it was very thoughtful and kind of him, and that 205



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. poor cat, "'rearing up its head like that every time I have tried to come down." I made a sudden dash, caught the horrible creature just as Roland had taught me, gave it my own particular shake, and threw it away, before the cat had time to give more than one scream. And I could not help thinking, Suppose I had not let Roland teach me to catch snakes, and had tried taking this one by the tail? You never heard anything like the way in which that cat thanked me: it really went to my heart, and I felt that anybody who could be as sincerely grateful as she evidently was had a great deal of good in her yet, much as appearances were against her. When she found I was on my way to make her a visit, she seemed very much pleased. She invited me into her den, and said that if I would excuse her she would get something to eat, for she was nearly famished, and fortunately had half a rabbit put away since the day before. She asked me very politely to share it with her, but I assured her I. had dined just before leaving home; which was the truth, and there was no need for me to mention what was also the truth, that I cannot learn to like raw things, especially when they have fur on them. While she ate her unpleasant dinner I told her about her children. She seemed much pleased with my account of the two who had chosen to be barn-cats, but when I told her about the other, although I softened it as much as I could, she seemed so 211



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MY NE VW MISTRESS. 57 some one who was very ill. I suppose he got home after I had had my supper and gone to sleep. When they sat down to breakfast I went to the pretty bright rug before the fire and stretched myself out in great contentment. Ihad had a good supper, a good breakfast, a good bed; I had suddenly made a host of warm friends; and, instead of being only one dog of a dozen or so, I was, or thought I was, the only dog "entirely," as Mrs. Jimmy would have said. I am sometimes afraid that I shall never get rid of some of the expressions I learned of the Jimmys: it is so very hard to break one's self of one's first tricks and manners. I found after breakfast that there really was a number of other dogs on the place, but I was not at all sorry for this: it would have been stupid to have no dog-companions; and, besides, they were all large huntingor watchdogs: not one of them would have dared to lie at the foot of Helen's bed, as I did whenever L wished too. Perhaps you will think that, as I was only a dog, I could not have any Christmas presents? If you think this, you were never more mistaken in your life. Madame gave me a very nice basket for my bed; Master, a house in the yard which was to be all my own, and which I might sleep in, if I liked, when the warm weather came; the sweet sister, a beautiful bow of ribbon for my neck, of which I was very proud, for I must confess that Snowball's red bow had made me feel a little jealous.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "We're not going to do without her," said Mr. Rob fiercely, "and you mustn't encourage her in that sort of thing, Lou: you must let her know that we expect her to live." But he put his arm around the sweet sister and hugged her all the way up the lane. When we came home we found Aunt Nancy looking puzzled over a queerly-shaped parcel which she said a strange man had just left for Miss Helen. It was wrapped in an old piece of tarpaulin, and had a scrap of paper slipped under the string directed to Miss Helen Laurence," and underneath was written, On her sixteenth birthday, from her friend and well-wisher, Andrew Jackson Wickes." Mr. Rob read this aloud, I suppose because he thought I could not read it for myself. Then he picked it up, saying, She shall see it opened: it will make her laugh. Thunder! but it's heavy!" So he carried it up and put it on the floor by Helen's bed, and just as he was opening it Roland came in. "' Andrew Jackson Wickes !'" he said, reading the paper.'Why, Helen, I do believe that's the man who made such a time over Jock and was so interested about you. I heard one of the men call him Andy, and another Mr. Wickes." By this time the parcel was opened. There were some of the largest oysters I ever saw, two or three pairs of quail, a pair of clucks, and a little package of beautiful green, velvety-looking moss, quite wet, and wrapped around some roots which the sweet 272



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. mouse? I dug out the inside of the hollow place hunting for it, but it was gone, and then he praised me some more for helping to clear out the place where he meant to keep his tools; and I heard him say to my Helen that evening, "I do think, Helen, that Jock is the very cleverest dog I ever saw: he seems to understand every word I say to him, and he's better help than most boys are." "Yes, he is very clever," she answered, "but I believe I care more for his lovingness than I do for his cleverness. How many dogs as active and full of fun as he is would spend hours, as he does, here in this quiet room, contented if I just touch him or speak to him now and then ?-Dear little Jock !" and she drew me closer to her and laid her hand on my head. "But what did he do to-day that was so clever ?" she asked presently. Well, it's a secret just now," he said, "and it will be till Aunt Louise's birthday comes; then I'll tell you all about it." Helen did not tease him to know what it was, but she said, very sorrowfully, "I am the only one of you all who cannot make mamma something for a birthday present; and yet I am the one who ought to give her a birthday present every day, for all that she does for me." "It wouldn't be a birthday present if you gave her one every day," said Roland. "Now, I know you'd like to say,' Don't be literal, dear,' and you may say it; I sha'n't mind. But, Helen," and he took her two little hands in his and rubbed them gently together, if you'd like me to I can fix you up a sort of a birth216



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1 DEFEND THE FAMILY.-AN UNPLEASANT STORY. said just as many nice things about me, and to me, as the rest of them had, but I noticed that he looked troubled; and after dinner he told the sweet sister that he wished her to take a walk with him. Of course the rest all wished to go too, but he said no, he would take no one but the sweet sister and me. I was very much pleased with this, though I was sorry for the others; but he said he would take them all fishing the next morning, which made them feel a great deal better. We walked till we came to a pretty shady place, where there was plenty of grass, and then Mr. Rob made the sweet sister sit down, and threw himself beside her on the grass. I did not stay with them all the time, for I found the field was full of mole-tracks, and Jet had impressed it upon me that it was my duty to kill moles whenever I could, because they did so much mischief in the fields and gardens. But I came back every few minutes to see if they were going to walk farther or go home; and I found they were talking about the well that had caved in, and about having another one dug. Once, when I came back, Mr. Rob was saying, "Why didn't you write me when the well caved in, dear? You know I like to hear about everything, and if I had only been told, I could have rubbed along with my old suit another winter, and you could have had a new well dug right away." "It was because I didn't mean you to do that very thing that I did not write you a word about it," said the sweet sister decidedly. 1.27



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 277 unchanged these white cubes of truth. 'We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves.' "If any one had told Will Allerton that he was untruthful, he would have been greatly indignant. He prided himself upon his honorableness: he would go far out of his way to keep a promise or an engagement; and in the various accidents and mishaps which seem to lie in wait for a healthy, happy boy, whose spirits sometimes get ahead of his judgment, he never shielded himself with a subterfuge or a lie. But perhaps you have observed that it is not upon our strong side that we are attacked. Will's weakest side was a love of praise and admiration. It was here that he left a door unguarded, and here that his enemy entered. When Will-who was an only child and very dear to his father and mother-was twelve or thirteen years old a great pleasure came to him. His father, who was a professor in a college, and a hard student as well, felt the need of total change as well as rest during his vacation, and suddenly decided to go abroad and take his wife and boy. Then came great consulting of maps and guide-books and each other, and finally they all three agreed upon the Bavarian and the Austrian Tyrol, and, as there was no time to be lost, they set off as soon as the trunks could be packed and the house put in order and closed. It was after the decision to go had been arrived at, and while the preparations were being made, that a little fault, which had of late given his mother no slight uneasiness, began to spring into



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138 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. too well to refuse, for she knew that Isabel was a conscientious and obedient child, whose example could not injure her Mary. Nothing had been said about it to Isabel until the arrangement was completed and the day fixed for Mary's coming, for the grandparents had feared a disappointment, and she was fully as much surprised and delighted when she heard about it as they had expected her to be. She took an eager interest in the adornment of Mary's room, which was next her own, and insisted on transferring some of her favorite pictures and books to the walls and shelves, for Mary was very near her own age, and was expected to share in all her tastes and pleasures. "1 They had never met, for their homes were widely separated, and Isabel was greatly excited when the day fixed upon for her cousin's arrival came. She did not know why she felt a sort of disappointment when the carriage at last returned from the station and her grandfather helped out a plump, rosy-cheeked girl, somewhat taller than herself. But the same unpleasant sensation flitted across her mind when her grandmother said that evening at the tea-table, 'I wish you could give a little of your bright color to Isabel, my dear.' "'I never knew before that grandma didn't like me to be pale,' she thought; 'I always supposed she liked me to be just the way I am.' "The new sensation returned the next morning when Maryor Polly, as she earnestly requested that she might be called,



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I MAKE A FRIEND. IOI play to hear the lesson of a 'kept-in' who wished to make sure of herself before once more presenting the book to the stern teacher. Gertrude's younger brother, Michael, called her his little mother, and was always sure of her sympathy and help in all his troubles; so that when the other boys laughed at him for carrying the lunch-bag and helping his sister over the slippery places, he was not one bit ashamed, but said stoutly,' It would be hard indeed if I did nothing for my Triidchen, when she does so much for me.' "He was walking home from school with her one dark winter afternoon, when, turning a corner, they came upon Conrad and Peter, who had run so quickly when school was dismissed that they not only gained the corner first, but had time to make at least a dozen snowballs, which were neatly piled up under the: high steps of the house which stood on the corner. "'There!' whispered Conrad to Peter; 'she has on her newscarlet hood, and little Michael that cap of which he is so vain.. Pick out two nice soft balls-for I do not wish to hurt Trude: she is a good little thing-and as soon as their backs are turned you shall take off her hood, and I will take off Master Michael's cap.' "Peter hesitated a moment. Only that very day Gertrude had' shared her dinner with him because he had forgotten to bring his own; and a feeling of honest shame held him back. "'What is the matter, you chicken?' whispered Conrad, impa-



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298 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. morning Helen and I had another parcel from Mr. Andrew Jackson Wickes: it was a good deal like the last, only there was more of it, and instead of the flower-roots there was a beautiful wreath of wintergreen and holly-berries, which Helen and I both thought the daughter must have tied. And instead of a quail I had this time, with my name on it as before, a whole, great big wild duck! Aunt Nancy told me she was too busy to cook it for me that day, .but she certainly would the next; and I did not care, for there were the turkey and the chicken-pie, and ever so many more things, and, besides, it gave me a chance to have a little party with it. I managed to run down to my old woman's after dinner-only I could not run fast, I was so full-with a mouthful of bones for Betty, for I had an idea that the old woman made soup of her bones, and there isn't much good in a done-with soup-bone, and I was very anxious that Betty should not go wrong again for want of plenty to eat. I found her as contented as possible; and looking much better already; and I told her about my duck, and that Aunt Nancy was going to cook it for me, and invited her; to meet me in the large barn about five o'clock the next evening to help eat it. There would be no one else, I told her, but her own children and Jet and Snowball, and of course I should provide plenty of bones besides, but we would each have a taste of my duck. I had counted up-for I can count as high as ten; after that I get muddled-and there were two legs, two wings, two side-bones, and the carcase, which would just make it go around; and I knew I could have all



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, MY NEW MIIS TRESS. 61 and was the time of which I told you when my head was so full of myself that I did not like to see him holding Snowball between his paws. But first we all went down to dinner. Helen rode in a ladychair made by Mr. Rob and Roland, and the rest all sang, "Give me a pin to stick in my cushion, To carry my lady to London." I could not think what this meant, and I was forced to conclude that it did not mean anything. We were very merry at dinner. I had a plate, and Jet and: Snowball each had one, on a large newspaper spread out oni the hearth-rug, and everybody gave us something. I had! never, in all my life, enjoyed a dinner as I did that one; and' I have often thought since that, if people only knew it, it is the laughing and joking and saying pleasant things to each other that really make a happy dinner, even if the things to eat are quite common and plain. Not that they were common and plain that day: Madame and Aunt Nancy had seen to that. I had once before seen a roasted turkey, but it was a mere nothing compared with the one Master carved that day. We had Honora's cake with the dessert. The sweet sister cut it, everybody praised it, I had quite a large piece, and Mr. Rob told about the procession. Dinner was over at last, and we were all saying how crood it was that no one had sent for Master all day, when the C_



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236 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. distant city were glad enough to come there from the heat and dust of their crowded streets for days, and even for weeks. Among the visitors during the previous summer had been a young aunt of Ruth's of whom she was especially fond and proud, and who had a great deal of influence over her. Happily, this influence was almost always used for good, and Ruth's Aunt Marian, who was only four or five years older than Ruth herself, was fully as fond of her little niece as the niece was of her. They had many long walks and talks together, and many delightful hours during which Marian sketched or painted, while Ruth read aloud to her; and it seemed to Ruth that she had missed her aunt more this time than after any previous visit. "One reason for this was that Marian had begun to give her drawing-lessons, and sometimes it seemed impossible to keep on without either help or encouragement. No one in Ruth's immediate family knew anything about drawing, and there was not a single person in the village who was capable of teaching it; so after her aunt's departure Ruth was obliged to plod along as she best could, and sometimes it was weary work. Her aunt's letters were a great help. Marian was sure that Ruth had not only talent, but genius, and she urged her pupil to keep on, and not to give up trying because she was alone. But Ruth had not so much time to devote to her drawing as she wished. Her mother was never very well, and much exertion always increased the cough and pain in the side from which she suffered.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. that I don't believe you could do without me for a week, much less for all winter.' "Her mother drew down the bright, unselfish face for a very loving kiss. 'I did not see how I could spare my little right hand,' she said,' but I meant to try. You are sure you will not regret your decision when it is too late to retract it, darling?' "'Yes, mamma, I am quite sure,' said Ruth soberly. 'I wanted a sign, and I think I have had it; and you don't know how warm it makes me feel to think that you all need me so. I think I know now what those lines of Jean Ingelow's, which used to puzzle me so, must mean: "The dews of blessing heaviest fall Where care falls too."' "' She was only saying in other words what our dear Lord said long before: "Whoso loseth his life for My sake shall find it,"' said Mrs. Sterling. And then they sat hand in hand in the twilight, a silence upon them sweeter than any words." "I think that is the prettiest story you have told us yet, Rob," said Helen when he had finished, "but they are all about what people can do; you don't make any stories about the poor useless people, who make trouble and work instead of sharing it." Mr. Rob hugged her face up close to his. "'They also serve who only stand and wait,' my blossom," he said. 244



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MY DISGRACE.-THE OUTLAW CAT. 65 so I went on, although I was quaking inwardly all the time. I told her all that the other dog had said to me in the night, and a great deal more of the same kind, for after I got started the words seemed to come of themselves. I half expected her to fly at me before I could finish, and perhaps call her children to help her; but, to my surprise, she listened to me quietly, and when I stopped she gave a dismal howl and hid her face in her paws. Her children, forgetting their fear of me, came running up to comfort her, and it was really pretty to see them put their little paws around her neck and lick her head. She clasped them in her paws, saying, "My poor wronged darlings !" in such a pitiful tone that I almost cried myself. Then she turned to me and said, You are right-you are more than right! Go back before it is too late, and no doubt you will be forgiven and reinstated in all your privileges, which, from your own showing, must have been greater than those of most dogs. I never could have left my former home if any one in it had shown me one half the affection which Helen has shown you. I only hope your rash act may have no serious consequences." This speech frightened me very much. Suppose I should find that Helen had cried herself ill about me? And down in that little mean corner of my heart which I have never been able to keep quite cleared out I felt that I should be rather pleased if she had. But I ran the feeling out, as if it had been a rat and I had been the pantry. I begged the poor Outlaw Cat to come home with me, assuring her that, what with the barns, and the stables,





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MY NEW MISTRESS. 51 half full, and I was just going to drink, when Aunt Nancy pulled me away. "No, honey !" she said; "he mustn't drink outen aunty's clean pail. Wait till I fetches de basin." I was a little provoked at this, for at Mrs. Jimmy's they did not care what we drank out of; but when she brought a beautiful bright basin, that looked much cleaner than the wooden pail, and poured me out a nice drink in that, I forgot to be provoked any longer. Although my supper had tasted so very good, it seemed to me that that drink of water was the best thing I had ever had in all my life. And then all at once I was so tired and sleepy that I almost fell down; I just heard Aunt Nancy say, "Poor little thing! he's all done out," and felt her lay me on a soft rug; and I never knew another thing till she came to light the fire in the morning. That was the beginning of my happy life at Ladysmede, and from that time to this I have never known a trouble that was not caused by some foolishness or naughtiness of my own-never but once; and, although that once was the very saddest one of all my life, they did so much to make up to me for it that if I could only forget that one day I should not be sorry that it happened. But, somehow, I cannot forget it, and so I am sorry. However, it is not time to tell this just yet: it will come in the right place. The next morning Aunt Nancy gave me my breakfast as soon as she had made the fire, and I licked her hand when she



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CHAPTER V. I DEFEND THE FAMILY, AND HEAR AN UNPLEASANT STORY. T HE winter passed away very quickly, it seemed to me. May and Roland were gone for a month or two-in Richmond, I suppose-and when they went, if I could only have talked, I would have sent a message to the Jimmys. si I think it is so strange that, although I Snow their father lives in Richmond, and that that is where they go, I have never heard either of them say a word about the Jimmys. Perhaps I may as well say here as anywhere what I gradually learned about my family in the course of the winter and afterward. I don't know when or what "the war" was, but it must have been something dreadful, for it killed Master's brother, and nearly killed him, and made Master and Madame poor, instead of rich. Before the war they kept a great many servants, and had company staying in the house nearly all the time; but now all the servants they had were Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jake; and so Madame and the sweet 118



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Michael was very careful not to interrupt; and when she waked at supper-time, her eye, although it was closed, was no longer painful. "It was the old schoolmaster's custom to give the children a Bible-verse to learn at home, and then they said it in concert the next morning at the opening of school. Gertrude and Michael thought it was a very curious coincidence that their verse this evening should be, 'Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.' "' That is a good way to overcome,' she said softly. 'We will overcome in that way, dear Michael, instead of fighting and quarrelling.' Michael said nothing, but his little face, which was usually so cheerful and pleasant, wore an angry and revengeful look which his sister did' not like to see. In the morning she could not possibly open her eye, and there was a great black mark all around it, but it was not at all painful; and she decided to go to school, although her mother was perfectly willing that she should remain at home, and insisted that, should she go, she must tie a thick bandage over her eye, for fear of catching cold in it. She was so afraid that Michael's anger on her account would get him into trouble with Peter and Conrad that she would have gone even had her eye been painful as well as unsightly. "Michael was unusually silent as he walked by his sister that Io6



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2 2 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Now, you must not think that Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy gave me away because they thought me worthless. Not at all! They gave me away because at that time I was the very best thing they had. I do not say this out of vanity, but merely to show you how generous they were. I was still quite small, but I had learned a number of things; one of these was to help my mother watch the two smallest children while Mrs. Jimmy and the girls were hanging out clothes on the flat: they took in washing, and had a great many clothes to hang out. The very smallest was a baby, and the next smallest was a nice little thing about five years old, who thought she helped her mother a great deal. I found that what my mother and I had to do was to watch these two little things closely, and bark as loudly as we could if they went near the fire or the tubs of water. The day before I was given away little Biddy was sitting before the fire, in her own chair, with little Mike in her lap: she had begged so hard to hold him on her lap that their mother had put him there for a few minutes. All the rest were out on the flat, when Jimmy suddenly came in, and with him a gentleman who wished to buy a dog. I was one of five brothers and sisters, and Jimmy took the gentleman into the lumber-room, where we were all supposed to live, though we really lived in the kitchen more than anywhere else. I never before knew Biddy to do such a thing. She had been sitting there, as good as gold, singing to Mike and feeling for his new tooth, when she saw a piece of



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 285 face. His eyes seldom met theirs, and he showed little desire to be alone with them. A sorrowful solution of this unwonted state of affairs came soon. "As they climbed a steep hill in one of their walks, a sudden turn brought them to a sort of platform overlooking the little spring, and around it sat Will and the three boys whom he had apparently avoided so successfully, all four with cards in their hands, while up through the clear, still air floated their loud, foolish laughter and scraps of talk which were both profane and vulgar. "Mrs. Allerton turned very pale, and, but for her husband's arm, would have fallen. The walk home was a sorrowful one. They decided to do nothing hastily-to think the matter over at least until the next day, and so give Will a chance to confess voluntarily. He had never been forbidden to play cards, but he had known well enough that his father and mother preferred that he should remain ignorant concerning them, thinking that this would make refusal easier to him, for they knew his yielding disposition, and that whatever tempted him at all tempted him strongly. He was restless and excited when he came home, just in time for the six-o'clock dinner, and hesitated a little when his father proposed a walk afterward, saying that they were going to a point on the mountain-side whence the view was remarkably fine. But his mother's gentle 'You will come with us, my son?' seemed



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 279 "Will looked rather crestfallen, but his boy-friends were too polite to make any remark upon the interruption, and the talk soon went on again, but with no more boasting from him, for that time at least. I have not time to tell you of all the many instances, before they sailed, in which Will's mother and father 'set him straight' as to his statements of what they were going to do. What grieved Mrs. Allerton more than all was that one day, when she spoke to him gently and seriously about his careless habit of giving a supposition as a fact, he said pettishly,' What's the good of such a fuss, mamma? You know I. wouldn't for the world tell an untruth about what really mattered.' ",' Dear Will, there is nothing that does not really matter,' said his mother earnestly. Do you remember what your father was reading us last night about those poor Hindoos, who hold out an arm or a leg until they can no longer move it ? If you go on in this way much longer, your truth-telling muscles won't work, and you will begin deceiving in large as well as small things, and with intention as well as carelessly.' Will looked thoughtful. He had a fancy for allegories and parables, and his mother often found that he remembered them better and applied them more readily than he did a plain statement. He had a lively and vivid imagination, which helped to make it difficult for him to tell the plain and unvarnished truth when a 'little embellishment' would make a better story; and so



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. I75 had quite forgotten. I told Snowball about them, and found that I had quite misjudged her: she took the kindest interest in them, and offered, of her own accord, to show them all the good ratand mouse-holes, and give them a few lessons and a little good advice now and then. I thanked her warmly for this, and it was because I was particularly anxious not to hurt her feelings that I went out as usual that afternoon. As I said a while ago, Snowball was very kind about taking my place with Helen when I wished to be away, and it had grown to be quite a habit with her to come up stairs after dinner and spend the afternoon in Helen's room, while I went out with the children. Ever since the day when I had driven off the peddler Madame seemed to like me to go with them: she said she felt quite safe then, for she knew that if I -could do nothing else I could make more noise at once than any other dog of my size. I heard her say that myself, and it made me feel quite proud; only I did not know exactly what she meant by saying "of his size," for I really am quite a large dog. But that is neither here nor there. I had intended staying all day with my Helen, not because it would really make up for my dreadful conduct, but because I thought I should feel a little better for doing it-it was such a beautiful, bright, breezy day, and they were still carting the hay, and I knew the children would all be in the hay-field. I had looked out of the window just before Snowball came up stairs-I can look out of all the windows perfectly well by standing on my hind legs or on a chair-and it made me



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THE END. 3 5 have the papeorfor writing my book. I had long been making a collection of pencil-stumps, for I find I write more easily with a pencil than with pen and ink. And I am beginning to believe that my Helen will be able to translate this work. She seems more and more to understand what I say to her, and of all the world I would rather she should do it than any one else. Many years ago. while she was so ill, she showed me a large bright. white star which shone into her window every night. That is your star. little lock." she said: "'it is the Docr-Star. and you must look at it every night. It is very pleasant to think that there i1 a star for dogs. isn't it?" So. as I suppose our star is always there-Jet, to whom I told this. thinks so-and we only cannot see it in the daytime because the sun is so bright, and as this book is a good deal about docs. I thought a -ood name for it would be. L" UNDIEk THE I),G-STAR." -' -4",\, A_.. '.7 Of ",_44



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j:. '''Ii II.i I i ir ;i:li/I( ji 1 'ii i iilI i 1 i"! ii ii ii I i ii I ii ii! ;I i" 1 I it Ii' j( 'i I I <'K\`~ K, "HONORA MADE THAT CAKE." ii i I;\ r i i 1 I/ I,i i G d1 ^ -I See page 31. I 9



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THE END. always be somewhat lawless and mischievous, I think she has become perfectly honest. Her whole name is Tiglath Pileser, but Mr. Rob, who named her, said we might call her Tig for short. The other two, who never come to the house much, but who still do their duty very well about the barns and granaries, have never had any names, unless you call Pussy and Kitty names. I don't, any more than I do Doggie ;" and I never come for that. It was all done about the room just as Mr. Rob had planned. The sweet sister went to Richmond the week before Christmas, and was gone three days; and she asked me what message I sent to the Jimmys. I told her quite a long one, but I doubt if she fully understood it. The new furniture and a pretty, bright carpet came home the day she did, and we had the room all ready two or three days before Christmas, without Helen's suspecting a word of it, for the furniture had arrived after dark, and the children had gone to bed. We kept the door locked after that, and they got it into their heads that it was only because the tree was in there, as it really was; so the surprise was perfect. The fire was kept burning for two or three days, so that the walls might be nice and warm, and May and Roland, who had spoken to put up the Christmas-greens, smuggled them in through the window, and put them wherever they would go till the room looked like a perfect bower. I don't remember, and I did not write in my journal, much about that Christmas except this room business, and that on Christmas 297



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 39 We were the only passengers, and Mr. Rob seemed to grow happier and happier every minute. First he began to whistle, and then he began to sing. When he did that, I thought perhaps I might cry a little without being noticed; but, although I did it very softly indeed, he heard me, and took me out of his pocket at once. "You poor little Jock!" he said, holding me up close to his face, "I know just how you feel: you feel as I did when I first left my lovely home here among the fields and went to that great, noisy, uncomfortable city. But you ought not to cry if you could only understand, for you are going to stay all the time in that dear home, while I must go back in two days. But I'm not going to bother about that now," he added; "I'm going to enjoy my two days." SI did not understand all that he said at that time, but his kind face and voice made me feel better somehow, and then I found that nothing happened here, any more than on the railwaytrain, and so I began to think that maybe nothing would happen; and when the stage stopped I gave a pleasant little bark, for I thought we must certainly be at the home now, and that I should see the sweet sister directly. So you may judge of my disappointment when I found that we were only going from one stage to another. At least, I thought it was another stage then; I found out afterward that it was our own carriage. However, there were only two horses to this one; and, though I felt very much alarmed when I saw that the driver was per-



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CR UELL Y MISUNDERSTOOD. 18I said that she thought, from what her mother had told her, that she should be very fond of children, and that if I had an opportunity she would be very glad if I could gain her admittance to the house, if it were only to the kitchen. She was so pretty and intelligentlooking that I willingly agreed to do this, and was a little disappointed that the others preferred to be out-of-door cats; but truth obliges me to confess that I was terribly deceived in that plausible kitten. She followed me meekly into the kitchen that evening, as if she were saying, I hope I don't intrude," and before a week was over she had somehow contrived to get the range of the whole house. Every one seemed to like her. She would purr at the least touch, and I never knew her to scratch; but there is no use in disguising it: she was an out-and-out thief, and I regretted very much that, knowing as I did what her bringing-up had been, I had not been more cautious, and kept her at a greater distance until I saw how she was going to turn out. I could not help seeing that she had a very bad influence over Phil: whenever he played with her he was sure to get into mischief. To be sure, he was often in mischief when she was nowhere about, but I never knew her to be about without his doing something which he ought not to have done. Only a few weeks after she came she happened to be in the dining-room when Phil was left at the table a few minutes after the rest had finished their dinner. He was sitting in his high chair, and I wondered at their leaving him, even for a minute, with the bread-knife and the sugar-bowl both within his reach; but



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. 265 isn't a pity! Is there anything she fancies in particular-game or such-like, for instance ?" "She doesn't eat a great deal," said Roland, "but she does like (rame." "And flowers?" he said inquiringly. Sometimes sick folks will set more by flowers than they do by victuals." "Yes," answered Roland, she does love flowers dearly." "Hum !" said the man. You'll not think it's done out of impudence, perhaps, if I ask you how old she might be ?" "She's not quite sixteen," said Roland; "she'll be sixteen the first of next month." Sixteen !" he said; and his brown face was so full of pity that I liked him more than ever. Just the age of my girl, and she's never had a day's sickness, except when she had measles.-Well, young man, I'll not hinder you any longer. I'm obliged to you for your civility;" and he turned away. I can't think what possessed me to answer him so," said Roland when he was telling all about it in Helen's room that evening, but the man did not seem impertinent: he looked so kind and so interested that I answered before I thought." How I would have liked to see him laugh at Jock !" said Helen; and I'd like to see him anyhow, it is so pleasant to look at great strong, healthy people such as he must be." Of course Roland had told Helen all about everything, and he and I had made up at supper for the way in which we had slighted



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "It was Sunday, and Ruth was returning from afternoon service. She never grudged the walk up and down that bleak hill, even in the worst weather, for from the topmost step of the church could be seen the distant sea, and she always took a good look at it before she turned to enter the door. She loved too to think that in clear weather, and on the rare occasions when the church was lighted for evening service, it could be seen by people far out at sea. "The little village in which she lived was almost wholly a fishing-village, and the graveyard behind it held many stones which had been put up to commemorate those who had sailed out of the harbor and never returned or been heard of more. Ruth's father was the owner and captain of a small coast-trading vessel, and sometimes he ran down as far as Florida, and once or twice he had even gone as far as the West Indies. He had promised Ruth that he would take her with him on a trip 'some day,' and she built many air-castles about this prospective trip. But none of these every-day dreams were occupying her mind this evening as she walked slowly home with her eyes fixed upon the sunset sky. She was thinking of the sermon which she had just heard, and wondering whether it could be made to fit the perplexity which had been filling her mind since the day before. "The minister had tried to show how very seldom we can plead ignorance as an excuse for doing wrong, or even for not doing right, when we have so plain a promise that if we 'lack 232



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. I85 Now that I have got off my mind that painful thing which I did not wish to tell, I will go on about the pump. You know that Mr. Rob had made the sweet sister promise to go and see the pumpman; and a day or two after that day I have just been telling of she went, and of course I went with her. She let May go too, but she would not take Bess and Charlie, for she said it was too far. I can't bear to take dear Rob's money," said Madame, just as we were starting, "but what a comfort it would be to have a well in the dooryard once more! I do hope Mr. Wells will not ask more than we can afford to pay him." Mr. Wells-that was the pump-man-lived in a very small house in the edge of a wood about two miles away, but we did not have to go through woods or anything: a' nice wide road went all the way to the house, and ever so far beyond it. I often used to look at that road, and wonder if it went all the way to Richmond, and if I kept straight along on it I should come to the Jimmys'. And I don't know to do this day whether I should or not. Mr. Wells was at home, and I listened very anxiously to the talk between him and the sweet sister, to see if he were going to do it for Mr. Rob's money. I forget how much he said it would be, but it was not more than we could afford, and he said he would come and begin the very next day; and we were all very much pleased. He said the well that had caved in was none of his digging, and that it would really be easier to dig a new one than



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. You had a grand little man with a plume to his hat, and you'd no call to keep smelling him; it was enough for you to look at him. But take comfort, my dear; there's more onions than one in the wide world.' "I don't think this comforted Mary Ann very much, because, you know, they were not her onions. "But the next Sunday afternoon Dennis stayed at home again, and when Mrs. Diggles was fairly off he drew from his coatpocket a small flower-pot very new and red. "'Would you oblige me, my dear,' he said to Mary Ann, 'by going down to the ground-floor and asking the old gentleman for the full of this out of his flower-bed? I'm loath to ask him, for it will take near half of it; but, as it's Sunday, belike he'll be in a giving humor.' And Mary Ann went, wondering. "The old gentleman generously heaped the flower-pot with the precious earth. You never thought, perhaps, that some people can't even have a little earth when they want it until they get the 'six feet' which is coming to everybody-or, to speak more correctly, to which everybody is coming. "When Mary Ann brought back the flower-pot, Dennis took a little parcel from another pocket and carefully unwrapped it. "'Oh, it's another onion-a great big, beautiful one-and it'll grow ever so much better in earth!' cried Mary Ann, dancing around Dennis while he carefully planted it, leaving its little green nose just sticking up out of the earth. 80



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38 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. felt a little more certain about it, and I do wish he would not scream in that dreadful manner. Why, if I were to make only half as much noise at a time, everybody would think I had gone mad and run away from me; and I should not blame them at all. But this is another digression. How I ever stood that railroad-journey I don't know. I did give one more howl, but Mr. Rob looked so worried when I did it that I made up my mind to keep still if it "killed me entirely," as Mrs. Jimmy used to say; and I was nearly sure that it would, too. And if it didn't, I was quite sure that locomotive would; only I did not call it a locomotive then: I called it a dog, you know; and I have often thought since how Mr. Rob would have laughed if he had known it. Everything must come to an end some time, and so at last that dreadful railway-journey did; but just as I was congratulating myself that we had escaped with our lives, and was beginning not to shiver and tremble quite so much, I found that the worst was still to come. By the platform of the railway-station stood four great creatures-you will, of course, guess at once that they were only horses-fastened to a large coach, and I saw that they really were alive. They were prancing and jumping so that the driver could hardly make them keep still long enough for Mr. Rob and me to get into the coach, and then they went tearing off, jolting us over the frozen road until I thought we should be shaken to pieces.



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274 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Helen begged for a story that evening, because it was her birthday, she said; but if I could have spoken I would have begged not to have one, because it was mine. As it was, I went to sleep, but here is the story. I heard the name just as I was dropping off, and wrote it in my journal the next day. It is the last one of Mr. Rob's stories that I shall put in my book, for I have several very interesting things to tell yet, and it is nearly large enough now, I think. I don't know exactly what a brink is, but I suppose Mr. Rob does, for his story was called "ON THE BRINK. "Some one whose wise and witty sayings you will all, I hope, read and enjoy as you grow older, if you have not already begun to do so, has compared truth to a pure white cube, or solid square, which, when it is first given into our hands, must stand upright; it cannot be rolled or moved smoothly about. But as we play and trifle with it, and try to make it roll easily, and let it fall in our pathway, it loses its clear, sharp edges; it grows stained and discolored; and the pure white cube gradually changes into a streaked and unsightly ball, easily rolled, not easy to distinguish from anything around it, and no longer pure and true. It is a long time since I read what I have just tried to tell you, so of course I have not the exact words, only what people sometimes call 'the sense' of it. There is only one way in which to keep unspotted and



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MY 'FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. anything when the pain hurt her worst. Remember how the sweet sister, who is so afraid in the dark, went down to the pasture for the cows just at dusk, and in that dreadful rain-storm, because Roland was away and Uncle Jake was ill, and she wanted Helen to have the fresh milk for supper! Come, brace up, Jock! Don't disgrace yourself." And I did: I braced right up, and enjoyed it just as much as the rest of them did, although the pony, I am sorry to say, did not do his part well at all. I had jumped on the platform once, and down again safely, and they were applauding like everything. I think perhaps it was the applause that made the pony forget; at any rate, he left the ring and started for the gate. Fortunately, his master had left his bridle on him, and it suddenly occurred to me to take that in my teeth and pull as I had seen Master do when he wanted the horse to do differently from what he was doing. It happened that I pulled harder on the side toward the ring; the pony turned round and trotted back to it; his master said something to him, and he began to go round again as if nothing had happened. I thought they would never stop applauding; and oh, how I did wish that my Helen could have been there to see me do it! I made one more jump from the saddle to the platform and back again, and then the pony's master called him out of the ring and said, Ladies and gentleman, the performance is over, and we thank you for your kind attention and encouragement;" and I jumped off the pony and ran into the tent. 261



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. day present to give her-out of something of your own, too. It wouldn't be suitable for me to give, but I think it might do quite well for you." "Oh, Roland, what a dear boy you are !" said Helen, reaching up to kiss him, and never asking what it was of her own that he wished her to give. As it turned out, it was nothing much, but it would have been all the same if it had been some favorite thing. "Where's that wire basket that they sent you from church last Easter full of flowers ?" he asked. It's up on the top shelf of my wardrobe," she answered. "You laughed at me for keeping it, but it was so pretty that I didn't like to throw it away. I always meant to ask the children to fill it with moss and flowers again, but I keep forgetting it." Roland stretched up and got it, and then he said, And where's that cocoanut-shell Rob sawed in halves for you the last time he was at home ?" "It's up there too," said Helen: "that's. my odds-and-ends shelf, or used to be, and I was saving the shell to have a cocoanut-dipper made to hang by the well; but I dare say I shall have a chance to get another before I find anybody that can do it; so you can take the shell, and welcome, only you see there's a small half and a large half-Rob sawed it that way on purpose-and I don't know what I kept the little end for. Oh yes, I do too: I meant to give it to Aunt Nancy for a soap-dish." 2T7



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. 19 what Madame and he say to anybody, for it is nearly sure to be something worth while. I am not so careful about the children; for, although I love them all dearly, I must confess that they say a great many foolish things. This remark about prefaces came just in time. Of course, if I take the trouble, with my stiff paw and dim eyes, to write an instructive and amusing book, I do not wish any of it to be skipped; so I have just written the preface part as if it were the beginning of a chapter, and nobody will dream of its being a preface until it is safely read. It is just-like taking a pill in jelly: not that I have ever done that myself, but I have often seen the children do it. But I really am going to begin now, and in telling my story I shall try to put things in as they come, without always stopping to explain how, very often, I did not really understand about them until long afterward. Of course I was very ignorant and foolish when I was young, and especially before I knew how to read and write. And even now I meet with many things which I cannot understand at all, and the more earnestly I beg for an explanation the more they all laugh at me, and say, "Jock really behaves more like a puppy now than he did when he was young." So little do they understand me. Only Madame and my Helen of them all seem often to guess what I mean, and so, of course, I love them best of anybody. Ah! there is nothing that I would not do to please my dear, dear Helen and Madame.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. only a 'taken girl,' who worked for her 'victuals and clothes;' so her mistress added, severely, 'But don't go asking for anything else, and don't go cluttering your onions and things about my kitchen, for I won't have it.' "'No, ma'am, I won't, neither,' said Mary Ann humbly; 'I'll take it right to my room.' And she went away with the onion which had sprouted, and set it in the sunshine on the window-sill in what she called her room. "It was only a large closet with a cot bedstead in it, and a cracked wash-basin and pitcher on a three-legged stand which was obliged to lean against the wall or else fall over, and a chairwith only half a back, and a little looking-glass with two corners gone hung by a string over the wash-stand; but to Mary Ann, who before she came to live with Mrs. Diggles had owned an uncertain third of a bed on the floor in a room of which she was entitled to a small seventh, it left nothing to be desired. So long as she kept this stately apartment perfectly clean, she was welcome to decorate it with picture-cards-when she could find any-or pictures from illustrated newspapers; and here, when her hard day's work was at last done, she tucked her aching little legs into the 'bed all to herself,' which no amount of sleeping in could rob of its sweetness. "When the onion found that the sprout which it had so much dreaded had actually saved its life, it began to grow as hard as ever it could, and soon had a fine green topknot waving on its 74





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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. I did not mind this, for I knew he did not really mean it, but was thinking of the little sick child that Master went to see. They gave me a sugar-plum for a pill, and put a piece of paper on my neck, under my collar, for a mustard-plaster, and Helen said I had so much fever that they must take the shawl off-it was because she saw that it made me too warm that my Helen said that-and put on one of the sheets from Bess's doll's bed instead. I did not mind this at all, for it only covered about half of me. They played very happily until it was their dinner-time, and then Madame came in and put her hand on Helen's forehead, and said, Dear child, I am afraid the children have tired you. You ought to send them away when they stay too long." I like to have them here, mamma," said Helen; you know I can't read long at a time, and they make me laugh and keep me from thinking." She was quiet for a few minutes, and then she said, Mamma, has papa written for that other doctor-the one in Richmond who knows so much about spine disease?" "Yes, darling," said Madame, "but there has hardly been time for an answer yet." Do you think I shall ever be well again, mamma?" she asked. Madame bent over her and kissed her; then she said, "I hope so-I pray so, my precious; but I am afraid that even if you get well, you must lie still for a long time to come. But you know in Whose hands you are: you can trust Him?" "Yes, mamma, I can-I do," said Helen. "But you know I am nI6



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s-:x1 RATS, JOCK! RATS!" See page 222.



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 73 boy brought some onions; and might I have just this one ? It's almost the littlest one there.' "'I wonder what you'll ask for next?' said the woman in a tone of voice which would have led anybody to believe that the last thing that Mary Ann had asked for had been a. pair of diamond ear-rings. 'What do you want with it? Dear knows, you eat enough at your meals, without eating between-times! I little knew what I undertook when I said I'd board and clothe you.' "' No indeed, ma'am!' said Mary Ann very eagerly. 'You give me a plenty to eat, and I never had butter on my bread for breakfast till I came to live with you; and, besides, I can't bear onions nor anything that's got 'em in. But-don't you see?it's growing, ma'am, and I thought perhaps it would turn out to be a tree.' "The woman laughed a harsh, ugly laugh, that was not pleasant to hear; but whether the compliment about the butter had pleased her, or whether it could have been that her rusty old memory worked for a minute, and she saw herself, a little child about the size of Mary Ann, in the country with her sisters, pickirig buttercups in a field so full of them that she might have picked all day and the field wouldn't have known it, I do not know; but, at any rate, she said, not very gruffly, 'Well, you may take it, since you're so crazy for it.' And then, as Mary Ann said joyfully, 'Oh, thank you, ma'am, you're very kind.!' she began to think that perhaps she had been too indulgent, for Mary Ann was



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256 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. giving Day, which he was going to spend at home; and, as all the boys were quite willing, and as it would only makes us wait two or three days, Roland wrote Mr. Rob that he would: fortunately, it was settled before the bills were printed, so it made no difference. We concluded not to have any tickets, but just to let people pay at the gate, which had been hung in place of one of the panels of the fence, and all the boys who were not to help with the performance, and all the little brothers who were large enough, were to be picketed round the field to keep people from climbing over the fence and seeing the show for nothing. Charlie was to be one of the pickets, and I asked Jet to stay with him, for I was afraid he was too small to be a picket all by himself. At least, I was a little afraid, but I did want Jet to see me do that pony-trick, and I thought, from something he said, that he was not going: he said he didn't care much about circuses anyhow. But when I told him about taking care of Charlie, he said at once that he would go of course. I spoke to him about it afterward, and he said that the real reason why he hadn't cared to go was because he thought it was not very civil in Roland not to ask him to be one of the performers. How very small we should all look, sometimes, if we looked the way we are feeling! Mr. Rob came home the night before Thanksgiving, and I was very glad to see h:m of course, but my head was so full of the circus that, instead of offering him my paw, as I usually did, I stood on my head, which made them all laugh. I could not help



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. was dreadfully muddy, he looked very much pleased. I'd shake hands if I was fit, doctor," he said, for you're to be congratulated. I haven't struck such a spring as that since I've been well-digging --clear as a bell, comes up out of a solid rock, so't you can keep it cleared out as easy as a wash-basin; and tastes as good as champagne, and a sight better, to my thinking! When I get that well walled up you may bury me in it if it ever caves in, and you're about made up, if a good well was all that was wanting to complete your comfort." Oh, how pleased we all were! As soon as the water had run in and settled enough for some to be drawn up, we all drank everybody's health in it; and it was just as different from the spring in the wood as fresh bread is from stale; and I know about both. Of course we made Helen take the first drink-she had been lying by the window watching-and she was as much delighted as any of us. I heard her tell Sarah that evening that for some time past she had been afraid to drink much water, for it was so warm and had such an unpleasant taste, and that once or twice it had made her feel really ill. But I am so very thirsty to-night," she said, "that if you could draw me up a little I should not be afraid to drink it, it is so different from the spring-water." So Sarah and I took a long string and a little tin pail, and I held the end of the string while Sarah let the pail down and drew up a pailful of beautiful clear water; and after Helen had had her drink they gave me some in the basin-" for helping," Sarah said. I cer204



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C "MAY TOOK HER SEAT BY THE OPEN WINDOW." See page 134.



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4



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. every one here-and the kitchen seemed quite full-was as black as he was, at least. But they were all so good and kind that it would really have been foolish to be afraid of them. Uncle Jake held me on his lap, and stroked me and talked to me, while Aunt Nancy, the fat cook, made me up the loveliest plateful of bones and pieces of meat that I had ever seen. There was enough there for a dozen hungry dogs, and I could not help wishing that my mother and brothers and sisters might have had all that I could not eat. But this did not keep me from making a hearty supper, for I really had been too frightened to eat at dinne'rtime; it was while we were on that dreadful railway and I was expecting every moment to be eaten myself. I did not know what a hawk was then, but I felt that" I was as hungry as it could possibly be. But when I heard Aunt Nancy say, with a great laugh, He will mos' certainly bust hisse'f if he eats another mou'ful," I thought perhaps I had better stop. I did not wish to "bust" myself just as I had found a home where more kind things were said and done to me in an hour than had been said and done in all my life before. Besides, I was thirsty as well as hungry, and I knew that if I ate any more I could not possibly take a drink. So I stopped eating, and looked all around for the spigot. There was none, but I saw a bucket standing in the corner; and I went to it, hoping to find water in it. It was 50



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. fectly black, yet when I saw that Mr. Rob clid not seem to notice it, and even shook hands with him, I made up that I would try not to care about it either. that this good man-who is my mind I found afterward one of my best friends, by the waywas not perfectly black, but was the color of nice coffee just a little cream in it. And the color never rubs off: I know that, for I looked at Mr. Rob's hand to see, not ing, but once or twice afterward. He seemed so delighted to see only that evenMr. Rob! He only said, Howd'ye, Mars' Robert, sir? Howd'ye?" but he chuckled and grinned and bowed as if he would never stop. Mr. Rob said, "First rate, thank you, Uncle Jake. Everybody well at home ?" "Well as kin be, Mars' Robert, and all just crazy to think you's a-comin'!" "I don't believe the with a joyful laugh; half as crazy as and then he began I am," s to sing ;aid Mr. Rob at the very top of his voice, "Home, home, can I forget thee? Dear, dear, dearly-loved home !" but he stopped suddenly and held me up to the carriagewindow, for by this time we had started. It was nearly but I could see an old, broken sort of building with snow all Mrs. it: I thought the snow was flour, and I did so wish with dark, 40 around



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......I 71W



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY Y.-AN UNPLEASANT STORY. "II9 sister did a great many of the things that made us live so comfortably, for their servants were both very old, and both had what they called "rheumatiz;" and I noticed that it was always worse when they were wanted to carry or lift anything. A thing happened this spring which made a great deal of trouble. They said the well in the dooryard, from which came all the water that we drank, caved in." I did not know exactly what it meant, but they could not get any more water out of it, and the nearest water that was fit to drink was a spring half a mile from the house, in the woods. When Roland found how Uncle Jake groaned over carrying the water, he offered to do it instead; and I always went with him. I wondered for a while why Master did not have another well dug nearer to the house, but I one day heard him tell Madame that he could not possibly do it unless more of the people who. owed him money for curing them would pay him. This made me very angry, for just about this time I had agreed to bring Snowball-who was not feeling well-a piece of catmint every day from a place I knew of down in the wood-lot, where a very large patch of it grew; and it was only by representing to her strongly that she would really hurt my feelings if she said any more about it that I prevailed upon her to give up her intention of paying me in rats and mice. And I thought, "If these people who owe Master for curing them only had half Snowball's honorable feeling !" It happened one day that Roland had gone fishing, and Uncle Jake's "rheumatiz" was worse than usual. There was a bucket



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t



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. first thing I knew I was spluttering in the water! I had no trouble in getting out, of course, but I felt terribly mortified, and if I had only been quite sure that I could make him run I would have gone at that ram again; but I was a little afraid I could not, and so I ran home as hard as I could, for those girls were laughing at me, which I do not think was very polite. But I suppose I did look rather funny when that old wretch sent me spinning into the water, although I did not feel in the least like laughing at the time. And that reminds me of another of those silly proverbs which I wish to contradict. When anything happens which is so perfectly ridiculous that no one, not even the very stupidest person, can help laughing, people say, "It's enough to make a dog laugh." As if dogs had not sense enough to laugh at anything but a joke of this sort! We cannot make the laughing faces which human people can make, but I can assure you that a happy dog laughs just as much as a happy person does. I do wonder if the time will ever come when dogs and people will really understand each other ? Mr. Wells kept his word, and came very early the next morning -before I was up, in fact-bringing a man with him to help dig the well. It seemed to me they worked very slowly: when I thought what a hole I could dig in five minutes with nothing but my paws, I was surprised to find that after they had been digging all day they had only got it about half as deep as they meant it to be. So they went away, promising to come back the next morning. 188



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. feeling pleased that we had waited for Mr. Rob, for I knew he would tell the Jimmys all about it when he went back to Richmond, and I did wish I could hear Mr. Jimmy say, "Well! well!" as he used to when anything surprised him very much. The next day was beautiful and bright, and quite warm enough for people to sit out of doors; and as soon as dinner was over Roland and I went to the field, for, although the performance was not to begin until three o'clock, and it was not quite two, we were in a hurry, for there were several last things to see to. I had to have my feet rubbed with chalk, for one thing: it tickled like everything, and I would not have let Roland do it, but he told me it would keep me from slipping off when I dropped on the pony's back, and that if I did slip off every one would laugh at me. So I.put up with the tickling, for I did not wish to be laughed at-at least not in that way: I expected to make them laugh in a way that I did like. The boys had been busy putting up the tent all the morning, but I had stayed with my Helen. They had arranged it so that when the curtain was drawn up everybody on the benches could see inside; and it was in here that we were to do all our tricks that did not need the pony. There were two ladders, and we each had a stool to sit on, and there were Charlie's little wheelbarrow, and Phil's little cart, and a seesaw, and a clothes-horse with a rope tied to the topmost bar. The tent part was to come first, and this was Helen's suggestion: she told Roland that if 17 257



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. wood again-barking to tell the girls to run as fast as they could. They seemed to understand, for they scampered across the field as fast as they could go, though the sweet sister never let go of the pail of water all the time. The peddler could not run fast enough to catch me, but he threw a stone after me, which hit my hind leg just as I was creeping under the bushes at the edge of the wood, and lamed me for two or three days. But, although it hurt me very much, I did not care at all, for the girls were safe by this time, and it was so dark that the peddler did not try to find me, but went away through the wood. I suppose he was afraid that some one would come from the house and catch him, and have him sent to jail for nearly breaking my leg and trying to steal May's watch. I crept out when he was gone, and went limping home; and I can't begin to tell you all they said to me when I got there. Madame begged my pardon right before everybody, which somehow made me feel very badly; and when Master came in he bandaged up my leg as if I had been a rich patient who always paid. his bills the minute he was cured; and they took me up and put me on Helen's bed, and brought my supper up to her room, and told her all about it; only they did not tell her that their chief reason for going to the spring was that she might have a glass of cool water with her supper. Not long after this, to our great joy, Mr. Rob came home for a day or two, and of course they told him all about. it too. He 1.24



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. 199 hand, saying he wished it were more; and then the man thanked Master and went away. As soon as he was gone Master stooped and picked me up, and I thought he was going to take me to the carriage-house, for he had never picked me up more than one or twice before. But instead of that he carried me straight to Helen's room, and on the way he whispered to me, "Little Jock, how shall we ever make you understand how much we all beg your pardon for misjudging you so cruelly ?" Then I knew that somehow they had found out the truth, and I felt so happy that I could hardly keep from jumping out of Master's arms. He put me on my Helen's bed, and I saw that she had been crying. .When people are either very happy or very miserable things seem sort of mixed up, and it is hard to remember them straight. Everybody behaved beautifully to me, but after a while they left me alone with my Helen, and that was what I liked best. She told me all about it, and it had not occurred to any of the others to do this. I did not believe it for a moment, Jock," she said. "I knew you would not bite Phil, and I told them so, but they said that there were the marks of your teeth on his poor little leg, and that you had run away. You should not have done that, dear; it looked as if you were guilty, you know. So then I made them bring Phil and put him here on my bed, and I petted him and



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. 31 that I might have a small piece given to me-and partly because of all the little Jimmys I liked Honora best. My mother had warned me that I had better not get fond of any of them, because, she said, Jimmy kept us only to sell, and it would just make it harder when we had to go; but I really was obliged to love Honora. The other girls were sometimes untidy, and did not always keep their hands and faces clean, but Honora liked to be neat just as much at home, when no one beside her family was to see her, as she did when she was going out in the street. Her collar was always fastened with a little bow of ribbon, and her hair-she had very pretty hair-tied neatly back off her face with a piece of ribbon like the bow; and she put on a clean apron every morning before she went to school, and sometimes another when she came home in the evening; and, as she washed and ironed them herself before school-hours in the morning, her mother never objected. She made that cake the next Saturday after little Biddy came so near being burnt, and such pains as she took to weigh and measure everything and go exactly by the recipe! I can't begin to tell you all the good things that went into it. Her mother helped her bake it; and when it came out of the oven a beautiful rich brown, the smell of it nearly made me cry, I wanted some so badly. Mrs. Jimmy had made Honora bake a little of it in a saucer, that they might taste it and make quite sure that it was good, for they had never tried the recipe before; and, though



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Aunt Nancy's good dinner, for Roland not only had declined to eat much dinner himself-which he had a perfect right to do-but he had only let me have about half as much as I could have held, saying that if we ate much we should be heavy and dull, and not get through our performances well. Perhaps he was right, but I did wish we might have had our circus on any day but Thanksgiving Day, and was feeling very much injured about the bones, for we had a goose and a pair of chickens, and some quail that Roland had shot a few days before with M\r. Rob's gun. I forgot all about my injured feelings as soon as the circus began, and never once thought of them again until Aunt Nancy called me out to supper; an'd there, "lo, an' beholes!" as Uncle Jake says, that dear old woman had saved me all the very best of the bones! I licked her hand to thank her, which she always liked; and once I heard her say to Uncle Jake, He's not afraid to kiss black folks! He knows de black don't never come off, bress his good little heart !" She and Uncle Jake had come in time to see the last of the tent part and all of the pony part, and I would not like to tell you all the flattering things they said to me while I ate my supper. And so ended the most exciting day of my life, for I went to bed as soon as I had finished my supper, while they were all talking, and never knew another thing till the next morning. 266



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CONTENTS. CHAPTER I. EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. ... ... CHAPTER PACG 9 II. My\I NEw MISTRESS.......... S. ...... .. .. 36 CHAPTER III. MR RO(B IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY ..... CHAPTER I MAKE A FRIEND 65 IV. 87 CHAPTER V. I DEFEND THE FAMILY, AND HEAR AN UNPLEASANT STORY CHAPTER VI. IN WHICH I TELL OF MY DISGRACE, AND OF THE OUTLAW CAT ............. ......149 CHAPTER VII. THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD ..... ........ ..... .... 174 5 * ..... .. 118



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 55 he had such a wild, unhappy look in his eyes, which were really very pretty. I did not know until afterward how much mischief these rats do, and that it is every terrier's duty to catch them. It was painful to me at first, but I must confess that it has not been for a good while, and, old as I am now, I can be waked from the deepest sleep by any one who just whispers Rats !" ,,//4 l 7A r I .-" -----l-t--/ii)!ill-" precisely! She flew at him like a tiger-I have never actually seen any tigers, but I have heard so much about them that I know a hole in the ground, which I have no doubt he had dug himself, for he seemed to know just where to look Snowball dashed after him, but by this time a very queer feeling, for which I have



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. I could not think what was the matter with Roland when he clapped his hands together and said, "The very thing!" and I suppose I must have looked very much astonished, for he explained to me what he meant right away, which was kind of him. "You see, Jock," he said, sitting down on a grapevine branch which was just about the right height, and looped up like a swing, I've been puzzling my head about a birthday present for Aunt Louise, and could not think of a single thing to make that would be worth giving her; and now here's a valuable suggestion, made by a wild grapevine free of charge! I heard her tell uncle, only the other day, that when Jake had a little time she wanted him to mend the seat under the big oak tree, where she likes so to sit and see the sunset; but, bless you! it's past mending. I was looking at it, to see if I could do it, but the boards are too rotten to hold the nails. But these queer twisted branches would make a beauty, just like one we have in our back yard in Richmond; and I'll bring my tools and make it here, and then Uncle Jake can help me carry it home and set it up the night before Aunt Louise's birthday. Let's see if there's a hollow tree about, where I could keep my tools, and then I needn't carry them back and forth every day." We started to look for one, and I found one first, but I must confess that it was an accident, and because a field-mouse which I was after happened to bolt into it. Roland didn't see the fieldmouse, and he praised me for my cleverness, as he called it, until I felt very much ashamed. But how could I tell him about the 215



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. office-bell rang and we ran to the window. It was snowing fast, but the little boy who stood there leaning against the post of the porch, as if he felt afraid of falling down, looked pale even. in the snow. He had not stopped to fasten his ulster all the way, nor to put on his gloves, cold as it was. Master himself opened the door. "Well, my little man, what's the matter ?" he said kindly. "Oh, sir," answered the boy, so out of breath that he could hardly speak, "Nelly is very ill indeed, and mamma says will you please to come at once?" "Yes, I'll come, if it's as bad as all that," said Master, "though I did hope nobody would need me to-day. Step inside a minute and get warm while Jake harnesses the horse, and then you can ride back in the sulky with me." The little boy thanked him and stepped in, but to all the doctor's questions about Nelly he only answered, "I don't know, sir, but mamma said to tell you she was very ill indeed." So they went off together, and we were left to spend our Christmas evening without Master, which made us all feel very sorry. 62



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. 197 I knew the kind of madness they were talking of could not mean exactly this, but I thought perhaps they were something alike; and so, to make these children feel sure that I was not mad, I went up to them very gently and quietly, and instead of barking to make them notice me, I did two or three of my tricks: I walked on my hind legs, and sat up and begged, and offered them my hand. I was thankful to see that they were not at all afraid of me. The girl said, Oh what a dear little dog !-Look, Benny, how he is shaking hands with me! We'll ask mother if we may keep him when she comes home." I did some more tricks for them, and they patted and praised me until I almost felt happy again; and after a while a pleasant-faced man and woman came in, and lie sat down to supper; the man looked as if he had just come in from his work, and I suppose the woman had gone to meet him. I soon found that she and the children had had their supper earlier. They all talked a great deal about me, and gave me plenty of supper too, but the man said that the children must not keep me until he had inquired in the neighborhood if any one had lost a dog, for, he said, it was evident that I was a valuable dog. Just at that moment the little girl caught sight of my collar, which my hair had almost hidden. She made me come nearer to the light, and then she read aloud, ",JOCK. The property of Helen Laurence. CHRISTMAS, 18-."



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MY DISGRACE.-THE OUTLAW CAT. 163 you ill already; you will have no breakfast unless you can catch some other horrid raw thing, or are willing to beg a breakfast of that Outlaw Cat, who really left her home because she was a thief, and an ungrateful creature besides, for it is quite evident, from what she says herself, that she had been treated well enough before she ran away." The more I thought the worse it seemed, until at last I could bear it no longer, and started up, intending to try and find my way home in the dark: anything was better than staying in this terrible wood listening to the other dog. But, happily, just as I was giving myself a shake and going to set off, it occurred to me that going home before daylight, and making some one get up to let me in, and disturbing all the people who didn't get up with the noise I made, would be far more selfish than it would be to oblige myself to stay where I was and take all that other dog chose to say, and wait at least until daylight, when Aunt Nancy would be up, and could let me in quietly if I just gave a little scratch at the kitchen-door. So I lay resolutely down, not expecting to get one wink of sleep all night; but, to my utter astonishment, the only thing I can remember hearing that other dog say, after I lay down the second time, was "Jock! Jock!" in that reproachful tone of his; and then I never knew another thing until I was waked by the sun shining through the branches right into my eyes. When I sprang up and tried to give myself my customary shake, I found I could not shake at all: I was so stiff that I could hardly move, and I felt as if I had grown about a



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 79 "Mrs. Diggles had just secured a new boarder, and she was in a good humor; so she laughed, put the three-cent piece back into her purse with alacrity, and poured into a dingy little old bottle which she hunted out of a miscellaneous closet a generous teaspoonful of her bay rum. "Was ever such liberality? A bottle, so that she might keep a little drop for future refreshment, besides scenting the onion! Mary Ann would have kissed Mrs. Diggles had she dared, but she only said, 'I'm very much obliged, ma'am,' and hastened with her new treasure to her old one. "Very carefully she dropped some bay rum over the seed-stalk first, then over the leaves, until all were wet. She did not hear the poor onion shrieking, 'Don't! for pity's sake, don't! It will be the death of me!' But when Mary Ann came out of her room to light the fire the next morning, her eyes were red with crying. Onions have made a great many people cry, but I doubt if anybody ever cried quite so much over one before. Dennis lingered a minute after breakfast to ask what was the matter. "' I've killed him,' said Mary Ann in a quivering voice. 'I tried to make him smell sweet, and it must be poison, for his beautiful tall head's all flopped down, and all his green leaves are withered.' "'Then that's a great pity,' said Dennis; 'and in the country where I came from they've a notion to leave well enough alone.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR: FROM THE DOG-LATIN OF JOCK. FOR BOYS AND GIRLS. By MARGARET VANDEGRIFT, AUTHOR OF CLOVERR BEACH." PORTER & COATES, PHILADELPHIA.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. anything which struck his fancy in the way of a parable. or simile effected a lodgment in his mind, when perhaps the same truth told in plain words would have been quickly forgotten. For several days Mrs. Allerton noticed-or rather hoped that she noticeda certain degree of watchfulness over his careless talk. "But in the excitement of the departure from home and the beginning of the voyage the good impression seemed to wear away, and Mrs. Allerton first smiled, and then sighed, as she walked up and down the deck on her husband's arm a day or two after they had sailed at the scraps of talk which came to her as they passed and repassed a group .of boys of whom Will seemed to be the centre: "'My father's observatory-' "'Rat-hole under the laundry-' "' Our carriage-' "'The stables-' "'Our dogs-' 'The conservatory-' Mr Allerton took out a note-book and made an entry. That afternoon he appeared on deck with a sheet of foolscap paper in his hand, and walked to where Will was again seated with his new friends. 'I have a few remarks to make,' said Mr. Allerton in his merry voice; and the boys all looked up, pleased with notice from the 'professor.' 'My boy here,' he went on, 'is a little like Red Riding-hood's wolf: he has very large eyes.' 280





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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. speaking. I suppose they were afraid he had not finished and would begin all over again; and, although I liked the story very well, it seemed to me that it was rather long. You see, I had never heard a story before, and I kept thinking the end was coming all the time; and, instead of that, there would be another beginning. I know better now. A full stop does not always means that one has got to the end. Master had come in just where the onion was killed; but, as he had taken off his hat and coat and boots and put on a nice soft pair of slippers, he did not make any more noise than I do when, for any reason, I wish to come in quietly. He had rolled the lounge near the fire and spread himself out over it without saying a word, for all the children, the minute he came in, had begged him, by putting their fingers on their lips and making very curious faces, to be perfectly still; and, as he did not know why, I suppose he just did it to please them: I very often do things in that way for Madame. Mr. Rob waited a few minutes, and then he said, "That's all !" "It seems to have been very affecting," said Master; "I wish I had come in sooner. Were your feelings too deep for words ?" Then Madame explained to him why every one had been afraid to speak; and he laughed, and said that on those terms an interruption would have been the highest possible compliment, and if he had only known the situation when he came in he would have made one, and so got a chance to hear the first of the story. 82



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THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. 193 shudder to do it, but I took his dear little leg in my mouth, and held him back only just in time. I was careful not to break the skin, but I was obliged to take hold pretty well, for he was so determined to go on. He screamed as if I were tearing him to pieces, but I managed somehow to make him turn round: then I had no more trouble, for he ran for the house, crying as if his heart would break. Madame and all the rest who were at home, except my Helen, were there in a minute when he was about halfway up stairs, and as soon as Madame took him in her arms he sobbed out, "Jock bite Phil! Jock naughty dog!" They got a light immediately, and there, sure enough, were the red marks which my teeth had made on his leg. Nobody dreamed he had been near the well, nobody understood; but it did seem to me, as it does yet, that they might have remembered how dearly I loved all the children-that no matter how they had pulled me about and teased me, I had never even growled, much less snapped at them. But I heard afterward about a dreadful disease called madness, of which some of the very best dogs have died because they were bitten by other dogs who had it, and I understand that when a dog has that disease he will bite his best friends. But I do not believe it. There is no use in repeating all the cruel things they said of me, but when I heard them tell Uncle Jake that I must be shut up in the coach-house until they could tell whether or not I really had 13



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MY DISGRA CE.THE 0 UTLA W CA T. 151 The children clapped their hands, and Mr. Rob said, "Three cheers for Jock!" and then they all cheered me; and of course I felt very much pleased, and swam about all the more. Then they began to throw sticks in the water for me to bring out, and if Mr. Rob had not reminded them that it was time to go home, I do believe they would have stayed there till dark. I felt as clean as a new pin, and I really did not know how tired I was until I lay down on the foot of Helen's bed: I actually dropped asleep while they were telling her all about it. Mr. Rob had one day more, but he spent most of it with Helen, and I stayed with her nearly all day too. He said a number of things to her which I did not understand. As you have no doubt noticed, I have put a great many things into this book which I do not understand at all, but I could not leave them out: they were parts of the talks and stories which I wished to tell you, and I judged, from what I have seen and heard, that they would be understood by my readers. But I knew quite well what Mr. Rob meant when he said to her, "That doctor from Richmond has not been to see you yet, has he, dear?" "No," said Helen. "He wrote papa that it would be almost impossible for him to come, but that he would come the very first time he could manage to spare two days: you see it takes so long to get here." "I am going to see him when I get back to Richmond," said Mr. Rob quietly. "I can talk to him much better than papa can





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4 MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. 241 'There are so many pros and cons. that it is difficult to tell what we had better do about it, and I do not wish to be selfish. But we know what to do when we are puzzled about anything, darling. We will "commit our way to the Lord," and ask Him to show us what we had better do about this, as about everything.' Ruth sat silent for a while, squeezing and stroking her mother's hands, and wondering how she could possibly, in this case, find out 'the will of the Lord' concerning her. "'In old times,' she thought, 'there used to be signs. Abraham and Jacob and Joseph, and ever so many of them, were told or showed so plainly that they could not help seeing what they ought to do; and yet Balaam didn't act very much as if he had been told. I wonder if we really are told now, only we don't listen hard enough?' And Ruth went to bed, half expecting to dream the answer to her perplexity, but, somewhat to her disappointment, she did not dream anything at all. And the next day was that Sunday with which my story beg ns. "' Old Libby stopped to see me on her way from meeting,' said Mrs. Sterling as Ruth sat warming the nearly frozen hand which had held the umbrella, and she said that she had just arranged to go to Mrs. Potter for the winter, so there will be no use in thinking any more about her.' "'That's one thing out of the way, then,' said Ruth, in so satisfied a tone that her mother, surprised, said, 'Why, had you thought 16



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98 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Rob and Roland put on their slippers and carried Helen down, and we sat down around the fire to wait for Master, who was out seeing sick people, as usual. Helen and May and Roland all begged Mr. Rob for another story; only they said that this time they must be allowed to interrupt, for they thought of so many questions while the story was going on which they forgot by the time it was done. So Mr. Rob said that as it was his last evening, he would indulge them, for this time he would tell them a story which he had written down, but which was not printed yet. So he settled Helen comfortably in Master's chair, and then he lay down by me on the hearth-rug, with his head in Madame's lap, and began, in a very lazy voice, to tell this story. I am not going to give the interruptions, because they were foolish, and I liked his other way of telling a story best. "Must it have a name?" he asked before he began. "Of course it must !" said three or four of them at once; and May added, Now you know it has a name already, Rob, if it's written down." "Astute creature!" said Mr. Rob. Its name is "OVERCOMING. "Part of my audience has been in New York; and the part that has not can imagine, from pictures and descriptions, how it looks to-day with its crowded and hustling wharves and markets,



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[YDER TLHE D G-STIR. Then one of us wheeled another in the wheelbarrow by means of a little harness which fitted the one in the shafts, so that he could push the barrow. Then Roland suddenly said "Fire!" and we each rushed and picked up a little toy bucket-the buckets were standing in the corner, all ready for us-and rushed up one of the ladders, one at a time, and pretended to empty our buckets, and rushed down the other ladder. And not one of us stumbled or fell! At last the boy who owned the pony said, "Ladies and gentlemen, our exhibition will conclude with a grand equestrian performance by our Riding Dog in the ring outside the tent." While he was bringing up the pony Roland chalked my feet once more; and I let him do it, for I found it a great help in going up and down the ladder. And while he was doing it my heart seemed suddenly to go down to where the chalk was, and I thought, "I can't do it! I'm all trembling now. I shall fail, and everybody will laugh-not in the delightful way in which they have been laughing all the afternoon, but in that horrid way which I can't bear." I certainly should have failed if I had tried to do it feeling that way, but suddenly I thought what a coward I was. Jock, little Jock !" I said to myself, trying to speak to myself as if it were my Helen talking to me, "don't be a coward! Remember how Roland opened his mouth only last week and let Master pull a large tooth, and never so much as said 'Ouch!' though the pain made his face all red. Remember how Helen never used to say a 260



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. homesick Dutch settlers when the heavy snows of winter shut them for a while within their so-called city. But, although so many things have changed since then, there are a few things about boys and girls which were as true then as they are to-day. The little Dutch Gretchens' and their brothers no doubt shouted as joyfully over the first snowfall as their little descendants do to-day, and there were just as many of them to make an unkind and unpleasant use of it as there are now. "Peter Zenger was not exactly a bad boy as boys go-at least, he did not mean to be-but his love of fun was constantly getting him into trouble, and he had the misfortune of having an intimate frietid who was just a little more mischievous than he was himself. Perhaps you will not pity him a great deal for this, and I must confess that I do not at all; for our friends are of our own choosing, and, although courtesy and kindness are due to every one, intimacy is a gift which should be bestowed only upon those who will at least not hinder us in our daily battle. At any rate, it was often said of Peter and this little Conrad Zurn that what one could not think of the other always could; and I am sorry to say that this remark was never, under any circumstances, intended as a compliment, and yet was always received as one. Of all the little girls who went to the day-school which Peter and Conrad attended, Gertrude Bloemart was the best loved and the best worth loving. It was she who was never too busy at recess to help the little ones start a new game, or to stop her I00



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MY DISGRA CE.THE O UTLA W CA T. I7I nice, Jake, while I get him de bes' breakfus' he's had dis good while; and den he shall go up and tell Miss Helen all about it, so he shall." I felt as if I had fallen out of the garret window. She had never even been worried about me! She did not know that my feelings had been hurt! There was no use in trying to tell herI could not do it; but I felt sure my Helen would act very differently, and to her I would apologize. Fortunately, Aunt Nancy left the kitchen while I was eating that royal breakfast, and when I had had all I could manage I gathered up a mouthful of bones and trotted off to the corncrib, where I found the kittens waiting patiently, as I had told them to do. I divided the bones among them, and they seemed very grateful, and said their mother had often told them how good cooked meat was, but they had never tasted any before. I told them I would come back at dinner-time and bring them some more, and that meanwhile, if they saw either rats or mice going in or out of the corncrib, I hoped they would catch them. This they promised to do, and I hurried back to have my hair combed and go up to Helen. Uncle Jake gave me an extra good combing for catching the rat, and then Aunt Nancy took me up herself, for she wanted to tell Helen about what I had done. By this time my stiffness was all gone, and I suppose I looked quite as usual, for Helen made Aunt Nancy put me down on the bed, and when she heard about the rat, she said, My head ached so terribly last night that



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MY DISGRACE.-THE OUTLAW CAT. I73 was about, and I resolved that never, for one moment while her precious life lasted, should she have any cause for worriment from me. I just kissed her hands, and laid my head down on them, and talked to her a little-not whiningly, but as cheerfully as I couldand I think she saw that I was longing to do something for her, for she said, My feet are cold, little Jock; will you bring me the shawl ?" That was one of the things I had been learning. They called it "fetching;" and I really did it quite well; they all said so. Another thing I had learned was to walk on my hind legs, and because I wished to do as much as ever I could for Helen, I brought her the shawl in that way. It was so long and heavy that it dragged on the ground, and when she saw me coming with it she laughed aloud. I-never heard a laugh that sounded like Helen's: it always made me think of the blackbirds in the spring, when they sit on the tops of the cedar trees and laugh because winter is over. It comforted me a little to hear her sweet laugh; but, oh, what would I not give now-what would I not have given then-to be really the dog she thought me, instead of the mean, selfish, vain, silly dog that I was!



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268 LNDER THE DOG-STAR. I have a sort of feeling then that makes me be still; and besides, I think I should not be allowed to stay if I were to cry, for they brought Phil out once for crying, and did not let him go again for several Sundays. But before they went to church they all gave Helen her presents. I only remember Mr. Rob's: it was that sort of half chair of which he had told the sweet sister; and Helen was so delighted with it that I did not care at all when they all went away and left us at home-all but Phil, who was not good enough to go yet, because he could not keep still; and Sarah, who stayed to help me take care of my Helen. The chair was covered with pretty bright chintz which had little pink rosebuds scattered all over it, and when it was put on the bed it did not look funny at all, as it did when it was on the floor; and Helen told Sarah that it rested her almost as much as sitting on Mr. Rob's lap did. That afternoon Mr. Rob asked the sweet sister to take a walk with him, and Helen told them to take me and she would go to sleep; so I went with a clear conscience, and had a very good time, for besides the pleasantness of being out of doors in such weather, I was deeply interested in their talk, and I actually forgot to hunt for water-rats, although we went right by one of my best places. Mr. Rob told the sweet sister, in the first place, that he was working regularly for a newspaper in Richmond, besides getting paid for other things that he wrote, and that he thought he could



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CHAPTER IX. MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. iHE sweet sister and May had been out all the afternoon gathering flowers, ; i and arranging them to put in the Si i different rooms; and they got up very rsi early the next morning, and had them SwI all where they wanted them before "I Madame came down to breakfast. I can't remember what they all gave her-I dare say I should if they had Y __ all confided in me as Helen and Roland did-but she was very much pleased with everything. Perhaps it was only because I had taken such an interest in the rustic seat and the basket that it seemed to me she was more pleased with them than with any of her other things. It is too bad in me to have skipped over Mr. Rob's coming home in this way, but I got started about the birthday, and it was like sliding down hill: I could not stop myself all at once. He did come the night before, just as we had given him up for that 221



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UNDER THE DOGS TAR. gone mad, I resolved to save myself. I felt that a few days in that dismal coach-house, away from everybody I loved, would be the death of me, and, miserable as I was, I did not wish to die just yet. I hoped that, somehow or other, the truth would come to light. Master had come in by this time, and he was looking at Phil's leg carefully, and saying that the skin was not broken at all, that there was no danger, "even if Jock were as mad as a hatter," and that Phil was a good deal more frightened than hurt. I stole away, and as, by this time, it was almost dark, they did not see me go; and I heard them hunting and calling just as I reached the edge of the wood. This made me run all the faster. I was not willing to spend another night in the wood, and I made up my mind to beg for shelter at the first house to which I should come. I saw a little light through the trees before long, and came out on the other side of the wood, not very far from the spring. A little farther on stood a small house, and to this I went. Peeping through the open door, I saw sitting before the chimney, where a little fire was burning, a boy and girl who made me think of Mike and Biddy, only they were a size or two larger. The boy's shoes and stockings were off, and he was sticking out his little bare feet to warm them, for, though the day had been warm, the evening was chilly and damp. Although I did not know then what being mad meant, I had heard Aunt Nancy say to Uncle Jake when he scolded her for anything, Now don't git mad, honey; keep yo' temper, ole man." 194



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. ridden for four years. Mr. Rob always likes best to go on horseback, and whenever he does we know he will come home by the ford in the creek, and when it is nearly supper-time Helen and I go to meet him, and walk home with him. Some one said the other day, "Jock is growing old; he is nearly eleven," for they always keep my birthday when they keep Helen's; and every time it comes, and every Christmas besides, Mr. Andrew Jackson Wickes sends us a present, something like the first one he sent; and I always make a party with mine for Snowball and Jet and Betty and her children, until now they quite expect it. At first I did not like their saying I was growing old, but it set me to thinking, and I really believe it is true. I can sometimes see a mole-track now without feeling sure that I ought to scratch it up till I find the mole, and if any one says "Rats !" to me, and I am in a very comfortable place, I always wait a minute to see if there really are any before I jump; but I used to jump first and see afterward. I don't get wet if I can help it now, and somehow I do not care to go out when the weather is very cold or very warm. All these, Jet says, are signs of old age; and sometimes he says, rather sadly, that we cannot expect to live a great while longer-that he knows his mother was not so old as he is now when she died. But I do not intend to worry myself or anybody else about that. I have had my day, and a very good day it has been, and now I have everything to make me comfortable and happy-a mistress 310



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3'*



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258 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. they had the field part first, some of the neighborhood boys would be quite satisfied with looking at that over the fence, and would not pay to go in; but if they had the tent part first, they would be more likely to go through the gate, because they could not see that very well from the outside. The lumbermen who had lent us the tent all came, and they brought five or six more men with them. They came rather early, and I was talking with Jet by the fence when I heard one of them say to the gatekeeper, No, I'm not taking any change. I'd pay a quarter any day to see that little feller that shook hands with me play some of the tricks: he looked as if he could." As I was the only dog who had shaken hands with him the day we went to the camp, I knew I must be the little feller;" and you may think I felt rather proud to hear him insisting on paying more than double what he need have paid-Jet told me that in the kindest manner-just because I was among the performers. I resolved that, so far as I had anything to do with it, he should have the worth of his money; and I heard him say afterward that he had; and, in fact, he and the men who were with him applauded more than all the rest of the audience put together. I can't remember quite all we did, but none of us made any mistakes, and the boys kept patting our heads and saying, "Good dog!" and whenever they could do it without being seen by the audience they would slip a piece of cracker or sugar into our mouths. It was wonderfully encouraging!



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1F-N1 V KZY / / e Ij \,I I ~..., --/ (. .-, r '-*. *^ *^N'-") "~, ii ^^-w -': '"' --s% ^ ^'/ ." .-L 4' .4* lo t e =. r ^ k^. ^/ N --1';. IIi' / 1 \ 1-0 r~Pf---A ---~~ --N A-' A--1 '-K __ "GATHERING FLOWERS." See page 221. V'1< ,/I r* N i. -C~'S I i/ I \ I "^ ft



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I CHAPTER X. MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. w E all knew that my Helwgn could never Sbe well again, and now "-I sometimes heard Mad,, f "a, ame say to Master, or Sd, I ha the sweet sister say to S, a May, things which made Sme fear that Mr. Rob's doctor was mistaken, and that instead of living a long while, as he had said, she was going to die very soon. All that I knew about dying was, that people went somewhere a long way off-to some place from which they never could come back; and I had guessed this out myself from noticing that, of all the people whom I had heard Madame and Master speak of as dead, I had never seen one. So, as I looked at my Helen every day, and saw her growing whiter and thinner and weaker, it seemed to me that my heart must break; and although autumn had come, and many interesting things which were likely 246



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. could go with them with an easy mind. It was on our way to the breakfast-room that I first met Snowball, the white cat of whom I spoke in my first chapter. We were obliged to go through a great many doors and passages, which surprised me a good deal, for I supposed all rooms which were on one floor must come one right after the other, as they did in my Richmond home. When I had thoroughly explored that house I discovered that the kitchen was quite in a separate building, but, for the sake of convenience, passages had been built connecting it with the house and the cellars. We had gone some distance, when one of the boys suddenly called out, "A rat! a rat! S'ketch him, Jock! s'ketch him!" Now, how was I to understand all this ? I had never even seen a rat; I did not in the least know what "S'ketch him!" meant; and so I stood still looking all around to see what was the matter, and, as I saw something was expected of me, I barked. They all burst out laughing at this, and one of the boys exclaimed, "He doesn't know a rat when he sees one, and he a terrier! Call Snowball! Quick! She knows what to do with a rat." They all began to call, "Puss! Snowball! Kitty! Pussy !" and presently I heard a little "Meow!"' which seemed to come from right under my feet; and up from the cellar trotted a beautiful white cat with a large bow of red ribbon tied around her neck. All this time the boys had been trying to keep the rat in a corner with sticks and their feet, and I had been pitying the poor thing, 54



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY Y-AN UNPLEASANT STORE Y. was a hunting-dog, and had been regularly taught to hunt; but when that flock of partridges flew up almost under his very nose I don't blame him for running the way they flew to try to find them again. I have no doubt I should have acted just as he did if we had started up a rat and it had run away across the fields. I was tempted to go with him, but I suddenly remembered what Madame had said, and so I kept on with the girls. We had a lovely time at the spring, but I am afraid we stayed a little too long. I ran up the bank a little way after a muskrat, but I did not like to go far; and when I came back they had filled the bucket, and were starting for home. The sun went down all of a sudden while we were in the wood, and just as we came out, and had still a long field to go through, we met the peddler. He asked us to look at his ribbons and things, and when the sweet sister said we did not wish anything, and had no money with us if we did, he said, "But the pretty young ladies have each a watch;" and he stretched out his ugly hand for May's watch-chain. May screamed and started to run, and he laughed, and began to run too. Now was my time to prove that, small as I was, I could be of some use. I did not say anything, for I did not wish to warn him, but I ran up behind him and set my teeth in the soft part of his leg just below his knee, until I do believe they nearly met. He gave a howl of rage and pain, and turned around at once. I began to run away from the house, and toward the I23



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CHAPTER VII. THE WELL IS DUG, AND I AM CRUELLY MISUNDERSTOOD. unhappy! and how it flies away when which I told in my last chapter had taken not quite twenty-four hours ago; it seemed to me like weeks. When dinnertime came I remembered those kittens, which, to tell the truth, I 174



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. coaxed him until he stopped crying, and then I said very gently, 'What was Phil doing when Jock bit him?' and the dear little rogue said,' Phil going look in hole; man said Phil mustn't; Phil would;' and then I knew, Jock, that you had saved him from falling down that well. There is no water in it yet, you know, but it is quite deep enough to have broken his neck if he had fallen in, and he would have fallen in if it had not been for you, dear." I never had felt so happy before as I did now. An hour ago I had thought that my happiness was all gone, and would never come back, and now I felt as if I had enough to go shares with all the miserable dogs and cats in the world. But yet, as I said, I wish it had not happened, for no amount of happiness can ever make me forget how I felt as I went away from my dear home in the dark, too miserable to care where I went, because, as I thought, no one trusted or loved me any longer. Sometimes in a bad dream that wretched feeling comes back to me yet. ~p~In ,r.o ~~~~ Y '' 7-~~ -. NN--~i 200



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 37 saying good-bye!" and then he stopped on those dreadful stairs and dropped me into the great pocket of his ulster. It was soft and warm, and so deep that I could not see over the top of it; and so, although I felt that we were still going down, I managed to keep still, and every few minutes Mr. Rob's nice big hand would drop into his pocket and give me a pat, and his kind voice would say, "Jock! poor little Jock! Don't be frightened. I will take good care of you." It seemed to me that the noise in the street would split my head, and I began almost to wish that I could go back to Mrs. Jimmy and the baby and all of them. I was not worrying much about my mother, for, to tell the painful truth, she had not been very kind to me since that day when Mr. Rob and I saved little Biddy and the baby from burning: she had got into a way of growling a good deal, and saying they "made too much fuss" about me. But if I was frightened in the street, I really can't describe my feelings when we came to the place where we were to get into the car. I thought the locomotive was some horrible new sort of dog, and when, just after we started, it gave one of those awful shrieks which only a locomotive can give, I was quite sure of it; and I did not see any reason why he should not turn round and eat us all up, for I had taken a good look at him, in spite of my fear, and he was quite large enough. Of course I know now that he is not really alive, but I wish I



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. T5 had taught me, and she never would let me pay her so much as a rat or a mouse for my lessons. A great many dogs laughed at and made fun of me for being willing to take lessons of a cat, but I did not care much for their laughing: she was the only animal at that time in the whole neighborhood who could write, and I had been obliged to ask her to write me a letter. She did it very kindly, but she noticed how hard it was for me to say what I wished to; and when she had finished, she looked at me over her spectacles and said, "Why don't you learn to write for yourself? You would find that your thoughts would come out of a pen much more easily than out of your mouth." I told her I knew of no one who would take the trouble to teach me. She washed her ear thoughtfully for a minute or two, and then she said suddenly, "I'll do it myself. You don't look like a fool." You may be sure that made me very anxious not to act like one. I had already learned to read from the children's letter-blocks and primers and from hearing them spell to Madame, and in two months from my first lesson Mrs. Tabitha--that was this good old cat's name-said to me in her very kindest manner, "I can teach you no more, my dear Jock: you write quite as well as I do myself." You may think that I was a proud and happy dog as I trotted home with my copy-book and pen in my mouth that afternoon. And this makes me think of something else: there is another of those foolish old sayings which I wish to contradict. When bbaici, ;





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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. 34 Mr. Rob had been looking more and more astonished all the time they were talking. It was very silly in me, of course, to fancy that he was going to cry, for as soon as they all stopped he burst out laughing. "It takes kind hearts like yours to make so much of so little," he said. "(But, sure, it's not been little to us, sir," said Mr. Jimmy, earnestly: "the knowing your kind heart was in the house has cheered us all up many a time and oft; and I hope you'll accept of Jock, sir; and a very happy Christmas to you, sir;" and he held me out to Mr. Rob, so that he could not help taking me. Then Mrs. Jimmy came forward with that cake and set it on the table with a flourish. "And here's a thrifle of a cake for Christmas, sir," she said; "and it's proud I'll be, and Honora that made it here, if you'll not think it too great trouble to carry it home and ask that sweet young lady, your sister, to cut it for you." "I don't know what to say," said Mr. Rob; "you overwhelm me with your goodness. I will be a great deal prouder than you and Honora when I give my sister that cake.-But you oughtn't to give me that dog, Jimmy-you really ought not. I heard you refusing twenty-five dollars for him on the stairs this morning; and, besides, a full-blooded Skye is much too swell a dog for a poor clerk and scribbler like me. I ought to have a fast horse and good clothes and a gold-headed cane before I sport a dog like that."



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248 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. say that I broke my resolution about staying all the time with Helen, for a few weeks at least: I kept it after that. It was not exactly my own fault, as I think you will agree when you hear about it. Roland was telling Helen one evening that three or four of his companions were getting up a circus: they were training their dogs to play tricks, and one of them, who had a pony, was learning to ride bareback, and standing up, and holding on by one finger, as he had seen a clown do once. When they were all perfect they were going to give an exhibition in a very large barn which belonged to the father of the boy who had a pony, and they were going to charge ten cents admission, and buy some books and subscribe for some magazines and papers; and if one of the mothers would spare them a room, they were going to have a reading-room and chess-club and library. Helen was very much interested: she said she had some books she would like to contribute, and that Roland could have her chessboard, and men too. He looked very much surprised and pleased, and then he said, But, Helen, you must not give me that pretty set of chessmen: why, you know it was uncle's Christmas present to you two years ago. I'll borrow them of you sometimes if you'll let me." Helen put her hand on his. "I'll not need them again, dear," she said softly. And, instead of staying to comfort her, he bolted right out of



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IHELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 271 safely give up his clerkship now, and depend on his writing until he had finished studying medicine. He said he had even been laying by a little money lately for a plan he had for Helen: he wanted to furnish the library with pretty new furniture, and make it into a bedroom for her, for a Christmas present, and then, he said, the door into the parlor could be left open whenever she was well enough, and it would be a great deal more cheerful for her, for he did not think her room got enough sunshine. The sweet sister was delighted, and still more so when Mr. Rob told her that he was going to send for her just before Christmas to spend a day or two in Richmond and help him choose the things; and he asked her if she thought it would be possible to have the room all arranged without Helen's finding out anything about it. She said she thought it would, and that they had better tell Madame and Master and May and Roland about it, but not the children, for fear they would say something to Helen. Don't you think she is looking a little better, Lou ?" said Mr. Rob when they had everything settled and were nearly at home again. "It strikes me that she is, and she tells me that she very rarely has any pain now." Yes," said Lou, "she seems to me to be much more comfortable, if she were only not so dreadfully weak. She is very cheerful, but I can see, by all sorts of little things, that she does not expect to live much longer. Oh, Rob, what should we do without her ?" and the sweet sister began to cry.



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I 'J' t7% 'iax N -, -x. / 9 ( I -;'/ -7 I ,( I F See page x68. "I STOOD LISTENING FOR A MOMENT." 7-.---i-^ !2 '" h --fr' Ih :x< ^*=:.^*^^ iO\ ^i-sl h^XA iin -s^^-''F=



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I MAKE A PWFRIEND. 97 my coat was not long and thick, as it is now; but I suppose it was taking so much exercise which kept me warm: there was a sort of kinky feeling in my legs if I kept still long, which would oblige me to get up and tear about after something, if it was only my own tail. This feeling is nearly gone now, but it still comes over me at times. We went home so hungry that we were almost ready to eat one another, Mr. Rob told Madame; and although the dinner was not half so grand as it had been the day before, it somehow tasted even better. After dinner we all went up to Helen's room. She was lying on the lounge in her pretty soft white dress, and Mr. Rob pushed the lounge up to the window and wrapped a shawl around her, and then he took us all down to make a snow-man right under her window, where she could see it. I helped all I could, and before dark we had a snow-man as tall as Mr. Rob, and with much thicker legs than his, standing there with a pipe in his mouth-not a real pipe, but a piece of corn-cob with a stick in it-and a flag in his hand, which he held out toward .Helen's window. Madame gave him an old hat of Master's, and he looked so fierce that I felt a little afraid of him. I was never quite sure that he was not alive until he melted away several weeks afterward, and even then I thought he might have been. Helen laughed, and clapped her hands, and bowed to the snowman when he was done; and then we all came in again, and Mr. 7



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238 UNDER THE DOG-ST1AR. "'Then you wouldn't like me to go, mamma?' she said doubtfully. I should like it very much for you, darling,' replied her mother, if I were only feeling a little better and stronger this winter; but I don't see how I am going to get along without my little right hand. We will not settle it to-night, though,' she added as she saw the look of disappointment which Ruth tried in vain to change into a smile. 'We will talk over ways and means; perhaps old Libby would be willing to stay with us this winter for her board. But Jenny is too young to attend to everything, and you know we cannot afford to hire a whole servant.' "They were still discussing the subject when Tom and Will came in to supper, and Ruth did not know whether to feel flattered or distressed by the howl which they raised as soon as they fully took in the question. "' I'd just like to know who's going to play chess with me, and mend my mittens, and help me find my map-questions?' said Tom, who was nearly two years older than Ruth. "(' And I'd like to know who will make molasses candy and hard gingerbread, and find things when I've lost them?' said Will, who was two and a half years younger than Ruth. "'Then you only care about the things I make you and do for you, and not about me myself?' questioned Ruth, a little regretfully. "' You shall sit on the mantel-piece for that,' said Tom savagely;



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4 "THE MOUSE WAS STEALING BY SNOWBALL'S HEAD." See page 90.



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"THIS IS A VERY SICK BABY." See page 112. 4 8



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"AN OLD BLACK RAM CAME FORWARD." See page 187.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. that very evening and stay with the old woman if she would have her. I told Snowball afterward that I did not believe she would have yielded to my arguments at all if she had not listened to them with a sick and empty stomach. So I hurried her off before she had time to change her mind, and, as good luck would have it, the old woman had just opened her door to get some more wood for her fire. I introduced the poor Outlaw to her, and she behaved in the kindest manner. She said the poor thing looked famished, and hunted up a bone,, which she gave the Outlaw at once; and when I left them the poor cat was rubbing her head against the old woman's hand and purring delightfully. I may as well finish about her here. She is living with the old woman yet, beloved and respected by all who know her. The old woman calls her Betty, after another cat she once had; and so we call her so too, and have stopped entirely calling her the Outlaw Cat. By my advice, Betty continues to catch rabbits, for I thought that perhaps if she tried to settle down too suddenly or too much, she would break loose again; but she always brings them to the old woman, who is very glad to have them. She cooks them and tans the skins, and Betty told me the other day that they have a large, warm rug of them, which the old woman spreads in front of the hearth every winter, making a comfortable place for her feet and a nice warm bed for Betty. When Tig heard of her mother's reformation she began to feel ashamed of her own behavior, and, although I am afraid she will 294



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. looks, yet I notice that whenever Master is obliged to visit his patients on Sunday he always takes me with him; and this has comforted me a good deal. However, this time, before I knew anything about it, I was very glad to stay with Helen; and I had so very much to think about that I did not mind lying still in her lap while she read. It seemed to me at least a year since I had left all the Jimmys, and then there were so many things that I was trying to puzzle out. She stopped reading after a while, and began to play with me and pet me. No one else ever had such soft, white little hands as hers. I wanted to kiss them all the time. "We willsee if you can learn a little new trick while they are gone, Jock," she said; and then she took my right paw in her right hand, and, looking into my eyes, she said, "Jock, whose dog are you ?" I knew perfectly well that I was hers, but how was I to tell her? She showed me: she put my paw on her arm. I soon saw what she meant, and after she had shown me two or three times I did it by myself. How pleased she was! She made me do it several times, to be sure I understood; and just then they all came back from church, and I had to do it five or six times more, to let them all see. They so praised and petted me that I was growing very vain and self-conceited; and it was a good thing that Jet, the oldest of the hunting-dogs, who saw how my head was being turned, had a plain talk with me that afternoon, and made me see how foolish I was. That was after dinner, 6o



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I MAKE A FRIEND. morning, and as they came in sight of the school-house Gertrude said gently to him, 'Little brother, I want a promise from thee: I want thee to say that thou wilt not try to do Peter and Conrad any harm, and that thou wilt let no one know how my eye was hurt.' "'But that is very hard,' said Michael indignantly. 'They might knock off my cap as often as they liked, and I never would say a word; but when it comes to hurting thee like this, after all thy kindness and goodness, I cannot bear it. Something should be done.' "'And something shall,' said Gertrude cheerfully, 'and thou shalt help me to do it. We will watch for every chance to do a good turn for Peter and Conrad, and thou mayest be very sure they will soon be both sorry and ashamed-far more so than if we told on them or tried to be revenged. Come, promise me.' "'I will promise, to please thee,' said Michael, still sullenly; 'but I think thou art an angel;' and he threw his arms around Gertrude's neck and gave her a hearty kiss, not minding at all that three or four of the school-children who were standing around the door began to laugh and say teasing things to him. "To every inquiry about her eye-and, with only two exceptions, there was one from every scholar -Gertrude made the same answer, 'It was an accident;' so that when Peter and Conrad, who had waited till the last minute, came reluctantly into the room, they were not greeted by the indignant chorus which they __ 107 I L L



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 59 So up we all went, and, sure enough, she had the loveliest feather cushion to put in my basket-bed. Mr. Rob put me on her lap that she might see my new collar, and then he gave her the key. Her pretty pale face grew quite pink with pleasure, and she hugged Mr. Rob all over again, as if she had not done it at all the night before; but he did not seem to mind it in the least. And sometimes, since I have been older and gone about more, when I have seen brothers who did not like to wait on their sisters, and thought it was unmanly to kiss them, and said "Oh, botheration!" whenever they were asked to do anything for them, I have longed to say, Do you call this manly? Oh, if I could show you all my master and my Mr. Rob, two big, brave men, afraid of nothing but of doing wrong, and just as gentle with women and little children as the gentlest woman could be !" They were all going to church excepting my dear new mistress; she was sitting in a large chair this morning, dressed in a pretty soft white wrapper, and I thought she looked well enough to go anywhere, but I soon saw that no one even thought of her going. It has always puzzled me, this church, to which all my people go every Sunday when they possibly can, but, as they have never once taken me with them, in spite of all my begging and entreating, I cannot tell you what it is like. This has made Sunday the saddest day of the week to me, and, though they sometimes laugh at me for my mournful



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MY NEWV MISTRESS. 43 Jimmy had been there to scoop up all she wanted. I had often heard her complain because flour cost so much money. ", Look there, Jock!" said Mr. Rob; "that's the old mill where I used to spend half my holidays. You'll have many a good time there next summer, old boy!" and I thought he sighed, but perhaps I was mistaken. What he said then must have been what is called a prophecythat means telling of something before it has happened-for, of all my many, many good times, some of the very best have been at that old mill. Very soon after Mr. Rob held me up to see the mill the carriage stopped at a gate, and when Uncle Jake had opened this gate we drove into a long lane; and presently Mr. Rob held me up again, and I saw a great brick house, with lights shining in nearly all the windows. The front door was wide open, the hall was full of light, and the doorway seemed to me to be full of heads. Mr. Rob could hardly wait for the carriage to stop; he dropped me into his pocket again, sprang out and dashed up the steps, jolting me so that I came near howling again. I could not see anything yet, the pocket was so deep and dark, but I heard the sweetest voice-it was my dear Madame's voice, as I found afterward-say, My own dear boy!" And then Mr. Rob said, My precious little mother!" And then nobody said anything for a minute. But it was a very short minute. Such shouting and laughing and talking as I heard presently! Mr. Rob seemed to



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r



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. "The first part of it was the funniest, uncle," said May, "but I liked the last part best; only I wish she hadn't killed the poor onion." .< \ KI~ 'Nl--_ "Was the little girl really very ill, dear?" said M\adame. Rob's imaginary onion had nearly driven her out of our minds. Master began to laugh. I found her in the play-room brisk as She was administering a severe whipping to that 4 83 a bee," he said.



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THE END. the bones I wanted while Mr. Rob was at home. Betty said she would come with pleasure, and so did the others. I saved bones all day, and had plenty, and the dinner-party went off delightfully. But I did not mean to tell about my party first, and I wish the people who read my story would skip it till they have read this about my Helen's Christmas. Mr. Rob got home the night before, and I heard him say to the sweet sister on the stairs, "She's looking wonderfully better, Lou. We shall pull her through yet, please God!" I knew he meant my Helen, and my heart felt so light I thought I should fly right up in the air. But I didn't: I never did, though I have often wondered what keeps me down when I feel that way. I never before saw Mr. Rob so full of capers as he was that night, though I often have since, and he made me behave scandalously: I really could not help it. But I wish you all could have been there the next morning when Mr. Rob carried my Helen down to her new room. Madame dressed her in her warm wrapper, and then they put shawls and blankets over her till I thought they would smother her, and Mr. Rob fairly staggered when he picked her up; and none of them would tell her where she was going or what it was all about, until Mr. Rob put her on her new bed and said, "There! As far as eye can reach, my queen, if you'll please not look out of the window, this broad domain is yours." She sat up and threw off her wraps, and as she looked around 3oI1



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284 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. and told Will kindly but firmly that although she did not wish him to treat his companions rudely, he must withdraw from them as much as he could, and plan no more walks and excursions with them. Will had been trained to implicit obedience, and, besides, he could not help seeing for himself that there was much about these boys which was wrong; and, although his private opinion was that he could associate with them without becoming like them, he made no remonstrance, but promised to have as little to do with them as was possible under the circumstances. Somewhat to his chagrin, they showed no concern over his withdrawal, and, far from soliciting his company, made their plans without any reference to him after he had once or twice refused their invitations, although their manner to him was still polite and cordial. "In one of the many delightful rambles which Will took with his father and mother they had discovered a little spring, the water from which, after trickling in a silver thread down the face of the rock, disappeared among some loose stones. Assisted by his father, Will engineered a clear channel, and then set about scooping out a basin and lining it with smooth stones. The work interested him greatly, but his father was obliged to withdraw his help after a day or two, as the stooping position affected his head unpleasantly. But both he and Will's mother rather wondered as day after day passed and Will still made daily visits to his spring. They began to be troubled, too, at a change in his bright, frank



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UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR. sister say about some one-I don't know whom it was, and it did not matter-" She is very highly accomplished: I don't know anything that she can't do." So that was what it meant-to be able to do everything? At first I was utterly discouraged, and I thought, "There is no use in my trying to do anything at all if that is what Mr. Rob expects." But the more I thought of it, the more I became convinced that Mr. Rob could not have intended exactly that; he must have meant that he expected me to learn everything that I had an opportunity to learn; and this I made up my mind to do. And, as nearly every member of the family taught me something at one time or another, I think I may say, without vanity, that I have received a liberal education. My very first lesson was from Charlie and Bess one stormy day soon after Mr. Rob went. They had begged so hard to stay in Helen's room that Madame had left them there for a while: they said they did not know what to play, and Helen, who had not been so well since Mr. Rob left us, and who was in bed again, asked Sarah-that good girl who waited on herto wrap me in a shawl and lay me on the bed. "Now," said Helen, "this is a very sick baby. I am the mother; you are the nurse, Bess; and Charlie is the doctor;" and then Helen changed her pretty voice to a little, affected, mincing voice, and said, "Oh, doctor, I am so glad to see you! We have been dreadfully alarmed about Baby. Can you tell what ails him?" II2



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" A PRETTY SNOWY FIELD." See page 94. L -------J----Mli 's SF r(C



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c HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 273 sister said were wild hyacinths. And, if you will believe it, one quail was wrapped in brown paper, with a white-paper label on it, which said, For Jock, from his admiring friend, Andrew Jackson Wickes!" I went straight up into the hay-loft and barked for five minutes! I had a birthday, after all, and it was just the same as my Helen's! And Aunt Nancy cooked me that quail for my supper. She knew I did not like to eat raw things, and I had once heard her tell Uncle Jake that it was a sign I wasn't any poor white trash of a dog. Perhaps you would like to know how I looked by this time? I had changed very much since I first came to Ladysmede: then I "was so fuzzy-looking that I heard several remarks made suggesting that I was not a terrier at all, but was a pure mongrel. But I felt quite certain that Mr. Jimmy knew better than the peoplewho made these remarks: he had said that I was a twenty-fivedollar Skye terrier; and I believed him, and after a while, when my hair grew as long as it was going to grow, and I grew as long and as wide as I was going to grow, those people took it all back. Fortunately, I have a good likeness of myself, taken soon after this birthday of which I have just told. A travelling photographer came along between then and Christmas, and Roland had my picture taken to give to Mr. Rob; which was very thoughtful of him, but he did not dream of ever seeing it in a book. 18 I



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. and the granary, and the ricks, and the kitchen and cellar, she and her children would find plenty of honest employment, and that I would say a good word for them, and could assure them of Jet's kindness and protection. I was not so sure about Snowball, so I said nothing about her one way or the other. But the cat shook her head mournfully. "It's too late," she said. "I should be stealing something or catching a young chicken before I knew it. You may have heard a ballad called 'The Robber Kitten '?" I nodded; I had often heard Madame read it to Bess and Charlie and Phil. "The hero of that ballad was my great-grandfather: you see the tendency is inherited." "But," said I hopefully, "you know he repented and reformed entirely, so why may not you inherit that tendency too?" "He did-in the ballad," said the Outlaw Cat gloomily; "in reality, he didn't. He met with a violent death while in the pursuit of a living such as I now make myself: no doubt I shall share his fate. But since you are so kind-and your face makes me believe you sincere-I will bespeak your good offices for my poor children. I have never taken them with me on my marauding expeditions, and perhaps they can still be taught to grow up respectably. If you will allow them to follow you to the house, and introduce them to the places and people of whom you spoke just now, you will earn my lasting gratitude." 166



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4 I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. 209 saw was, as I have since learned, called a garter snake, and its bite is not poisonous; if it were I should not be writing this story: in fact, I can't imagine what I should be doing. In my ignorance and foolishness I seized it by the tail, because I did not at all like the way its head looked, and of course it turned and bit me. The place hurt a little for a day or two, but not half so much as I have often been hurt by a tick; and Roland, who was close behind mewe were walking through the wood together-picked up a stick and killed the snake in a minute. He could not have done this if I had not kept hold of the tail: if the creature thought I was going to let go for that little bite, it did not know much about rat-catching. After it was killed Roland explained to me. "Now, Jock," he said, "if ever you catch a snake again-and I dare say you will-take it here, right behind its ears, and then it can't bite you: it hasn't any teeth in its tail, you know, old fellow. Now let me see you do it. S'ketch him, Jock! s'ketch him !" and he threw the snake down in the road, and hissed and clapped his hands as they do when they want me to catch a rat for them. I could not see its ears at all-and, to tell the truth, I have never been able to find a snake's ears yet, though I have often looked, and of course they must be somewhere-but I saw he meant me to catch hold as close to its head as I could; so I dashed at it, and caught it there, and gave it the same sort of twist and shake for which I am so justly famous with rats. Roland said, Good dog!" and patted me very nicely. He made 14



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4 MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. 239 and although it was an old-fashioned mantel-piece, and rather high than otherwise, she found herself up there in a surprisingly short time. "'Just'.as if we.didn't love you, because we're not all the time saying soft things to you!' cried Will scornfully; and then the tea-bell rang, and Tom took her down. "But somehow the prospect of a winter in Boston, with unlimited drawing and music, but without any mother and father and brothers, did not seem so enchanting a prospect as it had looked half an hour before; and the thought of how the dear father would feel on his next return if he found that his little 'lady-bird' had left the home-nest for a strange one almost decided her that, charming as the plan had looked at first, it was an impossibility. S"After tea, when the boys had settled to their lessons at the table in the corner, and Ruth had wheeled the lounge around so that the light should fall upon her mother's knitting and not in her eyes, they talked it over in low tones, so as not to disturb the students. "' The only thing that makes me think perhaps it would really be right for me to go, mamma,' said Ruth, 'is that I think if I had a whole winter's teaching I could perhaps give lessons myself.' "'But there is no necessity for that, dear,' replied her mother: 'papa gives us all that we really need.' "'No, I know there is not exactly a necessity-' and Ruth hesitated a little. 'But there are so many things that it would be so



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. 253 order, and put it up again for them, and offer them free tickets for your show." "How you do think of things, you lovely girl!" said Roland, giving her a kiss that was more like a peck, from the hurry he was in. I'll go right back to the boys-I don't believe they've left the barn yet-and propose it." I did not mean to jump up and wag my tail, but somehow I did, and Helen said, "Yes, go with him, Jock." I felt very much ashamed, but I did want to see the tent; so I went. The boys were delighted with the idea-they said it would look so like a real circus-and we all went down to the pond in a body and asked the lumbermen for their tent for our circus. I don't know what made them laugh so, but they were very polite about the tent: they said we might have it and welcome, and they couldn't think of such a thing as coming to the show for nothing: they would all take tickets, and they thought perhaps they could bring a few of their friends with them. So we went off in a great gale, after we had all thanked them very much, to choose a field that had a good high fence around it and nice soft grass on it, for a few of the feats of strength and agility," as it said in the bills, were pretty certain to include a tumble, and we wanted a soft place to fall on. We found a very nice field on Master's farm, and he said we might use it, and that, if Roland would see that they were brought back in good order, the boys might take a pile



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84 UNDER THE DOGS TAR. long-suffering wooden doll you gave her, and when I asked her what her poor child had done, she said, 'Her eated too much dinner.' I guessed what had been the matter then, for the little thing was looking rather pale and weak, but I had to crossquestion her mother a good deal to get at the truth. It seems the child nearly had. a convulsion, but her mother did have sense enough to give her a hot drink; and, though it had a rather unexpected effect-made the poor little soul very sea-sick-it brought her nearly right again. What do you think she had had for dinner? Besides the usual 'fixin's,' mince-pie, ice-cream, winejelly, lobster-salad, a 'taste' of wine, and a doll's cup of black coffee to wind up with,' because it was Christmas.'" "And they made you go out in all this storm, papa," said the sweet sister indignantly, "all because of such dreadful foolishness as that!" Never mind, dear," said Master soothingly; "I've been waiting for a first-rate chance to read that misguided woman a lecture, and I had it to-night, and improved it. Those children all three look as if they had grown in the shade, but I think I have frightened her thoroughly at last.-Come, my blossom," he said, stooping over Helen, who was still on Mr. Rob's lap, "I must practise what I preach: it's high time you were in bed. Do you feel any worse for your dissipation?" "Oh no, papa," Helen answered; I have not felt so well for a long time: nothing rests me like having Rob hold me;" and she



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I MAKE A FRIEND. 89 did not keep them, but they certainly did not. But when I saw how much more Snowball knew about mice, and the way about the house, and singing, and various other things, than I did, I thought she would be a friend worth having; and we agreed to be friends, and have been ever since. My friendship was put to a severe test that very day, but I am glad to be able to say that it stood it. Aunt Nancy found a mouse in her pantry, so she set the door open and called Snowball. It was just as we were having our little talk, so I came too. The mouse ran behind the flour-barrel, and Aunt Nancy said to Snowball, Set right down in front of de do',. honey, and don't you stir till Mr. Mouse comes out again." Snowball understood her business, but she had grown so used to it that perhaps she was a little careless. She said to me, "It may be hours before that mouse comes out, but he will come out-he has no hole in the pantry-and I shalbe obliged to stay here till he does; but don't wait for me if you've any engagement." I said that I had not, and that I should like, if she did not object, to stay and see how it was done. She said, "Not at all, if you'll excuse my taking a nap: the slightest noise wakes me." She curled herself up close by the doorway, and was fast asleep in a minute. I went under the table, but I was too excited to sleep. Aunt Nancy had scattered a few crumbs about to entice the mouse out, and then she had gone into the kitchen: the pantry opened out of a little sort of store-room among the passages. Everything was very quiet, and presently a little head with two C--



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I MAKE A FRIEND. its miles of business-streets and other miles of beautiful dwellingplaces; but I wish you to try to imagine it as it was about two hundred years ago. As the dear White Queen recommends, 'draw a long breath and shut your eyes,' and see if you can fancy it a little village of wooden houses, with the lazy sails of a windmill rising as conspicuously among the low roofs as the steeple of Trinity Church now rises among the high ones. But the sturdy, busy Dutch people did not mean this state of things to last: they meant their little city to grow; and it has been growing all these two hundred years and more, until even one of those tranquil Dutchmen would, I think, feel surprised could he come back long enough to see what his home in the New World has become. Try to fancy yourself a child in this little wooden village-city as it was then. The high 'stoops' were of rough boards, instead of white marble and brownstone; the streets were country roads, and probably far worse than any country road over which you have ever travelled; and the people still clung to the costumes and customs which they had brought with them from the .Fatherland, just as, if you were to go to the interior of Africa, you would still wear shoes and stockings and hats and bonnets, such as you wore at home, instead of the undress uniform of an African chief. "You can imagine how desolate this little village of New Amsterdam, as it was then called, must have looked to the



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102 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. tiently. 'Are you afraid of Trude's big brother? I do believe you are.' "'I'm not afraid of John Bloemart, or of anybody,' answered Peter angrily; and he took a snowball in each hand and backed up against the step with his hands behind him. But his eyes fell abashed under the kind, steady gaze which Gertrude fixed upon him as she went by. She had seen the pile of snowballs, and knew only too well what to expect, but she could not help hoping that Peter would spare her for once. "Little Michael squeezed his sister's hand. 'Let me walk next to the house,' he said valiantly. "But Gertrude held him back. 'Perhaps,' she said, 'they will not throw at you if I am between; but if you are on this side, they will be sure to throw; and then, you know, they would hit me too,' she added, knowing that this would keep Michael back. "Peter and Conrad let them get safely by, and then Conrad whispered, Make ready! Take aim Fire !' and two well-aimed balls flew through the air. "Conrad's ball accomplished his purpose-it sent little Michael's cap flying, without hurting his head at all-but Peter's was less fortunate. Just as he fired, Gertrude turned her head to make sure that the danger was over, and the snowball, which, in spite of its careful selection, was none too soft, struck her full in the eye. The pain made her scream aloud, and the little coward who



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4 MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 77 how, on account of the narrowness of the window-sill and the roundness of the onion, she was always afraid of its tumbling off. "'We'll soon fix that, my dear,' said Dennis cheerfully, 'and improve its looks besides. Get me a small bit of a kindling-stick and a paper to catch the shavings. I think it no harm to whittle a bit on Sunday by way of pleasuring a girl that's as good as you are, but the old lady might not agree with me entirely; so we'll keep on the safe side.' Mrs. Diggles had gone to afternoon meeting, and Dennis had promised to stay at home till she came back, for she was always sure that Mary Ann had lurking tendencies to mischief which were only waiting for a good chance to develop themselves. "The little girl brought the stick and paper, and Dennis sat down on the foot of the cot and whittled out three small pegs, each about two inches long and pointed at one end. These he carefully stuck into the under side of the onion, far enough apart to make it stand steadily, and then he set it on the window-sill with a triumphant 'There!' And it was no wonder he said it, for the onion stood up now like a little man, waving his greei plumes jauntily. "'Oh, thank you, dear Mr. O'Dowd!' cried Mary Ann rapturously; and then they heard Mrs. Diggles coming up the stairs, and gathered up the chips in a hurry. ", The onion had not enjoyed having the sharp sticks thrust into it, but when it found how steadily it stood, and how now it could



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MY DISGRACE.-THE OUTLA W CA T. main. Just then it opened, and Sarah came down; she was crying too. I squeezed through and dashed, up stairs, and when I did at last reach Helen's door, instead of scratching quietly, as I usually did, I scratched as if I were digging up a mole, and barked as loud as ever I could. The door opened in a minute, but it was Madame who opened it; and, instead of letting me in, she picked me up, heavy and large as I of course was by this time, and carried me down to the kitchen, saying to Aunt Nancy and Sarah, Keep the doors shut, and do not let this dog come to Helen's door again, as he did just now." "This dog"! She spoke of me as if I were some dreadful little cur of which she knew nothing, except that he was a nuisance and must be suppressed. What was it I had done to be treated like this? I was Helen's dog, not Madame's, and what right had Madame to say that I must stay out of my Helen's room? Very well; if no one wanted me-and Helen could not have wanted me, or she would have asked Madame to let me in, instead of carrying me down stairs as if I were a ridiculous puppy-I would go away to the woods, and they might see how they could get along without me to play with the children, and lie on Helen's feet when they were cold, and bring Master's slippers when he came in, and help them entertain their company and oversee their workmen. The windows were open, if the doors were not, and before either Aunt Nancy or Sarah suspected what I57



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A-',tyf~i Li i'-. i.-r. : r _ -. tr t. i5 - 1. 7 ,, ii S~ :r~iN 4 ).I C. ,.-. ---*.---I *a --' -_ --' -'--' ^ "*THE HAYMAKERS WERE STACKING HAY." -----2c~ ~ f4Vjj. ~1 --_ -~~ -"THE JAXTAKER WER STAKINGHAY. See page 153\ ,\ \\ \ / fi;L' '** ., rr;-ac-l .. / ,-, Fr '2---c2-L



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 69 "At that very moment a sharp-eyed woman with a long thin nose came into the shop, glancing at the basket of onions as she passed. How much'll you let me have that basket of onions at the door for?' she said to the grocer, in a voice which seemed to come through her thin nose. "' Onions are going up, ma'am,' said the grocer, rubbing his hands together; but before he could say any more she interrupted him with"'I don't know how it is about onions in general-I haven't heard that they were-but yours are, that's certain, for they're sprouted.' "The grocer looked a little nervous, and went out to the basket.. He gathered up five or six of the onions in his hands. 'There's only one that's sprouted, ma'am,' he said soothingly, 'and you can, see for yourself that it's but just begun.' The woman picked one up to satisfy herself, and, unfortunately,. it was the one with the soft side. She pinched it until it fairly winced, and a tear rolled out of its eye-it only had one eyeand stained her old cotton glove. 'There!' she said angrily; 'look at that for an onion! They're as soft as mush, those that haven't sprouted. I'll give you fifty cents for what's left in the basket. 'Tain't full; I can see some have been taken out.' "'I give you my word, ma'am,' said the grocer solemnly, 'that it's just as I bought it; and I should be robbing my family if I said a cent less than seventy cents for that basket of onions. Why,



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4 0 -' "HE WAS LOOKING WITH THREATENING EYES." r: pi ,, r ; r--=-, 'v, See page 145.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. of water in the house, but we wanted some that was fresh and cool for supper; and so the sweet sister and May said they would go-they could easily carry a bucket of water between them. I don't like much to have you go," said Madame, it is such a lonely walk through the woods. Wait a little while; Roland will come home in time for supper, and then he can go." "Dear mamma, we are not afraid," said the sweet sister, "and Helen wants a fresh drink. She did not say anything, but when I took her some of what is in the house just now, I saw that she could not drink it, it was so warm." "Well," said Madame, reluctantly, "perhaps it is foolish for me to be afraid, but there was an old peddler here to-day. Take two or three of the dogs with you. I see Jock is ready and waiting to go, but call Jet too: Jock means well, but he's too small to be much of a protector." This mortified me very much, and at first I thought I would not go at all, since I was of so little use, but then I thought that was foolish: I could have some fun, at any rate, racing with Jet, and I could get a nice cool drink at the spring, for it was very warm that day. So we all started together, and in the wood we met a very nice girl who lived on the next place: she said she was looking for wild flowers, but she could just as well go to the spring. Now, I do not wish to be understood as blaming Jet for this. He I20



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I DEFEND THE FA-IIL Y.-AN PLEASANT STOR I I37 Isabel sorrowfully when things had been in this unpleasant condition for several days; but it must have been only because there was nothing to make him cross; and I wouldn't give much for that kind of good-temper.' ": 'And yet that is the kind which most of us have,' said her grandfather, smiling at her troubled little face. We all find it easy to be good-tempered when everything is going to suit us, and we all think, when things go wrong, that we could still have kept amiable if it hadn't been for just that particular thing.' "'I suppose that is why we say, Lead us not into temptation" ?' said Isabel. 'If we were quite sure of being brave and strong, it wouldn't matter if we were tempted, but we never know how we are going to turn out.' "-"'But we do know,' said Mr. Gordon, drawing her gently down to his knee, 'that the way of escape" is always ready, if we will but take it.' Not long after this little talk Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, feeling that Isabel was often lonely, and thinking that she would be. better in every way for young companionship, wrote to a niece of theirs who had several children, and who was making some effort to educate them, asking her to let her little daughter spend the winter with Isabel and share her lessons. Isabel had by this time begun to learn French and music, and Mrs. Holden thought the advantages offered were too great to be declined; so she wrote that, much as she should miss her little daughter, she loved her



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. about telling the time. It is different with the months and years. I know another year has gone when another Christmas comes, and I know the different seasons by all the out-of-door things that grow and bloom and die, and by whether it is hot or cold. Roland's secret ceased being such so long ago that I feel at liberty to tell about it now; but he only told Charlie then because he wanted Charlie to go down to the bars and blow the horn for him, so that he might know when to come home to dinner and supper. Charlie did it faithfully, and never told until Roland said he might, although the children all teased him to know why he blew the horn, and even the sweet sister would sing a thing they called the "Bugle Song" to Helen to make her laugh whenever they heard the horn. This was the secret. Madame was going to have a birthday in about three weeks: all the children were making something to give her, and I heard them say, to my great joy, that Mr. Rob was coming home on purpose for it. Roland had had a great deal of trouble, he told me, to think of anything that he could make which Madame would really like, and he said he did not believe he would have thought of anything in time if we had not happened one day in the woods to come across an old grapevine which had sprawled itself over two or three trees, and was full of the most curiously-shaped branches, gnarled and twisted as if the grapevine had made a face and stayed that way, as Aunt Nancy used to say Phil would do if he didn't stop making faces when he was angry. 214



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 45 But where is Helen ? Uncle Jake said you were all well, so I hoped to find her on the sofa, at least." She is no worse, dear," said Madame, "and I suppose Uncle Jake meant we were all as well as usual. She is 'saving up,' so as to be bright to-morrow, and I persuaded her to stay in bed, but she is quite ready to see you. Come, we will go up.-No; only Rob," she added as she saw the whole troop making ready to follow. Rob caught me up from the sweet sister's lap. Children," he said, I have been thinking all day how pleased Helen would be to have Jock. I am going to give him to her, out and out, but of course she will often lend him to you." I expected to see them all frown or make some of the faces which I had seen the Jimmy children-all except Honora and the baby-make when things did not please them; but instead of that they shouted, "Oh yes! That will be lovely! Poor Helen, who can't have any fun at all! it'll be such fun for her to have a dog all her own !" So Mr. Rob and I went up stairs alone, and he knocked gently at a door. Somebody said Come in !" and he opened it. I had never been in so pretty a place before. I don't know much about colors, but everything looked warm and soft and like a nice fire on a cold day. A pleasant-faced woman got up from a chair by the bed; she had a book in her hand. But I did not look at her long; I saw a sweet pale face lying on the pillow, two little thin hands clasped together, and two mournful dark eyes looking up at the



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I MAKE A FRIEND. had caused it, with his companion, ran with all his might, for the neighbor who lived in the house with the high step was known to be the owner of a good ox-whip, which he did not scruple to use upon smaller cattle. "Poor Gertrude, sobbing with pain, and with wounded feeling as well, was led home by little Michael, whose sympathy for her and anger at the boys made him cry too; so that their mother, seeing them through the window, ran to the door in a fright, exclaiming, 'What is it, dear children? Tell me quickly.' "'It was that sinful, wicked-' began Michael, sobbing and speaking all at once; but before he could say the name Gertrude's arm was around him and her hand upon his mouth. With a brave effort she stopped crying and spoke, although her eye was becoming more painful every minute. 'We will not tell the name, dear little brother,' she said coaxingly.-' He did not mean to do me this harm, dear mother. I turned my head while the ball was flying, or it would not have hurt me at all. It was all in fun; and no doubt he is very sorry by this time.' "', He has good reason to be sorry, whoever he may be,' said her mother as she tenderly bathed the poor eye and tied a wet bandage over it. But thou art quite right, dear child, to forgive him, and telling his name would not be forgiving. Now lie down upon my bed here, and perhaps thou wilt fall asleep.' "The pain was too severe for some time to let Gertrude sleep, but at last the cold water relieved it. She had a sound nap, which I05



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UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR. Rob musingly. "I've been for some weeks intending to. write it, but I really have not had time. If I tell you all this story, I shall expect you to tell me in return how clever it is, and that the first editor to whom I send it will fairly jump at it." "Is it a true story?" said Helen. "I hardly know," said Mr. Rob, "but I am inclined to think it is. At any rate, it is the result of a remarkably vivid imagination working with equally remarkable powers of observation." He's making poetry without even knowing it!" cried Roland. S"That's genius," said Mr. Rob, nodding solemnly at them all: "the very highest grade of genius is often unconscious." But what we want at present, you know, is the story," said the sweet sister; "you may let your genius fly about as much as it pleases after you've told us this-possibly-true story." "Cruel creature !" said Mr. Rob, making Helen's little hand pull out the sweet sister's comb and let her hair fall down to the floor. It rolled down so that I thought it was coming quite off, until I saw that it was fastened on at one end, just as mine is. "Has your story a name?" asked the sweet sister, pretending not to notice about her hair. "Indeed it has," replied Mr. Rob--" a first-rate name. I am going to begin now.-Take your head out of my mouth, Helen, and put it on-my shoulder;, so.-I would remark, by way of introduction, that if there is one thing above all others which I cannot endure, it is being interrupted. So I give fair warning 66



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MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. of it at home till I'm sure, and so he said nothing about it to father. You see, I couldn't give up that delightful clerkship," and Mr. Rob made a face-" it was my bread and butter-and so I've had to study when I could; but next winter I must drop it, for I shall attend lectures in the daytime as well as in the evening. I've been trying to get a start with some of the papers and .magazines, for that is all I will have to depend on for a while. I've done pretty well, and have a prospect of doing still better, but I shall have to sail pretty close to the wind, I can tell you; and I'm thinking of giving up my room at Jimmy's and finding a cheaper place." "You mustn't do that, Rob," said the sweet sister very earnestly; "that room is poor enough, dear knows, and it is such a comfort to us all to know that if you should be ill again Mrs. Jimmy would take care of you, as she did before, until we could get to you." What a goose !" said Mr. Rob, laughing. "Well, I'll not do it just yet, and not at all if I can help it." We were back at the house by that time, and I thought again that if I had been a speaking creature they would not have let me hear this very interesting talk, for fear I should repeat it. We had a beautiful white-topped cake, with a wreath of flowers around it, on the tea-table in front of Madame; and I did wish it would occur to them to keep my birthday like that. To be sure, they did not know exactly when it was, but any day would have done to keep, and they need not have made me quite so large a 229



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. me, I should think, just from the tones of my voice; but she did not. One of my greatest puzzles is, and always will be, how we can understand human people so well, when they make such blundering work about understanding us. It really seems to me, sometimes, as if our intelligence must be of a higher order than theirs. But perhaps it is only because we give the whole of our minds to it, and they only give a very small scrap of theirs to understanding us. I have observed that I can do almost anything I wish to, no matter how difficult it is, if I make up my mindand stick to it-to think only of that one thing until it is done. About this time Roland told me a great secret, which he told to no one else; and, as I think I said before, I believe the reason they all did this at different times was just because they knew I could not talk; and if anything could reconcile me to this painful. deprivation it would be the confidence which it has inspired' among my human friends. He was obliged to tell Charlie after it had made him late for dinner and supper two or three times, for;. although I had learned a great many things, I never could learn to tell time by the clock. I don't understand at all how' two little black sticks moving slowly around on a white place can make it one o'clock or two o'clock, or whatever it is. I know it is morning when the sun gets up, and noon when he is just exactly overhead and I have no shadow at all except a little right under me-Uncle Jake taught me that-and night when he goes to bed; but I am afraid this is about as much as I ever shall know 213



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/.7/../i& /-' ZN ( /,a I' / /I /i /_L---2-----------;-c. --c.--1 2 rnr, 1 cr=-u t='r--C ,' I -S--.-S ~-cai "-A GOOD LIKENESS OF MYSELF." -'I y " .-" .d ,,. A* ___ -___ -P ,-7 See page 273.



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a



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MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORE Y. I did not see much sense in that myself, but my Helen looked as if she liked it, and so I was glad he said it. To tell the truth, I had been sound asleep almost from the minute when the story began: it was only his stopping that woke me; and if I had not, as I said, been able to get all of his stories from books, I should not have been able to put them in at all. They are the only part of this work which will not have to be translated, and I have put them in partly because, as I hinted, our children liked them so well that I thought other children might like them too, and partly because I have noticed that a large book attracts more attention than a sniall one does, and I could not think of enough for a large one without saying the same thing over and over. This, it seems to me, is the height of stupidity, and yet I have heard it done in a number of the books which the sweet sister has read to Helen, and it struck me as so tiresome that I made up my mind that, rather than write a book of that sort, I would not write one at all: there are enough foolish books written by human people, without any help from us dogs. And, much as I disliked the tone of that book by the little dog of whom I spoke in my first chapter, I must admit that it was not stupid. 245 I



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. had expected. Their astonishment knew no bounds when they found that Gertrude not only had not' told on' them, but that she evidently did not mean to tell. And, to do them justice, nothing but the fear of detection kept them from saying to her how sorry they were, and how grateful to her for her silence. And when they found that she was quite unchanged toward them, excepting that she was perhaps even more ready than before to do them. a kindness, and when they saw how many days passed before the blue eye emerged from its 'mourning,' they grew more and more ashamed of their shabby fun, which had cost their little schoolmate so much. "They finally agreed that they must try to repay her in some way, not only for the pain which she had suffered, but for her generous silence about it; so one day, when the talk about the affair had quite blown over, they joined her on the walk home from school, although Michael was, as usual, with her, and they knew quite well that their presence was unwelcome to him. He had kept his promise to his sister, but it had been hard work, and he had not been able always to conceal from Peter and Conrad what hard work it was. Conrad, who for the first time in his life was seized with bashfulness, nudged Peter, whispering, 'You tell her.' So Peter, fearing some of the other children might join them before he had finished, plunged boldly into the middle of things. You needn't think we haven't noticed it because we did not say anything, Io8



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MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 85 nestled her cheek against Mr. Rob's. He seemed to like it, and I'm sure I don't wonder he did. Can't she stay just five minutes longer, papa ?" asked the sweet sister; we want to sing While shepherds watched their flocks by night,' and you know her voice comes in so nicely with Rob's." "Very well," said Master; but she needn't ask to stay down to tea. I feel like a stern and cruel tyrant, and shall act like one if I have the opportunity." They all sang some beautiful thing which began with the words the sweet sister had said. She played for them on an organ which stood in one corner. I thought it was something alive, and that she was pinching it, and that, and a sort of miserable, lonely feeling that it all gave me, made me cry. I knew I ought not to make a noise. Jet was lying there with Snowball on his back, and they both kept as still as mice. I stood it as long as I possibly could, and then, when they all stopped, and I thought it was done, she kept making more noises with her hands, and I could not help it. What I wished to say was, Oh, do stop! Don't you hear how it hurts him ?" and I stood on my hind legs and put my hand on hers, and tried to say it. I don't know, to this day, why they all laughed so, and I did not care, for I stopped her, and that was what I wanted. Master and Mr. Rob carried Helen up on a new lady-chair, and Roland brought up my basket and May my new feather-bed,



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4 MY DISGRACE.THE OUTLAW CAT. 161 made my blood run cold. I had it on the end of my tongue to say that at present she did not appear to have any sort of dish, washed or unwashed, and that I would rather have a somewhat scanty dinner, nicely prepared, than a whole rabbit which was raw and had to be skinned before it could be eaten. Fortunately, I did not say this, and she offered me one of the rabbit's legs, which, although it did not look very tempting-I never did like raw meat, anyhow-I was glad to get, for I was by this time extremely hungry, having had nothing since breakfast, and having taken such a long walk. She offered to show me where the best rabbit and mole and field-mouse runs were, and said that when she got rid of the bother of providing for her kittens-who were really quite able to forage for themselves-she was going to start on a lecturing-tour among the domestic animals, and see if she could not rouse them to revolt against their unjust and cruel masters. She said she hoped I would join her, as she thought my experience, and a few words from me concerning it, would be a great card for her. "Cats are not so well thought of as dogs," she said, "and a remark or two from you would go farther than a long speech from me." I could not help feeling flattered by this proof of her admiration for me and faith in my ability, and I told her I should be happy to accompany her if she would not go in our own immediate neighborhood; that I was not willing to do. She agreed to go whereever it best suited me first, and we went on talking on various 11



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. the room. But I comforted her, and afterward I played sick till I made her laugh. The next time she saw Roland, which was not till the next day, she said to him, "Why don't you train Jock for your circus with the others? He knows more tricks than any dog in the neighborhood already." "Well, the fact is," said Roland, the fellows have been teasing. me to bring him every day, but I thought it would be mean to take him away from you when he's such company for you. He would make a 'star' of the first magnitude, he learns so easily." "You can put him in your bills as the 'Dog-Star,' like that dog in Mrs. Whitney's book," said Helen, laughing; "and you needn't worry at all about taking him away from me: it often troubles me that he stays shut up here so much through all this beautiful weather, and gets so little exercise and fun. Dear little Jock!" Did she not know, I wonder, that it paid me over and over for staying in that quiet room to have her speak of me so, with her little soft hand on my rough head? But I will confess that the idea of the circus pleased me, and when I found that she really wished it, I went very willingly with Roland every day to the large barn to take my lesson. It was then that I learned to climb a ladder and to do a number of other things, nearly all of which I have since found useful in one way or another. 251



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4 V 'V j, (r 1 -^t -z .-.4 / i "'IT'S AS WARM AS TOAST,' HE SHOUTED." I {,€ t K; '' •I SJ A r "1 'r 2? K ""L i T P-// "$,'1, 15.i -~I" * f * I.-i 4 / J i/ t I ,, 5 *L '7 See page 306.



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I MAKE A FRIEND. 117 only fifteen; I was looking forward-" She stopped speaking, and a large tear rolled down her face and fell on my paw. I could not stand that. I had gradually crept up toward her face while she was talking, because what she said made me feel as if she ought to be comforted, and now I felt that I must lick her face. I only got one -little lick, but I made her laugh. She called me a rogue, but she hugged me too. Madame was called out of the room, and then Helen hugged me again, and whispered, "Jock, little Jock, if I must lie here always till I grow old or die, will you be good to me and not get tired of me ?" How could I tell her all that was in my heart? I kissed her hands, I made my barks as much like talking as I could, I poked my face into her neck as I had seen Bess and Charlie do, and I really think she understood me. The children often made me "play sick" after that day, and I nearly always had to do it if any company came; and I got quite perfect in it, and I used to like to hear them laugh when I gave one of my little groans.



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176 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. sigh a little to see Jet, away down the lane, racing home in front of the wagon, although I had myself asked him, when I saw him at dinner, to go with the children that afternoon, as I could not. I had also explained to him about the kittens, and he had been as kind as Snowball was, so that I felt quite satisfied that those kittens would now have only themselves to blame if they turned out badly, for they would have every opportunity to turn out well. I may as well say that I tested the sincerity of my desire to confess my fault by telling Jet and Snowball all about it. It was hard work, but if I had not done it I would have been obliged either to tell or to imply what was not true in accounting for my guardianship of the Outlaw Cat's three children; and, besides, I felt as if I had no right to enjoy their friendship without letting them know how very unworthily of it I had just acted. Their behavior was beyond all praise. They assured me that after this proof of my entire confidence in them they were, if possible, more my friends than ever, and that they had a much higher regard for a dog who sinned and sincerely repented than for one who could never be made to believe that he had done anything wrong; and Jet added that his own remorse about that peddler business would, he hoped, keep him from being hard on any other dog for the rest of his days. So when Snowball came up as usual after dinner, and offered to stay with Helen, although I declined at first, saying that I should be very glad to have her company, but that I meant to stay at home myself that afternoon,-when I saw that she looked troubled.



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132 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. was rarely angry or disobedient. Her grandmother, fancying that she was not very strong, disliked the idea of sending her to school; so a governess came to her every day from the time that she was eight years old, and taught her such lessons as Mrs. Gordon thought best; and, as these were neither long nor hard, and as Isabel dearly loved and admired Miss Arnold, her governess-who was a young girl not more than twenty years old, and very gentle. and amiable-the school-hours were often the pleasantest part of her day. "When Miss Arnold was absent and Isabel was left to her own devices, so far as her play was concerned, she turned to Don, the beautiful black setter dog, who was her almost inseparable companion. Mr. Gordon had taken no little pains to find this dog for his granddaughter, but he felt well rewarded for his trouble when he saw what a constant happiness Don was to her. He had been only a puppy, small enough to go into Mr. Gordon's great-coat pocket, when he was first given to Isabel, and her delight in him had never lessened from the moment when, seeing the little black head with its bright, intelligent eyes peeping over the edge of the pocket, she had rapturously taken him into her arms. "You know there is a proverb which says that 'It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.' The habits which are formed in the early youth of dogs and people are very apt to cling to them, and be seen and felt, no matter what efforts to break them may be made afterward. Isabel knew about this, for she was a thoughtful





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CHAPTER VIII. I VISIT TIE OUTLAW CAT, AND LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. :i ERHAPS you have noticed how, every once in a while, everything seems to happen all in a sort of heap, and then for a long time nothing will happen at all. This was just the way with my life at Ladysmede: the first few months were full of happenings, and then things settled down. That is the reason why I have gone into particulars so much -.2 more about my first year than I mean to do about the years which followed. Everything was so new and strange to me that my impressions were. very strong, and it was these first impressions and events that shaped my after life. So I will go on with my story until the end of this eventful year, and then I can sum up the years which followed in comparatively few words. The men came the next morning to finish the well, and we watched them with a great deal of interest, for it would soon be decided now whether or not they would come to a rock 4 201



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MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY was now! How easy it was for Madame and Sarah, and even May, to lift her! And I thought, Where is the good of anybody's studying to be a doctor when he cannot cure people so sweet and lovely and good as my Helen? Here is Mr. Rob's story, and, although none of them seemed to think of it, I am nearly sure it was the sweet sister he had in his head, if he did call her Ruth. He settled Helen comfortably, with her head on his shoulder, and then he said, "When I am a famous author you can tell everybody that you heard all the earlier productions of my genius before they were given to the world. I will not be snapped up by anybody about a name again: the name of this story is "A SIGN. "The short December afternoon was drawing to a close, and a few flakes of snow were beginning to fall upon the already snow-covered ground. Among the bleak New England hills which surrounded Ruth Sterling's home winter began early and stayed late. But, although the fierce north wind wrestled with her for her umbrella, and tossed her hair about as if he were trying to pull it, Ruth was not thinking in the least about him; she only grasped the umbrella more tightly as it shook and struggled in her hand, and went slowly down the snowy path, with her eyes fixed upon the streak of pale yellow light which marked the west. 231



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t MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. 225 there in Helen's room, where they could not possibly come, I was off the lounge like a flash, standing in the middle of the room with my ears and tail up, looking for the rats. I didn't see anything so very funny about it, but they all laughed as if they would hurt themselves; so I just crawled under the lounge, and would not come out again until they were all gone and Sarah was settling up the room for the night. I don't think it is polite to laugh at people right to their faces; and yet I do believe,. if I must be laughed at at all, I would rather have it to my face than when my back is turned. The next morning, after we had kept Madame's birthday, Mr. Rob told the sweet sister that he wished her to. take a walk with him; and he walked us-for of course I went too-straight to the .pump-man's house and paid him the rest of the money for the well. Where did you get it, Rob?" said the sweet sister as we walked home. From an obliging editor;" said Mr. Rob, laughing; "I've sold several things lately. That was where mother's present came from too. The next I get I am going to send something down for Helen. It's just the stuffed back and arms of a chair, and you put it on the bed, and it's heavy enough to keep in place and be leaned against: it's like sitting up without the trouble of getting out of bed. I think I should quite like one myself." You behave as if you wouldn't like anything for yourself," said the sweet sister, giving his arm a squeeze; "you go without every-



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UNDER THE DOGSTAR. write our exercises together, and it won't take half as long if we take turns looking in the dictionary.' 'I don't like to leave my lessons till afternoon,' said Isabel coldly. But you might, just for this once,' answered Polly, half crying. Never mind, dear; if Isabel does not wish to go, she need not, said Mrs. Gordon, so decidedly that Isabel felt she was displeased. "Nothing more was said about it, and Polly, with a very doleful face, stepped into the carriage, while Isabel, looking, if possible, still more doleful than Polly, retired to the school-room to write her exercise. It took her only half an hour, and then she wandered disconsolately about, vainly calling first Don and then the kitten. They had not been seen since before breakfast, and she began to feel convinced that somebody had stolen them both, although the cook tried to console her by assuring her that nobody would steal a little 'no-'count' kitten like that, and that Don would not permit any one to steal him. Dinner-time came, and Mrs. Gordon and Polly had not returned, so Mr. Gordon and Isabel sat down 'alone together,' and would have had a very merry dinner if Isabel had been in her usual good spirits; but she was so dull that her grandfather, fearing that she did not feel well, made her lie on the sofa after dinner while he read a story to her. Her mind, however was distracted from the story by anxiety about Don, and she persuaded her grandfather to go with her in search of him. 142



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 281 "The boys all looked in a puzzled way at Will, whose brown eyes were certainly not large enough to attract attention in a crowd. "'I am referring to his mind's eyes,' went on the professor gravely, 'and I came to correct a few false impressions which he gave you this morning-as I earnestly hope, unintentionally. In passing up and down the deck his mother and I, without in the least intending to hear what was said among you, caught the words "observatory," "laundry," "our carriage," "the stables," "our dogs," "the conservatory;" and I merely wish to tell you the home-names for all these objects of interest.' "Will cast an imploring glance at his father, who, paying no attention to it, went on: 'The observatory is a large dormer.window, in which we keep a very good telescope which I am so happy as to possess, or else it is the flat roof, about four feet wide, which runs along the peak of the west gable: I leave the decision to Will. Perhaps it is both. The laundry is more commonly known as the pump-shed, and is sufficiently commodious to contain the pump, the wash-b &nch, and the ironing-table. Our carriage is a nondescript vehicle, with no entrance which does not necessitate scaling its' rather lofty front or still more lofty rear, and it is commonly known in the family and among our intimate friends as the shandrydan." The stables are or is-I am at a loss as to which is the more correct expression, but I think is-a small barn containing three stalls, a very agreeable loft, and boasting a lean-to



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "Aunt Nancy must wait till another cocoanut comes along," said Roland; "I don't believe she's pining for a soap-dish. But there can't be a small half of anything, you know, Helen." This made Helen laugh again. She thought Roland was quite in earnest always when he said things of this sort, and I suppose that was what made her laugh, but I used to see a sort of twinkle in his eye when he said them; and I always noticed them oftener when my Helen was feeling tired and sad. "It's the very thing," he said, "and I can add another glory to it with the small piece. See here, Helen: this is what I mean. I shall line the basket with moss, and then fill it with earth, and fill the earth full of fern-roots; and then I'll punch some holes in these shells-a few in the bottom, and three around the top, to hold the wires-and I'll fill them both with earth, and plant partridge-berry and climbing fern, and any other pretty wild vines I can find that aren't too large, in them; and by the time auntie's birthday comes they'll be all a-blowing and a-growing, as it were. See, this is how I'll fix it. You hold the basket-so." And Roland held the two shells above -the basket, the smaller one over the larger, saying, "You see, the same three wires-no, I'd better put four-will come down thus, and be fastened together under the little one; then start again, and be done the same way on the large one; and finally, and to conclude, be fastened symmetrically to the edge of the basket. See ?" I think it will be lovely," said Helen delightedly. How did 218



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226 UNDER 7"HE DOG-STAR. thing, Rob, to help us. How I wish I could do something to helpto make even a little money!" "And don't you call it making money when you turn your poor little gowns upside down and inside out to make them last longer, and make everything you wear except your shoes and stockings, and turn the scraps into all sorts of good things to eat, and sew carpet-rags, and mend old carpets, and-" "Oh, Rob, how in the world did you know?" said the sweet sister, laughing and blushing, and looking so pretty that I felt obliged to kiss the hand that was hanging down, although I knew it would make her jump, as it did. "Do you suppose I have no eyes in my head ?" asked Mr. Rob. "I'm not at home often, and I don't suppose I know of half your tricks and manners, but I know quite enough to make me say you are a jewel of a girl. And I'm going to tell you something to keep your heart up, and because I shall explode if I don't tell somebody; but because I'm afraid to raise the family's hopes too much I shall tell only you, and if I'm disappointed you will help me grin and bear it. I'm studying medicine, Lou-have been for two years-and if all goes well another year will finish me. I couldn't have done it if it had not been for Dr. Bell-" "Why, that's the doctor who came to see Helen!" exclaimed Lou. Mr. Rob nodded: "Yes, and although he gave up two days to it he wouldn't take a cent. He understands why I don't want to tell



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THE END. 305 steps to the nice soft green grass. I did not feel obliged to stay with her so constantly as I had done through the winter, and I really had a great deal to see to: they were laying the new barn floor, and one of us had to be there all the time to catch the rats that kept running out; Jet and Snowball and I took turns. By the time the new floor was done I think we must, between us, have caught four or five tens. Then they were ploughing up an old pasture-field down by the creek-bridge, and of course it brought to light a great many moletracks and field-mouse nests; so that as soon as the barn was finished I went there. I don't know why it was, but although Snowball would often help me to catch moles, Jet never would: he will not to this day. When summer came, and they were haymaking once more, my Helen could walk down the lane as far as the old woman's house, and she would stop there to rest, and always talked to Betty; and Betty has often said to me that she did not wonder I went back that morning to such a mistress as Helen. The only wonder to her was that I could ever leave anybody so lovely-yes, although everybody else in the house had been against me. I wonder at it myself more and more. I had a little adventure with Charlie that summer, for which they all praised me so much that perhaps I had better tell it. He was very fond of wading in the brook, which was pretty deep in some places, but Master had showed him just where he might safely go. One day we were down there-Bess and he and I-soon after 20



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164 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. hundred and fifty years older since the day before. Was it only the day before? I felt so ravenously hungry that I thought it must be a week, and I wondered if that Outlaw Cat had caught anything that morning: I really did not feel equal to catching anything myself, and, mean as it was, I hoped she had. I walked stiffly to the place where I had left her the night before, and, sure enough, she had plenty of breakfast-a rabbit, a squirrel, and three or four field-mice. She greeted me very cordially, and invited me to breakfast with her, saying, "You see, I have been uncommonly lucky this morning; and I am glad of it, for I can offer you some breakfast; I know you don't feel like catching any. I remember how I felt myself after my first night in the woods; so come and help yourself. There is plenty here for breakfast and dinner both, so I can leave these squalling brats for the day and show you around to those places of which I told you." I did not at all like to hear her speak of her three children in that way: they were nice-looking kittens, or would have been if they had not looked rough and wild. But I saw a sort of unhappy expression on the Outlaw Cat's face when she spoke of her first night in the woods, and I thought, "Now or never, Jock !" and began before I had time to get any more afraid of her. First, I thanked her for her generous hospitality, which was all the more striking, I said, because she had so many mouths to feed, and was obliged to work so hard to do it. This seemed to please her, and



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I. II



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THE DOG-STAR. when spring's this near, before the new ones come, they're almost worth their weight in gold.' The onions all swelled with pride until they nearly burst their skins. "' Come, now,' said the woman, 'I'll split the difference, and sixty.' "'It's like giving 'em since it's you, ma'am, and away,' said the you always grocer resignedly; pay cash, take 'em. boy shall carry the basket home for you." "The onions subsided, and their skins began to feel again. "The boy carried them home for the sharp-nosed woman. lived last got on a flat,' there, up four flights panting of stairs; and when and grumbling, a little girl the boy as thin the woman's into a tub. "As she it eagerly. nose took the onions from him and emptied did them so she saw the one which had sprouted, and seized 'It's growing,' she murmured; 'it's all lovely and green. I wonder if it is going to be a tree ? Oh, I wish she would let me have it for my own! knew what I said to it; It's alive, and I could make believe it and I could watch it grow a little every Would she box my ears if I asked her? I don't I will ask her.' little girl-her And just then name was Mary the woman came back, Ann-said quickly, and the as if she her courage would fail, say 'but The quite easy She at as day. care; UNDER 70 were afraid Please, ma'am, the grocery-



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ii



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MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY So, as the only servant was a 'half-grown girl,' Ruth had learned to be very useful about the house, and was proud of her mother's loving name for her-'my little right hand.' It was not quite so easy to do things for the boys. They were grateful, after a fashion, for her ministrations, but they showed an unnecessary frankness in their criticisms and comments, and could not be made to appreciate the fact that she was only a third of her mother's age, and that an occasional failure in conduct or memory must be allowed for by them. As for her father, he was obliged to spend far more time at sea than on land, but when he was with his wife and children there was no happier home than his in the country; his warm heart and unselfish life would have made sunshine in a far shadier place than that was. You will say I am a long time in coming to what Ruth was thinking about, but you had first to hear enough about all the circumstances to make you understand them. The day before this of which I am telling you a letter had come from Marian to Mrs. Sterling, begging that she might have Ruth in Boston with her for the winter. She was living in lodgings with her mother and brother, and they had just room for one more. Ruth should go to school and take drawing and music-lessons, and Marion would give her all possible help with both these branches at home. Ruth's first feeling upon reading the letter had been one of unmixed delight, but a little involuntary sigh from her mother brought her back to the consciousness that there are two sides to everything. 237



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"240 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. comfortable to have! And if I could take only a few lessons in china-painting too, I could make such lovely Christmas presents, and maybe sell things besides.' "'You will have to have a new winter frock if you go,' said her mother. 'I noticed the other day how short your last winter's Sunday frock is for you; you are getting to be such a great, tall thing. I really believe you mean to be taller than your mother.' "'Couldn't it be let down, or something?' asked Ruth anxiously. "'There wasn't a bit turned up or in that I have not let out and down already,' answered her mother, smiling; 'but I had intended to put a piece of something else at the top, that would not show at all under your new coat.' "'Why wouldn't that do just as well if I should go?' said Ruth. "' Because your school-dress would not be good enough to wear every day in Boston. Your aunt has a great many visitors, and is very fond of you, and I know that if you were to go in what she considered shabby clothes, it would end in her giving you a great many things; and I should not like that.' "'Neither should I,' said Ruth decidedly. 'I don't mind at all when she gives me things of her own accord, because we love each other so, but it would be quite different to have her feel obliged to give me anything.' "' I wish papa were at home to help us decide,' said her mother.



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I DEFEND THE FA MILY.-AN UNPLEASANT STORY. 147 confession would give deterred her from telling Polly everything that was in her heart. The kitten was sent away the next day, for I am sorry to say that Don, having dined heartily and entirely recovered his spirits, was found that very evening in single combat with her; and it was so painfully evident that nothing short of a war of extermination would satisfy him that the children reluctantly decided that he, having the greater right to remain by being first on the ground, and being a dog of singular firmness of purpose, must be yielded to on this occasion only; and the gardener promised that in his house the kitten should have every comfort and some few luxuries. But Don's exacting affection served many a time that winter as a warning and a reminder to Isabel, who, fearing to wound the loving hearts by which she was surrounded, said nothing of her struggles, which became fainter every time she defeated her enemy. She tried, whenever a jealous thought passed through her heart, to show some active kindness to Polly, and so to live more nearly as she prayed.' And she felt the comfort of the thought that He who alone' knows all, yet loves us better than He knows.'" As I have said, the children seemed to like this story very much, and so I have put it in; but it struck me as being very foolish and entirely unnecessary. In the first place, I don't believe there



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 283 an impression, and his mother, who had had a good cry over her boy's humiliation, was rejoiced to notice how much more carefully and rationally he talked for the remainder of the voyage. "( But the voyage over, and the scene and witnesses of this little incident things of the past, Will gradually slipped back into the habit that had so strong a hold upon him. His efforts, made in his own strength and without any settled purpose, grew fainter and fainter, until at last he again almost ceased to resist. It was in a lovely spot in the Austrian Tyrol, where the party had settled for several weeks of their holiday, that he met with the adventure which, with God's blessing, was the beginning of his real cure. The house in which they were staying contained two or three other families, and among these Will, who, with his lively and sociable disposition, was always glad of new acquaintances, made friends with three boys, all older than himself, whose influence was anything but good. They had the manners of gentlemen in most ways, but Mrs. Allerton's watchful eyes observed more than one point in which they showed that they were not gentlemen at heart. She saw them laugh significantly to each other at the imperfect German of a young teacher who was losing no opportunity of improving herself in the language, and imitate, almost to his face, the peculiar manner and slight lameness of a hearty, goodnatured old Englishman who had shown them more than one kindness. She hesitated long about warning Will, but, hearing a profane word escape one of them one day, she hesitated no longer,



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "Faith, I'm afraid that he did, then," said Mr. Jimmy, mourn"(Then it's we that'll show him he's wrong," said Mrs. Jimmy, excitedly, "and more, by way of convincing him. above the best dog token, we'll throw in a little extra by Does he think we don't that ever was or will value be, our little I wonder "Be aisy, old woman, be aisy!" said Jimmy, soothingly. the baby ye'll That made be throwing in to Mrs. Jimmy laugh. convince foolish man!" she said. "No, my dear. I happened to hear him say he couldn't get off home till the very day before Christmas; so it's all fixed in me head. resate-book for the like Honora there shall make him a cake out of that old the mistress gave me, that's always been too rich of us-a real ladies' and gentlemen's cake, with all that's good, and plenty of fruit in it-and we'll take him that and Jock, all in one, the night before he goes." You' looking earnest. d never so grave bake the poor dog a that Mrs. Jimmy in a cake?" thought he said Jimmy, was quite "A body must explain impatiently. to you word by word !" she said, you might know." I was very much interested watching Honora make that cake, partly because it was to go with me-and I could not help hoping fully. Biddy now ?" "Is it him, or what?" "But you're the in "It was all in one present I meant, as 28-



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UNDER 7HE DOG-STAR. by a remark which I heard made yesterday for about the one thousandth time. The book was written-or rather dictated-by a little dog whose ignorance, self-conceit, unfaithfulness, and selfishness made me blush for my kind. Was this little creature, so full of himself, so low in the scale of dog-morality, to be allowed to represent our race? His was only the second book by a dog which I had ever seen. The other, written many years ago, was a beautiful story of a dog whose honesty and courage carried him through great difficulties; but it was about dogs only: there was hardly a human person in the whole book. The remark was that foolish old saying about "a dog's life." A poor woman who often comes to Madame for help was telling how she had to work at anything she could find to do-berry-picking, weeding, even hoeing corn sometimes, and gathering the stones out of the farmers' fields. "It's a dog's life, ma'am," she said, "but what can I do? The children go hungry half the time as it is." Now, that was too much. In all my dog's life I had never but once known what it was to be more than pleasantly hungry, and that once was quite my own fault, as you will hear when I come to it. And, as for work, my work had always been mere play. I tried to make that woman understand how foolishly she was talking: I stood on my hind legs and put my paw on her arm, giving a sort of gentle bark, but wagging my tail hard all the time, that she might know it was all friendly. And what do you think she did? She gave a great scream, and nearly fell down. But that was not the 10



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JI



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. You will wonder, perhaps, how I can remember all these little things that happened so many years ago. You know I mentioned in my first chapter that I learned to write when I was quite young; it was early in the spring of this my first year at Ladysmede. As soon as I knew how, it occurred to me that before I forgot about my youth and all the first things I could remember it would be a good plan to write them down, and that when I grew old I should like to read what I had written. I did not dream then of ever making a book of it, and I am only taking pieces of it now: there is too much of it, considering that it is all about one dog, to make a book of it just as it is; and besides, my ideas as to what is interesting and what is not have changed a good deal since I first began to keep my journal. This is a good place in which to explain, too, how it is that I can tell Mr. Rob's stories word for word. We have them all in papers and books, and, by great good luck, the children keep leaving them where I can get at them, and so I have copied the ones I thought would be liked best. I have taken those that the children asked him to tell them a good many times over; for he always "tried them on" the children, as he said, before they were printed. We had such a good time the next day that I don't think I should ever have forgotten it even if I had not written it down. In the first place, I made up my mind to be friends with Snowball. I had never seen any cats before: I don't know why the Jimmys 88



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. distressed that I thought I saw my opportunity, and suggested to her, as gently and politely as I could, that if she would reform and give her wayward child the benefit of her good example, I thought it would have more effect than all that Snowball and Jet and I, put together, could say. She looked very gloomy, but was not angry, as I had feared she would be. "It's too late," she said; and that was all she would say about it; and I left her with such an unhappy feeling in my heart that I was very glad, on my way home, to come across an uncommonly good mole-track and divert my mind by catching a thumping big mole. If I could only have made my Helen understand, I am sure she could somehow have helped me about the Outlaw Cat. It seems to me sometimes that I can't stand it another minutethat I must talk; and I felt more that way than common when, just before we went to bed, my Helen said to me, 6"I wish you could tell me where you go, Jock, and what you do when you go trotting off by yourself, as you did this afternoon. I watched you from the window, and you went just as if you had an appointment with somebody, and thought you were a little late; and all this evening you have looked as papa does when one of his patients is very ill. Are you a doctor, Jock, among the dogs, just as papa is among people, and do they pay you in bones or rats, or how ?" I tried my best to tell her: she might almost have understood 212



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Roland took Charlie to see it, partly to reward him for blowing the horn, and partly, I do believe, because Roland felt as if he must tell somebody. Charlie thought it was wonderful, and said so. Roland had hung the basket out of sight, for, as he remarked to me, that wasn't his secret; it was Helen's. He brought it home with him that evening just before supper-time, and hung it in a corner of the barn till after dark; and then he hung it in the wellhouse, and told Aunt Nancy about it, and that she was to take it up to Helen's room the first thing in the morning, so that it might be all ready when Madame came in. 220



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. people are quarrelsome and rude to each other, they are often said to lead "a cat-and-dog life." Now, my very first lesson from a dog was about kindness to cats. I can only say in excuse for myself that I was very young indeed that day when I barked and growled because I found Jet holding the white kitten, Snowball, between his paws, and now and then gently licking her head. I behaved dreadfully: I set up my ears and showed my teeth, and I do believe I should have given that cat a little pinch if I had not been afraid of Jet. You see, Jet was my friend, and I did not like to see him petting that foolish kitten so. He gave me a steady look out of his beautiful brown eyes, and said severely, You have a great deal to learn, little puppy; no gentlemanly dog will ever be rude to a cat, or to any animal, in fact, but particularly not to any one smaller than himself." I felt so ashamed that I went behind the door and whined for five minutes, for that was before I had learned to climb into the hay-loft. But I have often since then thanked Jet for that speech; for among my many friends some of the very best and truest have been, and are, cats. But I did not mean to begin my story in this rambling sort of way. I am going to begin right at the beginning, and then go straight on without skipping anything, it is all so interesting. The fact is, I had a few general remarks to make, and I intended to have a Preface, but, fortunately, I heard Master say this very morning, "Oh, nine people out of ten are sure to skip the preface !" He was not talking to me, but I always try to listen to



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. very bright eyes stuck out from behind the barrel. I had never seen a mouse, but I had been ashamed to say so to Snowball, and I was expecting to see quite a large creature, from the fuss that had been made. It took me some time to learn that small things can do as much mischief as large ones. But, as it came from behind the flour-barrel, I concluded this must be the mouse; and when it crept softly out, and was stealing by Snowball's head, I was just on the point of springing at it, when I remembered my rudeness of the day before, and instead I gave a loud bark. Snowball was on her feet in a second, and had Mr. Mouse" off his in another; and when he was disposed of she asked me so many questions that I was obliged to tell her why I did not catch him myself; and she declared that even Jet could not have acted more chivalrously, which made me very happy, for I was beginning to have a great respect for Jet. She said that after this proof of my friendship, and of what she was pleased to call my gentlemanly conduct, she should consider me as an intimate friend, and no longer as a new-comer; and I cannot tell you all the kind things she did from that time to make me feel completely at home. This mouse-business took place quite early in the morning, and the good feeling it gave us both lasted all day. Snowball had rather a dislike to staying long in one place, but when she saw that I was hesitating about going to the hill with Mr. Rob and the children, because I was afraid Helen would be lonesome if we all left her, and for the whole morning too, she offered, 90



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CHAPTER III. MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. S-7E did not know what to do at first; we were Going to have a game of "Snap-Dragon," but that was not to be till after dark, and we wished to wait till Master came home, too. I don't know what we should have done if he had stayed at home, but we somehow felt as if we could not do it, now that he was gone. Mi\r. Rob put Madame in Master's chair, and then sat down in hers with Helen in his lap. It was already beginning to grow dark, for we had been a long time at the dinner-table. "It's a great, great while since you told us a story, Rob," said Helen, stroking his face. That was enough The children all shouted at once, "A story! a story! He's got to tell us a story!" "' If you please,'" said Mr. Rob, half laughing; and then they all shouted, If you please." "I have a rather good story in stock just at present," said Mr. 5 65



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. 207 summer was over the pond looked quite as if it had grown there of its own accord. We all hoped a little, for a while after the new well was dug, that my Helen was growing better. She had as much cool water to drink as she wanted now, and she was so bright and cheerful that it was no wonder we felt encouraged about her. She very seldom had any pain-it was just as that Richmond doctor had ___ -----------------------------------------___ ------_ --------------_ _.--___ i ----------------------------------------------_=__=_I_=_



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C I DEFEND THE FAMILY --AN UNPLEASANT STORY. 133 little girl, and her grandmother's gentle reproofs were seldom forgotten. So she resolved that Don should be good as well as pretty. He learned one amusing trick after another under her patient teaching, and he grew more and more devoted to her every day. He never seemed happy when he was separated from her, and he was forlornly miserable if any trifling illness kept her in bed for a day or two, taking up his position behind the door or under the bed, and refusing to leave her even for his meals, for which he had generally a quite sufficient regard. "He first began to manifest jealousy about Miss Arnold's daily visit. He would push between Isabel and her governess as they walked arm in arm, as if trying to part them, and when Miss Arnold bade Isabel good-bye he would whine pitifully, and offer Isabel his paw rather more forcibly than elegantly. It made them laugh at first, and they would sometimes embrace each other fervently for the fun of making Don remonstrate, but when Isabel saw how truly unhappy about it he was, she gave it up, and tried to make him understand that her love for 'other people' did not lessen her love for him. I am afraid she did not succeed very well, for Don's jealousy reached its climax when, bounding up to her one day as she stood by the steps which led from the rear of the hall into the lawn, he found her with a kitten in her arms-a poor little shabby, rubbed-the-wrong-way affair, which she had rescued from some boys who were frightening and teasing it on the walk in front of the house."



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UNDERR THE DOG-STAR. as well as her hands had been cracked and bleeding with the cold. "It was this: the onion would roll over. She never left the room without feeling afraid that when she came back she would find it lying on the floor, on its head, of course, with all its lovely leaves-in the midst of which a tall stem with a sort of mysteriouslooking white flower was now appearing-hopelessly mashed on the bare boards. "She at last summoned courage to confide her trouble to the boarder who had given her pennies oftener than all the rest put together. His name was Dennis O'Dowd, and he always had.a kind word and a smile for her; 'Because,' he told her once, 'you are the size of a little slip of a daughter I once had.' "' And where is she now?' Mary Ann had asked. "'With the holy angels, my dear,' Dennis had answered; and Mary Ann had been a little frightened: she thought that perhaps looking that way meant that she was going to die. She did not wish to die just as she had found such a nice place, and Mrs. Diggles was saying that she might possibly give her-Mary Annfifty cents a week next year. It was on a Sunday afternoon that she asked advice of Dennis about the onion, and, as she found that he seemed interested, she took him to her room to see it. If he laughed, he did it quite inside of him; he was perfectly grave, so far as his face and voice went, while she explained things to him and showed him 76



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r N'' : ::'1 I,~.;,~ >1~ ~ _-iL ,= ULLED OUT A LUMP OF SUGAR AND OFFERED IT TO HER." "HE P e pag 182 I *\^ I r :: r'1! /I iij 'idSfnd I y\ .\^ -.-.-.,.5. :.. II:1,1 r:l! *,? "HE P D See page 182.



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MY FIRST AND LAST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. to start up rats and moles were going on-such as wood-cutting, and taking down the corn-stacks, and threshing, and carrying the wheat and corn to mill-I made up my mind that, except for taking a short run around the grounds, just to keep myself from getting stiff and stupid, I would stay with my Helen all the time, and then, if she really were going to leave us all and never come back, I would have more things to remember about her. I explained this. fully to Snowball, for I did not wish her to think that I doubted her in any way; and she quite understood it. Although she was very fond of Helen, she did not, of course, love her half so dearly as I did, for she was not especially Helen's cat: she just belonged to the family in a general sort of way. The children used to call her Phil's cat, but since that Outlaw Cat's child had established herself in the house Phil had taken a wonderful fancy to her, and no longer noticed Snowball, much; but instead of making Snowball jealous and unhappy, this change in Phil's affections really pleased her. She said she was glad to escape being hauled about by her ears and hind legs, and even her tail; and when she saw that Tig was perfectly amiable, and Would not scratch Phil, she felt entirely satisfied. And she said that if I really preferred to stay with Helen all the time, she would begin to take more exercise, for she was growing uncomfortably fat. I felt a little indignant at first at what seemed to me her want of feeling; but when I came to think it over, I concluded that she showed quite as much feeling, for her, as I did, for me. And I am ashamed to 247



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EARLY RECOLLECTIONS. like to have one for yourself, sir ?-I'd let you have Jock, and be proud to." Mr. Rob laughed. "That's very good of you, Jimmy," he said; but where should I keep him ? I've barely room for myself and my furniture down below here." "Oh, if that's all, sir," said Mrs. Jimmy, eagerly, "you could entertain yourself here with him for a few days longer, and then you could take him to that sweet young lady, your sister, that was here taking care of you when you were sick, and you'd have the benefit of him whenever you went home to spend a Sunday." I hope it was not ungrateful to Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy, but I did hope Mr. Rob would take me. Nobody had ever picked me up. before except little Biddy, and she had always .done it by taking, hold of either my head or my tail. Besides, I wanted to see thesweet young lady; so I was a good deal disappointed when Mr.. Rob said, pleasantly but quite firmly, "No, no, Jimmy! I've too) many other uses for what little money I have than buying Skye terriers. You send Pete-here's the address: I've written it down for you-and sometimes of an evening, when I'm not busy, you can lend me Jock for a while, and I'll teach him some new tricks.. I must go now. Good-afternoon to you all." He ran down stairs before they could say anything more, and they all looked very much disappointed. He never could have thought we meant him to buy Jock," exclaimed Mrs. Jimmy. 27



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C "5 .. 4, ".;-A.*x;--W---_ Va J1 e L Mr. k~ -f I 4aH 1% i~. -i -I' --'" 'w^;,,,1.-; (I I/AJ !J iri, irk "N A, F-^1' ;+"THEY WERE PLOUGHING UP AN OLD PASTURE-FIELD DOWN BY THE CREEK-BRIDGE." See page 305. -7-w^~ Yr C *i. 6~'a W A-* Ik --C • i:i n a"/"""



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r----~ 24--1 -~ .7.



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Several of the boys thought it would be necessary to whip us to make us learn our lessons properly, but Roland told them so earnestly that I had been taught nearly all of my tricks by a judicious use of crackers, and all of them by kindness, that they agreed to try; and they found it worked so well that after the first few lessons no one spoke of whipping any more. I know I, for one, couldn't have done a single thing if I had been expecting to be whipped every minute. I was very much flattered by the remarks that were made the first time Roland took me to the barn, but it would sound too much like vanity were I to repeat them here. There had been several pounds of crackers bought by subscription, and before they were all gone we had learned our parts and were ready for the public performance. Before the bills were printed-one of the boys had a little printing-press, and could print quite nicely-it was agreed that it would be impossible to do the pony performance justice in a barn: more room was wanted, and Roland told Helen one afternoon when he brought me back that they were quite at a loss for a good place. How would it do to have a tent for the dog part, and have the pony part in a field close by the tent?" said Helen. "First rate!" answered Roland, "only we haven't the tent, you know." "Didn't you tell me there were some lumbermen camping out by the Long Pond ?" she asked. "I've no doubt they would lend you the tent for an afternoon, if you'd promise to return it in good 252



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X -. Z *-, 4k.*-c ----_--c_ -c-----r ---;s ---In'-! -I, V~t "ROLAND HAD GONE FISHING." lii _: ii: ----8b /, y I. v t%, V&.' See page I9g. ;r: r' cc; rK C



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. with her, as she had it in her power to make things very unpleasant for me if I did not. But when she saw me coming, although I tried to look as polite and conciliating as I possibly could, she gave a terrific growl, and I thought she would spring at me before I could utter a word of explanation. However, upon my representing to her that my intentions were most peaceful and friendly, she allowed me to speak, and I told her I had decided to make my home in the wood, having been driven from my rightful home by insufferable oppression and neglect. I did not think it worth while to go into particulars; and it proved quite unnecessary, for I had no sooner made the above statement than she grasped my paw warmly, and said that we were kindred souls. I did not feel very much flattered by this, but she went on to say that she too had left what had once been a happy home because every one was considered before herself. "I lived under a system of espionage against which my proud soul revolted," she said, lashing her sides and one of the kittens with her tail as she spoke. My food was doled out to me in a miserable earthen dish which was only washed once a day, and if I had the good fortune to make my way into cellar or dairy, and helped myself from the abundance which was on every side, I was driven out with blows and kicks. I decided that submission to such treatment was abject cowardice, and here I am! My tyrants will never know who broke every window in the cellar the night of my departure. Ha! ha!" and she laughed in a way which S60o



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4 MR. ROB IS INDUCED TO TELL A STORY. 8I "'This is a kind,' said Dennis, handing her the flower-pot, 'which is warranted not to have the scent of the one you killed with kindness. It must have nothing whatever poured on it but a taste of water every morning.' "Day after day the little green nose pushed its way up, warmed by the April sunshine, for it was April by this time. But, although Mary Ann would not for the world have said so to Dennis, she was disappointed. The leaves were different; the stalk was thick and clumsy-looking. "Dennis said nothing, but his eyes would twinkle as he watched the child's puzzled face bent over the flower-pot. "I cannot tell you what Mary Ann's thoughts were when, this: strange onion at last bloomed. A stalk of pure white bells dazzled her eyes; a fragrance which filled her little room andi floated out into the kitchen made her think she must dreaming,. until Dennis's chuckle convinced her that she was awake. When she went to bed that night the moon was shining on her fairy-flower; but, bless you! she didn't call it a fairy-flower: she called it an onion! And she whispered softly to it-foolish little thing that she was-'You are very sweet! you are perfectly lovely !' and she touched her lips gently to the snowy bells. Then, as she turned away, she whispered to herself, But I wish-I wishI had not been so faultfinding, and killed my dear old first onion.'" Nobody said anything for several minutes after Mr. Rob stopped 6



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I MAKE A FRIEND. Mr. Rob went back to Richmond the next day, and there was a little talk about May and Roland going with him; but they begged so hard to send a letter instead that Master let them. I have kept forgetting to tell you that May and Roland called Master and Madame "uncle and "(aunt," instead of mamma" and "papa;" except for that, they behaved just like the others. I found after a while that they had a papa of their own, but no mamma, and so we kept them at Ladysmede most of the time. They seemed to like it better than Richmond, where they sometimes went for a visit. We were all dreadfully sorry to have Mr. Rob go; even the baby seemed to know a little about it, and the two next older ones howled worse than I did on that terrible railroad-journey. Their names were Charlie and Bess, and the baby's name was Phil. I think I should have felt Mr. Rob's going more if I had not had so much to do. When he bade me "Good-bye" he said, "I shall expect to find you a highly-accomplished dog when I come again, Jock." I did not know in 'the least what that meant, and I was quite miserable for a day or two, I was so anxious to be what Mr. Rob expected me to be; and I did not know at all what it was, nor how long a time I had to learn in. But, as good luck would have it, I found out very soon. I was listening with all my ears to all the talk, hoping those words would come in, and sure enough they did. I heard the sweet III



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230 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. cake: I would have been contented with a smaller one if it had smelt and tasted and looked just the same. The minute I tasted it-for of course Madame gave me a piece; not just a bite, either, but a real slice, on a plate-I knew it was the good smell which had made me so hungry when I passed the kitchen the day before. We were all as happy as we could be without my Helen, and we went up to her room as soon as supper was over. Master was at home, and that was as much of a treat as the cake, for his sick people always seemed to want him exactly at dinnerand breakfast-time; at least, Madame said it was, but I must confess that I didn't agree with her, for we saw Master every day at one time or another, and we had not had such a cake as that in the house since Christmas. I did not think it was very polite in them to ask Mr. Rob for a story when he only had two evenings, and this was the last of them, and on a birthday, too; and I got very tired of keeping still before it was over. He was just going to say no, I am nearly certain, when Helen, who had not spoken when the rest did, said, "Oh, Rob, please! It's so long since you have told us a story; and if Sarah will put my wrapper on me, I would like to sit on your lap while you tell it, if it won't tire you too much." I think I can stand it," said Mr. Rob, laughing, but as he leaned over to pat me a great big tear dropped out of his eye and fell on my nose. It made me sneeze, but I did not mind that,. for I knew he must be crying about my Helen. Oh how little and light she



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. not run or hide when they saw her coming, for she was very kind, and would be a good friend to them. I told them she did the cooking, and liked cats, and they promised me faithfully that they would be very polite to her. Perhaps you will wonder how I made Aunt Nancy understand where I wished her to go: I never have any trouble about that sort of thing. First, I gave her gown a little pull, and then I barked gently, and ran forward and looked back, and by repeating these motions a few times I easily led her to the kittens. I could see that they were trembling, but they kept their word-they neither ran nor hid; and in a few minutes they saw that she would not hurt them, and got over their fear. She said just what I had told the Outlaw Cat, that there was plenty of work for them, and that as long as they behaved themselves they should be well fed. I made her look at the rat and mice, and she praised the kittens for catching them, and told me to "fetch my company to de kitchen at supper-time, and we'd see what was for supper." Then she went back in great good-humor, and I spent the rest of the afternoon in showing them over the place, and telling them the best methods of ratand mouse-hunting. I did not think it was worth while to tell. them about muskrats and moles, and things of that sort, for there were already so many of us who hunted this strictly out-of-door game that I thought they had better turn their attention solely to rats and mice. Two of the three kittens told me that they would rather stay about the outbuildings, and only come to the house for their meals, but the third I80



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY Y-AN UNPLEASANT STOR Y 139 because every one at home called her so-passed so good an examination with Miss Arnold that it was evident Isabel would be obliged to do her best to keep up with her new companion. Polly was a frank, affectionate, very genuine little girl, and, without being at all pushing or forward, she settled into her new home easily and naturally, never doubting that every one meant kindly by her, as she did by every one. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon were delighted with her, and as they saw how much more active and animated Isabel was becoming, and how she even seemed to be catching color from Polly's cheeks, they congratulated themselves on the success of their experiment. Strange to say, Don showed no jealousy of Isabel's new friend, but bestowed upon her such flattering evidences of his affection that she soon became as fond of him as Isabel was. He did not neglect his little mistress, but he seemed to feel an equal affection for Isabel and Polly; and, although the former tried to convince herself that she liked it to be so, she felt a jealous pang every time Don rushed to meet Polly or showed her any of the numerous attentions which he had formerly reserved for Isabel alone. These feelings were so new and strange that the child hardly understood what they meant, and did not realize how constantly she was upon the watch to see if Polly were more kindly treated or more favored in any way than she was herself. We generally find that for which we are looking, and many an innocent remark



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I MAKE A FRIEND. Trude,' he said. We have been very much obliged all along, for we should have had two thrashings apiece if you had told on usone at home and one at school. So now we want to know what we can do for you, and we don't care if it is partly for little Michael there too, for it was good of him to hold his tongue, if he did only do it to please you. Come, speak before the rest catch up: what can we do?' "The happy tears sprang to Gertrude's eyes, for under the rough, abrupt speech she saw that the boys' hearts had been really touched. 'Are you in earnest?' she said. 'Do you truly wish to do something that will please me very much indeed ?' "'Yes, we do,' answered both boys heartily. "'Well, then,' said Gertrude gently, 'I wish you to do this: never do anything "for fun" which will give pain to anotheryes, even though that other should be only a dog or a cat.' "Peter gave a long whistle, and Conrad made one of the faces for which he was justly celebrated. "' But we should be all the time stopping to think!' said Peter in dismay. "'And a very good thing that would be,' replied Gertrude briskly. 'Other things can be done for us, but thinking-each one must do that for himself.' "(The boys were silent for a moment, then Peter turned inquiringly to Conrad. 'We might promise to try?' he said. "'Well, yes, I suppose we might,' considered Conrad: 'that, at o09



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. kitchen and show him to Aunt Nancy,-she and Uncle Jake were always so pleased when Snowball and I caught things. So I trotted off, feeling a good deal better; but my heart seemed to go down into my toes when I came to the door. I laid the rat down -it really was an enormous rat; I have never since seen one so large-and stood listening for a moment. I hoped nobody but Aunt Nancy was in the kitchen. I heard her singing, so I thought she was probably alone, and I scratched very softly and whined a little. I have often thought since what a fright I must have looked like when she opened the door, with my hair-which was not so long as it is now, and was much rougher and harder to keep in order-standing out every which way, full of sticks and things, and the mean and abject look which had taken the place of my usual bright expression. I picked up the rat when I heard her coming, and, if you will believe it, she took so much more notice of the rat than she did of me that she did not seem even to know how I looked. "Well, now !" she said, looking perfectly delighted, "ef you isn't de faithfulest little dog! and ef dat isn't de abomination big rat dat Jake's ben seeing' 'round de corncrib !-Jacob! Ja-cob !" she called from the other door; and when Uncle Jake came she burst out again. "Look at him !" she said. "I knowed he hearn a rat when he went tearin' out de window las' ebenin'-he must ha' hearn it all de way from de corncrib-and he's gone widout supper and breakfus' sooner'n let dat rat 'scape him! You take and comb him real 168



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. and insignificant act was twisted by Isabel into a slight to herself and into partiality to Polly. Meanwhile, Don's hatred of the kitten seemed to increase. Isabel had more than once caught him chasing her, and he would eat dry bread or potatoes, or any of the things at which he usually turned up his nose, if the children called the kitten and offered the food first to her. But Miss Pussy, made bolder by good living and kind treatment, began to take her own part, and sometimes, instead of running from her enemy, she would turn and 'make faces,' thereby enraging Don still more. It troubled Isabel and Polly sadly that their two pets, instead of being friends, were so entirely at variance, and, much as they loved Don, they were obliged to agree that it was entirely his fault, for the kitten was on the best of terms with a large Newfoundland dog which lived at a neighbor's house, walking fearlessly into his kennel, and even eating from his plate, although Don had more than once nearly taken her head off for presuming to help herself to his leavings. "'I think it would be best to give the kitten away,' Gordon one day when the children had been making lamentation over Don's jealousy and ill-temper. "'But, grandma,' said Isabel, 'I want to teach Do He has plenty of sense, and I want him to learn tha love him any the less because I love the kitten too.' "' He is only a dumb animal, dear child,' said Mrs. said Sa )n it Mrs. fresh i better, I don't Gordon, 140



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206 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. he should set a hatching of goose-eggs now, right away, because the geese would have water so near the house, Uncle Jake grinned and bowed, and said, "Glad you's satisfied, Madame-Jake'd do a heap more'n that to satisfy you; and Jock, he done right smart of the digging. Sometimes I feel like that dog knowed more'n a dog has any right to know: he seems like he understands every word that's said to him, and quite a number that isn't." Madame laughed, and said, "You needn't be uneasy, Uncle Jake: neither people nor dogs can know too much, if it's a good kind of knowledge and they make a good use of it; and I think Jock makes most excellent use of all he knows, dear little fellow !" and she laid her hand on my head. I was so pleased. that I dashed right into our new pond, and brought out a small duck in my mouth. I didn't hurt it one bit, but I saw it worried Madame a little, though she didn't scold me, for she found the duck was all right, except for being rather frightened; so, although it was good fun, I did not do it again. Besides, I had to run down to the stream and wash myself off, for as yet our pond was rather muddy, though it settled after a while. When the children found out about it, they brought stones from the brook to make a border for it, and Roland helped Uncle Jake to make a sort of platform or step at one side, where we could stand to feed and watch them, for it was always rather muddy around the pond, especially after a rain. We brought duckweed and splatterdock from the brook, and planted them around the edge, and before the



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"314 UNDER THE DOG-SIAR. membered this old trick of my youth; and the very next time I saw a letter in Helen's hand I begged for the envelope, as I used to do. She laughed, and gave me the whole thing, and there was a nice blank page, besides the inside of the envelope. In this way I soon accumulated quite a stock of paper, which I stored away in a safe, dry place, of which I only know, up in a corner of the haymow. I find it rather hard work now to get up and down the ladder, but the old habit of going to the haymow to think is too strong for me to. break it; and it is here, in this quiet corner, that I have written these pages. But I was not obliged to write them on my scraps and envelopes, as you shall hear. A few days after I had begun collecting Helen said to Madame, Mamma, you know I told you that Jock had taken up his old trick of begging for paper, but he does not tear it up now; he carries it away: I do wonder what he wants with it?" Madame laughed, and said, Why shouldn't he be writing a book as well as you ? I am sure he knows enough and thinks enough to write a very good one." That afternoon, when we were quite alone, Helen opened a drawer in her desk and took out some paper-quite a good deallike that on which she was writing her book. "Jock," she whispered, if you really are writing a book-and I quite believe you could do it-you can have this; it is much nicer than old envelopes." I kissed her hand and thanked her, and then I carried it carefully away to my corner in the haymow; and that is how I came to



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MADAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. "'Will you be good enough to mention where our breakfast would have come from this morning if you had been in Boston learning to play and draw?' said Tom as he passed his plate for a second help of the toast, which, he had just declared, 'beat Jennie's all hollow.' "'You would have had to cook it for yourselves,' said Ruth, laughing, 'and it would have been a very good thing. Boys ought to learn to cook, anyhow, and then the good-for-nothing ones would have something to fall back on.' But it set her to thinking; and the thinking went steadily on, like the accompaniment of a song, all the time that she was washing the breakfast-things and showing the 'temporary' whom old Libby, upon application of the boys on their way to school, had sent to stop the gap, and while she was mixing the mustard-plaster for her mother's side, which grew more painful as the day advanced. "(The day was over at last. Jennie, much comforted by the doctor's visit and some Dover powders, had crept down to her supper; the 'temporary' had promised to come next day in time to get breakfast; and Ruth felt that she had 'emerged from the emergency.' It was twilight, but the lamps were not yet lighted, and Ruth drew her little chair, for which she had still a childish fancy, to the side of her mother's lounge, and saidsoftly, 'I've had my sign, little mamma, and I've decided. I mean to write my letter as soon as I light the lamp. It's very kind of dear Aunt Marian, but I cannot go: you have all made me so conceited to-day 243



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MAIDAME'S BIRTHDAY, AND A STORY. wisdom' it will be given to us 'liberally.' 'You will almost always find,' he had said, 'when you are doubtful which of two or three paths you ought to take, that you are letting your own wishes and inclinations show you things in a false or doubtful light; and then is the time to ask for wisdom, and if you do it earnestly you will never ask in vain.' "The service had ended with Ruth's favorite hymn, 'Hark, hark, my soul! angelic songs are swelling,' and altogether she had a feeling that both service and sermon had been especially intended for her. That hymn never failed to fill her eyes with happy tears, and to make her feel as if being good were not such a very hard thing after all. The worst of it was, that when she reached home, and the boys came shouting around her, and her mother asked her to change her dress quickly and set the tea-table, the beautiful frame of mind seemed suddenly to evaporate like dew in sunshine; and this had happened so often that she had a painful distrust of herself and of the stability of these happy moods. "But to-night she was revolving in her mind something far more perplexing and absorbing than her every-day worries and cares; but to make you understand what this was I must take you back a little out of the wintry weather, and into the summer before this winter of which I am writing. Although Ruth's home looked so bleak and desolate in winter, in summer it was very lovely, and friends and relations from the 235



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY Y-AN UNPLEASANT STORE Y. 131 it "A LESSON FROM A DOG ;" and when I heard the name, I pricked up my ears to listen, and felt very much pleased. I thought Mr. Rob was going to make a story about the peddler; and although, as I said, I did not blame Jet, I could not help seeing that I had behaved a good deal better than he did that day. So you may judge of my disappointment when Mr. Rob told the following story: "Little Isabel Floyd was left an orphan while she was yet too young to realize what it was to lose a mother's love and a father's care. Nor, as she grew older, could she really miss these, for she was taken home at once by her mother's father and mother, who turned to the little orphan with hearts so full of love and pity that, if they had not been very sensible as well as very loving, she must have been utterly spoiled by indulgence. But they wished to make her whole life, as well as her childhood happy, and they knew that no real or lasting happiness can grow out of selfishness; so Isabel was early taught to 'Yield her will to others' will, Her way to others' way.' "For several years, as she grew out of her babyhood and began to make the old house cheerful with laughter and singing, she seemed to have the happiest of dispositions. She was always grateful for the kindness which was showered upon her, and she



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Copyright by PORTER & COATES. 1881.



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r UNDER THE DOG-STAR. her eyes sparkled and a beautiful color came into her pale cheeks, until she looked lovelier than I had ever seen her look before. And we all talked and laughed, and made such a noise that Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jake came in to see what was the matter, and then there was more noise. I saw Master looking at my Helen a little anxiously, and I did try to stop barking, but I couldn't right away. However, it did not hurt her at all, and it was from that very day that she began really to get better fast enough for us to say every day, "She is better." We had dinner in the parlor that day, so that she might have her door open and see us, and her dinner was put on the pretty little table that fitted across the bed, and which Roland had made her. I do remember that. And now I have taken you all through my first year at Ladysmede, and made you see just how we live and what sorts of things are likely to happen; so I shall not say much about the rest of my life-it would be telling the same thing twice, and sometimes oftener -but just pick out the few things that have only happened once, and then stop, for I am afraid if I do not stop soon, you will. When spring came, and the birds which had gone away came back to the woods and fields, my Helen could walk a very little way out on the grass. We did not let her go far, for she was weak, and Master and Mr. Rob said she must never get tired. But it was easy for her to step from her pretty room into the parlor, and from there to the wide piazza, and then it was only down a few 302



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I



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. myself who can do it. Their masters and mine all wished to have a circus, and they taught us a number of difficult tricks, among which was going up a ladder forward and coming down backward. You will have a full description of this circus in its proper place. Whenever anything worries me, or I want to have a good quiet think, or I feel in danger of being cross, I just go to the hay-loft. It is very quiet there; and when I have sat quite still for half an hour or so watching the pretty purple and white pigeons flying about in the gable cooing to each other,,and the long dusty rays of sunlight which look almost strong enough for me to walk up them, and smelling the sweet-scented hay, which sometimes makes me sneeze a little-but I don't mind that at all: I rather like'a good sneeze, for it seems to clear my head up,-somehow, everything begins to seem different. If I have been worried, the worries seem too small and foolish to keep any longer; if I have been feeling cross, I seem to remember all the kind, lovely things that have made my life so pleasant, until I am heartily ashamed of myself. And, as for thinking, there is no place like a hay-loft for a real think. The more I thought that day, the more it seemed to me that I really ought to write a book which would set the world straight about dogs. I should not be obliged, as was that ignorant little animal whose book so offended me, to ask for any help, for I had learned to write when I was quite young: a very intelligent old cat 12



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58 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. Mine was dark blue, which they said would be more becoming to my complexion than red. May gave me a whole pound of sweet crackers. I am very fond of sweet crackers, but I was not allowed to eat them all at once, for fear they would make me ill. Roland gave me half his candy, which was put away for me with the crackers, and while it lasted I had a small piece every day after dinner. The three little ones also gave me a share of their candy; so, as you may imagine, I had a sweet cracker and a piece of candy for dessert every day for weeks. Mr. Rob waited till all the rest had given me their presents; and then he pulled out of his pocket a most beautiful red collar with a bright place on one side, and said, I'll read you what it says on your collar, Jock, and you must never forget it;" and he read aloud: JOCK. The property of Helen Laurence, CHRISTMAS, 18-." Did I ever forget it? Oh my little mistress-my dear little mistress!-if, as I earnestly hope you may, you some day translate these pages, you will surely say that I did not. "Now," said Mr. Rob, when he had fastened the collar on my neck with a little key, "we will take him up to Helen; no doubt she too has a Christmas present for him."



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HELEN'S BIRTHDAY, AND ANOTHER OF THOSE STORIES. 289 he enunciated so rapidly that Mr. Allerton with difficulty understood him. "'But why did you sleep in so dangerous a spot, my boy?' asked Mr. Allerton kindly as soon as he had a chance. "'Oh, sir, I have so often done it that I no longer fear, and I never before came so near to going over. Surely the good God sent you to-day! But I must hasten on, for the sun has nearly set, and the mother and father will be anxious. A thousand thanks and farewells!' and, waving his hat, the boy sprang lightly down the path, and was gone. "Will caught his mother's hand: his eyes were full of tears. 'Mother! father!' he began, in a choked voice, and then stopped, unable to say another word. His mother took him in her arms and held him fast. 'My boy, I know-your father knows,' she said gently. We saw and heard enough to-day from the path above your spring to know that our son was in far greater danger than that from which this poor boy has just been rescued. But I felt, I knew, that our prayers would be heard, and we waited for you to speak. The lesson' has come in a way which we could not foresee, and now we will pray that it may not have come in vain.' In all Will's after life he never forgot that scene-his mother's sweet face stained with tears, his father's look of pitying love, and the sunset light falling through a tree upon the grand and beautiful scene around them. He has had many a slip, many a stumble, 19



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 49 "The dear little thing !" she said again.-" Just see, Rob, how he is kissing my hand! and I do believe he tried to say something just now. Has he a name ?" "Yes; his name is Jock," answered Mr. Rob; "and he seems to know it so well that I think we had better not give him another. Besides, it's a pretty good name, I think." Yes, it's a very good name indeed," said Helen; "and I'm so glad he knows it! I should not have liked to wait for him to learn one.-Jock! little Jock!" I really had never known before how pleasant my name was. I kissed Helen's hand again, and talked a little more, and just then a great bell rang somewhere, and Mr. Rob jumped up at once. "There's the tea-bell," he said joyfully, "and I'm as hungry as a hawk. Good-bye, darling; I'll come up and say good-night. Shall I take Jock down stairs, or leave him with you ?" "You'd better take him down, I think," replied Helen: "he must be hungry too. Did he 'eat anything on the way?" "No; he seemed too frightened," said Mr. Rob. "'So I'll leave him in the kitchen to Uncle Jake's tender mercies, and then I'll go wash my face and hands, and eat my supper-two or three, several suppers: one will not satisfy me." He picked me up and carried me down a back stairway to the kitchen; and it was a good thing that. I had made up my mind not to be afraid of Uncle Jake because he was black, for 4



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. ness, for Aunt Nancy drove us all door just as everything was ready. into the kitchen and shut the and some things struck the boards which Mr. Wells had put over the window; and in a few minutes, when we were let out again, we found a quantity of rocks lying about, and a voice came from away ;; ',cS---C ------"= I 'a$ --; SW : =FC h -=". =u -1 down the well, saying, "We've struck it this time, Pete! have to pull me up suddenly or I'll be drowned." Master and Madame were standing waiting You'll for Mr. Wells to come up-in fact, we all were-and the other man wound He jumped out of the bucket, and, although he We heard a very loud bang, him up __ 203 in a few minutes.



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~III '1I I i I K d iIi i I SI, I r 1 .11 "MAY AND ROLAND PUT THE CHRISTMAS-GREENS WHEREVER THEY WOULD GO." See page 297\M ll -a__



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"THEY ALWAYS LET ME GO WITH THEM AS FAR AS THE CHURCH-PORCH." See page 267.





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146 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. "'Why, yes, I suppose he is,' answered Isabel, 'but I never thought of that, grandpa, because, you know, he might have had his dinner if he had come for it; nothing hindered him but just his own badness. Still, I will call him when Kitty has finished, for he mustn't starve, poor fellow!' Don took a good deal of calling before he would come out from under the piazza and accept the tempting bone which the cook had saved for him; and he seemed so broken-hearted that Isabel coaxed and petted him to his heart's content. "'There isn't much comfort for even a dog if he is jealous, is there, dear?' said Mr. Gordon as they walked down to the gate to see if the carriage were in sight. Isabel squeezed his hand without speaking. She felt as if she had come out of a dark room into a light one. She had been jealous-jealous of dear little Polly, who had not an unkind or envious thought in her whole heart! And with how much reason? Just about as much as Don had had for his jealousy of little Gray. A swift and silent prayer went up from her heart as she stood at the gate; and when Mrs. Gordon and Polly came back, and Polly told gleefully how they had 'shopped,' and had dined at a restaurant, she sympathized heartily, and smothered down with a resolute will the thought that they had enjoyed the day so without her. So that when Polly, with an earnest hug, declared,' But it was only half as good as if you had come too,' she returned the hug warmly; and nothing but her knowledge of the pain which such a



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1 MAKE A FRIEND. "I 5 Then she said in her own voice, "Now you must feel Jock's pulse and look at his tongue, Charlie." I did not like this a bit; the shawl made me too hot, and I did not feel like lying down; but I was Helen's dog: she was taking the trouble to amuse these little children, and should I spoil it all by my selfishness? I made up my mind to do even more than they expected, and this I have since made into a rule; and I find some one has put it in a book, although I can't say positively that this person got the idea from me, but I think it is very likely. My rule is, whenever I feel inclined to refuse to do as people wish me to, to do that, whatever it may be, and as much more as I can; and I find that it is quite easy now, although it was hard at first. Now I generally wish to do the very things that I am told to do, so that sometimes I forget my rule for days together. But this is another digression: I do believe that the older I get the more I digress. When I understood what it was that the children wished me to play, I tried to look as Helen did, and I cried just a little, as much like a baby as I could. I do wish you could have seen them all laugh! Now, that kind of laughing I do not mind in the leastI like it; so I did it again. Then Charlie felt my pulse and looked at my tongue-I was so warm that it was hanging out, so he could easily do it; and when Helen asked him again what was the matter, he said, "'Tomachache! Baby's had too much dinner."



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I DEFEND THE FAMILY Y.-AN UNPLEASANT STORY. I41 'loving and intelligent as he is; and I am afraid you can make him understand so hard a lesson as this-a lesson which many people fail to comprehend.' Isabel had an uncomfortable feeling, such as she sometimes had when she heard herself called in the morning and pretend that she was still asleep and did not hear. to But she thrust this feeling aside. The next morning was Saturday, which was always a holiday, and at breakfast Mrs. Gordon said, 'It is such a bright day, Polly, that I think we will drive into town and have your photograph Helen ?' Isabel can come too, can't she,. Aunt said Polly. Of course," said Mrs. Gordon: 'you don't would separate two such inseparables for a whole morning,, do you ?' *r "It does not take long to think a great many bad thoughts. This was what passed through Isabel's mind almost before grandmother had done speaking: 'Nobody wants my likeness. She didn't care to ask me till she saw it would please Polly asks if I may go, as if it were she that belonged here and I were the visitor. No indeed, I will not go.-Thank you, I don't care to go into town this morning, grandma,' she said aloud; 'I have an exercise to write.' "'Oh, but you can do that this afternoon,' said Polly. We'll never tried taken. Oh, that's splendid! I promised it to your mother, you know.' supposeher Polly. but



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. body had his deserts," said he, "the kisses and hugs would all go to Jock here, and the spanks to the naughty little girl who played with fire." "And what would go to you, Mr. Rob?" said Mrs. Jimmy, her face shining with happiness as she looked at him. "Sure, if you hadn't put the carpet on her, with us all too far out of our sinses to throw so much as a tub of water at her, she'd have been a black coal by now." "No," said this beautiful gentleman, firmly; "you must thank Jock for it all.-His name is Jock, isn't it?-If he had not raised such a row, the child would have been 'a black coal' before any one knew she was on fire; so I say, Long life to him !" and he gave me a sort of wave in the air; but, somehow, I did not feel one bit afraid, although I had never been so high up before; and as I came down I managed to give his face a good, wide kiss with most of my tongue. I don't know why they all laughed at this, but they did. "I suppose I ought to ask you to let my friend have Jock," said Mr. Rob when they had finished laughing, "but I don't suppose you would, if I were to." "I'm afraid not, sir," said Jimmy; "I'd not like to part with him after this." "Well, then I'll take that one you called Pete.-I think he's more like Jock than any of them." Very well, sir; if you'll leave me the address, I'll send him this very day, when the boy comes from school. And wouldn't you 26



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I A N \N\ "A BOY AND GIRL SITTING BEFORE THE CHIMNEY." See pa age 194. I ffal Ilec ^



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I LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON. you come to think of it, Roland? And wouldn't you like to give it to mamma for your own present?" "No, thank you," he answered. "I'm glad you like it, but it doesn't begin to come up with what I'm going to make for auntie. I can do this without any trouble, for I shall be down in the woods every day almost, making myGemini! I almost told;" and he clapped his hand over his mouth and laughed. He used to tell her every day after that what he had found for the basket, and how, in the damp, shady place where he had hung it, the things he planted "never knew they had been moved;" and Helen and he arranged how Aunt Nancy was to be taken into their confidence the night before, that she might help Roland smuggle it into Helen's room early in the morning. And I thought how proud and happy it must make Roland to be able to keep that pleased look on my Helen's face for so many days. I always thought, after I watched Roland make that rustic seat, that he would succeed with anything he chose to undertake-any right thing of course I mean, for it seems to me, from what I have observed, that people do not have the same sort of strength and courage for wrong things as they do for right things. It was no joke to cut and nail and bend and fasten that tough, hard old grapevine-wood with the poor, dull tools which were all he had; but the more it would not go the way he wished it to, the more he set his teeth and said it should. It was finished at last just a day or two before the birthday, and 219



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i86 UNDER THE DOG-STAR. to clear that out. But just as we had bidden him good-evening, and were turning round to go home, he said suddenly, Oh, Miss Laurence, I didn't think to mention, but if there's any blasting to be done I shall have to charge a little more: you know it costs right smart to blast. But I reckon there won't be; there's not any grea: of rocks on your place, is there ?" "No," said the sweet sister; "there are hardly any on top, lut there's no telling how many there may be down that far;" and she looked troubled. "Oh, well, we must take our risk, I suppose," said Mr. Wells. "I don't much believe we'll strike a rock; I've never done it more than half a dozen times, as many wells as I'vedug." But you see, Mr. Wells," said the sweet sister, we only have enough to pay you for digging the well without blasting, and it would be worse to have the hole there, if you did strike a rock, than it would be to have nothing done at all: the children would be all the time falling into it. Perhaps we had better give it up for the present." I could see that her lip was quivering, as if she wanted to cry, and I suppose Mr. Wells saw it too, for he said very pleasantly, Now, don't you worry one bit, Miss Laurence. I'll go ahead, blast or no blast, and you shall just pay me when you get ready. I've got a poor memory, but I reckon I'll not forget the night your father stayed by my baby and pulled her through, bless her pretty picture !"



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EARL Y RECOLLECTIONS. 33 "To helping me up the stairs the day I sprained me ankle," said the oldest girl. "To speaking for me and getting me a place with the best -mistress ever was," said the next girl. "To the parcel of school-books you gave me," said the oldest boy. "To many's the time you've helped me when I was breaking me head with me sums," said the next boy. "To the flower-roots and seeds you brought me when you were home last," said Honora. "To the grand doll you gave me," said little Biddy. I suppose the baby must have been, like me, unable to talk. I have noticed that all babies are that way for a while, and, as they always learn how to do it afterward, I can't help hoping that some day we dogs shall. But this is what my master would call a "digression;" it is rather a hard word, I know, but it sounds well, and it means leaving one thing for another, like stopping to dig for a mole when one is chasing a rabbit. The baby did the best he could: he made a noise very like one of the noises that I make when I am pleased, and it sounded quite well. "He's thanking you for his new red shoes," said Mrs. Jimmy; and, sure enough, he did kick up his heels when he made that noise, so that the girl who was carrying him nearly dropped him. 3



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MY NEW MISTRESS. 53 When I had had my breakfast, Uncle Jake took an old piece of a comb out of his pocket, set me on his lap, and combed my hair smooth from the tip of my nose to the end of my tail. I had never had my hair combed before, and at first I was a little frightened, but when I found it did not hurt I held quite still, and before he was done I rather liked it: it was like scratching myself very gently all over-with this difference: he scratched just as easily and as well as he did the rest of me that one place on my back which I never can quite reach. I don't think I have ever gone a day since then without having my hair combed by somebody; and sometimes it is done two or three times a day, for it is the sort of hair which never stays smooth very long. When Uncle Jake set me down I gave myself a good shake, and it all flew up in a minute, but I knew, from what they said, that I looked much better for it. Just then I heard ever so many voices somewhere, and then the children came rushing in. They were all talking at once, so that I could not hear everything that was said, but I heard, "Merry Christmas, Aunt Nancy !-Merry Christmas, Uncle Jake !"' a great many times; and every time Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jake would say, Christmas-box, little missy," or Christmas-box, little mars';" and they all seemed so happy that I was really obliged to bark; and they laughed and seemed to like it. I found they had not yet had their breakfasts, and when they all called me to go with them to the breakfast-room, I was very glad I had had mine, and so



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S'\ ', I Ea----~< --( /' I -> JAA "THEY HAD FILLED THE BUCKET." Cr1 I ,<~ i-?-ih=-B ,M; xh II rY ^i See page i-'3. M/^w d:J".'i <~( .^^ rt^^W V^. K sl ^



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. never been able to account, had come over me. I am afraid I cannot explain it clearly: it was something as if I had at one time in my life, long, long ago, known all about catching rats, and liked it very much. I could not remember when it was, nor where-and of course, as you all know, it never was at all-but the feeling was so strong that with one bound I pushed Snowball aside and caught that rat by the hind legs just as he was disappearing into the hole. I got him by the neck, gave him one little shake, and threw him away: I didn't want him. He was quite dead, and Snowball, who had been growling dreadfully, picked him up and carried him off to the cellar, where, I am afraid, she ate him, for she was quite ill that afternoon. The children had shouted and cheered at a great rate when I had accomplished the feat of killing the rat, and they talked so much about me after we were in the breakfast-room that I was quite embarrassed. Everybody whom I had seen the night before was there, excepting poor little Helen; and there was one more person, whom nearly all the children called "Papa," and whom Madame called "Dear." I liked his face-he looked a good deal like Mr. Rob-but I had a sort of feeling that if I ever did anything bad I should not wish him to look at me. I soon made out, from the talk, that he was a doctor-though I did not know then exactly what that was-and that he had been obliged the evening before, just at the time when Mr. Rob was expected, to go and see 56



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CHAPTER IV. I MAKE A FRIEND. WAS exceedingly provoked with myself, when I woke up, to remember that I had missed the game of "Snap€ Dragon" by going up stairs. I was very curious to know what it was, and of course I could not make any one understand and tellme. And then I began to think why I had rushed up after Helen without even being called. At first I ".told myself," as Mr. Trollope says-I have heard several of his books, and all the people he tells about do that,-I told myself that it was because I was her dog and I loved her. And then I seemed to hear another dog saying, "What a dreadful story! Tell the truth, Jock !" and I looked .round, quite expecting to see Jet, but he was not there; and I knew the other 'dog was myself, too. So I said, very much ashamed, "It was because I wanted Helen and all of them to see how clever I was, and that I knew I was her dog." The other dog seemed to say, "Then it served you quite right to miss the 'Snap-Dragon,' no one will tell you about it until next Christmas." will believe it, no one did. and And, I hope if you 87



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I



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UNDER THE DOG-STAR. and would have to blast. I left them for a little while to go an errand with the sweet sister, and as we were coming home she stopped in the last field to pick some flowers for my Helen. Then she sat down on a log to tie them up neatly, and while she was smelling them and fussing over them I found a very interesting mole-track behind the great log on which she was sitting, and was digging for dear life when I heard somebody run across the field, and then I heard little Bess say, "Sister, they have struck a rock, and mamma says will you come home?-that she wishes to speak to you." The sweet sister stopped smelling her flowers, and I stopped digging for my mole, and we went home as fast as we could. Madame was standing on the porch, looking troubled. "What do you think we had better do, dear ?" she said. Mr. Wells says nothing more can be done without blasting, and he insists upon it that he is quite willing to wait for the rest of the money until we are able to pay him." I would let him go on, mamma," said the sweet sister decidedly. I know Rob will be disappointed if we do not, and I will write him all about it this evening." Perhaps that would be best," said Madame. "It is miserably hard to have to go to the spring for every drop of water we drink, and I can't help hoping that some of papa's bills will come in before long, and then we need not let Rob pay the difference." I am sorry to say that I can't tell much about that blasting busi0 202



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"JET RACING HOME IN FRONT OF THE WAGON." See page 176. 12 5-------;r------L; --------,-------';P