Puslapio vaizdai

This was

into his mouth. This passing habit also and conflict. For example, a cat was one told in favor of the young dog's supposedly day dropped upon the ground near him ferocious tendencies; and, although poor by a mischievous boy; Satan stared at Satan loved anybody who would give him the frightened, spitting creature, and walked a gentle touch of the hand, he was looked confidently forward to learn more about upon distrustfully; and in the opinion of the strange object; and then, as the cat the excellent judges around him he was excitedly ran away, he caught the excitedestined for a successful career in the pit. ment and ran blindly after her.

Presently there came a change in the at once set down as still clearer evidence dog's fortunes. His owner fell ill, and of a deeply pugnacious character. was sent to the hospital; and Satan, and When Satan was eight or ten months all his brothers and sisters, were given old another unlucky incident served to away. They were not of the proper puri- deepen the current convictions as to his ty of breed to have any especial value-as savage temper. The butcher's boy one fashions in dogs go—and were given to day held a piece of meat down to him; anybody who would take them. Satan was and, as Satan tried to take it, the boy drew transferred to the ownership of an express- it quickly away. This was repeated sevman, and by him was sold to a house- eral times; and then Satan, in a frantic painter, who desired him as a playmate leap after the coveted morsel, seized not for his children. The enterprising express- only the piece of meat, but by accident man had prepared himself to praise the seized the boy's finger with it, and the boy dog's fighting tendencies; but, finding that roared with surprise and pain and with gentler qualities were demanded, he quickly rage against the dog. assured the purchaser that the dog was ex- The injury was very slight, indeed, but tremely docile and of a most kindly tem- the boy told his employer that Satan had per, thus speaking truer words than he savagely bitten his finger. The employer knew; and when the trade was completed told a customer to beware of that dog, for he chuckled much at his shrewdness; and the beast had torn his servant boy's hand the recording angel, I doubt not, set down most savagely. The customer reported to against him his words of truth as words of several people that Satan was a very ferofalsehood.

cious animal, who had attacked several In his new home with the house-paint- people and had endangered their lives, and er's family, honest, loving Satan was very that he ought to be killed. happy for several months. In an hour Thus the story spread rapidly, and he and the little ones learned about one gained in dreadful details at each step. another as well as though they had been And, through it all, poor, maligned Satan friends for years.

With the baby he was went on romping with his playmates, and especially intimate; and the two had un- exchanging confidences with the baby, doubtedly a language in common, and ex- who pulled his ears more and more vigchanged confidences of which older heads orously each day, with her increasing knew nothing

strength. If the children and their beloved play- The baby was Satan's favorite. She was mate could have been left undisturbed, not yet strong enough or heavy enough Satan would have got on without suf- to cause him pain as she rolled upon him fering under any misunderstandings; but and stepped on his toes and pulled his the older and so-called “wiser” people tail. Then, too, she was not yet suffiof the family, influenced by the peculiar ciently ingenious to blow in his eyes and marking of his eye, and by his exposed tie strings around his jaws. These were teeth, shook their heads at his eager, ani- the pranks of the older children ; but Samated ways, and suggested evil tendencies tan was patient under it all, and hoped it in his character. This judgment gained was for his good somehow, he knew not strength from a certain honest boldness of quite in what way. curiosity which the dog evinced toward In due time the excitement about the all new things; and often this inquiring butcher boy died out without bringing nature, joined with his forbidding appear- harm to Satan in body, but it gave him ance, gave him an air of courting danger pain of heart to have threats hurled at him

The angry

by people who little knew how deeply he of relief at being freed from the responsiregretted the accident. He felt shut off bility of the child's protection ; and the somehow from the public sympathy ; he baby herself was soon on her mother's felt a coldness in the attitude of people arm, and eager to be put down again with about him ; he grew a little shy and re- Satan, to continue their play, so rudely served in manner, and this was promptly interrupted. set down as surliness. So that the baby, The omniscient woman recovered her to whom he now gave even more attention breath and her voice, and declared vioand devotion, was the only confidant he lently against the ferocious dog who had had, and with her he talked this matter attacked her, as she said--and as thouover fully when they were alone ; and sands of others, with as little ground of this was his great comfort.

truth, have said—“ without the slightest One day Satan was washing the baby's provocation.” One or two of the neighface; yes, washing her face ; he had often bors heard the disturbance and listened to seen his mistress do it, and now he tried it the charges made against Satan; and here, himself. The baby was seated in the path again, the misunderstandings of the past outside the front gate, and was cooing and served to support the accusations of the crowing and spluttering with delight dur- present; and the result of it all was that ing the process. To be sure, there was a poor Satan was voted a dangerous animal, little trace of molasses on the left cheek, and several were heard to intimate that he and a flavor of butter down near the left would be better killed or sent away. corner of the mouth; and these added This episode led the way to a great temporary sensations of pleasure to Sa- transition in the dog's life. tan's constant, unswerving feelings of af- demands of the neighbors were yielded to, fection and devotion.

and Satan was thrust forth from his home; Just then there came by one of those he was given to a street huckster, and by women who know everything. She knew him was tied to the tail of a cart, and everything about homes, and children, and dragged away; away from his home, away dogs, and horses, and the cattle upon the from his playmates the children, and away thousand hills ; and knew it always in an from his bosom friend, the baby. instant. As soon, therefore, as her om- Only force could have done it ; and niscient eye fell upon the scene, she knew that would hardly have availed had it not that this bloodthirsty animal was trying to been for the commands of his mistress, eat the child alive ; and with a scream whose word had always been law to him. she swooped down upon them, to the So, behind the cart he was tied, and a great surprise and perplexity of Satan and group of weeping children was left standthe alarm and noisy resistance of the baby. ing at the gate, and poor, loving, loyal She caught up the child in her arms, and Satan, himself weeping, I doubt not, trotted the child filled the air with cries of pro- away in the gathering gloom of that eventtest ; these cries Satan understood to be ful evening. an appeal to him for protection, and the His new master took him to his home, next moment, with an angry growl, he had in a neighboring town, and tied him in a the woman's elbow in his strong jaws, and shed, and fed him regularly for several hung there, swinging from side to side like days. This was done, as the man sagely a pendulum.

explained to a friend, in order to gain the This conduct on his part, you may be dog's affections ; but it gained nothing of assured, did not result in any lessening Satan's affection. What the poor, lonely of the din. The omniscient woman, in fellow needed, even more than food, was that brief moment, realized her limitations a soft, kind word or two, and a gentle pat more completely than ever before in her on the head ; to that he would have relife. She screamed in fear and despera- sponded with eagerness ; but he did not tion ; and only the timely appearance in receive it, and he ate his pieces of bread the doorway of Satan's mistress saved her and meat in solitude and sadness, and from fainting

thought of his old home. A sharp word from the doorway caused As much as possible he slept; for in his Satan to drop to the ground, with a feeling dreams he romped again with the children,


and sometimes, as he awoke, he could feel of various degenerate specimens of dogthe baby's hand on his head, and, looking hood ; or, rather, he allowed them to make up for one passing moment, vainly ex- friends of him ; and together they foraged pected to see her chubby face at his side. in alleys and backyards, and led a precari

Here, under these new conditions, poor, ous existence in the lower streets of the unhappy Satan was continuously misunder- town. Often he thought of his old home, stood. His listlessness and melancholy with its merry group of playmates; and were taken by his master to mean surli- gladly and quickly would he have sped ness; and when, after being tied up a few across the country to its shelter and its days, he was set free, and made no at- love, had he not recollected, with sadness tempt to find his old home, this was con- and pain, the sharp words of dismissal sidered an evidence of his stupidity. which had sent him forth.

Little did his master know that he could So he shut his great grief within his have found the way back as easily as he breast, and tried to find some new friend could have crossed the road or leaped the among the crowds of the

treet ; but alstone wall. But he made no attempt; he though each day he hoped for some passerrecalled the stern command of his mis- by to give him a friendly word, yet each tress; he knew, as well as did anybody, day the hope grew more dim. Harsh that he must give up his old life, and he words and unkind looks were his portion ; was reconciling himself, as best he could, and as the cold weather came on food, to the new one. But he did long so, some- even of the worst kind, became scarcer and times, for the old faces and the old voices, scarcer, and poor Satan knew, for the first that in his sadness you would have hardly time in his life, what real, gnawing hunger recognized the active, eager, bright-eyed was like. Satan of the old time.

One day he was searching among the Satan's master was somewhat disap- refuse barrels and waste heaps of a vacant pointed in him. The dog did not show lot for some scrap of food. He was searchany signs of that ferocity which he had ing in desperation. Suddenly he caught been led to expect; yet his appearance sight of a few morsels of meat, as they was savage enough to make him an excel- were thrown out into the lot from the rear lent guardian of his master's house and door of a restaurant ; in an instant he property. And that was the irony of the leaped forward ; in those morsels there situation, that the huckster's neighbors was a respite from starvation for some gave him a wide berth, and even admired, poor four-footed creature. at a distance, his threatening aspect ; while toward the food, seized it, and was about he, poor fellow, looked wistfully at them, to carry it away when he heard a savage and felt weary of life, he so much longed growl behind him, and turned, barely in for sympathy and affection.

time to avoid the spring of another larger Satan's stay with his master was brief. dog, who also had set eyes of hungry inThe huckster, in a few weeks, sold out his tent on the coveted meal. Then came a business and left town ; and since the dog louder and more threatening growl from had cost him nothing, and he had no affec- the larger dog, as he recovered himself tion for the animal, he left him behind, and made straight at Satan's throat. There homeless and forsaken.

was no time for reflection ; Satan had no Satan was now without any human ties desire to fight, but here was an unjust atwhatever ; and to be without such helps to tack. The scraps of meat belonged to him upright conduct is as dangerous for dogs by all laws of prior seizure; yet this larger as for men ; at such times the steps down- dog, trusting to his superior strength, was ward to disreputable ways are very easily bent upon taking them from him.

For a entered upon; vice beckons most persua- moment, only, Satan reflected and hesisively when virtuous influences are absent ; tated ; he must have what belonged to and a living, hoping, loving soul, whether him, if, indeed, he could keep it, which in a man's body or in a dog's, must have seemed unlikely. companionship and sympathy as a safe- The big, hungry dog again sprang forguard.

ward, and Satan dropped his morsel and So it came about that Satan made friends met him with open mouth.

The greater

Satan sprang

weight of the would-be robber rolled Sa- the new master was no other than the tan over upon his back; but, by a lucky tramp who presented himself, with the dog snap of his strong jaws, as he rolled, he beside him, at the parsonage porch. It seized the other dog firmly by the throat. happened in this wise : There he hung. The big dog growled, After the conflict was over, most of the and swept him from side to side over the idlers lounged back to their haunts around ground, raising a cloud of dust ; and then, the stables and saloons. But one of them lifting him fairly from the earth, shook went over near Satan, as he enjoyed his him savagely in the air ; but, all the time, hardly earned meal, and talked to him in a Satan, by the instinct of self-preservation, friendlier tone than he had heard for many more than by any definite plan of battle, a day. It may be that the two glasses of held silently by his throat, and resolved whiskey which had very recently passed that there he would stick.

down the man's throat had something to Of course the noise and the sight of the do with this friendly expression; but, whatstruggle drew idle spectators, like flies, to ever the cause, the kind words were very the scene. Some of them expressed de- grateful to Satan. And he even paused, light, and some horror ; but all showed half-famished as he was, to return the profound interest in the proceedings. Sa- friendly advances with a brief, spasmodic tan had his eyes shut, and could not see vibration of his tail. them, but he heard them, and he hoped When the food had been eaten, a slice each minute that somebody would inter- of buttered bread from the rear pocket of fere. He dared not let go his grip, for he his visitor's greasy frock-coat completed knew that the big dog had strength and the mutual confidences; and Satan licked weight enough to kill him, if it were once the hand that patted him, and gave sevbrought to bear fully upon him.

eral snuffles and sighs of deep content, But the big dog was now the more and felt that perhaps the world was not frightened of the two ; and his growls had so cold and heartless as he had supposed. become subdued to a whine, and his ef- The dog's history, from this point on, forts became less and less vigorous. Pres- was told me by various police officers, and ently a big blacksmith mustered courage it runs as follows: to seize Satan, and a stout wagoner vent- This man, Satan's next master, was ured to clutch the other dog ; and as soon drunken and disreputable enough to damas Satan saw that his foe was likely to be pen the enthusiasm of even the most zealheld back he loosened his jaws and gladly ous “slum-worker.” He was a tailor by retreated from the struggle.

trade, and had given up regular work long The big dog was in no condition of mind before, having learned (that most dangeror body to renew his attack, and slunk ous and demoralizing fact) that in this away; Satan, hardly less frightened, yet country a man can obtain bread without pressed by hunger, at once bethought him- working for it. He had, withal, a certain self of the scraps of meat, and quickly took attractive good-nature, which, with his possession of them, his hunger soon ban- ready tongue, made it especially easy for ishing his fright. The crowd of idlers, some him to cajole thrifty householders out of of whom had seen him before, were unani- the desired bread and coffee. mous in his praise ; they had not the words So the two faced the world together; to fully express their satisfaction at the and whatever food the tailor got by his “gameness ” of “the little un.” His feel- persuasive ways he shared with his dog; ings of fright and his instinct of desperate and the two became devoted friends. self-preservation they interpreted as an in- Satan was at first puzzled by the long nate love of bloodthirsty strife ; and they periods of rest and profound sleep in one and all agreed that such pluck had not which his master indulged, on occasions, been seen in that town since the remarka- at the most unexpected times and in the ble day when“ Bill Reynolds's terrier most uncomfortable corners of public choked the life out of Sam Baker's red parks and alleys; indeed, he never fully setter."

understood the reason for them; but he This episode in Satan's life brought him learned to stand guard at such times over into the ownership of a new master ; and the prostrate form; and, as the police told me, woe to the man—brass buttons or no proved to be nearly a third larger than brass buttons—who then tried to lay hand Satan, and much heavier, and the scars on on the drunken tailor.

his breast and shoulders showed that he Thus weeks and months passed by, and was no stranger to the dog-pit. The Satan's life was not an unhappy one. He tailor was just enough excited by the whisgrew more and more dirty and unkempt, key already within him, and stimulated by but the dog had what he most longed for, the hope of the larger quantity which he affection. The one redeeming virtue in hoped to add to it, to be blind to the imthe disreputable tailor was that he really pending danger. was fond of Satan.. Other better-kept As for Satan, as soon as he saw the dogs looked scornfully at him, but he only other dog, he wagged his stump of a tail glanced up confidingly at his master, and in the friendliest possible way, and would trotted along with great content in his have entered at once upon a frolic ; but breast.

a restraining hand held him, and the new When the tailor was sober he was dog uttered a forbidding growl. After a kindly; and when he was quite filled with few more drinks the crowd adjourned to a liquor he was soon stupid and helpless. It yard in the rear of an empty house, and was when he had drank a little only, and disposed themselves on barrels and boxes desired more, that he was inconsiderate and on the fence. Then the dogs were and cross. At such times he was inclined brought near each other, poor

Satan wonto speak sharply to his faithful companion, dering what it all meant, and looking for and often tried to urge him into quarrels an explanation. with other dogs; but he urged in vain- A practised hand now pushed the aniSatan had only good-will toward both man mals roughly up against each other, and and beast. He could not understand why although Satan only took this to be an ache should attack any creature who had cident, and hoped it would not be repeatnot attacked him. Thus the tailor was ed, the trained pit-dog knew it, of old, as somewhat puzzled, and was considerably the signal for conflict, and broke from disappointed in him; for he had witnessed the hand that held him, and flew at his the dog's remarkable prowess, and felt antagonist. sure that he was a wonderful fighter.

Now it must not be understood that Late in the afternoon of the day when Satan was a coward, for he was not; and the two had stood in the parsonage porch, when this ferocious animal sprang at him, a great thirst for liquor came over the great as the odds were against him, he deman ; and the one glass of whiskey which fended himself. He was not as heavy as he was able to beg from an old crony the pit dog, but he was quicker ; and like only whetted his appetite and made him a flash he leaped aside, and, as the other cross. He spoke sharply to Satan, and passed him, he seized him by the throat. once even tried to kick him.

The pit-dog, thus impeded in his leap, Then an evil combination of circum- rolled headlong upon the ground, and stances gathered about the two compan- Satan fell with him. At once from the barions. The owner of a bar-room where rels and boxes and the fence went up a the thirsty tailor was lounging, hoping for chorus of yells at this masterly defence. a “treat," had recently bought a dog ; All expressed great confidence in Satan's and he offered to bet Satan's master that powers, heavy as the odds were against his new dog could whip Satan in a fair him. fight.

The next instant Satan felt the powerful The tailor declared, in the high hope of jaws of his enemy shut into the side of his unlimited drinks, that he could not; and neck. His own hold prevented those jaws several of the bystanders supported his from quite reaching under his throat, but declaration, and dropped sundry remarks the strong, sharp teeth brought pain, and in praise of Satan's prowess. The result blood flowed from both dogs. was that an agreement was then and there For a few moments there was a pause. made to set the dogs at each other, and On the part of the trained pit-dog this was have a trial of their respective merits. only a feint ; on Satan's part it was in the

When the new dog was brought out he hope that this was the end of the matter,

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