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Title:      The Bar Sinister (1903)
Author:     Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)
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Edition:    1
Language:   English
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Date first posted:          February 2003
Date most recently updated: February 2003

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A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      The Bar Sinister (1903)
Author:     Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)





PREFACE

WHEN this story first appeared, the writer received letters of two kinds,
one asking a question and the other making a statement. The question was,
whether there was any foundation of truth in the story; the statement
challenged him to say that there was. The letters seemed to show that a
large proportion of readers prefer their dose of fiction with a
sweetening of fact. This is written to furnish that condiment, and to
answer the question and the statement.

In the dog world, the original of the bull-terrier in the story is known
as Edgewood Cold Steel and to his intimates as "Kid." His father was Lord
Minto, a thoroughbred bullterrier, well known in Canada, but the story of
Kid's life is that his mother was a black-and-tan named Vic. She was a
lady of doubtful pedigree. Among her off spring by Lord Minto, so I have
been often informed by many Canadian dog-fanciers, breeders, and
exhibitors, Kid was the only white puppy in a litter of black-and-tans.
He made his first appearance in the show world in 1900 in Toronto, where,
under the judging of Mr. Charles H. Mason, he was easily first. During
that year, when he came to our kennels, and in the two years following,
he carried off many blue ribbons and cups at nearly every first-class
show in the country. The other dog, "Jimmy Jocks," who in the book was
his friend and mentor, was in. real life his friend and companion,
Woodcote Jumbo, or "Jaggers," an aristocratic son of a long line of
English champions. He has gone to that place where some day all good dogs
must go.

In this autobiography I have tried to describe Kid as he really is, and
this year, when he again strives for blue ribbons, I trust, should the
gentle reader see him at any of the bench-shows, he will give him a
friendly pat and make his acquaintance. He will find his advances met
with a polite and gentle courtesy.

THE AUTHOR.

PART 1

THE Master was walking most unsteady, his legs tripping each other. After
the fifth or sixth round, my legs often go the same way.

But even when the Master's legs bend and twist a bit, you mustn't think
he can't reach you. Indeed, that is the time he kicks most frequent. So I
kept behind him in the shadow, or ran in the middle of the street. He
stopped at many public houses with swinging doors, those doors that are
cut so high from the sidewalk that you can look in under them, and see if
the Master is inside. At night, when I peep beneath them, the man at the
counter will see me first and say, "Here's the Kid, Jerry, come to take
you home. Get a move on you." and the Master will stumble out and follow
me. It's lucky for us I'm so white, for, no matter how dark the night, he
can always see me ahead, just out of reach of his boot. At night the
Master certainly does see most amazing. Sometimes he sees two or four of
me, and walks in a circle, so that I have to take him by the leg of his
trousers and lead him into the right road. One night, when he was very
nasty-tempered and I was coaxing him along, two men passed us, and one of
them says "Look at that brute!" and the other asks, "Which?" and they
both laugh. The Master he cursed them good and proper.

But this night, whenever we stopped at a public house, the Master's pals
left it and went on with us to the next. They spoke quite civil to me,
and when the Master tried a flying kick, they gives him a shove. "Do you
want us to lose our money?" says the pals.

I had had nothing to eat for a day and a night, and just before we set
out the Master gives me a wash under the hydrant. Whenever I am locked up
until all the slop-pans in our alley are empty, and made to take a bath,
and the Master's pals speak civil and feel my ribs, I know something is
going to happen. And that night, when every time they see a policeman
under a lamp-post, they dodged across the street, and when at the last
one of them picked me up and hid me under his jacket, I began to tremble;
f or I knew what it meant. It meant that I was to fight again for the
Master.

I don't fight because I like fighting. I fight because if I didn't the
other dog would find my throat, and the Master would lose his stakes, and
I would be very sorry for him, and ashamed. Dogs can pass me and I can
pass dogs, and I'd never pick a fight with none of them. When I see two
dogs standing on their hind legs in the streets, clawing each other's
ears, and snapping for each other's windpipes, or howling and swearing
and rolling in the mud, I feel sorry they should act so, and pretend not
to notice. If he'd let me, I'd like to pass the time of day with every
dog I meet. But there's something about me that no nice dog can abide.
When I trot up to nice dogs, nodding and grinning, to make friends, they
always tell me to be off.

"Go to the devil!" they bark at me. "Get out!" And when I walk away they
shout "Mongrel!" and "Gutterdog!" and sometimes, after my back is turned,
they rush me. I could kill most of them with three shakes, breaking the
backbone of the little ones and squeezing the throat of the big ones. But
what's the good? They are nice dogs; that's why I try to make up to them:
and, though it's not for them to say it, I am a streetdog, and if I try
to push into the company of my betters, I suppose it's their right to
teach me my place.

Of course they don't know I'm the best fighting bull-terrier of my weight
in Montreal. That's why it wouldn't be fair for me to take notice of what
they shout. They don't know that if I once locked my jaws on them I'd
carry away whatever I touched. The night I fought Kelly's White Rat, I
wouldn't loosen up until the Master made a noose in my leash and
strangled me; and, as for that Ottawa dog if the handlers hadn't thrown
red pepper down my nose I never would have let go of him. I don't think
the handlers treated me quite right that time, but maybe they didn't know
the Ottawa dog was dead. I did.

I learned my fighting from my mother when I was very young. We slept in a
lumberyard on the river-front, and by day hunted for food along the
wharves. When we got it, the other tramp-dogs would try to take it off
us, and then it was wonderful to see mother fly at them and drive them
away. All I know of fighting I learned from mother, watching her picking
the ash-heaps for me when I was too little to fight for myself. No one
ever was so good to me as mother. When it snowed and the ice was in the
St. Lawrence, she used to hunt alone, and bring me back new bones, and
she'd sit and laugh to see me trying to swallow 'em whole. I was just a
puppy then; my teeth was falling out. When I was able to fight we kept
the whole river-range to ourselves, I had the genuine long "punishing"
jaw, so mother said, and there wasn't a man or a dog that dared worry us.
Those were happy days, those were; and we lived well, share and share
alike, and when we wanted a bit of fun, we chased the fat old wharf-rats!
My, how they would squeal!

Then the trouble came. It was no trouble to me. I was too young to care
then. But mother took it so to heart that she grew ailing, and wouldn't
go abroad with me by day. it was the same old scandal that they're always
bringing up against me. I was so young then that I didn't
know. I couldn't see any difference between mother-and other mothers.

But one day a pack of curs we drove off snarled back some new names at
her, and mother dropped her head and ran, just as though they had whipped
us. After that she wouldn't go out with me except in the dark, and one
day she went away and never came back, and, though I hunted for her in
every court and alley and back street of Montreal, I never found her.

One night, a month after mother ran away, I asked Guardian, the old blind
mastiff, whose Master is the night watchman on our slip, what it all
meant. And he told me.

"Every dog in Montreal knows," he says, "except you; and every Master
knows. So I think it's time you knew."

Then he tells me that my father, who had treated mother so bad, was a
great and noble gentleman from London. "Your father had twenty two
registered ancestors, had your father," old Guardian says, "and in him
was the best bull-terrier blood of England, the most ancientest, the most
royal; the winning 'blue-ribbon' blood, that breeds champions. He had
sleepy pink eyes and thin pink lips, and he was as white all over as his
own white teeth, and under his white skin you could see his muscles, hard
and smooth, like the links of a steel chain. When your father stood
still, and tipped his nose in the air, it was just as though he was
saying, 'Oh, yes, you common dogs and men, you may well stare. It must be
a rare treat for you colonials to see real English royalty.' He certainly
was pleased with hisself, was your f ather. He looked just as proud and
haughty as one of them stone dogs in Victoria Park-them as is cut out of
white marble. And you're like him," says the old mastiff-"by that, of
course, meaning you're white, same as him. That's the only likeness. But,
you see, the trouble is, Kid--well, you see, Kid, the trouble is--your
mother--"

"That will do," I said, for then I understood without his telling me, and
I got up and walked away, holding my head and tail high in the air.

But I was, oh, so miserable, and I wanted to see mother that very minute,
and tell her that I didn't care.

Mother is what I am, a street-dog; there's no royal blood in mother's
veins, nor is she like that father of mine, nor--and that's the worst
she's not even like me. For while I, when I'm washed for a fight, am as
white as clean snow, she--and this is our trouble--she, my mother, is a
black-and-tan.

When mother hid herself from me, I was twelve months old and able to take
care of myself, and as, after mother left me, the wharves were never the
same, I moved uptown and met the Master. Before he came, lots of other
menfolks had tried to make up to me, and to whistle me home. But they
either tried patting me or coaxing me with a piece of meat; so I didn't
take to 'em. But one day the Master pulled me out of a streetfight by the
hind-legs, and kicked me good.

"You want to fight. do you?" says he. "I'll give you all the fighting you
want!" he says, and he kicks me again. So I knew he was my Master, and I
followed him home. Since that day I've pulled off many fights for him,
and they've brought dogs from all over the province to have a go at me;
but up to that night none, under thirty pounds, had ever downed me.

But that night, so soon as they carried me into the ring, I saw the dog
was overweight, and that I was no match for him. it was asking too much
of a puppy. The Master should have known I couldn't do it. Not that I
mean to blame the Master, for when sober, which he sometimes was,--though
not, as you might say, his habit,--he was most kind to me, and let
me out to find food, if I could get it, and only kicked me when I
didn't pick him up at night and lead him home.

But kicks will stiffen the muscles, and starving a dog so as to get him
ugly-tempered for a fight may make him nasty, but it's weakening to his
insides, and it causes the legs to wobble.

The ring was in a hall back of a public house. There was a red-hot
whitewashed stove in one corner, and the ring in the other. I lay in the
Master's lap, wrapped in my blanket, and, spite of the stove, shivering
awful; but I always shiver before a fight: I can't help gettin' excited.
While the men-folks were a-flashing their money and taking their last
drink at the bar, a little Irish groom in gaiters came up to me and give
me the back of his hand to smell, and scratched me behind the cars.

"You poor little pup," says he; "you haven't no show," he says. "That
brute in the tap-room he'll eat your heart out."

"That's what you think," says the Master, snarling. "I'll lay you a quid
the Kid chews him up."

The groom he shook his head, but kept looking at me so sorry-like that I
begun to get a bit sad myself. He seemed like he couldn't bear to leave
off a-patting of me, and he says, speaking low just like he would to a
man-folk, "well, good luck to you, little pup," which I thought so civil
of him that I reached up and licked his hand. I don't do that to many
men. And the Master he knew I didn't, and took on dreadful.

"What 'ave you got on the back of your hand?" says he, jumping up.

"Soap!' says the groom, quick as a rat. "That's more than you've got on
yours Do you want to smell of it?" and he sticks his fist under the
Master's nose. But the pals pushed in between 'em.

"He tried to poison the Kid" shouts the Master.

"Oh, one fight at a time," says the referee. "Get into the ring, Jerry
We're waiting." So we went into the ring.

I never could just remember what did happen in that ring. He give me no
time to spring. He fell on me like a horse. I couldn't keep my feet
against him, and though, as I saw, he could get his hold when he liked,
he wanted to chew me over a bit first. I was wondering if they'd be able
to pry him off me, when, in the third round, he took his hold; and I
begun to drown, just as I did when I fell into the river off the Red C
slip. He closed deeper and deeper on my throat, and everything went black
and red and bursting; and then, when I was sure I were dead, the handlers
pulled him off, and the Master give me a kick that brought me to. But I
couldn't move none, or even wink, both eyes being shut with lumps.


"He's a cur!" yells the Master, "a sneaking, cowardly cur! He lost the
fight for me," says he, "because he's a ------ cowardly cur." And he
kicks me again in the lower ribs, so that I go sliding across the
sawdust.

"There's gratitude fer yer," yells the Master. "I've fed that dog,
and nussed that dog and housed him like a prince; and now he puts
his tail between his legs and sells me out, he does. He's a coward!
I've done with him, I am. I'd sell him for a pipeful of tobacco." He
picked me up by the tail, and swung me for the men-folks to see. "Does
any gentleman here want to buy a dog," he says, "to make into sausage
meat?" he says. "That's all he's good for."

Then I heard the little Irish groom say, "I'll give you ten bob for the
dog."

And another voice says, "Ah, don't you do it; the dog's same as
dead--mebbe he is dead."

"Ten shillings!" says the Master, and his voice sobers a bit; "make it
two pounds and he's yours."

But the pals rushed in again.

"Don't you be a fool, Jerry," they say. "You'll be sorry for this when
you're. sober. The Kid's worth a fiver." One of my eyes was not so
swelled up as the other, and as I hung by my tail, I opened it, and saw
one of the pals take the groom by the shoulder.

"You ought to give 'im five pounds for that dog, mate," he says; "that's
no ordinary dog. That dog's got good blood in him, that dog has. Why, his
father--that very dog's father--"

I thought he never would go on. He waited like he wanted to be sure the
groom was listening.

"That very dog's father," says the pal, "is Regent Royal, son of Champion
Regent Monarch, champion bull-terrier of England for four years."

I was sore, and torn, and chewed most awful, but what the pal said
sounded so fine that I wanted to wag my tail, only couldn't, owing to my
hanging from it.

But the Master calls out: "Yes, his father was Regent Royal; who's saying
he wasn't but the pup's a cowardly cur, that's what his pup is. And why?
I'll tell you why: because his mother was a black-and-tan street-dog,
that's why!"

I don't see how I got the strength, but, someway I threw myself out of
the Master's grip and fell at his feet, and turned over and fastened all
my teeth in his ankle, just across the bone.

When I woke, after the pals had kicked me off  him, I was in the
smoking-car of a railroad-train, lying in the lap of the little groom,
and he was rubbing my open wounds with a greasy yellow stuff, exquisite
to the smell and most agreeable to lick off.

PART II

"WELL, what's your name--Nolan? Well, Nolan, these references are
satisfactory," said the young gentleman my new Master called "Mr.
Wyndham, sir" . . . "I'll take you on as second man. You can begin
to-day."

My new Master shuffled his feet and put his finger to his forehead.
"Thank you. sir," says he. Then he choked like he had swallowed a
fish-bone. "I have a little dawg, sir," says he.

"You can't keep him" says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," very short.

"'E's only a puppy, sir," says my new Master; "'e wouldn't go outside the
stables, sir."

"It's not that," says "Mr. Wyndham, sir." "I have a large kennel of very
fine dogs; they're the best of their breed in America. I don't allow
strange dogs on the premises."

The Master shakes his head, and motions me with his cap, and I crept out
from behind the door. "I'm sorry, sir," says the Master. "Then I can't
take the place. I can't get along without the dawg, sir."

"Mr. Wyndham, sir," looked at me that fierce that I guessed he was
going to whip me, so I turned over on my back and begged with my legs and
tail.

"Why, you beat him!" says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," very stern.

"No fear!" the Master says, getting very red. "The party I bought him off
taught him that. He never learnt that from me!" He picked me up in his
arms, and to show "Mr. Wyndham, sir," how well I loved the Master, I bit
his chin and hands.

"Mr. Wyndham, sir," turned over the letters the Master had given him.
"Well, these references certainly are very strong," he says. "I guess
I'll let the dog stay. Only see you keep him away from the kennels---or
you'll both go."

"Thank you, sir," says the Master, grinning like a cat when she's safe
behind the area railing.

"He's not a bad bull-terrier," says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," feeling my head.
"Not that I know much about the smooth-coated breeds. My dogs are St.
Bernards." He stopped patting me and held up my nose. "What's the matter
with his ears?" he says. "They're chewed to pieces. Is this a fighting
dog?" he asks, quick and roughlike.

I could have laughed. If he hadn't been holding my nose, I certainly
would have had a good grin at him. Me the best under thirty pounds in the
Province of Quebec, and him asking if I was a fighting dog! I ran to the
Master and hung down my head modest-like, waiting for him to tell my list
of battles, but the Master he coughs in his cap most painful.
"Fightin'dawg, sir!" he cries. "Lor' bless you sir, the Kid don't know
the word. E's just a puppy sir, same as you see; a pet dog, so to speak.
E's a regular old lady's lap-dog the Kid is."

"Well, you keep him away from my St. Bernards," says "Mr. Wyndham,
sir," . . . "or they might make a mouthful of him."

"Yes, sir; that they might," says the Master. But when we gets outside he
slaps his knee and laughs inside hisself, and winks at me most sociable.

The Master's new home was in the country, in a province they called Long
Island. There was a high stone wall about his home with big iron gates to
it, same as Godfrey's brewery; and there was a house with five red roofs;
and the stables, where I lived, was cleaner than the aerated bakery shop.
And then there was the kennels; but they was like nothing else in this
world that ever I see. For the first days I couldn't sleep of nights for
fear some one would catch me lying in such a cleaned-up place, and would
chase me out of it; and when I did fall to sleep I'd dream I was back in
the old Master's attic, shivering tinder the rusty stove, which never had
no coals in it, with the Master flat on his back on the cold floor, with
his clothes on. And I'd wake up scared and whimpering, and find myself on
the new Master's cot with his hand on the quilt beside me; and I'd see
the glow of the big stove, and hear the high-quality horses below-stairs
stamping in their straw-lined boxes, and I'd snoop the sweet smell of hay
and harness-soap and go to sleep again.

The stables was my jail, so the Master said, but I don't ask no better
home than that jail.

"Now, Kid," says he, sitting on the top of a bucket upside down, "you've
got to understand this. When I whistle it means you're not to go out of
this 'ere yard. These stables is your jail. If you leave 'em I'll have to
leave 'em too, and over the seas, in the County Mayo, an old mother will
'ave to leave her bit of a cottage. For two pounds I must he sending her
every month, or she'll have naught to eat, nor no thatch over 'er head. I
can't lose my place, Kid, so see you don't lose it for me. You must keep
away from the kennels," says he; "they're not for the likes of you. The
kennels are for the quality. I wouldn't take a litter of them woolly dogs
for one wag of your tail, Kid, but for all that they are your betters,
same as the gentry up in the big house are my betters. I know my place
and keep away from  the gentry, and you keep away from the champions."

So I never goes out of the stables. All day I just lay in the sun on the
stone flags, licking my jaws, and watching the grooms wash down the
carriages, and the only care I had was to see they didn't get gay and
turn the hose on me. There wasn't even a single rat to plague me. Such
stables I never did see.

"Nolan," says the head groom, "some day that dog of yours will give you
the slip. You can't keep a street-dog tied up all his life. It's against
his natur'." The head groom is a nice old gentleman, but he doesn't know
everything. just as though I'd been a street-dog because I liked it! As
if I'd rather poke for my vittles in ash-heaps than have 'em handed me in
a wash-basin, and would sooner bite and fight than be polite and
sociable. If I'd had mother there I couldn't have asked for nothing more.
But I'd think of her snooping in the gutters, or freezing of nights under
the bridges, or, what's worst of all, running through the hot streets
with her tongue down, so wild and crazy for a drink that the people would
shout "mad dog" at her and stone her. Water's so good that I don't blame
the menfolks for locking it up inside their houses: but when the hot days
come, I think they might remember that those are the dogdays, and leave a
little water outside in a trough, like they do for the horses. Then we
wouldn't go mad, and the policemen wouldn't shoot us. I had so much of
everything I wanted that it made me think a lot of the days when I hadn't
nothing, and if I could have given what I had to mother, as she used to
share with me, I'd have been the happiest dog in the land. Not that I
wasn't happy then, and most grateful to the Master, too, and if I'd only
minded him, the trouble wouldn't have come again.

But one day the coachman says that the little lady they called Miss
Dorothy had come back from school, and that same morning she runs over to
the stables to pat her ponies, and she sees me.

"Oh, what a nice little, white little dog!" said she. "Whose little dog
are you?" says she.

"That's my dog, miss," says the Master.  "'Is name is Kid." And I ran up
to her most polite, and licks her fingers, for I never see so pretty and
kind a lady.

"You must come with me and call on my new puppies," says she, picking me
up in her arms and starting off with me.

"Oh, but please, miss," cries Nolan, "Mr. Wyndham give orders that the
Kid's not to go to the kennels!"

"That'll be all right," says the little lady; "they're my kennels too.
And the puppies will like to play with him."

You wouldn't believe me if I was to tell you of the style of them
quality-dogs. If I hadn't seen it myself I wouldn't have believed it
neither. The Viceroy of Canada don't live no better. There was forty of
them, but each one had  his own house and a yard--most exclusive--and a
cot and a drinking-basin all to hisself. They had servants standing round
waiting to feed 'em when they was hungry, and valets to wash em; and they
had their hair combed and brushed like the grooms must when they go out
on the box. Even the puppies had overcoats with their names on 'em in
blue letters, and the name of each of those they called champions was
painted up fine over his front door just like it was a public house or a
veterinary's. They were the biggest St. Bernards I ever did see. I could
have walked under them if they'd have let me. But they were very proud
and haughty dogs, and looked only once at me, and then sniffed in the
air. The little lady's own dog was an old gentleman bull-dog. He'd come
along with us, and when he notices how taken aback I was with all I see,
'e turned quite kind and affable and showed me about.

"Jimmy Jocks," Miss Dorothy called him, but, owing to his weight, he
walked most dignified and slow, waddling like a duck, as you might say,
and looked much too proud and handsome for such a silly name.

"That's the runway, and that's the trophy house," says he to me, "and
that over there is the hospital, where you have to go if you get
distemper, and the vet gives you beastly medicine."

"And which of these is your 'ouse, sir?" asks I, wishing to be
respectful. But he looked that hurt and haughty. "I don't live in the
kennels," says he, most contemptuous. "I am a house-dog. I sleep in Miss
Dorothy's room. And at lunch I'm let in with the family, if the visitors
don't mind. They 'most always do, but they're too polite to say so.
Besides," says he, smiling most condescending, visitors are always afraid
of me. It's because I'm so ugly," says he. "I suppose," says he, screwing
up his wrinkles and speaking very slow and impressive, "I suppose I'm the
ugliest bulldog in America;" and as he seemed to be so pleased to think
hisself so, I said, "Yes, sir; you certainly are the ugliest ever I
see." At which he nodded his head most approving.

"But I couldn't hurt 'em, as you say," he goes on, though I hadn't said
nothing like that, being too polite. "I'm too old," he says; "I haven't
any teeth. The last time one of those grizzly bears," said he, glaring at
the big St. Bernards, "took a hold of me, he nearly was my death," says
he. I thought his eyes would pop out of his head, he seemed so wrought up
about it. "He rolled me around in the dirt, he did," says Jimmy Jocks
"an' I couldn't get up. It was low," says Jimmy Jocks making a face like
he had a bad taste in his mouth. "Low, that's what I call it--bad form,
you understand, young man, not done in my set--and--and low." He
growled 'way down in his stomach, and puffed hisself out, panting and
blowing like he had been on a run.

"I'm not a street fighter," he says, scowling at a St. Bernard marked
"Champion." "And when my rheumatism is not troubling me," he says, "I
endeavour to be civil to all dogs, so long as they are gentlemen."

"Yes, sir," said I, for even to me he had been most affable.

At this we had come to a little house off by itself, and Jimmy Jocks
invites me in. "This is their trophy room," he says, "where they keep
their prizes. Mine," he says, rather grandlike, "are on the sideboard."
Not knowing what a sideboard might be, I said, "Indeed, sir, that must be
very gratifying." But he only wrinkled up his chops as much as to say,
"It is my right."

The trophy-room was as wonderful as any public house I ever see. On the
walls was pictures of nothing but beautiful St. Bernard dogs, and rows
and rows of blue and red and yellow ribbons; and when I asked Jimmy Jocks
why they was so many more of blue than of the others, he laughs and says,
"Because these kennels always win." And there was many shining cups on
the shelves, which Jimmy Jocks told me were prizes won by the champions.

"Now, sir, might I ask you, sir," says I, "wot is a champion?"

At that he panted and breathed so hard I thought he would bust hisself.
"My dear young friend!" says he, "wherever have you been educated? A
champion is a--a champion," he says. "He must win nine blue ribbons in
the 'open' class. You follow me that is--against all comers. Then he has
the title before his name, and they put his photograph in the sporting
papers. You know, of course, that I am a champion," says he. 'I am
Champion Woodstock Wizard III and the two other Woodstock Wizards, my
father and uncle, were both champions."

"But I thought your name was Jimmy Jocks," I said.

He laughs right out at that.

"That's my kennel name, not my registered name," he says. "Why, certainly
you know that every dog has two names. Now, for instance, what's your
registered name and number?" says he.

"I've got only one name," I says, "Just Kid."

Woodstock Wizard puffs at that and wrinkles up his forehead and pops out
his eyes.

"Who are your people?" says he. "Where is your home?"
"At the stable, sir," I said. "My Master is the second groom."

At that Woodstock Wizard III looks at me for quite a bit without winking,
and stares all around the room over my head.

"Oh, well," says he at last, "you're a very civil young dog," says he,
"and I blame no one for what he can't help." which I thought most fair
and liberal. "And I have known many bull-terriers that were champions,"
says he, "though as a rule they mostly run with fire-engines and to
fighting. For me, I wouldn't care to run through the streets after a
hose-cart, nor to fight," says he: "but each to his taste."

I could not help thinking that if Woodstock Wizard III tried to follow a
fire-engine he would die of apoplexy, and seeing he'd lost his teeth, it
was lucky he had no taste for fighting; but, after his being so
condescending, I didn't say nothing.

"Anyway," says he, "every smooth-coated dog is better than any hairy old
camel like those St. Bernards, and if ever you're hungry down at the
stables, young man, come up to the house and I'll give you a bone. I
can't eat them myself, but I bury them around the garden from force of
habit and in case a friend should drop in. Ah, I see my mistress coming,"
he says, "and I bid you good day. I regret," he says, "that our different
social position prevents our meeting frequent, for you're a worthy young
dog with a proper respect for your betters, and in this country there's
precious few of them have that." Then he waddles off, leaving me alone
and very sad, for he was the first dog in many days that had spoke to me.
But since he showed, seeing that I was a stable-dog, he didn't want my
company, I waited for him to get well away. It was not a cheerful place
to wait, the trophy-house. The pictures of the champions seemed to scowl
at me, and ask what right such as I had even to admire them, and the blue
and gold ribbons and the silver cups made me very miserable. I had never
won no blue ribbons or silver cups, only stakes for the old Master to
spend in the publics; and I hadn't won them for being a beautiful
high-quality dog, but just for fighting--which, of course, as Woodstock
Wizard Ill says, is low. So I started for the stables, with my head down
and my tail between my legs, feeling sorry I had ever left the Master.
But I had more reason to be sorry before I got back to him.

The trophy-house was quite a bit from the kennels, and as I left it I see
Miss Dorothy and Woodstock Wizard Ill walking back toward them, and,
also, that a big St. Bernard, his name was Champion Red Elfberg, had
broke his chain and was running their way. When he reaches old Jimmy
Jocks he lets out a roar like a grain-steamer in a fog, and he makes
three leaps for him. Old Jimmy Jocks was about a fourth his size; but he
plants his feet and curves his back, and his hair goes up around his neck
like a collar. But he never had no show at no time, for the grizzly bear,
as Jimmy Jocks had called him, lights on old Jimmy's back and tries to
break it, and old Jimmy Jocks snaps his gums and claws the grass, panting
and groaning awful. But he can't do nothing, and the grizzly bear just
rolls him under him, biting and tearing cruel. The odds was all that
Woodstock Wizard III was going to be killed; I had fought enough to see
that: but not knowing the rules of the game among champions, I didn't
like to interfere between two gentlemen who might be settling a private
affair, and, as it were, take it as presuming of me. So I stood by,
though I was shaking terrible, and holding myself in like I was on a
leash. But at that Woodstock Wizard III, who was underneath, sees me
through the dust, and calls very faint, "Help, you!" he says. "Take him
in the hind-leg," he says. "He's murdering me," he says. And then the
little Miss Dorothy, who was crying, and calling to the kennel-men,
catches at the Red Elfberg's hind-legs to pull him off, and the
brute, keeping his front pats well in Jimmy's stomach, turns his
big head and snaps at her. So that was all I asked for, thank you.
I went up under him. It was really nothing. He stood so high that I
had only to take off about three feet from him and come in from the side,
and my long "punishing jaw," as mother was always talking about, locked
on his woolly throat, and my back teeth met. I couldn't shake him, but I
shook myself, and every time I shook myself there was thirty pounds of
weight tore at his windpipes. I couldn't see nothing for his long hair,
but I heard Jimmy Jocks puffing and blowing on one side, and munching the
brute's leg with his old gums. Jimmy was an old sport that day, was
Jimmy, or Woodstock Wizard III, as I should say. When the Red Elfberg was
out and down I had to run, or those kennel-men would have had my life.
They chased me right into the stables; and from under the hay I watched
the head groom take down a carriagewhip and order them to the right
about. Luckily Master and the young grooms were out, or that day there'd
have been fighting for everybody.

Well, it nearly did for me and the Master. "Mr. Wyndham, sir," comes
raging to the stables. I'd half killed his best prize-winner, he says,
and had oughter be shot, and he gives the Master his notice. But Miss
Dorothy she follows him, and says it was his Red Elfberg what began the
fight, and that I'd saved Jimmy's life, and that old Jimmy Jocks was
worth more to her than all the St. Bernards in the Swiss
mountains-wherever they may be. And that I was her champion, anyway. Then
she cried over me most beautiful, and over Jimmy Jocks, too, who was that
tied up in bandages he couldn't even waddle. So when he heard that side
of it, "Mr. Wyndham, sir," told us that if Nolan put me on a chain we
could stay. So it came out all right for everybody but me. I was glad the
Master kept his place, but I'd never worn a chain before, and it
disheartened me. But that was the least of it. For the quality-dogs
couldn't forgive my whipping their champion, and they came to the fence
between the kennels and the stables, and laughed through the bars,
barking most cruel words at me. I couldn't understand how they found it
out, but they knew. After the fight Jimmy Jocks was most condescending to
me, and he said the grooms had boasted to the kennel-men that I was a son
of Regent Royal, and that when the kennelmen asked who was my mother they
had had to tell them that too. Perhaps that was the way of it, but,
however, the scandal got out, and every one of the quality-dogs knew that
I was a street-dog and the son of a black-and-tan.

"These misalliances will occur," said Jimmy Jocks, in his old-fashioned
way; "but no well-bred dog," says he, looking most scornful at the St.
Bernards, who were howling behind the palings, "would refer to your
misfortune before you, certainly not cast it in your face. I myself
remember your father's father, when he made his debut at the Crystal
Palace. He took four blue ribbons and three specials."

But no sooner than Jimmy would leave me the St. Bernards would take to
howling again, insulting mother and insulting me. And when I tore at my
chain, they, seeing they were safe, would howl the more. It was never the
same after that; the laughs and the jeers cut into my heart, and the
chain bore heavy on my spirit. I was so sad that sometimes I wished I was
back in the gutter again, where no one was better than me, and some
nights I wished I was dead. If it hadn't been for the Master being so
kind, and that it would have looked like I was blaming mother, I would
have twisted my leash and hanged myself.

About a month after my fight, the word was passed through the kennels
that the New York Show was coming, and such goings on as followed I never
did see. If each of them had been matched to fight for a thousand pounds
and the gate, they couldn't have trained more conscientious. But perhaps
that's just my envy. The kennel-men rubbed 'em and scrubbed 'ern, and
trims their hair and curls and combs it, and some dogs. they fatted and
some they starved. No one talked of nothing but the Show, and the chances
"our kennels" had against the other kennels, and if this one of our
champions would win over that one, and whether them as hoped to be
champions had better show in the "open" or the "limit" class, and whether
this dog would beat his own dad, or whether his little puppy sister
couldn't beat the two of 'em. Even the grooms had their money up, and day
or night you heard nothing but praises of "our" dogs, until I, being so
far out of it, couldn't have felt meaner if I had been running the
streets with a can to my tail. I knew shows were not for such as me, and
so all day I lay stretched at the end of my chain, pretending I was
asleep, and only too glad that they had something so important to think
of that they could leave me alone.

But one day, before the Show opened, Miss Dorothy came to the stables
with "Mr. Wyndham, sir," and seeing me chained up and so miserable, she
takes me in her arms.

"You poor little tyke!" says she. "It's cruel to tie him up so; he's
eating his heart out, Nolan," she says. "I don't know nothing about
bull-terriers," says she, "but I think Kid's got good points," says she,
"and you ought to show him. Jimmy Jocks has three legs on the Rensselaer
Cup now, and I'm going to show him this time, so that he can get the
fourth; and, if you wish, I'll enter your dog too. How would you like
that, Kid?" says she. "How would you like to see the most beautiful dogs
in the world? Maybe you'd meet a pal or two," says she. "It would cheer
you up, wouldn't it, Kid?" says she. But I was so upset I could only wag
my tail most violent. "He says it would!" says she, though, being that
excited, I hadn't said nothing.

So "Mr. Wyndham, sir," laughs, and takes out a piece of blue paper and
sits down at the head groom's table.

"What's the name of the father of your dog, Nolan?" says he. And Nolan
says: "The man I got him off told me he was a son of Champion Regent
Royal, sir. But it don't seem likely, does it?" says Nolan.

"It does not!" says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," short-like.

"Aren't you sure, Nolan?" says Miss Dorothy.

"No, miss," says the Master.

"Sire unknown," says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," and writes it down.

"Date of birth?" asks "Mr. Wyndham, sir."

"I--I--unknown, sir," says Nolan. And "Mr. Wyndham, sir," writes it
down.

"Breeder?" says "Mr. Wyndham, sir."

"Unknown," says Nolan, getting very red around the jaws, and I drops my
head and tail. And "Mr. Wyndham, sir," writes that down.

"Mother's name says "Mr. Wyndham, sir."

"She was a-unknown," says the Master. And I licks his hand.

"Dam unknown," says "Mr. Wyndham, sir," and writes it down. Then he
takes the paper and reads out loud: "'Sire unknown, dam unknown, breeder
unknown, date of birth unknown.' You'd better call him the 'Great
Unknown'," says he. "Who's paying his entrance fee?"

"I am," says Miss Dorothy.

Two weeks after we all got on a train for New York, Jimmy Jocks and me
following Nolan in the smoking-car, and twenty-two of the St. Bernards in
boxes and crates and on chains and leashes. Such a barking and howling I
never did hear; and when they sees me going, too, they laughs fit to
kill.

"Wot is this-a circus?" says the railroad man.

But I had no heart in it. I hated to go. I knew I was no "show" dog, even
though Miss Dorothy and the Master did their best to keep me from sharing
them. For before we set out Miss Dorothy brings a man from town who
scrubbed and rubbed me, and sandpapered my tail, which hurt most awful,
and shaved my ears with the Master's razor, so you could 'most see clear
through 'em, and sprinkles me over with pipeclay, till I shines like a
Tommy's cross-belts.

"Upon my word!" says Jimmy Jocks when he first sees me. "Wot a swell you
are! You're the image of your grand-dad when he made his debut at the
Crystal Palace. He took four firsts and three specials." But I knew he
was only trying to throw heart into me. They might scrub, and they might
rub, and they might pipe-clay, but they couldn't pipe-clay the insides of
me, and they was black-and-tan.

Then we came to a garden, which it was not, but the biggest hall in the
world. Inside there was lines of benches a few miles long, and on them
sat every dog in America. If all the dog-snatchers in Montreal had worked
night and day for a year, they couldn't have caught so many dogs. And
they was all shouting and barking and howling so vicious that my heart
stopped beating. For at first I thought they was all enraged at my
presuming to intrude. But after I got in my place they kept at it just
the same, barking at every dog as he came in: daring him to fight, and
ordering him out, and asking him what breed of dog he thought he was,
anyway. Jimmy Jocks was chained just behind me, and he said he never see
so fine a show. "That's a hot class you're in, my lad," he says, looking
over into my street, where there were thirty bull-terriers. They was all
as white as cream, and each so beautiful that if I could have broke my
chain I would have run all the way home and hid myself under the
horse-trough.

All night long they talked and sang, and passed greetings with old pals,
and the homesick puppies howled dismal. Them that couldn't sleep wouldn't
let no others sleep, and all the electric lights burned in the roof, and
in my eyes. I could hear Jimmy Jocks snoring peaceful, but I could
only doze by jerks, and when I dozed I dreamed horrible. All the
dogs in the hall seemed coming at me for daring to intrude, with
their jaws red and open, and their eyes blazing like the lights in the
roof. "You're a street-dog! Get out, you street-dog!" they yells. And as
they drives me out, the pipe-clay drops off me, and they laugh and
shriek; and when I looks down I see that I have turned into a
black-and-tan.

They was most awful dreams, and next morning, when Miss Dorothy comes and
gives me water in a pan, I begs and begs her to take me home; but she
can't understand. "How well Kid is!" she says. And when I jumps into the
Master's arms and pulls to break my chain, he says, "If he knew all as he
had against him, miss, he wouldn't be so gay." And from a book they reads
out the names of the beautiful highbred terriers which I have got to
meet. And I can't make 'em understand that I only want to run away and
hide myself where no one will see me.

Then suddenly men comes hurrying down our street and begins to brush the
beautiful bull-terriers; and the Master rubs me with a towel so excited
that his hands trembles awful, and Miss Dorothy tweaks my cars between
her gloves, so that the blood runs to 'em, and they turn pink and stand
up straight and sharp.

"Now, then, Nolan," says she, her voice shaking just like his fingers,
"keep his head up-and never let the judge lose sight of him." When I
hears that my legs breaks under me, for I knows all about judges. Twice
the old Master goes up before the judge for fighting me with other dogs,
and the judge promises him if he ever does it again he'll chain him up in
jail. I knew he'd find me out. A judge can't be fooled by no pipe-clay.
He can see right through you, and he reads your insides.

The judging-ring, which is where the judge holds out, was so like a
fighting-pit that when I come in it, and find six other dogs there, I
springs into position, so that when they lets us go I can defend myself.
But the Master smooths down my hair and whispers, "Hold 'ard, Kid, hold
'ard. This ain't a fight," says he. "Look your prettiest," he whispers.
"Please, Kid, look your prettiest;" and he pulls my leash so tight that I
can't touch my pats to the sawdust, and my nose goes up in the air. There
was millions of people a-watching us from the railings, and three of our
kennel-men, too, making fun of the Master and me, and Miss Dorothy with
her chin just reaching to the rail, and her eyes so big that I thought
she was a-going to cry. It was awful to think that when the judge stood
up and exposed me, all those people, and Miss Dorothy, would be there to
see me driven from the Show.

The judge he was, a fierce-looking man with specs on his nose, and a red
beard. When I first come in he didn't see me, owing to my being too quick
for him and dodging behind the Master. But when the Master drags me round
and I pulls at the sawdust to keep back, the judge looks at us
careless-like, and then stops and glares through his specs, and I knew it
was all up with me.

"Are there any more?" asks the judge to the gentleman at the gate, but
never taking his specs from me.

The man at the gate looks in his book. "Seven in the novice class," says
he. "They're all here. You can go ahead," and he shuts the gate.

The judge he doesn't hesitate a moment. He just waves his hand toward the
corner of the ring. "Take him away," he says to the Master, "over there,
and keep him away;" and he turns and looks most solemn at the six
beautiful bullterriers. I don't know how I crawled to that corner. I
wanted to scratch under the sawdust and dig myself a grave. The
kennel-men they slapped the rail with their hands and laughed at the
Master like they would fall over. They pointed at me in the corner, and
their sides just shaked. But little Miss Dorothy she presses her lips
tight against the rail, and I see tears rolling from her eyes. The Master
he hangs his head like he had been whipped. I felt most sorry for him
than all. He was so red, and he was letting on not to see the kennel-men,
and blinking his eyes. If the judge had ordered me right out it wouldn't
have disgraced us so, but it was keeping me there while he was judging
the highbred dogs that hurt so hard. With all those people staring, too.
And his doing it so quick, without no doubt nor questions. You can't fool
the judges. They see inside you.

But he couldn't make up his mind about them high-bred dogs. He scowls at
'em, and he glares at 'em, first with his head on the one side and then
on the other. And he feels of 'em, and orders 'em to run about. And Nolan
leans against the rails, with his head hung down, and pats me. And Miss
Dorothy comes over beside him, but don't say nothing, only wipes her eye
with her finger. A man on the other side of the rail he says to the
Master, "The judge don't like your dog?"

"No," says the Master.

"Have you ever shown him before?" says the man.

"No," says the Master, "and I'll never show him again. He's my dog," says
the Master, "and he suits me! And I don't care what no judges think." And
when he says them kind words, I licks his hand most grateful.

The judge had two of the six dogs on a little platform in the middle of
the ring, and he had chased the four other dogs into the corners, where
they was licking their chops, and letting on they didn't care, same as
Nolan was.

The two dogs on the platform was so beautiful that the judge hisself
couldn't tell which was the best of 'em, even when he stoops down and
holds their heads together. But at last he gives a sigh, and brushes the
sawdust off his knees, and goes to the table in the ring, where there was
a man keeping score, and heaps and heaps of blue and gold and red and
yellow ribbons. And the judge picks up a bunch of 'em and walks to the
two gentlemen who was holding the beautiful dogs, and he says to each,
"What's his number?" and he hands each gentleman a ribbon. And then he
turned sharp and comes straight at the Master.

"What's his number?" says the judge. And Master was so scared that he
couldn't make no answer.

But Miss Dorothy claps her hands and cries out like she was laughing,
"Three twenty-six," and the judge writes it down and shoves Master the
blue ribbon.

I bit the Master, and I jumps and bit Miss Dorothy, and I waggled so hard
that the Master couldn't hold me. When I get to the gate Miss Dorothy
snatches me up and kisses me between the ears, right before millions of
people, and they both hold me so tight that I didn't know which of them
was carrying of me. But one thing I knew, for I listened hard, as it was
the judge hisself as said it.

"Did you see that puppy I gave first to?" says the judge to the gentleman
at the gate.

"I did. He was a bit out of his class," says the gate gentleman.

"He certainly was!" says the judge, and they both laughed.

But I didn't care. They couldn't hurt me then, not with Nolan holding the
blue ribbon and Miss Dorothy hugging my ears, and the kennel-men sneaking
away, each looking like he'd been caught with his nose under the lid of
the slop can.

We sat down together, and we all three just talked as fast as we could.
They was so pleased that I couldn't help feeling proud myself, and I
barked and leaped about so gay that all the bull-terriers in our street
stretched on their chains and howled at me.

"Just look at him!" says one of those I had beat. "What's he giving
hisself airs about?"

"Because he's got one blue ribbon!" says another of 'em. "Why, when I was
a puppy I used to eat 'em, and if that judge could ever learn to know a
toy from a mastiff, I'd have had this one."

But Jimmy Jocks he leaned over from his bench and says, "Well done, Kid.
Didn't I tell you so?" What he 'ad told me was that I might get a
"commended," but I didn't remind him.

"Didn't I tell you," says Jimmy Jocks, "that I saw your grandfather make
his debut at the Crystal?"

"Yes, sir, you did, sir," says I, for I have no love for the men of my
family.

A gentleman with a showing-leash around his neck comes up just then and
looks at me very critical. "Nice dog you've got, Miss Wyndham," says he;
"would you care to sell him?"

"He's not my dog," says Miss Dorothy, holding me tight. "I wish he were."

"He's not for sale, sir," says the Master, and I was that glad.

"Oh, he's yours, is he?" says the gentleman, looking hard at Nolan.
"Well, I'll give you a hundred dollars for him," says he, careless-like.

"Thank you, sir; he's not for sale," says Nolan, but his eyes get very
big. The gentleman he walked away; but I watches him, and he talks to a
man in a golf-cap, and by and by the man comes along our street, looking
at all the dogs, and stops in front of me.

"This your dog?" says he to Nolan. "Pity he's so leggy," says he. "If he
had a good tail, and a longer stop, and his ears were set higher, he'd be
a good dog. As he is, I'll give you fifty dollars for him."

But, before the Master could speak, Miss Dorothy laughs and says: "You're
Mr. Polk's kennel-man, I believe. Well, you tell Mr. Polk from me that
the dog's not for sale now any more than he was five minutes ago,
and that when he is, he'll have to bid against me for him."

The man looks foolish at that, but he turns to Nolan quick-like. "I'll
give you three hundred for him," he says.

"Oh, indeed!" whispers Miss Dorothy, like she was talking to herself.
"That's it, is it?" And she turns and looks at me just as though she had
never seen me before. Nolan he was a-gaping, too, with his mouth open.
But he holds me tight.

"He's not for sale," he growls, like he was frightened; and the man looks
black and walks away.

'Why, Nolan!" cries Miss Dorothy, "Mr. Polk knows more about
bull-terriers than any amateur in America. What can he mean? Why, Kid is
no more than a puppy! Three hundred dollars for a puppy!"

"And he ain't no thoroughbred, neither!" cries the Master. "He's
'Unknown,' ain't he? Kid can't help it, of course, but his mother, miss-"

I dropped my head. I couldn't bear he should tell Miss Dorothy. I
couldn't bear she should know I had stolen my blue ribbon.

But the Master never told, for at that a gentleman runs up, calling,
"Three twenty-six, three twentysix!" And Miss Dorothy says, "Here he is;
what is it?"

"The Winners' class," says the gentleman. "Hurry, please; the judge is
waiting for him."

Nolan tries to get me off the chain on to a showing-leash, but he shakes
so, he only chokes me. "What is it, miss?" he says. "What is it?"

"The Winners' class," says Miss Dorothy. "The judge wants him with the
winners of the other classes--to decide which is the best. It's only a
form," says she. "He has the champions against him now."

"Yes," says the gentleman, as he hurries us to the ring. "I'm afraid it's
only a form for your dog, but the judge wants all the winners, puppy
class even."

We had got to the gate, and the gentleman there was writing down my
number.

"Who won the open?" asks Miss Dorothy.

"Oh, who would?" laughs the gentleman. "The old champion, of course. He's
won for three years now. There he is. Isn't he wonderful?" says he; and
he points to a dog that's standing proud and haughty on the platform in
the middle of the ring.

I never see so beautiful a dog-so fine and clean and noble, so white like
he had rolled hisself in flour, holding his nose up and his eyes shut,
same as though no one was worth looking at. Aside of him we other dogs,
even though we had a blue ribbon apiece, seemed like lumps of mud. He was
a royal gentleman, a king, he was. His master didn't have to hold his
head with no leash. He held it hisself, standing as still as an iron dog
on a lawn, like he knew all the people was looking at him. And so they
was, and no one around the ring pointed at no other dog but him.

"Oh, what a picture!" cried Miss Dorothy. "He's like a marble figure by a
great artist-one who loved dogs. Who is he?" says she, looking in her
book. 'I don't keep up with terriers."

"Oh, you know him," says the gentleman. "He is the champion of champions,
Regent Royal."

The Master's face went red.

"And this is Regent Royal's son," cries he, and he pulls me quick into
the ring, and plants me on the platform next my father.

I trembled so that I near fell. My legs twisted like a leash. But my
father he never looked at me. He only smiled the same sleepy smile, and
he still kept his eyes half shut, like as no one, no, not even his own
son, was worth his lookin' at.

The judge he didn't let me stay beside my father, but, one by one, he
placed the other dogs next to him and measured and felt and pulled at
them. And each one he put down, but he never put my father down. And then
he comes over and picks up me and sets me back on the platf orm, shoulder
to shoulder with the Champion Regent Royal, and goes down on his knees,
and looks into our eyes.

The gentleman with my f ather he laughs, and says to the judge, "Thinking
of keeping us here all day, John?" But the judge he doesn't hear him, and
goes behind us and runs his hand down my side, and holds back my cars,
and takes my jaws between his fingers. The crowd around the ring is very
deep now, and nobody says nothing. The gentleman at the score-table, he
is leaning forward, with his elbows on his knees and his eyes very wide,
and the gentleman at the gate is whispering quick to Miss Dorothy, who
has turned white. I stood as stiff as stone. I didn't even breathe. But
out of the corner of my eye I could see my father licking his pink chops,
and yawning just a little, like he was bored.

The judge he had stopped looking fierce and was looking solemn, Something
inside him seemed a-troubling him awful. The more he stares at us now,
the more solemn he gets, and when he touches us he does it gentle, like
he was patting us. For a long time he kneels in the sawdust, looking at
my father and at me, and no one around the ring says nothing to nobody.
Then the judge takes a breath and touches me sudden. "It's his," he says.
But he lays his hand just as quick on my father. "I'm sorry," says he.

The gentleman holding my father cries:

"Do you mean to tell me-"

And the judge he answers, "I mean the other is the better dog." He takes
my father's head between his hands and looks down at him most sorrowful.
"The king is dead," says he. "Long live the king! Goodbye, Regent," he
says.

The crowd around the railings clapped their hands, and some laughed
scornful, and every one talks fast, and I start for the gate, so dizzy
that I can't see my way. But my f ather pushes in front of me, walking
very daintily, and smiling sleepy, same as he had just been waked, with
his head high and his eyes shut, looking at nobody.

So that is how I "came by my inheritance," as Miss Dorothy calls it; and
just for that, though I couldn't feel where I was any different, the
crowd follows me to my bench, and pats me, and coos at me, like I was a
baby in a babycarriage. And the handlers have to hold 'em back so that
the gentlemen from the papers can make pictures of me, and Nolan walks me
up and down so proud, and the men shake their heads and says, "He
certainly is the true type, he is!" And the pretty ladies ask Miss
Dorothy, who sits beside me letting me lick her gloves to show the crowd
what friends we is, "Aren't you afraid he'll bite you?" And Jimmy Jocks
calls to me, "Didn't I tell you so? I always knew you were one of us.
Blood will out, Kid; blood will out. I saw your grandfather," says he,
"make his debut at the Crystal Palace. But he was never the dog you are!"

After that, if I could have asked for it, there was nothing I couldn't
get. You might have thought I was a snow-dog, and they was afeard I'd
melt. If I wet my pats, Nolan gave me a hot bath and chained me to the
stove; if I couldn't eat my food, being stuffed full by the cook,--for I
am a house-dog now, and let in to lunch, whether there is visitors or
not,--Nolan would run to bring the vet. It was all tommy rot, as Jimmy
says, but meant most kind. I couldn't scratch myself comfortable, without
Nolan giving me nasty drinks, and rubbing me outside till it burnt awful;
and I wasn't let to eat bones f or fear of spoiling my "beautiful" mouth,
what mother used to call my "punishing jaw;" and my food was cooked
special on a gas-stove; and Miss Dorothy gives me an overcoat, cut very
stylish like the champions', to wear when we goes out carriage-driving.

After the next Show where I takes three blue ribbons, four silver cups,
two medals, and brings home forty five dollars for Nolan, they gives me a
"registered" name, same as Jimmy's. Miss Dorothy wanted to call me
"Regent Heir Apparent;" but I was that glad when Nolan says, "No; Kid
don't owe nothing to his father, only to you and hisself. So, if you
please, miss, we'll call him Wyndham Kid." And so they did, and you can
see it on my overcoat in blue letters, and painted top of my kennel. It
was all too hard to understand. For days I just sat and wondered if I was
really me, and how it all come about, and why everybody was so kind. But
oh, it was so good they was, for if they hadn't been I'd never have got
the thing I most wished after. But, because they was kind, and not liking
to deny me nothing, they gave it me, and it was more to me than anything
in the world.

It came about one day when we was out driving. We was in the cart they
calls the dog-cart because it's the one Miss Dorothy keeps to take Jimmy
and me for an airing. Nolan was up behind, and me, in my new overcoat,
was sitting beside Miss Dorothy. I was admiring the view, and thinking
how good it was to have a horse pull you about so that you needn't get
yourself splashed and have to be washed, when I hears a dog calling loud
for help, and I pricks up my ears and looks over the horse's head. And I
sees something that makes me tremble down to my toes. In the road before
us three big dogs was chasing a little old lady-dog. She had a string to
her tail, where some boys had tied a can, and she was dirty with mud and
ashes, and torn most awful. She was too far done up to get away, and too
old to help herself, but she was making a fight for her life, snapping
her old gums savage, and dying game. All this I see in a wink, and then
the three dogs pinned her down, and I can't stand it no longer, and
clears the wheel and lands in the road on my head. It was my stylish
overcoat done that, and I cursed it proper, but I gets my pats again
quick, and makes a rush for the fighting. Behind me I hear Miss Dorothy
cry: "They'll kill that old dog. Wait, take my whip. Beat them off her!
The Kid can take care of himself;" and I hear Nolan fall into the road,
and the horse come to a stop. The old lady-dog was down, and the three
was eating her vicious; but as I come up, scattering the pebbles, she
hears, and thinking it's one more of them, she lifts her head, and my
heart breaks open like some one had sunk his teeth in it. For, under the
ashes arid the dirt and the blood, I can see who it is, and I know that
my mother has come back to me.

I gives a yell that throws them three dogs off their legs.

"Mother!" I cries. "I'm the Kid," I cries. "I'm coming to you. Mother,
I'm coming!"

And I shoots over her at the throat of the big dog, and the other two
they sinks their teeth into that stylish overcoat and tears it off me,
and that sets me free, and I lets them have it. I never had so fine a
fight as that! What with mother being there to see, and not having been
let to mix up in no fights since I become a prizewinner, it just
naturally did me good, and it wasn't three shakes before I had 'em
yelping. Quick as a wink, mother she jumps into help me, and I just
laughed to see her. It was so like old times. And Nolan he made me laugh,
too. He was like a hen on a bank, shaking the butt of his whip, but not
daring to cut in for fear of hitting me.

"Stop it, Kid," he says, "stop it. Do you want to be all torn up?" says
he. "Think of the Boston show," says he. "Think of Chicago. Think of
Danbury. Don't you never want to be a champion?"

How was I to think of all them places when I had three dogs to cut up at
the same time? But in a minute two of 'em begs for mercy, and mother and
me lets 'em run away. The big one he ain't able to run away. Then mother
and me we dances and jumps, and barks and laughs, and bites each other
and rolls each other in the road. There never was two dogs so happy as
we. And Nolan he whistles and calls and begs me to come to him; but I
just laugh and play larks with mother.

"Now, you come with me," says I, "to my new home, and never try to run
away again." And I shows her our house with the five red roofs, set on
the top of the hill. But mother trembles awful, and says: "They'd never
let me in such a place. Does the Viceroy live there, Kid?" says she. And
I laugh at her. "No; I do," I says. "And if they won't let you live
there, too, you and me will go back to the streets together, for we must
never be parted no more. So we trots up the hill side by side, with Nolan
trying to catch me, and Miss Dorothy laughing at him from the cart.

"The Kid's made friends with the poor old dog," says she. "Maybe he knew
her long ago when he ran the streets himself. Put her in here beside me,
and see if he doesn't follow."

So when I hears that I tells mother to go with Nolan and sit in the cart;
but she says no-that she'd soil the pretty lady's frock; but I tells her
to do as I say, and so Nolan lifts her, trembling still, into the cart,
and I runs alongside, barking joyful.

When we drives into the stables I takes mother to my kennel, and tells
her to go inside it and make herself at home. "Oh, but he won't let me!"
says she.

"Who won't let you?" says I, keeping my eye on Nolan, and growling a bit
nasty, just to show I was meaning to have my way.

"Why, Wyndham Kid," says she, looking up at the name on my kennel.

"But I'm Wyndham Kid!" says I. "You!" cries mother. "You! Is my little
Kid the great Wyndham Kid the dogs all talk about?" And at that, she
being very old, and sick, and nervous, as mothers are, just drops down in
the straw and weeps bitter.

Well, there ain't much more than that to tell. Miss Dorothy she settled
it.

"If the Kid wants the poor old thing in the stables," says she, "let her
stay."

"You see," says she, "she's a black-and-tan, and his mother was a
black-and-tan, and maybe that's what makes Kid feel so friendly toward
her," says she.

"Indeed, for me," says Nolan, "she can have the best there is. I'd never
drive out no dog that asks for a crust nor a shelter," he says. "But what
will Mr. Wyndham do?"

"He'll do what I say," says Miss Dorothy, "and if I say she's to stay,
she will stay, and I say-she's to stay!"

And so mother and Nolan and me found a home. Mother was scared at
first--not being used to kind people; but she was so gentle and loving
that the grooms got fonder of her than of me, and tried to make me
jealous by patting of her and giving her the pick of the vittles. But
that was the wrong way to hurt my feelings. That's all, I think. Mother
is so happy here that I tell her we ought to call it the Happy Hunting
Grounds, because no one hunts you, and there is nothing to hunt; it just
all comes to you. And so we live in peace, mother sleeping all day in the
sun, or behind the stove in the head groom's office, being fed twice a
day regular by Nolan, and all the day by the other grooms most irregular.
And as for me, I go hurrying around the country to the benchshows,
winning money and cups for Nolan, and taking the blue ribbons away from
father.



THE END





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