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Title: Prince Jan, St. Bernard
Author: Hooker, Forrestine C.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Prince Jan, St. Bernard" ***

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PRINCE JAN
ST. BERNARD



[Illustration: _"'The duty of a St. Bernard is to save lives and be
worthy of his ancestors.'"_]



PRINCE JAN
ST. BERNARD

BY FORRESTINE C. HOOKER

Illustrated by LYNN BOGUE HUNT

DOUBLEDAY & CO., INC.

GARDEN CITY, N.Y.

1946



TO

AN AMERICAN PATRIOT


My father, Brigadier-General Charles L. Cooper, U.S.A., whose life for
fifty-seven years, from May 27, 1862 to September 30, 1919, when he
answered the Last Roll Call, was devoted to the service of his Country
and his Flag.

F.C.H.



CL

1921, DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY,
N.Y.



CONTENTS

  CHAPTER                                            PAGE

        I. THE HOSPICE DOGS                             1
       II. THE LAND OF SNOW                            14
      III. A NEW WORLD                                 29
       IV. THE LAND OF NO SNOW                         38
        V. JAN LEARNS TO HATE                          46
       VI. THE POUND                                   58
      VII. HIPPITY-HOP                                 71
     VIII. THE MUZZLE                                  81
       IX. JAN'S JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE   94
        X. THE HOME OF THE SUNBONNET BABIES           101
       XI. PRINCE JAN VISITS SHORTY                   114
      XII. THE POUNDMASTER'S PROBLEM                  125
     XIII. THE VOICES OF THE HOSPICE DOGS             140
      XIV. A FIRESIDE STORY                           157
       XV. AN UNFORGOTTEN TRAIL                       167
      XVI. PRINCE JAN DECIDES                         175
     XVII. JAN'S REWARD                               180



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                Facing Page

    "'You must be crazy, this is the pound,' snapped
    the tiny creature"                                   62

    "'I wish the children could see Jan now'"           114

    "Then the roaring in his ears turned to the voices
    of the Hospice dogs--'The duty of a St. Bernard
    is to save lives'"                                  148



PRINCE JAN

_St. Bernard_



Chapter I

THE HOSPICE DOGS


Prince Jan was a fuzzy, woolly puppy with clumsy paws and fat, round
body covered with tawny hair. His brown eyes looked with loving
good-will at everything and everybody.

Jan and his brother, Rollo, had great fun playing together, his long fur
making it easy for Rollo to haul him around, while Jan's teeth slipped
from his brother's short hair. Though they tumbled about and growled
fiercely at each other, their eyes were dancing with laughter.

When tired of playing, they would coax their mother to tell them stories
about the Hospice dogs. Then they would lie very quietly listening with
pricked-up ears and earnest eyes. Sometimes Bruno, the oldest dog in
the kennels, would join in the talk, and all the young dogs would gather
around to hear the history of their family. Prince Jan and Rollo,
cuddled beside their mother, would look at each other with pride,
remembering that they, too, were St. Bernards.

"I have heard the monks tell visitors that our ancestors have lived in
the Hospice for a thousand years," said Bruno in one of his talks. "When
you puppies are old enough, you will be trained for work. The duty of a
St. Bernard dog is to save lives and be worthy of his ancestors."

Jan and Rollo looked at him and thumped their tails to show that they
understood.

"A good St. Bernard dog must have a sensitive nose, sturdy legs, and
keen brains," Bruno's voice was very sober. "He knows what he must do
when he finds a human being lost in the storm or frozen in the snow.
Then he leads the way to the Hospice, or if the traveller does not
follow, the dog brings monks to aid the man. Should one of us ever fail
to do his best," he turned his big head slowly and his eyes were serious
as he looked at the puppies, "it would mean disgrace for all the rest of
the St. Bernard dogs."

"Tell us more stories, Bruno," the youngsters begged.

"Not to-day," Bruno shook his wise head. "Your ancestors have done great
things, and you have the right to be proud of them, but the only way to
prove yourselves worthy is for you to do your duty as well as they did
theirs. Unless you remember your lessons and follow them, you will not
be true St. Bernards, and your failures will be stains on the honor of
the name we bear. Never forget that as long as you live!"

Bruno understood that the soft little whimpers were promises that each
puppy would do his best when the test came to him. Jan and Rollo watched
the old dog, limping from rheumatism in his shoulders, move slowly
across the enclosed yard that opened from the kennels. Bruno was no
longer able to go out on the trails, but spent his days teaching the
young dogs. Sometimes he would lie asleep, and when his paws jerked and
his tail moved, Jan's mother would say, "Be quiet, children! Bruno is
dreaming he is out on the trail."

Then she would speak softly, "When you are older you will be taught to
break trails through the snow and carry food and wine, fastened about
your necks. You may be tempted, when the wind howls and the snow blinds
you, to sneak back or hide in a sheltered place. You must not forget, as
long as you live, that there was never a traitor or coward in your
father's family or in mine. When you remember this, you will stagger on
or crawl, if you cannot stand, and keep your nose close to the ground,
sniffing and sniffing."

She turned her head toward the white peaks that loomed high above the
stone walls around the enclosure. "Only a St. Bernard can tell whether
the snow which has drifted during the night is strong enough to bear the
weight of a man, or whether that man would sink beyond rescuing."

Jan and his brother waited respectfully when she stopped speaking and
stared at the mountain-tops, until she said, "Sometimes, you will find
an ice-bridge. Then you must go very carefully. If it creaks beneath
your weight, never let any human being step on it, even if you must
fight him back. Your father, Rex, died when an ice-bridge broke through;
but he saved four men from death. Always remember one thing. To die
doing one's duty is the greatest honor that can come to a St. Bernard."

The two puppies whined softly and their mother knew that each of her
children was promising that he would do his best to be worthy of such a
father.

"Ah," said Prince Jan to his brother, as their mother crossed the yard
toward the kennel, "some day we, too, will go out and do our work. Won't
that be glorious, Rollo?"

In their happiness they raced to their mother, who watched them with
loving, proud eyes. When they reached her side Jan measured himself to
see how much bigger he must grow, for though he was large for his age,
he was only six months old.

"Oh, if I could only grow faster, mother!" he cried.

"Be patient, Jan," she answered, biting his ear gently. "Your time is
coming soon!"

"My time is coming! My time is coming!" Jan leaped and barked in glee.

"Mine, too!" called Rollo. "We'll work together, Jan!"

The big door leading from the enclosure where the dogs romped and played
swung open, and two men who came out, stood looking at the dogs. The
puppies watched eagerly, for these men had charge of the youngsters. All
the dogs knew them, and even if the men had been strangers the Hospice
dogs would have known they were monks who belonged to the Hospice, for
the clothes they wore were different from the clothes of other men who
came to the Hospice for a day or two.

A long, black, close-fitting coat reached almost to the feet of each
monk, a peaked hood hung between his shoulders and a little round,
black, skull-cap was on his head. All of the monks dressed the same way,
and when it was cold and they went out on the trail, they took off the
little cap and pulled the peaked hood over their heads and around their
ears.

The dogs hurried to the monks and one of the men leaned down and felt
Jan's legs and back. Prince Jan looked anxiously into the two kindly
faces. He had seen them do the same thing with other puppies, and
afterwards many of his playmates went away and never returned. At first
he and Rollo thought they had died on the trail, like their ancestors;
but Jan's mother shook her head sadly and said, "They were not strong
enough to do the work."

Now he remembered this and wondered if he would be sent away. His little
legs and back stiffened so that the monks would see how strong he was.

"I believe this will be one of the best dogs we have had since Barry's
time," said Brother Antoine, running his hand along Jan's back. "He has
wonderful muscles and a very strong back. We will take him out and give
him a trial to-morrow."

Jan licked the hand that rested on his head, then he dashed to his
mother's side, yelping with excitement and panting out the good news.

She looked with pride into his happy eyes and said, "You are going to be
just like your father! He was a descendant of Barry, the bravest dog of
us all. You will be a credit to your ancestors!"

"I will do the very best I can," promised little Prince Jan. Then he lay
down and wrinkled his soft forehead as he tried to remember everything
that Bruno and his mother had taught him, so that he would be ready for
his first lesson.

The next morning he was wide awake before any of the other dogs. They
all slept in a big basement under the Hospice building. Jan could see
the arched corridors that reached along the big room with its floor of
grey stone. The cows of the Hospice were kept in the basement, too, for
there was never any green grass outside for them to graze upon. Here and
there curled dogs that Prince Jan knew. Jupitiére, Junon, Mars, Vulcan,
Pluton, Leon, and Bruno were not far away from him.

At last the door leading to the yard was opened and the dogs raced and
tumbled out, looking like great, tawny lions and cubs rushing from stone
cages. They ate a breakfast of boiled rice that was poured into troughs
for them, then Jan turned impatiently to the door, hoping it would not
be very long before Brother Antoine would come for him. When the monk
appeared on the stone steps Jan trembled nervously, and went forward
quickly, but stopped at a certain point. He remembered what his mother
had told him and Rollo. They must never step beyond that place, even
though visitors called to them. Brother Antoine smiled as he saw the pup
halt.

"Time for your first lesson, Prince Jan," said the monk in his gentle
voice that all the dogs loved. Rollo whined pleadingly, and the monk
laughed, "Yes, you, too, Rollo. Come along, both of you!"

With sharp yelps they followed to the door, through the arched
corridors, up a short flight of steps, past a big room. Rollo and Jan
waited impatiently while Brother Antoine unfastened three doors, one
after the other, and then as the last one opened, the two dogs dashed
out into the snow.

They gave little barks of joy and thrust their noses into the cold white
mass, tossing it high and digging into drifts with broad clumsy paws,
then stopping to rush at each other and tumble almost out of sight in
their play.

It was summer-time at the Hospice, though no one would have guessed it,
for the snow lay in masses on all sides, the little lake was frozen
over, and the peaks of the mountains were sheeted with snow and
blue-white ice that never melted the year around. There was not so much
danger for travellers during the months of July and August, and as the
work was lighter for both the dogs and the monks, the puppies were then
taken out for their first lessons.

A collar was fastened to Prince Jan's neck and from it hung a small
bell that tinkled clearly with each step the proud little fellow took.
When he looked back he saw his brother also had a collar and bell, and
then a casket was tied to each pup's neck. Both dogs watched the monks
and at a sign from Brother Antoine they trotted carefully along the
narrow, slippery way.

There were no trees, grass, or flowers growing for many miles around the
Hospice, for the earth was buried deep under rocks, and these rocks were
covered all the time with a white blanket of snow, which drifted into
the hollow places until it was many feet deep. The narrow trail twisted
between cragged mountains, and often the dogs could look down so far
that it would have made them dizzy, had they not been Hospice dogs.

They trudged along happily for a long distance, then Brother Antoine
spoke to his companion and commanded Jan and Rollo to lie down. They
obeyed at once, and watched him go on alone until he disappeared around
a bend of the trail. The pups looked at each other anxiously, and fixed
their eyes on the face of the monk who had stayed with them, but he was
staring at the trail. Prince Jan whimpered softly, and Rollo echoed the
sound, but neither of them rose to their feet.

"Wait!" said the monk, and the dogs trembled with eagerness as they
sniffed the cold air.

At last the monk ordered, "Go!" Instantly they leaped to their feet and
raced along the narrow pathway, their noses close against the snow to
catch the scent of Brother Antoine who was somewhere ahead of them.

At times they ran from the path to follow little gullies of heavy snow.
They knew that Brother Antoine had trodden here, though no trace of his
steps could be seen on the surface, for the snow slid quickly in the
summer months, and masses of it kept covering the slopes as it shifted
rapidly. In this way Jan and Rollo trailed Brother Antoine until they
reached a spot where they could find no further scent though they went
around in circles. The other monk, who had followed more slowly, stood
watching them as they paused, uncertain what to do. He made no sign to
help them, but suddenly Prince Jan gave a sharp bark and thrust his nose
deeply into the snow, where he began digging as fast as he could. Rollo,
too, understood, and his front paws worked as fast as his brother's
until they had uncovered the face and shoulders of Brother Antoine, who
had buried himself under the snow to see if they could find him.

Both puppies leaped about in glee, barking and yelping until the sides
of the narrow pass sent back echoes like many unseen dogs answering
them. Brother Antoine rose to his feet, smiling. He patted the soft,
fuzzy heads while the other monk told how the dogs had acted without any
help at all.

"Jan led the way," he said to Brother Antoine. "He shows wonderful
intelligence."

"It is his father's blood," replied Brother Antoine, then he pointed
toward the Hospice. "Go back!" he ordered. Prince Jan started obediently
toward his home, while Rollo followed closely, but every once in a while
both dogs turned back, or waited a bit, until the monks caught up to
them.

They reached the stone steps leading up to the front door of the
Hospice. The door swung open, and the puppies, with Brother Antoine,
trudged through the long corridor, down to the basement, under the high
archways and once again were in the big, enclosed yard. The other dogs
crowded about them as they stood proud and important, for that day
Prince Jan and Rollo had learned the first lesson on the trail. But they
both knew that this was only play and their real work would come when
the snow piled so deep about the walls of the Hospice that it almost
reached the high, peaked roof.



Chapter II

THE LAND OF SNOW


The lesson of the trail had to be repeated several times, before the two
puppies understood just what they were expected to do. Day after day
their mother told them more about the brave deeds of the St. Bernard
dogs, for the work of the mother-dogs of the Hospice was to teach the
puppies to be kindly, obedient and loyal to the trust placed in them by
the good monks.

July and August, the two months that were called the summer-time at the
Hospice, passed swiftly, and Jan and Rollo knew that very soon it would
be winter. The first big snow storm blew over the mountains early in
September, while Jan and his brother slept, warm and snug, beside their
mother. Next morning no sun could be seen, and when the dogs rushed into
the enclosures, dark clouds, shrieking winds, and sheets of driving snow
told them that winter had begun and soon there would be hard work for
them all.

Jan and Rollo quivered with excitement and envy when they saw the older
dogs pass through the long corridors that day, and each time one of the
monks came into the basement where the dogs waited, all of them started
to their feet and wagged their tails, hoping to be taken out for work.

While Jan and Rollo watched and waited, their mother talked to them.

"Sometimes," she said, "you will find a white mound, and you must never
pass it by without digging to see if any one is under it. You have
learned already that when you find a man, you must lick his face and
hands to waken him, and if you cannot rouse him, so that he will stand
up, or put his arms about your neck, you must hurry to the Hospice to
bring the monks. That way, you may save a life, and then, perhaps, you
will have a collar or a medal, like Barry, and travellers who sit in the
big room will be told that you were worthy of your ancestors."

"Tell us about the Big Room," begged Rollo, while Jan gave a gentle
little nudge of his nose to coax his mother. Both of them had heard
many times from their mother, from Bruno, and the other older dogs,
about the Big Room, yet they never tired hearing of it. Now they bunched
themselves into furry balls with their heads against their mother's soft
breast, as she began: "In the Big Room are many beautiful pictures that
have been sent from travellers rescued by our kinsfolk. Sometimes a
handsome collar is sent to a dog that has saved a life, but the greatest
honor of all was the medal that was given to Barry, and the beautiful
marble monument that you puppies have seen near the Hospice. Your father
had a collar sent to him by the men he saved. They knew he would never
wear it, but they asked that it be hung above the fireplace in the Big
Room. Some day, I hope you, Jan and Rollo, will have collars there. Now,
run and play," she ended, giving each pup a push with her nose. "Even
though you cannot go out to-day, you must romp, for that will make your
backs and legs strong. If you are not strong you will be sent away from
the Hospice and never come back. That is a terrible thing for a St.
Bernard. I don't want it to happen to either of you!"

Though it was so cold and stormy, the two dogs leaped to their feet and
ran through the half-shut door that led to the big enclosure. Jan was
ahead, and Rollo scampered after him. Around and around the yard they
went, dodging each other until Rollo managed to catch the tip of his
brother's fuzzy tail. This did not make Jan stop running, so Rollo was
dragged after him through the heaps of snow, rolling over and over but
clinging tightly until Jan turned and pounced upon him. They tumbled
about, sometimes Jan was on top, sometimes Rollo, and they looked like a
huge, yellow spider with eight sturdy, furry legs kicking wildly. At
last, panting, they sprawled facing each other with pink tongues hanging
from their open mouths and eyes twinkling merrily.

The sound of Brother Antoine's voice made them look up quickly, and they
saw two visitors were with him. The dogs were accustomed to visitors,
for in the summer many people came to see the Hospice and the dogs, but
in the winter the strangers sought refuge from storms.

"Come on, Rollo," called Jan, as the monk and the men with him came down
the steps. "There's Brother Antoine. I'll beat you to him! Show him how
fast we can run!"

Before Jan had finished, the two puppies were tearing madly toward the
monk and the other men. One of these strangers wore a long fur overcoat,
the other was a much younger man with kindly grey eyes. Jan won the
race, but was going so fast that he could not stop until he bumped
against this grey-eyed man, who smiled and leaned down to pat him. Jan
squirmed around and touched the hand with his nose, then edged nearer
Brother Antoine, who called the dogs about him.

It was a splendid sight to see them cross the enclosure, their great
heads held proudly, their eyes beaming with intelligence and kindness,
the strong muscles moving beneath the tawny skins, as though each one of
them, old and young, understood that the honor of his forefathers must
be guarded from any act that would injure it.

Bruno limped slowly, Jan's mother walked sedately beside him, back of
them were Jupitiére, Junon, Mars, Vulcan, Pluton, Leon, and among the
older dogs came those the same age as Jan and Rollo, followed by the
mothers with still smaller puppies. They reached a place in the yard
where all of them stopped, and though the man in the fur coat, who
stood a distance back of Brother Antoine and the younger man, called to
them, the dogs only wagged their tails and did not go any closer.

"You will have to come further," said the monk. "The dogs know that they
must not cross to you, for the first thing a puppy learns is to respect
the boundary line."

The fur-coated man moved to where Brother Antoine and the other man
stood, then the dogs grouped about while the monk talked to the
visitors.

"They seem to understand every word you say," the old man spoke. "Their
eyes are so intelligent."

"They are living sermons on obedience, loyalty, and self-sacrifice,"
answered Brother Antoine's gentle voice. "Not one of these dogs would
hesitate to risk his life to save his most bitter enemy. That has been
their heritage for almost a thousand years, now."

"Natural instinct counts for a great deal," the grey-eyed man spoke as
he looked into the upturned faces of the dogs, "but the patient training
you give them has developed it."

"The older dogs help us teach the youngsters," went on the monk, whose
hand rested on Jan's head. "We send out four dogs each morning--two
younger ones and two of the old ones. One pair goes on the trail down
the Italian slope toward Aosta, the other travels the Swiss path leading
to Martigny. None of them turns back until the last cabin of refuge has
been reached, where they look to see if any person is waiting. It is not
unusual for the dogs to stay out all night in a hard storm. There have
been many instances of their remaining away for two days and nights,
without food or shelter, though at any time they could have come home."

"Our guide showed us the cabin," interrupted the older man. "The
footprints of the dogs proved they had been there a short time before
us. We followed their tracks until the storm covered them. It was a
lucky thing the storm did not break earlier."

"The dogs would have found you, Mr. Pixley," the monk replied. "You see,
since we have had a telephone from the Hospice, each time travellers
start up the trails, we know when they leave Martigny or Aosta and how
many are on the way. If they do not reach here in reasonable time, or a
storm breaks, we send out the dogs at once. It was much harder in the
other days, before we had telephones, for we could not tell how many
poor souls were struggling in the snow. The dogs seemed to understand,
too, and so they kept on searching until they believed they had found
all."

"I would not have attempted this trip had I not been assured that it was
too early for a bad storm," said Mr. Pixley. "It is foolhardy, not
courageous, to face these mountains in a winter storm. I cannot imagine
any one being so rash as to try it, but I suppose many do?"

"During the winter only poor peasants travel the Pass," was Brother
Antoine's answer. "They cross from Italy to seek work in the vineyards
of France or Switzerland for the summer. When summer is over they return
home this way, because it would mean a long and expensive trip by rail,
which would take all they have earned for a whole year. An entire family
will travel together, and often the youngest will be a babe in its
mother's arms."

"I should think they would wait till later in the summer, and take no
risks."

"Only the good God knows when a snow storm will overtake one in the Pass
of Great St. Bernard," Brother Antoine said. "Even in our summer
months, when a light shower of rain falls in the Valley below, it
becomes a heavy snow up here, and many people are taken unawares. After
winter really begins, in September, the snow is often from seven to ten
feet deep and the drifts pile up against the walls of the Hospice as
high as the third story roof."

"I had planned to visit Berne," Mr. Pixley spoke now, "but after this
sample of your winter weather I have decided to return home to
California. I do not enjoy snow storms. We have none where I live, you
know."

Brother Antoine nodded. "Yes, I know; but I hope some day you will visit
Berne and see Barry. His skin was mounted and is kept in the Museum at
Berne. You know his record? He saved forty-two people and died in 1815,
just after the terrible storm that cost the lives of almost all the
Hospice dogs. Only three St. Bernards lived through those days--Barry,
Pluto, and Pallas. A few crawled home to die of exhaustion and cold; the
rest lie buried under thousands of feet of snow, but they all died like
heroes!"

"A glorious record!" exclaimed the younger man, who had been patting
Jan while the others talked. "I remember, when I was a very small boy,
that I found a picture in a book. It showed a St. Bernard dog digging a
man from the snow, and last night I recognized the picture in that
painting which hangs over the fireplace in the refectory."

"It was a gift from a noted artist," replied the monk. "The dogs used to
carry a little saddle with a warm shawl, but the extra weight was hard
on them, so we do not use the saddle any longer, but a flagon, or wooden
keg of white brandy that we call 'kirsch,' is fastened to the collar,
together with a bell, so that the tinkling will tell that help is near,
even though it may be too dark for any one to see the dog."

"I notice that most of the dogs are short-haired," the grey-eyed man
observed. "Such fur as this pup's would afford better protection against
the cold. He has a magnificent coat of hair!"

"That is the only point against him," said Brother Antoine. "During the
big storm of 1815 we learned that long-haired dogs break down from the
snow clinging and freezing like a coat of mail; or the thick hair
holding moisture developed pneumonia. We brought Newfoundland dogs to
fill the kennels when only three St. Bernards were left, but the long,
heavy hair of the new breed that was part Newfoundland and part St.
Bernard proved a failure. They could not stand the snow storms. Now, we
very rarely keep a long-haired pup. He is generally sold or presented to
some one who will give him kind treatment."

Jan looked suddenly at Rollo and the other puppies near him. All except
himself had short hair. Now he remembered his mother's worried eyes each
time the monks had examined him. He hurried to her side and pushed her
with his nose, as he whispered, "Mother, will they send me away because
I have long hair? You know, Brother Antoine said that I was one of the
best dogs they have had for a long time!"

"Don't worry, Jan," she soothed him. "Even though your fur is long, you
are so strong and so like your father, who had long hair, too, that I am
sure you will be kept here. Hurry, Jan I Brother Antoine is calling you
back."

Jan pushed among the other dogs until he stood again at the monk's side.
The two strangers looked at Jan, and Brother Antoine touched the pup's
head lovingly.

"His father was one of our best dogs," the monk spoke. "But that was not
surprising. He was a direct descendant of Barry. Four travellers owe
their lives to Jan's father, Rex."

The little fellow tried not to look too proud as he listened again to
the story his mother had told him and Rollo many times.

"Rex was guiding four men to the Hospice after a big storm last Fall. It
was the worst since 1815. The men told us the story after they reached
us. They had lost all hope, their guide had fallen down a crevasse and
they were exhausted when Rex found them. They knew that their only
chance of life was to follow him. He went ahead, moving very slowly and
looking back while he barked to encourage them. An ice-bridge had
formed. It was hidden by deep snow and they did not understand the
danger that Rex knew so well. The dog went ahead, the men keeping
closely behind him. Half way across he turned and began barking
fiercely, and as they drew nearer, he started toward them uttering
savage snarls.

"They thought the dog had gone mad, and backed away as he advanced
threateningly. Then suddenly his snarl turned to a mournful howl that
was lost in frightful cracking as the ice-bridge broke away. Rex was
never seen again, but his warning prevented those four men from being
smothered in the chasm under hundreds of feet of snow. So, you see, this
little fellow comes of royal blood. That is why we named him 'Prince
Jan.' He looks just like his father, too!"

Jan thrust his warm nose into Brother Antoine's hand.

"I want to be like my father and Barry," he said, hoping they would
understand him, as he understood them. "I will do my very best to be
worthy of them both!"

The visitors and the monk did not know what Jan said, but the other dogs
understood. Bruno's dim eyes beamed on the pup.

"You will be a credit to us all, Prince Jan!"

The strangers and Brother Antoine left the yard, and the dogs formed in
little groups to talk among themselves, as they always did when new
people came to see them.

"That man came from America," Bruno said to Jan's mother.

"Lots of people from America visit us," she replied, trying not to
yawn, for the storm had kept her awake. All night, while she felt the
warm little bodies of the puppies pressed against her side, she had
stared into the darkness, thinking of the time when Prince Jan and his
brother must go out, like their father, Rex, to do the work of the St.
Bernards.

"Yes," Bruno added in a queer voice, "but this man said he was from
California, where they never have any snow!"

"What?" shouted all the dogs together. "A place where they never have
any snow? Oh, what a funny place that must be!"

"What do they walk on?" asked Jan's mother curiously.

Before Bruno could answer, Jan shoved up and said earnestly: "But,
mother, how do dogs save people where there is no snow?"

"I am sure I don't know," she told him. "Ask Bruno."

Neither Bruno nor any of the other dogs could explain this mystery,
though Jan went to each in turn for an answer to his question. At last
he lay down, his nose wedged between his paws, his yellow forehead
wrinkled with thought, and he stared across at the tops of the great
white peaks above the enclosure until his soft eyes closed in sleep.
Soon he was dreaming that he was digging travellers from the snow and
asking them, "Won't you please tell me how a dog can save people in a
land where there is no snow?"

But none of them could answer his question.



Chapter III

A NEW WORLD


The next morning Mr. Pixley and Brother Antoine returned to the kennel
yard and Jan wagged his tail politely to show that he recognized the
visitor, who leaned down and patted him while talking to the monk.

"You may be sure he will receive the very best care," said the man from
California.

"We are always treated kindly," Prince Jan hastened to say, and he
glanced at Rollo, who replied, "Of course, we are!"

The two pups did not notice Mr. Pixley's next words, "My little girl
will be delighted with him."

Brother Antoine called, "Here, Jan," and when the little fellow stood
looking up with bright, expectant eyes, the monk fastened a collar about
the dog's neck.

Jan trembled. He was sure that he was now going to be sent out to do
his first work on the trail. It would not be playing this time, but real
work like the big dogs. The collar was stiff but he did not mind the
discomfort, for it meant that he was not a puppy any longer. He twisted
his head to see which of the older dogs was to go out with him, as he
crossed the forbidden line with the monk. The only dog that followed Jan
was his brother, Rollo, and when Brother Antoine ordered, "Go back,
Rollo!" the pup's ears and tail drooped and he slunk back to his mother
as though in disgrace.

"The big dogs must be waiting outside," thought Jan happily, and he
walked proudly beside the monk until he stood on the top step, then he
looked back at his mother, Bruno, Rollo, and the other dogs who were
watching him. Usually they all barked joyously when a pup was to go out
on his first real work, and the noisy barks were advice. Now, the only
sounds were two short barks from Bruno, "Good-bye, Jan! Remember your
father!"

"I will remember him!" he called back, and then he wondered at the long,
despairing howl from his mother. It filled his heart with dread.

"Come, Jan," the monk spoke, and the little fellow turned obediently
toward the door that would shut him from sight of the other dogs. His
feet dragged now, and as he passed through the doorway leading to the
long corridor he looked back once more.

When he stood outside the big entrance door, he saw the snow covering
the mountains and hiding the chasms that he had seen in the summer when
he had been out having his lessons with Rollo. He knew these smooth,
level places held real danger. Then he saw dog tracks leading in two
directions from the steps, but none of the older dogs were waiting for
him. As he looked up with questioning, brown eyes, Brother Antoine
leaned down and fastened a stout rope to the new collar and handed the
end of this rope to Mr. Pixley, who was muffled in his big, fur coat. A
guide was with Mr. Pixley. As they stood there a moment, the door of the
Hospice again opened, and this time the grey-eyed man and another guide
came out. The kind, grey eyes looked at Jan, then the man stooped over
and patted him gently, and no one but the dog heard the pitying voice
that said, "Poor little Prince Jan! Good-bye!"

Brother Antoine lifted Jan's nose and the pup looked into the monk's
eyes, but there was something he did not understand. It was all so
different from what the other dogs had told him. He felt the rope tug
his collar and knew that he must follow this stranger. He heard again a
heart-rending howl from his mother, "Good-bye, Jan, good-bye!" Bruno's
voice blended with hers, and then the voices of all the dogs Jan knew
and loved mingled in that call. Something hurt him all over, but most of
the hurt was in his heart.

He halted suddenly, pulled stiffly on the rope and the wild cry he sent
in response echoed mournfully from the high, white crags and died away
to a whispering moan, as Prince Jan, with low-hanging head and drooping
tail, travelled down the path that his ancestors had trodden many years
on their errands of mercy. He wondered why he had been sent out with a
rope tied to his collar, why no older dog went with him, and why he must
follow this stranger instead of one of the monks. Jan felt that he was
disgraced. Someway he had failed. For a while he followed despondently,
then he tried to comfort himself as he trudged at the end of the rope.

"Bruno and mother will know what is the matter," he thought hopefully.
"I'll ask them as soon as I get home to-night."

He looked back wistfully several times to see if the kindly, grey-eyed
stranger might be following them, but he had taken the opposite trail
from the one Mr. Pixley was travelling. Jan did not mind the long tramp
which ended at a place where houses were scattered about. Here a
carriage and horses were brought, and Jan would have been much
interested in these strange things had he not been so worried. He felt
himself lifted into the carriage with Mr. Pixley; then, as it moved, Jan
was thrown against the fur coat and looked up in fright.

"You are going to a new land," Mr. Pixley said, smoothing the pup's
velvety ear.

The dog lifted one paw and laid it on the man's knee, the brown eyes
that looked up were dull with misery. Jan knew, now, that he was being
taken away from the Hospice.

"Won't you take me back?" he begged.

But the man only heard a little whimper, and gave the dog a quick pat.
"You and Elizabeth will be great friends. Lie down now and be quiet!"

Jan dropped to the floor of the carriage, his head between his paws,
and his eyes that stared at the strange new master were full of wistful
pleading.

After that ride came days in a big, dark place that bumped and jerked
with horrible noises. He did not know that he was on a train. Jan had
lived all his life where the only disturbing sounds were the soft thud
of melting snow and the hissing of the avalanches down the mountain
sides. These strange noises hurt his ears. The pain in his heart kept
growing until he could only lie still and draw his breath in smothered
little whimpers that tore the inside of his throat. He could not eat nor
drink.

When Mr. Pixley took him from the train, the dog was led through crowds
of people and bustling, noisy streets that made Jan cringe and cower. At
last they reached a place where water stretched so far that it touched
the sky, and the water kept moving all the time. This frightened him,
for he had never seen any water excepting in the little lake at the
Hospice, and that water did not move, for it was nearly always frozen
over. Bewildered, Jan hung back, but the man to whom Mr. Pixley had
handed the rope dragged the dog up a walk of boards to a
strange-looking house on top of the water. Jan stumbled down the dark
stairs, into a hot, smelly place where he was fastened to a wall. An old
sack was thrown down, water and meat placed before him, then he was left
alone. Whistles screamed, bells jangled, all sorts of noises pounded
Jan's shrinking, sensitive ears as he cowered in an agony of fear. The
boat moved; but he thought, as it puffed and trembled, that a huge,
strange animal had swallowed him alive.

The rolling motion made him very sick. He could neither eat nor sleep,
but grew stiff and sore during the days and nights he was kept tied in
the hold of the vessel. Homesick and lonesome, poor little Prince Jan
lay for hours crying softly, but the only attention any one gave him was
to fill pans with water and food.

One day two women, wearing white caps on their heads, climbed down the
stairs with a little girl and boy. The children ran and put their arms
about the dog's neck and Jan wriggled and squirmed with happiness, while
he licked their hands and faces.

"Don't touch him," cried one of the women, pulling the girl away. "He
is filthy, beside, he might bite you."

The child drew back in alarm. Jan's gentle eyes watched them and his
tail waved slowly, trying to make them know that he loved them and would
not hurt them or anybody in the world.

"He won't hurt us, Nurse," the boy declared and put his hand on the
dog's big head. "I don't care whether he's dirty or clean, he's a bully
fine dog, and I wish he belonged to me and sister!"

"Oh, if they will only stay with me!" hoped Jan. "Maybe they would
understand and some day take me back to the Hospice."

The boy smiled into Jan's eyes, but he did not know what the dog was
trying to say.

"Come, children, we must go," one of the women spoke. "Now, you have
seen a dog that cost over a thousand dollars and is being taken to live
in California, where oranges grow and there is never any snow."

Jan turned quickly. He remembered all the dogs at the Hospice had talked
about the place where there was never any snow.

"How can a dog save lives where there is no snow?" he asked; but the
women and children, as they turned away, thought he was whining because
they were leaving him alone.

With miserable eyes Jan lay staring into the dark, wondering how he
could be like his father and Barry in a country where there was no snow.



Chapter IV

THE LAND OF NO SNOW


The voyage ended, then followed another long trip in a train and Jan
reached his new home. A little girl with long, yellow curls, big blue
eyes, and pink cheeks, danced down the steps from the wide porch of a
big house as they approached.

Mr. Pixley caught her in his arms, then put her on the ground and called
to Jan, who was still in the automobile which had met them at the
station. The dog leaped out and ran to the child, looking into her face,
while his tail bobbed and waved.

"Oh, you beautiful Prince Jan!" she cried, throwing her arms about his
neck and squeezing him tightly. "I love you!"

Jan's tongue caressed her hands, touched her cheek, and his body
squirmed and twisted, then he flopped on the ground and rolled on his
back, waving his paws to show that he loved her. Obeying her call, he
trotted be sidle her, past strange trees growing on stretches of fresh,
green grass. Jan looked about him and saw that this new stuff that was
so soft when he walked upon it, reached down to the blue water, and that
water sparkled as far as he could see, and then it seemed to become a
part of the sky. Wonderful things that gave out delicate perfume formed
brilliant patches about the house and even clung high up on the walls.
Later, he learned these things were flowers, and when the wind blew
softly, they bent and swayed like lovely ladies in their prettiest
gowns, bowing and dancing. From the thick leaves of the trees floated
songs of hidden birds. Jan's head turned quickly from side to side,
trying to see everything and understand what he saw, but the most
wonderful thing to him was the dear little mistress, who talked to him
as if she knew he understood her words.

All the people in the big house were very kind to Jan, and he soon grew
accustomed to his new home. His only duty was to take care of Elizabeth,
who was so gentle and loving that he was glad and proud to guard her.
Wherever she went, he went, too.

The governess heard Elizabeth's lessons out on the lawn under the shade
of an orange tree, and Jan kept close at hand, watching the little
girl's face, and waiting patiently for the lesson to end. Then a pony
was led to the front door, and as Elizabeth rode over the firm sand of
the beach, Jan raced beside her, barking or rushing out to fight back a
wave that was sneaking too close. He loved the water, and the best time
of all, he thought, was when his mistress took her swimming lesson and
he could plough through the waves beside her. Often she would lie on her
back in the hissing, white surf, holding to Jan's collar until they both
landed on the warm sand. Sometimes the two of them would dig a big hole,
and the dog would scrunch into it, while she buried him until only his
nose and eyes could be seen. Jan was so happy that at times he forgot
the Hospice and the work his mother had told him he must do. When he did
remember it, he would puzzle over and over, "But, how can I save
people's lives here, where there is never any snow, and every one is
happy and safe?"

Christmas came, and there was a glittering tree with lights and
beautiful things on it. All the family patted Jan when Elizabeth took
down a handsome collar.

"This is for you, Jan," she said.

As she fastened it about his neck, he thought of the big room at the
Hospice, but he knew, now, no collar of his would ever hang there.
Suddenly, all the old longing for the Hospice dogs and the work made him
walk slowly out of the house and lie down on the front porch, where he
could see the blue ocean dancing in the warm sunshine, the soft, green
grass, and the beautiful flowers.

"Oh, if I could only go back home to the snow and do my work there!" he
wished, and then, in a little while he fell sound asleep.

The Fairy of Happy Dreams was very busy that Christmas Day, and when she
flew over Prince Jan and saw he was so lonesome and homesick, she
touched him with her magic wand and fluttered away, smiling.

And Prince Jan dreamed he was at the door of the Hospice. The little
wooden keg hung from his collar. Rollo, with another collar and keg,
romped beside him, pulling playfully at Jan's hairy neck, while Brother
Antoine and other monks stood on the upper step, smiling and saying,
"He is just like his father, and Rex was descended from Barry! Prince
Jan is of royal blood. He will be a credit to his ancestors!"

In the dream, Jan bounded away through the crisp, biting air, his big
paws sinking in the cold, fluffy snow. Oh, how good it felt!

"My time has come! My time has come!" he shouted as he leaped with joy.

"Jan! Jan! Remember your father!" his mother and Bruno called after him.

"I will," he answered. Then he and Rollo raced down the slippery path,
their voices, like deep-sounding bells, giving forth the cry of the St.
Bernards. They trod over ice-bridges, ploughed through deep drifts,
sliding and floundering, following the trail of their forefathers, and
sniffing as they ran.

Suddenly Jan stopped and thrust his nose into a deep drift. Then he and
Rollo dug furiously, until Jan cried, "Run, Rollo, run to the Hospice!"

Rollo whirled and disappeared, while Jan's rough tongue licked the snow
until he saw the round, soft face of a child, and beneath that child lay
its mother. Both were very quiet. Jan licked their faces, he pushed
them with his nose to rouse them, then he crowded his warm body closely
against them, and his eyes watched the trail. Soon he gave a wild yelp,
for he saw Rollo coming and back of him hurried Brother Antoine and one
of the men of the Hospice who helped on the trail.

The men lifted the woman and child, and wrapped them in warm shawls,
then they unfastened the keg from Jan's collar, and as the woman opened
her eyes they made her drink the liquid. Some of it was given to the
child. Brother Antoine carried the little one in his arms while the
other man held the woman, and Jan and Rollo trotted ahead of them to
beat down the snow and make the path easier to travel. Bruno and the
other dogs in the kennel yard sent back answering calls to Jan and
Rollo. The door opened and kindly hands received the woman and child,
and carried them to shelter and warmth.

Brother Antoine stooped and patted Jan's head, and brushed off snow that
still clung to the long hair on the dog's back, saying very softly, "The
Blessed Mother guided you, Jan; for you have saved a mother and child
on Christmas Day!"

Then he heard laughter and voices saying, "Jan is dreaming again! Wake
up, Jan!"

He woke to see waving palms, green grass, flowers, and the warm sunshine
of a land where there is never any snow. His heart, which had been
throbbing madly with joy, grew sad. He looked at his little mistress and
her friends smiling at him so kindly, and wished he could tell them his
dream and beg them to send him back where he could be useful and do the
work of his father and Barry.

But the talk of dogs is different from ours; even people who speak the
same language often misunderstand one another. Once in a great while
some person is wise enough and good enough to understand what dogs try
to say, but Prince Jan's little mistress, though she loved him dearly,
never knew what was in his heart.

The months slipped away until Jan was fully grown. His tawny-red and
white hair was as soft as silk, and when he put his paws on a man's
shoulders, their eyes were the same height. In spite of his strength and
size, he was gentle and kind. Every one loved him and he loved
everybody.

The only sadness in his life was in knowing that he could not help
people in a place where there was no snow. One night, as he came on the
porch, Jan thought it was snowing, and he raced to the spot where he had
seen the flakes falling in the bright moonlight; but when he pushed his
nose into the white glistening things beneath a tree, he found they were
only petals from the orange blossoms, the perfumed snowflakes of
California, and Jan lay down among them, the old longing for his home
and his work tugging at his heart.



Chapter V

JAN LEARNS TO HATE


Four happy years passed by. Elizabeth had grown into a beautiful young
lady, but she loved Jan as much as ever, and he was always at her side.

Then one morning when Jan, as usual, went to the front porch to tell Mr.
Pixley that breakfast was ready, there was no one sitting in the rocker
where Jan expected to find his master reading the paper, and no kindly
voice called, "All right, Jan! Tell them I'm coming!"

Slowly the dog went back to the big dining-room. But Elizabeth and her
mother were not in their accustomed places, either. Puzzled, he trotted
through the hallway and up the wide stairs, following the sound of
murmuring voices in Mr. Pixley's room. Through the half-open door Jan
saw two strange men talking to Elizabeth and her mother. On the bed,
very white and quiet, Mr. Pixley was lying.

"The only chance is an operation by Dr. Corey of London," one of the
men spoke to Mrs. Pixley, and the other man nodded.

"We can cable to London and have him sail immediately for New York,
while we are on our way from here," added the second man to Elizabeth,
who was watching them very anxiously.

"Do you think my father can stand the trip?" she asked.

"It would be less dangerous than losing time for Dr. Corey to come to
California after he reaches New York," both doctors declared.

Jan saw that Elizabeth's eyes were full of tears and he slipped softly
to her and pushed his nose into her hand. She glanced down and tried to
smile at him, but her lips trembled and she hurried to her room. Mrs.
Pixley followed her, and when Jan found them, Elizabeth was crying in
her mother's arms, while Mrs. Pixley, whose own face was wet with tears,
tried to comfort her. After awhile they began talking in low tones, and
Jan edged between their closely-drawn chairs, wishing very hard that he
could understand what it all meant. He would have been as much worried
as they were, had he known that Mr. Pixley's life could only be saved by
the famous surgeon from England, and that even if the operation were
successful it would mean that Elizabeth and her parents would have to be
away from home many months. But Jan was only a dog, so their words meant
nothing to him.

After that hour everything was in confusion. Servants hurried about,
trunks were dragged into Elizabeth's room, and clothes were carried from
closets and packed into the empty trunks. Every once in a while Jan
would look down into a trunk, then watch Elizabeth with his puzzled
eyes.

She saw his worried look and paused in her packing to pet him, then
suddenly she turned to her mother and said, "Oh, mother! What about
Jan?"

"It will be impossible to take him with us, for we will have to stay in
a hotel, and that would be hard on Jan, and an additional care for us,
dear. Then, we may have to go to London as soon as your father is able
to travel after the operation. Dr. Corey could not stay in New York so
long."

"I suppose the servants will be kind to Jan," went on Jan's mistress,
"but I would feel better if old John and Mary were still here. They
loved Jan and he loved them."

"These new servants seem to be all right," replied Mrs. Pixley. "They
know how fond we are of Jan, and I will ask them to be kind to him."

"He's such a dear old fellow, and never makes any trouble, and I don't
believe any one could help loving him!" exclaimed Elizabeth, catching
the dog's long, silky ears and pulling them gently while his eyes,
shining with devotion, looked into her own.

Before noon the next day the trunks had been strapped and taken away.
Then Jan saw Mr. Pixley lifted into the automobile where Mrs. Pixley was
arranging pillows. Elizabeth came slowly down the steps of the porch
with Jan at her side. Then she stooped and took his head between her
hands and gazed intently at him.

"Good-bye, Jan! I'll come back again!"

That was what she always said when she was going away for a short time;
so Jan wagged his tail and touched her pink cheek with the tip of his
tongue. He watched the automobile turn among the orange trees that
bordered the winding driveway and waited for a last glimpse of it
through the trees. He knew that Elizabeth would turn and call to him
when she reached that point.

His ears cocked up and his eyes were bright as the machine came into
sight. Then he saw his dear mistress look back at him, her hand waved
and her voice called, "Good-bye, Prince Jan! Be a good dog!"

"Woof! Woof!" he answered, as he always answered her "good-bye" call.
Then the automobile vanished among the trees.

It was summer time and the middle of the day was very warm, so Jan
decided he would take a swim in the ocean. It was great sport battling
the huge waves while white sea-gulls darted screaming over his head,
fearing he would steal the fish they hoped to catch and eat. Cooled by
the water, he returned to the front porch and stretched out where he
could see the road, for he always ran and welcomed his folks when they
came home from their drives. He was very happy and comfortable until the
new housekeeper came out with a broom.

"Get off, you dirty beast!" she cried, shaking the broom over his head.
"This porch was washed to-day."

Jan jumped up in surprise. No one had ever spoken to him that way. The
old housekeeper, who had gone away, had been his friend. Whenever the
family was absent at night Jan had kept her company in her room, and she
always had cookies there for him. John, her husband, had been the old
stableman.

The broom waved nearer. He looked into the woman's angry face, then
walked down the front steps.

"I'll go to the stable till Elizabeth comes home," he thought as he went
toward the back of the house.

But, John, the stableman, who had cared for the handsome horses of the
Pixleys until automobiles filled the carriage house, had gone away to
another place where people still used horses. John had been Jan's loyal
friend. The new man, William Leavitt, had not made friends with Jan, but
there were many nice dark places, out of William's sight, where Jan
often took a nap during the heat of the day, and William never knew it.

Jan was making for a favorite spot under the old family carriage, when
William saw him.

"Get out!" he shouted furiously.

The dog stopped. William came closer and lifting his hand, threw a
monkey-wrench at Jan. It missed him, and the dog hurried away to the
garden, where many trees made dense shadows. There was a spot under a
low-hanging pepper tree where Jan dug into the cool, moist earth until
he had made a nice, big hole. Then he lay down and uttered a sigh of
content. His eyes closed and soon he was sound asleep.

A vicious kick wakened him, and he leaped to his feet to see the
gardener standing over him swearing. Jan ran away, but stood a short
distance off, watching the man fill up the hole under the tree. As the
man finished the work, he saw the dog and hurled a stone which struck
above Jan's eye, making a jagged cut that started to bleed.

Half-mad with pain, Jan ran until he found a place in the orange grove,
far back from the house, and trembling, he huddled down. His heart
thumped and again he suffered from the fear of things he did not
understand just as he had felt when his mother howled on the day he had
been led from the Hospice.

"If only Elizabeth will come back soon," he thought, "everything will
be right again, and the servants won't be cross to me any more."

The excitement of abuse for the first time in his life and the pain from
the wounded eye, which was swollen shut, made him feverish, but he kept
hidden all day, suffering from thirst rather than risk further
ill-treatment, and all the time he was listening for the sound of wheels
and the voice of Elizabeth calling him.

The sun went down, but the family had not come home. Then it grew very
quiet and dark, and Jan crawled to the back of the house for food and
water, which were always put there at sunset for him. He crept like a
thief, ready to rush back to the orange grove if he heard a step
approaching.

Both pans were in the accustomed place, but he found them empty. His
tongue was so dry and hot that he licked each pan in turn. Then he went
around to the front of the house and put his nose to a water faucet,
licking it for a drop of moisture. The pipe was dry. Jan looked out at
the ocean, over which the moon shone silvery bright, the water sparkled,
but he knew he could not drink salt water, and even to look at it now
made him more thirsty. At last, unable to resist any longer, he went to
the beach and lapped the stinging water that burnt his throat. Then he
plunged into the surf and swam out a short distance. But the waves
washed over his head and the salt in the wound made him cry with pain,
until he reached the shore and dashed back to the orange grove, where he
lay moaning pitifully.

His thirst grew worse. Jan rose to his feet, hoping the stable door
might be open, as sometimes he had seen it on warm nights, and there was
a water trough that always had water in it, for Elizabeth still rode
horseback, though the family used the automobiles. The door was closed,
so he went back to his hiding-place.

In the morning, almost crazed by thirst, Jan again sought the stable.
Drawing near, he heard water running, and, thinking of nothing else, he
rushed to the trough where cool, sparkling water flowed from the faucet.
William was there, too, but the dog rose on his hind legs and thrust his
dry tongue into the water, lapping it in big gulps.

"Get out of that!" he heard William order.

Jan kept on drinking greedily. Then he felt a sharp slash from a
carriage whip. He did not lift his head. Nothing could drive him from
the water. The whip struck hard and fast across his back, each cut
making him shrink, but he kept on drinking until his terrible thirst had
been quenched. Then he dropped his paws from the edge of the trough to
the floor and turned his great head, one eye closed, the other bloodshot
and glaring hate and defiance, while his teeth gleamed and an ugly snarl
rumbled in his throat.

A young fellow who was a stranger to Jan came from the back of the
building. The dog looked at him, then at William, ready to fight them
both. As Jan started toward them, William moved back. Jan growled.

"Do you think he's gone mad, Shorty?" asked William uneasily.

Jan did not know what the words meant, but he saw that the man was
afraid of him for some reason. He gave a fierce snarl and faced them.

"Wouldn't drink water if he was mad," replied Shorty. "Why didn't you
let him alone, anyhow? He wasn't bothering you till you hit him."

"I hate dogs, and you know it," retorted William angrily. "It made me
sick to see the Pixleys such fools over this one. We all had to stand
around and wait on that dog as if he was the King of England. I guess he
finds out the difference now that the family has gone."

Shorty moved slowly toward Jan, holding out a hand and saying, "You're
all right, old fellow!"

But the dog backed off and his nose twitched warningly. He would fight
if these men bothered him. With a final growl of defiance Jan left the
stable, but he carried with him a new sense of power. He could make
people let him alone if he snarled and showed his teeth.

That night he prowled around until he found the garbage cans. So he
learned to hide in the daytime and forage like a wild animal at night.
If he passed one of the servants, he growled and braced himself stiffly,
while his hair rose in a ridge along his back. One glance at his
bloodshot eyes and big, white teeth was enough to make every one, man,
woman or child, hurry out of his way.

In the excitement of packing for the trip, Elizabeth had neglected to
have Jan's hair clipped. Maybe she told the servants to have it cut.
Now, the long fur heated and worried the dog constantly and the fleas
nearly drove him mad. Day and night, he bit and scratched, tearing out
tufts of matted hair until raw, bleeding spots made his body a mass of
sores. Each day he grew more savage. He hated every one now; the monks
who had sold him, Mr. Pixley who had taken him from the Hospice, Miss
Elizabeth who had deserted him, and the servants who abused him.

"I wish I could tell the dogs at the Hospice not to help people who are
lost," he thought as he lay in the dark. "If William were lost in the
snow and I found him, I would fasten my teeth in his throat."

So, the gentle Prince Jan, whose heart had been full of love and trust,
and who wanted to help every one, became a savage beast, ready to fight
all people and hating even those whom he once had loved and for whom he
would have died gladly.



Chapter VI

THE POUND


Six months went by and the Pixleys had not returned, but Jan did not
know that Mr. Pixley was still very ill. The dog hid or skulked if he
met any person, and his deep growls and twitching nose were so
threatening that no one dared to go nearer. His silky hair was rough and
ragged, raw bleeding spots scarred his body, his eyes were bloodshot and
his tail was almost bare of the long hair that had once made it a
beautiful plume.

His only refuge was the orange grove, where he spent the days sleeping
or licking the bones he stole from garbage pails, for no one ever
thought to put food or water where he could find it. The servants feared
and hated him, and he hated them but did not fear them. He knew his own
strength. If any one threatened to abuse him, Jan was ready to leap and
use his sharp teeth, but so long as people let him alone, he would not
fight.

Late one afternoon, he saw William and a kindly-looking old man with a
long, white beard, talking together. They were watching Jan, as the dog
lay quietly in the hole that was now his only home; his eyes rolled but
he did not lift his head as they came closer.

"He has no use for me," said William, giving a rope to the other man.
"Maybe you can handle him alone, but I don't believe it. He's as big and
strong as a lion."

William pulled a paper from his pocket and held it to the older man,
saying, "Here's a letter from Miss Elizabeth Pixley; you can see what
she says. I wrote her about Jan and asked what we should do with him."

The name of Elizabeth caused Jan's ears to prick up and the fierce light
in his eyes faded. The strange man came close to the dog and spoke
gently. Jan wagged his tail slightly, but kept his eyes on the old man's
face.

"You had better look out," warned William. "He can't be trusted a
minute."

Jan glared at the stableman. "I wanted to love and help people, not hurt
them, until you made me fight," he growled.

"Look out!" cried William. "He's showing his teeth. He is the worst dog
I have ever seen in my life."

The older man studied the dog silently, then smiled and held out his
hand. Jan shrank back suspiciously but allowed the hand to touch his
back.

"I think I can manage him," said the stranger, then he added, "Come,
Jan. Come with me!"

The dog rose to his feet and followed unresistingly down the pathway to
the front of the Pixley home, and past the lawn where he had spent so
many happy hours, along the firm sand on which he had so often raced
beside his mistress's pony in the days gone by. And as he trudged
slowly, he kept wondering if she had sent for him. He remembered how Mr.
Pixley had led him away from the Hospice at the end of a rope, but at
the end of the journey Jan had found Elizabeth and happiness. He lifted
his big head and his anxious eyes saw a pitying face as a gentle hand
lightly touched his back. It was quite a long walk and the dog was weak
from improper food and care. When they entered a little cottage, the old
man brought food and water, then sat and watched the dog devour them
ravenously. After the dish had been emptied of all food, Jan stood
wagging his tail to show his gratitude. The old man laughed.

"Why, you're not any more vicious than I am, Prince Jan! But, you're in
pretty bad shape."

He did not tie the rope, but let it drop on the floor while he brought a
small tin tub full of warm suds, and gently sponged the dog's body. The
next thing was cool salve on the painful sores.

Then Jan was ready to follow this kind friend, and though his legs
trembled with weakness, he hastened with the old man into a large room
with dirt floor. It was late in the afternoon and the light from two
small windows left the place in partial darkness, so that Jan, coming
into it, could not see anything at first. But, he heard dogs whining and
barking all about him. When he grew accustomed to the dim light, the old
man had tied him and gone away.

A number of dogs were fastened by short ropes, and all were staring at
the big dog. Shrill yapping made Jan turn quickly to see a tiny, dirty
dog with long hair that had once been white but now was matted and
grimed, straining on its rope and squinting impudently at him.

"Gracious! You're the biggest dog I ever saw!" exclaimed the midget,
which was not much larger than a small kitten. "What is your name, and
where on earth did you come from?"

Prince Jan answered politely, then asked, "Is this the kennel where they
train dogs to help people in the Land of No Snow?"

"You must be crazy! This is the pound!" snapped the tiny creature,
thinking Jan was making fun of it.

"The pound?" echoed Prince Jan. "What is that?"

"Silly! You haven't much sense, even if you are so big! If the
dog-catchers get us they bring us to the pound, and if our folks don't
come for us pretty soon, we are all shot!"

Several dogs howled in despair, but the snippy little animal only
stretched out for a nap.

"Don't you feel badly, too?" questioned Jan.

"Good gracious, no! I travel around with my folks and we live in hotels,
and they make me wear a collar. I manage to get away without my collar,
sometimes, and some one always takes me to the pound, and my family come
there for me as soon as I am lost. They'll be here for me before long.
I've been in lots of pounds."

[Illustration: "'_You must be crazy! this is the pound!' snapped the
tiny creature._"]

Without further remarks, the spoiled pet curled itself into a dirty
ball and was fast asleep when the door opened and two young ladies
rushed in and grabbed up the blinking rascal. He yawned in the face of
the girl who held him; then, petted and scolded, he was carried away.

With hopeless eyes, Jan watched them pass through the doorway. He
understood now, that Elizabeth had not sent for him, that nobody cared
what happened to him. He lay down and shut his eyes and tried to shut
his ears to the misery of the other dogs, but he could not sleep. Jan
kept thinking how he had wanted to do what was right and how hard he had
tried to remember what his mother had taught him. In this strange land,
with no snow and no work to do, he had failed; and now, he would die in
disgrace after a useless life that meant dishonour to his father and
Barry, and the other dogs who had lived and died doing their duty as St.
Bernards.

Through the long hours of the night, though darkness shut away the sight
of the other dogs, Jan could hear restless movements and choked
whimpers, so that he could not forget where he was, and at last, when
morning broke, he lifted his head slowly and looked at the dogs around
him. Then he remembered that morning at the Hospice when he had wakened
early, waiting impatiently for his first lesson on the trail. But these
dogs around him, now, were pitiful things, cowering and shivering; the
eyes that met his own were dull and hopeless, and the ears all drooped
dejectedly.

The dogs started nervously as a key scraped in the lock of the door.
Then the old man came into the room and went from one dog to the other,
patting each in turn as he placed clean, freshly cooked meat and a pan
of water within easy reach. The poor animals shrank back, but as they
saw that he did not threaten any of them, the ragged tails flopped and
the eyes that followed him were less timid. When he reached Jan, the man
stood looking at him and shaking his head slowly. The dog, still
suspicious of every human being, bunched his muscles and waited, but the
smile and gentle voice, "You poor old fellow! I'm afraid I can't do
anything for you," made Jan look up with his great, wistful eyes
pleading for sympathy and kindness.

"I'll do the best I can, though," the old man said, at last, as he
untied the rope and turned toward the door.

The dog rose stiffly, for every bone in his gaunt body ached, his legs
trembled from weakness due to lack of proper food, but he moved
trustingly beside this kindly stranger. As they reached once more the
door of the little house where Jan had been washed and fed the night
before, the wrinkled hand holding the rope reached out and Prince Jan's
hot tongue touched it in a light caress.

Inside the tiny house the man fixed an old comforter then pointing at
it, he said, "Go lie down, Jan."

With a sigh that was half-weariness, half gratitude, the dog stretched
his tired body on the soft quilt, but his eyes watched every movement of
his new friend. Then Jan slept in peace, for the first time since
Elizabeth had deserted him.

The odor of warm, fresh meat from a dish near his nose wakened him. As
he moved toward it a tiny yellow bird flew across the room and lit on
the floor, watching him pertly and edging cautiously to the plate. It
paused with head perked impudently on one side and its bright little
eyes fixed on the big dog. Jan kept very still, and the old man,
sitting across the room, nodded approvingly when the dog allowed the
bird to peck at the plate of food. After tasting Jan's dinner, the bird,
perched on the edge of the dish, lifted its head and sang as though its
throat would burst with music. It finished the song, gave a funny little
shake of its wings, then flew across the room and lit on the shoulder of
the Poundmaster, where it stayed while he kept moving around the room.

"Go home, Cheepsie," said the old man, and the bird at once darted into
a cage hanging at the front window, but the Poundmaster did not shut the
cage door.

Then he led Jan to the back porch where the tub of clean soapsuds was
ready, and again the dog was washed thoroughly and the salve applied to
his sores. Though Jan's heart was almost bursting with gratitude, he
could only show it by poking his nose against the kindly hand, or
uttering low whimpers.

"I know, old fellow," his new friend said, "you're trying to thank me.
It's all right now. Don't worry!"

And Prince Jan knew that it was all right. That night he slept on the
soft comforter in the little house.

As day after day went past, Jan began to feel strong again, but it took
eight long months before his beautiful hair grew out and his eyes at
last lost their pitiful pleading. At first he could not understand about
his new friend, whom he heard other men call "Captain Smith, the
poundmaster." He remembered what the little white dog had said about
pounds being places where dogs were killed when they had no friends to
claim them, but Jan knew that his friend would not hurt any dog.

Each day, now, Jan followed the captain into the long room where dogs
were tied with ropes, just as he, himself, had been kept that first
night. During sunshiny days of the snowless winter, these dogs were led
into the back yard of the bungalow. It had a high board fence, so they
could run about and stretch, or lie in the warm grass.

None of these dogs ever stayed very long, but they all soon learned to
love the old captain and would rush around his feet or crawl against
him, wagging their tails. A few, bolder than the others, leaped up to
lick his hands, or pretended they were going to fight him, but when
they got near, they turned and raced about him in big circles, barking
and yelping as though they were laughing at the joke.

All the time, the old man stood smiling, his hands held out to caress
those nearest. New dogs came with the others, and often some of the
older dogs would disappear. Then Prince Jan would look at the captain,
wondering, but never doubting his friend who loved all dogs.



Chapter VII

HIPPITY-HOP


The loving care given Jan by the captain for eight months made him well
and happy, and above all brought back his lost faith in people, so that
he became the gentle, affectionate dog that he used to be before he knew
what cruelty meant.

One of Jan's ancestors had been a Newfoundland dog. These are very large
dogs with long, silky black and white hair. Though not so large as the
St. Bernards, they resemble them in build and show the same
intelligence, loyalty, and kind disposition. Newfoundland dogs are
wonderful swimmers and do not have to be trained to go out and rescue
people who are drowning. So it was very natural for Prince Jan to enjoy
swimming.

The old poundmaster and Jan walked on the beach nearly every day, and if
the dog saw a bit of driftwood near the shore, he would swim out and
get it. His master then put the wood in a basket so it could be taken
home to burn in the fireplace on cool nights. Often when Jan was alone
on the beach and spied floating wood, he dashed through the surf for it,
and, if it were not too heavy, dragged it to the bungalow. Whenever he
did this, he was petted and praised by the old man. Then Jan felt very
proud because he was helping his master.

One day as he wandered alone on the shore he saw a lot of wood floating
on the waves. Though it was quite a distance he did not hesitate to
plunge after it. The salt water splashed over his head; sometimes he was
completely under big waves, and once a high curling breaker caught and
turned him over and over, while his legs stuck up from the peak of the
wave, but Jan thought it all great sport. He shook his big head so that
his long ears flapped, and his strong paws sent him into deeper water
where the waves rolled in long lines but did not curl up and break so
roughly as nearer the shore.

The boards were fastened together, and Jan saw this was a much harder
task than he had ever attempted before. He grabbed the edge of a plank
in his powerful jaws and twisting sharply, struck back, for land.
Several times the force of the water and the weight of the little raft
made him let go, but each time he caught the driftwood and fought his
way toward the beach. Land was still quite distant when he heard a faint
noise, and then he saw that a tiny grey kitten was clinging to the
boards.

"Hold on," called Jan, but the kitten did not seem to hear him. It lay
perfectly still.

He tried to swim faster, fearing the waves might wash the little
creature off, for at times the water covered the raft and Jan's head,
too. He gained the shore and dragged the wreckage far back to safety.
Jan sniffed at the kitten. Its eyes were shut and it did not move. He
knew that most cats are afraid of dogs, so he went off a little way and
sat down, waiting patiently for it to wake up.

After many minutes Jan went over and pushed it gently with his nose. It
did not stir. Then he sat down and looked at it thoughtfully,
remembering that when the dogs of the Hospice found a traveller in the
snow whom they could not waken, they hurried for help. His mother and
Bruno had told him that, and Jan had never forgotten those lessons, nor
the days he and Rollo had been trained by Brother Antoine.

His tongue licked the wet fur, but the kitten's eyes stayed shut. Jan
lifted his head, gave a loud bark and raced away through the sand,
kicking it with his fast-flying feet so that it formed tiny, yellow
clouds.

Into the little sitting-room he rushed, leaving a damp trail across the
floor. The captain looked up in surprise and stopped lighting his pipe
when the dog, dripping wet, stood in front of him and barked loudly.

"What's the matter, Jan?" he questioned. "I never saw you so fussed up!
And you're dripping wet, too!"

Jan danced around, barking, then dashed to the gate but there he stopped
and looked back, wagging his tail.

"Do you want me to go with you?" asked the old man, rising slowly.

The dog leaped against the gate, shoving it open, then ran ahead, only
to return and bark again.

"All right," the poundmaster picked up his cap, and when he followed,
Jan's delight could not have been misunderstood by any one.

"Woof! Woof!" he kept shouting back, and in dog-talk that meant,
"Hurry! Hurry!"

And Captain Smith did hurry as fast as he could, but Jan reached the
driftwood long before the old man. The kitten was in the same place,
just as he had left it.

"Why, it's a kitten!" cried Jan's master, as he, too, reached the spot.
"Poor little thing!"

He stooped down and picked up the tiny, limp body. "I think it's dead,
Jan, but you did your best to save it. Didn't you?"

The dog watched intently, his tail waved slowly and his nose touched the
hand that was gently rubbing the wet fur. Then, without any warning, the
kitten's eyes opened and blinked and it uttered a faint mew.

"Well! I declare, it's alive after all!" the captain exclaimed. "It must
have been washed ashore from some wrecked boat, judging from that
driftwood raft. Looks most starved to death, Jan. If there's any truth
that cats have nine lives, this little thing must have used up a good
many of its lives getting to land. Come along, Jan! We'll try to save
what's left, anyway."

The dog scampered toward the bungalow, running back at times to leap
about the old man. Jan was so happy that he had saved the poor little
thing. It was only a little, grey kitten, and at the Hospice, of course,
the dogs saved people; but that was in a place where there was snow.

When they all reached the kitchen, Jan crowded against the captain, who
rubbed the shivering little cat with an old towel. Then it was placed on
the floor with a saucer of milk. As the milk disappeared, the dog in his
delight, moved closer, but the frightened animal humped up its back,
fuzzed its thin tail and spit at him.

Of course, it did not know that Jan had saved its life, or that he did
not want to hurt it, now. He moved away and sat down quietly to watch
it. The saucer was filled with milk a second time, and the kitten's
tongue lapped as fast as it could go. Its sides bulged out from its
scrawny body when it had emptied the saucer and moved across the room.

"You poor little thing!" cried the old man, picking it up gently. "It's
only got three legs, Jan!"

The poundmaster fixed his glasses and examined a hind leg which had no
foot. "I guess it was born that way," he spoke. "Must have been taken
on some boat as a mascot. Well, it doesn't matter what has happened to
it, just so it's comfortable now, Jan!"

The kitten went back to the empty saucer, and sniffed at it, then with a
funny little hop and jump, it came back and rubbed, purring, against the
old man's leg, but it kept a sharp watch on the big dog.

"We'll call it Hippity-Hop," decided Captain Smith, and as neither the
kitten nor Jan suggested a better name, that settled it.

Hippity-Hop was really quite a nice little kitten, even if she did not
have as many legs as most cats have. Her fur was dark grey, a white
breast and ring around her neck looked as though she had put on a clean
shirt and collar, while every one of her three paws was snow-white, like
nice white gloves. She spent a great deal of her time washing her fur
with her tongue.

For many days Hippity-Hop was afraid of Jan, who was big enough to
swallow her at one gulp; but when she learned that he stood back and let
her eat first from his dish, although she had just cleaned her own
plate, she lost her fear and grew to love him. Each night after supper
she crawled between his paws and went to sleep, while he lay very
still, that he might not waken his little friend.

Jan was very sure that Hippity-Hop was the nicest little kitten in the
world, after she had learned one thing:

When first she went to live with the captain and Jan and had seen
Cheepsie walking around on the floor, Hippity-Hop's green eyes
glistened. Then her claws reached out from the fur that hid them and her
tail twitched and jerked as she crouched to spring on the little yellow
bird that was paying no attention to the kitten. But, just as she was
ready to jump, there was a terrible roar behind her and she was grabbed
by Jan's big jaws.

Hippity-Hop gave a yowl of fear, and twisted to scratch Jan's eyes, but
he gripped her firmly, though his teeth did not hurt her. Captain Smith,
hearing the commotion ran into the room and understood at once what had
happened. He took the kitten from Jan, and though Hippity-Hop spit and
scratched and yowled, the old man dipped her several times in a tub of
water. Cats hate water, and Hippity-Hop hated water more than most
cats, for it made her think of the time she had been almost drowned in
the ocean.

"You've got to learn to be kind to Cheepsie, or else you can't live here
with us," the old man said as he set the kitten on the porch floor.

The kitten began to lick her wet fur, but she was badly frightened and
very sure that if Jan did not eat her up, the captain would put her back
in the ocean again. So she resolved never to bother Cheepsie after that
one time.

The bird seemed to understand, too, for it was not long after this that
Hippity-Hop, Jan and Cheepsie ate out of the same dish. At times the
bird would perch on the dog's head and sing to them all. Jan always sat
as still as he could, until the song ended and Cheepsie had flown over
to the captain's shoulder. Often the old man took his violin from the
corner, and as he played he whistled or sang in a quavering voice, Jan's
tail beat time on the floor, Hippity-Hop joined with a song of her own,
though it was only a loud purr, while Cheepsie, perched on their loved
master's shoulder, sang and trilled as loudly as he could, trying to
make more music than the bird that lived in the violin.

"It's a fine old world, Jan!" the poundmaster would say, as he put the
violin away in its box.

Then Hippity-Hop and Jan knew it was time for bed, and Cheepsie hurried
to his cage and tucked his little head under his yellow wing.



Chapter VIII

THE MUZZLE


Jan's curiosity about the dogs that disappeared was satisfied when a
lady in a handsome gown was driven to the bungalow one evening.

Captain Smith met her with a happy smile, then he brought in an Airedale
dog that had been with the other dogs for many weeks. The lady patted
the dog, spoke to it gently, then she rose from her chair and the
captain followed her to the gate where an automobile was waiting. The
Airedale was lifted into the seat beside her.

"He will have the kindest care," she leaned forward to say, "and I hope
you will be able to find homes for all the other dogs, too. I will tell
my friends about them. Captain Smith, does the city pay for their feed
while you find homes for them all?"

Jan saw his master slowly shake his head, "It does not take much to feed
them," he answered. "I am allowed to feed them a week, but I manage the
rest of it from my salary. It makes me happy to see their gratitude, for
most of them have been cuffed about so they don't know that there are
people who will be kind and love them."

After the visitor left, Jan lay quietly watching the old man moving
about the room. Now, he understood everything, and the dog rose quickly
and thrust his nose into the wrinkled hand. The smile on the old man's
face went deep into Jan's heart as the poundmaster, lifting the dog's
head, looked into Jan's eyes, saying, "It's a pretty hard thing when any
human being is without a friend, Jan; but people can speak up for
themselves. A dog can't do that, and yet, he is the best friend any man
can have."

So Jan always felt happy after that day, for when he missed one of the
dogs now, he knew it had found a home and some one to love it. And on
those days the poundmaster went around with shining eyes while his lips
puckered up in a cheerful whistle, or Jan heard him singing:'

    "Old dog Tray is ever faithful,
      Grief cannot drive him away;
    He's gentle and he's kind
    And you'll never, never find
      A better friend than old dog Tray."

Many times when friends called to talk and smoke with the Captain, Jan
would go for a short walk along the beach. One evening the ocean looked
so inviting that the dog could not resist swimming far out, barking and
snapping at floating kelp. It was much later than usual when he reached
the shore and shook his long fur until it showered the salt water like a
rain storm, then with a loud "Woof!" of happiness, he ran toward his
home.

The high cliffs that rose above the beach threw dark shadows on the
sand. The little bungalow where the captain lived was at the top of this
cliff overlooking the ocean. The pound was not far away, and there were
several other bungalows a little distance apart from each other, and a
flight of wooden steps edged a twisting footpath which led directly up
to the front gate of Jan's home.

It was easier to scamper up the pathway than climb the wooden steps, and
the dog hurried to reach the top; but a slight noise made him pause and
look at the thick brush near him. There was nothing to be seen, but
Jan's ears listened sharply while his sensitive nose sniffed the air
suspiciously. One sniff was enough to make the hair bristle along his
back. William, his old enemy, was near.

Jan whirled quickly, his eyes shining with fury and hate, and his hair
formed a stiff ridge along his back while his teeth gleamed in a snarl.
Something slipped over his head and despite his struggles, it twisted
tightly around his neck. A strange odor made him sick and weak when he
tried to breathe. His paws clawed in his attempts to tear the sack from
his head, so that he could breathe and fight, but his legs grew limp, a
noise sounded inside his ears, something seemed to be hammering at the
top of his head. He made one more effort, staggered a few steps, then
crumpled down on the sand. But he knew it was William's boot that kicked
him, and William's voice that said, "Guess that will settle you." Jan
tried to growl but he was too sick to make a sound.

The next thing he knew was when he woke in a strange dark place. His
whole body was stiff and sore, he felt sick all over and something hurt
his nose terribly. His paws clawed at the thing that hurt. It was made
of wire that cut deeply in his flesh. He knew it was a muzzle, for he
had seen other dogs suffer from them. The more he clawed, the worse it
hurt.

Then he rubbed his head sideways on the floor, but this made matters
worse, so he gave up fighting and lay with his nose against the floor
until he could stand the pain no longer. When he staggered to his feet,
he found a rope held him, but when he tried to chew the rope the muzzle
kept his jaws closed so that he was barely able to thrust the tip of his
swollen tongue between his front teeth.

Jan suffered torture, not only because the wire cut his flesh, but also
because any dog, when frightened, sick, or too hot, becomes feverish and
his tongue hangs from his mouth. That is the way a dog sweats, and
Prince Jan's mouth was clamped together by the muzzle. He could not hear
any noise in the room, so he lay down and kept very quiet. There was
really nothing else he could do, except howl. He knew that William had
something to do with all this trouble, and he hated William more than
ever.

A door opened. Jan sprang to his feet, hoping he might be able to break
the rope and escape before the door was closed. He crouched and leaped
with all his strength, but the rope was too strong and he fell with a
thud to the floor, where he panted heavily. A flash of light almost
blinded him, but he saw William and snarled defiance. Another man was in
the room. Jan caught a glimpse of him, gave a sniff, and knew that this
other man was the one who had been with William in the Pixley stable. He
felt that he had two enemies now to fight.

As William came toward the dog, Jan strained on the rope.

"You'll get that temper taken out of you before long," threatened the
man, at the same time keeping carefully beyond the length of the rope.
But William's hatred outbalanced his caution, and he lifted his foot to
give the dog a kick. Jan shrank back, not from fear as William supposed,
but to get a better chance to spring and grab the man's leg.

"Let him alone," called the other man. "The worse you treat that dog the
harder it will be to handle him."

William scowled. "The best thing is to kill him now. We're taking a big
risk on the chance of selling him."

"Oh, go ahead and kill him if you want to," the other man shrugged his
shoulders. "Let your spite keep you from making a thousand dollars."

He held out a bottle, "Here's the chloroform. Go on, finish the job if
you're going to."

"I don't believe you can sell him," sneered William. "You just said that
because you knew I was going to kill him before I left here."

"If you didn't hate dogs the way you do," replied Shorty, "you'd know
that he'll sell for a thousand dollars as soon as he is over the
Canadian line. The man I told you about will buy that dog without a
question."

"Some one will recognize the dog before we get there, if the old man
stirs things up."

"Not when I get him fixed," bragged Shorty.

"There's no time to fool with him," persisted William, "We've got to get
away quick."

"Let me alone," snapped Shorty. "This is my end of the job. If you stop
picking on the dog, I'll have no trouble with him. I never knew a dog
from the time we were kids that didn't hate you on sight."

"Yes, and you're a regular fool over them," William retorted. "You take
care of him and get the money for him, and I'll look out for the machine
and sell that. But you've got to keep that dog muzzled or there'll be
trouble coming your way fast and plenty. See?"

Shorty did not answer and William went out. Jan and Shorty faced each
other. The dog's muscles were taut, his eyes alert. The man looked at
him steadily.

"You're the dandiest, spunkiest dog I ever saw," he said at last, as
though sure that Jan understood the words. "I like you, old fellow, and
I'd turn you loose, if I dared."

He placed a pan of water in front of the dog and the angry gleam
softened in Jan's eyes. He thrust his nose into the pan but the muzzle
was too tight to permit him to drink. The dog looked up at Shorty, who
reached out his hand. Jan's tail waved, then he felt fingers run lightly
along his shoulders, fumble at the buckle of the muzzle and the cruel
thing fell to the floor. Before the dog lapped the water that he craved,
he stared into Shorty's face and saw a kindly smile that told him this
man was a friend. Jan's hot tongue touched Shorty's hand before turning
to lap the cool liquid.

"You'll be all right now," Shorty said as he rubbed the places where the
strap had cut deeply. Then when Jan had finished drinking, the man fed
him bits of meat.

After the meal was over, Shorty took a pair of clippers and cropped
Jan's long hair close to the skin. It did not hurt, so the dog submitted
quietly. A sponge and bucket of dark liquid were brought by the man and
Jan was thoroughly saturated, until the dye dripped to the floor.

"Got to put on that muzzle, boy, before he gets back," but this time the
strips did not hurt so badly.

William chuckled when he saw the dog. "Great stunt, Shorty! The
poundmaster wouldn't know his own dog if he caught him now!"

He picked up a couple of bundles and a suitcase, while Shorty led Jan by
the rope. They were in a deep cañon, where no sound of the ocean could
be heard. Jan did not know the place. He had never been away from the
noise of the surf since living in California. A big, black automobile
stood under a tree. William tossed the things into it and climbed to the
front seat with a laugh.

"The police will have as much trouble finding a grey machine as the
poundman will have finding a long-haired St. Bernard dog. We'll hit the
road lively at night and camp in the day. There's just one thing you've
got to remember. If I see you getting stuck on that dog I'm going to
kill him. I'm taking him along because you said you could sell him, and
I'm not going to stand any nonsense about it."

Shorty's only answer was to open the back door of the machine and motion
the dog to jump. He obeyed and curled on the floor. Shorty sat in the
back seat while William drove.

Jan did not sleep during the long, dark hours they sped over the road.
He kept wondering what the captain would think, and hoping he could get
back home some way. Once in a while he lifted his head as a flash of
light showed another automobile passing. At daybreak William turned into
thick brush and drove over rough ground until they stopped beside a
shallow stream.

Still muzzled, Jan leaped from the car and followed Shorty, but he
watched William closely. The dog was tied after he had been allowed to
drink at the creek. William loafed while Shorty made coffee and cooked a
meal, which the older man ate, grumbling all the time. Then he threw
himself on the ground and dragged his hat over his face.

Shorty fed Jan, and after clearing away the breakfast things, moved
closer to the dog. Jan's tail rustled the dry leaves and twigs, as
Shorty, with a boyish smile, stretched on the ground beside him. A hand
touched one of Jan's ears and pulled it gently, but the hand was
friendly and the dog's eyes showed he understood. Then, tired from the
long ride, Shorty and Jan slept soundly.

At dusk another meal was prepared and eaten, and they started again on
their journey. For two more days and nights they travelled in the dark
and camped in hidden places during the day, so that no one could see
them. The muzzle was never taken again from Jan's nose, for William
watched constantly and repeated his warnings several times. He did not
know, however, that Shorty eased the strap so that the wire and leather
could not cut, and in this way he made Jan as comfortable as was
possible.

The night of the third day there was a full moon, and dim shadows were
cast by scattered trees near the road. It was very warm and Jan's muzzle
worried him; then, too, he was stiff from lack of the exercise to which
he had been accustomed. Shorty noticed the dog's restlessness and leaned
down. His fingers slipped under the strap and wires, then touched the
buckle at the side of the head. Jan squirmed nearer and wagged his tail.
Each night when they were well on the way, Shorty did this much to help
the dog, but he had to tighten the muzzle before William turned the
machine from the road to camp for the day.

As Shorty leaned over, the car reached a clear place in the road, where
the moon shone brightly. Shorty did not see William turn, but a brutal
fist struck full force against Shorty's face and he tumbled from the
seat into the bottom of the automobile against Jan.

The dog growled, but the growl was meant for William, not Shorty. Then
Jan knew that Shorty was up on his feet and both men were swearing and
fighting, while the automobile twisted from side to side of the road,
and was going faster and faster. There was a crash. Jan whirled over and
over through the air and as he struck the ground he heard a man's scream
of pain. He did not know whether it was Shorty or William who cried out,
but he did know that he was free, and he dashed into the darkness of
the thick trees, not knowing where he was going, not caring where he
went, only the one thing was in his mind--he was leaving William behind
and he must run as fast as he could.



Chapter IX

JAN'S JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE


After the first wild dash for freedom, Jan settled to a steady jog for
the rest of the night. When dawn came, some instinct made him turn into
the brush where it grew most thickly. His one fear now was that William
might find him. His one wish was to get back home. He did not know what
kept him moving toward the south. He had nothing to guide him save the
strange feeling that made him sure if he just kept on, some day he would
reach the gate of the bungalow and see Hippity-Hop and the captain
watching down the street for him.

Jan was able to lap water when he found it, but he could not fight, nor
eat, even if he had found food, for the muzzle clamped his jaws
together. He knew better now than to tug at it with his claws or rub it
against the ground. The second night he was very hungry, but he started
hopefully on his way, plodding steadily in the same direction. At dawn
he was faint and weak from hunger and exhaustion, and when it grew dark
again he did not want to move. Then he thought of the captain. Wearily
Jan rose to his feet and with low-hanging head he dragged slowly along.

The fourth day after the escape, he was too weak to struggle further,
and lay limp on the ground, with his eyes closed. He wanted to keep
perfectly still, though he was suffering keenly from thirst, for he had
not found any water that day. A rabbit darted from the thick brush close
to Jan's head. The rustling of leaves made the dog's eyes open. He saw
the little creature sit up in sudden fright, but Jan did not try to
catch it, he was too tired and besides he knew that the muzzle held him
a prisoner. So he watched the rabbit hop about him fearlessly, until the
sound of steps in dry leaves startled it into the bushes.

Jan heard the steps, too. He thought William had found him, and knowing
that he could not fight nor defend himself, he dragged himself wearily
to his feet and staggered with trembling legs a few, short steps. Then
he dropped heavily.

Voices sounded. Jan's ears lifted and quivered, his eyes brightened and
his tail moved slightly. He was not afraid of children. They had always
loved and petted him. Once more he rose and slowly pushed through the
thicket to an open place where two little girls laughed and chattered as
they picked wild blackberries into a small tin pail.

He edged toward the sunbonnets bobbing over the pail. The children heard
the rustle and turned about, then the pail dropped, the berries spilled
on the ground and the sunbonnet children ran, screaming wildly, "Father!
Father! It's a big, black bear to eat all of us up!"

The dog halted, wondering why they ran from him. He heard a man's quick
words, the children's excited voices and a woman's soothing tones.

"It's all right now!" thought poor Prince Jan. "Women and children won't
hurt me."

He moved through the brush, but found himself looking straight into the
barrel of a gun held by steady hands. Jan knew what that meant. His legs
trembled as he pressed forward. Oh, if he could only make this man
understand that he did not mean to hurt or frighten the little girls! He
only wanted some one to take off this horrible muzzle.

The dog's pleading eyes were lifted to the man's face and then, unable
to stand any longer, Jan fell weakly to the ground and pulled himself
forward, inch by inch, to show that he meant no harm, and all the while
his ragged tail kept beating very feebly. The man looked at him, then
lowered the gun.

"Come here, girls! Your bear is only a lost dog!"

Jan did not look around at the patter of feet, but his paws went to the
muzzle, and as he lay with his head against the man's feet, the
pitifully pleading eyes and tugging paws of the dog spoke as plainly as
words.

"Poor fellow!" said a gentle voice, then a woman's fingers worked
carefully at the strap and Jan felt the muzzle fall away.

He touched her hand with his dry, stiff tongue, and saw the two little
sunbonnet children, laughing, yet still afraid of the big dog, come to
their mother's side. The man noticed the broken rope and examined the
collar.

"No name or license," he spoke at last, "but somebody will be looking
for him. I wonder how long he has been wandering around with this muzzle
on him, poor chap!"

"Bring water, children," said the mother, "and the things that were left
over from lunch. He must be hungry."

The tin pail was rescued from the ground and filled twice with water
before Jan's thirst was slaked and he looked up with grateful eyes and
dripping jaws. While he was drinking his fill, a basket had been opened
by the children and slices of cold meat and bits of buttered bread were
placed before him. He swallowed the food greedily, but paused between
gulps to wag his tail and let them know how he thanked them.

For some time after this he lay quietly resting while the sunbonnet
children sat close beside him and wondered where he came from and what
his name was. Ruth, the younger, put out her hand to touch him timidly.

"I'm not afraid of him. He won't bite. He isn't a bear to eat us all up,
is he, Charlotte?"

"I--I--aren't afraid, either," Charlotte's voice was uncertain, but her
hand touched the dog's big head. Then both children lost all fear of
him and Jan forgot about William and the hours of suffering, for the two
little girls curled close to him, and soon they were all three fast
asleep.

The sun was almost setting when the father and mother tucked the basket
and shawls into the automobile. Jan watched with puzzled eyes as they
carefully put away some little boards. He had noticed when he woke from
his doze that both the man and the woman were sitting on stools with
these boards propped before them, and they were making marks on them.
The father was already in the machine and the little girls climbed in,
then the mother put her foot on the step and Jan let out a wild howl
that made them all start. He thought they were going to leave him behind
and he knew that he could never run fast enough to follow them.

"Good gracious! What a howl!" exclaimed the man, laughing. "We won't
leave you. Jump up, old chap!"

Jan lost no time scrambling into the automobile, then it ran swiftly
along a smooth road which finally twisted through a beautiful cañon.
Great trees were on all sides and a tiny stream bubbled and danced far
below. Birds sang and rabbits dashed out of the brush with swift hops
and jerks, but Jan did not want to eat the rabbits now. The children
kept laughing and clapping their hands, calling to Jan, "Look, look,
quick!" Sometimes their hands pressed his head to make him turn where
they pointed.

Jan was very happy on that ride, but he still hoped that by and by he
might get back home to Hippity-Hop and the captain.



Chapter X

THE HOME OF THE SUNBONNET BABIES


The home of Jan's new friends was perched high on the top of a mountain
peak, far above the cañon through which they had driven. Jan heard them
call this place Topango Pass. The house stood alone with overhanging oak
trees and a garden full of flowers that made him think of the yard in
front of the captain's bungalow.

A big stone fireplace was near the house, and pink geraniums grew
closely around the little home, while over the porch climbed yellow
roses that looked as if the fairies had hidden their gold among the
green leaves.

"This is Roseneath," announced Charlotte to Jan as the automobile
stopped in front of the porch and the two girls jumped out, followed by
the dog.

"Charlotte!" Ruth said suddenly, stopping halfway up the path, "we've
got to find a name for that dog right away!"

It was a very serious matter, so the children sat on the lowest step of
the porch and Jan squatted before them. He wished he could help by
telling his name and about the Hospice, but all he could do was to sit
still and look from one eager little face to the other. After trying
several names they decided on "Bruin."

"Because he is so big and black, just like a bear!"

Jan rather liked the name. It sounded like Bruno, but of course, the
sunbonnet children did not know anything about Bruno and the Hospice, so
they said Jan was very smart to remember the new name without any
trouble at all.

The next morning he was wakened early by the children's voices and
hurried to meet them in front of the house. Charlotte had a tin bucket
in her hand and Jan wondered if they were going to pick more berries.
But they went down a path that led to the stable and then he stood still
in surprise.

Right in front of them was a strange creature about the size of a common
dog. It had long, white hair, a white beard like a very old man's, two
horns curved back over its head and its feet had sharp-pointed hoofs. It
was tied by a rope and back of it was a smaller animal of the same
kind.

Charlotte went past the larger one and sat down on a little wooden stool
beside the smaller animal and soon the tin pail was full of milk. Back
to the house trotted the children, and Jan, very much puzzled, kept
beside them. In the kitchen they found the mother cooking breakfast. Jan
lifted his nose and sniffed at the odor of broiling steak and hot
biscuit.

"Milk for the berries we picked yesterday," the mother of the sunbonnet
children said smiling. "Won't we have a fine breakfast this morning! And
there's a nice bone in the steak for Bruin, too!"

She poured a little milk into a pan and placed it on the floor for Jan.
He knew that the white animal must have been a cow, yet it was not like
the cow at the Pixleys' home, but when he tasted the milk, it was just
as nice as the big, yellow cow's milk.

While breakfast was being eaten, the children and their parents chatted
together and Jan looked about the place. The walls of the rooms were
hung with beautiful pictures, among them many fat little babies with
sunbonnets hiding their faces. He was sure that if the sunbonnets were
pushed back he would see the faces of Ruth and Charlotte laughing at
him.

As time went by Jan was quite happy and learned to love his gentle
playmates very dearly. He grew accustomed to seeing the artists sitting
before boards, painting pictures like those on the walls. Even the
little girls, Ruth and Charlotte, sometimes sat on the ground and made
him lie still while they worked away with pencils and pieces of paper
and told him they were making his picture to put in a book. It did not
quite explain matters to Jan when Ruth held up one of these papers in
front of his nose and said, "You see, Bruin, we're going to be
ill--us--trators like mother when we grow up, and then we'll put you in
a book, maybe!"

After Jan had several good baths the ugly black dye began to wear off
and his white shirt-front and paws and the white streak on his nose
showed plainly. Then the rusty black fur on his entire body became its
natural tawny red and grew rapidly. The Melvilles now realized that Jan
had been stolen and often wondered who had lost him. They asked the few
people they saw but none of them had heard of such a dog, so the family
felt that Jan belonged to them.

Ruth and Charlotte were much interested when their parents told them
that Bruin was a St. Bernard dog, and all about the noble animals that
lived at the Hospice, for the two artists had visited the place many
years before Ruth or Charlotte had been born. When their mother finished
telling them these things, Ruth exclaimed, "Mother! Then you and daddy
and Charlotte and me are all St. Bernard dogs, because we found Bruin
when he was lost, didn't we?"

Jan was not the only pet of this family. The "Melville Menagerie" was
what their mother called the collection of animals. There were two
grown-up goats, named Captain Kidd and Mrs. Cream; two baby-goats,
Peaches and Strawberry; a mother cat named Chicago, because she was
smoke color, and her three kittens, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania.
Next was the canary bird, Pitty-Sing, and last, but not least, five
horn-toads which were nameless, but who lived peacefully together in a
box with sand to burrow in.

All of these members of the family interested Jan, but he wanted to be
friends with the old cat and her kittens, because he missed Hippity-Hop.
Whenever he tried to go near them, the four jumped to their feet, arched
their backs, and spat at him so rudely that he gave up making friends,
and decided that only three-legged cats liked dogs.

Each day about three o'clock all work was put aside by the artists, for
this was the time they went to visit "The Land of Make-Believe."
Sometimes they were gypsies, and supper was cooked over a campfire among
the oak trees. Again, they pretended Jan was a big bear and he found it
great fun to chase after the children while they ran away as though
really afraid of him. Then it was "Little Red Riding Hood" with Jan for
the wolf, but he did not eat any one, like the wolf did, for he knew he
would have a nice piece of meat cooked over the wood fire as they all
sat about on the ground and pretended they had no place to sleep
excepting underneath the trees. When the stars began to twinkle, the
sunbonnet children said that the angels were lighting the candles in
Heaven, and very soon it was time to go home for the night.

Haying time in California is different from that of other parts of the
world, for it is in May, and many months ahead of other places. The
fields were dotted with little mounds of yellow hay drying in the sun,
and one evening Mrs. Melville told the children she had a new game for
the Land of Make-Believe. The next afternoon they could hardly wait
until they reached the hay-fields.

"Now, children," said their mother, "these are the snow-covered peaks of
the Alps that I told you about. Ruth must be a lost traveller and wander
around among these mountains of snow until she is too tired to go any
further. Then she must lie down and pull the hay over her and wait to be
rescued from death in the snow."

As Ruth scampered away, Jan followed her, but Mrs. Melville called him
back. He sat looking at her, but his head turned frequently toward the
place he had last seen little Ruth. Several times he started to get up,
but each time he sat down again and waited.

"You, Charlotte, are a monk from the Hospice and Bruin will go with you
to search for lost travellers in this terrible snow-storm."

Jan stood very still, but his tail flapped around in circles while Mrs.
Melville fastened a canteen of water to his collar, then she said,
"Now, Bruin, go find Ruth!"

"Woof! Woof!" rang out the big voice, just as the dogs of the Hospice
called when they started on the trail. Followed closely by Charlotte,
Jan led the way from one hay mound to another, poking his nose deeply
into each. Charlotte kept calling, "Find Ruth, Bruin! Go find her! She's
lost in the snow and will freeze to death if we don't find her soon!"

Jan forgot it was only the Land of Make-Believe, while he burrowed into
the haycocks. As he ran from one to the other, his bark sounded again
and again, for he remembered the lessons Brother Antoine had given him
and Rollo, and the canteen that bumped against his breast felt like the
little wooden casket he had carried on the trail. At last he found the
lost traveller. Jan lifted his head and uttered a sharp bark of triumph
before his nose began tossing the hay that completely covered Ruth.

"He found her! He found her!" shrieked Charlotte in greatest excitement,
just as though Ruth had really been lost in the snow-drifts.

Both parents ran to watch the game and Ruth's face appeared in the hay,
like a pink Easter egg in a nest. She squinted up, saw her mother and
father, Charlotte and Jan, then remembered that she was lost and shut
her eyes quickly. Jan touched her cheek with his nose, and licked her
face. She could not keep still any longer, because she wanted to sneeze
and that would spoil the whole game. So she opened her eyes, put up her
hand and unfastened the canteen from Jan's collar and swallowed such a
big gulp of water that she almost choked. Her arms went about Jan's neck
and while she clung, he moved slowly away from the mound, his tail
waving rapidly and his big eyes full of pride. Ruth had been saved from
a terrible death in the snow-drifts of the Alps!

The whole party of rescuers hastened to the Hospice under the trees,
where supper was almost ready, and as they sat around the outdoor
fireplace waiting the meal, they all declared that Bruin had acted just
as if he had really lived at the Hospice and knew all about the dogs
there and how they worked.

Three months after Jan went to live at Roseneath, the family sat reading
one evening, and Jan sprawled at their feet. Ruth and Charlotte were
deeply interested in the pictures of a new magazine for children, and
Mr. Melville held a newspaper. He had been to the nearest town that day
and had brought the mail home with him.

Suddenly he let the paper drop to his lap and sat looking at Prince Jan,
then he picked up the paper again, saying, "Listen to this!"

All of them turned expectantly, for the parents always read aloud
anything that might interest the children.

    CAPTURED THIEF WORRIES OVER LOST DOG

    John Leavitt, alias Shorty, now held as one of the two men who stole
    and wrecked an automobile belonging to Paul E. Wallace of Los
    Angeles, has made a confession implicating his half-brother, William
    Leavitt, formerly stableman at the beach-home of the Pixleys.

    According to Shorty's statement, they had stolen a St. Bernard dog
    from Captain Smith, the Poundmaster, intending to sell the animal in
    Canada. Shorty became attached to the dog, Prince Jan, and in a
    quarrel with his brother over the muzzling of the dog, the machine
    was wrecked.

    Leavitt evidently supposed Shorty was dead beneath the wreckage, and
    escaped. Shorty was found later, seriously injured, and his recovery
    was not expected. His one anxiety seems to be that Prince Jan, being
    muzzled, might have died of starvation. Any one knowing the fate of
    the dog is asked to communicate with Captain Smith, through this
    paper.

    Prince Jan is a pure St. Bernard, with long fur, but he had been
    clipped and his hair dyed black.

    No trace of William Leavitt has been found, but the authorities are
    looking for him. He has a criminal record in the East and is now
    wanted there. Shorty has been bound over for trial.

The family looked at the dog sleeping peacefully at their feet.

"Not the least doubt," said Mr. Melville.

"Call him, Ruth. Call his name--Prince Jan--and see how he acts."

The child's lips quivered and her eyes filled with tears as she went to
her mother's side. "But, mother, if he is Prince Jan, will somebody take
him away from us?"

Charlotte's eyes, too, were blurred and her lower lip dropped.

"Suppose," the mother spoke gently, and her arm went about the slender
little figure leaning against her in half-choked grief, "Suppose, dear,
some one found you when you were lost, and daddy and I didn't know where
you were, and the people couldn't understand when you tried to tell them
who you were and where we lived," the voice grew very tender and grave,
"and then the people found out where you belonged and that we were
looking everywhere for you, and grieving because we did not know whether
you were hungry and unhappy. Do you think it would be right for them to
keep you away from us, even if they did love you very, very dearly?"

Ruth's head hung low and nobody spoke until she lifted her face with a
tear-wet smile, "Jan! Prince Jan!" she called in her high, sweet voice.

They saw the muscles of the sleeping dog twitch. The big paws moved
slightly, as though in his dreams he was running to answer that name.
His tail threshed lightly on the floor, but still he slept.

"Jan, Prince Jan!" both children now called.

He leaped to his feet. Quivering with excitement he faced them.

"Jan!" repeated Mr. Melville.

The dog darted to the man's side and stood with eager, expectant eyes
and furiously switching tail. When he heard the name from Mrs. Melville,
Jan ran to her and laid his head on her knee, looking into her face
questioning her dumbly.

"He knows his name! He is Prince Jan!" the children cried as they
swooped down on him with squeezes and hugs, while the dog whined and
twisted and uttered sharp barks of excitement until they were all
laughing at him.

"Do you want to go home to the captain, Jan?" Mrs. Melville leaned over
him as she spoke.

"Woof! Woof!" he answered promptly, and they all knew that he meant
"Yes."

So Mr. Melville got pen and ink and wrote to the poundmaster, telling
that Prince Jan was safe and well, and that he, himself, would bring the
dog home.

That was how Prince Jan came back to the captain and Hippity-Hop, at
last. He was very happy at going home, yet he looked back wistfully at
Ruth and Charlotte standing on the porch waving their hands, as the
automobile drove away from the Land of Make-Believe, where Jan had been
so kindly treated. But when he saw the ocean again and the road up the
bluff and knew that he was near the bungalow, he was ready to leap from
the machine and dash madly to the place where the captain, Hippity-Hop,
and Cheepsie lived. He knew then that he loved them more than anybody in
the whole world.



Chapter XI

PRINCE JAN VISITS SHORTY


Jan reached the front gate and let out a ringing "Woof" of joy that
brought the captain and Hippity-Hop out at once. The old man's arms went
about Jan's neck, and the dog gave little whines of delight, his tongue
touched the wrinkled hands, and his tail went around so fast that it did
not look like a tail, but just a blur of fuzzy hair.

When Mr. Melville was seated, and the Captain on a chair near by, Jan's
head rested on the old man's knee and the toil-worn fingers stroked the
dog's soft fur. Hippity-Hop rubbed against Jan's legs, purring like a
noisy little buzz-saw, and Cheepsie flew down from his cage to perch
first on the shoulder of the captain and then on Prince Jan's head,
while a flood of bird-music filled the little room.

[Illustration: "_I wish the children could see Jan now!_"]

"I wish the children could see Jan now!" said Mr. Melville, and then he
told the captain about finding Jan and the story in the paper that
had brought the dog back to his master.

Hippity-Hop had been very lonely after Jan's disappearance, and the dog
did not dream that the three-legged kitten had mewed and mewed for him
until the old captain picked her up in his arms and said, "He will come
back to us some day, Hippity-Hop." And each day the old man, with the
kitten at his side, sat on the front porch watching down the road.

The morning after Jan's return, Mr. Melville came again to the bungalow
and he and the captain called Jan to get in the automobile with them.
Hippity-Hop's forlorn little face peered between the curtains of the
front window, but none of them heard her plaintive cry as they all
vanished from her sight. When the automobile stopped, Jan saw a grey
building of stones with windows crossed by iron bars. He followed his
friends into a large room where several men were seated. They spoke to
the captain and Mr. Melville, and all looked at Jan, patting his head
for some reason, as they talked of him.

Then Jan, the captain, and Mr. Melville followed another man through
long dim hallways that had doors on either side, very close together.
One of these doors was unlocked, and as Jan and his friends passed
through, the door was shut and locked again.

They were in a dingy room with grey walls, the only window being high up
and criss-crossed by bars. It was a very small window. On a cot in a
corner of the room sat a man. He turned his head toward them and when he
saw the dog, he jumped to his feet, calling, "Jan!"

"Woof!" answered the dog in surprise as he leaped toward the man.

Shorty dropped on his knees and took Jan's head between his hands,
talking to the big dog as though talking to a little child whom he loved
very dearly. Jan did not know, nor would he have cared had he known,
that Shorty was in jail. He only knew that this was his friend who had
tried to protect him from William's abuse. And all the while, Captain
Smith and the artist were watching them with kindly eyes.

At last, Shorty rose and sat on his narrow cot, with his two visitors on
either side, and Jan, planted right in front of Shorty, turned his head
from one to the other as though he were trying to understand what they
were talking about so earnestly. Shorty's hand stroked Jan's head, and
every once in awhile the man would say, "I'm so glad you found him."

"You love dogs, don't you?" asked the old poundmaster, as they rose to
go.

Shorty looked down at Jan for a second, then answered, "I never had any
friends in my life excepting dogs."

They left Shorty alone in the little grey room and went back to the men
in the big room, where the sun streamed across the floor like a tiny
river of gold, but back in the other room the window was so high and so
small that the sun could not shine through it at all. Shorty did not
think about that now.

The captain talked to the men, who listened attentively, and finally he
said, "Judge, I don't believe that any one who loves dogs and is kind to
them is bad all the way through. Shorty says he never had a friend in
his life except dogs."

"I do not think he is naturally bad," answered the judge, who sat in a
big chair back of a high desk. "From what I can learn, he has been under
William Leavitt's control since they were children. Shorty tried to get
away from his brother twice, but each time William found and punished
him so brutally that the boy was afraid to venture again. There are
scars on Shorty's feet made by a hot iron the last time he tried to
escape from his brother. Shorty is not quite nineteen yet. That is how
he comes under the Juvenile Court."

"Judge," exclaimed the captain, his face alight with eager pleading,
"you know there's lots of people that folks call bad, who would be
decent if they had a chance. Can't you give Shorty a chance to show that
he wants to make good? Send him some place where his brother can't find
him?"

"Your Honor," the artist spoke now, "if there is any way to arrange it,
I would like to take the lad up to Roseneath and we will try to help him
make good in our Land of Make-Believe, as we call our home."

Jan did not understand what they were saying, but he knew it had
something to do with Shorty and that the captain was talking very
earnestly, so the dog edged between his two friends and stood watching
the man at the high desk, for all in the room were looking at him. This
man was very quiet, and seemed to be thinking, then he looked up and
said, "Bring Shorty in here."

A few minutes passed in silence, then the door swung open and Shorty
shuffled through it. He blinked in the bright sunlight and ducked his
head as though he were afraid to look up at them all. Jan moved quickly
and pushed his nose into Shorty's hand. The face above him lighted with
a sudden, winning smile. The judge watched them both but did not speak.
Then Shorty remembered where he was and raised his head to face the man
on the high platform. That man was looking with very kindly eyes at the
lad and the dog.

"Shorty," the judge spoke very plainly, "if I give you two years'
suspended sentence and let you go with Mr. Melville to live on his
ranch, will you try to make good?"

Shorty only stared stupidly. The judge repeated his words more slowly
and added, "We will not let it be known where you are, so you need have
no fear of William. I want to know if you will give me your solemn
promise--your word of honor--to do your very best?"

Shorty's face twitched, his eyes blinked fast, his hands reached out as
if he were feeling for some other hand to grasp. The hands hesitated,
groped, then one hand moved upward across his face as though to brush
something away that kept him from seeing plainly. Those in the room
watched but made no sound.

"Do you mean it, Judge?" the lad's voice was low and husky, but there
was a tone of pleading in it. "You ain't just fooling, are you, Judge?"

"No," the judge spoke very firmly, "I'm not fooling, Shorty. You are
going to get your chance."

They saw Shorty fling himself down on his knees beside Prince Jan and
pull the dog close to him, while racking sobs shook the boy's shoulders.
Jan twisted around to lick Shorty's face and comfort him, for the dog
did not know his friend was crying from happiness. At last Shorty rose
to his feet, brushing away the tears with his ragged coat sleeve.

"Judge, I promise you I'll make good or I'll die in the trying," he
said, and all those who heard him knew he would do his best.

The judge stepped down from the big chair and put his hand on the boy's
shoulder, saying in a kindly voice, "You're bound to make good, Shorty,
and we are all your friends!"

The other men shook Shorty's hand, and the judge said, with a smile, "I
have a nice collie pup up at my home that I will give you, if Mr.
Melville doesn't object."

"We have no dog, now that Prince Jan is gone," the artist answered
quickly, "and I promised my wife that I would bring back some kind of a
dog for the children. They would be lonesome now, without one. So the
pup will be just as welcome as Shorty will be."

Shorty forgot this man was a judge, and smiled at him, asking, "What's
the pup's name, please?"

"He is a registered pup with a long fancy name, but we just call him
'Pup,' so you can pick out a name to suit yourself."

"I'm going to call him 'Prince Jan'!" announced the boy, and all agreed
that it was a fine name for any pup.

They shook hands once more with Shorty and wished him good luck, and
when the boy walked from the room, he held his head high. A smile was on
his lips and hope in his eyes. Mr. Melville walked beside him.

That evening when Jan, Hippity-Hop, Cheepsie, and the captain were
sitting together, the old man looked at the dog and said, "Jan, your
ancestors rescued travellers from the snow, but to-day you helped
Shorty get a new start in life, and that is a bigger thing than if you
had saved him from death in the Alps."

The dog did not understand the words, but he knew that the smile was the
same happy smile that came when the old poundmaster had found a good
home for one of the friendless dogs. So Jan was happy, too.



Chapter XII

THE POUNDMASTER'S PROBLEM


FOR several days after Shorty had gone on his way to the Land of
Make-Believe with Mr. Melville, life ran very quietly and happily for
Prince Jan and his friends in the little bungalow on the cliffs. Then he
began to notice that Captain Smith was worried, and when Jan poked his
nose into the hand of his friend, though the hand stroked the dog's
head, the poundmaster did not smile and his eyes looked as if he saw
something Jan could not see. It worried Jan, though he could do nothing
but lie quietly with his anxious eyes fixed on the old man's face.

One evening after supper a loud knock at the door caused the dog to look
up quickly, while Hippity-Hop jumped with fuzzed tail and excited eyes.
The captain opened the door and two men came in. They shook hands with
him and sat down in the chairs he pushed forward. The two men looked
around the room, stared at the dog, then turned to Jan's master. The
look on the poundmaster's face made the dog feel certain that these men
had something to do with the old man's worry, so Jan went over and sat
close to him, resting his big head on the captain's knee.

"Is that the dog that was stolen?" one of the visitors asked at last.

"Yes," replied the captain. "This is Prince Jan. He was sent to the
pound almost dead with mange and orders through the stableman that the
dog was to be killed because he was vicious. But," the poundmaster
smiled down at the dog that was gazing with loving eyes into his face,
"you see, all he needed was kind treatment and proper care."

"I understand, Smith," the other man now spoke in a voice that sounded
cross to Jan, "that you are violating the City ordinances, and are
keeping the dogs that are brought to the pound. They are sent here to be
killed, not kept."

"I find homes for them all," the old man hastened to say, "and it only
takes a short time to find people who will give them good homes. Not one
of the dogs that has been brought here since I had charge has been
vicious. Those that seemed dangerous at first grew gentle and kind as
soon as they found no one would hurt them."

"Of course, we know how you feel about them, but the City hires you to
kill the dogs if their owners do not claim or want them. People complain
that you keep the dogs and feed them at the public expense. We can't
have that, you know."

Captain Smith rose, and the hand he held out suddenly toward the two men
was trembling. "I don't know who told you that," he said earnestly, "and
I don't believe that whoever did say it meant to tell an untruth, but
the only dogs that are fed at public cost are those for which I am
allowed money. After any dog has been with me for more than a week, I
pay for his food myself."

The two strange men looked at each other and were silent a few minutes.
Finally one of them spoke again,

"I'm sorry, Smith, but you will have to get rid of the dogs. The pound
is not a boarding place for stray dogs, and the fact that you pay for
their feed after a certain time does not change matters."

The old man sat down in his chair as though he were very tired, and
stared at the floor until he felt Jan's nose, and then he looked into
the dog's sympathetic eyes. The wrinkled hand twitched, but the old
man's kindly face turned to the other man.

"I know you can't change the law," he said slowly, "but if you could let
me have a little more time, I can find homes for all the dogs that are
here now. There are only ten, beside Prince Jan, and he belongs to me.
See"--he pushed aside the thick hair on the dog's neck--"I bought a
collar and a license for him, and he has never eaten a mouthful of food
except what I have paid for myself."

"Too many people have complained," was the reply. "The dogs are noisy,
and no one is allowed to have so many dogs inside the city limits. You
know it is against the law, Smith. That settles it."

Both men rose to their feet and looked at the old man, but at the door
they stopped and talked together in low voices. Then one of them turned
and said, "We don't want to be too hard on you, for we know you love
dogs, so we will give you two days to find places for them. After that,
the dogs that are still here must be killed, or you will have to resign
your position as poundmaster."

Smith watched them go down the pathway to the front gate, then with low
drooping head and slow steps he went back to the little room. Jan
pressed closely against him as the old man sank into his chair. Cheepsie
flew from his cage and perched on the captain's shoulder, singing
loudly, and Hippity-Hop, not to be left from the little family group,
limped across the room and rubbed, purring, against the old
poundmaster's leg. They knew that he was troubled, and all of them tried
to make him understand they were sorry for him and loved him.

"We've got to do something for those poor dogs," he said to Jan, at
last. "Even if I do give up my job it won't help them, now. I can't find
homes for them all in such a short time, Jan. Nearly every one I know
here has a dog already, and some of them have two. Folks have been
mighty good taking my dogs."

Cheepsie sang an answer, Hippity-Hop purred her reply, and Prince Jan's
tail, thumping the floor, said very plainly that he agreed with his
master. The captain smiled at them all, for he understood their
languages. "It's bound to work out right, somehow," he asserted
cheerfully, and again his three dumb friends answered him.

The next morning Captain Smith left Jan and Hippity-Hop in the front
yard. It was the first time the old man had ever carried his violin with
him, and he trudged briskly down the street, only stopping when he
reached a corner to wave his hand back where Jan and the kitten stood
with noses pushed between the pickets of the fence. Jan was worried
because it was the first time the captain had gone away from the house
without him.

So, while Hippity-Hop climbed trees, chased butterflies, and washed her
face and paws many times, the dog kept perfectly quiet, watching for his
master's return. A big bark welcomed the captain home as Jan ran down
the street to meet him.

"Come along, Jan," the old man was smiling, and the dog trotted beside
him into the pound, where the other dogs pulled on their ropes and
greeted them noisily.

The poundmaster stopped in front of each dog and fastened a small metal
tag to its collar, then he took them all into his own back yard, where
they crowded and leaped about him or chased each other in play. One dog
was so happy that he kept turning around and around after his own short
tail until he was too dizzy to stand up.

"It's a pretty good-sized family, Jan," laughed the old man, as he sat
in a chair on the back porch, smoking his pipe and watching the dogs'
antics. "They've all got licenses now, so no one can order any of 'em
killed for a year. I guess we can find homes for all of them before that
time is up."

So, when the two men came again, Captain Smith took them into the back
yard and showed the license on each dog's collar, as he said, "I have
found homes for five of them already, and to-morrow I'll take the others
to a friend in the country. He will look out for them until we have good
places for all."

He smiled happily at the dogs, then looked up at the two men, but his
smile faded at their next words.

"Well, what do you intend doing with the next bunch you collect?"

"Why, I'll get homes for them, like these others."

"That won't do, Smith. Either you've got to take care of the work as
you are ordered, or else let some other man have your place. What are
you going to do about it?"

Smith's hand rumpled the fur on Jan's back. The eyes of the dog and the
old man met, then the poundmaster lifted his head and said quietly, "I
will give up the place. I thought when I took this work that it would
give me a chance to make some poor dumb brutes a little happier and more
comfortable, but I never intended to shoot one of them. Why, I couldn't
do that. They're all my friends!"

"All right," was the answer. "Suit yourself. We'll have another man take
charge to-morrow morning."

Without further words the men left, and the captain, followed by Jan,
went into the back yard where the ten dogs rushed to meet them. Barking,
leaping, tumbling over each other, they struggled to get close to the
old man who stood smiling and patting them, while he said softly, "The
best friends a man ever had, Jan."

Prince Jan looked at the bunch of dogs, little dogs, big dogs, curs, and
dogs of high breeding. No matter where they had come from, they had
found a protector in the old poundmaster, but they did not know that he
had given up his position because he would not kill them. Even Jan did
not know what his master was writing that evening. It took some time to
get the letter just right, then it was folded, placed in an envelope,
sealed and stamped, and Jan walked with the captain to the letter-box
several blocks away.

When they were home again, the old man sat smoking his pipe and nodding,
then he got up and wound the clock, for it was Saturday night. As he put
the key on top of the clock, he said, "Well, Jan, we'll have to hunt for
another job on Monday, but I don't think it will take long for us to
find something we can do."

Monday morning people came for the dogs, and the captain patted each of
his four-footed friends, before it went to its new home. A man from a
ranch brought an automobile, and into this the five dogs which had not
yet found permanent homes were lifted. Then the captain took out his
worn pocketbook and counted money, which he handed to the rancher.

"Take good care of them for me," said the old man, "and I'll pay for
their food until we find homes for them all."

"All right, Smith," the man answered, and then he drove away with the
yelping dogs.

It was very quiet in the house and back yard, but Hippity-Hop was glad
of it. She had not enjoyed herself while there were so many dogs in the
back of the house. After lunch was over, the captain dressed himself in
his best clothes, put on his hat, and with Jan at his side, went to many
big buildings where he talked earnestly with several men.

They were very kind to him, patted Jan, and promised they would let the
captain know if they saw any work he could do. Jan saw that his old
friend seemed tired after they had been to several places, and when the
dog thrust his nose into the captain's hand, the faded eyes would smile
bravely, as the captain said, "It's bound to work out right in the end,
Jan."

Day after day, they made these trips, and at night Jan lay watching the
face of his master, but the smile was not seen very often now. One
evening the old man was more despondent than ever, so even Jan's wistful
sympathy failed to rouse him, though the hand caressed the dog. Jan's
heart ached, and unable to stand it longer, he pushed his head on the
captain's knee and gave a low whimper.

Captain Smith leaned down and lifted the dog's head between his hands
and looking into his puzzled eyes, he said slowly, "We're up against it,
Jan. My money is gone, and there does not seem to be any work for me to
do. Every one is very kind, and all promise to send for me, but it is
just because they are sorry. If I were younger, it would be easy to find
plenty to do."

Jan licked the gnarled hand and tried to show that he wished he could
help, but the only thing he could do was to show the love and sympathy
that filled his loyal heart. That night when the light was out and
everything was quiet, Jan lay wide awake trying to puzzle out what it
all meant, and then he heard a faint sigh and knew that the captain, on
his cot, was awake, too. So the dog rose softly and moved to the side of
the narrow bed, where he stretched himself on the floor. Presently he
felt a hand touch his head and he turned quickly to caress it with his
tongue. Then he heard the old man say, "It's bound to work out right
some way, Jan!"

The next morning the captain was more cheerful, and when the postman
came along the street, the old man called out, "It's a beautiful day,
isn't it?"

The postman nodded, then said, "I have a registered letter for you,
Captain."

With surprised eyes and quick steps, the old man reached the gate and
signed the card. He turned the letter over, stared at it, then smiled
and cried out, "It's from my daughter!"

A happy smile illumined his face and his fingers were unsteady as he
tore open the envelope, saying, "She and her husband went to Alaska two
years ago. I haven't heard anything from them for six months. You see,
when winter begins up there, the river freezes solid, so no boats or
mail can reach them."

"Well, the postmen up there have an easy time once in a while," replied
the letter-carrier as he slung the heavy pouch over his shoulder and
went on his way.

The old man sat on the step of the porch and read the letter, which was
a long one. Jan knew his master was glad over something, and yet, when
the letter was finished, there were tears rolling down the captain's
cheeks. Jan edged tightly against him.

"They're all well," said the old man, "and they want us to come and
live with them. Look, Jan!" He held out a piece of paper which the dog
sniffed at. "That is to pay our way, and we're going to start just as
soon as we can pack up. You see, it worked out right in the end!"

Busy hours followed for them all. The captain hurried about the little
house, packing things into boxes, and taking down pictures, which he put
into a trunk. One picture he held for some minutes, "That was Jenny when
she was a little girl, just able to walk, Jan." Then he wrapped it very
carefully in a faded blue knitted scarf and placed it in the trunk with
the other things. Hippity-Hop scurried about the room, and Cheepsie had
a hard time clinging to the old man's shoulder, for he moved so swiftly
and kept leaning over the trunk.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon when the trunk was shut and locked
and an old carpet-bag stood beside it. The captain's hat was on his
head, Cheepsie chirped in his cage that was wrapped tightly with paper,
and Hippity-Hop mewed forlornly from a basket, while Jan moved nervously
between the bundles and his master, wondering what it all meant. Then a
man drove to the door and carried the trunk and valise to his wagon,
leaving the captain to pick up the bird-cage and the hamper that held
the kitten.

"Come along, Jan," he called cheerfully, and the dog rushed ahead,
turning back to frisk in circles or leap up in front of his friends. Jan
was much happier than Hippity-Hop, who was yowling loudly as she stuck
one paw through a hole in the basket, and Cheepsie's twitters sounded
really cross.

Jan, once again, was put in a baggage car and after a ride of several
hours, the captain got him out and led him to a wharf. Jan remembered
his trip in the boat when he came to the Land of No Snow. He hesitated
to go up the plank walk, but the captain smiled and said, "It's all
right, Jan. Come along!" and then the dog trotted fearlessly along the
boards that led to the deck of the big boat. Everything was confusion,
but Jan did not worry when his master led him down into the lower part
of the boat, under the deck. After tying Jan, the old man gave him a
final pat and said, "I'll be back soon, Jan"; and the dog, knowing
everything was all right, stretched on his side and closed his eyes. He
was tired from the trip, the excitement of packing, and from those days
of worry before the letter came that made the captain happy again. So he
was very glad to have nothing to do, nothing to think about.

Then the boat trembled and puffed, and Prince Jan knew that he and
Hippity-Hop and Cheepsie and their loved master were going somewhere
together, and he was satisfied.



Chapter XIII

THE VOICES OF THE HOSPICE DOGS


Prince Jan could not tell how many days and nights passed while the boat
throbbed on its way. He grew accustomed to the motion and as the captain
came often each day to see him and talk to him, and many other people
also visited him, Jan found life very pleasant.

Among his visitors was a pretty young woman with big brown eyes and a
gentle voice. Nearly always a little child was in her arms, or held by
the hand, for it was just beginning to walk. Captain Smith and these two
seemed to be great friends. Many times he carried the baby in his arms
and it laughed up in his face when he held it down to pat Jan's head.
The dog watched for them every day, and he was never disappointed. Once,
the captain brought Hippity-Hop to see Jan, and the kitten purred loudly
and rubbed against the dog's legs, while Jan poked her gently with his
nose. The old man chuckled, "You haven't forgotten each other, have
you?" Then he picked up the kitten and carried it away.

That night, without warning, everything seemed to change, somehow. The
boat leaped and jumped as though it were frightened at the big waves
that washed against and over it. The night was dark, and down in the
hold of the vessel it was still darker. Jan listened to men running
overhead, voices called loudly and then came a sudden crash. The boat
quivered as though it were hurt.

Jan was thrown so heavily against the side of the boat that he lay
gasping for breath, then he dragged himself to his feet. Swaying with
the jerky motion, but managing to brace himself, he peered through the
inky darkness toward the steps leading to the deck. Again he heard the
hurried feet, the loud voices of men, and this time there were cries of
women and children, too.

He knew something was not right, and as he pulled with all his strength
on the rope that held him, and strained his eyes toward the stairway, he
heard a sound that made him give a loud bark of joy.

"All right, Jan!" his master was calling through the darkness, "I'm
coming!"

The dog whimpered and licked the hands that fumbled at the rope which
was tied to the side of the boat. With a leap and yelp of joy, Jan
scrambled up the stairs ahead of his master, and both of them reached
the deck.

It was very early in the morning and the sky was heavy with dark clouds.
The wind screamed and big waves tossed so high that at times the boat
appeared to be down in the bottom of a great hole. Although the vessel
jerked, groaned, creaked and crunched, it did not move forward. When the
water washed back a few minutes, Jan saw jagged rocks poking up and felt
the boat pounding on them. He could not understand it at all, and as he
looked up with puzzled eyes at his master, he saw the old man was
staring straight ahead at a strip of land not very far away, where a lot
of people were running about in a great hurry.

One of the boat crew ran past Jan, carrying a rope. Other men were
fastening queer looking rings about the bodies of women and children,
while still more men were lowering a little boat into the water. But as
soon as it touched the waves, it was turned on end and smashed like an
egg-shell against the side of the ship. Jan, standing with his legs
braced firmly, saw the frightened women and children huddled together.
Most of them were very quiet, but some were crying. A few were kneeling
on the wet deck, and though their eyes were shut, Jan knew they were not
asleep, for their lips were moving as if they were talking to some one
whom he could not see.

The shore did not seem very far away, and Jan saw men pushing a little
boat into the water. They leaped into it quickly and grabbed up oars.

"Thank God!" said the old poundmaster to a man who stood beside him and
Jan. "The Life Guards will save the women and children!"

"There is no Life Saving Station here," Jan heard a woman's voice reply.
He looked up and saw the pretty lady beside his old master. Her face was
very white and she held her baby tightly in her arms, while she stared
at the place where the tiny boat was being shoved into the sea by men
who stood waist-deep in the rushing water. Then the boat shot high on a
wave and started toward the ship. Those on the shore joined in the
cheers that sounded on the stranded ship; but even as they cheered, a
bigger wave snatched at the boat and overturned it, dumping all the men
into the sea. The little boat was dashed on the beach, but those who had
been rowing it bobbed about in the water until helped to land.

A group of men, who had been talking with a man wearing a cap trimmed
with gold braid, now carried a rope to the side of the ship and tossed
it swiftly toward land. Men on the shore were trying to launch another
boat, and every one on the ship leaned forward watching them. The waves
carried the rope some distance forward, and then tossed it back against
the ship's side as though playing with it, just as a cat plays with a
mouse. Tangled and twisted, the rope rose on the crest of a high wave,
then dropped from sight, only to bob up once more, and all the time
drifting further from land.

"The vessel will be driftwood in half an hour more! She is breaking
amidships!" the man beside Jan was speaking again to the poundmaster.
"No boat can live in such a sea and no man can swim it."

Captain Smith looked down at Jan. "It doesn't count so much with us,
Jan," he said, "but it's the women and children. Maybe you can help
them. Come!"

The dog started at the sound of command and followed his master across
the water-washed deck to the group of ship's officers who were gathered
around the captain of the boat. All were talking earnestly when old
Captain Smith and Jan pushed between them.

"Maybe Jan can take the rope to shore," said the poundmaster, while his
hand rested on Jan's wet fur. "He's a splendid swimmer and isn't afraid
of the water."

The man with the gold-trimmed cap looked down at the dog whose
intelligent eyes turned from face to face as though doing his best to
find out why they were all looking at him, and what they wanted.

"It is too much to expect of a dog," said the man, shaking his head.
"Even if he were strong enough, he could not understand."

"Jan understands everything I tell him," insisted the old man, "and it
wouldn't be any harm to try him. When he once knows what we want him to
do, he will do it or die in trying."

Just then the boat lurched badly and the people slipped and slid on the
slanting, wet deck, but Jan did not move. His firm muscles stiffened,
he braced himself steadily and his strong back straightened. The group
of officers began talking again and Jan heard them say something about
his strength to Captain Smith. A heavier wave lifted the ship from the
rocks then dropped her back on the jagged edges that were stabbing her
to the heart, while she writhed and groaned like a living thing in agony
begging for help.

The ship's captain turned his eyes on the group of women and children,
then to the shore, as though he were measuring the distance across the
raging water that boomed between the boat and land. Slowly he turned
back to the old man and the dog.

"He may be able to do it, if you can make him understand," he said at
last. Then he added in a low voice, "It is our only hope!"

Jan saw these men all were looking at him and then the ship's captain
spoke.

"If the dog can reach shore with the light rope so we can attach the
heavier one, we can rig up a breeches-buoy with the boatswain's chair,
and the women and children could ride safely, for we could lash them to
it."

Captain Smith leaned down and took Jan's head between trembling hands.
The dog and he looked into each other's eyes, and those who watched the
two, felt a little thrill of hope. The animal seemed struggling to grasp
the meaning of the old man's words. A bit of rope was in the captain's
hand, he held it to Jan, who sniffed, then looked back at his master.

Still holding the piece of rope, Captain Smith led the dog to the side
of the boat and pointed at the tangled coils that washed on the surface
of the waves a short distance away.

"Go get it, Jan!" called the old man sharply.

The people on the deck crowded more closely, and the dog braced himself
to spring, but just then a huge wave rose high over the vessel, the
white-crested tip hissing like an angry snake, and Jan looked down,
down, down into a dark hole and below it gleamed the jagged peaks of the
reef, like threatening teeth of a hidden monster. He knew the danger.
Drawing back he turned pleading eyes on his master.

"Go, Jan," said the voice he loved, but this time it did not command, it
begged.

The big wave slipped back, others rose behind it, each one tipped with
white foam, and between those waves were deep, dark hollows. Jan looked
at them, and as he looked, something changed those white-capped things
into snowy peaks of the mountains around the Hospice, while the dark
places between were changed to chasms and crevasses, where Barry, Pluto,
Pallas, Rex and all the dogs of the Hospice had travelled year after
year for ten centuries past. He heard their voices calling him. Jan's
ears cocked up, his body quivered, his muscles stiffened, his nose
pointed high in the air and the cry he sent back to the calls of his kin
was clear and strong like the music of a wonderful, deep-toned bell.
Then he braced himself and leaped far out into the water that caught him
like many strong arms and dragged him under the waves.

With all his great strength Jan fought his way to the surface and as he
rose, something struck against him. He turned quickly to see what new
danger threatened, and then he saw the rope and remembered what he had
been told.

"Go get it, Jan!" his master had said.

[Illustration: _"Then the roaring in his ears turned to the voices of
the Hospice dogs--'The duty of a St. Bernard is to save lives!'"_]

The dog caught the squirming rope between his teeth, and as he did so,
he heard distinctly the cheers of those on the stranded ship echoed by
those on the shore before he was pulled down beneath the waves again;
but he clung to the rope. When he reached the surface, Jan saw his
master leaning far over the edge of the deck, pointing toward the land.

Then he understood, and without a moment's hesitation he flung his body
away from the direction of the boat and faced the shore, while the rope
trailed behind him, often dragging him back with terrific jerks. The
force of the waves tossed him high on dizzy crests, then he was dropped
swiftly into depths of seething water. His breath came in painful gasps
between his tightly clinched teeth, the water rang in his ears and he
was half-blinded by the stinging salt spray that cut like a sharp knife
across his eyes.

In spite of his struggles he seemed no nearer the land. Back of him he
could see the swaying masts of the boat, and at times the whole length
of the deck with people crowded together. Jan, dazed and almost
exhausted, turned to swim back to his master and safety. His paws beat
the waves more feebly, but his teeth still held the rope. Down, down,
down he sank, and over his head rolled the white-crested mountains of
water. Then the roaring in his ears turned to the voices of the Hospice
dogs. The voices of Barry Bruno, Rex and Jan's mother sounded clearly.
Other dogs joined in the chorus until Jan knew that he heard the voices
of all the dogs that had ever lived in the Hospice. Hundreds and
hundreds of deep notes, like the bells of the Hospice sending a message
to him. "The duty of a St. Bernard is to save lives!"

He fought with new strength, and as his head rose above the waves, the
rope still dragging along, he heard cheers that grew nearer and louder,
but this time the voices came from the land. A breaker curled high,
dashed furiously over him and then it carried him with a rush to the
beach and flung him, gasping and exhausted, high on the sand, but the
end of the rope was clutched tightly between his teeth. He held it, even
when men tried to take it from him, but the hands were kindly and as his
jaws relaxed he was lifted gently and carried where the cruel waves
could not touch him again.

Jan was too tired to open his eyes when some one knelt beside him and
stroked his wet hair, and a man's voice said huskily, "You wonderful,
brave fellow!"

Cheers sounded loud and long, and at last Jan opened his eyes and lifted
his head wearily for a second. Before it dropped again to the sand, he
saw men on the shore working with another, heavier rope, and some one
called out, "Thank God! They got it that time!"

Jan staggered to his feet and with wobbling legs moved a few steps
forward. Then he forgot his weariness and aching muscles and stood
watching something strange, something that made women near him cry, and
the men cheer wildly.

A rope reached from the shore to the stranded ship, and something was
moving slowly along that rope toward the land. Jan's feet were in the
surf, but he did not know it as he, too, watched and saw a chair, and in
that chair was a woman.

She was seized by eager hands and lifted down among them, laughing and
crying and saying, "Oh, quick! Save the others!"

Again and again the chair travelled over the waves that leaped up to
clutch it, but the rope was firm. And once when a woman was carried in
the chair, a man on the shore gave a big cry of joy as he clasped her in
his arms. Jan recognized the pretty lady, but she did not have her baby
in her arms this time. Then every one was silent, only a woman's sob
sounded softly, and the pretty lady stood staring across the water,
where high above the waves swung a big leather mailbag. It came nearer
and nearer, and men went far out into the surf to steady it, until it
was unfastened, lifted down, opened, and the pretty lady, crying and
laughing, held her baby in her arms, and the child laughed back at them
all.

Men cheered and cheered, and from the ship came answering cheers, while
the mother and father of the child knelt down beside the dog, saying,
"You saved her, Prince Jan!"

The dog watched vainly for his master. Trip after trip brought men and
women to the land, and each one was welcomed wildly. Then Jan, still
watching, gave a great "Woof!" and rushed out into the water. The chair
was approaching the shore, and in the chair was Jan's master. A basket
was held in the old man's lap and on it was fastened a bird cage with a
badly frightened canary. Through a break in the basket waved
Hippity-Hop's furry paw. Those on the shore scattered as Prince Jan
raced among them uttering hysterical yelps until his master stood safely
beside him and leaned down catching the dog's long, soft ears and
pulling them gently, while he said over and over, "Jan, Prince Jan! I
knew you would do it!"

And so, ninety-one people were brought safely to shore in the
boatswain's chair with the rope that Prince Jan had carried, and the
baby that had ridden in the mail sack was kissed and hugged by all those
who could get near her.

Then Prince Jan followed the captain, the pretty lady, and the man who
walked beside her with the baby perched high on his shoulder, and who
had his other arm around the waist of the baby's mother. A tiny paw
reached out of the hamper Captain Smith was carrying, and the dog felt
the tap of Hippity-Hop's paw on his ear. He turned at the touch and put
his nose to the basket, and then he saw Cheepsie, fluttering in the cage
that was gripped by the old captain's other hand.

The little party reached the top of a bluff and turned around to look
across the rough waves. The deserted ship reeled sideways. Water rose
and hid it an instant. When next they looked, there was nothing but the
sky with threatening clouds and the wind-lashed sea.

No one spoke as they went up the pathway of a little house where the
pretty lady lived. The door was opened, they entered, and then the
pretty lady knelt suddenly beside Jan and kissed his head.

"God bless you, Prince Jan!" she whispered.

And though the dog did not understand it, he was very happy because he
knew they were all glad.



Chapter XIV

A FIRESIDE STORY


That evening, after supper, while Jan dozed in front of the fireplace
with its cheerful, glowing logs, and Hippity-Hop curled in a tight ball
between his paws, he did not know that the captain was telling how Jan
had been brought to the pound, sick from neglect and vicious from abuse,
to be killed.

The eyes of the young mother filled with tears, and she glanced from the
sleeping dog to a door leading into another room, where her baby was
lying, safe and warm. But when she stooped, suddenly and stroked the
dog's head gently, his eyes opened, his tail thumped the floor, and then
Jan went to sleep again, for he was very tired.

And while he took his second nap, the father of the baby explained to
the captain that he was the doctor in the little town, and had it not
been for Prince Jan, the pretty little mother and her child would never
have come back to the home on the bluff, after their visit to friends
in California.

"Prince Jan was born in the Hospice," the old man told them. "He was
only a puppy when Mr. Pixley brought him to California. To me, it never
seemed just right, taking him away from the place where he belonged and
where he could have been so useful, and then to treat him so cruelly. Of
course, the Pixleys didn't know the truth, but that didn't help poor
Jan."

The doctor turned and knelt down, studying the sleeping dog, then he
rose and went back to his chair.

"I took a walking tour of Switzerland after I finished my studies in
Europe," he said, at last. "So that was how I happened to be at the
Hospice the day that dog was taken away. I had heard one of the monks
tell about this dog's father, who died saving travellers on an
ice-bridge. I went on my way toward Italy, and I saw this dog start down
the trail to Martigny, the opposite direction. I have never forgotten
the pitiful look in his eyes nor the call he gave as he was led away. I
felt then that it was a tragedy, but never had an idea of what the poor
little fellow would have to suffer. Nor had I any idea that the lives
of my dear ones would be saved through him!"

"The only thing I ever knew about the St. Bernard dogs was that they
lived at the Hospice and went out to hunt lost people in the snow," the
captain spoke. "You are the first one I ever knew who had been there. I
wish I could have seen it and those splendid dogs!"

"You know, the Pass of Great St. Bernard is the main road of travel
between Italy and Switzerland," the doctor went on, and his wife leaned
forward as eagerly as Jan's master to hear about Jan's birthplace. "It
was through this Pass that Napoleon Bonaparte led his army of soldiers,
single file and afoot, in the month of May, 1800!"

"I have read about that march," interrupted the old man, "and I know
what it meant, with food and ammunition and those big guns to haul. You
see, I served all through the four years of the Civil War."

"May is the most dangerous time in the Alps, for the snow melts and
slides in great avalanches, often catching people with no chance for
escape. When I stood on the stone steps of the Hospice, where many feet
have worn little hollows, and I remembered how many people would never
have reached those steps without the dogs' help, I felt that though
Napoleon was a great general and a brave man, the dogs of the Hospice
were just as great and just as brave. And the monument to Barry, near
the old Hospice, was as fine in my eyes as the beautiful white marble
one that Napoleon built in memory of General de Sais, who died on that
trip, and which is in the chapel of the Hospice. Both the general and
Barry did their duty, as they saw it."

The little mother interrupted him, her eyes shining and her hands held
out. "Napoleon made that march for his own glory and ambition, and to
kill those who opposed his way," she said, "but Barry and the other dogs
risked death each day to save lives, with no thought of gain for
themselves."

"That's what I was thinking," the old captain nodded and spoke.

"What surprised me most," continued the doctor, "was that the monks who
live in the Hospice do not ask pay for anything they do. The people who
stop there do not even have to pay for the food that is eaten. When I
asked how much I owed for shelter and food those two days I was there,
they smiled and told me there was no charge. Of course, I could not
leave in that way, and when I insisted, I learned there was a little box
in the Monastery Chapel for purely volunteer offerings. No one ever
watches that box, and no one is ever asked to put anything into it. And
yet," he finished after a little pause, "often as many as five or six
hundred people have stopped at the Hospice in one day. I was told that
between twenty and twenty-five thousand people pass over the trail each
year. Then when one remembers that for a thousand years the ancestors of
Prince Jan have been travelling those trails and saving lives, one can
understand the splendid work of those monks and the dogs."

"And to-day," the little mother's voice trembled, "dear old Prince Jan
proved himself worthy of his ancestors and his heritage."

"Barry saved forty-two lives. His skin has been mounted and stands,
wonderfully life-like, in the Museum of Berne," the doctor said,
thoughtfully. "He did the work in the familiar places, the work he had
been trained to do; but to-day, there were ninety-two lives saved by
Prince Jan, with only his wonderful intelligence to guide him through
the sea and make him hold fast to that rope."

For several moments none of them spoke, but their eyes were on the dog
that slept quietly at their feet, while the little three-legged kitten
snuggled closely against his breast and purred loudly.

"One of the most pitiful sights at the Hospice is the House of the Dead,
a short distance from the Hospice. Those who have never been identified
sleep there. Sometimes, you see, the dogs and monks are too late, or the
avalanches of melting snow uncover people who have been buried months,
or even years. The Hospice is built on solid rock, so there is no place
to dig graves. Not a tree grows within seven miles of the buildings,
because it is so cold, and there is no earth for the roots. It is a
bare, desolate place at all times."

"Jan must have been bewildered, going from such a place to a home in
California," the little mother spoke. "And yet, see how he worked out
his life and made himself worthy!"

The doctor lighted a cigar and leaned back in his big chair. "The snow
at the Hospice is not like snow in other places," he finally said. "You
know how, usually, it clings in masses, and when trodden upon it packs
firmly; but in the Alps during a storm, the snow freezes as it falls and
forms into little hard pellets. These tiny lumps of ice pile up around a
traveller, and when he tries to push onward he sinks as though in a bed
of quicksand. Unless help is at hand he soon is buried out of sight. The
winds sweep fiercely through the passes between the mountain peaks, and
send terrible, whirling clouds of snow that cut the face and blind the
eyes, and many times a wanderer plunges over a precipice that he cannot
see, or worn by struggles, he sinks exhausted to die. Then, there are
the ice-bridges. What I am telling will give only a faint idea of the
importance of the work of those magnificent dogs of the Hospice. And
there is something that is not generally known, but is just as heroic.
The monks who go to the Hospice volunteer for that work, knowing fully
that five years up there in the altitude and intense cold mean
practically the end of their lives. It ruins their lungs, and so, after
a time, they go quietly down into the milder air of the Valley of the
Rhone, in France, and there they wait cheerfully during the short span
of life ahead of them. Only the young and strong monks are sent to the
Hospice."

After the doctor ceased speaking they all sat silently and watched the
blazing logs, for each of the listeners, as well as the doctor, was
thinking of the sacrifice and unselfishness of those monks, and the
brave loyalty of their dog-friends on the trail.

"I wish I had enough money to send Prince Jan back to his own work and
home," the captain said wistfully. "Maybe, though, I can manage it some
day," he added more hopefully. "I feel as if he ought to be there with
the others."

"You are right," agreed the doctor, and his wife nodded her head
quickly. "Jan's work, his kin, his home, lie back there at the Hospice.
I owe the lives of my wife and my baby to him, and if you are willing to
let him go back there, I will take him back to the Hospice myself. But,
won't you miss him?"

"It would make me as happy as it would make him, to know he was back
there again," answered the old man eagerly, as he stooped over and
caressed the dog's head.

Jan, in his sleep, recognized the touch and swished his tail lightly,
but he did not open his eyes, and he never knew what the doctor and the
captain had been talking about that evening.

But when it was known in the little town that the doctor was planning to
take Prince Jan back to the Hospice, and those who had been saved from
the ship heard the story of the dog, every one wanted to help. The
newspaper printed the story of Prince Jan and his ancestors, and then
people kept coming to see him, and most of them brought money for the
trip back to the Hospice.

A beautiful collar of silver was made for him, and on it were engraved
the words,

    A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE FROM THE NINETY-TWO PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES WERE
    SAVED BY PRINCE JAN, WHEN ALL HOPE WAS LOST.

With this collar was a purse of money sufficient to pay Jan's passage
home, and a nice sum left over to give to the monks who cared for the
dogs at the Hospice.

But the biggest surprise of all came when Captain Smith found that he,
too, was to make the trip to the Hospice with the doctor and Prince Jan.

The old man wrote a letter to his daughter, explaining everything and
saying he would come to her as soon as he and the doctor could get
back.

Jan did not know what all the excitement in the little home meant, but
every one patted him or spoke kindly, and the old captain's eyes were
shining all the time, as he trotted about the rooms, whistling.



Chapter XV

AN UNFORGOTTEN TRAIL


Once again Jan went on a big boat, but he did not worry this time,
because his friends were with him. Hippity-Hop and Cheepsie had been
left with the doctor's wife until the captain should return for them.

The voyage was followed by travelling in a train, and each day of the
whole journey the doctor and captain visited Jan. When he was on the
train, his friends took him out of the car a number of times, so he
could stretch his legs and run about on the ground while the train
waited at a station. It did not take Jan long to understand that if he
did not get back in the car he would be left behind. So he watched very
carefully and at the first call of the captain or the doctor, he ran
swiftly to the right car and jumped in it. Passengers on the long train
watched him do this, for he never mistook his own car though there were
several others just like the one in which he rode.

Jan wore his silver collar, and wherever he went men and women would
look at it, then pat his big head and praise him. He was very happy
though he did not know where he and his friends were going.

From the train they stopped at a little town, and early the next morning
Jan followed the doctor and the captain to a place where a funny little
cart waited them. A sleepy-looking mule was hitched to the cart, and a
driver stood at the mule's head. After some talk between the driver and
the doctor, the old captain climbed into the cart and the doctor trudged
beside it, while the muleteer, as the drivers of these little carts are
called, kept near the mule's head. At first Jan followed behind them
all, but in a short time he found that the road they were trudging
became more steep. Then he trotted ahead and led the way, but looked
back often to see that every one was all right.

The town where they had spent the night was perched on a high bluff
overlooking a noisy, scurrying little river that seemed in a great hurry
to get some place else. The road Jan now travelled climbed higher and
higher, but as he stopped and looked down he could see the river
gurgling and hurrying along. It was a queer little stream, and the
muleteer called it the Dranse. In places Jan could not see it at all,
and then when he thought it had gone in another direction, it popped
out, foaming and spluttering as though it thought Jan had been fooled.
Sometimes it appeared to be running backward, and then suddenly it
seemed to be racing forward, and always it kept playing its game of
hide-and-seek with them all, and laughing and dancing like a merry elf
or water-sprite. The river kept all of them interested until they
stopped at a little village, which the muleteer said was Cantine de
Proz.

Here they walked about, while the mule was unhitched and the little
wagon was left behind. The captain now climbed on the back of the mule,
and the doctor and muleteer walked on either side of him. The road had
changed to a narrow, slippery pathway, one side of which dropped down to
a deep chasm with a fringe of snow showing here and there.

In front of them loomed mountains, and as the path twisted sharply, Jan
stopped short and stared ahead. Far away rose a huge white mountain, and
around it grouped peaks of dazzling snow, the first snow Jan had seen
since he was a puppy.

The doctor and the old man were watching him, but Jan did not see them.
He was remembering things he had almost forgotten. Slowly the mule
climbed, and the twisting trail turned and wound higher and higher. Jan
lifted his head and sniffed the air that was growing colder. Then as
they turned where the path seemed to end, the dog gave a loud bark and
dashed ahead of them where something white lay on the ground. Faster and
faster his feet flew until he stood in this white patch. His nose
touched it and tossed it in little white clouds, he threw himself down
and rolled over and over, then jumped to his feet and barked in sharp,
excited tones. Again he snapped at it, and then he raced along the
trail, frisking like a puppy, while the doctor and the captain kept
smiling at each other and nodding their heads.

But not until a tiny cabin was reached, where they all went inside to
rest a short time, did Prince Jan recognize the little Rest House and
knew that the white trail winding up the mountain side would end at the
door of the Hospice.

So, when the old man was perched again on the mule and the travellers
started toward the high white peak, Jan did not wait longer, but raced
ahead of them, barking as he ran. Up, up, faster and faster, he ran. His
heart pounded, his tongue hung far out of his mouth, he plunged his nose
into the soft, cold drifts, sometimes stopping to take a big bite, then
with yelps of joy he darted on.

And high above the steep trail rose the sharp peaks that shadowed the
hundreds of deep gullies: places where the snow never melted, even in
summer. And Prince Jan knew that he was following once more the path
that his forefathers had trodden.

He stopped quickly and lifted his nose high, then he sent forth the
great cry of the St. Bernard dogs. The deep tones echoed from crag to
crag, until it sounded as if all the dogs that had ever trodden that
trail were answering him.

Another twist of the pathway showed the jagged tips of the highest
peaks, and just back of that crest rose the roof of the Hospice. Jan
stood still for a second before he sent again that call of his people.
Again he heard the voices answering, but this time the answer came from
the dogs in the kennel-yards.

Jan trembled with excitement, then he shot forward and did not stop
until he had reached the worn stone steps that he remembered so well.
The door was closed, but some instinct made him raise his head and give
the cry of the trail.

Slowly the big door swung open and Brother Antoine stood looking with
puzzled eyes at a St. Bernard dog that he did not know. But Jan had not
forgotten. He reared on his hind legs and let his front paws drop
lightly on the shoulders of the monk. Their eyes were level, and as the
dog looked at the monk, Brother Antoine called out, "Why! It is
Jan--Prince Jan--come back to us!"

"Woof! Woof!" Jan's voice brought other monks hastily to the door, where
Brother Antoine stood patting the big, strange dog that stood with
bright shining eyes, looking from one to the other, while his fluffy
tail bobbed and wagged furiously.

As they stood talking and wondering how he came there, the doctor and
the captain, with the muleteer, came in sight. So the mystery was fully
understood.

Inside the Hospice, the monks gathered around to listen to the story of
the adventures of Prince Jan since that time when he had been led down
the trail to a Land of No Snow. His silver collar was examined and
admired, and Jan knew they were all glad that he had come back home.

It was Brother Antoine, though, who said, "Come with me, Prince Jan."

The big dog followed at once. Through the corridors of the Hospice, down
a few steps, he went swiftly to the basement, under high archways, and
through the open entrance that led into the kennel yard. And then, Jan
stood once more in the home of his ancestors, and saw again his own kin.

Panting with excitement, he ran among them all and looked eagerly
around. Many of the dogs were strangers to him, but when he saw old
Bruno limping slowly across to where he stood, Jan's yelp made the other
dogs start, and as he reached Bruno's side and showed that he had not
forgotten, Bruno's joy was just as plain. Two tawny streaks flashed up
to Jan, sniffed, and then yelped and yelped in wildest excitement; and
this time Jan's voice mingled with his mother's and Rollo's, while the
other dogs joined until the white mountains sent back the call of the
Hospice dogs.

Brother Antoine, smiling happily, patted Jan and left him with the other
dogs. But later in the day he returned and bade Jan follow. They went
into the Big Room where the captain and the doctor were talking with
several travellers and two more monks. They watched the dog move to the
side of the old man; then Brother Antoine unfastened the silver collar
from Jan's neck and hung it over the fireplace beside the big painting
of the St. Bernard dog rescuing a man from the snow.

"It shall hang there so that all who come to the Hospice may see it and
hear the story of Prince Jan," said Brother Antoine.

Every one praised Jan, and he then went back to the kennel, where he was
quickly surrounded by the other dogs. It was a great day for the St.
Bernards, and they were very proud of Jan when he told them the story of
his adventures in the strange land where there was never any snow.



Chapter XVI

PRINCE JAN DECIDES


Jan slept soundly that night, and when he woke just before the first
peep of day, and saw the other dogs stretched around him, he remembered
that he was back home once more with his mother, Rollo, Bruno, and the
rest of the Hospice dogs, and that now he would have a chance to do the
work of his forefathers.

The soft, deep tones of the Hospice bell called them all to waken for a
new day and its work. The voices of the monks singing in the chapel
ceased, and at once all the dogs turned expectant eyes toward the
corridor, where Brother Antoine appeared with food for their breakfast.

They leaped around the monk, or mauled each other in play, while the hot
food was poured into a small trough, and soon Prince Jan was eating his
share with the rest of them. They all made way for him, and there was no
crowding, growling, or fighting over their morning meal.

When it was over the door leading into the yard was opened and the dogs
tumbled out, barking, jumping, knocking each other over, or scampering
full tilt in merry play. Rollo and his brother forgot they were grown-up
and frisked together as they had done in the days before Prince Jan had
been taken to the Land of No Snow.

Once more Brother Antoine stood on the steps watching them, and at last
he called Jan, who trotted obediently to him, and followed through the
arched corridors and the long hallway until they reached the three doors
that opened, one after the other, to the outside steps.

Jan saw the doctor and the captain already there. The old man was
mounted on the mule, Ketty, while Pierrot, the driver, waited beside it.
The doctor held a long, stout stick.

With a bark of welcome, the dog hurried to them and stood up on his hind
legs so he could lick the hand of the captain and feel its gentle touch
on his head.

Brother Antoine paused at the top step and watched, but he did not speak
as Pierrot called aloud and the mule started briskly down the trail
leading to Martigny. The doctor walked beside the mule, and then Jan
understood that they were leaving the Hospice.

He stopped and gazed back wistfully. The monk on the step gave no sign,
uttered no word to call him back. Sadly Jan turned and moved along the
trail behind the mule. The doctor and the captain, and even Pierrot,
looked at the dog, but none of them spoke to him.

For some little distance Jan trudged heavily, then he stopped suddenly
and twisted for a last look at his home. He saw the high-peaked roof and
the snow-clad mountains looming above it, then he turned again to follow
the travellers. They were now some distance ahead of him and a jagged
cliff hid them from his eyes. Jan did not move.

Through a gap he saw the captain, the doctor, and the guide. They halted
this time. They were waiting there for him.

The dog started quickly toward them, but something made him look again
where Brother Antoine stood on the steps. Jan hesitated, then he sat
down facing the trail toward Martigny. In a few minutes he saw the
little procession start on its way. He knew he could catch up with them
easily if he ran fast, but still he sat without moving, his eyes
fastened on that gap between the mountains.

He lifted his head and sent out the cry of his forefathers, so that the
echoes rang again and again. The answering voices died away, there was
no sound save the swish of melting snow that slipped down the steep
places, and then Prince Jan, St. Bernard, turned and trotted up the
trail to the home of his ancestors.

Brother Antoine waited on the top step. As the dog reached him, the monk
stooped and patted him, whispering softly, "It is not easy, Prince Jan,
when the paths that Love and Duty travel lie far apart."

And so Prince Jan came back to the work of his ancestors, and as the
months passed by he saved many lives and was very happy. The young dogs
listened in respectful wonder when he told of the strange places and
things that he had found in the Land of No Snow. They learned from him
the lessons of obedience, loyalty, and kindliness.

"If you do the very best you know how, it will always work out right in
the end," Jan ended each talk.

But sometimes at night as he slept among the other dogs, he saw the
captain walking about a room. Cheepsie was perched on the old man's
shoulder, while Hippity-Hop skipped beside them, and the dog-knew that
they were thinking of him.

Then Jan's ears cocked up, his tail swished gently on the stone floor of
the Hospice, for in his dreams he heard the faint sound of a quavering
voice singing:

    "Old dog Tray is ever faithful,
    Grief cannot drive him away.
      He's gentle and he's kind
      And you'll never, never find
    A better friend than old dog Tray."



Chapter XVII

JAN'S REWARD


Two years went past and Jan's work at the Hospice brought him great
happiness, for he knew that he was doing the work of his ancestors and
living a useful life.

Often as he travelled the snow trails, he remembered the Land of No
Snow, the warm sunshine, the fragrant flowers and the beautiful trees
laden with golden fruit. But the one thing for which his loyal heart
yearned most was the touch of a wrinkled hand on his head and the sound
of the old poundmaster's voice. No one knew Jan's thoughts, for he was
always eager to do his work the best he knew how, and to teach the
puppies to be proud of the privilege of helping people.

Brother Antoine had left the Hospice and gone down into the warmer
climate of the Valley of the Rhone. His work had been done bravely and
unselfishly, and the monks had asked that he be sent to a place where
sunshine and milder air would give him a chance to recover his strength
and prolong his life. Jan greatly missed this dear friend.

There were cold mornings when Prince Jan rose stiffly, for he had not
been hardened to the trail work from puppy days as Rollo and the other
dogs had been. Five years of warm sunshine in the Land of No Snow had
made Jan's muscles soft and flabby and he felt the cold weather more
than any of the other St. Bernards. Then, too, his long hair made the
work of the trails harder for him because the snow clung to his fur and
when it melted and soaked to his skin, the monks watched carefully to
keep him from becoming chilled. Once or twice he had limped badly after
coming in from his work, and then he had been rubbed and taken into the
Big Room and allowed to stretch before the fireplace, and for a while he
was not sent out with the other dogs.

One day during summer many of the dogs were given a chance to exercise
outdoors. Jan sat watching the youngsters tumble each other about, while
he recalled the times when he and Rollo had played that way and old
Bruno had sat watching them. Then one of the pups began barking, and
soon the others added their calls of welcome as a little party of
travellers appeared in the opening of the mountain pass toward Martigny.
Jan, mindful of his responsibility, joined in the calls. His deep,
mellow tones sounded distinctly above the others, but he did not know
that those on the trail had stopped while an old man, mounted on a mule,
cried out, "Listen! That is Jan! I know his voice!"

A younger man and a young woman who were also mounted on mules, laughed
happily, though the woman's eyes were filled with tears as she looked at
the old man. Then they hurried on and soon were in plain sight of the
steps that led into the Hospice. In a few more minutes the mules stopped
and the dogs crowded about to show how glad they were to have visitors.

The old man climbed down from his mule and turned to face the dogs. He
looked quickly from one to the other, until he found the one he sought.
Prince Jan started, his eyes lighted up suddenly, his head was lifted
high, then with a yelp of joy the big dog leaped forward.

"Jan! Jan! You haven't forgotten me, have you?" cried the old
poundmaster, kneeling down and putting his arms about the shaggy neck,
while the dog's rough tongue licked the wrinkled hand, and little
whimpers of delight told of Jan's happiness.

The other dogs crowded around in excitement, wondering what it all
meant, and the guide, with the lady and gentleman, now beside the old
man, kept talking together and patting Jan's head. But he did not think
of them as they moved to the door, for Jan's only thought was to keep
closely beside his dear old master whose hand rested on the furry head,
and whose kindly, faded blue eyes were filled with tears of joy. Jan's
eyes spoke his own happiness and love.

In the Big Room the monks received the old captain, whom they had not
forgotten, and after the first greetings were over, they listened to the
story of the poundmaster's homesickness for Jan. The lady, who was the
captain's daughter, explained that the mines in far-away Alaska had been
sold for enough money to build a home in Southern California, where the
captain lived with them. But it had not taken her very long to learn how
much her father wished to see Prince Jan once more. So the little
family had travelled back to Jan's home in the Alps.

That evening Jan was very happy as he stretched before the fireplace at
the captain's feet. He did not sleep, for his eyes were fixed on the old
man's face, and when the poundmaster reached down to touch Jan's head,
the dog's tail swished and thumped. Then Jan rose to his feet and laid
his head on the captain's knee, just as he used to do in the other days.

The monks talked very earnestly with the captain's daughter and her
husband, and at last they all sat down together, smiling at Jan. He did
not understand what they were saying but he knew they were very happy,
and he was happy with them.

What they had talked about was their plan for the dog. He was now past
eight years old and in a short time would not be able to go out on the
trail. Prince Jan had done his part in the work of the St. Bernards with
honor to himself and to them, and now that he was growing old, the monks
felt that he was entitled to spend his last years in comfort and
happiness with his old friend, Captain Smith.

So, the next morning Jan was brought to the entrance of the Hospice,
and there, as before, he saw Captain Smith on the mule. The captain's
daughter and her husband were mounted on the other mules, and the guide
had started along the trail.

Jan looked at the monks who were grouped on the stone steps, then he
looked at the captain. The mules moved slowly behind the guide. Prince
Jan gave a pitiful little whimper as he saw them go. Then he heard the
voice of the monk who now had charge of the kennels.

"Go on, Jan!"

The dog took a few steps and stopped. The monks were smiling and
pointing toward the trail that led to Martigny. He turned and watched
those who were riding down that trail. They reached the gap and paused.

Jan stood with trembling body, his eyes filled with longing and grief.
Then clear and strong he heard the voice he loved.

"Come on, Jan! We're going home now!"

"Woof! Woof!" the answer woke the echoes sleeping in the hearts of the
mountains, the dogs of the Hospice took up the call of their kin, and
the big dog dashed swiftly along the trail until he reached the little
group.

Leaping up, he licked the poundmaster's hand. Then with head erect,
Prince Jan, for the last time, travelled the trail of his ancestors. He
did not know where he was going, but it made no difference to him. His
master was looking down at him and smiling.


THE END





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