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´╗┐Title: Billy Whiskers - The Autobiography of a Goat
Author: Montgomery, Frances Trego, 1858-1925
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 "Billy Whiskers - The Autobiography of a Goat" ***

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            [Illustration: "LOOK HERE, THAT IS MY GOAT!"]



                                BILLY
                               WHISKERS

                     THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GOAT



                                  by

                       Frances Trego Montgomery


                       Illustrated by W. H. Fry



                    Saalfield Publishing Company,

                             Akron, Ohio,

                                1902.


       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


MR. WAGNER BUYS A GOAT

BILLY WHISKERS MAKES TROUBLE

BILLY AT THE SODA FOUNTAIN

BILLY GIVES THE BOYS A DUCKING IN THE MILL POND

BILLY'S ADVENTURES IN TOWN

BILLY HAS A RIDE IN THE POLICE PATROL WAGON

BILLY JOINS THE FIRE PATROL

BILLY AND NANNY GET INTO MISCHIEF

BILLY AND NANNY ARE MARRIED

BILLY AS A PERFORMER IN THE CIRCUS

BILLY AND THE SNAKES

WHAT BILLY DID ON SUNDAY

WHAT BILLY DID ON MONDAY

WHAT BILLY DID ON TUESDAY

WHAT BILLY DID ON WEDNESDAY

WHAT BILLY DID ON THURSDAY

WHAT BILLY DID ON FRIDAY

BILLY FINDS NANNY

       *       *       *       *       *



ILLUSTRATIONS


"LOOK HERE, THAT IS MY GOAT!"       _Frontispiece_

IN TWO MINUTES, HE HAD SENT THE DOG FLYING OVER THE FENCE.

THE ITALIAN WAS SO HORRIFIED AND DISMAYED TO SEE WHAT HAD
HAPPENED THAT HE FORGOT WHAT LITTLE ENGLISH HE KNEW.

THIS CALLED FORTH A SHOUT OF GLEE FROM THE POLICEMEN WHO WERE
LOOKING OVER THE FENCE.

THE FARMER STOPPED TO SEE WHAT ALL THE ROW WAS ABOUT.

"OH, MY! LOOK AT THIS QUEER-LOOKING GOAT WITH THREE HORNS. DON'T
HE LOOK FIERCE?"

       *       *       *       *       *



_Mr. Wagner Buys a Goat_


Mr. Wagner lived about two miles from a small town, and he
thought it would be nice for his boys to have a little goat cart,
so they could drive into town for mail and do errands for the
family.

Without saying anything to his family, he appeared one evening
leading a nice, docile looking, long-bearded Billy goat, hitched
to a beautiful new red wagon.

Of course, the boys were wild with delight, and their mother
disgusted, for she predicted that he would be more bother than he
was worth, and would eat up all the things in the garden. They
answered her that they would take good care that he never got
loose, and that no wrong would happen, if she would only let
them keep the goat. So with many misgivings she gave her consent,
and Billy was led to the stable behaving like a lamb.

The boys christened him Billy Whiskers immediately, on account of
his long white beard. It being a warm night, they tied him near a
shed, so if it rained he could go under it for protection, and
giving him some grass and a bucket of water, they went to bed to
dream of the fun they were going to have the next day with Billy
Whiskers.

It was five hours later when Billy awakened from his first long
sleep, and feeling refreshed, thought he would take a look
around. It was bright moonlight, and as all the lights were out
in the house, he knew he would not be disturbed, for when he went
to a new place he did not like to be interfered with when he made
his first explorations, and he always preferred making them at
night, and alone. You will no doubt think that he could not
explore much, tied to a short rope, but if you think the rope
made any difference you do not know the ways of an educated goat,
and Billy had no Kindergarten education either, but a regular
High School training in that respect.

He turned, and taking the rope in his mouth as he had done many
times before, he quietly and peacefully chewed it until it fell
apart, and then with a kick of his heels, and a wink at the
house, he went toward the garden. From this direction the evening
breeze was wafting to his nostrils sweet odors of dew-sprinkled
lettuce and tender beet tops.

He ate up all the lettuce, or at least all the choice heads, and
what beets he did not eat, he stepped on. Then he walked across
the flower beds, and trampled down all the flowers, in a short
cut to the pump, for he was getting thirsty.

On his way to the pump he thought he saw a man coming down the
road, so he hurried along and went up on the veranda of the house
to stand in the shadow until the man went by, for he knew that
men often interfere with a goat's pleasure, even if it is only a
moonlight stroll.

The man having passed, he walked around the veranda trying every
now and then to look in at the window to see what kind of a house
his new master had. At last he came to the front door and he
could not help trying to taste the bell knob, it looked so much
like a knob of salt in the moonlight. To be sure he knew that it
was not salt, but it did look so good to eat, and he had often
eaten things before that were not down on the diet list of a
goat, so he took another chew but, horrors! what was that! There
was a terrible ringing and clanging in the house,--it sounded
like a fire bell; and the next minute Mr. Wagner stuck his head
out of the window and wanted to know who was there. Of course
there was no answer, and Billy stood as still as possible to
listen and see what Mr. Wagner would do next; then he walked to
the edge of the porch, and heard Mr. Wagner say, "Who is there?
Can't you answer, or are you deaf and dumb, or drunk?"

[Illustration]

Still no response, and Billy walked back and gave another lick at
the bell, which immediately gave another loud ring. Mr. Wagner
drew his head in, and Billy heard him say, "I'll come down and
break your stupid head for you, wakening people up this time of
the night!" When Billy heard this, he thought that it was time to
go, so he scooted around the house, and went and laid down by his
rope, just as if he were still tied and had not stirred a peg.

Mr. Wagner opened the door, and finding no one there, walked
around the house holding a candle over his head to see if some
drunken tramp had not rung the bell. He thought that he heard
steps on the veranda as he came to the door, but no one was in
sight only Billy Whiskers, apparently asleep by the shed.

"Hello! Billy old fellow, how are you getting along? Seen anyone
around here lately?"

But Billy only blinked and laughed in his skin to see Mr. Wagner
prancing around in his night-shirt, with the tallow from the
candle dropping on his bald head.

Mr. Wagner went in and was about to get into bed, when he thought
he saw in the moonlight a figure come out of the shed and go
toward the house. The moon went under a cloud just at that minute
and was hid from sight, so he kept still, straining his eyes to
see and his ears to hear. He heard the chain rattle on the bucket
at the well.

"Oh! ho!" he thought, "the tramp thinks that I have gone to bed,
and that he will get a drink, and then prowl around some more.
Well, we will see. I will just get my shot gun and fire a shot to
scare him, if he does not answer."

So grabbing his gun, which always stood by the window loaded for
use, he called out again:

"Who is there? Speak, or I'll shoot!"

As the words left his mouth, an object started on a run from the
well, and Mr. Wagner fired, not stopping to see what it was, but
supposing it to be a man. Just then the moon sailed from under
the cloud, and there in the moonlight lay poor Billy Whiskers
stunned and nearly frightened to death with a flesh wound in his
side. When Mr. Wagner saw what he had done, and that it was only
the goat, he pulled down the window, and went to bed, too mad to
even go to see if the goat was dead or not.

The next morning Billy was as lively as ever, only a little faint
from loss of blood and rather subdued. The children bathed his
wound with witch hazel, and after a good breakfast, he was as
well as ever, and ready for play or work.

Of course Mrs. Wagner said, "I told you so," several times, only
varying it with, "Yes, you just wait and see, that goat will get
into more trouble than he is worth, just see if he won't."

When she said this, she did not know of the midnight meal off her
nice lettuce he had had in the garden.

Billy did not get into much mischief during the remainder of the
day, except chewing up the dish-rags which were hung on the lilac
bush to dry, and all the flowers off the oleander.

The next day was his unlucky day, maybe because it was Friday. It
happened in this way, Mr. Wagner had some extra nice strawberries,
which he had taken special pains to pick and fix up, intending to
send them to a friend in town. He told the boys that they could
take the goat cart and drive into town, with the berries and some
nice lettuce for his friend, and get the mail on the way back.

The boys were delighted at the prospect of driving Billy in the
new cart. They packed the things in nicely, and hitching Billy
up, drove out of the lane in fine style, on a fast trot.
Everything went well until half-way to town, when Jimmy Brown
sicked his dog on the goat, and then the trouble commenced.

[Illustration: IN TWO MINUTES, HE HAD SENT THE DOG FLYING OVER
THE FENCE.]

Billy Whiskers made a plunge for the dog, missed him, but gave
the cart a quick jerk, which spilled the boys and the berries out
in great shape, and then the scrimmage began. The boys went for
Jimmy Brown, and the goat for the dog, dragging the overturned
cart with him, and in two minutes, he had sent the dog flying
over the fence, with his sharp horns. He then proceeded to walk
quietly back to where the strawberries and lettuce were lying in
the road, and commenced eating them, as if nothing had happened
at all. All this time the boys were pulling each other's hair,
and rolling over in the dust, in a regular pitched battle. Billy
having eaten all he cared for, walked off and lay down in the
shade to rest, still dragging the cart after him. He was just
losing himself in sleep, when he was jerked to his feet in a
hurry; the cart was straightened; and before he knew what he was
about, he was being driven toward home as fast as his legs could
go, and from the conversation he learned that they had taken
their departure so hurriedly because they had seen Jimmy's big
brother coming down the road, and they did not care to stop and
fight him too. Arriving at home, with dirty, bloody faces;
clothes torn, and no letter of thanks from the people the berries
had been sent to, the boys were afraid to go in so they decided
that the best plan would be to cry and howl and limp, as if they
were nearly dead, to excite their mother's sympathy; so that she
would be too frightened to scold them. They made the small holes
larger in their clothes, rubbed a little more dirt on their
faces, and squeezed a little more blood out of their scratches;
and screaming at the top of their voices, they drove into the
lane. The ruse was a success, for first came Kate, the cook, to
see what was the matter; then John, the hired man; and last
mother and father, from out of the garden where they had been
examining the damages which Billy had done two nights before.

All mother said was, "That goat has to be sold, Silas Wagner, I
told you that trouble would come when you brought that long
whiskered animal home."

And the next day the goat was sold.

[Illustration]



_Billy Whiskers Makes Trouble_


The day after Billy Whiskers was sold to the Biggses he was shut
in a small yard to keep him out of mischief. Feeling lonesome, he
thought that he would jump the fence and look around a little. He
was getting cross-eyed looking through the palings of the fence
which were very close together, so suiting the action to the
thought, he vaulted over the fence, landing in a kettle of
scarlet dye, that had been left there to cool. When he got out of
the kettle the fore-part of him was scarlet, and the hind, white,
but he did not mind that, so after shaking the drops from his
eyes and beard, he was as ready to explore as if nothing had
happened.

[Illustration]

Seeing the kitchen door open, he went up the steps softly and
looked in. He could see no one in the kitchen, and smelling some
nice sweet-cakes, which had just been taken out of the oven and
placed on the table, he walked cautiously across the floor and
began to eat them. From the floor he could only reach a few, so
he mounted a chair, and from that stepped onto the table. As he
did so, he stepped into a large loaf cake with frosting on it.
While kicking that off, and licking the frosting off his feet, he
caught sight of a nice red apple that one of the children had put
on a small shelf for safe keeping. This he quickly packed away
where moth and rust doth not corrupt. Hearing some noise, he was
about to get off the table, when raising his head, he faced
another goat. But this goat must have come from the infernal
regions for in all his life he had never seen such a villainous
looking fellow. Billy was no coward, so he backed off as far as
the table would allow, and then butted forward as hard as he
could. A crash! a bang! and the other goat was upon him, and they
both rolled off the table.

Where had the other goat disappeared when he had butted him, and
what was this thing around his neck? A looking-glass frame, with
little pieces of glass sticking in it. Backing out of the frame,
Billy went in pursuit of the other goat; for he did not know that
it was his own image he had butted in the kitchen looking-glass.
Seeing a dark hall-way, he went boldly in, and walked on toward a
light he saw at the other end. Arriving there, he found that the
light came from a window in the parlor. He marched in, still
looking for his rival, but soon forgot him in gazing at the
things in the room, especially a fancy basket of fruit under a
glass cover. Now Billy was very partial to fruit of all kinds, so
he upset the marble-top table the basket was setting on and out
rolled all the luscious looking fruit. He bit into a rosy cheeked
peach, but of all fruit he had ever eaten, this was the most
tasteless and tough. It stuck to his teeth so he could not
separate his upper jaw from his lower. Just then he heard voices,
and some one say:

"Susie, I heard a terrible crash down stairs. You had better run
down and see what it was. You may have left the kitchen door open
and the cat possibly came in and upset something."

Then he heard Susie say, "All right, Mum."

He thought that if anyone was coming down he had better get out
so he started on a run, but the door at the end of the hall had
blown shut, and the only other way of escape was up the front
stairs. As he reached the top, he saw Susie who had been
scrubbing the top of the back stairs, throw down her brush,
preparatory to going to see what the noise was. They both caught
sight of each other at the same moment, and Susie thought the
long, sinister looking, scarlet-bearded face with the horns, that
appeared at the top of the stairs, was the devil; and with a
blood-curdling scream she threw up her hands and rolled to the
foot of the stairs, upsetting the pail of suds that she had
clutched when she felt herself falling. There she lay too
frightened to move, but Billy rushed on trying to find a way out
for he commenced to feel that there would be trouble if he were
found.

Mrs. Biggs, hearing Susie scream, rushed to the door with her
mouth full of tacks, and a hammer in her hand, just in time to
get butted into by Billy, which laid her flat on her back in less
time than you can wink. As luck would have it, the shock made her
open her mouth and the tacks flew out for if she had swallowed
them she would never have gotten off her back.

Billy Whiskers gave her one look when he saw what he had done,
and turned and fled back down the stairs, and out the front door
between the legs of Mr. Biggs who was just coming in, and Billy
being a big goat, and Mr. Biggs a short, stout man, there was not
much room to go through, but it was the first daylight Billy had
seen, so he gave Mr. Biggs a boost as he straddled his back,
which helped him to fall off, over the side of the porch where he
landed in a nice soft bed of geraniums.

As Billy was a knowing goat, he decided that they would not care
for him after what had happened, nor look for him if he
disappeared, so seeing the front gate open, he ran out and
trotted down the road and that was the last that was heard of
him. His surmises were right. The Biggses never even looked for
him.

[Illustration]



_Billy at the Soda Fountain_


After Billy Whiskers had left Mr. Biggs, he trotted slowly down
the road wondering where he would get his next meal for he well
knew he would never dare go back to Mr. Biggses after upsetting
him in the geranium bed and causing all the mischief he had there
that day. But being a goat of a cheerful frame of mind and used
to looking out for himself, he did not worry much, and decided he
would enter the first garden he came to, and make a free lunch
off the vegetables, or go into a turnip patch and feast on them
for if there was anything he doted on it was nice, sweet turnips,
fresh from the fields.

He had gone some distance, and no patch or garden appearing that
was not enclosed by a high, barbed-wire fence, he commenced to
get discouraged. Feeling hungry and thirsty he was about wishing
he had behaved himself at Mr. Biggses so he could go back, when
he came to a turn in the road and there before him stood a frame
building, with the door open and over the door a large picture of
a white Polar bear sitting on a cake of ice, drinking a foaming
glass of soda-water, while in a circle round him sat little
bears, each with a glass of something cool to drink.

"This is just the place I have been looking for," thought Billy,
"where thirsty animals can get a drink." So in he walked, much to
the fright of a party of picnickers, who were sitting around a
little table drinking soda-water and lemonade, and eating
ice-cream.

The man at the soda fountain on seeing Billy was so surprised
that he forgot to turn off the fizz he was putting into a glass
of soda he was mixing, and it foamed up and ran up his sleeve and
all over everything.

This caused the young people to laugh, which made the young man
behind the counter mad. He picked up a bottle of ginger-ale and
pretended to throw it at Billy, but alas for his intentions! He
raised it too high; it hit a large bottle of syrup that stood on
a shelf behind him, breaking both bottles at the same time, and
instead of hurting Billy, he got a sticky bath of syrup and a
shower of ginger in his own eyes. This was adding insult to
injury, he thought, and this last mishap turned the laughter of
the crowd into a scream of merriment which did not lessen his
anger in the least. He grabbed a broom that stood near by and
jumping over the counter went for Billy, who all this time had
been standing still, doing nothing but looking at the man and
waiting for him to give him a drink of some kind.

[Illustration]

When Billy saw the man jump over the counter with the broom, he
knew he was after him but at the same time he made up his mind
that he would not leave that store until he had had a drink of
something,--man or no man.

So when the man made a lunge at him with the broom, Billy made a
quick rush at the man and planted his head in the middle of the
fellow's stomach sending him sprawling on the floor where he
landed in the midst of a shower of tooth-brushes he had upset as
he flew by the show cases.

This catastrophe frightened the girls and boys who had been
sitting sipping soda and laughing at the man, and there was a mad
scramble to get out but Billy was too quick for them. He wheeled
round and butted the tail end of one fellow's coat so hard that
it sent him flying clear through the open door and out into the
road where he landed in a mud-puddle.

Then he turned and went for the girls who were all huddled
together against the wall, screaming and crying with fright. He
walked up to them. As they saw him coming, they thought their
time had come and threw up their hands to cover their eyes and
screamed harder than ever. But he only took a bunch of green wax
grapes off the hat of one of the girls and commenced to chew it,
and he would have left them alone but one of the boys who was
with them came to their rescue and tried to drive Billy away by
giving him a hard blow with a chair he had picked up. This
infuriated Billy and he gave the whole bunch of girls a butt and
then turned and went for the boy, who was holding the chair high
over his head ready to strike. Billy stuck his long horns into
the boy's chest and laid him flat on the floor in an instant.
Then he walked up on him and planted his two feet on his breast
while he lowered his head, licking the boy's face all over with
his tongue. This made the boy furious but he could do nothing as
the goat was heavy, and with his weight on his chest he thought
he would smother.

By that time the soda-fountain man had recovered his breath and
came at Billy again with his broom raised ready to strike. Billy
saw him coming and left the boy he was standing on, and ran
behind one of the tables. Then the chase began; round and round
the tables and chairs went the goat with the man after him,
upsetting everything as they went, until the store looked as if a
cyclone had struck it, with the foaming soda-water and ice-cream
running all over the floor.

When Billy thought he had tired the soda man out he ran out the
door and sent those that were standing there scattering like a
flock of chickens. All you could see for a while were blue
stockings, black stockings, white petticoats and heels as the
girls ran screaming in all directions. Each girl thought Billy
was behind her, but was too afraid to turn round to look, so kept
running until she had reached a place of safety, either climbing
a fence or getting behind something; and then when she turned to
look there was no Billy Goat in sight, for Mr. Billy had
disappeared in a small grove behind the store.

After Billy had left them he went on through the woods until he
came to a little shanty with a small clearing behind it, where
cabbages, turnips and such things were planted, and as the gate
was open he walked in and began to help himself for he saw at a
glance that everything was shut up tight and that there was no
one at home.

After eating all he wanted he walked up to the porch where he saw
a nice pail of water. This he drank in a twinkle and while doing
so thought of that mean soda-water man who would not give him a
drink.

"But I don't care," thought Billy, "this tastes better, and I got
even with him anyway."

Billy looked round and saw a straw-stack at the further end of
the yard and a low shed, which backed up to another shed in the
next yard. Billy noticed for the first time that there was
another house and yard adjoining the one where he was and from
there he could hear voices saying, "Good-night." Then all was
still and he walked to the straw-stack and lay down in its
shelter and was soon fast asleep.

He had no idea how long he had been asleep when he heard a woman
say, in a high-pitched voice:

"Rooney, I told you, you would leave that gate open once too
many times and some one's cow would get in and eat up all the
cabbages; and now look, some cow or horse has been in here and
eaten and trampled down all of our nice young cabbages and
turnips. I've a mind to shake your head off, so I have!"

Then the same voice raised itself and called "Tim, Tim, come here
and see what mischief has been done!"

Billy lay still and looked in the direction from which he heard
the voice sound, and presently he saw a short, fat, red-headed
boy come around the corner of the house. They went to the cabbage
patch and began to replant the cabbages that he had trampled down
and not eaten, when all of a sudden the woman looked in the
direction of the straw-stack and spied Billy.

"Begorry, Tim, what is that? A big white dog or what, down by the
straw-stack?" asked Mrs. Rooney.

Tim looked and said: "No, mother, it is a goat. Let's drive him
out; he is the one that has done all the mischief," and as he
spoke he picked up a stone to throw at Billy.

"Put down that stone and what are ye about, Tim Rooney? Don't ye
know a fine Billy goat is a nice thing to have in the family? And
it is luck he will bring us by coming to us himself. Put him in
the shed, and to-morrow you can hitch him to your cart and make
him haul the cabbages to market."

Tim pulled up a bunch of nice, fresh carrots and approached
Billy. With these he induced Billy to follow him to the shed
where he locked him in for the night.

After fastening Billy in, Tim went off and left Billy to take
care of himself the best he could, and he soon found a heap of
straw which he curled himself upon and was in dreamland in no
time.

He had been asleep for several hours when he was awakened by a
dog barking at the moon, and he was about going off in another
nap when he thought he heard the bleating of a goat in the shed
adjoining his.

He pricked up his ears to listen and sure enough he heard it
again very distinctly, and at the same time he saw a large knot
hole in the board partition that divided his shed from the
adjoining one, so he got up and went to look through it to see if
he could not see the goat he heard bleating.

Into the next shed the moonlight was streaming, and lying on a
pile of straw in the light he saw a beautiful white Nanny goat,
that made his old heart palpitate with delight, he was so glad to
see one of his own tribe again.

Nanny lay there unconscious of his presence; apparently bleating
in her sleep, she lay so still. As she did not move Billy
concluded to awaken her so he bleated "Good evening" to her. He
had only gotten half through his salutation when she jumped up
quickly as if she had been touched with an electric wire, and
looking around with a frightened stare, said:

"Good gracious, how you frightened me! Who are you, and where are
you, for I see no one?"

"You can't see me, but I am here all the same, at the other side
of the shed, looking at you through the knot hole. My name is
Billy Whiskers and I come from nowhere in particular and I am
bound for the same place. Now, tell me your name and the name of
the people you are living with."

"My name is Nanny O'Hara and I live with a family of the same
name but I belong to their eldest son, Mike."

"And does he treat you good, my fair friend?" asked Billy.

"Oh, yes," answered Nanny, "as well as boys generally do, but he
often makes me pull heavy loads and forgets to feed and water me
sometimes."

"Oh, the brute," said Billy, "to make anyone as handsome as you
pull heavy loads. How I wish I could help you, for I am strong
and used to pulling large loads. The next time he makes you do it
just run into a tree and upset his cart, or better still, run
away altogether and find someone else to live with."

"Oh, Mr. Billy, I would not dare do either, I am so timid."

"Hark, here comes some one and we must not let them hear us
talking," said Billy, "So ta-ta, I'll see you to-morrow."

Sure enough they had heard some one talking. It was Tim Rooney
and his chum, Mike O'Hara, whom he was bringing to show his goat.
As they unfastened the door, Billy heard Mike say:

"I tell you, Tim, what I will do if he turns out as fine a goat
as you say he is. I'll give you a dollar and a half for him."

"So ye'll give me a dollar and a half, will ye? Well I like
that--a dollar and a half for the finest goat ye ever laid your
two eyes on! Not much--what do ye take me for, an idjet? I don't
want er sell but if ye'll offer injucements enough I may think
about it, for we have no cart or harness fine enough for so
handsome a goat as this one."

"Well, open the door and let's see him," said Mike.

Tim opened the door and there stood Billy Whiskers in all his
glory with his most dignified expression mixed with a little
disgust, for had he not heard himself valued at _a dollar and a
half_,--he that had brought _twenty dollars_ in his day!

Tim tied a rope around Billy's neck and led him out of the shed
and then the bargaining began again.

"Well, since I have seen him," says Mike, "and find he is pretty
large, I'll raise my bid to two dollars cash."

"Not on your life will I sell him for _that_," said Tim.

"Then how does _three_ strike you, or you keep your goat for I
won't pay another cent. It costs too much to keep a big goat like
that; they eat up everything on the place."

This Tim well knew and as he was short of money and a circus was
coming to town the next week, he decided to let him go. But not
without one last effort to get a little more out of Mike. Now
Mike had a hunting knife Tim had long coveted, though it had a
rusty blade and a wobbly handle, so he said:

"I'll tell you what I'll do, Mike. I'll let you have him for
three dollars cash and your hunting knife with a package of
cigarettes thrown in."

"All right, it's a go!" said Mike. So Mike took hold of Billy's
rope and led him into his yard and thus Billy changed hands once
more and became the property of Mike O'Hara.

[Illustration]



_Billy Gives the Boys a Ducking in the Mill Pond_


When Mike O'Hara became the possessor of Billy Whiskers he felt
as proud as a peacock, for he knew he had made a good bargain and
got the best of Tim Rooney for once in his life, and this pleased
him mightily as Tim generally got the best of him in a trade.

When he reached his own yard, he called over the fence for Tim to
come and see what Billy and Nanny would do when they first saw
each other. Tim accepted the invitation with alacrity and jumped
over the fence just in time to see Nanny walk out of the shed, as
they thought to make the acquaintance of Billy for the first
time.

"Now is my chance," thought Billy, "to kiss her, and she can't
make a fuss before the boys." So up he walked and kissed her
straight on the mouth. Nanny was so surprised that she gave him a
startled look, turned her back and walked into the shed again.

"How is that for a cold snub!" said Tim. "Let us harness them
together and see what they will do."

"All right," said Mike, "if you will help me make a harness for
Billy. I have one for Nanny already."

The two set to work and in an hour had made a harness for Billy
out of old leather straps and strings, and then they commenced to
harness them to the little cart made out of a packing box set on
wheels.

The goats bleated and squirmed, wiggled and bucked, but nothing
dismayed the boys and they kept on until the two goats were
harnessed up tight and strong to the cart, and then the fun
began.

Mike jumped in and took up the reins and Tim followed after, and
out of the yard and down the road they went, sending a cloud of
dust after them.

From all sides went up the cry: "Look at Mike O'Hara, he has got
a new goat!" And from front-yard, back-yard and sand-pile flocked
the children to see the fun.

All went well for a quarter of a mile, when Tim, tired of running
on behind, jumped in with Mike. Billy felt the additional weight
in a minute and he bleated to Nanny that he would be switched if
he would pull Tim Rooney, the boy who sold him so cheaply.

"You will have to," said Nanny.

"No, I won't," said Billy. "You just watch and see what I will
do! But you must promise to do quickly what I tell you to, or I
can't do it, because I am hitched up with you; so, Nanny, you
will have to follow me and not pull back."

"All right," said Nanny, "I will do whatever you tell me to."

"Very well. Do you see that pond ahead?"

"Yes," answered Nanny.

"Now go slowly until we get within ten feet of it; then take a
long breath and run straight into the water as far as you can go.
Don't stop or turn to right or left no matter how hard they pull
or scream. Keep right on and we will give Mr. Tim a ducking he
won't forget. I'll teach him to stay out of any cart I am
pulling!"

They were now ten feet from the pond and Billy gave Nanny the
signal call, and with one accord both goats put down their heads
and commenced to pull and run for dear life. At first the boys
thought it great fun going so fast and neither suspected what
the goats were up to, until Billy gave a quick turn and into the
water they went before either boy could jump out.

The water was cold and deep and both boys took hold of the reins
to try to stop the goats or make them turn round but to no use;
on they went until only the heads of the boys were seen sticking
out of the water and both goats were swimming. When they got in
Billy enjoyed the wetting he was giving the boys so much, that he
did not stop when he had wet their feet, but told Nanny to keep
on until they were drenched to the skin.

While they were swimming, Billy said to Nan:

"I am tired of this, beside when we get to shore the boys will
pound us for ducking them in the pond, so as soon as we get to
shore I am going to run them into a big tree and upset them. This
harness is so rotten that it will break at the least strain that
is put on it, and when the cart goes over we will both give a big
pull which will break it loose from the cart, and then we must
run and hide in those thick bushes I see ahead, where the boys
can't find us."

"Oh, Billy, I am afraid," said Nanny. "They will surely find us
and whip us and shut us up without any supper."

"You're a coward, Nanny. Do what I tell you and I'll take care of
you. The boys will never find us if we once get loose and I'll
show you where there is the best supper you ever tasted."

And once again Nanny fell in with his plans and both goats began
to swim for shore pulling the cart with the two boys still in it,
scolding like magpies.

Once on shore, Billy turned to the left, instead of the right
which was the way home, and made for a tree that was just the
right size to catch the hub of the wheel and overturn the cart in
great shape.

[Illustration]

The boy commenced to switch the goats for the ducking they had
given them, and of course, thought the whipping the cause of
their rapid progress; but could they have read Billy's mind they
would have seen their mistake, for Billy knew the harder and
faster he hit the tree the more sure he was of smashing things
and getting free.

Smash, bang, roll and tumble! the cart has hit the tree and two
boys are rolling over each other in the dust, while two goats go
scampering off into the thick bushes that line the road.

Mike recovered himself first and started in hot pursuit of the
runaways while Tim sat still on a stone and rubbed his head and
nose which was bleeding profusely.

"Hurry, Nanny, hurry," Billy called as he disappeared from sight
down a deep ravine. Poor Nanny was so frightened at what she had
done, she could not hurry or begin to keep up with Billy, who made
great leaps from rock to rock; so she ran under a thorn-apple tree
and trusted to its low drooping branches to hide her.

But Mike was too close on her heels. He saw the moving of the
branches and knew one of the goats was hiding there. She made a
futile attempt to escape but the thorns ran into her so that she
gave up and meekly let herself be led back to the cart.

"I have one of them," Mike called out as soon as he came in sight
of Tim.

"Which one?" said Tim.

"Nanny," said Mike.

"I'll bet ye it wasn't that old one; he's a foxy old customer, he
is, and I'll bet me red shirt ye'll never set your eyes on him
again. Devil take me if I care if ye don't after the wetting and
bloody nose he's given me," said Tim.

"You hold Nanny, while I go look for Billy, Tim."

"All right and joy and good luck go with ye, but mark me words ye
never will find him when you're looking for him. Better come home
with me, and if he ever comes back he'll come back to-night to
see Nanny of his own accord," said Tim. "I know the ways of goats
better than ye do."

But Mike did not take Tim's advice. He went to look for Billy but
in about an hour and a half he wished he hadn't, for he saw no
signs of the runaway, and came back tired and foot-sore just in
time to see Tim and Nanny disappearing over the hill on the way
home.

[Illustration]



_Billy's Adventures in Town_


Billy hid behind some rocks in the bottom of a ravine until he
thought the boys had given up looking for him. Then he came out
of his hiding-place, and snipped off the fresh young leaves from
the bushes as he walked along making up his mind what he would do
next.

"It is too bad," he thought, "that Nanny is such a scare-cat and
slow runner for if she had only kept up with me she would be free
now and we could have a good time here. There are lots of young
shoots and juicy leaves for us to eat and plenty of water in the
creek to drink.

"Now I must go back and see what has become of her. I expect I
will be caught and pounded by the boys, but I told her I would
take care of her and as I never break my word, I must go and see
what I can do."

He climbed a high hill where he could get a good view of the road
and there he saw Tim leading Nanny into Mike's yard, and a mile
behind he saw Mike walking slowly along.

"Ho, ho!" said Billy, "they have caught Nan, so there is no use
in my trying to get her away now. I will just wait until dark and
then go back and butt the shed down and get her out and then we
can run away together before they can catch us."

Turning and looking in the opposite direction he saw lying in the
valley beneath him a city, and he immediately made up his mind to
visit it for it had been a long while since he had been in a
large town.

Down the hill he started on a run, loosening stones and pebbles
as he went, which rolled after him sending up a cloud of dust.

At the bottom he struck the main road that led to the town, and
keeping up his fast gait he was soon within its suburbs.

The first thing he came to was a flower and fruit stand, the
owner of which, a greasy, black-looking Italian, was talking to a
fat blue-coated policeman. Both stood with their backs turned to
the fruit stand.

[Illustration: THE ITALIAN WAS SO HORRIFIED AND DISMAYED TO SEE
WHAT HAD HAPPENED THAT HE FORGOT WHAT LITTLE ENGLISH HE KNEW.]

Now was Billy's chance. Luscious pears, peaches and grapes lay
before him ready to be eaten, and without a moment's hesitation
he began to sample each, while now and then he would eat a rose
or two between, thus making his own salad. And he found he liked
his fruit salad served on rose leaves just as well as on lettuce.

In reaching for an extra delicious-looking pear he had to stand
on his hind legs with his fore feet on the lower shelf. But alas,
for his greed! His weight on the board that formed the shelf was
too much, and it flew up in the air sending the fruit in all
directions and making such a racket that the fruit dealer heard
it and turned around just in time to see the wreck of his stand.

The Italian was so horrified and dismayed to see what had
happened that he forgot what little English he knew and chattered
and swore in Italian until you would have thought a dozen parrots
had been suddenly let loose.

The policeman tried to stop and catch Billy by spreading out his
legs and waving his arms, but Billy only lowered his head and ran
between the policeman's legs, upsetting him as he went through
for Billy was fat and the policeman short-legged and there was
not room to slide through without upsetting the man.

The policeman picked himself up and started in hot pursuit,
swearing under his breath that if he ever caught that goat he
would club its brains out.

[Illustration]

Of course the policeman could not catch up to the fleet-footed
Billy, so he called out--"Catch him!" But no one cared to attempt
it, especially when Billy lowered his head with the long horns on
it and ran at him.

But at last, after dodging in and out of the people on the
sidewalk and the carts and wagons in the street, one man was
brave enough to try to catch him. He was a big German butcher and
he stood plum in Billy's way, and when Billy lowered his head at
him, as he had at the others, the butcher caught hold of his
horns and gave his neck a quick twist. This made Billy furious
and he reared on his hind legs and struck at the butcher with his
fore ones, and then the fight began; first one was on top, then
the other, and they rolled over and over into the mud of the
street, while a big crowd gathered, which cheered and called out:

"I bet on the goat!"

"Give it to him, Dutchie!" and all such expressions, until at
last Billy got on his feet again, and with a parting hook he slit
the butcher's coat up the back and left him lying in the mud,
while he ran off as fast as his legs would carry him. And it is
needless to say that none of that crowd tried to stop him.

He had gone through many streets and turned many corners, when he
found himself opposite a beautiful, green, cool-looking park.

"This is the place for me," thought Billy, "it looks nice and
quiet and as I am tired I will go in and lie down under one of
the trees and eat a little grass."

After taking a nice rest and nap under the trees, he awoke, and
feeling thirsty thought he would go and quench his thirst at a
sparkling fountain he saw before him. He was quietly drinking and
every once in a while swallowing a goldfish that swam too near
his mouth, when someone from behind gave him a hard hit with a
rake.

"It is a pity a goat can't take a drink without being pounded,"
thought Billy. "But as I have had enough I guess I will move on
for I don't like the looks of this man's face, and I know he will
give me no peace."

So he walked away slowly, just as if he were going away of his
own accord, when the man gave him another hit with the rake. This
was too much for Billy's pie-crust temper; he turned on the man,
who was gardener of the park, and sent him sprawling over a
hay-cock before he knew what had struck him.

As Billy walked toward the high iron fence that encircled the
park he saw a policeman coming in at the gate. Now if there was
one thing Billy detested, it was a policeman, and he made for him
running at full speed with head down, and before the policeman
had even seen the goat he found himself hanging by the seat of
his trousers to the sharp iron pickets of the fence. Billy left
him there struggling, kicking, swearing and calling for help
while he made off as fast as his legs would carry him.

[Illustration]



_Billy Has a Ride in the Police Patrol Wagon_


After Billy left the policeman hanging on the fence, he walked
through street after street trying to find his way out of the
town, so he could go back to Nanny, but the more he looked for
the scattered houses of the suburbs, the more closely they seemed
to be built, and he found himself on a street where there were
nothing but stores and flats. It was beginning to get dark and he
was getting hungry and tired.

"I'll turn down the next alley I come to and see if I can't find
someone's back gate open where I can go in and rest," thought
Billy. He soon found the back yard to a flat and as he stood in
the open gate looking up, he could see by the gas light in the
different apartments, the cooks getting supper, and could smell
the sweet odor, to him, of boiled cabbage.

"Now is my chance," he thought, "to get supper and then come back
and sleep in this coal shed I see in the corner."

As there were long flights of stairs that connected one flat with
the other, he thought he would commence at the bottom flight and
go to the top, stopping at each flat as he went and picking up
anything he saw fit to eat. At the first landing, the cook had
just been out to the ice-chest to get something for supper and
had neglected to shut the door tightly, consequently it was an
easy matter for Billy to push it open with his nose, and then
help himself to the nice, crisp, fresh lettuce and radishes he
saw lying on the shelf. These he ate in a twinkling; next he
found a basket of eggs, these he did not care for, but he did
want the bunch of large carrots back of the basket, so he stuck
his head farther into the chest to reach the carrots and in doing
so, his horns ran through the handle of the basket and when he
brought his head out of the chest, the basket of eggs came too.

It slipped down until it hit his forehead and then it turned
over, spilling the eggs on the floor and making a terrible mess.
As the eggs broke, each one made a noise like a small paper
torpedo, and Billy knew the noise would bring the cook, so he
scooted up the stairs to the next landing, where he kept very
still in order to hear what the cook would say when she saw the
broken eggs for he heard her coming out.

"Goodness, gracious, me! The grocery boy has dropped a package of
eggs on his way up stairs. No he hasn't either, for my ice-box
door is open and someone has been stealing my things!" he heard
her say, and she hurried down stairs to look for the janitor to
tell him that sneak thieves had been at her ice chest.

When Billy heard her go down the stairs for the janitor, he went
to the upper flat, for fear the janitor would find him if he
stayed where he was. Arriving at the upper flat, he saw a line of
nicely-starched, fine linen things,--a baby's cap, two or three
handkerchiefs and a lace tidy. These he chewed up and swallowed
for he liked the taste of starch and they felt quite like chewing
gum in his mouth as he ate them. Then he saw a pan of apples
setting outside the door and he ate some of those. While eating
he heard the electric bell in the kitchen ring, which scared the
life out of him at first, but when he looked in the window and
found out what it was, he got over his fright. When the girl left
the kitchen to answer the bell, Billy thought he would go in and
take a drink from a pan of milk he saw setting on the table. He
had nearly finished the milk and his whiskers were all wet from
being in the pan, when he heard a scream and, looking up, he saw
the girl standing in the doorway, screaming: "Fire! police!
murder!"

"What a goose that girl is," thought Billy, "to make such a
racket, she will have the patrol here and four or five policemen
if she don't shut up. Guess I will run into her and butt her
through the hall and down the front stairs."

Suiting the action to the thought, he started for her but she
fled down the hall and ran into a room closing the door after
her. As she closed that door, the janitor opened the front door
which was directly opposite and Billy getting there just at that
time gave the janitor the butt instead of the girl and sent him
sprawling on the hall floor.

Before he could get up, Billy ran back through the hall to escape
down the back stairs and as he ran he could hear the girl
calling: "Fire! police! murder!" out of the window at the top of
her voice.

Billy hurried down the outside stairs as fast as he could, but
there were so many turns they made him dizzy and as he reached
the last flight, he heard the janitor above him call to someone
in the yard not to let that confounded goat escape through the
back gate.

[Illustration]

Billy laughed to himself, "I would like to see anyone stop me,"
when all unexpectedly, someone hit him on the head with a club as
he made the last turn in the stairs and there before him were
three policemen in a line stopping his way out. He butted and
kicked and balked, but to no use; they clubbed him until he was
almost senseless and then slipped a rope around his neck and
dragged him to the patrol wagon that was waiting outside the
gate, and with many boosts and pushes they at last succeeded in
getting him into the wagon.

As they drove down the street at break-neck speed, Billy vowed to
himself that if he ever got away from the police, that he would
go back and butt that girl into the middle of next week for
screaming, "Fire! police! murder!" until she had brought the
patrol wagon.

[Illustration]



_Billy Joins the Fire Patrol_


When they arrived at the police station Billy was made to jump
out and was led through the station into the back yard, and here
he was turned loose. He had been there about half an hour, when
he heard a terrible stamping of horses' feet and many bells
ringing in the building on the other side of the fence.

Wondering what the racket could be about, he climbed on top of a
pile of boxes that were next to the fence and looked into the
yard beyond. He found that the building was used as a fire-engine
station, and that the racket he had heard was caused by the
horses taking their places at the engine ready to start to a
fire.

Through two large doors that opened into the yard Billy could see
what was going on inside. And when he saw the men jump to their
places on the engine and the driver whip up his horses, he became
so excited he could stand it no longer and he determined to go
with them to the fire. With a spring he was over the fence and
following after the engine at a stiff run.

It was a good thing Billy had a strong pair of lungs or he would
never have been able to keep up with the fast speed of the
fire-engine horses, but he did and arrived at the fire in good
shape.

The fire was found to be in a three-story frame house, and when
they got there the flames were already coming out of the upper
windows; but the strangest thing about the fire was that the
inhabitants of the house, if there were any, seemed to be in
utter oblivion that their house was on fire for not a person was
in sight about the place and all the doors and windows were
securely locked.

Two men ran up the steps with axes, while two followed dragging
the hose after them. The men with the axes had given one knock to
the door when Billy saw what they were up to, and as he had often
used his head as a battering-ram, he ran up the steps, and before
the men knew he was there, he gave the door a mighty butt with
his head which made it crash in and the men and goat fell through
the opening.

This tickled the crowd who had gathered to see the fire, and they
called out: "Bravo for the goat!"

Billy followed the firemen upstairs but when he got there the
smoke was so thick he could see nothing, and it made his eyes
smart beside choking him dreadfully, so he decided to go out
again. He turned to find the head of the stairs he had come up,
but instead of discovering them he ran into the wall and the more
he tried to find his way out, the more confused he became. He
fell over something and when he regained his feet, after having
nearly gone head over heels into a box, as he thought, but which
was a baby's cradle, he felt something heavy hanging to his
horns. At the same time he heard a baby cry.

"Poor little thing," thought Billy, "everyone has gone out of the
house and left the baby asleep and now it is going to be burned
to death. Wish I knew where it was; it sounds near but I can't
see for this smoke." Just then a little bare foot slipped down
over Billy's eyes and then he knew the heavy thing hanging to his
horns was the baby.

As soon as he found this out, he tried harder than ever to find
the stairs and presently he found them, and with the baby's
clothes still twisted around his horns he ran down and out into
the street, just in time to meet the baby's nurse coming from the
drugstore around the corner. She was wild with joy when she saw
the baby and rushed up to Billy to unfasten the baby's clothes
from his horns. The child was unhurt, and a crowd soon gathered
around Billy to pet and praise him for saving the baby's life.

[Illustration]

Billy stayed there until the fire was put out and watched the
hose being rolled up, while the firemen that were doing it talked
to him all the time.

When the hose was all on the cart and the firemen stepped up on
the little step that is at the back to ride home, Billy walked
over and stepped up also but he had to stand on his hind legs
with his fore feet on the coil of hose in front of him.

One fireman thought this a very clever thing for a goat to do, so
he put his arm around his neck and said, "All right, old fellow,
you shall ride home with me, but take care for we are going to
start and the road is rough and you may fall off." And in this
way Billy rode back to the fire station, causing many smiles from
the people they passed.

As they drove into the station one of the policemen who was
standing outside their station called out, "Where did you get
that goat?" Billy's friend called back: "I don't know where he
came from; all I know is that he followed us to the fire, where
he made himself useful by saving a life."

"Well, we have his brother in our back yard. If not his brother,
then one that looks precisely like him."

"Oh, I guess not," answered Billy's friend, "for there are not
two such fine looking goats in town."

"Well, I'll show you, come over and see for yourself."

So the two men went into the police station yard with Billy
lagging at their heels, laughing to himself to think how fooled
the policeman was going to be at not finding any goat there.

When they got to the yard the policeman looked everywhere, but
could find no sign of a goat, so went into the station to ask the
other policemen where the goat had gone, but none had seen him
and all thought he was still in the yard.

"Well that must be my goat, then," said the policeman.

"Not much!" answered the fireman. "You will have to bring better
proof than that before I give him up."

"Well, I don't want him anyway," said the policeman, "and you
will be glad to get rid of him yourself in a day or two for he is
the most troublesome goat you ever heard of. You should hear of
the mischief he got into at the flat we took him from."

"Very well," said the fireman, "I'll stand all the trouble he
will cause."

And with that he led Billy out of the yard into their back yard
and gave him a nice place to sleep, a big dinner and a bucket of
water, all of which Billy was thankful for as he was both hungry
and thirsty after his trip to the fire.

After his first ride on the hose-cart, Billy liked it so much
that every time the cart went out Billy went too and rode, as he
had before, with his hind legs on the step and his fore feet on
the coil of hose in front of him and the fireman always steadied
him with his arm. And soon this fire company was known as the
White Goat Company, with Billy as its mascot.

Billy had been with the firemen about a month, when one day he
heard them talking about a procession they were going to be in,
that all the fire-engines, hose-carts and hook-and-ladder
companies were to be in the parade and that the horses were to
have their hoofs gilded and wear collars of roses, and that he,
Billy, was to have his horns and hoofs gilded also, and wear a
rose collar and be led by a chain made of roses, by one of the
firemen who was to wear a red shirt, black trousers and high
patent leather boots and his fireman's hat with a visor.

When Billy heard this he said, "I won't march in their old
procession, and make a circus of myself. I'll run away first."
But he did not get a chance.

When the morning of the day of the procession came, Billy watched
the firemen polish the brass of the engine and trim it with
garlands of flowers tied with bright colored ribbons; but when
they commenced to gild the horses' hoofs one of them said to him:

"It will be your turn next Billy; we are going to give you a
scrubbing in the tub until your hair is as soft and shiny as
silk, and then we are going to gild your long horns and tie blue
ribbons on them, and put the handsomest wreath of pink roses we
can find round your neck. My! but you will look fine, Billy. And
we expect you to behave and walk in a dignified manner, for the
Fire Marshal is going to give you a gold medal to wear round your
neck for saving the baby's life."

"It is very nice of them to give me a medal," thought Billy, "and
they have been good to me; but I don't like being scrubbed and
dressed up like a clown, beside I am getting tired of town life
and I long for the country and Nanny. I might as well run away
one time as another, so I will watch my chance, and when they are
all busy and not looking, I will walk out of the station quietly,
as if I were only going for my usual walk up the street, and when
I get to the corner, I will turn it and once out of sight I will
run until I get so far away they can't find me."

But for once Master Billy's plans were foiled for just as he was
walking out of the station one of the firemen saw him and said:

"Here, here, Billy, not so fast! We are ready for you now and if
you go for a walk there is no knowing when you will come back."

And he took Billy by the horns and led him into the back yard
where another fireman had a big tub of soapy water ready to put
him in.

Billy stood in the tub and submitted to the scrubbing until the
soapy water ran into his eyes and then he got mad and butted the
fireman, who was holding his horns, clear over, and kicked the
other man, who was scrubbing him, in the stomach; and then around
and around the yard he ran bleating and shaking his head, wild
with the smart of the soap that was in his eyes.

"Here, Jack, this will never do," said one fireman to the other,
"he is not half clean. Let us get the hose and turn it on him
while he is running around."

"All right," said the other, "that will be great sport."

And they got the hose and soon they were squirting it over Billy
as he ran, first on one side and then on the other, and no matter
where he went the stream of water followed him and played all
over him, and if he stopped running and hugged the fence it was
worse than ever for then the water flowed in a perfect stream
and doused him from head to foot, sending a spray over the fence.

[Illustration: THIS CALLED FORTH A SHOUT OF GLEE FROM THE
POLICEMEN WHO WERE LOOKING OVER THE FENCE.]

All the firemen had come out to see the fun and when the
policemen in the next yard heard a great deal of laughing and
racket in the fireman's back yard, they too hurried to the fence
and watched the fun.

Of course, this only added to Billy's rage, to see his hated
enemies, the policemen, laughing at him, and he vowed he would
get even with them some day, and with the firemen right away, for
he knew his strength. With a bound and a quick run he made for
the group of firemen that were tormenting him and butted and
hooked them in all directions, and sent the fireman who was
playing the hose on him sprawling into the tub of soapy water
that but a few minutes before he had Billy in.

This called forth a shout of glee from the policemen who were
looking over the fence, and with another angry bound Billy went
for them and butted the fence down that they were leaning
against, and they made their escape into the police station just
in time, for Billy came through the fence and after them, right
up to the door they had run through.

He gave it one butt and then turned and walked back into his own
yard where he lay down on a pile of straw to cool off after his
exertion. He had been there about half an hour when his pet
fireman came out with a large plate in his hand heaped full of
good things to eat and as he walked toward Billy, the goat could
smell the cabbage, turnips, apples and carrots. He bleated a
friendly greeting to let the fireman know that he would not hook
him if he came nearer and the man came up and set the plate down
under Billy's nose and Billy gave him a goat smile showing that
all was forgiven and began to eat.

While he was eating this same fireman went in and brought out a
kettle with a brush in it and began to gild Billy's horns and
hoofs. Then he tied a wreath of roses round his neck and went to
get the rope wound with roses to lead him by. But while he was
gone Billy ate up the front of the wreath and as much more of it
as he could reach.

When the fireman came back dressed for the parade with the rose
chain in his hand that he was to lead Billy with, he spied the
eaten wreath, and said:

"Why, Billy, you beat any bad boy I ever heard of for mischief!
Now you will have to come into the station and have another
wreath tied round your neck, and I bet you won't chew this one
for I will tie it so close to your neck you can't reach it with
your mouth."

As they went in the station Billy heard a band playing and the
rat-ta-tah-tah of the drums, and when they heard the music the
engine horses, all decked in rose collars and bridles, with
plumes on their heads, started to prance and pull the beautifully
draped and polished engine out of the station to join the
procession.

And before Billy knew what was up, he was led out and made to
march in the procession between the engine and hose-cart. After
they had started he rather enjoyed it for from all sides he heard
the people say:

"There, look! There goes the goat that saved the baby's life."

"Isn't he a beauty?"

"See what nice, white, silky hair he has!"

"Yes," Billy thought, "if they could have seen the firemen
scrubbing me, I expect they would have laughed like the policemen
did." But it all tickled his vanity for Billy was as conceited a
goat as you could well find.

They had been marching for some time and Billy was getting tired
of the slow gait and being made to stay between the engine and
hose-cart instead of riding on the hose-cart as he had been in
the habit of doing, when he heard the plaintive bleat of a goat
and the sound of a whip.

"My!" thought Billy, "how that voice reminds me of Nanny."

Just then a little cart, with a can of milk in it, drawn by a
goat came in sight around the corner, and who should be pulling
it but Nanny, with the big, clumsy Mike Rooney cracking the whip
at her and every once in a while giving her a stinging cut which
had caused Nanny to cry out as Billy had heard.

Mike had just given Nanny another and an extra hard cut with the
whip, when Billy recognized Nanny and with a bound he was at her
side leaving the fireman behind him and upsetting Mike in his mad
haste to get to Nanny.

When Mike regained his feet he came at Billy with the butt of his
whip raised to strike him, but before he did so, he recognized
Billy as his long-lost goat, and was going to make up with him
and hitch him to the cart to help Nanny draw it, when Billy made
a plunge at him and sent him sprawling into the street. Then he
butted the cart over and spilled the milk and told Nanny to turn
around and run toward home and he would keep Mike off.

Nanny did as she was told and soon the harness broke and let her
loose from the overturned cart. By this time Mike was on his feet
again, furious and mad enough at Billy to kill him had he caught
him, but with a kick of his heels in the air Billy and Nanny had
left him and were running away as fast as they could while the
firemen and the crowd stood still and watched.

Mike ran until he was all out of breath and in turning a corner
sharply he ran into another boy coming in the opposite direction.
This made the boy mad and he struck at Mike hitting him in the
jaw. That was too much for Mike who was already angry at being
outwitted by the goats, so he pitched into the boy and they
fought until both had black eyes and bloody noses and a policeman
coming up at that time arrested them both for disorderly conduct.
While all this was happening the goats had made good their
escape.

[Illustration]



_Billy and Nanny Get into Mischief_


When next we see Billy, he and Nanny are lying peacefully in the
moonlight fast asleep. After running away from Mike, Nanny showed
Billy the way into the country, for she knew the road well, as
she had had to draw a can of milk to town every morning.

When they were once out of town Billy said:

"Now, Nanny, we must find a nice meadow somewhere in which we can
get some grass to eat and water to drink and then you must tell
me all that has happened since last I saw you. But first we must
get as far away from the road Mike will have to take to get home
as we can, or he will find us."

So they turned off at the first cross-road they came to and
hurried on until they found the fine, green pasture where we now
see them.

The next day they were in this same pasture enjoying themselves
when they saw some boys coming toward them. At first they thought
the boys were looking for them; but soon discovered from their
conversation that the boys were going swimming in a little lake
at the end of the meadow near the woods. They passed close by the
goats without paying any attention to them.

One boy had a bag of pop-corn he was eating and Billy smelling it
commenced to long for some. The firemen had bought salted and
buttered pop-corn for him every day, and the smell of this made
him hungry and he determined to get the bag from the boy.

"But how can you, Billy?" asked Nanny, when he told her he was
going to get the pop-corn.

"I'll tell you; when they leave their clothes on the bank and go
in swimming I will steal up and eat what is left in the bag, and
anything else I find in their pockets."

"How are you going to get anything out of their pockets without
hands?"

"Why, I will eat pocket and all if I smell anything in there I
like," answered Billy.

"Billy Whiskers, you are the most determined goat I ever heard
of," said Nanny. "If you want anything you are going to have it,
no matter how you have to get it."

"I guess you are right, Nan. But if you had ever tasted salted
and buttered pop-corn you, too, would have it if you had to hook
all five of those boys into the lake to get it. Come along, and
we will go over near the lake so when they go into the water we
can go through their clothes and I will give you your first taste
of a town delicacy in the shape of pop-corn."

Billy and Nanny soon arrived at the bank of the lake where the
boys had gone in swimming, and behind a clump of bushes they
found the boys' clothes.

Billy lost no time in smelling out the bag of pop-corn but alas!
when found, it was empty. Billy's disappointment knew no bounds
and he began to vent his spleen on the clothes that were lying
around by hooking and stamping on them. When throwing a coat up
in the air on his horns two nice red apples rolled out of one of
the pockets. After eating one of these and allowing Nanny to eat
the other, he felt a little less angry and commenced to smell
around for something else equally as good.

All this time they could hear the boys shouting and splashing in
the water, oblivious of the mischief that was being done to their
clothes, for they could not see the goats through the bushes.

"Oh, Billy, come here!" called Nanny, "and see what I have found.
It smells awfully good but I don't know what it can be."

Billy went and after smelling the coat pronounced the good smell
to come from a piece of gingerbread in one of the pockets.

"How do you know?" asked Nanny.

"Well, I guess if you had eaten as many pieces of gingerbread as
I have you would not forget the name. When I lived at Mr.
Wagner's, his boys used to give it to me often."

But the trouble was to get it out of the pocket now that it was
found. Billy threw the coat up in the air, shook it in his mouth
and did everything else he could think of, but the gingerbread
would not fall out, so when the coat turned wrong side out and
the pocket lay exposed he ate pocket and all, forgetting to save
any for Nanny.

"Oh, Nanny, forgive me, I forgot to give you some and you found
it, but don't care for it did not taste very good and I felt
something hard go down my throat and I think I must have
swallowed a jack-knife also.

"Here is something good, Nanny. A white shirt with starched
cuffs. You take one sleeve and I will take the other and I know
you will like the starchy taste."

The goats were standing there each chewing on a cuff when they
heard the boys coming and it happened that they both heard the
noise at the same time, but turned to run in opposite directions
which tore the shirt from top to bottom and when the boys first
saw the goats they were scampering off with a piece of shirt
waving from their mouths.

[Illustration]

The boys started after them but the rough ground the goats were
running over hurt the boys' feet so they had to give up and
content themselves with throwing stones at the two runaways.

When the boys went to see what damage had been done they found
one boy minus a pair of trousers, another a shirt and all the
rest had lost their collars and cuffs to say nothing of the
pockets that were missing.

But the boy whose trousers were gone was in the worst fix, as the
others could go home without any collars and the boy minus a
shirt could button his coat up tight to his neck and no one would
know he had no shirt on. But alas for the trouserless boy! What
was he to do? At last they hit on a plan. He was to take one of
the boys' coats and stick his legs in the sleeves and button the
coat tightly in front and tie it on round his waist with a
string. This he did, but when he had to walk he could only take
the very shortest of steps. This, with the comical picture he
made, sent the boys into peals of laughter, and they rolled on
the ground and held their sides for pain from laughing when he
stubbed his toe and fell head over heels, or when he tried to
climb a fence.

[Illustration]



_Billy and Nanny Are Married_


After leaving the boys the two goats trotted on and soon came out
on the other side of the wood and saw before them a beautiful
valley. Grazing peacefully beside a little brook that ran through
it, they saw a herd of goats. And at the upper end of the valley
beyond them they saw a large old-fashioned farmhouse with its
stables and outhouses.

"Nan, let us go down and introduce ourselves to the head goat of
the flock and see if they won't let us stay with them for awhile.
There are so many of them that the farmer won't notice us among
them when he drives them into the stable to-night, and it will be
a good place for us to stay until Mike stops hunting for us, for
I know he won't give us up in a hurry and is probably looking for
us now, and I don't propose to live with such a common family as
Mike belongs to, for until now I have only lived with first-class
families."

Nanny agreed to join the goats so the two trotted down the hill
bleating as they ran to attract the attention of the other goats.
The goats soon heard them, stopped eating and looked up, and when
Billy and Nanny were within speaking distance the leader of the
goats, a large black fellow, walked out to meet them.

Billy introduced himself and then Nanny to the old goat who in
return told them his name was Satan and that he would be glad to
have them join his flock, adding that he was always glad to get
ahead of boys, as he had received some rough usage at their hands
when younger.

"If we see Mike coming after you, we will all form in a circle
around you and Miss Nanny so he can't see you."

All that day Billy and Nanny stayed with the other goats who
never tired of hearing the new-comers tell of the adventures they
had had, some of which seemed impossible to those country goats
who had never been off their own farm.

That evening when the farmer drove the goats home he did not
notice Billy and Nan until he had got them into the little
enclosure where he always drove them to be fed; but when he
stood by the fence with his arm on the upper rail counting them,
his eye detected Billy immediately as he was so much taller than
any of the other goats, even old Satan, the leader.

"Ho, Ho!" he thought to himself, "where did this fine goat come
from, I wonder," and when he went to drive Billy apart to get a
good look at him he spied Nanny who was trying to hide behind
Billy.

"So my fine goat, you have brought your mate with you?" And Billy
who was not afraid of any man or thing, bleated back that he had,
though I doubt whether the man understood him or not.

The man walked round and round Billy taking in all his fine points
and talking to himself all the time, but when he saw the gilt
shining on Billy's horns he stopped and stared in astonishment.
Then he slapped his knee with his hand and said: "Well, I swan! I
bet that goat has run away from the circus that is in town for I
don't know how else he got his horns gilded."

Everything went smooth as silk for three nights but on the
fourth, had you been looking you would have seen an unusual
commotion among the goats when they were turned loose after
milking time to graze in the meadow during the night, as they
were allowed to do when the weather was fine; and to-night was an
ideal night with a low hungry moon that lit up everything as
bright as day.

I know you are anxious to hear what the commotion was all about,
so will tell you. Billy and Nanny were to be married by the old
parson goat of the flock, and then they were all going to break
through the neighbor's fence into his turnip patch and eat up all
his turnips.

It is needless to say that this scheme originated in Billy's
head, though from Satan's name you would have imagined it more
likely to have come from him; but in reality that goat was as
meek as a lamb and Satan should have been Billy's name by rights
for in his heart he was as mischievous as Satan.

The wedding went off beautifully and the groom, minister and all
the others kissed the bride and you never saw a sweeter one than
poor little meek Nanny with her gentle ways; and to think she was
going to marry a goat twice her size and as fiery tempered as she
was mild! But people frequently marry their opposites, and why
should not goats?

After the wedding they all ran skipping and jumping over to the
turnip patch and when they got there Billy, Satan and two other
old goats threw their weight against the fence and with a crash
it caved in and the whole flock of goats climbed over the broken
rails into the field where they feasted until daylight.

The farmer who owned the field happened to look out of his window
next morning while dressing and saw the goats. He hurried into
his boots, and hatless and coatless, started out of the house
calling to his dogs to follow him.

And the first thing the flock knew, several dogs were barking and
biting at their heels. Billy kept close to Nan and when a dog
came up to them he hooked him howling up into the air. Soon the
goats were all on their side of the fence again and the neighbor
was fixing up his fence as best he could, scolding all the time
he did so, saying:

"I'll sue Farmer Windlass for the damage his pesky goats have
done, so I will, for the hateful things have eaten up all my
turnips, tops and all!"

Several days after this when the goats were all in the meadow,
and Nanny was lying down under a tree for a nap, Billy, who was
tired of the monotony of going day after day to the same place,
stole off and went up to the house to see what amusement he could
find.

When nearly there he came to a white-washed rail fence that
separated the pasture from the lane that led to the house. This
he went over easily by taking it at a running jump. Then he
followed the lane until he came to the house, the yard of which
was separated from the lane by a picket fence; but as good luck
would have it the gate was open, so Billy walked in and went
around to the kitchen door for he heard voices in the parlor,
which is an unusual thing in the country as they generally
entertain their company in the sitting room. Immediately Billy
knew they must have company for dinner.

"I'm lucky," thought Billy, "I have come just in time to get
something good to eat, but I must be careful and not let them see
me or they will drive me back to the pasture. I will walk on the
grass so my hoofs won't make any noise and listen under the
window, and when the cook leaves the kitchen I will go in and
steal something good."

While standing under the window with his head cocked to one side
listening, he noticed that the outside cellar doors were open. He
started to go down cellar and see what he could find, for he knew
they would put all their good things in the cellar until time to
bring them up to the table.

Tiptoeing his way along, he sneaked down the cellar stairs and
there before him on a table were twelve plates of salad all
garnished and ready to be served. The salad was delicious as it
was cool and crisp and made of chicken served on young lettuce
leaves garnished with radishes. It was so palatable he ate it all
up even licking the plates; he had never been told it was bad
manners to lick your plate.

[Illustration]

Then he saw a floating-island pudding, with the whites of eggs
heaped up high and dotted with candied cherries, floating on the
custard underneath. He ate part of this, getting his head covered
with eggs. Next he spied several cakes covered with icing which
he licked off. Next he saw an ice-cream freezer. Now he had never
seen an ice-cream freezer before so he thought it must contain
something good if he could only get the top off to see what was
inside. In trying to get it off he upset the whole thing and as
the ice rattled out on the floor making a terrible noise, he left
everything and ran for the cellar door just in time to escape the
cook who had heard the noise and had come down the inside stairs
to see what was the matter.

Billy ran around the house and seeing the front door open and no
one around, as they were all in the dining room, he went in and
up stairs. Here he nosed around smelling things and upsetting
things generally, when he came to the bed where the ladies had
laid their wraps. On one of the hats he saw a bunch of green
leaves; of course, he thought them real until he tried to eat
them and the wire stems were in his mouth. Then he tried to eat a
beautiful red rose on another hat with no better success so he
left them, and was just leaving the room when he saw another goat
coming in. He stopped to look at the goat and the other goat
stopped to look back. Then he lowered his horns and shook his
head, which the other goat did also. Now it made Billy mad to
have a goat mock everything he did, so he bleated for him to stop
immediately or he would hook him down the front stair. The other
goat opened his mouth to bleat but no sound came from it and
Billy stared at the new-comer harder than ever but the stranger
goat only stared back. Then Billy bleated, "You get out of here
in double quick time or I will have a fight with you!" The goat
opened its mouth as before but no sound came from it and it
continued to stand in Billy's way and stare right in his face.

This was too much for Billy. He had given him warning to get out
of the way and he would not, so now he was going to make him, and
he went for the goat intending to butt him out of the door. But
instead of his head feeling the soft side of the goat he hit
something hard which broke in a thousand pieces cutting his head
and making the blood flow down his face. When this happened Billy
knew he had been fooled and had butted his own image in a mirror
and that there had been no goat there.

The crash brought the ladies from the dining room headed by Mrs.
Windlass but when they got to the foot of the stairs to come up,
they saw a large white goat standing at the top with blood
flowing down his whiskers. The sight of the blood as much as the
goat made one lady faint and all the others ran in different
directions while Billy scampered down and out of the house.

He was making for the pasture again as fast as he could when he
met a big turkey cock which spread his tail and swelled himself
out intending to keep Billy from passing, but when Billy came up
to him he quietly hooked him on top of the shed where he left him
with all the pride knocked out of him and his feathers drooping.

Billy kept right on and was soon in the pasture. When Nanny saw
her Billy all bloody she commenced to cry and wanted to know who
had shot him. Billy told her he had not been shot and that he had
only cut his head a little on a piece of broken glass. This
explanation satisfied Nanny and she asked no questions. Naturally
Billy did not explain how he had hooked his own image.

Billy walked over to the little stream that flowed through the
pasture and let the water run over his head and face and soon all
trace of blood was washed away, and when the farmer looked them
over that night to find the goat with the bloody face, that his
wife had told him had done all the mischief, he could find none,
so he took it for granted that some stray goat had come in and
done all the damage, and once again Billy got off without being
punished for his misdeeds.

[Illustration]



_Billy As a Performer in the Circus_


One day when all the goats were grazing in the pasture, Billy
looked up and saw coming toward them the farmer and a large, fat
man.

"What can they want?" thought Billy. "I guess I will walk out and
meet them and hear what they are talking about."

As he came within hearing distance, he heard the farmer say:
"Here he comes now, the one I was telling you about and I don't
think you will have any trouble in teaching him anything you want
to, for he seems very smart and not afraid of 'Old Nick'
himself."

"That is good," said the circus-man, "for a timid goat is no good
in a circus where they have to be with all the other animals."

"So," thought Billy, "this is a man from the circus up in town
and he is thinking of buying me and making me perform in his
circus. Well, I guess not," and he kicked up his heels in their
faces and skipped off to the other side of the stream where they
could not get him.

"It takes three to make a bargain where there is a goat in the
case," said Billy to himself, "and I will give them a good chase
if they try to catch me. And should they catch me, I pity the men
and animals at the circus when I get there for I shall use my
sharp horns to advantage and split a hole in their old tent and
come back to Nanny. Now they are looking at Satan, maybe the man
will buy him. No, I am afraid he won't for he is shaking his head
and pointing at me and here they come. The farmer is holding out
his hand as if he had something in it for me to eat. Oh, no, Mr.
Farmer, I am too old a goat to be caught with chaff. However, I
will stand still on this side of the stream and see what they
will do."

And there Billy stood with his head raised waiting for them and
he made as fine a picture of a goat as you ever saw, standing on
a little green knoll with the silvery stream running at his feet.

The circus-man was delighted with him for he was almost twice
the size of any other goat he had ever seen, and he thought how
fine he would look dressed up as a professor with his long, silky
beard.

By this time the men were directly opposite Billy and he noticed
that the circus-man kept his hands behind him all the time, but
presently he drew them forward and in one he held a rope with a
long loop in it.

"So, ho," thought Billy, "he expects to tie that rope around my
neck, does he? Well, let him cross the stream and catch me
first."

But while Billy was thinking this the circus-man was making the
rope fly round and round his head in a long circle, and soon with
a quick twist, the rope straightened out and the loop fell over
Billy's head and settled on his neck while he stood looking at
them.

Billy was the most surprised goat you ever saw, for it was the
first time he had ever seen a lasso thrown and had he only known
it, the circus-man had been a cowboy in his younger days and
lassoed many head of cattle. When Billy found he was fairly
caught, his pride had a fall, for he had thought himself too
smart to be caught, and instead of him leading the men a chase
and making them cross the brook to get him, they were pulling
him off the bank and through the water, making him follow them.

At first he tried to pull back and get away, but he had to give
that up, for the rope tightened round his neck and shut off his
breath and he was glad enough to follow where they led.

When Nanny saw what had happened she ran up to Billy bleating as
if her heart would break for she was very fond of him, and she
was afraid they were going to kill him or take him away forever.

"Don't cry, Nanny. I will get loose and come back to-night, or
to-morrow night sure, if I can't get loose to-night; so don't
take on so. I know my way back and a circus tent is not a hard
thing to get out of."

"But, Billy dear, they may tie you as they have now, and then you
can't get loose," said Nanny.

"Oh, yes I can, when they leave me alone, I can chew the rope in
two."

"But can't I go with you, Billy? I feel so terribly at being left
alone and, think of it, we have not been married two weeks."

"What a pretty face that little Nanny goat has," said the
circus-man.

"Yes," answered the farmer, "they both came to the pasture one
day and joined my goats and have been here ever since. I never
knew where they came from, or whom they belonged to."

"Well, here we are at the barn, you must run back, little Nanny;
I can't take you with me to-day, though it does seem a shame to
separate you two lovers," said the circus-man.

As Billy went through the bars he halted a second to give Nanny a
last good-bye kiss; and with the tears streaming down her face,
Nanny stood and watched him until they were out of sight.

The circus-man tied Billy to the back of his buggy and whipping
up his horse he started for town. Billy had to run fast to keep
up and though he got out of breath, he could not stop unless the
horse did. The worst of it was the horse kicked up such a
dreadful dust that it nearly blinded Billy as it flew up in his
face from under the buggy. At last they came to the outskirts of
the town, where the circus tents were pitched, and Billy was
untied from the buggy and led inside a large tent where cages of
wild animals were arranged around the outer edge, while in the
center two elephants and four camels were tethered. When he got
inside, the circus-man called to one of the men to bring him a
strong peg. This he drove into the ground and tethered Billy to
it, like all the other animals were fastened. Then he told the
man to bring him a bunch of straw for the goat to lie on, and a
bundle of hay for him to eat.

"Hay," thought Billy, "after nice tender young grass and turnips!
Well, I won't stay here long, that is one sure thing. I wonder if
I can understand a word of what these heathen, foreign animals
say, but I expect I can read their minds, if I can't understand
their tongues for most animals are mind readers and mind is the
same the world over, though their thoughts are not the same."

While Billy was thinking this, the circus-man and the other man
left the tent and Billy was startled by the elephant sticking his
trunk up to Billy's mouth and asking him to speak through it, as
he was a little deaf and used his trunk as an ear trumpet. He was
just going to introduce himself to the elephant and ask the
elephant's name in return, when one of the camels in a weak,
weary voice asked the same question he had been going to ask the
elephant; so he introduced himself to the camel and she in return
presented him to all the other animals that were within hearing
distance. She did not introduce him to any of the beasts in the
cages, as she said the animals that were loose looked down upon
the caged ones and seldom spoke to them. The name of one of the
camels was Miss Nancy, and she was a regular old maid of a camel,
who did nothing but gossip and ask questions.

"Have you ever performed in a circus or traveled with one
before?" she asked Billy. When hearing that he had not, she
rolled up her eyes, a habit she had, and exclaimed: "Poor
uneducated beast, what you have missed, never to have been taught
to perform in a circus." This was a calamity in her eyes. She
could not remember ever being anywhere else, as she had been born
in a circus in this country shortly after her mother had been
brought here from Persia.

"I am so glad I was not born in Persia, for had I been I should
have had to carry heavy loads and cross the burning desert with
very little water to drink. While now, all I have to do is to
march in the processions and then stand and look wise while the
boys feed me peanuts as they walk into the circus to see the
performance. Oh, you will like being with us when you get used to
the confinement," she said.

"For mercy sakes! Nancy, do keep still and give some one else a
chance to talk," said her mother.

Just then the lion roared and when he roared, all the other
animals stopped talking for he was still looked upon as king of
the beasts although he was caged. They all stood a little in awe
of him for fear he would break through his cage and chew them up,
as he threatened to do so many times when they did not stop
talking immediately when he roared.

This time he roared to know who the new comer was and if he was
an American relative of his, for as Billy had a beard like the
lion's, only much longer, the lion thought he must be an American
lion.

"Come over here, near my cage, Mr. Beardy, where I can see you,"
said the lion.

"I can't," said Billy, "my rope is too short."

"Oh, very well," he roared back, "I will see you in the
procession, to-morrow, for I hear you are to march back of my
cage."

The lion's keeper came in to see what the lion was roaring about
and in passing Billy he stopped to get a good look at him, and
presently he was joined by another man, who Billy found out took
the part of the clown and who was expected to walk by Billy's
side in the procession while a monkey rode his back.

"You are a pretty fine looking goat, old fellow, and I expect we
will become great friends. Here is a lump of sugar to begin our
friendship with, or do you prefer tobacco?" said the clown.

"He seems like a nice man," thought Billy, "but I never thought
to see the day when I would march in a procession with a monkey
on my back and a clown at my side, and I don't know whether I
will allow him to ride or not, but I guess I will behave for
awhile and see what life is like under a circus tent."

The next day dawned bright and fair and there was great commotion
throughout the circus, getting ready for the eleven o'clock
procession that was to march through the streets. Early in the
morning, Billy was led into the sawdust ring, and a peculiar
saddle like a little platform was strapped to his back. This the
monkey was to dance on, dressed as a ballet girl, with yellow,
spangled skirts, a satin bodice and a blue cap with a feather in
it on his head.

When Billy first saw the monkey in this dress walking on his hind
legs toward him to get on his back, he had a good mind to toss
him up to the top of the tent, he felt so disgusted; but his
curiosity got the better of him and he decided to wait and see
what they expected him to do next. He soon found out. They
wanted him to trot around the ring, and not jump when the ring
master cracked his long lashed whip at him, while the monkey
danced on his back and jumped through paper rings, as the lady
circus riders do.

"This is very easy," thought Billy, "I don't mind this in the
least, only I don't want to go around too many times one way for
it makes me dizzy."

"That will do for this morning, Billy, you are a good goat," said
the man. Just then the monkey jumped off Billy's back, and as he
ran past him, he gave Billy's beard a pull. Like a shot Billy was
after him and had the monkey not run up a pole, Billy would have
killed him. From that time on, Billy and the monkey, whose name
was Jocko, hated each other and an outward peace was only kept up
when someone was around to keep them apart.

The monkey would climb a pole or sit on top of a wagon, or
anything high that was handy, so Billy could not reach him and
then call him names and sauce him until Billy pawed the earth
with rage, which made the monkey laugh. The only one that could
get even with the monkey's tongue was the parrot, and she and the
monkey would sit and sauce each other by the hour.

Billy was about cooled down from his fuss with the monkey, when
he heard a bugle call and the elephant told him that it was the
signal for the procession to start. While Billy had been put
through his paces in the circus ring, the elephants had been
decked out in scarlet blankets embroidered with gold and funny
little summer houses, as Billy thought, strapped to their backs,
in which ladies were to ride. The camels had also been fixed up,
and from four to six horses, with waving plumes on their heads,
had been hitched to each circus wagon.

At another signal from the bugle, they all started to move, led by
the men and women performers, dressed in their best spangled
velvet suits. Then came what Billy thought to be the best thing in
the procession, a golden chariot drawn by twelve Shetland ponies,
each pony ridden by a little boy postilion, in scarlet velvet;
while in the chariot sat a beautiful, little, golden-haired girl,
dressed as a queen, with a diamond crown on her head.

It fairly took Billy's breath away, he thought it all so
beautiful, and he started to follow.

"All right, Jim, let him go there if he wants to. He probably
thinks the ponies are goats and will behave better than if put
with the lions."

"What an idiot that man is!" thought Billy, "to think I don't
know a pony from a goat."

It was a good thing they let him march there for he was so taken
up with watching the ponies in front of him that he forgot to be
mad at Jocko, who was going through all sorts of antics on his
back and swinging on Billy's horns. Everything was going smoothly
when Billy saw Mike O'Hara coming out of the crowd; he came up to
the clown that was walking beside him and said: "Look here, that
is my goat!"

"Well, I guess not, you must be crazy."

"I'll prove it to you," said Mike. "Do you see that black spot on
his forehead and that he has one black hoof and all the others
are white?"

"That don't prove anything," said the clown. "You just noticed
that as we were walking along, and now you come up here and try
to claim our goat."

"I'll give you another proof," said Mike. "He will come when I
call him."

"All right, call him, and I bet he won't follow you," said the
clown.

Mike held out his hand and called him by name, but Billy did not
turn an inch though he knew he belonged to Mike. He did not
propose to go with him and be made to pull milk carts. He
preferred to stay where he was as he liked the excitement of a
circus life.

When Billy did not go to Mike, it made the clown laugh and he
said: "There, I told you so. The goat never saw you before."

"Yes, he has," said Mike, "but it is just like his cussedness to
pretend he don't know me."

"Go along, I can't bother talking to you any more," said the
clown, as all this time Mike had been walking beside the clown as
they marched.

"Well, you need not talk to me any more," said Mike, "but I am
going to have my goat." And with that he caught hold of Billy's
horns and was going to lead him away.

"Here, take your hands off that goat, you are stopping the
procession!" But Mike held on and the clown gave him a hit in the
ribs. Mike struck back and a policeman, who was standing in the
crowd, ran out and arrested Mike for disorderly conduct and for
stopping the procession. This was the second time that Mike had
been arrested on Billy's account.

When the procession returned to the tents, all the animals and
horses were fed and allowed to rest so as to be fresh for the
afternoon's performance. Billy had been resting only a short
time, when a couple of men came toward him, one carrying a table
and the other a long black gown of some kind.

"What in the world are they going to do now," thought Billy.

When they came up to him, the man that was carrying the table put
it down and then brought a high backed arm chair and set it up
close to the table. Then the men came up to Billy and one of them
said: "Now, old fellow, we are going to make a professor out of
you," and with that they both took hold of him and made him stand
on his hind legs while they put the black gown on him and a black
skull cap on his head, and a pair of spectacles on his nose,--the
latter they had to tie on. Then a man got on each side of him and
supported him to the table where they made him sit in the chair.
They put his forehoofs on the table and a large book before him
and a pen behind his ears. When they had him all fixed, you never
saw such a wise looking professor in your life as he made, with
his long, white beard. The men were so delighted with his
appearance and the way he behaved when dressed up, that they
called all the rest of the circus people to come and look. Of
course they laughed and praised and petted Billy, until he was
nearly bursting with conceit and they all agreed that it would
tickle the children most to death to see how solemn and straight
a goat could sit in a chair.

"Now Billy, we will take these things off and let you rest for
your back must be tired as you are not used to sitting up, but
you will get used to it and it won't make you tired after awhile.
Come here, and I will give you this nice red apple for being such
a good goat. You behaved so nicely that I think we will venture
to show you off at the performance this afternoon."

This they did and he got more encores and whistles and clapping
of hands than anything else that was shown that afternoon, more
even than the ponies. Before they brought him in, the Ring Master
came in and said: "Now ladies and gentlemen, I am about to
introduce to you the oldest and most wonderful astrologer now
living. He will read to you, from a mystic book, the fate of the
world and whether it is to be destroyed by fire or water."

[Illustration]

When he had finished speaking, four men drew a platform in, on
which Billy was seated in his chair at the table. But the
strangest part of it all was, that when everything was still and
the crowd were all watching him, he commenced to read and turn
the pages of the book, and he spoke so plainly that everyone
could understand and hear. This surely was wonderful, and the
children could not make up their minds whether it was a man with
goat's horns, for his long horns stuck out through two holes on
either side of his cap, or a goat with a man's voice; and when
the Ring Master told the children that the professor had just
dropped from the sign of the Zodiac called Capricorn, which is
represented in all the almanacs by a goat, they thought he must
be telling the truth. He did not tell them that hidden under the
platform was a man that did the talking, and when the leaves of
the book turned, that he was pulling a string which made them
turn over, but everyone thought the goat was doing it himself.

After the performance was over, all the children as they passed
fed Billy peanuts, candy, pop-corn and apples as he stood by the
elephant.

Billy had behaved like a lamb for days and gone through all his
performances without a hitch,--in fact he had become the pet of
the circus, and allowed to roam about at will and was never tied
not even at night. So this night after all had settled down and
gone to bed, Billy, feeling wakeful, thought he would move around
a little and take a peep into the other tents. First he stuck his
nose into a little tent where they sold pop-corn, peanuts,
lemonade etc., during the performances.

"Now is my chance," thought Billy, "to eat all the pop-corn I
want, for I never have gotten enough to satisfy me at any one
time, but how can I get it out of that glass case. It looks so
easy to get at and smells so good, I must have some, even if I
have to break the glass to get at it."

He stood licking the glass for a little while; then his greed
getting the better of him, he backed off and gave the glass a
quick hard knock with his horns. It broke and flew in all
directions and let the pop-corn roll out in a perfect stream.
Billy stopped to listen a minute to see if the noise of the
breaking glass had brought anyone to see what was the matter, and
when no one came, he commenced to eat the salted and buttered
corn, and he ate until for once in his life he could say he had
had enough. But, oh my! what a thirst it had given him, and he
did not know where to get a drink unless he went and stole it out
of the elephant's tub of water, but he did not like to go there
as the elephant's keeper slept near his charge and he might catch
him and tie him up.

Billy was just leaving the tent when he ran into a large tin
water cooler. It took but a minute to push the top off with his
nose and then he began to drink. But what was the matter with the
water? It had turned sour and had round pieces of yellow, sour
stuff floating in it; it was his first taste of lemonade,
consequently he did not know what he was drinking.

In his disgust at finding no water, he revenged himself by
upsetting the water cooler and spilling all the lemonade. Then he
walked out and going into the first tent he came to, he found
himself in the room of the leading lady who was fast asleep on a
cot. At the end of the tent he saw a small table with a
looking-glass hanging above it, but when Billy saw his reflection
in it, he did not make the mistake of thinking it was another
goat like he had once before. He walked up to the table and
seeing a stick of red stuff that looked like candy, he ate it,
but it turned out to be a stick of red paint that the leading
lady used to paint her lips. After tasting her powder, and
upsetting her bottle of perfumery, and chewing her blonde wig,
thinking it some kind of yellow grass, he walked out without
awakening her.

Next he went into a tent that had pictures of snakes of all kinds
painted on it. This was the tent occupied by the snake charmers,
but Billy knew nothing about large snakes, only little inoffensive
garter snakes, so he went in and commenced nosing around in the
baskets he saw setting there with blankets in them to see what was
under the blankets.

In the first one, he felt something cold and slippery and not to
his taste, so he let it alone, thinking it a piece of garden
hose; but when he stuck his nose in the next basket something
long and slim and pliable stuck its head out and wound itself
around his body drawing itself tighter and tighter, until Billy
found himself staggering for want of breath. When he was nearly
squeezed to death he made a death-like groan which awoke the
Indian snake charmer who was asleep in one corner of the tent on
a pile of rugs. The man took in the situation at a glance, and
came to Billy's rescue, making the snake uncoil itself by playing
on a kind of bagpipe, a queer, weird, monotonous piece of music.
This charmed the snake and it uncoiled itself from Billy and,
swaying its body, crawled toward the snake charmer.

The second that Billy felt its coils slip from his body, he took
a long breath and ran from the tent not even stopping to wiggle
his head in thanks for his preservation. Once outside, he made
his way back to his own tent where he lay down on his pile of
straw to snatch a little sleep before daylight, as unconcerned as
if nothing had happened.

[Illustration]



_Billy and the Snakes_


The next day after Billy's midnight prowl which was Saturday,
there was great commotion among the circus people, for the
leading lady accused her rival, the brunette, of coming into her
dressing room while she slept and destroying her blonde wig;
while the pop-corn man said thieves had been at his stand and
broken his glass case and eaten his pop-corn, beside they had
spilled all his lemonade that he had intended using the next day;
the night watchman was going to be discharged for not attending
to his business; then the Indian snake charmer came along and
told them the thief had visited his tent but his snakes had
frightened him away.

"And he was a big fellow I can tell you. I did not dare tackle
him."

"Oh my!" said the leading lady, "and to think he was in my tent
and I slept through it all."

"There, I told you I did not touch your old straw colored wig!"
said the brunette.

And they all said, "Do tell us all about it, what time of the
night did he come, and which way did he go when he ran away?"

"All right," said the snake charmer, with a twinkle in his eye
the others did not see, "sit down and I will tell you all about
it,--how I was awakened by a groan, and saw standing in the
middle of my tent, a huge fellow, with a long, white beard and
white, agonized face; for you must know that my boa-constrictor
was squeezing him to death."

"Oh, how awful! Weren't you frightened?" said the leading-lady.

"No, because I knew he could not touch me while the snake was
coiled around him. At first I thought I would let the boa kill
him, but he looked so awful with his eyes sticking out of his
head, as the snake squeezed him tighter and tighter, that I felt
sorry for him; so I began to play the music I always play when I
want the snakes to come to me, and the boa stopped squeezing the
goat and came to me."

"Goat, did you say? You mean burglar."

"No, I mean goat, or _burglar_ if you would rather call him so,
for your thief was nothing more or less than Billy Whiskers."

"You mean, horrid man to fool us so!" they all said.

And the snake charmer got up and hurried out of the tent for he
saw blood in the eye of the champion boxer and he thought he had
better get out before the man took hold of him.

Saturday was to be the last day of the circus in Smithville and
immediately after the evening performance they were to break camp
and move in the night, and be on the road all day Sunday
traveling to the next town, where they were booked to give a
performance on Monday morning.

Now all this meant quick work and rapid travel, as they could not
go by train, there being no railroad to this town, so they had to
have their circus horses and wagons move them.

When Billy heard them talking about moving, he thought it would
be great fun and looked forward to it with pleasure. But he
little knew what was before him.

During the morning performance Billy behaved all right, but in the
afternoon he was so excited and anxious to be off that he behaved
very badly. He ran around the ring so fast that when the monkey
jumped through the paper hoops expecting to land on Billy's back,
he was beyond him and the monkey landed on the ground and had to
run to catch up. This made the ring-master angry and he hit Billy
a sharp cut with his whip, but instead of making him behave better
he got worse and worse. He would stand still and shake himself
until he nearly made the monkey's bones crack; and when the
ring-master hit him, he stood on his hind legs and the monkey had
to cling to his horns to keep from falling off. When Billy found
he could not throw the monkey, he ran for the pole in the center
of the ring that supported the tent, and tried to butt him off but
the monkey was too quick for him and dodged every time. At last
Billy tried rolling with him, but this the ring-master could not
allow as it would ruin the saddle strapped to his back. He gave
him a few good cuts with the whip that stung like everything and
this turned Billy's wrath from the monkey to him, and like a shot
he was up and after the ring-master. He planted his horns in the
middle of the ring-master's back and ran him to the edge of the
ring where he gave him a butt that sent him flying to the other
tent.

Billy was punished for this and told he should have no supper,
and he understood what they said although they did not suppose he
did.

"All right," he thought, "no supper, no performance, for I won't
behave and take my part unless I am fed. But I will find
something to eat even if they won't feed me, for a goat can eat
almost anything from tin cans to apples."

[Illustration]

The man who had tied Billy had scarcely gotten out of sight when
he commenced to chew his rope in two and when it dropped apart,
Billy walked over and commenced to eat the elephant's food. This
the elephant did not like. He told Billy to stop and go eat his
own supper, but Billy would not, neither would he take the
trouble to explain to the elephant that he hadn't any supper and
was expected to go supperless. Now if he had only told the
elephant, who had always been a good friend of his, he would
gladly have given him half of his supper; but Billy was in a
contrary mood and would say nothing, but kept on eating. This
provoked the elephant, so he quietly wound his trunk around Mr.
Billy and lifting him from the ground, set him on top of the
lion's cage that was standing near. Billy was more surprised when
he found himself standing on top of the lion's cage than he had
ever been in his life, but only for a minute for he jumped down
and disappeared through a tear in the canvas of the tent. As he
ran away he heard all the animals laughing, though you might have
called it the lion's roar and the hyena's call, and above all the
racket he heard the head animal keeper asking what all this
racket was about; and although they all tried to tell him by each
giving his particular call, he was too stupid to understand
animal talk, so lost all the fun of the joke.

When Billy came through the side of the tent, he found himself
near the tent where the horses and ponies were kept. Smelling
corn and oats, he walked in, and while talking to his particular
friends, the Shetland ponies, he helped himself to their supper.

While in this tent he became acquainted with a little Mexican
Burroetta that was destined to become his closest companion and
friend in the future. The Burroetta was just his height, of a
mouse color, with a white streak down its spine and four white
stockinged feet, but the most peculiar thing about its looks was
its exceedingly long ears,--ears that were as long as Billy's
horns. It was the cutest, smartest little creature you ever saw,
and had most beautiful, large, liquid eyes. It looked as mild as
a dove, but was quite deceiving for it was as full of the "old
scratch" as Billy himself. It must have been this kindred spirit
that drew them together from the first.

That night the people had come to the circus; looked at the
animals and passed into the performing tent; several of the
things on the programme had been gone through with and it was
Billy's turn to perform next and still Billy had not been found.

Every man and woman on the place had been looking for him, but
though they had hunted everywhere and inquired of every one if he
had seen a large, white goat with long whiskers, no one had seen
him and they were about to substitute something else for his
performance when one of the men, coming into the ponies' tent for
something, saw Billy lying down by the little Burroetta.

"Here Billy, you rascal, come along with me. We have been looking
everywhere for you."

And Billy was led off and made to go through his performance. But
to-night he was cross and still angry with the ring-master. So
when about through with his imitation of the professor, he leaned
over and took a mouthful of the leaves of the book and chewed
them up. Then he stood up in his chair with his gown and
spectacles on, and before anyone could stop him he had jumped
down and ran out of the tent, with the spectacles still on his
nose and his gown trailing after him.

The excitement and confusion this caused in the circus knew no
bounds. And when the children discovered that the astrologer was
nothing more or less than an ordinary goat, and that his voice
had come from a man, who was a ventriloquist, hid under the
platform, their disgust was complete and it broke up the circus
performance for that night.

Billy chewed, wriggled and pulled at his gown until he tore it
off and then he kicked up his heels and disappeared in the
darkness outside; and he was careful to keep in the shadows away
from the light, so no one could see him, for he had sense enough
to know that he had done wrong and would be punished if caught.



_What Billy Did on Sunday_


Billy, after running out of the circus, stood in the shadow of a
shed under a large tree. From his hiding place he could perceive
all that was going on at the circus as it was bright moonlight,
beside all the workmen had lights fastened in their caps so they
could see without the bother of carrying a lantern around.

First Billy saw them hitch the draft-horses to the animal wagons
and vehicles they had for carrying baggage. Then the big tent
closed as if it were an umbrella, and it was rolled up and put in
a wagon made purposely for hauling it; then all the riding horses
with the men and women performers on their backs, started the
procession. Next came the cages filled with animals and last the
baggage vans and feed wagons.

After they were well on their way Billy trotted on behind keeping
well in the shadows. They had been crawling silently along the
highways like a huge snake for a long while when all of a sudden
the long line came to a sudden halt.

There was great noise and confusion ahead and, of course, Billy's
curiosity called him to the front immediately to see what was the
matter. In passing the wagons which had been left by their
drivers to go forward and find out the cause of the sudden stop,
Billy accidentally ran into his friend, Senorita Burroetta, which
means Miss Baby Buro, as his friend was called.

"How are you, Betty?" For in their short acquaintance Billy had
shortened her name to that. "I did not know you with that pack on
your back. Aren't you tired carrying that heavy load?"

"Yes," answered Betty, "and the girth pinches me. They did not
get it on straight and every time I step it hurts me awfully."

"Here let me see if I can't fix it," said Billy.

"Oh never mind, I can stand it, for it isn't the first time they
have buckled a piece of skin in; beside you could not unbuckle it
with your teeth or feet."

"No, but I can chew the girth in two if you don't mind being
pinched a little more while I am doing it," said Billy.

So Billy commenced to chew the girth which he could get at easily
where it stuck out from Betty's side to pass over the load on her
back; and we know better than Betty that Billy was good at
chewing rope and straps in two. Soon the girth began to give and
Betty swelled herself out and the girth split in two and let the
load on her back slip to the ground.

Then the goat and Burro ran ahead to see what all the scolding
and loud talking were about. When they got there, they found the
elephant had broken down a little bridge that crossed the narrow
stream and there was no way to get the wagons over. The elephant,
before crossing, had put his forefoot out to try the strength of
the bridge and with a little shake the bridge had collapsed and
dropped into the water. Had he stepped on it without trying it,
he would most likely have been killed for it surely would have
gone down with him on it.

The only way now to get across was for the wagons to drive down
the steep embankment, through the water and up the other side.
This they proceeded to do, but Billy and Betty jumped the space.
Then they scampered on ahead after the horseback riders who had
gone before.

As they ran they could hear the lion's roar and the hyena's laugh
when their cages were driven into the water, and the water rose
on them, while the elephants kept up such a trumpeting that it
awoke all the country folks who were near enough to hear it, and
they thought the Day of Judgment had come and it was Gabriel's
trumpet they heard.

A poor, ignorant Swedish family that lived on the bank of the
stream by the bridge were awakened by the noise but were afraid
to get up and look out of the window to see what all the
commotion was about.

At last the brave husband by coaxing and threatening succeeded in
getting his wife out of bed. As she had never been to a circus in
her life or seen anything but the picture of wild animals, she
was nearly frightened to death at what she saw passing in the
moonlight, and ran back to bed and put her head under the covers
and would not speak a word, though her husband threatened to kick
her out of bed. Poor woman, she could not tell him what she saw,
for she did not know the name of the animals.

At last her husband got up courage enough to go to the window and
look out as his wife had, but he stayed less time than she did
for just as he got there the lions gave a mighty roar and all the
animals followed suit, for the lions' cage was passing through
the water and they did not like the cold water crawling up their
legs and of course they thought they were going to be drowned;
while the Swedish workman thought he was going to be chewed up
alive, and flew back to bed with teeth chattering and held on to
his wife for protection; and had a lion really come after them he
would probably have thrown his wife at the lion's head for him to
eat, while he made good his escape.

All this time Billy and Betty were trotting along side by side
gossiping about people in the circus, and all the time it became
lighter and lighter as it was getting nearer sunrise.

About five o'clock they saw, away in the blue distance, a tall
church steeple and they knew they must be nearing the town where
the circus was to be held.

As they came nearer they could hear the sound of the church bell
ring out on the stillness, calling the people to early morning
mass, and soon they could see the people going to church, and the
mothers take their children by the hand and pull them into the
church as they did not want them to see anything so wicked as a
circus procession on Sunday morning.

Billy noticing this, said, "Let us give the children a treat.
When the people are all in the church we will walk in and see
what it looks like inside."

The two mischief-makers hung around out of sight, until the
people had stopped going in, then they walked boldly into the
vestibule. Here they saw a marble basin filled with clear,
cool-looking water. They stopped and drank it, not knowing it was
the holy water the Catholics cross themselves with before
entering church.

The church aisle was separated from the vestibule only by two
green baize doors. These Billy and Betty pushed open with their
noses and while the organ was playing and the priests were
kneeling, Billy and Betty walked the whole length of the middle
aisle, side by side, as if they were a bridal couple. When they
arrived at the altar, Billy stopped and commenced to eat some
roses that were in a vase on the altar steps.

The congregation sat stupefied with horror to see these animals
in church and directly behind the kneeling priest and choir boys.
The music made Betty lonesome and she threw up her head and let
out such a loud, mule-like bray that it frightened the kneeling
priest and he jumped up as if shot for he thought he had heard
Balaam's ass bray; but when he turned and saw standing behind him
a live burro and a goat, his astonishment knew no bounds and he
stood gazing at them with open mouth, while the choir boys
laughed and giggled and thought it a good joke.

Soon the ushers and deacons came to their senses enough to come
forward and try to drive the beasts out. But when Billy saw them
coming he ran up the altar steps into the pulpit, and Betty ran
through the first door she saw open, which proved not to be the
outer door but one which led into the room where the choir boys
dressed.

When Betty appeared there, the boys laughed and screamed and
drove her out into the church again, and kicking up her heels she
ran out of the church, braying for Billy. When Billy saw her go
he ran down the altar steps, upsetting a near-sighted deacon who
was coming up to help drive him out, and bleating to Betty that
he was coming he rushed through the door.

They trotted along side by side down the street until they came
to a beautiful place surrounded by a tall, iron fence. Through
the fence they could see a large, brick residence with a cupola
on top. On one side of the house was the flower garden, while on
the other a fruit patch and vegetable garden. And oh, how good
the fresh, green lettuce and beet tops looked to these tired,
hungry travelers.

"Let us go in and help ourselves," said Billy.

"We can't get through the fence," said Betty, "and it is too high
to jump."

"You remind me of Nanny, for she was always finding objections
and obstacles to everything I wanted to do."

"Well, who in the world is Nanny? I should like to know," said
Betty.

"Why haven't I told you about her?" asked Billy.

"No, you have not, Billy Whiskers, and I should like to know
right away."

"Well, I will tell you, Senorita Burroetta, and you need not be
so cross about it either. She is my wife and a sweeter, dearer
little wife no goat ever had before!"

Betty stopped stock still in the road and glared at Billy for a
second, before she could speak from astonishment. Then she said:
"Billy Whiskers you are a gay deceiver and you know you never
told me you were married and I am sure I always thought you were
a bachelor."

"I am very sorry if it makes any difference to you, but I never
told you because we have been so busy talking of other things and
I have not had a chance."

"Oh, very well then," said Betty, "I will forgive you if you did
not mean to keep it from me."

So the two made up and commenced to look for a gate or way to get
into the garden. At last they saw where an iron bar or two of the
fence had been broken, making quite a good-sized hole and through
this they squeezed themselves and were soon having a feast off
of Deacon Jones's prize cabbages, lettuce and beets, while the
family, including the Deacon, were at church.

They were still eating when they heard the iron gates shut with a
clang and looking up they saw the Deacon coming toward them,
swinging his cane in frantic anger, showing that he had already
forgotten his Sunday-school lesson: "Let not your angry passions
rise."

[Illustration]

Billy, with a mouthful of carrots, started to run toward the
stables, trusting to find a way out and Betty with a twist of her
body and a squeal followed after him.

They were just going into the barn, the door of which was
standing open, when a little, yellow dog ran out at them and
commenced to bark and bite at Betty's heels. She let one foot fly
out quickly behind and Mr. Doggie went rolling over in the dirt,
and at that minute Billy spied a little open gate that led into
the orchard and through this they both ran with the Deacon and
dog still after them.

When they got to the other side of the orchard they came to a
rail fence. This Billy took at one jump, breaking the top rail as
he went over, and it was a good thing he did for it helped Betty
get over as she was not as high a jumper as Billy.

They were over the fence and a good way down the road before the
deacon got to the fence, and then he was so out of breath from
running that he gave up the chase, called off his dog, and
throwing two or three stones at them, turned and walked slowly
back to the garden to see what damage they had done.

Billy and Betty wandered around all day and at night went to
sleep in a straw stack on the outskirts of the town.

[Illustration]



_What Billy Did on Monday_


All day Sunday the circus people worked to get their tents up and
everything in shape for the Monday's performances, and when at
night they went to look over the animals to see if all were there
they missed Billy and Betty.

"Now there will be the dickens to pay," said the animal keeper,
"if that goat can't be found for he has been the means of
bringing more children to the circus than anything else we have
had for them."

"I will eat my shirt off if I know where to look for him! You can
bet your life he is a good one on a hide."

"You and I will have to go hunt him, John, so go saddle two
horses and we will start out. He must have turned into some of
the lanes we passed on our way here, and coaxed Betty off with
him. They could easily get away without being noticed when the
bridge broke down. You search the town and I will take the road
and lanes."

While the men were looking for the two runaways, they were
quietly grazing along the road that led to the town.

Now Billy got tired of the quiet and said, "Come Betty, let's go
into the town and see the sights and have some fun, and maybe we
can find a grocery store where there are good things setting
outside to eat, or a fruit stand," for Billy had not forgotten
how luscious the pears and peaches had tasted that he had stolen
from a fruit stand one day.

This was agreeable to Betty and the two trotted along side by
side toward the town. Presently they came to a large sign-board
on which pictures of the circus were posted. There Billy spied
himself pictured as trotting along with the monkey riding on his
back and jumping through the paper hoops.

At sight of the monkey Billy got mad, as usual, and before Betty
knew what he was going to do, he ran up to the fence and
commenced trying to butt it down, calling to Betty to come help
kick it over.

They were thus employed when a farmer came along the road and,
seeing them, took out his whip and drove them off.

They ran along before him for a while and then dropped back until
he had passed them. As soon as he had passed, Billy spied on the
back of his wagon a large basket of celery with the tops sticking
out over the edge.

"Look, Betty, look!" cried Billy, pointing his nose in the
direction of the wagon. "Let's follow on behind and eat up his
celery. It will be a good joke on him." And the two scampered
after the farmer and soon caught up, for he was driving slowly;
and he could not see them for the things that were piled up high
behind him.

When the two rascals caught up to the wagon they ate all the
celery they wanted, which was more than half of it, as it was
deliciously juicy and tasted fine. They had had no breakfast
except some dusty grass that grew beside the road.

While they ate the farmer whistled low to himself and planned how
he would sell his celery to the grocery man; and then, with the
money, go to the circus, and see the wonderful astrologer that
was neither goat nor man who was advertised to perform. He little
guessed that the "Wonderful Astrologer" was at that moment eating
up his celery and making it doubtful whether he would have any
left or not.

Billy and Betty were still eating when a dog spied them and ran
out from his yard after them. Billy turned and tried to hook him
but the dog was too quick. He dodged, but in trying to escape
from Billy he got too near Betty's heels and she gave him a kick
in the side that sent him rolling over into the dust, yelping,
and before he could get up Billy helped him up by sticking his
horns under him and tossing him over the fence.

[Illustration: THE FARMER STOPPED TO SEE WHAT ALL THE ROW WAS
ABOUT.]

The owner of the dog saw this and ran out calling for the farmer
to stop or he would have him arrested for allowing his goat to
hook his dog. The farmer stopped to see what all the row was
about, and while the owner of the dog was shaking his fist in the
farmer's face, and the farmer was trying to explain that the goat
and mule, as he called Betty, did not belong to him, Billy and
Betty sneaked off and disappeared down a side road and to their
surprise found themselves facing the circus tents.

If they went forward the circus people would catch them, and if
they went back, the angry man and farmer would be after them. As
they stood discussing which way to go, it was decided for them,
for the animal keeper on his horse turned into the lane behind
them and drove them to the circus in double-quick time with his
long whip.

All the way there he scolded them as he tried to crack them with
his whip, and it was no fun being hit with it as it seemed to
take a piece of flesh out each time it struck.

[Illustration]

Betty ran in among the Shetland ponies where she belonged and
Billy dodged into the first tent he saw with the flap open. For a
wonder it turned out to be the one where he belonged, and in less
time than it takes to tell it Billy found himself chained beside
the elephant.

"There, Master Billy, I guess you won't chew yourself loose in a
hurry again, and have me chasing all over the country for you,"
said the animal keeper.

And to make up for his past bad behavior Billy performed better
the next day than he had at any time.



_What Billy Did on Tuesday_


Tuesday turned out to be a dismal, cold, rainy day and Billy was
glad enough to stay quietly in the tent. He thought it would be a
good chance to become better acquainted with the animals in the
cages and he decided to call on them all by beginning at one cage
and visiting each in order until he had completed the circle.

He could not stay where he was, for Nancy, the old maid camel,
made him nervous; she talked so much, and when she was not
talking she chewed her cud like an old maid chews gum.

"How can you stand her?" Billy whispered to the elephant.

"Oh, I have got used to it," said the elephant, "and I don't hear
her half the time, and when she gets _too_ bad I just pull the
flops of my ears down tight to my head, and I can't hear a word.
And then I set my trunk to wobbling and make it nod 'yes' half
the time and 'no' the other, and I find it answers quite well."

"But how do you know when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no'?"
Billy asked.

"I don't mind if I do answer wrong part of the time, and if I get
too much off she stops talking altogether and that pleases me
better, so you see it answers very well."

"But don't you get tired leading such an inactive life?" asked
Billy.

"I used to," answered the elephant, "when I was younger, and
before my mate died. But since she died and I have rheumatism I
don't seem to care much, for without her there would be nothing
to do if I did run away; beside your climate is so cold, and your
forests so skinny and bare looking there would not be any fun
living in them."

"Our forests skinny and bare looking, did you say? You don't know
what you are talking about. I guess our forests are as nice as
yours in India, and not half so full of snakes and chattering
monkeys, to say nothing of the nasty crocodiles and hippopotamuses
that you have in your rivers; and vines growing all over the trees
and from one tree to another, so thickly you can't walk without
making a path for yourself by breaking them down."

"Oh, but that is just what I like," said the elephant, "and the
air is so hot and moist you feel fine, while here you are either
all dried up with heat or shivering with cold."

"Well, every one to his taste, I suppose," and he walked over to
the hyenas' cage to make their acquaintance, out of curiosity, as
he knew little about hyenas.

"My, aren't they homely, sneaky, shifty-eyed looking things!"
thought Billy. "I would not like to meet one alone after dark,
but still I hear they are cowardly and wait until one is dead
before they try to eat him up. I don't think I will make a long
call, for they grin and laugh too much, and their laughter has no
mirth in it. It is just a loud guffaw." So he only stayed a few
minutes and then went on to a beautiful white llama's cage.

"Good morning, Miss Llama," said Billy very politely, for he
wished to get in the good graces of the beautiful Miss Llama whom
he admired very much for her long, silky, white hair and mild,
brown eyes.

"Good morning, Mr. Whiskers," she replied. "How do you find
yourself after our Saturday night's trip?"

"Very well," said Billy, "but I am afraid you must have had a bad
shaking up where the bridge was broken, if you had to go down
that steep embankment to cross the creek."

"You are right; it was steep," said the llama, "and I was nearly
scared to death when I felt the water running into my cage and I
had just given myself up as lost when it commenced to recede, and
I was thrown on my knees by the cage being pulled with a jerk up
the opposite bank. How did you get across?"

"Oh, easily! I just jumped across from one pier of the bridge to
the other," said Billy. "I met a friend of mine and we went off
and had a fine time. How I wish you could get out of that cage,
so you could go with us sometime!"

"You don't wish it more than I do, and it always makes me weep,
when we are driven along the sweet smelling roads, to think that
I can't get out and must be shut in here for life."

"It really is a shame, for you are too pretty to be shut in a
cage. Are you sure you can't break some of those bars some night
and get out?"

"I am sure," said the llama, "for I have tried time and again."

"Well, Billy Whiskers, you are the 'consarnedest' goat I ever
knew, and how in the 'dickens' you managed to break that chain is
more than I can tell," Billy and Miss Llama heard someone say
behind them and looking round they saw the animal keeper.

"So, so; you simply pulled up the stake you were tied to when you
found you could not chew your chain in two, did you? Well, come
along with me; you have been idle long enough, and we are going
to teach you some new tricks."

When Billy heard this his heart sank for he disliked the
ring-master and was afraid they would make him stand on his
hind-legs and walk. Had he only known it, that was the easiest
thing he would have to do. He was led to the performing ring and
there stood the hated ring-master facing a line of animals
standing in a straight line reaching from one side of the ring to
the other. In the middle stood the elephant, with the summer
house, as Billy called it, on his back; next him stood a camel;
next the camel a giraffe; next the giraffe a horse; next the
horse, a zebra, and last a little Shetland pony. On the other
side of the elephant were more animals standing in the same
order.

"What in the world can they want of me," thought Billy, but he
soon found out for they dressed him up as a clown in a white
suit with red spots on it and tied a mask on his face and a
pointed clown's cap on his head. Then they led him to where the
pony stood and made him walk up a step ladder, onto a little
platform, strapped to the pony's back. From this he was made to
walk up another step onto a similar platform on the zebra's back;
here he was made to stop and make a bow and so on until he had
reached the little summer house on the elephant's back. This he
was made to enter and sit upright on a little seat that was
inside while the elephant started forward and walked out of the
ring carrying Billy with him.

[Illustration]

After this he was dressed as a workman, with a pipe in his mouth
and a hod of mortar strapped to his shoulder, and made to walk
part way round the ring on his hind legs. Then he was allowed to
rest and was given a bunch of carrots to eat. While he was
eating these Betty was brought in hitched to a little low wheeled
cart. Then a great Dane dog was brought in hitched to a similar
cart. After that a man pulled in another cart like the other two
and hitched Billy to that. The carts were painted red, white, and
blue and trimmed with flags. Soon three little dogs dressed as
ladies were carried in, put into the carts with the reins over
their necks. Then the goat, burro, and dog were put neck to neck,
ready to start on the race that was to begin when the ring-master
cracked his whip.

At the signal the dog got started ahead, but half way around the
ring Billy passed him; the next time around, the dog was again
ahead, when slow little Betty balked in the middle of the course
and both the goat and dog ran into her upsetting the carts and
spilling out the little lady dog drivers. None of them were hurt
and the little dogs ran around stepping on their silk petticoats
and getting their hats askew, they enjoying the upset by barking
and making all the noise they could.

"Well, boys, you want to do it better at the regular
performance," said the ring-master, as the animals were led from
the ring.



_What Billy Did on Wednesday_


Wednesday, Billy was not tied up and after wandering around the
circus and visiting the different animals and stopping to chat
with Betty, he decided to watch his chance and slip into town.

This was not hard for him to do and he soon found himself on the
main street. At first he walked quietly along looking into the
windows, but presently he saw before him a well-known figure,
that of the ring-master.

"Now is my chance," thought Billy, "to get even with him for
giving me all those cuts with his whip. I'll just give him a butt
and land him in the middle of that mud puddle, and I am going to
do it so hard he will hear his spine crack and I guess he won't
hit me with his whip again very soon."

So Billy started quietly on a run, going on his tiptoes so the
ring-master would not hear him until it was too late to get out
of the way. Just as Billy got to him the man raised his arm to
doff his hat to a pretty girl, and the next thing he knew he was
flying through the air with his hat in his hand. Still holding
his arm extended, he landed in the deep puddle of muddy water in
the middle of the street, while the young lady threw up her hands
and fled.

[Illustration]

It is needless to say that Billy immediately disappeared down a
side street. Here he ran into a livery stable where a dog fight
had been going on in the back yard. Two ferocious bull-dogs, had
fought so wickedly that their jaws had had to be pried apart.

One of the dogs had a chain around its neck and its owner was
going to lead it off when one of the livery men saw Billy and
called out:

"Wait a minute Mr. Pride, here's a Billy goat I bet can lick your
dog. Let us turn them loose in the yard and have another fight."

"Why, man what are you talking about? My dog would make just one
grab at the goat's throat and kill him."

"I am not so sure of that," replied the man, "but I am mighty
sure he will lick your dog if he is the goat I think he is, for I
believe he is the trained goat from the circus."

"Let's have a fight," said the other men that were standing
around. "It will be great sport to see the goat lick the dog that
can whip every other dog in town."

"So you think the goat can lick my dog, do you? I'll bet one or
all of you twenty dollars that he can't."

"It is a go!" said two or three. Then the man that had proposed
the fight said: "It is all well enough to have a little fight for
fun but I hate to see your dog killed, as he may be."

"Oh, don't you worry about my dog. Leave all your worrying for
the goat."

All this time the dog had been pulling at his chain and straining
to get at the goat, while Billy quietly walked around inspecting
things, chewing anything he could find.

"Won't I fix that conceited dog!" said Billy to himself. So he
allowed himself to be driven into the back-yard. Here the men
formed a circle with Billy in the center; then the man unfastened
the chain from the dog's neck. With a rush he went for the goat,
who quickly stood on his hind legs, lowered his head and met the
dog's onslaught with his horns, running one of them into his
chest, which sent the blood spitting out. Then the dog tried to
get behind Billy for another charge but Billy wheeled and met him
again as before and no matter which way the dog tried to approach
him, Billy was always head foremost with his long, pointed horns
sticking straight out to meet him.

The dog was getting more and more furious at each failure and at
last he made a blind plunge at the goat, but, as before, Billy
was too quick for him and this time he sent the dog yelping back
to his master.

"Here! what do you mean by shutting our goat up?" they heard
someone say and turning around they saw one of the men from the
circus who had been sent out to look for Billy as it was nearly
time for the performance to begin.

"We did not shut him up. He walked in of his own accord; but you
should have been here a minute sooner and you would have seen
the prettiest fight you ever saw in your life, between your goat
and the bulliest bull-dog of the town."

"I am sorry I did not see it; but perhaps we can have another
sometime."

"Never!" said the dog's owner very emphatically. "I doubt if he
lives through this."

"Well, good-bye, boys; come and see Billy Whiskers perform in the
circus this afternoon and you will see as good a performance as
fighting, and I'll give all passes who bet on him this time.

"Billy, I would not have given much for your skin after the
ring-master got through with you if it had not been for this
fight; but now I think he will forgive you for the butt you gave
him this morning, since you whipped Mr. Pride's dog for he hates
Mr. Pride because he forbade him calling on his daughter."

[Illustration]



_What Billy Did on Thursday_


Thursday there was no performance as the circus was to break camp
and move to the next town where they were to take the train for a
large city. Here they would meet the rest of the circus which had
been divided up into small bands and sent into the country, like
the one Billy was now with. When they met in the city, all the
companies joined forces.

The elephant told Billy to wait and see what elegant performances
they gave when they were all together. "Why!" he said, "we have
three rings with acting going on in each one at the same time,
and all the performers wear their best clothes and try their best
to outshine each other; beside we have three or four times as
many animal side-tents as we do now.

"When we meet I will introduce you to my chum who is the oldest
and largest elephant in the circus business. He is a fine fellow
and tells a good story, and one could listen for hours to him
telling of his adventures and experiences while in the jungle and
traveling in this country. But it nearly makes him weep when he
tells of how he was once the pet elephant of a Prince of India
and how the Prince would never ride any other but himself when
hunting or riding in the royal processions. 'Only think of the
come-down,' he used to add, 'from having a Prince of the royal
blood on your back to a common circus rider in gaudy skirts! Then
my blankets and trappings were of velvet, studded with real
precious stones. Now they are velveteen with glass to imitate the
precious jewels. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! That I should ever live to
see this day.'"

Here the elephant's conversation was cut short by someone
screaming, "Fire, fire!"

"Where? where?" called Billy who was all excitement in a minute
and he started to run in the direction he heard the voice come
from, but alas for Billy! He forgot he was tied until he came to
the end of his rope and it gave him a quick jerk which sent him
head over heels, breaking the rope.

"Gee whiz! I nearly broke my neck. Blame their old rope!"

[Illustration]

"Fire, fire, fire!" called the voice again, followed by a laugh
and Billy, looking up, saw a green poll-parrot swinging on a rope
overhead, that commenced to call: "April fool, April fool!" as
loud as she could.

"How I do hate parrots and monkeys! I dare you to come down here,
you disagreeable, impertinent, pea-green, old maid of a bird!"
bleated Billy.

He had hardly gotten the words out of his mouth when something
struck him on the back and began to pull his hair out by the
roots. It was Miss Polly who had dropped like a torpedo and who
was screeching, pecking and clawing him at a great rate. She was
in a bad humor that day as they had forgotten to feed her her
accustomed crackers and coffee.

As soon as Billy got over his surprise, which was in a second, he
lay down and rolled. This knocked Polly off but the minute he
stopped she flew onto his back again and pecked him until the
blood ran. The second time she lit on his back he thought of a
way to get even. He saw the elephant's tub of water a little way
before him and with two bounds he was by its side and before Miss
Polly was aware of what was up, she found herself doused in the
tub, and when she came up from under the water there was no goat
in sight.

As Billy went out of the tent he ran into the animal keeper who
was just coming in.

"Ho, ho! Master Billy, not so fast. I was coming to look for you,
for we are about to start and you have a way of turning up
missing just when you are most wanted." As he said this he caught
hold of the piece of rope around Billy's neck that Billy had
broken when he took his somersault, and said: "Come along with
me. I am going to put you for once where you can't get out, no
matter how hard you bite, chew or kick."

"I wonder what he is going to do with me," thought Billy.

But he soon found out, for the man led him to a vacant cage that
a wild cat had died in the day before, and made him walk up an
inclined board into it.

"Heavens!" thought Billy, "I'll never get out of here unless I
die and am carried out like the wild cat was, and if I don't die
I know I will go crazy, shut up in a little cooped up place like
this, with only room enough to take one step and not enough to
turn around unless you turn yourself in sections."

"Well, Billy, how do you like being caged?" asked the animal
keeper.

"Yes, you vicious beast, you, how do you like being shut up where
you can't butt and send people flying into mud-puddles and chew
up their wigs, etc.?" asked the ring-master who had joined the
animal keeper.

"Oh, it is you, is it? Well, you just wait until I get out of
here and see where I will butt you next time, and the animal
keeper, too," bleated Billy, but neither of them understood what
he said.

When they left him alone Billy tried every way he could think of
to break out, but he could make no impression on the iron bars,
chew as he would,--in fact, he broke one of his teeth trying.
Then he tried butting out the ends of the cage, but it was of no
use. Next he stood on his hind legs and tried to push the roof
off with his long horns, but to no effect; so he lay down tired
and broken-hearted on the hard bottom of the cage and gave
himself up to the blues.

He was lying there quietly, apparently asleep, when a man brought
him a bundle of hay to eat, a bucket of water to drink and a
pitch-fork of straw to lie on.

Billy did not move when they brought the things, pretending to be
asleep, but he was rudely awakened out of his supposed sleep by
the man sticking the prongs of the pitch-fork into him to make
him get up so he could spread the straw on the bottom of the
cage. He felt too disheartened to eat, especially food which he
detested, but thought he would take a drink as he was very
thirsty, but at one smell of the bucket he turned up his
aristocratic nose for he detected the bucket had not been washed
since it had been used by some of the other animals for he could
smell and see their hairs on the rim; so he lay down more
disgusted than ever. Poor Billy's confinement was going to be
hard for him. He had roamed the fields and towns, master of
himself, too long to take to being shut up easily.

At last Billy fell asleep and only awakened when they hitched the
horses to the wagon-like cage he was in to draw it to the depot.
Just before they started he heard a man say: "Here, you forgot to
put up the sides on that cage with the goat in."

Then the man brought wooden sides and fastened them onto the cage
over the iron bars. This left Billy only a little iron barred
opening near the top, at one side, to get air through.

"I shall surely smother," thought Billy. "Oh, this is horrible! I
feel as if I were buried alive."

At that minute the horses started up and poor Billy went down on
his knees with a sudden jerk.

"How I wish Nanny was here to comfort me," thought Billy. "She
was always so patient and cheerful." How like a man that was for
Billy to forget all about Nanny while he was free and having a
good time, but the minute he was in trouble to think of her and
be willing to have her shut up if he could only see her.

After several hours of hard traveling they stopped, and Billy
knew they must be at the depot for he heard the engines whistling
and the bells ringing, and he was very glad of it for his knees
were all skinned from slipping on the floor from one end of the
cage to the other when they went up or down hill, for it was
impossible to stand, so he had to lay down and make the best of
it.

"I never pitied caged animals before," thought Billy, "but I did
not know what they had to endure or I should."

After a great deal of commotion, swearing and fussing on the part
of the men outside, Billy's cage was at last on board and the
train started.

"Mercy!" thought Billy, "aren't they going to give me a drink of
water or something fresh and cool to eat? Do they expect me to
eat that dried up, tasteless, weedy hay this hot day; and as for
the water, that got upset the first hill we went up. Oh, dear!
and to add to the rest of my troubles I have got a cinder in my
eye, along with this horrible dust that is blowing in that stuffy
little window and I know I am going to be smothered to death. Oh,
if Nanny were only here, to lick this cinder out of my eye! It
smarts so I wish I had hands instead of feet for once in my life
so I could get it out. I wonder if people ever think how
inconvenient it is not to have hands sometimes."

And poor old Billy commenced to cry softly to himself. It was a
good thing he did for he soon cried the cinder out and when his
eye stopped hurting, he got some of his spunk back again and
began to plan some way of getting out of his cage.

At twelve o'clock at night they reached the city and were driven
through the silent streets to a vacant lot where all the circus
bands were to meet. And here I will leave Billy until next
morning.

[Illustration]



_What Billy Did on Friday_


When Billy's little band of circus people joined the others they
found everything in order as they were the last company of the
six traveling bands to join the main one.

There was one huge tent with three rings in it where the
performances would be given; opening into this was another large
one where the animals were exhibited and branching out of this
were three others,--one where the horses and ponies were kept;
another used as the dressing room, and still another where the
circus people took their meals, while scattered around were ten
or a dozen side-shows.

The cage Billy was in had hardly been put in place when the sides
were taken off and he found himself in the large animal tent with
the cages arranged round the edge and his old friend the
elephant tethered just outside with the other elephants from the
different bands, and his elephant friend was talking to his chum,
the elephant he had told Billy about, that told such good
stories. Billy thought he must be telling one now for they were
both laughing, but you might have thought they were trumpeting
had you heard them.

Billy bleated to the elephant and he raised his head and looked
in all directions to see where Billy was but he could not see
him, until Billy told him where to look.

"Goodness gracious me! Is that you, Mr. Billy, shut up in that
cage? I never expected to see you in a place like that."

"Neither did I ever expect to find myself in one like this,"
Billy answered, "and what is more, I would rather be dead than
stay here. But I will get out yet, don't you fear."

"I bet you do, Mr. Whiskers, for you are a good one at getting
out of scrapes as well as getting into them. Let me introduce you
to my friend and chum, Prince Nan-ka-poo, as he is called on the
show bill."

After the introduction Billy's friend said: "Don't look so down
hearted. I will get the Prince to tell us one of his funny
stories so we can have a good laugh. He has just been telling me
a capital one."

But before he had time to tell it a man came along with a hose
and began to wash out Billy's cage and souse him with water,
squirting it in his eyes just to tease him, which Billy thought
was a little too much as it was like kicking a fellow when he was
down and could not help himself.

"Just wait, Mr. Man with the hose, until I meet you when I get
out of here, and if I don't make your body ache, then my name is
not Billy Whiskers. I am going to give you a butt and hook that
will send you half way up a telegraph pole!"

While he was fuming about this, another man came along and gave
him a nice, cool drink, and as he saw he had not eaten any of the
hay he gave him a bunch of carrots and a bundle of nice grass.
This Billy appreciated and said to himself: "That's a nice man.
I'll do him a favor some time if I ever get the chance."

Billy had not stopped eating when a man came along with a bucket
in his hand with something black in it and a large flat brush.
When he got to Billy's cage he commenced to unlock the door and
to Billy's surprise he climbed in and shut the door after him.

"Well, I wonder what is up now," thought Billy.

"I don't want to interrupt your breakfast, Master Billy, but this
job has to be done before the circus begins this morning. Just
go on eating while I turn you from an ordinary white goat into a
black one. Hereafter you are to be known as the wild goat with
three horns from Guinea. If you don't believe me, read the
printed sign outside tacked to your cage, but do not be alarmed,
this black stuff is not paint and it will wash off easily, for it
is only charcoal and some other mixture. You see our black goat
died and as we have it advertised, we are going to fix you up to
represent it and the people won't know the difference for the
public are easily fooled. And for your third horn--this came off
of a Mexican steer."

The man took from his pocket a long horn and glued it onto
Billy's head between his other horns, only with the curved point
forward instead of backward. How Billy wished for a mirror to see
himself when the man had finished!

"I must look like Satan, Mr. Windlass's goat," thought Billy.

Billy did not get fixed any too soon for the people now began to
crowd into the circus to see the animals before the performances
commenced and they passed around the ring before the animals'
cages, talking and giving them peanuts, pop-corn and apples. He
heard some one say when in front of his cage:

"Oh, my! Look at this queer looking goat with three horns--don't
he look fierce?"

[Illustration: "OH, MY! LOOK AT THIS QUEER-LOOKING GOAT WITH
THREE HORNS. DON'T HE LOOK FIERCE?"]

"Let's read the card on his cage and see what it says about him.
It says he was caught in the mountains of Guinea and that he is
very ferocious. He looks it, doesn't he? How would you like to
have him hook you?" Billy heard one little boy say to another.
"Isn't this funny, the card says he kills his prey with his two
sharp pointed horns and then hooks the other one into his prey
and carries it off."

"Is that what the card says? Well, if that isn't the biggest lie
I ever heard!" thought Billy. "I'll bet the ring-master made that
up, like the one about my being an astrologer. Oh, he is a dandy,
he is! But when I come to think of it, I don't mind if they do
fool the people, if they are so easily gulled as that; and I
guess I will help them carry it out by behaving fierce and
kicking around when anyone looks into my cage."

After the people had all passed into the main tent, the wind
began to blow a perfect hurricane and the rain came down in
sheets while one peal of thunder followed another in such quick
succession that one would hardly have time to die away before
another was upon it; rolling and booming like heavy pieces of
artillery. The lightning was so vivid and bright that it made
Billy wink at every flash.

Presently a fiercer, stronger volume of wind hit the big tent and
it collapsed burying all the people under it, while the same gust
swept on and picked up the tent Billy was sheltered in and
carried it off, upsetting cage after cage of animals as it flew
up and soared over their heads.

Billy's cage was among those upset, but before it went over the
wind picked it up, carried it a few feet and then dropped it,
smashing in the wooden side and setting Billy free. For once the
old saying came true: "That it is an ill wind that blows nobody
any good." With a swish of his stubby tail Billy was off down a
side street, and as he ran he could hear above the peals of the
thunder and the rushing of the wind, the lions roaring and the
elephants trumpeting for fear amid the confusion and excitement
of the collapsed tents,--the circus that Billy had escaped from
for good.



_Billy Finds Nanny_


As Billy trotted down the side street, the cyclone still raged
and blew loose boards and papers in every direction, but he kept
on until he found himself out of the town and on the high road.

"Why, how good it seems to get away from the smelly old circus
and be free again. Who cares for the wind and weather when one is
free? This rain will wash the black stuff off my coat that circus
fellow put on; and now I think of it, I'll just walk up to that
board fence and butt off this old horn that they glued to my
head: that will be the end of the Wild Goat from Guinea."

Suiting the action to the words, he walked up to the fence and
hooked the curved part of the horn over the rail, pulled back,
and the horn came off easily without pulling out any hair as the
rain had softened the glue. As it fell inside the fence, Billy
kicked up his heels, whisked his stubby tail, and started down
the road at a fast trot. As he ran, he made up his mind he would
find Nanny once more, even if he had to spend the rest of his
life looking for her. You know from past experience that if Billy
made up his mind to do a thing, that he did it; for Billy's
strong points were bravery, perseverance and stick-to-ativeness.
These are good qualities for boys and girls to have as well as
goats.

It was a good thing that Billy had these qualities, or he never
would have found Nanny again. For one whole month he hunted for
her, going up one road and down another, being stoned by boys and
chased by men as he tried to steal a meal out of their gardens.
Some times he wandered into a yard to get something to eat, and
they set the dogs on him, but this they always wished they had
not done, for he invariably turned and ripped the dogs open with
his long horns.

In this way he traveled, sleeping by the wayside in all kinds of
weather, until even he was beginning to get discouraged. When one
day he happened on a road that looked familiar to him, and the
further he traveled, the more familiar it became, until he came
to a bridge with a red house beside it. Then he knew where he
was for he recognized the house and the scenery around as the
place where the bridge had broken down when the elephant had
attempted to cross it. His joy knew no bounds for now all he had
to do to get to Nanny was to follow this road to the town and
then take another to the other side of town which would lead him
to his little wife Nanny.

When he thought of dear, patient, little Nanny, a tear rolled
down his cheek; but he shook it off in a hurry for the next
minute the thought came to him, what if Nanny had given him up as
lost and married another? The thought made him mad; and for three
or four miles he ran like a steam-engine, snorting with rage as
he went, and vowing to himself that if it were so, he would split
her new husband open with his long horns, as he had the dogs he
had met by the way.

In the meantime, while Billy had been away, poor, lonely, little
Nanny had never forgotten her old Billy, though all the young
Billy Goats in the herd tried to make her do so, and each and all
had wanted her to marry them, but she said "no" and remained
faithful to her Billy.

She had one thing to comfort her however, and that was two
beautiful little Kids that had been born to her some time after
the circus-man had taken Billy away. With these she spent all her
time, and they repaid it by being very fond of her; and it was a
beautiful sight to see the three playing together in the green
meadow down by the stream.

So Billy thought the next day, when, after traveling all night,
he at last came to the farm and looking through the fence saw
Nanny lying in the grass with the two little kids jumping over
her and kissing her nose.

"Two very fine looking kids," thought Billy. "I wonder whose they
are."

Then his old heart stood still for his next thought was: "She has
forgotten me, is married again and these are her children."

This thought made him feel sick and faint, and his knees shook
under him, so he dropped on the grass with his nose through the
rails of the fence, and there he lay for a long while, but he
never took his eyes off the three in the pasture.

"I will lie here and see if it is so," thought Billy, "and if it
is, I will go away and never let her know that I came back."

As he looked, old Satan, the minister that had married them, came
up to speak to Nanny, and Billy felt his blood beginning to boil
for he thought:

"If she is married to that old widower, and I am afraid she is,
for one of those kids is as black as Satan himself, I can't stand
it! I shall stay to make myself known just long enough to kill
him."

Soon, however, Satan walked off, as it was getting dark, and the
goats began to find cozy places for themselves for the night. But
Billy lay still and watched, though he was very thirsty and
hungry, not having eaten anything all day, as he had been too
anxious to get back to see if Nanny was married again.

He watched her wash the kids' little faces for the night with her
soft tongue and give them a good-night kiss on their little noses
before they cuddled down to sleep beside her. It made Billy groan
with lonesomeness to see it all, and he lay there broken in
spirit and wished he could die, and closed his eyes to shut out
the sight.

But he could not keep them closed. He had to open them to look
once more on Nanny's sweet, patient face. As he did so, he
noticed that the moon was just rising; and as it came up, Nanny
rose also and stepping carefully so as not to waken her babies,
she walked toward the fence where Billy was.

Closer and closer she came with her pretty, sweet face showing
plainly in the moonlight. Billy scarcely breathed, he was so
excited, wondering if she would recognize him, and what she would
say when she saw him.

She came straight to the fence and stuck her nose through the
rail just above Billy's head before she saw him.

When she did, her eyes dilated with surprise, and then with a
bleat of joy, she called:

"Billy! My Billy! Have you come back!" And she commenced to cry
as if her heart would break for joy.

No words can express Billy's joy when he felt her tears on his
face and her warm nose kissing his cold one, and all Billy could
say was, "My darling, you are not married to Satan after all, are
you?"

This made Nanny laugh and she called him a silly, old goose.

But what was the matter with Billy? He felt as strong and young
as Nanny herself, and had forgotten his thirst and weariness of a
few moments ago. Being only a goat, he did not know that
happiness is the greatest elixir of life yet discovered.

"Wait a second, Nanny. I can't have this old fence between us,"
and Billy backed off, gave a spring and was over the fence beside
Nanny in no time.

[Illustration]

"Oh! Billy, how good it seems to have you back again. Now I have
a great surprise for you. Come and see our two beautiful
children. One is as white as snow and her I call Day. The other
is as black as a coal, and him I call Night. They are twins, and
two smarter, healthier kids you never saw.

"Night is very mischievous and reminds me of you all the time.
Ever since you have been gone, I have walked to the fence every
night and looked and waited for you to come back and it nearly
broke my heart when night after night went by and you did not
come."

Billy and Nanny walked over to where their babies were, and Billy
assured her that they were the most beautiful kids his eyes had
ever rested on, and he felt himself swelling with pride as the
father of such handsome kids.

Nanny led Billy to the stream and while he was quenching his
thirst and eating a little of the sweet grass and mint that grew
on its bank, they told each other all that had happened since
they parted.

I will leave Billy and Nanny here, and my next book will be about
Day and Night, Billy and Nanny's kids.

THE END.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *





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