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Title: The Dogs of Boytown
Author: Dyer, Walter A.
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 "The Dogs of Boytown" ***

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Transcriber's note:
    Minor spelling inconsistencies, mainly hyphenated words, have been
    harmonized. Italic text has been marked with _underscores_. Bold
    text has been marked with =equal signs=. The original capitalization
    of words has been retained.



[Illustration: Romulus and Remus]



    THE DOGS OF BOYTOWN

    BY

    WALTER A. DYER

    Author of "Pierrot, Dog of Belgium," "Gulliver the Great,
    and Other Dog Stories," "The Five Babbitts at
    Bonnyacres," etc.

    [Illustration: Printer's logo]

    NEW YORK

    HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

    1918



    COPYRIGHT, 1918.

    BY

    HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

    THE QUINN & BODEN CO. PRESS
    RAHWAY, N. J.



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER                                   PAGE

        I  SAM BUMPUS AND HIS NAN                1

       II  SAM'S SHACK                          16

      III  ROMULUS AND REMUS                    33

       IV  IN ROME                              47

        V  THE WILLOWDALE KENNELS               61

       VI  ANXIOUS DAYS                         81

      VII  SOME OTHER DOGS, INCLUDING RAGS      96

     VIII  DOG DAYS                            120

       IX  THE TRAINING OF ROMULUS             135

        X  WILLOWDALE DOGS IN NEW YORK         152

       XI  THE BOYTOWN DOG SHOW                166

      XII  CAMP BRITCHES                       183

     XIII  THE PASSING OF RAGS                 199

      XIV  THE COMING OF TATTERS               215

       XV  ROMULUS AT THE TRIALS               230

      XVI  THE MASSATUCKET SHOW                245

     XVII  THE TEST OF REMUS                   265

    XVIII  ON HULSE'S POND                     280

      XIX  EVERY DOG HIS DAY                   293



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                  PAGE

    ROMULUS AND REMUS   _Frontispiece_

    ENGLISH SETTER                   7

    CHOW CHOW                       30

    ENGLISH BULLDOG                 56

    WHITE ENGLISH BULL TERRIER      64

    AIREDALE TERRIER                70

    POMERANIAN                      79

    PEKINGESE                       84

    GREAT DANE                      98

    TOY POODLE                     117

    IRISH TERRIER                  147

    BOSTON TERRIER                 179

    COLLIE                         202

    BEAGLES                        250

    OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG           271



THE DOGS OF BOYTOWN



CHAPTER I

SAM BUMPUS AND HIS NAN


There are misguided people in this world who profess to believe that
only grown-ups can fully appreciate the beauties of nature. Oh, the
grown-ups talk more about that sort of thing, to be sure, and know how
to say poetic things about winter fields and sunsets that are usually
locked in a boy's heart. But for the fullest appreciation of blue
skies and autumn woods and sandy shores, and the most genuine
enjoyment of broken sunshine on the forest floor, the smell of falling
oak leaves, and the song of the wind in the pines or rustling across
broad, rolling fields, give me a boy every time. I know, for I have
been one.

That is why I am going to begin this story about boys and dogs by
telling of a certain crisp October morning--a Saturday morning when
boyhood enjoys its weekly liberty. There had been frost the night
before and the air was still cool and very clear. It was like drinking
cold water to take long breaths of it. The golden sun was rising
high above the rounded hills to the east and the sunlight turned to
glistening silver the shreds of smoke that drifted lazily up from the
chimneys of Boytown in the little valley a mile or so away.

I must digress for a moment to speak of Boytown. You will not find it
on the map, for that is not its real name. It is not always wise to
call people and places by their real names in a book, and so I have
given this name to the Connecticut town where lived all the boys and
the dogs that I am going to tell about. It was a nice old town, just
about the right size, with a broad main street where the stores and
business buildings were, and in the upper end of which a narrow green
ran down the middle with a row of big elm trees in it. Most of the
people lived on the side streets, some of which ran for quite a
distance up Powder Mill Hill to the west. But most of the pleasant
places in this part of the world lay to the east. The railroad ran
along that side of the town, and beyond it were the brickyards and
Hulse's Pond. If you were in search of adventure, you skirted this
pond, went up over a long, grassy hill, and at length entered the
woods which stretched all the way to Oakdale, broken now and then by
farms and open stretches of hilly meadow or pasture land.

Here in the woods there was much to be seen on this fine October
day. There were squirrels everywhere, busy with the harvesting of
their winter's supply of nuts, and if you were lucky you might catch a
glimpse of a cottontail rabbit disappearing into a thicket, or a
grouse shooting off among the trees with a great whirring of wings.
The autumn foliage was at its finest, the deep green of pine and
hemlock mingling with the crimson of the oaks, the flaming scarlet of
the maples, and the translucent gold of the silvery-stemmed birches.
Above the trees the sky was that soft blue color that you like to lie
on your back and look at, with here and there fleecy little clouds
constantly changing into all sorts of odd and whimsical shapes. From
the branches of a tall pine a flock of sooty crows, alarmed by the
sound of human voices, arose all together and floated off over a
little clearing in company formation, cawing loudly.

If you had been one of those crows, you would have looked down at the
figures of two boys emerging from the woods. One was a slender lad of
about twelve, quite tall for his age, with straight black hair and
bright black eyes. The other, who was perhaps three years younger, was
so plump as almost to deserve the nickname of "Fatty." He had lighter
hair and eyes and there were freckles across the bridge of his not
very prominent nose. Both boys were dressed in their old clothes and
carried white cloth flour bags which already contained a few quarts
of chestnuts. They stood gazing with practised eyes at the tree-tops
around the little clearing.

"There ought to be some here, Jack," said the older boy. "The biggest
trees always grow near the edges."

"They're the easiest to get at, too," responded Jack.

They walked together around the margin of the clearing and at length
located a tree to their liking. With much boosting on the part of
Jack, the older boy at last gained the lower branches and was soon
making the brown nuts rattle down upon the leafy ground.

After they had stripped three or four trees of their treasure, Jack
threw himself upon his back and began squinting up at a hawk sweeping
high up in the blue sky.

"I'm tired, Ernest," he said. "Let's go over to the Cave."

"Oh, it's early yet," replied Ernest, "and we haven't got half a
sackful."

"We have twelve quarts at home," said Jack. "We don't need any more.
Besides, we haven't been to the Cave for two weeks. It rained so hard
last Saturday that it may need cleaning out."

"All right," said Ernest. "Come along."

Jack scrambled to his feet and together they set off into the woods
again. A walk of half a mile or so brought them to a brook which they
followed upstream until they came to a leaky dam of stones and logs
which they had built the previous spring and which held back enough
water to make a small pond above. This they called their Beaver Dam
and Beaver Pond, and in the sandy bank at one side was Trapper's Cave.

Beaver Pond lay just within the edge of the wood, and from the Cave
one's eyes commanded a view of an old, disused pasture, now grown up
to sumacs and blueberry bushes, which stretched up and over a long
hill that seemed to bear the rim of the blue sky on its shoulder. One
could sit unobserved in the mouth of the Cave, quite hidden by the
saplings and undergrowth of the wood's edge, and watch all that went
on outside, with the depths of the dark, mysterious, whispering forest
at one's back.

The Cave itself would hardly have housed a family of real
Cave-Dwellers. It was neither very large nor very skilfully built, but
it amply served the purpose for which it was intended. It was dug out
of the soft sand of the bank. Two boards in the ceiling supported by
two birch props did not entirely prevent the sand from falling in, and
every visit to the Cave was attended by housecleaning. Nevertheless,
it was a delectable rendezvous for adventurers.

At one side was a low bench built of fence boards and at the other a
soap box with a hinged cover, hasp, and padlock, which served as a
treasure chest and which contained, among other things, a hatchet, an
old and not very sharp hunting knife, a dozen potatoes, and a supply
of salt and pepper. At first the boys had attempted to build a
fireplace at the back of the Cave, with a hole cut through the roof to
the surface of the ground above to serve as a chimney, but it proved
unsuccessful, and a circular pile of stones in front, with a rusty
kettle supported on two forked sticks, now served as campfire and cook
stove.

The boys filled the kettle at the little pond, not because they wished
to boil anything, but because it made a fire seem more worth while.
Then they kindled a blaze beneath it, and when there were enough red
coals, they thrust four of the potatoes among them.

"Now for a good feed," said Ernest.

At length, when the potatoes were burned black on the outside, they
pronounced them done and drew them out of the coals. They broke them
open gingerly, for they were very hot, and disclosed the mealy
insides, not at all troubled by the fact that the edible portion was
liberally sprinkled with black specks from the charred skins. Adding
salt and pepper, and using their jackknives as spoons, they proceeded
to eat with a relish which their mother would have found it
difficult to understand.

As they were engaged in this pleasant occupation, Ernest suddenly rose
to his feet and peered out through the saplings.

"What is it?" demanded Jack.

[Illustration: English Setter]

"Sh!" cautioned the older boy. "It's a man. He's coming down the hill.
He's got a gun and a dog with him."

Jack arose and stood on tiptoe beside his brother. Together they
watched the approach of a strange figure--a tall, lanky, raw-boned
individual wearing a rusty old felt hat and with an old corduroy
hunting coat flapping about him. In his hand he carried a
double-barreled shotgun which appeared to be the best-kept thing about
him. Running ahead of him was a beautiful English setter, speckled
white with black markings. Her every motion was swift and graceful as
she ran sniffing from one clump of shrubbery to another. Sometimes the
man would give a peculiar little whistle, and then the dog would pause
and look up, and then dart off to right or to left in obedience to a
wave of the man's arm.

Suddenly the dog stopped and stood rigid as a statue, her tail held
out straight behind, one foreleg raised, and her neck and nose
stretched toward a patch of sheep laurel. The man stealthily
approached while the dog stood perfectly motionless with quivering
nostrils.

They were quite near the boys now. There was a sudden movement in the
sheep laurel, a whir of wings, and four or five birds rose swiftly
into the air and shot off toward the woods.

"Bang!" went the man's gun, and both boys jumped so that they scarcely
noticed a bird fall.

"Bang!" went the other barrel almost immediately, and another bird
fell fluttering to earth. Then the dog broke her point and brought the
birds back to her master in her sensitive mouth.

To tell the truth, the boys were a little frightened at this
gun-fire so close at hand, especially Jack, and they watched anxiously
as the man reloaded his gun. But the birds had disappeared and the man
started off in the direction they had taken. He whistled to his dog,
but a new scent had attracted her attention, and she trotted down
toward the brook and began sniffing the air.

"She smells our potatoes," said Ernest.

Jack forgot his fears in this new interest.

"Let's call her over," said he.

"Come here, sir!" called Ernest, making a kissing noise with his lips.
"Come here!"

The dog lightly leaped the brook and came slowly up the bank toward
the Cave, her tail waving in a friendly manner. Ernest scraped out a
bit of potato and held it out to her. She stood for a moment,
sniffing, as if in doubt. Then she came forward and daintily took the
proffered food. In a few minutes both boys were smoothing the silky
head, looking into the fine eyes, and talking to their visitor.

"Tryin' to steal my dog?"

They had not noticed the man's approach, he had stepped so softly, and
the gruff voice so close beside them startled them.

"Oh, no," protested Ernest, hurriedly. "She--we----"

The man's face was very solemn, but there was a humorous twinkle in
his eyes that somehow made the boys feel easier. The dog placed her
paw on Jack's arm as though begging for more petting.

"Won't you sit down?" asked Ernest, in an effort to be polite.

The man's face broke into many wrinkles and he laughed aloud.

"Don't know but what I will," said he, "if you ain't afraid I'll hurt
your parlor chairs."

It was now the boys' turn to laugh, and the ice was broken. The man
squatted down beside the fire as though glad of a chance to rest, and
the dog stretched herself out at his feet.

"I'm glad you didn't mean to steal her," said the man, "because then I
wouldn't have no one to find birds for me. Then what would I do?"

There seemed to be no answer to this, so Ernest asked him if he had
shot many.

"Five this morning," said the man, and tumbled the pretty dead things
out of his pockets.

"They're quail, aren't they?" asked Ernest, stroking one of them.

"Yep," said he, "Bob-Whites. They're runnin' pretty good this year,
too."

Something in the man's friendly manner inspired a sort of boldness in
young Jack.

"Don't you hate to shoot them?" he asked.

The man looked into Jack's frank brown eyes for a moment and then
moved a little closer.

"Say," he said, "I'll tell you a secret. I s'pose I've shot more birds
and rabbits than any man in this county, if I do say it, and I never
bring down a partridge or kill a chicken that I don't feel sorry for
it. I ain't never got over it and I guess I never shall. But it's the
only thing old Sam Bumpus is good for, I reckon, and it has to be
done. Folks has to eat and I have to make a livin'. I don't do it for
fun, though I don't know any finer thing in this world than trampin'
off 'cross country with a gun and a good dog on a fine mornin'. It's
my business, you see."

"Gee!" exclaimed Ernest. "I'd like that business better than
insurance, I guess. That's what my father is."

"Who is your father?" inquired Sam Bumpus. "You see I'm very
partic'lar who I know."

"He's Mr. Whipple. We're Ernest and Jack Whipple."

"Oh, you live down on Washburn Street?"

Ernest nodded.

"Well, that's all right," said Sam. "I guess you'll pass."

He seemed in no great hurry to be getting on. Taking an old black pipe
from his pocket he filled it from a greasy pouch and lighted it. He
took a few reflective puffs before he spoke again.

"What do you know about dogs?" he asked, abruptly.

"Why--not very much, I guess," confessed Ernest.

"We like them, though," added Jack.

"Well, that's half the game," said Sam. "There's two kinds of people
in this world, them that likes dogs and them that don't, and you can't
never make one kind understand how the other kind feels about it. It
just ain't possible. And if you don't like dogs you can't never know
dogs, and if you don't know dogs you're missin'--well, I can't tell
you how much."

"I've known Nan here," he continued, stroking the setter's head, while
she looked up at him with adoration in her eyes, "I've known Nan for
goin' on seven years, and I learn somethin' new about her every day. I
raised her from a puppy, broke her to birds, and lived with her summer
and winter, and I tell you I never seen a man or a woman that knows
any more than what she does or one that I could trust so far. That's
the thing about a dog; you can trust 'em. There's bad dogs and good
dogs, and no two is just alike, but if you once get a good one, hang
onto him, for you'll never find another friend that'll stick to you
like him."

The man seemed so much in earnest that the boys remained silent for a
time. Then Jack asked, "Can she do tricks?"

"If you mean sit up and roll over and play dead, no," said Sam. "I
don't believe in spoilin' a good bird dog by teachin' 'em things that
don't do 'em no good. But what she don't know about huntin' ain't
worth knowin'. It positively ain't."

For half an hour more Sam Bumpus told the boys of various incidents
that proved the sagacity of Nan and the other dogs he had owned. He
told how once, when a burning log rolled from his fireplace in the
night and set his little house on fire, a pointer named Roger had seen
the flames through the window, had broken his collar, plunged through
the mosquito netting across the window, and had wakened his master by
pulling off the bedclothes and barking.

"If that dog hadn't known how to think and plan, I wouldn't be here
to-day talkin' to you boys."

Suddenly he jumped to his feet.

"That reminds me," said he. "I've been sittin' talkin' here too long.
I've got to be about my business and your folks'll wonder why you
don't come home to dinner. Come, Nan, old girl."

The setter sprang up, yawned, and then stood ready for the next
command. Both boys patted her and then held out their hands to Sam.

"I hope we'll see you again sometime," said Ernest. "We like to hear
you tell about your dogs."

The man's tanned face seemed to soften a little as he shook hands with
the boys.

"Well," said he, "I guess you can see me if you want to. My social
engagements ain't very pressin' just now. I ain't got one of my
business cards with me, but you can just call anywhere in these woods
and ask for Sam Bumpus. The dogs'll know me if the men don't. So long,
boys," and he strode off down the bank with Nan dashing joyously
ahead.

"Good-by, Mr. Bumpus," called Ernest and Jack.

He paused in the act of leaping the brook and looked around, with the
twinkle in his eyes.

"Say," he called back, "if I ever hear you call me that again I'll set
the dog on you. My name's Sam, d'ye hear?" Then he slipped in among
the underbrush and was gone.

Talking animatedly about their new acquaintance and about dogs, the
two boys hastened to lock up their treasure chest and depart.

"Say, Ernest," said Jack, as they started off through the woods with
their bags of chestnuts over their shoulders, "the Cave is a great
place for adventures, isn't it?"

That evening, as the family were gathered in the living-room on
Washburn Street, and Mrs. Whipple was trying to repair the damage
that chestnutting had wrought in a pair of Ernest's stockings, the
boys asked their father if he knew Sam Bumpus.

"Bumpus?" he asked. "Oh, yes, he's that queer fellow that lives all
alone in a shack in the woods off on the Oakdale Road. An odd
character, I guess, from all I hear, but they say he's a wonderful
shot and people take their bird dogs to him to be broken. How did you
hear about him?"

The boys told their story, and then Ernest asked wistfully, "Papa,
when can we have a dog?"

"When your mother says you can," replied Mr. Whipple, with a smile.

Sorrowfully the boys went off to bed, well knowing what that meant.
For Mrs. Whipple was one of the people that Sam Bumpus had spoken
of--the kind that don't like dogs.



CHAPTER II

SAM'S SHACK


The next Saturday was gray and chilly, but the weather did not deter
Ernest and Jack Whipple from starting off early for the woods. They
carried their chestnut bags as a matter of course, but this time the
chestnut trees offered them very little enticement. The ones they knew
best had already been robbed of their nuts, and they soon wearied of a
somewhat profitless search. It was Jack who voiced what was in the
minds of both boys.

"I wish we could run across Sam Bumpus again," he said.

Sam had said they could find him in the woods, but the woods had never
seemed so extensive and it was like hunting for a needle in a
haystack. They arrived at Beaver Pond and the Trapper's Cave without
encountering any sign of the man and his dog.

Chiefly as a matter of habit they built a small fire in front of the
Cave and sat down beside it on their log seat to consider the problem
of finding an elusive hunter in the wide woods. They did not even open
the treasure chest.

"He said anybody could tell us where to find him," said Jack, "but
there's no one to ask. People don't live in the woods, do they?"

Ernest sat pondering. "Well," said he at length, "there's that old
woman that gave us the doughnuts one day. Do you remember? She had a
lot of white hens that went right into her house, and a little dog
named Snider that was so old he could hardly breathe."

"Oh, yes," responded Jack, brightening up. "Where does she live?"

"I don't know exactly," said Ernest, mournfully, "but I think it was
over that way. We might find her if we hunted."

The boys arose, put out their fire carefully, as all good woodsmen
should, and started off through the woods again. They must have
tramped for nearly an hour, but the very uncertainty of the outcome of
their quest gave it a touch of adventure and kept them going. At last,
after following various false clues, they came out unexpectedly and
abruptly into the clearing behind the old woman's house. The cackling
of fowls and the wheezy barking of little old Snider greeted them. As
they approached, the old lady herself appeared in the doorway of her
kitchen, clad in a faded blue dress and leaning on her stick. As soon
as she saw that it was boys her face broke into a smile.

"Come right in," she said, "and I'll get you some cookies."

The boys entered and sat in the kitchen chairs to eat their cookies.
They were anxious to be on their way in search of Sam Bumpus, but
politeness demanded that they linger a few minutes. Ernest inquired
after the health of old Snider. The widow shook her head sadly.

"He's failin'," she replied. "I can see he's failin'. His teeth is all
gone so he can't eat much and he has the azmy pretty bad. It's what us
old folks has to expect, I s'pose, but I don't know what I'll do when
Snider goes. He's all I've got now."

She wiped away a tear with the corner of her apron while the boys
fidgeted in their chairs. They felt sorry for her, but they didn't
know what to say on an occasion like this. Ernest reached down and
patted the little dog's head.

"Poor old Snider," he murmured. Somehow that seemed to comfort the old
lady.

At last Ernest found it possible to ask her if she knew Sam Bumpus.

"Lor', yes," she responded. "Queer old codger, Sam is, but the
best-hearted man in the world. Many a good turn he's done me. He was
here only this mornin' with some bones to make into soup for Snider."

"Where did he go?" inquired Ernest.

"He didn't say where he was goin', but I reckon if you was to go over
to the Poor Farm you could find out. He was headed that way."

The boys had ridden by the Poor Farm on several occasions but had
never visited it, and they felt a slight hesitation about doing so
now, but the woman assured them that the inmates were all quite
harmless and gave them directions for a short cut. Thanking her for
her kindness, and patting Snider good-by, they set off along a rutty
woods road and in a little while came to the Poor Farm. They crossed
an inclosed field where a small drove of hogs were feeding, and went
around to the front of the big white house.

They did not have to inquire for Sam Bumpus, for there he was, as
natural as life, sitting on the steps of the veranda with Nan
stretched out beside him. As the boys turned the corner of the house
he arose with alacrity and held out his hand to them.

"Well, well," he cried in his gruff voice, his face wreathed with
smiles, "this is a sight for sore eyes. Come right up and set down
here. I can't invite you in because this ain't my house. I'm just a
visitor here myself. I have a lot of old cronies here, and besides, I
want to get familiar with the place because I may have to come here to
live myself sometime."

He rattled on so that the boys didn't have a chance to answer. He
led them up on the veranda to an old man who sat in a rocking chair,
bundled up in a blanket, smoking a pipe carved wonderfully in the form
of a stag's head.

"These are my friends Ernest and Jack Whipple," he said to the old
man, "and they like dogs."

At this the old man took his pipe from his mouth with a thin,
trembling hand, looked at them out of pink, watery eyes, smiled, and
nodded his white head.

"This is Captain Tasker," Sam told the boys. "He don't talk much, but
he's forgotten more than you or I ever knew. Some day I'll tell you
about his dog that followed him to war. He's a Civil War veteran, and
he got wounded at Antietam. Show 'em your Grand Army badge, Captain.
See?" he added to the boys. "I told you I was partic'lar who I knew."

Nan got up and stretched herself and looked up at her master
inquiringly.

"Yes, old girl," said Sam, "it's time we was gettin' along." Then,
noticing that the boys looked disappointed, he added, "Come walk a
piece with us, won't you? I'd like to talk with you."

The boys readily acquiesced, and bidding good-by to Captain Tasker,
they set out with Sam along a leafy woods road, with Nan ranging
ahead. All about them the forest beckoned alluringly, and Sam told
them of spots where grouse and quail abounded, or where one might
reasonably expect to "jump" a rabbit.

Arriving at length at the Oakdale Road, Sam and the boys seated
themselves for a little while on a fallen log, while the former
concluded a discourse on bird dogs and hunting.

"Setters," he was saying, "are usually supposed to be the keenest and
pointers the strongest, but in my opinion it all depends on the
partic'lar dog. Nowadays I hear a good deal about the pointer bein'
the best dog, and I've owned some good ones myself. There's nothing
prettier than a strong, wiry pointer doublin' and turnin' in the brush
and freezin' to a steady point. But for my own part, give me a
well-bred Llewellyn setter; they're the humanest dog they is. They've
got the bird sense, too. Oh, you can't beat 'em."

"Is it hard to train them?" asked Ernest, who was of a practical turn
of mind.

"Not so hard, if you know how," said Sam. "They have so much brains
that they learn about as fast as you teach 'em. But you've got to know
how to go at it. I've seen good sportsmen make a mess of it. First
off, you've got to find out if they've got a nose. That's easy enough
if you live with 'em and watch 'em. Hide something they want and see
how quick they find it. You've got to take 'em when they're young,
of course. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, you know. But a good
bird dog has got it bred in him, and he picks it up quick enough if
you can only be patient and if you show half as much sense as the dog
does."

Then he told, in his own peculiar fashion, how he started with the
puppies, teaching them to retrieve objects such as sticks and balls,
and later dead birds that they must learn to carry gently without
using their teeth.

"Never let 'em think it's just a romp they're havin'," he continued.
"I like to play with puppies as well as anyone, but when I'm breakin'
'em I let 'em understand that it's business. Never let 'em have their
own way if they want to do the wrong thing, and never give 'em an
order without seein' that it's carried out if it takes all day. That's
where the patience comes in. Teach 'em to obey, and you can do most
anything with 'em."

"Do you whip them if they don't obey?" asked Ernest.

"Never whipped a dog in my life," said Sam, decidedly, "except a fox
terrier I had once. They're different. A whipped setter is a spoiled
setter, and if you can't make 'em do what you want 'em to without
whippin' 'em or bribin' 'em, you'd better get out of the business. Of
course, I sometimes give a puppy a piece of cookie or something to
show him he's done what he ought to, but I never use the whip. There's
other kinds of punishment that work better and don't break their
spirits. Just keep 'em from havin' what they want, and tease 'em into
wantin' it awful bad, and you can make 'em do most anything."

He then went on to explain his method of teaching a young dog to hold
his point in the field. He used a long rope tied to a stout collar,
and led the dog to a thicket where a dead bird lay. When the dog got
the scent and started to dash in, a sharp jerk on the rope restrained
him, and in time he was thus taught to stand rigid when the scent came
strong to his nostrils.

"That's one way to teach a dog not to chase chickens, too," he added.
"But a puppy born of trained parents gets the pointin' habit almost by
instinct, and retrievin', too. The main thing is to make him
understand that he's got to do the trick and not something else that
happens to pop into his head. After that, you can teach 'em to answer
your whistle or a wave of your hand and hunt just where you want 'em
to."

"Aren't they afraid of a gun at first?" asked Jack, who had never
learned not to jump when a gun went off.

"Some of 'em are," said Sam. "If a dog is gun-shy he's got to be
broken of that before he's any good in the field. Some folks say you
can never break a dog that's really gun-shy, but I never seen one yet
that I couldn't cure."

"How do you do it?" asked Ernest.

"Well, one way is to give the dog something he wants every time you
shoot off a gun. You can shoot over his dinner, and not let him have
any till he comes up to where you and the gun are. Keep at it, and
after awhile he begins to connect the sound of the gun with things
that he likes. Always take a gun when you go out for a walk with him,
and after awhile he will bark and act happy every time you take it
from the rack. The whole idea of breakin' a bird dog is to make him
think that the thing you want him to do is the thing he wants to do,
and never let that idea get away from him."

The boys continued to ply him with questions, for this was a subject
that they had never heard about before, and Sam willingly added more
details of the process of training. At length he took a big dollar
watch from his pocket and consulted it.

"Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" he exclaimed. "I didn't know it was gettin' so
late. I'll have to be hurryin' along. Say," he added, a little
wistfully, "come up to my house and see me sometime, won't you? I
ain't got anything very elegant up there, but I could show you
something in the line o' dogs and guns that might interest you."

"Oh, we'd love to, if our folks'll let us," said Ernest. "Where do you
live?"

Sam gave them careful directions.

"First and third Tuesdays used to be my days for callers, but nobody
came," said he, as he started up the road with Nan. "So now any old
day will do--if I'm home."

"How about next Saturday?" asked Ernest.

"Saturday it is," said Sam Bumpus, and with a wave of his hand he
vanished around a bend in the road.

Clothes do not make the man, and boys are apt to overlook certain
superficial peculiarities and defects which seem more significant to
their elders. In Sam Bumpus they saw only a man of good humor and
wonderful wisdom, a man whose manner of life was vastly more
interesting than that of the common run of people, whose knowledge of
the lore of woods and fields, of dogs and hunting, entitled him to a
high place in their estimation. They overlooked the externals, the
evidences of poverty and shiftlessness, his lack of education, and saw
only his native wit and shrewdness, his kinship with the world of
nature, and his goodness of heart. They considered it a piece of rare
 good fortune to have made the acquaintance of so wise and
sympathetic a person and they felt indebted to him for permission to
visit him, to hear him talk, and to glean from him something of the
knowledge that had come to him through experience.

To Sam Bumpus, however, the obligation seemed to be on the other side.
The boys did not know it, but Sam Bumpus was a lonely man and craved
human companionship. He lived like a hermit in his little shack in the
woods and his peculiarities had set him somewhat apart from the world
of men. He had no living relatives, and apart from the old lady in the
woods road, the inmates of the Poor Farm, and a few other
out-of-the-way people with whom he had been able to win his way
through his natural generosity and kindness, he had practically no
friends but his dogs. He understood dogs better than he understood
men, and, to tell the truth, he esteemed them more highly; yet he
sometimes hungered for human comradeship. That two frank-hearted,
unspoiled boys should seek him out and seem to desire his company gave
him a feeling of unaccustomed satisfaction, and he looked forward to
their promised visit fully as eagerly as did the boys themselves.

This proposed visit was such an unusual affair that Ernest Whipple
considered it advisable to speak to his father about it. Mr. Whipple
was reading his paper and made but little comment, but Mrs. Whipple,
who was in the room at the time, raised objections.

"Don't you think it might be unsafe for the boys to go away off there
alone?" she asked anxiously. "We don't know anything about this man.
He may have a bad influence on them, even if nothing more serious
happens to them. He's a very uncouth person, I should say, and hardly
a fit companion for little boys."

"Oh, I don't think he'll hurt them," said Mr. Whipple from behind his
paper.

But the mother wasn't satisfied, and after the boys had gone to bed
she again brought the matter up.

"Well, mother," said Mr. Whipple, "he probably isn't the sort of
guide, philosopher, and friend that we would have picked out for the
boys, but parents can't always do the picking. They are getting older
all the time, and sooner or later they must be thrown on their own
resources. Self-reliance doesn't come from constant protection and
hemming in. We can't keep them from striking up acquaintances, and
before we raise objections we should be sure that they're well
grounded; then we shall be able to make our objections count for
more."

"But I should think there was good ground for objection in this case,"
she persisted. "This man seems to be so crude and rough, if nothing
worse."

"Oh, he's all right," responded the father. "Don't think I'm careless
about these things. I've made some inquiries, and though I find that
Bumpus is unconventional and queer, as they say, and improvident and
uneducated, he's honest and law-abiding. So far as I can find out, the
worst thing he ever does is to give tobacco to the inmates of the Poor
Farm. I know people right here on Washburn Street that would do the
boys more harm. Just because he doesn't live like folks on Washburn
Street doesn't make him bad."

"Well," said Mrs. Whipple, doubtfully, "I suppose you know best, but
for my part I would much prefer to keep them safe home with me, for
some years to come."

"That's because you've never been a boy," said Mr. Whipple, with a
smile in his eyes. "I have, and it doesn't seem so very long ago,
either."

Mrs. Whipple was not satisfied, but she did not forbid the proposed
visit. The next Saturday, therefore, found them early on their way,
filled with joyful anticipations.

Sam's shack, when at last they arrived, proved to be a forlorn affair,
built of boards of different widths, some red, some white, and some
unpainted. The sagging roof was of corrugated iron and the only
chimney was built of cement pipe guyed up with wires. But to the eyes
of the boys it was a most attractive abode. Never before had they
seen such an interesting house. There must be an element of sport in
living in a cabin like this, they thought.

Sam heard their footsteps and met them smilingly at the door. He
ushered them at once inside, where he had a wood fire roaring in his
stove, for the day was chilly, and he promptly set before them glasses
of milk and hot corn bread. Though they had breakfasted only two hours
before, they fell to with gusto, for that is the way of boys.

"How do you like my corn bread?" asked Sam.

"M-m!" murmured Jack, taking a fresh bite.

"Do you bake it yourself?" inquired Ernest.

"Sure," said Sam.

"Gee!" exclaimed Ernest, looking up at him with admiration.

After they had fully refreshed themselves, Sam took them out through a
back door, from which they could see a number of small structures that
looked as though they had been made out of dry-goods boxes. The sound
of excited barking smote their ears, a chorus of canine cries and
yelps. Old Nan came bounding forward to greet the boys, for she knew
them now, and behind her loped a big pointer.

"This is Hillcroft Dick," said Sam, by way of introduction. "He's a
famous dog, a champion on the bench and at the trials. He ain't my
dog, though. I'm just boardin' him for a man that's gone to
California. I wish I owned him, though. He's a great dog."

[Illustration: Chow Chow]

The boys didn't understand the reference to bench shows and field
trials, but they gathered that Dick was some sort of nobleman among
dogs and they were visibly impressed.

"Now we'll go out to the kennels," said Sam.

There were seven dogs, all told, besides Nan and Dick. There were
two cocker spaniels, in the first place, that Sam said he was training
for a man in Oakdale.

"I like a bigger dog, myself," said he, "but there's a lot of good dog
wrapped up in these small bundles. They're smart as whips, and though
I've got to make 'em forget their foolin' and parlor tricks, I'll soon
have 'em able to find and retrieve. Sometimes you can even teach a
spaniel to point."

The other five were all Sam's dogs, another pointer, a little smaller
than Dick, and four beautiful English setters.

"They've got the best blood in the land," said Sam, proudly, "and
every one of 'em is letter perfect on his job. This is Rex and this is
Robbin and this is Rockaway."

The boys patted and spoke to each in turn, hugely enjoying this
introduction to Sam's family.

"And this one over here is the best of all," he continued. "That's
Nellie, own sister to Nan, and what she don't know wouldn't hurt a
flea. But I guess I'd better keep you away from her to-day. She ain't
feelin' very well."

After they had fondled and played with the dogs to their hearts'
content, the boys followed Sam again into the house, where they spent
the rest of the morning smoothing Nan's silky hair and listening to
wonderful stories about the sagacity of Nellie and the other dogs.

So pleasantly was the time employed that it was eleven o'clock by
Sam's big watch before they thought it possible, and as they had
promised to be home in time for dinner, they were obliged,
reluctantly, to take their departure.

As they turned the bend in the road they looked back and saw Sam
standing in his low doorway with Nan sitting picturesquely beside him.

"Come again soon," called Sam.

"We will," the boys shouted in reply.



CHAPTER III

ROMULUS AND REMUS


They did call again, once on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day and
again in December, when the woods and fields were white with snow and
they wore their warm sweaters and arctics. On each occasion they
became better acquainted with Sam's dogs and learned something new
about training dogs and finding game, and Sam showed them the
mechanism of his shotguns and rifles. He also explained to them his
method of curing the pelts of muskrats and the beautiful silver-gray
fur of the little moles that the people in charge of the Poor Farm
were very glad to have him trap in their garden. And as the boys came
to know Sam's dogs better they began to see how each differed from the
others in character and disposition and in the way they understood and
did things.

"Just like people," said Sam; "just like people."

Even Mrs. Whipple was unable to discover that the boys' manners had
been damaged greatly by their association with Sam Bumpus, though she
was surprised at their continuous talk about dogs and the strange
jargon, as it seemed to her, which they used in that connection. She
was no less surprised to find that her husband appeared to understand
the meaning of "bird sense" and "freezing to a point" and "retrieving"
and "blood lines" and "cross-breeding" and to be able to discuss these
mysterious matters with the boys.

"But what is the good of their filling their heads with all that
stuff?" she asked him.

"My dear," replied Mr. Whipple, "you may not believe it, but it is
just as much good as arithmetic and geography, and you're always
worrying because they don't take more interest in those things. There
are more ways than one to get an education."

But Mrs. Whipple only shook her head perplexedly.

It was on the day before Christmas that the great event occurred that
I have been leading up to. Ernest and Jack Whipple had returned from
an hour's coasting on the long hill over by the brickyard and were
standing on their sleds beside the front gate bemoaning the fact that
the snow had melted so badly and speculating on the surprises which
the morrow might have in store for them. It was vacation, and they
were considering how best to spend the long hours that would intervene
between dinner and time for lighting up the Christmas tree, when
Ernest stopped abruptly in the middle of a sentence and stood
looking up the street.

"Jack!" he exclaimed. "Look who's coming!"

Jack turned and beheld the familiar, lanky figure and long, easy
stride of Sam Bumpus. Both boys set up a yell and started on a run up
the street.

"Merry Christmas, Sam!" they cried. "Merry Christmas!"

"Merry Christmas, men," replied Sam, grinning.

One on each side of him, they escorted Sam down the street.

"Have you come to see us?" inquired Ernest.

"Why, no," said Sam. "I came to see the President of the United
States, but I found he wasn't in town, so I thought I'd drop in on
you. You haven't seen anything of him around here, have you?"

The boys laughed delightedly; they had come to understand Sam's kind
of joking.

"Well, you must come into our shack," said Ernest. "We'll introduce
you to mother, and father will be home soon."

"Well, I don't know as I'll exactly go in," replied Sam, doubtfully.
"Maybe your mother ain't asked to be interduced to me. Anyway, I can
talk better outside."

"Where's Nan?" asked Jack.

"I left her home, doin' up the dishes in the kitchen," said Sam.
"The city don't agree with Nan. It don't agree with me much, either. I
won't stop but a minute."

"Aw, come on in," pleaded Ernest.

But Sam shook his head. "No," said he, "I just want to show you
something, and then I must be goin'. Can't we go over to the barn?"

"Sure," said the boys, and led the way to the stable in the yard that
was now used only as a tool house and garage.

"We'll show you our carpenter shop," said Ernest.

But Sam did not stop long to examine the carpenter shop. There was
something very mysterious about his attitude which aroused the boys'
curiosity to top pitch.

"Come over here," said Sam, stepping toward an unused stall.

He began fumbling in his capacious pockets, and the boys crowded close
about him, expecting to see some unusual sort of game he had shot.
Suddenly before their astonished eyes there appeared two fuzzy,
dappled puppies, running and sniffing about the floor of the stall.

"Puppies!" cried the boys in unison.

"Yep," said Sam. "English setter puppies."

"Where did you get them?" demanded Jack, catching up one of the
sprawling little dogs in his arms.

"Nellie gave them to me," said Sam.

A look of comprehension began to dawn in Ernest's eyes. "So that's why
you wouldn't let us go near her kennel last time we were there," said
he. "She had them all the time."

Sam grinned. "They're pretty young to take away from their mother,"
said he, "but she has three more. She's a good mother, Nellie is. You
ought to see her chase the other dogs away. I had a job of it gettin'
these two weaned before Christmas."

"Why did you have to get them weaned before Christmas?" asked Jack.

"Now you jest think that over, and see if you can tell _me_," said
Sam.

Ernest had already half guessed the wonderful truth, but he didn't yet
dare to say what he thought.

"Don't be afraid of 'em," said Sam. "They won't bite--or leastways,
not serious. Besides, they're your own dogs."

"Our own dogs?" gasped Jack in astonishment, the glad light beginning
to break in upon him.

"Sure," said Sam. "What else would they be here for? I thought Santa
Claus might happen to forget you, and so I brought 'em down."

"Oh!" cried Ernest. "Christmas presents! To be our very own dogs! I
guess none of the other boys will have such fine presents as these,
Jack."

But Jack was speechless with joy.

"Have they got names?" asked Ernest.

"Sure," said Sam. "I told you how I name all my dogs with names
beginning with the same letter. All my own puppies, I mean. It's for
good luck. There's Rex, you know, and Robbin and Rockaway. These two
are Romulus and Remus and they're twins. This one with the black ear
is Romulus, and this one with the little map of Africa on his side is
Remus. That's how you can tell 'em apart."

"Which is mine and which is Ernest's?" inquired Jack, at last finding
his voice.

"Well, now, I hadn't thought of that," confessed Sam. "Suppose you
draw lots for 'em. Here, I'll hold these two broom straws so you can't
tell which is longest. You each draw one, and the one that gets the
longest straw can have first choice of the puppies. Is that fair?"

The boys agreed to the plan and drew the straws. Ernest's proved to be
the longer one.

"Well, he's older, anyway," said Jack. "Which one do you choose,
Ernest?"

"I'll take Romulus," said Ernest promptly, having noted that the one
with the black ear was a shade the larger of the two.

"All right," said Jack, "and Remus is mine." And he asserted stoutly
that he would have chosen Remus anyway.

"That's good," said Sam. "Then you're both satisfied. Grown people
would have made more fuss about it, I'll warrant you.

"Well, I must be steppin' along," he continued. "Take good care of the
puppies, because they're valuable. Remember that they're used to
sleepin' close to a warm mother and see that they have a good bed. I'd
put some rags in a box for 'em if I was you. Let 'em have fresh air
and sunshine and a chance to stretch their legs, but don't let 'em get
wet or chilled through and put their bed where they ain't no draughts.
Remember they ain't got their warm coats yet.

"Give 'em a saucer of milk with the chill taken off, six times a day,
and break a little bread into it at supper time. In a few weeks you
can cut down to three meals a day, with more solid food, but I'll be
down to see you before then, if you don't get up to see me, and I'll
tell you just how to manage. Let me know if you have any trouble of
any kind, but I guess you won't."

The clicking of the front gate announced the return of Mr. Whipple to
his noonday meal. The boys ran to the stable door and shouted,
"Father! Oh, father, come see what we've got for Christmas!"

They dashed toward him and dragged him by main force to the stable.
But when they got there, Sam Bumpus had mysteriously disappeared,
without giving the boys a chance to thank him or to wish him another
Merry Christmas.

Mr. Whipple examined the puppies with interest and watched their
clumsy antics with amusement. Like most people he could not resist the
charm of a wet-nosed, big-footed, round-bellied, fuzzy little puppy.
Presently, however, a look of doubt came over his face.

"What do you propose doing with them?" he asked.

"Why, having them for our dogs," said Jack, surprised that his father
should ask so obvious a question.

"I mean, where do you plan to keep them?"

"Why, in our room, I guess," said Ernest.

But Mr. Whipple shook his head doubtfully. "I don't imagine they've
been taught yet how to behave themselves in the house," said he. "And
anyway, I don't believe your mother will want them there. She doesn't
like dogs, you know."

"Aw, she wouldn't mind little bits of soft dogs like these," protested
Ernest.

"Well, you can try it and see," said Mr. Whipple, "but I wouldn't get
my hopes up too high, if I were you."

Mrs. Whipple did object quite decidedly, and for a time it looked as
though Romulus and Remus were unwanted guests in that household and
that their young masters would be forced to part with them. Tears were
shed, but of that we will say little. At last Mrs. Whipple was
persuaded to grant a truce in order that the Christmas Eve festivities
might not be entirely spoiled. Besides, it was too late now to take
the puppies back to Sam Bumpus, and even Mrs. Whipple was not
hard-hearted enough to think of merely putting them out into the cold.
The upshot of it was that, Delia having been given the evening off,
Romulus and Remus were banished to the kitchen for the night, with a
bed prepared in a box and another box of sand placed hopefully near
by. The boys insisted on serving their supper in two separate saucers
with the idea that each would recognize his own and observe the rights
of the other.

Occasional stealthy visits to the kitchen that evening disclosed two
remarkably wakeful and active puppies engaged in unexpected
explorations, but at last they curled up together in their new bed,
two innocent little balls of fluff, and Ernest and Jack bade them
goodnight with much ceremony.

On Christmas Day there was trouble from the start. In fact, it was one
of the liveliest Christmas Days in the history of the Whipple
household. In the first place, when Delia came back early in the
morning to get things started for the Christmas dinner, she
discovered the two little strangers in her kitchen, and promptly made
known the fact that they were puppies whose manners were not at all
what they should be. Mr. Whipple averted a domestic storm by taking
the puppies out into the yard, where he had his hands full to keep
them out of the snow.

By this time the boys had finished the examination of their bulging
stockings and the larger contributions of St. Nicholas which stood
beside the fireplace, and bethought themselves of Romulus and Remus.
They dashed pell-mell out into the yard where their father was
pondering what he should do with them next. The boys promptly solved
this problem by picking up the puppies, each taking his own, and
carrying them forthwith into the house.

Mrs. Whipple was in a good humor that Christmas morning, and she
really wanted her boys to be happy all day, so although she added one
admonition to another, she allowed the boys to play with the puppies
in the sitting-room. They would have to part with them soon enough,
she thought, and meanwhile they might as well have as much fun as they
could.

But as the day wore on her good nature and kind intentions were sorely
tried. Romulus and Remus appeared to think that the house was some
sort of hunting ground especially provided for little dogs, and that
it was their duty to pursue, worry, and kill every sort of strange
creature they could find. Evidently they were imaginative puppies, for
they discovered enemies in overlooked corners of the room, on closet
floors, and everywhere. These enemies might be the discarded paper
wrappings of Christmas presents, or they might be perfectly good balls
of darning cotton. It mattered not to Romulus and Remus so long as
their primitive impulse to catch and slay was satisfied. They were
very bloodthirsty little dogs.

But it ceased to be a joke, even to the boys, when Mrs. Whipple, for
awhile put off her guard by a period of unusual quiet, discovered
Romulus and Remus engaged in the joint pastime of reducing to small
woolly bits a new gray felt slipper which she herself had presented to
her husband that very morning. Hastily she cleared out the bottom of a
closet, thrust the puppies inside, and ruthlessly closed the door,
deaf alike to the piteous little squeaky whines of Romulus and Remus
and the louder protests of Ernest and Jack.

"Now you see what they've done!" cried Mrs. Whipple, holding up the
forlorn and tattered remnants of the slipper. "I guess this will about
finish it. Wait till your father comes home."

Mr. Whipple had gone out for a little while that afternoon, and the
boys awaited his return without much optimism. When his key was at
last heard in the latch they looked at each other with eyes big with
apprehension.

Somebody had given Mr. Whipple a big cigar, and a lot of people had
wished him Merry Christmas, and he was in a very jovial mood indeed.
Mrs. Whipple and the boys expected to see this mood suddenly change
when he observed the ruined slipper.

Mrs. Whipple handed it to him without a word. He took it, examined it
carefully with a puzzled expression, and then (strange to relate)
began to grin. (I wonder if the fact that Mr. Whipple detested felt
slippers could have had anything to do with it.)

The grin broke into a hearty laugh, and Mr. Whipple sank into a chair,
still holding the slipper before him.

"Well," said he, "they certainly made this look like a last year's
bird's nest. My eye! I should like to have seen them at it. The little
rascals! How did they ever escape your eagle eye, mother?"

But Mrs. Whipple did not reply. Two red spots glowed in her cheeks and
her eyes were snapping. She turned and left the room. Mr. Whipple
puffed thoughtfully at his cigar for a moment and then rose and
followed her, leaving the boys to engage in whispered conjectures as
to the outcome of the affair.

I don't know what Mr. Whipple said to his wife in the other room,
but he doubtless apologized for his ill-timed mirth and then talked
over certain things with her. The upshot of it all was that a
compromise was reached in that household. It was decided that Ernest
and Jack might keep the puppies they had so set their hearts upon
provided they were kept entirely away from Mrs. Whipple and were not
permitted to intrude themselves upon her affairs. The boys must assume
entire charge of them and be responsible for their actions, must feed
and care for the dogs themselves without bothering their mother,
paying for their food out of their own earnings and savings, and must
on no condition bring them into the house. That was the ultimatum;
Mrs. Whipple vowed that she would never allow another dog to enter her
doors.

"It's up to you, boys," said Mr. Whipple.

Strangely enough, the boys did not feel that these restrictions
imposed great hardship. In fact, it gave them a sense of pride and not
unpleasant responsibility to be given sole charge of Romulus and
Remus. Nothing, indeed, could have suited them better. And they were
so relieved to find that they were not to be deprived of their new
possessions after all that they were quite excitedly happy.

The only question that now seriously concerned them was to find a
warm, dry place to keep the puppies in during the cold weather,
while they were still so delicate and helpless. It was here that their
mother came to their rescue. Having won her main point about keeping
the dogs out of the house, she was mollified, and perhaps her
conscience troubled her a little. She was really a very tender-hearted
woman, and it occurred to her that her ultimatum might be the cause of
real suffering on the part of the puppies. So it was she who sent for
a carpenter and had him make a sort of room out of one of the old
stalls in the stable, quite tight against draughts, and with a door in
the front for convenience.

When Mr. Whipple learned of this he laughed and patted his wife on the
shoulder. "I always knew you were a cruel monster," he said.

He inspected the new abode of Romulus and Remus and expressed his
approval.

"It's the best thing in the world for them," he said to the boys.
"They will be really better off here than in a heated house. They'll
grow up sturdier and stronger. They only need to be protected against
draughts and dampness, as Bumpus said. But you mustn't forget to keep
both doors closed and to warm their milk and water a little, while
their stomachs are still tender. They'll curl up close together and
never mind the still, dry cold. They'll be all right here."



CHAPTER IV

IN ROME


Furnishing and decorating the new home of Romulus and Remus proved to
be a most enjoyable task. They took a good-sized box over to the
planing mill and got it filled with sawdust, and dragged it home on
Ernest's sled. They swept out the old stall carefully and sprinkled
the floor liberally with sawdust, holding the rest in reserve, so that
there might always be a clean, fresh supply. Housekeeping was thus
made easy by simply hoeing out the old sawdust.

For a bed they set a soap box on its side, put in a thick layer of
straw, and tacked a piece of old carpet loosely over it so that it
would be soft and yet the puppies could not scratch it out. They
bought two enameled tin dishes, one for food and one for water, for
they discovered that the puppies did not understand the system of each
having his own. They nailed bits of wood to the floor to hold the
dishes so that they would not be pushed about and overturned. The
puppies enjoyed all this activity immensely, making laughable
efforts to help, and only wailed and wept when their young masters
left the room.

When it was done, the boys surveyed their handiwork with immense
satisfaction, but Jack would not be satisfied until they had tacked to
the wall several pictures of dogs clipped from papers and magazines,
for Jack insisted that the place must be made homelike.

They had read somewhere about the original Romulus and Remus of
history, and so they named the apartment Rome. They thought Sam Bumpus
would approve of this since it began with the letter R. Then they
nailed an old horseshoe to the door for luck, called it a day, and
knocked off.

The next thing to consider was the education of the puppies, and here
the boys felt somewhat at a loss. Romulus and Remus didn't seem to
understand a word of English, and the boys couldn't speak Latin. All
attempts to secure the prompt obedience that Sam had advised ended in
utter failure. Romulus and Remus were very willful and headstrong
puppies. Further advice from Sam seemed desirable.

Furthermore, about the end of the second week, both puppies appeared
to be ailing. In spite of plenty of milk they had grown thin, and
Romulus appeared to have trouble with the action of his hind legs.
Remus seemed to be chiefly afflicted with itching, and had worn a bare
spot under each foreleg.

Ernest and Jack became alarmed, and their father could not seem to
tell what the trouble was. Various things prevented the boys from
making the trip to Sam's shack, and besides they wanted him to take a
look at the dogs. They had noticed his free delivery mail box and so
Ernest sent him this brief summons on a postal card:

    DEAR SAM:--

    Romulus and Remus are sick and we don't know what to do.

    Could you come down some day after school and see them? Also we
    want to ask you some things about disaplining them.

        Yours truly,

          ERNEST AND JACK WHIPPLE.

Sam did not fail them. A couple of days later he appeared at the
Whipple gate and gave the low whistle that he used with Nan. The boys,
humoring his desire not to go into the house, led him at once to Rome.

"Well, now," said Sam, inspecting the puppies' home with evidences of
approval, "this is quite a palace for the little princes. Some day I
s'pose they'll have hot and cold water, electric lights, and a
doorbell."

Then he proceeded to examine the puppies while the boys looked on
anxiously.

"Hm," said he at length. "Just as I expected. Nothing but worms."

"Worms?" echoed the boys in chorus.

"Sure," replied Sam. "Most all puppies get 'em sooner or later, and
sometimes they do a lot of harm if you don't get rid of 'em. But we'll
get rid of 'em all right. Get a pencil and paper and write down what I
tell you to get at the drug store and the directions."

When they reappeared with the necessary articles, Sam continued:
"There's several things that'll take care of worms, but the best and
surest is santonin and calomel. Write that down."

Ernest wrote as Sam spelled the words. It seemed to be much more of an
accomplishment to be able to pronounce and spell such words than
fulfilment or handicraft.

"Tell the druggist," said Sam, "to make you up half a dozen pills with
half a grain of calomel and half a grain of santonin in each one. For
big dogs we make 'em one grain each. To-morrow mornin' give the pups a
little milk and then don't feed 'em again till after they've been
dosed. About noon give 'em each a pill, and then, a couple of hours
later, give 'em each a teaspoonful of castor oil. A couple of hours
after that, feed 'em again, and I'll guarantee they'll be all right,
though you may have to do it all over again in a couple of months. Big
dogs have to fast longer and have to have a tablespoonful of castor
oil."

"How do you give them the medicine?" inquired Ernest, looking at the
squirming puppies doubtfully.

"Easy enough when you know how," said Sam. "I'll show you. Pick him up
like this and take hold of his nose, pushin' his lips between his
teeth with your thumb and fingers. He can't bite and he has to open
his mouth. Of course, with a bigger dog it's harder if he don't want
to stand still. Then take a pill in your other hand and put it down
his throat as far as you can reach. Then shut his mouth and hold his
head up till he has to swaller. He'll never know what went down. It's
the same way with the castor oil, only you'll have to get Jack to hold
the spoon and put it in when you give the word. Put it way down in,
Jack, and don't get excited and spill it. Get a spoon and I'll show
you how easy it is."

Jack ran for a spoon and Sam illustrated with a spoonful of water.
Then the boys tried it until they felt themselves sufficiently expert.

"There's a way of pourin' medicine into the side of a dog's mouth
outside his teeth," said Sam, "but he's apt to spill some of it
before he gets through. Besides, he gets the taste of it that way, and
may run from the sight of a spoon or a bottle ever after. I like my
way better."

He looked at his watch and announced that he must be going.

"I'll look in on you again one of these days," he said, "but I know
they'll be all right if you do like I said."

"And you like Rome, don't you?" asked Jack.

"Rome?" repeated Sam.

"We named it that because Romulus and Remus were Romans," explained
Ernest.

"Yes, it's a mighty good place for them," said Sam. Then he considered
a moment. "Do you expect me to get down and roll in the sawdust and
try to bite things?"

The boys laughed at the idea, though they didn't exactly know what he
meant.

"Why?" asked Ernest.

"Because I've always been told that when you're in Rome you must do as
the Romans do," said Sam, and went away laughing silently.

The boys followed Sam's instructions to the letter, and when he came
again a week later the puppies were as healthy and lively as crickets.

"Now," said Ernest, "we want to ask you about training them. We
forgot about that the other day."

"You don't expect to go gunnin' with 'em for a few days, do you?"
asked Sam.

"No," said Ernest, "but we want them to learn to come when we call and
do what we say."

"Well," said Sam, "all it needs is patience. Keep talkin' to 'em and
the first thing you know you'll find they understand words. Then try
to make 'em do what the words mean. Remember they're only babies yet
and be patient with 'em. Keep at it until they answer to their names.
Don't be discouraged. Of course, it'll be harder gettin' 'em
housebroken if you don't let 'em into the house, but I'll guarantee
you'll do it.

"It ought to be about time to cut down to four meals a day now, and
give 'em shredded wheat or puppy biscuits. And now I'm here, I might
as well give you a little advice about feedin' in gen'ral. You'll
remember it all later. In another month you can cut down to three
meals and maybe add a little chopped meat and gravy at night. Keep
that up till they're six or eight months old, and then you can begin
to feed 'em like grown dogs.

"In feedin' dogs," he continued, "remember they're like humans. They
ought to have meat and grain and vegetables to get all they want to
build 'em up and keep 'em healthy. Some dogs is very finicky and
won't eat vegetables, but you can learn 'em to eat right if you begin
right. A grown dog don't need but one meal a day, near night, but
sometimes a dog gets so hungry that he overeats or bolts his food, and
then it's a good plan to give him a little breakfast, too. Bones they
can have any time. Bones amuse 'em and help keep their teeth and
digestion in good shape. A good rule is to give a dog a little bread
and milk for breakfast, a bone without too much meat on it about noon,
and a good dinner at night, with all sorts of things in it. Get shin
of beef or some other cheap meat at the butcher's and boil it good.
Save the bone and the soup. Cut the meat up in small pieces, mix it
with bread or rice and any vegetables left over from the
house--onions, cabbage, carrots, or anything but potatoes. They ain't
very good for dogs. Mix the food all up together and moisten it with
the soup, but don't have it too wet. Stale bread is better for 'em
than fresh bread. Never give 'em chicken or rabbit bones that may
splinter and injure 'em inside. Don't give too much pork or fat of any
kind. Don't give 'em much candy or sweet stuff. Some folks bake bread
or cakes specially for dogs, but if you do that, don't use much corn
meal. It's too heatin' in summer and it's apt to cause skin trouble.
If anything seems to disagree with 'em, like baked beans, or sweet
corn, or rice, cut it out; you can tell. Last of all, always keep
plenty of clean, fresh water where they can get it. A thirsty dog is
never happy."

These and other instructions the boys obtained from Sam Bumpus from
time to time, and as the days went by they were pleased to see their
dogs growing bigger and stronger. Slowly, too, they began to learn the
meaning of things and to obey their masters' voices. Raising dogs
proved to be the most fascinating thing that Ernest and Jack Whipple
had ever undertaken.

By February they were very proud of their charges and anxious to show
them off. Consequently they welcomed a visit one Saturday morning from
Harry Barton, a chum of theirs. Harry appeared unannounced and
accompanied by his big, bow-legged English bulldog, Mike. He went
directly to the barn, from which issued the voices of the Whipple boys
and their dogs, and entered Rome. The unexpected appearance of Mike
startled Jack, and he picked Remus hastily up and held him in
protecting arms. But Harry only laughed.

"What you 'fraid of?" he inquired. "Mike wouldn't hurt a kitten. He
looks ugly and that's what scares tramps away, but he never bit
anything. You ought to see the baby walk all over him."

"Come on in, then," invited Ernest.

Mike went slowly up to Romulus and sniffed at him noisily. At first
the puppy was frightened, but finding that he was not attacked he
made one or two playful little lunges at the bulldog and then stood
off and barked shrilly at him, Remus joining in the chorus and
struggling to be set down.

"They've got spunk, all right," said Ernest, proudly.

[Illustration: English Bulldog]

Mike sniffed at Remus also, then yawned in a bored sort of way,
waddled out of Rome as though his years and dignity forbade his
association with such frivolous company, and thumped down on the floor
outside. All three boys laughed.

"Well, what do you think of 'em?" Ernest asked presently. "Some dogs,
eh?"

"Oh, they'll prob'ly be all right when they grow up," said Harry,
unwilling to concede too much. "They'll have to grow a lot, though,
before they know as much as Mike."

"But a bulldog can't hunt like a setter," said Ernest, flying to the
defense of his breed.

"Who wants to hunt?" demanded Harry. "Hunting isn't all a dog's for,
is it? A bulldog's a better watchdog than a setter."

Ernest, not knowing whether this was so or not, made no reply.

"But aren't they cunning, Harry?" asked Jack.

"Oh, sure, they're cunning," said Harry, satisfied that he had scored
his point. "Can they shake hands yet?"

"Not yet," said Jack.

"Mike can shake hands," said Harry, "and take the mail from the
postman, and do lots of things."

"But he can't hunt," insisted Ernest, returning to the attack.

"I'd rather have a bulldog than a setter, any day," said Harry. "Why,
the bulldog is one of the best kinds of dogs. It's an older kind than
the setter. They used them in England for fighting bulls hundreds of
years ago. A bulldog is brave and faithful, and he sticks to things.
He isn't a flyaway kind of a dog."

"But they're so homely," objected Jack, glancing out at Mike.

"Ho," cried Harry, "who ever heard of a pretty bulldog? We don't want
'em pretty. Mike's just like a bulldog ought to be, thick-set,
muscular, with wide chest, elbows set far apart, and undershot jaw.
See?"

It sounded very much as though he were reading it out of a book, and
the other boys were much impressed. Ernest found himself wondering
where Harry had picked up his dog lore.

"What do you know about setters?" demanded Harry.

Ernest, in the face of superior wisdom, admitted that he didn't know
very much.

"Well, you ought to," said Harry. "What's the use of having dogs if
you don't know all about them?"

"Sam Bumpus has told us a good deal about training and hunting," said
Jack.

"Yes, but what do you know about the breed, where it came from and all
that? Do you want to find out?"

"Sure," said Ernest.

"Well, I'll tell you where you can find out," said Harry. "I know a
man that knows more about dogs than anybody else in the world, I
guess."

"Who is he?" demanded Ernest.

"Did you ever hear of the Willowdale Kennels?" asked Harry.

Ernest was forced to admit that he had not.

"Well, they're over at Thornboro," said Harry. "They have twenty-eight
dogs there. Mr. Hartshorn owns them, but the man that takes care of
them is Tom Poultice. He's an Englishman, and he used to have charge
of kennels in England once. He knows all about collies and greyhounds
and--and every kind of dogs there are."

"I bet he doesn't know more about setters and pointers than Sam Bumpus
does," said Ernest, loyally.

"Bet you a hundred dollars he does," said Harry.

"Bet you a thousand he doesn't."

The bidding bade fair to be unlimited, and though the millions and
billions and trillions remained to be called upon, Harry desisted.

"Tell you what I'll do," said he. "I'll take you over there and then
you can see for yourselves."

Ernest and Jack promptly forgot their controversy with Harry and
accepted his proposal with animation.

"And can we see all those dogs?" asked Ernest.

"Sure," said Harry.

"How many did you say there were?"

"Twenty-four besides four puppies."

"Whew!" Jack exclaimed.

"When can we go?" asked Ernest.

"Why, this afternoon, if you want to. It's over five miles to
Thornboro, but we can take the 2:10 train and be there in no time. You
come along by my house after dinner and whistle," said Harry.

"Bully," said Ernest, and Harry turned and walked jauntily out of the
stable with old Mike lumbering at his heels.



CHAPTER V

THE WILLOWDALE KENNELS


As Harry Barton had said, it was only a short run on the train to
Thornboro. The three boys disembarked at the station and walked up a
winding, muddy road, for the sun was gathering strength and the snow
had been melting fast. The fields and hillsides lay brown and dry, but
not uninviting. It was a glorious day to be out of doors, especially
upon such a quest.

They came at length to an entrance in a privet hedge and passed up a
long driveway with maple trees along both sides. At the end of it they
could see a large brick house with white pillars along the front.

"My, but this is a big place," said Ernest.

"Sure," said Harry. "Mr. Hartshorn is a rich man. If he wasn't, how do
you s'pose he could keep so many dogs and hire a man just to take care
of them?"

"What does he do with so many?" inquired Jack, to whom the care of one
small puppy seemed a considerable responsibility.

"Oh, he shows them," was Harry's somewhat vague explanation. "He takes
prizes with them at dog shows. Some of them are champions. He breeds
them, too, and he sells the puppies he doesn't want to keep. I guess
he makes a good deal of his money that way."

"What kind of dogs are they?" asked Ernest.

"Mostly Airedale terriers and white bull terriers," said Harry. "Not
common bull terriers, like Frank Symonds's, but the finest kind, all
white."

As they neared the house, Harry led them into a path through the
shrubbery which brought them at last around to the rear, where there
was a big stable and garage, a greenhouse, and some other buildings.

"That long low building is the kennels," said Harry. "The dogs are in
their runs out back, I expect, and prob'ly Tom is out there, too."

"Why!" exclaimed Jack, "it's just like a house for people."

The Willowdale kennel house was indeed a more elaborate affair than
the boys had imagined could ever have been built just for dogs. It
made Rome appear very humble in comparison. It was a well-built house,
long and low, with windows all along the front and a door in the
middle. Over this door was an ornamental gable and there was a cupola
at the top. The whole was painted white.

The boys passed around the end of the building, from behind which
issued the voices of many dogs which they presently saw running
about in yards built of wire fencing. Some of the dogs were smooth and
pure white and some were wiry-coated and a rich black and tan--tan on
the legs and head and black or a very dark grizzle on the neck and
body. They all appeared to be very lively, active dogs, and some of
them seemed rather pugnaciously anxious to get at one another through
the wire fences.

"There's Tom," announced Harry, and the other boys, following his
pointing finger, observed a man in brown clothes and leather leggings
apparently engaged in mending the fence at the rear of one of the
runs. As they approached he straightened up and came forward to meet
them, with a little smile on his broad face.

"Well," said he, "'ere we are. An' 'ow's the little man to-day? An'
'ow's the dog Mike?"

"Pretty well, thank you," said Harry, in a rather more subdued tone
than he had been using toward Jack and Ernest. "These are my friends,
Ernest and Jack Whipple. They want to see your dogs."

Tom Poultice regarded the newcomers quizzically. "Sure you aren't
afraid o' gettin' bit?"

"Oh, no, we aren't afraid of dogs," asserted Ernest.

"Right-o," said Tom. "Come along and I'll show you our new Hairedale,
Bingo's Queen Molly. She's a 'ummer, Molly is."

He led the way through a wire gate into one of the runs and called the
new dog to him, whereat the dogs in the neighboring runs set up a loud
barking.

"They're all jealous," said Tom, "but they wouldn't touch 'er. A male
dog scarcely ever attacks a female."

[Illustration: White English Bull Terrier]

Molly proved to be a sweet, gentle creature, and allowed the boys to
pat and stroke her hard little head.

"She's the genooine harticle," said Tom. "See the straight legs of 'er
an' the square muzzle. She'll win something, or I'm no judge."

"She's a little smaller than some of them, isn't she?" asked Harry.


"Yes, but she's just about the right size for showing," said Tom.
"Thirty-seven she weighs. I'm partial to the bigger dogs, myself, but
the judges generally favor a smaller dog if he's got the points.
Molly's certainly got the points."

Much to the edification of the boys, Tom went on to describe the
standard points of the Airedale, illustrating with several of the
dogs, all of whom seemed to be very fond of the kennelman. Then he
took them in to see the bull terriers.

"'Ere's a different kind of dog entirely," he said. "As good a fighter
and watchdog as the Hairedale, but not useful in so many ways. It's an
older breed than the Hairedale. I can remember when the bull terrier
was a heavier dog, and brindles were just as good as whites, but now
they want only this kind in the shows, with a long skull and pure
white. Eyes small and shaped like almonds, and set wide apart. That's
the kind. The ears have to be cropped in this country to win prizes.
Beastly custom. They don't do it in Hengland any more. I'm glad they
let the Hairedales' ears alone."

For some time Tom Poultice discoursed learnedly on these two breeds
and answered numerous questions.

"What-ho," he exclaimed suddenly. "'Ere's Mr. 'Artshorn coming. Get
'im to tell you about dogs. 'E knows a thing or two 'imself."

A well-dressed gentleman in a gray overcoat and hat, with a gray
pointed beard, and carrying a cane, appeared around the end of the
kennel house. The boys appeared a little ill at ease.

"Don't be scared of 'im," said Tom. "'E likes boys."

"Well, Tom," said Mr. Hartshorn, stopping now and then to poke his
stick through the fence at the dogs that came yelping down their runs
to greet him, "how's Molly?"

"Mighty fine, sir," said Tom; "mighty fine."

"Some of your friends?" he inquired, indicating the boys.

"Yes, sir," said Tom. "This is Harry Barton, sir, from Boytown, and
these--what did you say your names were?"

"Ernest and Jack Whipple," said Ernest.

"Ah, yes," said Mr. Hartshorn, just as though he had been reading
about these boys in the paper. "Glad to meet you, I'm sure. Came up to
have a look at the finest dogs in Connecticut, I suppose."

He had a pleasant, friendly face, and though the boys were a little
awed by his imposing appearance and courtly manner, they soon lost
their shyness and found themselves asking him many questions about
dogs.

"Come up to the house," said he at length. "I can explain things
better up there, where I have some pictures."

Tom went back to his work and the boys, bidding him good-by, followed
Mr. Hartshorn up to the big house. He took them into a room that he
said was his den. There was a big desk in it, all littered up with
papers, and well filled bookcases around the room.

"Are all these books about dogs?" inquired Harry.

"Well, a good many of them are," said Mr. Hartshorn. "I have about
every book on dogs that has been printed, I expect."

On the walls above the bookcases were photographs and colored pictures
of dogs and horses in frames, and at one side of the room was a long
leather sofa. Mr. Hartshorn seated himself at his desk and began
rummaging in a drawer full of photographs, while he told the boys to
be seated on the sofa.

"Now, then," he said when they were all settled, "you were asking me
about the different kinds of terriers, and I guess I've got pictures
of good specimens of about every kind. How many kinds of standard
breeds of terriers do you suppose there are?"

"About eight, I guess," said Harry, who was a little more forward than
the Whipple boys.

"Wrong," said Mr. Hartshorn. "There are nearly a hundred recognized
breeds of dogs in this country, all different, and eighteen of these
are terriers. To make them easier to remember, I will divide them into
three classes, smooth-coated, wire-haired, and long-haired. The
smooths are the bull terrier, the Boston, the smooth fox terrier, the
Manchester, and the Doberman pinscher. The wires are the wire-haired
fox terrier, the Airedale, the Bedlington, the Irish, the Welsh, the
Scottish, the West Highland white, the Dandie Dinmont, the cairn, and
the Sealyham. The long-haired ones are the Skye, the Clydesdale, and
the Yorkshire."

"My!" exclaimed Ernest. "I never heard of some of them before."

"Lots of people haven't," said Mr. Hartshorn, "but they're all worth
knowing. You can see nearly all of them at a big show like the one
held every year in New York. I'm going to tell you something about
them all, if you'd like to listen."

"Oh, yes, please do," said Ernest.

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, arranging his photographs, "first let me
explain what a terrier is. Most of them come from England and
Scotland. A few from Wales and Ireland. Terrier means earth dog, and
that's what they were called hundreds of years ago when they were
first used to hunt animals that run into the ground or under stones.
They had to be brave and gamey and not too big, and they became very
active little dogs and mighty efficient. At first, some were
smooth-coated and some wire-coated. Finally, however, Englishmen began
to breed certain favorite kinds, and so the different breeds were
gradually established.

"One of the oldest kinds is the Manchester or black-and-tan terrier.
He was first bred by the mill hands in the Midland counties of England
where he was famous as a ratter. Here's a picture of one. Handsome
chap, isn't he? Nice, intelligent dog, too. His ears are cropped but
his tail isn't. The white bull terrier is a near relative of the
Manchester. I've already told you about him.

"Now here's the Boston. I guess you know this kind."

"Oh, yes," said Ernest. "Theron Hammond has one named Alert."

"This is an American-made breed," said Mr. Hartshorn, "out of British
raw material. Some Boston fanciers developed it from the brindle bull
terrier about 1890. It's one of the most popular breeds here now. A
smallish dog--sometimes too small, I think--brindle and white. And
here's the smooth fox terrier. You've seen lots of those. Another
small one, not over twenty pounds. He was developed from the old
English working terrier about fifty years ago.

[Illustration: Airedale Terrier]

"Now here's one that I don't believe you know. It's a Doberman
pinscher. Funny name. Wonderfully smart dog, though. They call him the
dog with the human brain. He comes from Germany, where he was first a
watchdog and was later trained as a police dog. I believe the first
ones were brought over here in 1907. A muscular dog, weighing forty or
fifty pounds. He is marked like the Manchester but his coat is less
silky.

"Now we come to the wires. The wire-haired fox terrier is really just
like the smooth, but he looks quite different because of his stiff,
wiry coat. Then there's the Airedale. You know about those. Best
all-round dog in the world in my opinion. This is a Bedlington. You
won't see many of those. Has a head like a lamb, hasn't he? And notice
the silky topknot. He's a good little sporting dog if he does look so
mild. They're mostly blue-gray and tan, and weigh about twenty-four
pounds.

"Here's the liveliest one of the lot, the Irish terrier. Sometimes
they call him the dare-devil. He's a great little scrapper. He comes
from Ireland, of course. He's a red dog, weighs twenty-four pounds,
and makes one of the best comrades a boy can have. The Welsh terrier
is related to the wire-haired fox, though he looks more like a small
Airedale, being black and tan. He's a little smaller than the
Irishman.

"Several terriers come from Scotland, and as you can see from these
pictures they're a short-legged, strong-headed, long-bodied lot.
That's because they were bred to go into the ground and the piles of
rocks after badger and such-like game. They had to be pretty tough to
manage it, too. This is the cairn terrier. He used to be called the
Highland terrier, and I guess he's more nearly like the original
terrier of Scotland than any of the others, He came from the
Hebrides Islands. I expect you've never seen one, for they aren't
common in this country. But they're jolly little beggars. They're the
smallest of the lot, weighing only twelve to fifteen pounds, but
mighty hardy and gamey. They are various sandy and grizzled colors and
always have this foxy little head.

"You may have seen one of these. It's a Scottish terrier, once called
the Aberdeen, and we have a lot of good ones over here now. Some call
him the Scottie or the die-hard. See how wise he looks, with his
bright eyes under his big eyebrows. Notice the big head and short legs
and upright tail. There are some sandy ones, but mostly they're a dark
grizzled gray. They weigh eighteen to twenty pounds. Here's his first
cousin, the West Highland white terrier. He comes from Argyllshire, on
the west coast of Scotland, and he's always pure white. Like most of
the other Scotchmen he has a harsh outer coat and a soft under coat,
which are practically waterproof. He has a more pointed muzzle than
the Scottie and he's smaller."

At the next picture the boys all laughed. It was such a queer-looking
dog, with such a big head and long body, and a face like that of an
old Scotchman.

"He's a Dandie Dinmont," said Mr. Hartshorn. "If you ever read 'Guy
Mannering' by Sir Walter Scott, you may remember that he speaks of
Dandie Dinmont's pepper and mustard terriers. The book was published
in 1814, and Dandie Dinmont terriers have been popular in the border
countries of Scotland ever since. The Dandie is related to the
Bedlington. You see he has the same drooping ears and the topknot.
Gray and fawn are the colors.

"This is the last of the wires. It's a Sealyham. He looks as though he
might be related to the Scotch breeds, with his short legs and strong
head. He was, in fact, bred for badger hunting, as they were, but he
comes from Wales. We have had them in this country only since 1912.
The Sealyham is a mighty lovable little dog. He is white, often with
black or brown markings, and he's about the same size as the West
Highlander.

"Now we come to the long-coated ones, and the first of them is the
Skye, another of the Scotch breeds. He's a close relative of the
cairn, but he has a long coat and hair over his eyes. He's about the
same size as the West Highlander and he's blue-gray or fawn. They used
to be much more common than they are now. By the way, did you ever
read the story of Greyfriars Bobby?"

None of the boys had read it.

"Well, do so the first chance you get. That's on of the loveliest dog
stories ever written, and it's true. Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye
terrier.

"This is the Clydesdale or Paisley terrier. Not at all a common breed.
I doubt if you'll ever see one in the United States. He looks
something like the Skye, but his coat is silkier. He's steel blue on
the body and head, with golden tan feet. The Yorkshire comes from the
other side of the border, and he's something like the Clydesdale, only
with longer legs and shorter body. He's a fancy dog with a wonderful
coat, parted down the middle and sweeping the ground. He's steel blue
with tan markings on the head, chest, and legs.

"There you have all the terriers," he concluded, "and I guess you've
had a long enough lesson for one day. These facts are all very
interesting, but they become prosy and confusing if taken in too large
doses. Here, take this book home with you, and look it over at your
leisure. You'll find in it all the things I've told you and a lot more
besides."

"Terriers are the smartest dogs there are, I guess," said Harry.

"Well, I don't know as I should want to say quite that," said Mr.
Hartshorn. "Smartness and other qualities are as much a matter of
individuals as of breeds. However, the terriers certainly have won
that reputation."

"Do you know any good stories about them?" asked Harry, who was
never backward in such matters. Mr. Hartshorn laughed.

"Unfortunately my memory for stories isn't very good," said he, "but I
have lots of stories in books, and before you boys come up again, I'll
look up some of them. Meanwhile, see if they have a book in the
Boytown Library by Edward Jesse, called 'Anecdotes of Dogs.' It was
published in London in 1858, and it isn't very common, but if you can
find a copy, it's a dandy. It contains most of the historic dog
stories. It includes several stories about terriers, chiefly
illustrating their intelligence, but also their devotion. Many of
them, I recall, are stories of dogs that found their way home over
unknown roads after being carried away for long distances. This homing
instinct seems to be very strong in the terrier. The breed has always
been a very close and intimate companion of man, and that has
sharpened his wits and deepened his sympathies.

"The only terrier story that I recall at the moment is a little
anecdote that illustrates the terrier's shrewdness rather than his
uprightness of character. A lady music teacher was going to the home
of one of her pupils one day when some sort of wire-haired terrier
surprised and startled her by running out from a field and seizing her
skirt in his teeth. She tried to drive him away, but he wouldn't go.
Becoming somewhat alarmed by his actions, she called to two laborers
who were working in the field, and they came to her assistance.

"'He wants you to go with him, ma'am," one of the men said. 'I've
heard of dogs actin' like that. Maybe it's a murder or something. I
guess we'd better go along.'

"They followed the dog to the rear of a cottage, and he at once began
to dig feverishly at a heavy plank. The workmen, half expecting to
find a corpse, lifted the plank, only to disclose a large beef bone.
This the terrier at once appropriated and made off with it, without
waiting to express his thanks for assistance."

The boys laughed over this story, and thanked Mr. Hartshorn warmly for
the interesting things he had told them. Then, squabbling
good-naturedly over the possession of the dog book, they hurried off
to catch the late afternoon train back to Boytown.

It was not long before they had another lesson in dog lore, though
this time it was not Mr. Hartshorn who was their teacher. The next
Saturday the three of them made another trip to Thornboro to return
the book, in the fascinating contents of which they had been reveling
for a week. They met Tom Poultice on the road with half a dozen of the
dogs out for exercise. They were a lively lot, and it took about all
of Tom's attention to keep them in hand.

"Mr. 'Artshorn isn't 'ome to-day," said Tom. "You come along with me
and the dogs and I'll show you some fun. You can leave the book up at
the 'ouse when we get back."

The boys accepted this as a rare privilege, and for an hour or two
accompanied Tom and his troublesome pack about the country roads. The
bull terriers were fairly well behaved, but the Airedales seemed bent
upon getting into all kinds of mischief. On two occasions Tom had his
hands full breaking up what promised to become a free-for-all fight.
But the boys could not help admiring the boundless vigor of these dogs
who seemed hardly able to contain all the youth and joy and life
within them. It made the boys want to run and romp and caper in
sympathy.

As they entered the drive at Willowdale on their return, they saw a
sweet-faced woman standing on the porch with a little woolly white dog
beside her.

"That's Mrs. 'Artshorn," said Tom. "You can give the book to 'er.
She'd like you to stop and speak to 'er."

Somewhat shyly the boys followed his advice, but Mrs. Hartshorn, like
her husband, seemed to have the faculty of making them soon feel at
their ease. She at once introduced them to Daisy, her toy white
poodle. Daisy's long hair had been trimmed and clipped in a
ridiculous manner that made the boys laugh, but she soon proved
herself to be as smart as a whip. Mrs. Hartshorn put her through all
her pretty tricks.

"I suppose, after seeing all those Airedales and bull terriers, you
won't think much of my little dogs," said Mrs. Hartshorn. "Tom
Poultice is very scornful about toys. But a dog is a dog, no matter
how little. I want you to come in and see my prize Pomeranian, Tip."

They followed her into the house and up a broad staircase. At the top
she turned and said:

"I think Tip is in the nursery with the baby. Don't be startled if he
tries to eat you up. You needn't be quiet, because it's about time for
baby's nap to be over."

She ushered them into the nursery, a pretty pink and white room, and
there lay a handsome, chocolate-colored little dog on a mat beside a
white crib. At the sight of strangers Tip growled a little and showed
his white teeth.

"Don't you want to take a look at the baby?" asked Mrs. Hartshorn,
with a twinkle in her eyes.

Harry Barton stepped bravely forward, but was met by an attack so
savage that he hastily retired. Tip did not bark; barking was not
permitted in the nursery. But he defended his charge with a ferocity
quite out of proportion to his diminutive size.

"Lie down, Tip," said Mrs. Hartshorn, laughing. "It's all right." And
Tip retired, grumbling, to his rug.

[Illustration: Pomeranian]

"He's little, but, oh, my!" said Mrs. Hartshorn. "I don't believe one
of you would dare to touch that baby with Tip anywhere around. Now
isn't he a dog, after all?"

The boys admitted quite readily that he was.

"He chased a tramp away once," said she. "The tramp came to the
front door when Mr. Hartshorn was away, and spoke so roughly to my
maid that I was really quite frightened. Tip heard him and came out
like a flash. The man swore and kicked at him. Nothing makes a dog so
angry as kicking at him, and Tip jumped and nipped the man's finger.
He swore again, but Tip renewed his attack to such good purpose that
the man backed away and finally retreated in disorder with Tip at his
heels. I've known big dogs that couldn't do so much."

The boys looked upon Tip with new respect.

"Now come and see my Pekes," said Mrs. Hartshorn.

The boys followed her into another room where two Pekingese spaniels
got lazily out of a basket and came forward to greet her. And for the
next few minutes the boys found infinite amusement playing with the
fluffy little pets.



CHAPTER VI

ANXIOUS DAYS


It was April before the three boys had an opportunity to accept Mrs.
Hartshorn's invitation to visit her at Willowdale. On this occasion,
as on the last, Mr. Hartshorn was away from home and there were only
the four of them at luncheon. A soft-footed maid in a white cap and
apron filled their plates with creamed chicken on toast, followed by
delicious hot waffles and maple syrup.

When luncheon was over, she led them into her husband's den and took
down one of his books.

"I suppose you've been about filled up with dog talk," said she, "but
I want to be sure that you're converted to a love for the toys. So
many men and boys don't care for them, but when you come to know about
them, they're just as interesting as any other dogs. That is, most of
them are. There are some kinds that I confess I don't especially care
for myself. Come sit on the sofa and look at this book with me."

When they were comfortably seated, she began turning over the pages of
the book, pointing out pictures of the various toy breeds.

"We'll take the short-coated ones first," said she, "since that's the
way they're arranged in the book. Now can you imagine anything more
delicate and graceful than this little dog? It's the Italian
greyhound, you see. Some of the toy breeds have been created by a
dwarfing process by modern fanciers, but this little chap was known in
Italy in the Middle Ages. You can see dogs something like him on Greek
and Roman statuary.

"Now here's the good old pug. You know the pug, don't you? There
aren't so very many of them about now, though. They used to be the
favorite lap-dogs, but somehow the Poms and the Pekes have come in to
take their place. It is a very old breed and its ancestors were
probably brought from China by the Dutch who later introduced it into
England. Fawn used to be the popular color, but black has been in
favor for several years.

"Now these are what we call miniatures, because they are merely dwarfs
of larger breeds. The toy Manchester or black-and-tan was bred from
the large Manchester terrier and should look just like his big
brother, only he should weigh less than seven pounds. Same way with
the toy bull terrier. The miniature bulldog was developed sixty years
or more ago by the lace workers of Nottingham, England."

The boys were much interested in the next picture, which showed the
tiniest sort of a dog sitting in a glass tumbler.

"Why," said Jack, "he looks more like a rat than a dog."

"It's a real dog, nevertheless," said Mrs. Hartshorn, "though probably
the smallest breed in the world. It's a Chihuahua, pronounced
Che-wa-wa, and it comes from Mexico. They weigh from a pound and a
half to about four pounds, about as much as a kitten. Of course,
they're rather delicate, and I doubt if you could expect one to attack
a tramp. The head is round as an apple, with pointed nose and big,
outstanding ears. The Chihuahua always has a little soft spot in the
top of the skull.

"Now we come to the long-haired toys, which are the most popular at
the present time. I believe the Pomeranian is the most popular of them
all. He is really a small spitz and came first from Germany. You
noticed Tip's compact little body, fox-like head, and alert
expression. A wonderful little dog. His chief glory is his fine,
fluffy coat and mane.

"Then there are the English toy spaniels. They used to be all called
King Charles spaniels and were named after Charles II of England, who
was very fond of them. Now the authorities have divided them into four
varieties according to color, though they are all the same breed. The
Blenheim is red or orange and white, the ruby is chestnut red, the
King Charles is black and tan, and the Prince Charles is
tri-color--black, white, and tan.

[Illustration: Pekingese]

"The Pekingese is another of the very popular ones. A brave, proud
little chap, as he should be, for he was the pet of Chinese emperors
for hundreds of years. The first ones were brought to England in 1860
when the Europeans took the city of Peking and sacked the royal
palaces. Before that time they had been carefully guarded as sacred
animals. You see they look somewhat different from the English toy
spaniel. The head is flatter, for one thing.

"The Japanese spaniel is still different, though he is probably
related to the Peke. He has been the pet of the Japs for centuries.
The colors are black and white or red and white, and the weight is
seven pounds, more or less. This snowy white one, with his bright
little face, is a Maltese dog. He also has an ancient lineage. He was
known in ancient Greece and Rome and has been in England since the
time of Henry VIII. You saw my toy poodle. It's just a miniature of
the big poodle and has been popular in France and England for over a
century. Very popular here now, too.

"Now we come to the last of the more prominent breeds of toys, and the
only one with a wire coat. He comes from Belgium and he's called the
Brussels griffon. Don't you love his little monkey face, with its
beard and mustache? He's a hardy, intelligent, affectionate little
dog, too. Some folks think he's the smartest of all the toys.

"There," she concluded, passing them the book to look over again, "I
guess you've had enough for one day. You'll begin to think I'm as bad
as my husband. But I didn't want you to get the idea that the only
real dog is a big dog. Don't you think that some of these toy breeds
deserve some respect, now that you know something of their honorable
history?"

"Well, I should say so," said Ernest. "I had no idea there were so
many different kinds or that they had any special history. I want to
see those Pekes again, whose grandfathers were stolen from the
Chinese emperors."

The interest in toys had been kindled, and the boys took occasion
later to refresh their memories from books that Mr. Hartshorn lent
them, but when Ernest and Jack reached home that afternoon the toy
breeds were swept entirely out of their minds for the time being. For
Romulus appeared to be ailing and Remus was evidently quite sick.

The two setter puppies had been growing rapidly and had been allowed
to run out in the yard as the April days grew warmer. They had lost
some of their puppy awkwardness though none of their puppy
playfulness, and were fast developing into strong-boned, active dogs.
They had begun to appear more devoted to their young masters, too, and
to understand better the meaning of the words they were expected to
obey. Needless to say, the boys had become deeply attached to them.

There is nothing more pitiful to look at than a sick dog, and there
was something very sad in the way these two rollicking, healthy
puppies were so suddenly stricken down. The boys, not finding them in
the yard, had gone at once to Rome. There lay Remus on the bed,
breathing with difficulty, and recognizing their approach only by a
raising of his brows and a pathetic little effort to wag his tail.
Romulus came to greet them a little weakly, but he, too, looked very
forlorn and somehow very thin and little. Both dogs seemed to be
running from the eyes and nose and to be suffering from feverish
colds.

"Oh, Ernest," cried Jack, the tears coming to his eyes at the sight of
their suffering, "they're sick. Whatever shall we do?"

"I don't know," said Ernest. "I don't know what you do for a sick dog.
We will ask father. He'll be home soon."

Mr. Whipple came out to look at the dogs soon after his return, but he
was unable to suggest anything very helpful. He prescribed warm milk
for dinner, and the puppies both drank it, though without much
enthusiasm. That night the boys spread burlap blankets over the dogs
and went to bed with heavy hearts.

The next morning and the morning after Romulus and Remus did not seem
to be any better, nor, luckily, very much worse. The boys did what
they could for them, keeping them warm and feeding them beef soup and
warm milk, but they did not seem to be making much progress with the
cure. So on Monday Ernest sent another postal card to Sam Bumpus,
begging him to come down and look at the dogs. They had infinite
confidence in Sam.

He did not fail them, and on Tuesday afternoon after the boys had
come home from school Sam appeared. By this time both dogs were pretty
sick. They had lost flesh and looked pitifully thin and weak and wan.
They seemed to have trouble breathing and to be affected by other
complications. They looked up at their young masters with big,
pathetic eyes, as though pleading for help in their affliction.

The boys watched Sam anxiously as he examined the dogs. His face was
grave.

"It's distemper," said he. "I was afraid it was. Distemper's no joke;
it's the dog's worst enemy. Sometimes it runs into pneumonia, or the
dogs die in fits, or just waste away and give up. But cheer up; I've
seen lots of 'em pull through, and we'll try to save these two. You've
done the right thing so far. Careful nursin' does it. Keep 'em dry and
out of draughts and keep up their strength with good food, easy to
digest. Most dogs that die of distemper die because they didn't have
strength enough to last 'em through. The disease has to have its run,
and in time it just naturally runs out. That's the way I look at it.
It don't do much good to try to cure 'em with medicine. As I say, it's
the nursin' does the trick. Still, some folks believe in givin'
quinine and you can do that if you want to. It's a tonic and it can't
do any harm if you don't give too much. And keep their eyes and noses
washed out with boracic acid."

"Is this place all right for them?" asked Ernest.

"Sure," said Sam. "It's a good place, now that the weather is mild.
The more fresh air the better, so long as it ain't damp or too cold or
draughty. You keep fussin' over 'em and let me know how they get
along. Give 'em plenty of clean water and feed 'em a good deal of milk
porridge several times a day. Better cut out the solid food till
they're better."

For nearly two weeks the boys watched the progress of the disease with
aching hearts. Sometimes the symptoms seemed less acute and they felt
hopeful; then again the condition of their patients was such as to
frighten them. They spent all their spare time with the puppies, in
spite of their mother's anxiety lest they catch the disease
themselves. Their father, however, was quite positive that human
beings could not take distemper from dogs.

A deep cloud of anxiety hung over the Whipple home during those days,
even Mrs. Whipple feeling the effects of it. There was no running and
romping about the house; no longer the rooms echoed with boyish shouts
and laughter. Each morning Ernest and Jack awoke with a feeling that
something awful was impending. It seemed sometimes as though the dogs
had always been sick and that they would never get well. Sometimes the
tension would become too great for Jack and he would cry as though
his heart would break.

"Oh, Ernest," he would sob, "what should I do if Remus died?"

And Ernest would have to struggle hard to keep from joining in the
tears of his younger brother. The boys had come to love their dogs,
and it seemed as though the puppies looked to them alone to save them.
It is that way with dogs and people--that is, the people who care for
dogs. And when once the wonderful tie has been formed between boy and
dog it grows ever stronger. It becomes an ennobling thing.

Romulus developed a distressing cough, but after about ten days of
suffering he began to show signs of improvement. He ate with greater
relish and seemed brighter and stronger. Gradually the symptoms of the
disease lessened and as the days went by Ernest became more and more
happily convinced that he was really getting well. But with poor Remus
it was different. The distemper seemed unwilling to relax its hold on
him and his digestive system became so disordered that he could not
gain the much needed strength from his food. Jack spent all the time
he could beside the little sufferer, easing his head and bathing his
eyes and nose, and listening with helpless agony to the labored
breathing.

Suddenly, one afternoon, Remus struggled to his feet and staggered
uncertainly for a few steps. His half-closed eyes were glassy and did
not seem to see what he was looking at. He lurched into the wall in a
way that made Romulus take to a corner in fear. Then he ran a few
steps aimlessly and toppled over, his muscles twitching dreadfully and
his feet scratching the floor.

Jack was terribly frightened and called to Ernest, who came running
in. Both boys thought that Remus was surely dying, but after a while
he grew quieter and Jack lifted him tenderly back upon the bed.

"I guess it was a fit," said Ernest. "Sam told about that, you know."

"Oh, what shall we do?" wailed Jack in despair. "We _must_ do
something, Ernest."

Ernest thought for a moment, and then an idea came to him.

"I'll telephone Mr. Hartshorn," said he. "He might know what to do,
and I don't believe he'd mind. He wouldn't want a dog to die."

"Oh, please do," begged Jack.

Mr. Hartshorn was not home, but Mrs. Hartshorn, who answered the
telephone, was very sympathetic.

"I'm so sorry he's had convulsions," said she. "It's a bad sign. I'm
sorry Mr. Hartshorn is away. I know just how it is, though, for I've
sat up all night with dogs sick like that, more than once. I'll send
Tom Poultice right over. He's a better dog doctor in his way than a
good many vets., and he may be able to help you."

Ernest thanked the kind lady very heartily, and Tom Poultice came that
very evening. Mr. Whipple lighted a lantern and they all went out to
Rome. Tom examined both dogs and pronounced Romulus to be on the mend.

"'E'll be all right," said Tom, "if 'e don't take cold or get upset.
But this other one, 'e's in a bad way, I'm afraid."

Then he took Remus up, looked into his eyes and throat, and felt of
his stomach and of the pulse under his forelegs.

"'E's got to be straightened out first," said he. "'Ave you any castor
oil?"

Tom administered the castor oil in a thoroughly efficient manner and
then sent Ernest into the house to beg a little hot tea and a raw egg
from Delia. The puppy took the tea quite eagerly and lapped some of
the egg.

"Give 'im a little of this as often as 'e'll take it," said Tom, "and
telephone me to-morrow 'ow 'e seems. If 'e gets stronger, we'll give
'im something else. If the castor oil don't work, we'll 'ave to give
'im calomel or a compound cathartic pill, though I 'ate to do that
if I don't 'ave to. Calomel's terrible strong stuff for a sick puppy.
'Ow long 'as 'e been sick?"

"About two weeks," said Jack.

"That's about the course of it," said Tom. "If 'e ain't better in a
day or two now, 'e'll be gone. I wish I'd tackled 'im before. Well,
give 'im these pills, one to-night and three to-morrow, during the
day, and keep me posted."

"What are these pills composed of?" inquired Mr. Whipple, who was
taking a lively interest in proceedings.

"I 'ave 'em made up myself, sir," said Tom. "It's an old receipt I
learned in Hengland. I ain't much on medicine myself, but sometimes
this 'elps, especially if it's used earlier. There's thirty drops of
acetate of ammonia in each pill, fifteen drops of sweet spirits of
nitre, and two grains of salicylate of soda. It's better to give 'em
in a little camphor water."

The boys followed Tom's directions faithfully. In the morning they
found Remus lying against the door of Rome, quite exhausted, and there
were signs that he had had another convulsion during the night. But
during the day the castor oil got in its effect and there was no need
for the calomel. Remus seemed more able and willing to take his tea
and egg, and though no gain in strength was to be noted that day, he
had no more convulsions.

Recovery was slow but sure for Remus from that time on, while Romulus
mended rapidly, and it was not long before he was running about the
yard again. Remus gained strength very slowly and for a long time was
troubled by a cough and upset digestion, but as the days went by and
he suffered no serious relapse Jack's buoyant nature responded and he
was glad with hope once more. Tom Poultice came again to offer
encouragement and advice, and when Sam Bumpus visited Rome unannounced
one afternoon and was told what had happened, he proved himself to be
most generous in his praise of Tom's skill.

"I don't know this English feller," said he, "but when it comes to
doctorin' sick pups, I've got to hand it to him. When you see him
again give him old Sam's best regards and tell him I'll vote for him
next election whether he's runnin' or not."

Sam was in a jovial mood and the boys were in the humor to laugh
heartily at anything he said. The tension was broken, the days of
anxiety were past, and sunshine again filled the house on Washburn
Street.

"It's just like a toothache when it's over, ain't it?" said Sam.

As for Jack, he hugged the emaciated little Remus close to his
breast, and, with big tears of happiness in his eyes, kissed the
tousled little head. Remus gave a little, human-sounding whimper and
licked Jack's hand. That was the only way he knew to express his love
and gratitude, but Jack understood.



CHAPTER VII

SOME OTHER DOGS, INCLUDING RAGS


It was sympathy for Jack Whipple and interest in the sickness and
recovery of Remus that resulted in the formation of a sort of
freemasonry of dog lovers among the boys of Boy town. It had always
been known that some of the boys had dogs, and there had been a good
deal of fun with these dogs at different times in the past. But
hitherto the dogs had been, in a way, taken for granted, and had lived
in a sort of background in the boy life of the town. Suddenly they
came to light as important members of the community, and each dog had
its boy champion.

While Romulus and Remus were sick, the Whipple boys often had to
answer inquiries as to their progress, but Ernest and Jack had been so
wrapped up in their own worries that they did not realize the
widespread sympathy that had sprung up. They did not know that a dozen
other boys each loved a dog much as they loved Romulus and Remus and
could understand what it must mean to watch at the bedside of a
seriously sick puppy.

But when Romulus was well on the road to perfect health again and
Remus was slowly convalescing, the other boy dog lovers of the town
began to drop around, sometimes with offerings to be appreciated by
dogs, just as neighbors bring in jellies and fruit when a person is
recovering from a long illness. Then Ernest and Jack began to realize
how many friends they had in Boytown and that they all had a precious
possession in common.

Harry Barton came first, with Mike. His manner was subdued and he did
not brag. He stepped softly as one would in entering a sick room, and
he patted Remus's little head very gently and called him "poor little
muttsie." Then came Theron Hammond, though he left his Boston terrier
at home because Alert had never had distemper and might catch it. He
and the Whipple boys sat for a long time in the stable doorway and
speculated about the knowingness of dogs. Monty Hubbard came, too. He
left his Irish terrier, Mr. O'Brien, at home because of said Mr.
O'Brien's well-known proclivity to fight with anything in the shape of
a dog, though Monty was sure he wouldn't hurt two sick puppies. But
Herbie Pierson honored Rome by bringing his huge, brindled Great Dane,
Hamlet, who regarded the setters with fatherly indulgence and then
walked off in his stately manner and crouched like a noble statue
beside the front gate.

And last of all came Rags and Jimmie Rogers, of whom I will presently
tell you more.

[Illustration: Great Dane]

Boytown had always been a great place for dogs. Not only the
aristocrats of dogdom, living comfortably in homes with loving masters
and mistresses, but all sorts of nondescript dogs, many of whom seemed
to be masterless and homeless, though not invariably unhappy. In fact,
there were many good citizens of Boytown who did not like dogs and who
felt that the canine population of the place was altogether too
large.

There were restrictive laws that ought to have reduced this canine
population to such dogs as were properly owned and licensed, but the
government of Boytown was criticized as being a happy-go-lucky affair
a good deal of the time, and it was only when complaints became
sufficiently numerous and serious that the town fathers took steps to
enforce the laws and abolish what was conceded to be a public
nuisance. Then a dog catcher was hired, warnings were posted, and the
stray dogs were gathered up and mysteriously disposed of. It was
rather a cruel and heart-rending business, if you stopped to think of
it, and it would not have been necessary if the authorities had been
more uniformly strict in observing the statutes and ordinances, but
that was their way.

It was during one of the periods of laxity that a wire-haired terrier
appeared from no one knew where. He was not an authentic
representative of any of the established breeds; it was quite evident
that he had just happened somehow. But he was conspicuous among his
miscellaneous black and white and brown and brindled brethren by
reason of his superior alertness and intelligence and his
never-failing good humor and high spirits. His tramp life had in no
way damaged his disposition; he seemed to have been born full of the
joy of life. He was about the size of one of Mr. Hartshorn's smaller
Airedales and in the main he was not badly formed. But his tail, which
had never been docked, hung at a rakish angle to one side and one ear
was set higher than the other. His eyes were extraordinarily bright
and his wiry coat was a grizzled black, always tousled and generally
dirty.

The boys were not long in making this stranger's acquaintance. Indeed,
he made the first advances, joining in their sport one day when they
were in swimming in the pond over by the brickyard, and mingling his
joyous barks with the shrieks of laughter which his antics provoked.
He would pick them up on their way to school, or anywhere, and make
himself generally companionable, and it was not long before they
discovered him to be most precocious in the learning of tricks.

It was not in the nature of things that such a dog should remain
forever masterless, but the periodical cleaning up of the dog catcher
had begun before anyone had had time to think of him as anything but
everybody's dog. It was Jimmie Rogers who saw him seized and thrust
unceremoniously into the dog catcher's covered wagon, and it was
Jimmie who set out alone to achieve his rescue. Jimmie's people lived
on Sharon Street and were not well to do, but somehow Jimmie managed
to scrape together the five dollars which he found must be paid
before he could establish his claim to ownership.

After that, by common consent, he became Jimmie Rogers's dog. He had
already won the name of Rags.

So Jimmie brought his beloved Rags to visit the invalids, and Romulus
and Remus looked on with big-eyed amazement while Rags was made to sit
up, shake hands, roll over, chase his tail, play dead, and sing.

But there was one boy with a dog who did not come to visit the sick,
and Ernest and Jack Whipple were not sorry. They did not like Dick
Wheaton, and Dick, it was easy to believe, was not one to care whether
another boy's dog died or not. He was a good deal of a bully at
school, and Jack feared and avoided him. As for the older boys, they
found him generally unamiable and those of them who knew the love of
dogs were angry with Dick for the way he treated poor little Gyp.

Gyp was a smooth-coated fox terrier and a very good specimen of his
breed. He was smart and gamey, but his spirit had nearly been broken
by his tyrannical master. Dick seemed unable to resist the temptation
to bully everything smaller and weaker than himself, and when there
were no small boys or little girls within his reach he indulged his
proclivities by teasing his dog.

Gyp, who had never had any other master, did not think of resenting
this. He merely endured it as best he might. In fact, there was no
more obedient dog in Boytown. It was pitiful to see the way in which
he would answer his master's lightest word, as though he lived
constantly in the hope of winning favor by his promptness.

Boys often like to tease animals, but they are seldom actually cruel,
at least not knowingly so. And when a boy becomes possessed of a dog
or a pony of his own, his attitude often undergoes a marked change.
But no relenting took place in Dick Wheaton's nature, and the other
boys who had learned the lesson of kindness, recognizing his right to
do as he chose with his own, could only look on with growing
disapproval and dislike.

But all the other dog-owning boys of the town found their friendships
growing closer in the warmth of this common interest. During the
convalescence of Remus they made Rome a sort of lodge room for the
meetings of a new association with an unwritten constitution and no
by-laws. They talked much of dogs and it was not long before a number
of them were keenly desirous of visiting Willowdale and making the
acquaintance of dog-wise Tom Poultice, the rich Mr. Hartshorn, and all
the Airedales and white bull terriers.

So Harry Barton made the arrangements and one Saturday in May an
expedition was formed to walk to Thornboro and visit Willowdale. There
were seven boys in the company and three dogs--Mike, Alert, and Rags.
Romulus and Remus were not yet strong enough to make such a trip and
it was voted that these three could be counted upon to behave
themselves properly. There was a little doubt about Rags, but he was a
general favorite and was always given the benefit of any doubt. At the
last moment Herbie Pierson and Hamlet joined the excursion.

To these active boys and their dogs the way did not seem too long. In
fact, Rags, full of joyful exuberance at this rare treat, dashed about
on all sorts of secondary adventures, running three miles to every one
traversed. Even sturdy little Alert, in spite of his short legs, took
it all as a lark and did not think to be weary until he reached home
that afternoon and fell sound asleep on his front door mat.

The arrival of the four canine strangers at Willowdale created a good
deal of commotion in the fenced-in runs, and Rags nearly went crazy
with the excitement. But Tom Poultice took it all good-naturedly, and
when he had got things quieted down a little he took the boys through
the kennels and introduced them to the prize dogs.

They were all so absorbed in this pleasant occupation that it was
noon before they knew it, and Mrs. Hartshorn came out to invite them
all up to the porch for a luncheon. As they were following her up to
the house she asked questions about their four dogs, and appeared to
take a great interest in Alert especially.

"He's really a very fine little dog," she said. "But who is this?"
Rags had come up and thrust his cold nose ingratiatingly into her
hand.

"Oh, that's Rags," they said, and interrupted each other with
explanations. Mrs. Hartshorn laughed.

"Well, I would hardly know what to call him," she said, "but he is
evidently a very popular person. But what's the matter with his back?"

"Oh, it just itches," said Jimmie.

There was a spot on Rags's back that was difficult for him to reach,
and it gave him a good deal of trouble, but he had managed to bite a
good deal of the hair out of it. Beneath, Mrs. Hartshorn discovered
the skin to be in a scabby and unhealthy condition.

"Well," said she, "this shouldn't be neglected. It may be mange, and
that's serious. Let's have Tom look at it."

Tom came up at her bidding and examined Rags's back.

"Do you think it's mange, Tom?" asked Mrs. Hartshorn.

"I don't think so," said he. "It looks like heczema, like the
Hairedales had last summer. 'E better 'ave some of that medicine, I
fancy."

"All right," said Mrs. Hartshorn, "I still have some at the house, I
think, that I got in case my dogs should need it. Eczema," she
explained to the boys, "isn't exactly a skin disease. It is caused by
the dog's general condition, and should be treated internally, though
if you will rub zinc ointment on that spot it will heal more rapidly.
The cure is first a good dose of sulphur and cream of tartar; you can
get that in tablet form at the drug store. Then give him the pills I
am going to get for you. They are a tonic and ought to fix him up all
right."

"Only be sure not to feed him any corn meal," warned Tom.

"That's so," said Mrs. Hartshorn, "especially now that warm weather is
coming."

Before the boys left that afternoon she gave Jimmie half a dozen soft
pills and also a prescription for more. It read, "Sulphate of quinine,
1 grain; sulphate of iron, 2 grains; extract of hyoscyamus, 1 grain;
with enough extract of taraxacum and glycerine to make a pill." It
might be added that Jimmie used this medicine faithfully and the sore,
itching spot at length disappeared from Rags's back.

Meanwhile the boys had arranged themselves expectantly on the front
porch and the maid presently appeared with plates, napkins,
sandwiches, crullers, and lemonade. Mrs. Hartshorn was a charming
hostess and the boys waxed merry over their luncheon. Great piles of
sandwiches disappeared as if by magic, and then there was chocolate
ice cream and sponge cake. The dogs lay eying their masters enviously,
all except the incorrigible Rags. He sat up and begged constantly, and
even Mrs. Hartshorn could not resist the temptation to toss him a
morsel now and then, which he caught with great deftness.

Just as they were finishing, Mr. Hartshorn drove up in his car.

"What have we here?" he cried. "An orphan asylum or a dog show?"

He got out of his car and ascended the steps, demanding his share of
the luncheon. Those of the boys who had not already met him were
introduced. Then he asked to be made acquainted with the dogs.

"What do you think of them?" asked Herbie Pierson, who was very proud
of his imposing Great Dane.

"I'll tell you after I've partaken of a little nourishment," said Mr.
Hartshorn. "You can't expect a man to talk learnedly on an empty
stomach, can you?"

He proceeded to do ample justice to his share of the sandwiches and
ice cream, while a jolly conversation was kept up, even the shyer boys
entering in at last.

"Now," said Mr. Hartshorn, as he finished his last spoonful, "let's
have a look at that Great Dane."

He stepped down from the porch and approached Hamlet, who submitted to
his caress with dignity. Then Mr. Hartshorn did strange things to him
which brought a look of amazement into his eyes. He pulled back the
dog's hind feet and made him stand straight, measured his head with
his hands, pulled down his lips, and thumped his ribs.

"A pretty good dog," said Mr. Hartshorn. "A trifle off in the
shoulders, perhaps, and a bit cow-hocked, but he has a good head. Ever
show him?"

"No, sir," said Herbie.

"Well, you ought to. We'll see about that some time."

"Won't you tell us something about Great Danes and other dogs, Mr.
Hartshorn?" asked Harry Barton. "Things like you told us about the
terriers the other day."

"Why," said he, "I thought I must have given you such a dose of it the
other time that you would want to run away from any more."

"Oh, no, sir," said Ernest Whipple. "We thought it was very
interesting. We've talked it over a lot since, and we want to know
about all the other kinds of dogs, too. All the boys do."

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, "you never can tell what a boy will like,
I guess. If you had to learn all that in school, I'll bet you'd hate
it. But I don't want to overdo it. I'll tell you about just a few this
time."

The boys crowded around him expectantly as he sat down again on the
porch.

"The Great Dane," he began, "though once a hunting dog, a boarhound,
is now classed among the non-sporting breeds, and I'll tell you
something about those. They include the very biggest dogs--the
mastiff, the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Great Dane. The
smaller ones are the English bulldog, the French bulldog, the chow
chow, the poodle, the Dalmatian, and the schipperke. The collies and
other sheepdogs are also classed with the non-sporting breeds, but
I'll save those for another time. Let me get a book or two, so that
I'll be sure to get my information correct.

"Now then," he continued, when he had returned with his books, "I'll
outline a few facts about each of these breeds, but in order to avoid
sounding like a walking catalogue, I am going to omit a good many
things like color, size, and weight. These things are very important
in distinguishing the breeds, but they aren't very easy to carry in
your heads, and you can find them all set down in the dog books. I
shall try to tell you only the interesting, picturesque things about
each breed's history and character, and you can find all the rest in
the books.

"Let's begin with the St. Bernard. He's the biggest of all. Who knows
anything about the St. Bernard?"

"There's a piece in the Fourth Reader about them," ventured Theron
Hammond. "They used to guide travelers in the Alps and rescue them
when they were lost in the snow."

"And there was one named Barry," put in Harry Barton, "who saved the
lives of forty people, and they set up a monument of him in Paris."

"Correct," said Mr. Hartshorn. "There's no breed more famed in song
and story than the St. Bernard. It was developed long ago by the monks
of the Hospice of St. Bernard in Switzerland, who trained their dogs
for the purposes you have mentioned. So many of them were lost,
however, that the breed got into a bad way a hundred years ago and had
to be brought back by crossing with the Newfoundland and other breeds.
As I said, it is one of the largest breeds, sometimes weighing as much
as two hundred pounds--more than most men."

"Are there some good St. Bernard stories?" asked Jack Whipple, who
preferred anecdotes to descriptive particulars.

"A lot of them," said Mr. Hartshorn, "but there seems to be a good
deal of sameness about them. They tell of the saving of Alpine
travelers and shepherds, lost in snowstorms or caught in crevasses in
glaciers. Some of them are very thrilling. The best story I ever read
about a St. Bernard, however, had nothing to do with mountaineering.

"This dog was the beloved friend and constant companion of the Count
of Monte Veccios, a Venetian nobleman. Now it became very necessary to
the Count that he should obtain certain favors from General Morosini,
who was somewhat difficult of approach, in spite of the fact that he
was in much the same position himself. In order to gain his own ends,
the General had arranged in his palace a gorgeous banquet in honor of
the Doge of Venice, from whom he hoped to gain important concessions,
and he had caused his great banquet table to be laden with gold and
silver plate and much fine Venetian glass.

"The Count, hearing of these preparations, screwed up his courage and
called on General Morosini. He praised to the skies the table
appointments, which pleased the General, but as soon as he began to
plead his own cause, the General became cold and unyielding and
begged the Count to cease annoying him about these petty matters. As
the Count left the General's palace, he turned to his faithful dog,
with tears in his eyes, and said, 'You see, my friend, how badly I am
used.'

"The St. Bernard was greatly affected by this, and he formed in his
own mind a plan of revenge, since it was beyond his powers to secure
justice. Unobserved, he stole back into the General's palace, and just
as the Doge was arriving with his retinue, the dog seized the corner
of the tablecloth in his mouth and dashed out of the house, upsetting
the entire banquet and smashing most of the valuable glassware. I
don't believe there is any moral to that story, but perhaps that won't
spoil it for you.

"I don't believe I have any mastiff stories," continued Mr. Hartshorn,
"but that breed must be mentioned in passing, as it is one of the very
old and very famous breeds of England. The mastiff used to be popular
here thirty years ago, but we seldom see any now, and sometimes I fear
the breed is dying out. It's too bad, for he was a fine, powerful dog,
brave and wise.

"Another fine dog that has gone out of fashion is the Newfoundland.
There are still some good ones in England, but very few here. I
suppose the Newfoundland has more rescues of drowning persons to his
credit than any other breed, and it's a shame to see him go. The breed
originated on the island of Newfoundland a hundred years ago, and you
will still see a dog's head on the Newfoundland postage stamps.

"The Newfoundland has a waterproof coat and is a wonderful swimmer, so
that a good many of the anecdotes told about dogs of this breed have
to do with their exploits in the water. For example, there is one of a
man who fell off a narrow foot-bridge into a swift mill stream. The
miller's dog promptly dived in and rescued him, and having
accomplished this, coolly plunged in again to save the man's hat that
was just about to be swept over the dam. There are several amusing
stories told of Newfoundlands dragging bathers to shore, quite against
their wills, because the dogs fancied they were in danger.

"A naval lieutenant owned a canary bird and a Newfoundland dog. While
they were cruising in the Mediterranean, the bird escaped from the
cabin and, flying out to sea, became weighted down with the spray and
dropped into the water. The dog leaped overboard, and when he was
hauled up on deck again, he dropped the bird out of his mouth, quite
uninjured. Another naval officer who owned a Newfoundland was drowned
when his ship was sunk near Liverpool. The faithful dog swam about
over the spot for three days and three nights, searching vainly for
his master, before he would allow himself to be brought exhausted to
land.

"Friendships between two dogs are very rare, but instances have been
recorded, and in most of these a Newfoundland figures. At Donaghadee
there was once a mastiff and a Newfoundland who were, for some reason,
bitter enemies, and as both were powerful dogs, it was desirable to
keep them apart. One day, however, the mastiff attacked the
Newfoundland on the pier, and a terrific fight ensued. At length both
dogs fell into the water and loosed their holds. The Newfoundland was
soon on dry land, but the mastiff was a poor swimmer and appeared in
danger of drowning. The Newfoundland, observing the plight of his
recent antagonist, plunged in again and brought him to shore, after
which the two dogs were the closest friends. Another Newfoundland at
Cork became so annoyed by a small, troublesome cur, that at last he
took him in his mouth and dropped him into the water. When the small
dog was nearly drowned the Newfoundland rescued him, and was never
annoyed by him again.

"But the Newfoundland has been the means of saving not merely drowning
persons. In 1841 a laborer named Rake in the parish of Botley, near
Southampton, in England, was buried in a gravel pit with two ribs
broken. He was helpless and would undoubtedly have died there if his
employer's Newfoundland dog had not dug him out.

"William Youatt, who wrote two or three of the dog books in my
library, tells of an experience he once had with a friend's
Newfoundland dog named Carlo. Youatt and the friend and Carlo parted
on the road to Kingston, the dog and his master turning off toward
Wandsworth. Soon afterward Youatt was accosted by ruffians. He never
knew what made Carlo come back to him, but the dog appeared at the
critical moment and drove the men away. Carlo escorted Youatt to a
safe place, and then, in the author's quaint words, 'with many a
mutual and honest greeting we parted, and he bounded away to overtake
his rightful owner.'

"The Newfoundland has always been famous as the protector of children,
and this is illustrated by an amusing story told of a Newfoundland
that was owned by the chief engineer on H. M. S. _Buffalo_. The
incident took place on an evening in 1858 at the Woolwich theater in
London. In the third act of the play, 'Jessie Vere,' there was a
violent struggle over the possession of a child. The dog, who had
sneaked into the theater behind his master, flew to the rescue across
the footlights, much to the consternation of all concerned."

"My!" said Ernest Whipple, "there are certainly a fine lot of
stories about Newfoundlands. Are they all true?"

"Well," smiled Mr. Hartshorn, "I can't vouch for them all, but I
believe that most of them are founded on fact, and some of them are
undoubtedly quite true. Now let's see what the next dog is.

"The Great Dane is at the present time the most popular of the very
large dogs. As you can see by looking at Hamlet, he is a powerful,
graceful animal. The breed was used in Germany, I don't know how long
ago, for hunting the wild boar and was introduced into England in the
'80's as the German boarhound. You can see from this one what kind of
dog it is. The ears are commonly cropped in this country, but in 1895
the practice was abolished in England for all breeds. I hope some day
it will be abolished here. The fanciers think cropping makes the dog
look smarter, but it's a silly, unnatural thing to do, when you come
to think of it. I wish I didn't have to do it with my bull terriers,
but they would never take prizes with long ears. I don't remember any
Great Dane stories.

"Now we come to the smaller ones. Mike here is a very good English
bulldog, though not so extreme a type as some of them. This breed,
like the mastiff, is of British origin, and probably came from the
same ancestry. He was trained for bull baiting and later for pit
fighting. Tramps and other people are afraid of bulldogs because of
their frightful appearance, but as you can see, if you know Mike, they
are often as gentle as lambs.

"The French bulldog is much smaller and he is different in many
respects. He has big bat ears, for one thing. The chow chow is an
interesting dog that comes from China. Perhaps you will be amazed when
I tell you that this dog was originally bred and fattened by the
Chinese to be eaten like pork and mutton. The tastes of the Oriental
are certainly peculiar.

"The poodle, which was originally a German dog but which was developed
chiefly in France, used to be better known than he is now. He is
supposed to be the cleverest of all dogs and you will usually find
poodles in troops of trick dogs."

"It seems to me," said Theron, "that I've read some stories about
poodles."

"Yes, there are a number of classic poodle stories," said Mr.
Hartshorn, "illustrating the cleverness of the breed. I am sorry to
say that poodles have been trained as thieves' dogs, and have been
widely used by smugglers on the French frontiers, who trained them to
carry lace and other valuable commodities across the border.

"The most famous of these stories is that of the poodle of the Pont
Neuf, one of the bridges of Paris. He was owned by a bootblack, who
taught him to roll in the mud of the Seine and then run about among
the pedestrians on the bridge, dirtying their shoes. This meant more
business for the bootblack. An Englishman observed this performance
and was much impressed by the dog's smartness in carrying out his
part. He offered the bootblack a good price for the poodle and took
him back to London with him. But the poodle didn't care for his new
life; apparently he had no wish to reform. Somehow or other he managed
to stow himself away on a Channel boat and made his way back to Paris,
where he returned to his former master and resumed his old
occupation."

[Illustration: Toy Poodle]

When the boys had finished laughing over this droll story, Mr.
Hartshorn continued:

"The Dalmatian or coach dog comes from eastern Europe, and was bred
long ago in Dalmatia, now an Austrian province. He was well known in
England by 1800 and was used there as a stable dog and was trained to
run with the horses and under the carriages. Here you will see them
most often as mascots in fire engine houses. It's queer how fashions
run in those things. He is always pure white, evenly covered with
round black or brown spots.

"The last of this group is the schipperke. I don't believe you know
him, for the breed isn't very common here. The name means 'little
skipper,' and the dog has long been a favorite with the captains of
Flemish and Dutch canal barges. The schipperke has no tail to wag.
There," he concluded, "I guess I've filled you up with enough dog
information for this trip. I don't want to overdo it."

"You couldn't overdo it for me," said Ernest Whipple. "Will you tell
us about some of the other breeds another day?"

"And tell us more anecdotes?" chimed in Jack.

"I promise," said Mr. Hartshorn.

Ernest, Harry, and Theron were boys of the type that love to collect
facts and figures, and they had recently been doing some reading on
the subject of the breeds of dogs. They discussed the matter all the
way home, becoming quite excited now and then over disputed points.

"Mr. Hartshorn said that Rags didn't belong to any regular breed,"
said Jimmie Rogers as the boys separated, "but I don't care. There
ought to be a breed like him, anyway, 'cause there isn't any better
dog anywhere. Rags is good enough for me."

"That's right," cried the other boys in chorus. "You stick to Rags.
He's all right, whatever the books say. Good-by, Rags. So long, Jim."



CHAPTER VIII

DOG DAYS


By June both Romulus and Remus were in full health again and Mr.
Whipple admitted that they began to look like real English setters.
They were puppies still, full of fun and mischief, but their coats had
lost some of their fuzzy, silky character and their bodies had
lengthened and filled out. They had gained a greater control over
their muscles and in their gambols about the yard they had acquired
considerable speed. Sam Bumpus came down again to look at them and
pronounced them likely-looking youngsters.

"They've got some growin' to do yet," said he, "but they're gainin'
bone and speed every day, and the first thing you know you'll have two
fine bird dogs, or I don't know what I'm talking about."

They also displayed increasing devotion to their masters and had begun
to develop, to a certain extent, the qualities of watchdogs.

It was about this time that Jack Whipple made an extraordinary and
alarming discovery. He noticed one day that Remus was having some sort
of trouble with his mouth, as though he had perhaps got a piece of
bone wedged in his teeth. He worked his jaws in a laughable manner and
poked at them with his paw. Then he shook his head, ejected a small
white object, and appeared relieved.

Thinking it must be a piece of bone, Jack picked it up and examined
it. It was a tooth! He called Ernest, and after poking about in Rome,
they discovered another tooth in the sawdust beside the food dish.
They proceeded to examine both dogs, and in Romulus's mouth they found
another loose tooth which came out in Ernest's fingers.

"Why," cried Jack, "they're losing all their teeth. How will they eat?
How can they do anything?"

Ernest was equally puzzled, and that evening they told their father
about it. He also seemed perplexed.

"I'm afraid I can't help you," said he. "You'd better consult Tom
Poultice or Sam Bumpus. Perhaps there's some disease that loosens
dogs' teeth. Possibly it's the result of the distemper. I understand
there are sometimes after-effects of that, such as deafness, and it
may cause a dropping of the teeth. You'd better see about it before it
goes any further."

The boys had been planning for some little time to take the two dogs
up to Sam's shack, since they now seemed old and strong enough to
stand the journey, and it would be good fun for all concerned. So
Ernest sent Sam word that they were coming, and on a bright, warm
Saturday morning the four of them set out.

The sky was clear and blue, a light breeze tempered the warmth of the
brilliant sunshine, and it was a joy just to be alive and out in the
open. The boys had their hands full, for Romulus and Remus had never
before enjoyed so much liberty, and they did not always answer
promptly the recalling whistle. The world, this great, new world,
seemed to hold so many sights and sounds and scents to interest a dog
that their impulse was to keep going and searching and never turn
back. But it was a pleasure just to watch the zest with which they
investigated every thicket and hillock. As they trotted along,
twisting and doubling and turning, their noses held now high, sniffing
the breeze, now close to the ground, they seemed to develop something
of that lithe grace of movement that characterized the actions of
their mother and old Nan.

When they arrived at their destination, the dogs were at first much
excited by the presence of so many others of their kind, but after a
little while they were glad to take a long drink of water and to rest
on the floor of the shack.

Sam, as usual, was smiling and cordial. "They're comin' on; they're
comin' on," said he, patting the young dogs and observing their
sinewy limbs, their sensitive nostrils, and their soft, intelligent
eyes. "Been teachin' 'em to hunt on the way up?"

The boys were forced to admit that they had made little progress with
the vocational training of Romulus and Remus.

"Well, there's plenty of time for that," said Sam. "They've got to get
the sense of the fields and the woods first. You get 'em so they'll
come when they're called, and a little later on I'll have time to take
'em in hand and teach 'em the fine points of the game. How have they
been, anyway? They're lookin' as sound as nuts."

"They've been very well," answered Ernest, "except for one thing. We
don't know what's the trouble, but their teeth are dropping out."

"Their teeth----" began Sam, and then burst into a roar of laughter,
in which the boys presently joined, though they did not know why.

"Don't you worry about them teeth," said he, when he could speak
again. "I'll bet it wasn't so very long ago that Jack here had the
very same trouble. Didn't you know that dogs lose their first teeth
the same as boys do? Sure thing. Some folks are a good deal troubled
about it and pull out the loose teeth for fear the dogs will swallow
them, but it ain't likely to hurt 'em if they do. Just let 'em alone
and nature will look out for 'em. New and stronger teeth will grow
in their places and then they'll be fixed for life."

The boys, relieved to find that the matter was not serious, laughed
again.

"I guess this joke's on father, too," said Ernest.

This trip to Sam's shack was the first of a number of excursions
thither which Sam seemed to enjoy as much as the boys and the dogs.
And when vacation time came and every day was like Saturday, Ernest
and Jack Whipple came to understand better what it really means to
have good dogs for constant companions. It was in these days that
visits to the swimming hole over by the brickyard began, and Romulus
and Remus were taught to enjoy the water as much as their masters did.

This swimming hole, in fact, proved to be the accepted meeting place
for most of the boys and dogs of Boytown, for it became a regular
practice for the boys to bring their dogs and to invent various
aquatic sports in which the dogs played an important part. Old Mike
hated the water and could scarcely be induced to go in, but most of
the others entered into the spirit of the game with zest. Little Alert
proved to be a regular cork in the water, and even huge Hamlet
splashed about in a dignified sort of way. But the general favorite
was Rags. He could dive for stones, retrieve sticks, and even stand
up in the water, with his fore feet pawing the air in a manner to
bring laughter to the soberest. And he had a way of devising sport of
his own, not always respecting the sanctity of the boys' clothing.

I don't know how it is with other boys, but it is certain that the
constant association with faithful four-footed comrades was good for
the boys of Boytown. Boys are often thoughtless to an extent that
verges upon cruelty. They love to tease and often find amusement in
inventing new trials for a much-enduring cat or dog. But once let them
get the idea of comradeship and protection firmly fixed, and not
infrequently a sort of chivalry appears to develop in their natures.

At least it was so with these boys. They quarreled and disputed and
occasionally fought, as boys will, but there was no more torturing of
animals, and with this came less bullying of little boys and teasing
of little girls. Each boy felt the responsibility of protecting his
own beloved dog, and with this came a sense of protection toward all
animals. Mrs. Hammond, Theron's mother, was wise enough to observe and
take advantage of this, and she organized the boys into a sort of
Humane Society, with meetings every two weeks, and a set of rules and
objects. They were pledged to do what they could to see that no dumb
animal was abused, and more than once they were able to dissuade a
brutal teamster from beating an overburdened horse. In only one
quarter did they totally fail. Dick Wheat on would neither join the
Humane Society nor would he mend his ways in regard to his treatment
of Gyp. But at least he never attempted to abuse any other animal
whenever any of the boys were about, after having received a good
licking at the hands of Jimmie Rogers for annoying Rags. That taught
him a much needed lesson.

If every boy in America could be taught to be as kind to animals as
these boys were, and to interest himself personally in their
treatment, this would be a better world to live in.

So the summer vacation days passed, with plenty of outdoor fun, the
boys forming an ever closer comradeship with their common interest,
and Romulus and Remus gaining in strength and wisdom every day. For
the most part they were healthy dogs and gave their masters little
concern on that score, though sometimes their tendency to get into
mischief required attention, for Mrs. Whipple was not reconciled to
their presence about her house and it was necessary to keep watch lest
they offend beyond the chance of pardon. The day they brought Delia to
the verge of tears by tearing a clean sheet from the clothesline and
clashing with it about a muddy yard would have produced a disastrous
crisis if Mr. Whipple had not once more intervened.

Once or twice the two dogs had to be doctored again for worms, and in
August came the pest of fleas. This was a source of annoyance to both
boys and dogs, and Mrs. Whipple, when she found it out, was in
constant fear lest the insects be introduced into the house. When
Ernest or Jack discovered one on their own persons at night they left
no stone unturned to capture and decapitate it.

As to the dogs, they suffered not a little. Their long coats made a
splendid breeding place for the parasites and they wore themselves
thin with scratching. Fleas are not a pleasant thing to talk about,
but all dogs get them, especially the long-haired kinds, and not even
frequent visits to the swimming hole will eradicate them.

It was Sam Bumpus who told the boys what to do about it. One day, when
they went up to visit him, he refused to let Romulus and Remus into
the shack or near his kennels.

"They're full of fleas," said he as he watched the dogs scratching
nervously, "and I don't want 'em to be droppin' 'em around where my
dogs'll get 'em. I have trouble enough with the varmints as 'tis. You
ought to get rid of 'em. If you don't, they'll hang on till November
and the dogs'll be no good for huntin'."

"But how do you get rid of them?" asked Ernest.

"Wash 'em in cresolin or cresoleum or whatever your druggist wants to
call it. He'll know what you want when you tell him. Mix it with warm
water and soapsuds and scrub 'em good. Then rub 'em dry. Do it
outdoors on the grass. It's better than insect powder. It won't kill
all the eggs, but it will drive the fleas off, and if you keep at it,
and do it often enough, you'll get rid of 'em all. Besides, it gives
the dogs some relief before the new ones can hatch. Better burn their
beds once in awhile, too, to kill the eggs in 'em."

The boys faithfully followed Sam's instructions and were pleased to
find the trouble greatly abated.

It was in August, too, that they took Romulus and Remus for their
first trip to Willowdale. They were anxious to learn what Mr. and Mrs.
Hartshorn and Tom Poultice would think of their dogs, and they were
always glad of an excuse to visit the bull terriers and Airedales and
to listen to doggy talk.

Luckily, Mr. Hartshorn was at home on this occasion, though they paid
their respects first to Tom and the kennels before going up to the big
house. Tom had not seen the two setters since they had recovered from
the distemper, and he was pleased to be frankly enthusiastic.

"Well, I'll be blowed!" he exclaimed. "And are these the same two
dogs that I doctored in your barn last spring? They were sad enough
looking pictures then. The bally rascals! They sure 'ave grown some.
Hi'd like nothing better than to take 'em out some day myself on a bit
of an 'unt. Look at the legs of 'em! Say, you've got two fine bird
dogs there."

Naturally the boys were much pleased by Tom's praise of their beloved
dogs, and they lingered for a time about the kennels while Tom pointed
out to them the fine points in a setter's action and explained how
their graceful, level gait enabled them to keep their noses out in
front where they would catch the scent, and at the same time cover
rough country at high speed.

"Hi've 'eard it said," remarked Tom, "that an 'unting pointer can
travel at the rate of eighteen miles an hour and keep it up for two or
three hours, and I guess a good setter's about as fast."

"My!" exclaimed Jack, joyfully, as they walked over to the house, "do
you s'pose we've got the two very best dogs in the world, Ernest?"

"I don't know," said Ernest. "Maybe."

The ardor was cooled a trifle by Mr. Hartshorn. He examined Romulus
and Remus in a minute, judicial, critical manner, and discovered a
number of technical points in which they fell short of perfection.

"But," he added, "they're mighty good dogs, and you must remember that
no dog is absolutely perfect from the show judge's standpoint. And if
these come from as fine a working strain as you have led me to
believe, it is remarkable that they should measure up so well by
bench-show standards. Some of the finest show champions are
second-rate dogs in the field, and some of the best hunting and
field-tried dogs couldn't win a yellow ribbon on the bench. I should
say that your dogs gave promise of developing both working and show
qualities to a marked degree, and I shall watch their careers with
great interest. You have a brace of fine dogs there, and no mistake."

Whereat Jack and Ernest felt better.

"You promised to tell us something about setters and other bird dogs,"
Ernest reminded him.

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, "I'm not sure that I know so very much
about them. I used to do a little shooting years ago, but your friend
Bumpus undoubtedly knows a lot more about the game than I do."

"Oh, yes," said Ernest, "he does know a lot about hunting and training
dogs, but I mean about the breeds themselves, their history and the
sort of things you told us about some of the other breeds."

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, "I'll do the best I can. The development
of the setter is an interesting story, but first we'll have to go
back to the spaniels. Spaniels, you know, are still classed as
shooting or gun dogs, and are used for that to some extent, and the
setter's ancestor was a spaniel.

"The spaniel first came from Spain or France and there are still many
kinds on the continent of Europe. But the spaniel has been known for a
long time in England, too, and the kinds we know here are those of
British development. Mrs. Hartshorn has already told you about the
English toy spaniels, so I will omit those.

"In the early days, the breeds weren't divided up as they are to-day,
but were known as large and small land spaniels and water spaniels.
The oldest of the land spaniels of England now in existence is the
Sussex spaniel. You won't see any in the United States, I think.

"The clumber spaniel you can see in our shows, but he also is more
popular among the sportsmen and fanciers of England than here. He is
the heaviest of the spaniels. The cocker spaniel is the most popular
kind in this country. His name comes from the fact that he was used in
England for many years for hunting woodcock. He is smaller than the
others. The field spaniel is much like a large-sized cocker, weighing
about twice as much. Finally there is the curly, brown Irish water
spaniel, which is really more closely related to the retriever and
the poodle than to the other spaniels.

"Though spaniels are sporting dogs, they have always been enjoyed
quite as much for their companionship, and they have an enviable
reputation for fidelity. There is a story told of a spaniel of the
time of the French Revolution which reminds one of Greyfriars Bobby.
This dog belonged to a magistrate who was condemned for conspiracy and
was thrown into prison. By means of his coaxing and pretty ways, the
spaniel at last won the heart of one of the jailers and managed to get
in to his master. He never left him after that, even crouching between
his knees when the magistrate was guillotined. He followed the body to
its burial and tried to dig into the grave. Obliged at last to abandon
hope of ever seeing his master again, he refused to eat, and died at
length, of hunger and exposure, on his master's grave.

"Another sad story of devotion is that of a spaniel belonging to the
gamekeeper of the Rev. Mr. Corseillis of Wivenhoe, Essex, England.
This dog's name was Dash, and he was his master's constant companion
at night, when he was able to render valuable service in helping to
detect poachers. When the old gamekeeper died, nothing could persuade
Dash to accompany his successor on his rounds. He divided his time
between the grave and the room in which his master had died, and at
last he, too, died of a broken heart.

"Let me give you a more cheerful one before we pass on to the setters.
Once when Mrs. Grosvenor of Richmond went to visit a relative who
owned some pet cats, she took her Blenheim spaniel with her. The cats,
who were selfish, spoiled creatures, were too many for the small
spaniel, and they succeeded in driving him out of the house. But he
refused to acknowledge defeat. He proceeded to establish an alliance
with the gardener's cat, a big, husky Tom, and when the time was ripe,
the two of them attacked and routed their common enemy, after which
the spaniel was let alone.

"Now we come to the setters. In some respects they are our finest gun
dogs. They came from one of the old land spaniels that was taught to
crouch when finding game and they were called setting spaniels until
about 1800. Since then the breed has been greatly improved. There are
three well-known varieties, English, Irish, and Gordon, all
first-class dogs.

"A man named Laverack in Shropshire, England, was the one who did the
most to develop the English setter. He bred them from 1825 to 1875 and
produced the standard strain. Later a man named Llewellyn promoted the
strain and added new blood. You will still hear the names Laverack
and Llewellyn applied to different types of English setters. This
English variety is the most popular and numerous of the three.

"I don't want to make any unpleasant comparisons, but to my mind the
Irish setter is the handsomest of the family, though as a sporting dog
he does not rank with the English setter. His shape is very nearly the
same as that of the English setter, but his coat is always a wonderful
red-brown, almost golden when the sun shines on it, often very dark,
but with no black spots.

"The Gordon setter is the heaviest of the three and comes from a
strain developed a century ago by the Duke of Richmond Gordon, a
Scotchman. The color is always rich black and tan.

"These are not the only bird dogs, however. There are the retrievers
and the pointer, besides some European breeds, but I'm going to save
them for another time. I've got to get ready to catch a train now, and
besides, I'm afraid of giving you this sort of information in too
large a chunk."

Mr. Hartshorn bade them good-by and went upstairs. The boys remained a
few minutes longer with Mrs. Hartshorn, who had taken a great fancy to
Romulus and Remus, and then they set off for home in the hot sun of
the afternoon.



CHAPTER IX

THE TRAINING OF ROMULUS


On the way back from Thornboro that day something happened that gave a
new direction to the thoughts and aspirations of Ernest and Jack
Whipple. They had gone somewhat out of their way to a woods road that
was shadier and cooler than the highway and Romulus was nosing and
sniffing about in the underbrush quite a little distance to the left.
Ernest whistled, but Romulus apparently did not hear. He seemed to be
darting about in the bushes with unusual eagerness.

"What has he found, do you s'pose?" asked Jack.

"Let's go and see," said Ernest.

The two boys and Remus turned out of the road and approached the spot
where Romulus was hunting. Suddenly there was a whir of wings and a
dark object flashed upward and disappeared among the trees.

For a moment Romulus and Remus both stood rigid, with heads and tails
outstretched. Then they broke and disappeared in the woods. It was
some little time before the boys could get them back again and
started along the homeward road. The boys, breathless with running,
had not spoken to each other, but now Ernest said:

"It was some kind of a bird, Jack. Did you notice?"

"Yes," said Jack. "Why, Ernest, they know how to hunt already."

"I guess it's instinct," said Ernest. "And did you see them point?
They really did, for a minute, just like Sam's Nan, or the pictures in
the books."

"Oh, Ernest," cried Jack, "we must take them hunting. Do you s'pose we
could?"

"Sam could, anyway," said the older boy. "He said he'd train them."

The rest of the way home they talked of nothing but hunting and the
wonderful achievements that were in store for the two dogs.

Mr. Whipple approved the plan to have Romulus and Remus trained. A
good dog, in his eyes, was a dog that was good for something, and he
recognized the value of a well-trained bird dog though he had no
desire to see the boys become too fond of hunting themselves.

"All right," said he, "take them up to Bumpus and let him train them,
but you boys must promise not to ask to handle a gun yourselves.
You're not old enough, for one thing, and besides, your mother
doesn't approve of shooting. It's a dangerous business at best.
Remember, now, no nonsense about guns."

The boys, willing to postpone that question till some future time,
readily promised, and on a Saturday morning in September, soon after
the reopening of school, they took the dogs up to Sam's shack.

"Remember," said Sam, "I ain't promisin' anything. You never can tell
what kind of a bird dog a setter will make till you've tried him out.
I've got a lot of other things to attend to this fall, too. But I'll
do the best I can, and you mustn't be impatient if they ain't all
finished off in two weeks. Now we'll take 'em out for their first
lesson."

That first lesson proved to be a rather tedious affair to Ernest and
Jack. Nothing was said about birds or guns, pointing or retrieving.
Sam's chief aim was to get the dogs to obey his word and whistle as
well as they obeyed those of the boys, and the latter were forced to
keep silent while he gradually gained the mastery over the two lively
young dogs. Sam displayed, in this, much greater patience than the
boys did, but still it was pleasant to be out in the fields this fine
September day and to watch the dogs as they came to respond more and
more readily to the commands of their trainer. At first, indeed, there
was but one command, expressed by a sharp whistle or by the words
"Come here, boy!" Sam seemed determined to add no further commands
until he had secured unfailing and prompt obedience to this one. But,
slow as the process was, it was really remarkable what progress was
made in a few short hours.

At noon they took the dogs back to the shack to enjoy a rest and a dry
bone apiece, while Sam cooked and served a delicious luncheon of
buckwheat cakes, bacon, and cocoa. Then, after he had enjoyed a pipe
or two and they had listened to some of his tales of dogs and hunting,
they started out again.

This time Sam fastened a cord of good length to the dogs' collars,
something they were not used to.

"I'll need to use this later on," said he, "and they've got to get
used to the feel of it first. They've got to learn to stand it without
pullin', and to answer the signals."

Again he exhibited extraordinary patience, for the dogs resented this
unaccustomed restraint and seemed possessed to pull at their leads and
try to break away. It took a good two hours to break them to this
simple harness. Then Sam took it off and went all over the first
lesson again, which at first the dogs appeared to have forgotten.

"Well, as the minister says, here endeth the first lesson," said Sam
when the shadows of late afternoon began to lengthen, and they
turned back again toward the shack. The boys now realized that they
were very tired.

"Do you think they'll ever learn?" asked Jack, somewhat plaintively.

"Why, sure," said Sam. "I've seen worse ones than these. They're high
spirited, as good dogs ought to be, and a bit heady, but they'll
learn. They've done very well, so far."

Still doubting, but somewhat encouraged, the boys prepared to take
their departure. In order that the training might go on uninterrupted
it was necessary to leave Romulus and Remus in Sam's care, and it is a
question which felt the worse about the separation, the boys or the
dogs. Ernest and Jack knew that their pets would be in good hands and
kindly treated, but it was hard to say good-by. As for the dogs, they
set up a howling and crying, when they found they were being deserted.

"They'll soon get over that," said Sam. "They'll begin to take an
interest in the other dogs pretty soon, and then they'll feel more at
home."

Thus reassured, the boys started off down the road without their
four-footed comrades, but the insistent wails that followed them were
very heart-rending, and two big tears rolled down Jack's round cheeks.
And it was several days before they could get used to the desolate,
deserted look of Rome or become reconciled to the absence of their
playmates.

They could hardly wait for the next Saturday to come, when they could
go up again to Sam's shack and visit their beloved dogs. Romulus and
Remus were overjoyed at seeing them again, and it was some time before
Sam could get them quieted down sufficiently to take them out for
another lesson. He had been training them during the week, and the
boys now heard him addressing them with strange words. He placed their
check-cords on again, and this time the dogs did not seem to resent it
so much. Indeed, they seemed to look upon it as the preliminary of a
good time, which, as Sam explained, was the idea he had tried to
impress on them.

"Hie-on!" cried Sam, and the dogs started off at a bound.

"To-ho!" he called. This meant to stop abruptly, and this command the
dogs, hoping for a good run, did not obey so readily. A quick tug at
the check-cord reminded them of the meaning of the command, and soon
they stopped more promptly at the words.

"Come in," said Sam, and the dogs approached him.

"Charge!" said Sam. "Down!" After several attempts the dogs
reluctantly obeyed and crouched at his feet.

"Heel!" he cried, and after several repetitions of the order they took
their places quietly behind him.

"They're always a little slower the first thing in the mornin'," Sam
explained, "before they've run off some of their deviltry. They'll
improve as they go along."

And improve they did. In the afternoon Sam took them out without the
check-cord and kept perseveringly at them until they would "hie-on"
and "to-ho" and "charge" and "heel" with reasonable promptness.

"By next week I hope to show you something more," said Sam.

"When will you shoot over them and teach them to point?" asked Ernest.

"Oh, not for some time yet," said Sam. "They've got to learn the a b c
of it first. Next I shall try to teach them to answer my hand. First
I'll call and wave at the same time, and then just wave. Then they've
got to learn to range--to go whichever direction I want 'em to and
turn when I want 'em to. Then I'll give 'em lessons in retrievin'."

But before another Saturday had come around, Sam had discovered
something--something which affected the whole future career of Remus.

Ernest and Jack had duties to perform that Saturday which engaged them
the entire morning, and they were unable to go up to Sam's until
afternoon. Their visit was consequently a short one and they had but
little time to spend with Sam in the field. They found, however, that
the training had been progressing satisfactorily. Sam was allowing the
dogs to range in ever widening circles, and on the whole they were
obeying his commands in a promising manner. They were beginning to
retrieve objects, also, not as a hit-or-miss game after the manner of
Rags, but in answer to the commands "Go fetch it," and "Pick it up."
Moreover, the dogs were less homesick now that they had begun to take
an interest in their occupations and to become acquainted with the
other dogs. They seemed to understand, too, that Ernest and Jack had
not utterly deserted them but might be expected to appear at almost
any moment.

But when it came time to go home Sam detained them for a moment.

"I've got to tell you something," said he, scratching his chin and
looking a bit unhappy, "and I don't believe you'll like it much."

"Oh," cried Ernest, "can't you keep the dogs?"

"I can keep Romulus," said Sam, "but I've got to ask you to take Remus
back. I've given him every chance and I find he's hopeless as a bird
dog. He learns quick enough--quicker than Romulus if anything. But
he's got no nose, none at all, and a setter with no nose is about
useless in the field. It would be a waste of time to try to train
him, and when we got on the birds he would only get in Romulus's way
and spoil him. So I guess you'll have to take him back and let me go
ahead with the good one."

"Why, what do you mean?" inquired Jack, struggling to hide his
disappointment. "Can't he smell?"

"Oh, I s'pose he can tell spoiled fish when he gets it, but he don't
catch the scent of anything on the air. I guess it was the distemper
that did it. He had it worse than Romulus and it often spoils their
noses when they have it hard enough. I'm sorry, but it can't be helped
and it can't be cured."

For a few minutes Jack stood silent, pressing his lips together. Then
suddenly he knelt down beside Remus and hugged him passionately.

"I don't care whether you've got a nose or not, Remus," he cried. "I
don't want to go hunting, ever. Noses don't matter. You're the best
dog in the whole world, anyhow."

And so they took Remus back with them that afternoon, leaving Romulus
behind, howling mournfully for his brother.

Such reports as they received from Sam indicated that the training of
Romulus proceeded with fair rapidity during the fall. They were not
able to go up to his shack very often for one reason or another, and
Jack, at least, was not so anxious to do so as he had been. Remus
lived in solitary luxury in Rome and was in some danger of being
spoiled by the petting he received from his loyal master.

Romulus, so Ernest learned, could now retrieve at command and would
bring back a dead pigeon or other bird without rumpling its feathers.
He would also range in obedience to a wave of Sam's hand and was
gradually learning to stand fast and hold his point when he flushed a
covey of birds. Finally Sam took out his gun to shoot over him, and
the rest of his training was to be chiefly that persistent practice
which finally makes perfect.

It was decided that Romulus should remain with Sam until snow fell,
but one night there came a scratching and a whining at the door and a
series of peculiar short little barks so persistently kept up that
they awakened both the boys. They slipped on their dressing gowns and
slippers and stole downstairs.

At the door they found Romulus with a broken bit of rope tied to his
collar.

"Why," cried Jack, "it's Romulus. See, he must have broken away."

"He came all the way home alone in the dark," said Ernest. "How do you
s'pose he ever found his way?"

Romulus seemed to understand that it was not the time to make a noise,
for though he kept leaping on the boys in an access of delight and
making little sounds in his throat that were almost human, he
refrained from the loud, joyous barking that he would have indulged in
if it had been daytime. Remus had heard him, however, and was making a
considerable commotion in Rome. So the boys took Romulus quietly out
to his brother, who greeted him with paw and tongue and voice, and
bidding both dogs goodnight, they went back to the house.

So it was decided that if Romulus so much desired his own home, he
should be deprived of it no longer. Sam came down in a day or two to
find out about it.

"I thought he'd probably run home," said he, "but I wanted to make
sure. I guess we'd better leave him here now. I'm pretty near through
with him for this fall, anyway. You just bring him up once in awhile
so I can take him out and not let him forget what I've learned him."

Meanwhile the affairs of Boytown were going on much as usual. Autumn
passed in golden glory, with nutting expeditions in October in which
sometimes as many as a dozen boys and a dozen dogs joined forces. As
they started out through the town streets, Mr. Fellowes, the news
dealer and stationer, said it looked as though a circus had come to
town.

Such things, however, were of common and regular occurrence. Only two
episodes of that season deserve to be specially recorded. One was a
dog fight which for a time brought the dog-owning fraternity of
Boytown into ill repute.

For some time several of the boys had been bragging, as boys will,
about the prowess in battle of their particular dogs, and this
narrowed down at length to an unsettled controversy between Monty
Hubbard and Harry Barton. Monty maintained that the Irish terrier was
the greatest dare-devil and fighter in the canine world, and he quoted
books and individuals to prove it. Harry, on the other hand, insisted
that the bulldog's grit and tenacity were proverbial, and loudly
asserted that if Mike once got a grip on Mr. O'Brien's throat, it
would be good-by, Mr. O'Brien.

It is only fair to the boys to state that it was the Irish terrier
that started the fracas on his own initiative. He was a scrappy
terrier, always ready to start something, and it usually required
considerable vigilance to keep him out of trouble. But it must be
confessed that on this particular occasion his master did not exert
the usual restraint.

It happened out on the road that Ernest and Jack so often took when
they visited Sam Bumpus or Trapper's Cave. Mr. O'Brien had been
annoying the other dogs for some little time, rushing and barking at
them and inviting a friendly encounter. He was not vicious, but he
loved a tussle. Finally Mike the bulldog, usually so long-suffering,
lost patience and turned on Mr. O'Brien with a menacing snarl that
seemed to mean business. For a moment the Irishman stood still in
surprise, while Mike, his head held low, waited with a stubborn look
in his eyes.

[Illustration: Irish Terrier]

That was clearly the time for interference, but I regret to say that
instead of interfering, the boys grouped themselves about with
feelings of not unpleasant anticipation. I further regret to say that
Ernest Whipple was one of the most interested.

Suddenly Mr. O'Brien, recovering from his surprise, returned to the
attack with an impetuous rush which nearly bowled Mike over. But
Mike was heavier than Mr. O'Brien and stood very solidly on his four
outspread feet. He merely turned about and presented a terrifying
front to his more active antagonist. Again Mr. O'Brien rushed, seeking
a hold on Mike's big, muscular neck.

For a time Mr. O'Brien seemed to be having the best of it. He took the
offensive and seemed to be on all sides of Mike at once. The bulldog's
ear was bleeding and Harry urged him to retaliate.

Suddenly Mike raised his huge bulk and bore down the lighter dog
beneath his weight. Then he began methodically seeking the vice-like
hold that would have meant the last of Mr. O'Brien.

Just at that moment, however, a diversion occurred.

"Here, there, what are you doin'?" demanded a man's hoarse voice, and
Sam Bumpus came striding into the thick of it. Without the slightest
fear or hesitation, though such an act was decidedly not without
danger, he darted in and seized the dogs by their collars, one in each
hand, and displaying wonderful strength of arm he dragged them apart.
If Mike had succeeded in getting his hold, if Sam had come up a minute
later, he could not have done it. As it was, he held the snarling,
struggling dogs at arm's length, shook them, and then ordered their
masters to take them in charge and keep them apart.

Ernest had never seen Sam angry before; he was usually the embodiment
of even-tempered good humor. But he was angry now. His jaws snapped
and his eyes flashed, and he seemed to be itching to give somebody a
good spanking. At last he spoke.

"I thought you boys was fond of dogs," he said. "I thought you made a
great fuss about bein' kind to animals. You ought to be ashamed of
yourselves, settin' two good dogs on to fight each other. Don't you
know no better? Dogs are built to fight, and they ought to know how to
when it's necessary, but any man or boy that starts 'em fightin' for
sport is a coward."

Without another word he turned and vanished into the woods. The boys
made no comments, either, and I am glad to say that most of them were
about as ashamed of themselves as boys can be. By common consent the
afternoon's expedition was abandoned and the company dispersed.

But that was not all of it. The story of the dog fight leaked out, and
there was more than one home in Boytown in which a boy was warned that
if anything of that kind happened again there would be no more dogs in
that family. And Monty Hubbard received something even more impressive
than a lecture. Mrs. Hammond, when she heard of it, was wise enough to
say nothing until the matter had cooled down somewhat. Then she took
occasion to set forth her views in a way that the boys never forgot,
and there was never another encouraged dog fight in that town.

The other incident which I spoke of was the strange disappearance of
Romulus. One morning he was gone and he did not return home all that
day. Ernest searched for him in vain and went to bed that night with a
very heavy heart. The next day Romulus did not appear, nor the next.
Acting on his father's advice, Ernest placed an advertisement in the
paper and offered a reward, but without result. Little by little
Ernest was forced to give up hope, and a very disconsolate boy he was.
Jack and Remus did their best to console him, but he grieved night and
day. No one could suggest what had become of Romulus.

Then, on the evening of the fifth day, a slight scratching was heard
at the door, and a low whine. Ernest, who was studying his lessons,
heard it first. Dropping his book on the floor, he rushed out, closely
followed by Jack and Mr. Whipple. There lay Romulus on the door mat,
"all in," as Sam Bumpus would have said. He was so weak and weary that
he could hardly rise, and the wonder was that he had been able to drag
himself home. A piece of rope attached to his collar showed that he
had broken loose from somewhere, and bleeding feet testified to the
distance he had come. Ernest lifted him in his arms and buried his
face in the dog's shaggy coat, and Romulus responded as well as he
could with a warm, moist tongue and a wagging tail.

After they had given him a dinner of warm broth and had made him
comfortable in Rome, Mr. Whipple succeeded at last in dragging Ernest
away.

"He'll be all right now," said Mr. Whipple. "He's exhausted, but he'll
soon recover from that. He's a young dog, you know."

"But where could he have been?" wondered Jack.

"It's my belief that he was stolen," said Mr. Whipple. "Someone who
knew he was a valuable dog stole him, but I doubt if we shall ever
learn who it was. But he must have been taken some distance away. He
looks as though he might have traveled thirty miles or more."

"How do you s'pose he ever found his way back?" asked Jack.

Mr. Whipple shook his head. "Dogs are wonderful creatures," said he.



CHAPTER X

WILLOWDALE DOGS IN NEW YORK


There are parts of Connecticut in which winter is likely to be a
rather moist and miserable season, but Boytown was situated in the
hills where it was colder and dryer. It lay in the snow belt, as Mr.
Whipple used to say. Consequently, winter was, for these boys, a
season which offered as many opportunities for outdoor sport as
summer--coasting, skating, and all the rest of it.

A favorite pastime with Ernest and Jack Whipple was what they called
snowshoeing. They wore no snowshoes or skiis, to be sure, but they
pretended they did, and they enjoyed trudging off over the
snow-covered fields and through the woods with their dogs, with their
eyes ever on the alert for the tracks of birds and wild animals. It
was Sam Bumpus who taught them how to distinguish these tracks, and
whenever they found an unfamiliar one they took the news to him and
learned what animal had made it. He showed them where a flock of quail
had spent the night in a close circle on the lee of a stone wall or a
corn shock and he told them about the quail's interesting life
history. He showed them how some birds hop and some, like the crow and
the blackbird and the starling, walk like a man or a chicken. He
taught them to know the tracks of the squirrel, the rabbit, and the
white-footed mouse, and even the fox and the raccoon, and one day he
showed them where an owl's wings had brushed the snow when he swooped
down to catch a mouse whose lacy little trail ended abruptly. Jack
thought that was a sad little story for the snow to tell.

Often they wanted no other object than merely to be out in the open,
with the constant possibility of finding rare tracks, but sometimes
they walked with a more definite purpose--to take Romulus up to Sam's
for a little training to refresh his memory, or, when a longer trip
was possible, to pay a visit to Tom Poultice and the Hartshorns. They
were always welcome there.

It was on one of these visits in January that Mr. Hartshorn made good
his promise to tell them something about the breeds of gun dogs other
than setters and spaniels.

"I thought you must have forgotten about that," said he. "What
memories you youngsters have--for some things. Well, suppose we see
how much we know about the pointer. He is the dog, you know, that
contests with the English setter the title of most popular and
efficient gun dog. I won't attempt to settle the matter. Each breed
has its loyal advocates, and at the field trials sometimes a pointer
wins and sometimes a setter.

"The pointer is a wonderfully symmetrical, lithe, athletic dog, with
remarkable nose, bird sense, and action. Like the setter he has been
trained to point and retrieve. He strains back to hound origin,
probably, but was developed as a distinct breed in Europe long ago,
doubtless with the help of setter and foxhound crosses. Some pointers
are wonderfully stanch. I knew of one who held the same point without
moving for an hour and a quarter, while an artist painted his
portrait, and I once heard of one who caught a scent while halfway
over a fence, and hung there by his fore paws till the birds were
flushed.

"Then there are several varieties of retrievers that are also bird
dogs. In this country we have the retrievers proper, the Labrador dog,
and the Chesapeake Bay dog, though none of them are very common. They
are all probably of spaniel origin.

"The Labrador dog is supposed to have come from Labrador, but we don't
know much about his history before 1850, when he was introduced into
England and was trained and used as a sporting dog. The wavy-coated
retriever, called also the flat-coated retriever, became popular among
British sportsmen and fanciers about 1870. He has a wavy coat,
longer than that of the Labrador dog. The curly-coated retriever, less
common in England than the wavy, has seldom been shown here. He is
characterized by short, crisp curls all over his body, with the
exception of the head, strongly suggesting the presence of poodle or
Irish water spaniel blood in his make-up. The Chesapeake Bay dog
originated in Maryland and possesses many of the traits of the
retrievers. He probably sprang from Labrador ancestors, crossed with
tan-colored hounds.

"Finally we come to a very interesting dog, one that you would love if
you knew him--the wire-haired pointing griffon. He is a new dog with
us, but an old one in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He is a
splendid bird dog, useful for all kinds of game, and a natural pointer
and retriever. He is medium-sized, symmetrical, and well built, with a
wiry coat, and has a face something like an otter hound or an
Airedale. And there you have all the prominent gun dogs."

"What is an otter hound?" asked Ernest.

Mr. Hartshorn laughed. "You are insatiable," said he. "Some day I'll
tell you about the otter hound and all the other members of the hound
family, but not to-day. You've had enough."

It was partly the prospect of gaining information of this sort that
made the trips to Willowdale so attractive to the boys, partly a
genuine liking for Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn, and partly the fun of
talking with Tom Poultice and watching the Airedales and bull
terriers. But more than all I think it was the homelike, hospitable
character and doggy atmosphere of the big house. It was a place where
everybody loved dogs and took as much interest in them as though they
were people, and where any dog lover was welcome. Consequently, their
visits there were more frequent than Mrs. Whipple thought was quite
proper.

"You'll wear out your welcome," she warned. But somehow they didn't
seem to.

It was during these winter days that they heard a good deal of talk
about dog shows, both from Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn and from Tom
Poultice. Tom, indeed, was as much interested in the show dogs as if
they had been his own and he was never tired of talking of their
achievements on the bench and of their possible future triumphs. Mr.
Hartshorn owned a string of winners of both his breeds that were
famous throughout the country and that included several great
champions. Tom, who nearly always took the dogs to the shows and
stayed with them, knew every little point about them as well as the
points of their rivals.

"Of course, it's a bloomin' gamble," he would say. "So much depends on
whether your dog or the other one is in the best condition. That's why
I've been doing so much fussing over them this winter. You can't be
too careful. An upset stomach may mean a staring coat and may spoil a
dog's chances. And then again you may run up against a new judge with
hideas of 'is own, and then all your reckoning goes to smash. It's a
great game, boys."

And so they were wont to go out to the kennels and watch Tom grooming
the dogs and listen to his wise talk about points and judging. These
were busy days for him, for some of the biggest shows take place in
the winter and the early spring, and he had to keep the dogs in
constant condition.

It was from Tom that they learned the names of famous dogs of various
breeds, of instances when great champions had been beaten by unknown
newcomers, and of the rising and setting stars of dogdom, but it was
from Mr. Hartshorn that they gained a clear idea of what a dog show
was like. He described to them the crowded halls, the long rows of
dogs of many breeds chained in little stalls on benches, the
arrangement of novice and puppy and limit and open classes for the
different breeds, and all the rest of it.

"The dogs are taken to the show ring in classes," said he, "and the
judge for that breed sizes them up, feels of them, examines eyes,
teeth, and hair, compares posture and spirit and all the other things
that count, figures it all up according to a scale of points, and then
hands out ribbons to the winners--a blue ribbon for first prize, a red
one for second, and a yellow one for third. Cash prizes go with the
ribbons usually. There are also special trophies for special winnings,
such as the best American-bred dog of the breed, or the best brace,
and there is the contest between the winners of the different classes
in each breed. Finally, in some of the big shows, there is a special
trophy for the best dog of any breed in the show. This contest is
usually held at the end of the show, or perhaps before the packs of
hounds and beagles are judged, and it is always an exciting time.
Every exhibitor hopes to win one of the specials, but most of the dogs
are trying for their championship titles."

"How do they win a championship?" asked Ernest.

"A dog becomes a champion," answered Mr. Hartshorn, "when he has won
fifteen points in authorized shows. These points are granted according
to the size of the show. At the biggest shows the winner of a first
prize gets three points; at the smaller shows, where he has less
competition, he gets two points or one point. An official record is
kept of them all."

"The New York show is the biggest of all, isn't it?" asked Ernest.

"Yes," said Mr. Hartshorn. "It is usually held in Madison Square
Garden in February--four days including Washington's Birthday. It's
too long a time for the dogs to be benched, but there are so many of
them that it is impossible to get through the judging in less time.
Sixteen or eighteen hundred dogs are shown there, worth I don't know
how many thousands of dollars, and the crowds of spectators are big in
proportion. You get an idea at one of those shows how many people are
interested in dogs. The New York show is run by the Westminster Kennel
Club, and because it's the biggest of all its trophies are greatly
coveted. The dog that is adjudged the best of all breeds at the New
York show becomes the champion of champions of the United States."

"Oh, my!" sighed Jack, "I wish I could see a dog show like that."

"You will, some day," said Mr. Hartshorn. "And who knows but that you
may have a dog benched there and carry away some blue ribbons and a
silver cup."

"Anyway," said Ernest, "you'll tell us all about this next one, and
what your dogs win, won't you, Mr. Hartshorn?"

"You may depend upon that," said he.

When the other boys learned what was afoot they all became mightily
interested in the bench-show game and in the prospects of the
Willowdale entries at New York. One or two of them had subscribed to
papers devoted to the dog fancy and these were handed about until the
boys had familiarized themselves with the names of some of the old
champions and the newer dogs of whom great things were expected.
Heated discussions ensued, but all were agreed in wishing luck to the
Willowdale dogs.

They were a bit disappointed when they learned that Mr. Hartshorn had
decided to send down only four of the bull terriers and five
Airedales, but Tom Poultice explained the reason for this.

"It costs five dollars for each entry of each dog, and wot's the use
of entering dogs that don't stand a chance? Ch. Earl of Norfolk is
getting old and 'e's all out of coat, and it wouldn't be fair to 'im
to show 'im that way. We've picked the ones we're going to win with."

When Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn and Tom Poultice started out in the big
car for New York, with two of Mrs. Hartshorn's Poms on the back seat
with her, they were followed by the envious longings of most of the
boys of Boytown. But the boys did not have to wait for their return to
learn about the results of the judging. They bought New York papers
which reported the show fully, and they devoured every word of the
reports. Many of the familiar names appeared among the winners, and
the Willowdale dogs captured their full share of the honors. Even Mrs.
Hartshorn's Tip won two red ribbons, while that splendid bull terrier,
Willowdale's White Hope, was adjudged the best American-bred dog of
his breed exhibited by his breeder, and gathered up enough extra
points to secure his championship title. But the climax in their
rejoicing was reached when they read that the new Airedale, Bingo's
Queen Molly, had gone right through her classes to reserve winners in
an entry of over one hundred of the best Airedales in the United
States.

It was, in short, a great four days for Willowdale. The Hartshorns
returned on Sunday, having arranged for the shipment of the dogs on
Saturday, and they graciously invited the whole gang up on the
following Saturday to admire the conquering heroes and their shining
trophies and to learn all about what happened from the lips of Mr. and
Mrs. Hartshorn and Tom Poultice, who, by the way, wore a grin that
appeared to have become permanent.

"Didn't I tell you that Molly was the genooine harticle?" was his
frequently repeated comment.

It was unthinkable that, after all this, the boys should speedily lose
interest. On the contrary, dog shows remained the foremost topic of
conversation for a month, until one day Herbie Pierson had an
inspiration.

"Say, fellers," he exploded one morning, bursting in upon a group of
his friends in front of the schoolhouse, "let's get up a dog show of
our own."

Just then the bell rang, which was rather unfortunate for all
concerned. The teachers found the boys strangely inattentive that day
and preoccupied, and more than one of them had to be reprimanded for
whispering or for passing notes.

As soon as they obtained their freedom they plunged at once into a
discussion of Herbie's fascinating plan, and in an incredibly short
time they had arranged the essential details. The Easter recess was
selected as the most fitting time for the Boytown Dog Show and a
committee was appointed, consisting of Herbie Pierson, Harry Barton,
and Ernest Whipple, to select a suitable place and make the necessary
arrangements.

After considerable discussion it was decided that the Morton barn
would make an ideal show hall, provided they could gain Mr. Morton's
consent. It was one of the largest barns in the town proper and it was
for the most part unoccupied, Mr. Morton having disposed of his horses
when he bought his car.

Mr. Morton was the president of the First National Bank, and a
person of great dignity and importance, of whom the boys stood
somewhat in awe. But they had set their hearts on getting his barn,
and so they screwed up their courage and called on him at his home one
afternoon after banking hours.

He turned out to be not such a formidable personage after all. In
fact, he was amused by the diffidence of the delegation that called on
him, and even more amused when Harry Barton, who had been chosen
spokesman, outlined their plan and requested the use of his barn.

"I'll let you hold your show in my barn on two conditions," said he,
after asking several questions. "First, you must promise to clean up
thoroughly after it's all over. Second, will you allow me to enter Li
Hung Chang in competition?"

Li Hung Chang was the blue-gray chow that followed at Mr. Morton's
heels wherever he went, spent his days at the bank, and never had a
word to say to any other dog. To this request the committee granted a
ready and joyful request. And it gave them another idea--to invite the
adult dog owners of Boytown, as well as the boys, to exhibit their
dogs.

A meeting of the Humane Society was called to receive the report of
the committee's success and to arrange further details. It was voted
to charge an entrance fee of fifty cents for each dog shown and
twenty-five cents admission for spectators, the proceeds to be donated
to the local chapter of the Red Cross of which Mrs. Hammond was an
active member.

Since there were hardly two dogs in Boytown of the same breed, it did
not seem possible to arrange for classes as in the big shows, so it
was decided to make it a free-for-all contest, with first, second, and
third prizes. Another committee was appointed to obtain these prizes
from Boytown merchants and to secure the services of Mr. Hartshorn as
judge.

Mr. Hartshorn, when approached on the matter, quite readily gave his
consent, and the boys did not have great difficulty in obtaining the
prizes when they explained that the show would be for the benefit of
the Red Cross. In fact, Mr. Pierson, Herbie's father, who was a
jeweler, was unexpectedly generous. He promised a silver cup for the
first prize--not a large one, but real silver--to be engraved later
with the name of the show, the date, and the name of the winning dog.
The boys were so enthusiastically grateful for this that they
expressed the hope that Herbie's Hamlet might win the trophy himself.

For six months past Ernest Whipple had been delivering evening papers
for Mr. Fellowes, the news dealer, and had become quite a close friend
of his employer's. This was due to the fact that Mr. Fellowes had
once had a brindle bull terrier that had met an untimely death and
whose memory ever remained fresh in his heart. The dog's name had been
Bounce, and Mr. Fellowes found in Ernest a willing listener to his
tales of Bounce's sagacity, courage, and fidelity. He was a genuine
dog lover and enjoyed having Ernest bring Romulus in to see him, for
the boy's dog nearly always accompanied him on his paper route. Mr.
Fellowes had become much interested in the activities of the Humane
Society and had become acquainted with most of the dogs of Boytown,
and when Ernest told him about the plan for a show he expressed a wish
to have some part in it. Ernest was not a member of the prize
committee, but when he reported that Mr. Fellowes wished to donate a
dog collar, it was unanimously voted to accept it as second prize. The
third prize was a twenty-pound box of dog biscuit offered by Mr.
Dewey, the grocer.



CHAPTER XI

THE BOYTOWN DOG SHOW


The Boytown Dog Show was scheduled for Wednesday of Easter week, and
the days preceding it were busy ones for the members of the Boytown
Humane Society. They called on every owner of a dog in town, both boys
and grown-ups, and succeeded in obtaining entry fees from a good
proportion of them. In the end, they had twenty-six entries, ranging
from Herbie Pierson's Great Dane down to Mrs. Peabody's little Peke,
and they saw to it that every one of these dogs was benched on the day
of the show.

On Monday morning the citizens of Boytown were amused to find tacked
to trees, billboards, and telephone poles in different parts of the
town a score or more home-made posters announcing the show, and
advertisements appeared in the local papers. The posters were somewhat
crudely done, perhaps, in red and black ink, but they left no doubt as
to their import, and it is safe to say that there wasn't a single
resident of Boytown who did not soon know of the coming exhibition.
The posters read as follows:

     BOYTOWN DOG SHOW!

    _Morton's Barn, Henry Street._

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12.

    9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

    Come and see the finest dogs in Boytown. 26 dogs--21 breeds.
    First, second, and third prizes will be awarded to the best
    dogs. Mr. Merton Hartshorn, proprietor of the famous Willowdale
    Kennels, will act as judge. Judging will begin at 2.30 P.M.
    Prizes will be awarded at 4 P.M.

    ADMISSION, 25 CENTS.

    The proceeds will be given to the
    Red Cross.

The question of Dick Wheaton gave the boys a little trouble. They
didn't like Dick, he was not a member of the Humane Society, and some
of the boys thought he ought to be barred out because of his
well-known disposition to be unkind to animals. Besides, he had been
openly making fun of the whole proceeding. Being divided in the
matter, they sought Mrs. Hammond's advice.

"I should let him enter Gyp if he will," said she. "It can't do you
any harm, and it may help to get Dick a little more interested in dogs
and in the Humane Society. Besides, it isn't Dick that's going to be
benched, but Gyp, and you haven't anything against Gyp."

Put in that way, it did seem unfair to bar out an unoffending dog, who
deserved nothing but sympathy, just because his master was not
popular. So Gyp became one of the twenty-six. Mr. Hartshorn refused to
consider bringing down any of his dogs, and the boys were rather glad
of that, for it would hardly be a fair competition if the ordinary
dogs of Boytown were obliged to compete with the winners of
Willowdale. It was too much like introducing professionals into an
amateur contest.

"Besides," said Mr. Hartshorn, "it would be highly improper for a
judge to have to judge his own dogs. It isn't done, you know."

So that matter was satisfactorily settled. Mrs. Hartshorn was invited
to enter her toys, but she declined on the ground that this was a
Boytown show and they were Thornboro dogs. As for Sam Bumpus, he said
that a shoemaker had best stick to his last, and that a trainer of gun
dogs had no business to be mixing up with bench shows.

Meanwhile, the original committee had been busy getting the show hall
into shape. Enough boards were obtained from here, there, and
everywhere to make two long benches, one along each side of the barn,
stoutly built and standing about two feet from the floor. These were
divided off by partitions into enough stalls to accommodate all the
dogs entered, and a coat of whitewash made the whole look clean and
neat.

At the inner end of the barn the amateur carpenters erected a ring of
posts, connected by a rope. This was where the judging was to take
place. Finally, a cashier's booth was made out of a large dry-goods
box and placed at the entrance, and Theron Hammond was elected to
stand there and receive the admission fees, as he was the treasurer of
the Humane Society. Frank Stoddard, who had no dog to show, but who
was as much interested as any of them, was appointed to purchase tins
for drinking water and to keep them filled during the show.

The last thing they placed cedar shavings from the planing mill in
each of the stalls, arranged hooks to fasten the leashes to, and
tacked to the wall above each place a card bearing the name, breed,
and owner of the dog that was to occupy it. So far as possible, they
arranged the dogs in accordance with their size. When it came to
Rags's card, they were a bit puzzled, for Mr. Hartshorn had told them
that Rags didn't belong to any recognized breed. But it didn't seem
fair to Rags to leave the space blank, so they invented a name for his
breed--wire-haired American terrier.

On the morning of the great show Jack Whipple awoke early and jumped
out of bed.

"Ernest!" he cried, and there was gloom in his voice.

"What is it?" asked Ernest, sleepily.

"It's raining," said Jack.

"Oh, dear!" groaned Ernest.

But they hurried through their breakfast, nevertheless, and taking
Romulus and Remus they hastened down to Morton's barn. They found that
the other members of the society were equally unafraid of a little
rain, but they were all a bit depressed. The prospect for a successful
show did not seem very bright. However, since all the arrangements had
been made, the boys decided that the only thing to do was to go ahead.
Other exhibitors arrived, some of them planning to spend the day with
their pets, but it was ten o'clock before Theron Hammond took in a
single admission fee. Furthermore, Mrs. Peabody and one or two other
timid exhibitors had failed to put in an appearance, and special
messengers had to be despatched to fetch them.

It was just as well, perhaps, that the boys had this extra time to put
on the finishing touches, for the dogs were not used to this sort of
confinement and made a good deal of trouble before they could be
quieted. Then a special shelf had to be built for the display of the
prizes. The boys were so busy, in fact, that they hardly noticed that
the rain had ceased. About eleven o'clock Theron gave a glad cry.

"The sun's coming out," he announced. "And here comes a gang of
people."

From that time on the spectators arrived in a steady stream, until the
barn became quite crowded and the dogs were much excited. The members
of the society acted as ushers and entertained their visitors with
more or less learned lectures on the different breeds. And for the
most part the spectators appeared to be hugely pleased with the whole
performance, boys and dogs included.

But the center of attraction turned out to be a dog that everyone knew
didn't stand a show for even third prize. It was comical old Rags. He
seemed to be enjoying the show more than anybody else in the place and
to feel that the Red Cross needed his services as an entertainer. He
was ready with uplifted paw to greet every visitor that stopped in
front of his bench and he never failed to bring a smile to the face of
the least interested. You couldn't see Rags without loving him, his
eyes were so merry, his smile so broad and warm, his crooked ears so
absurdly fascinating. He got as much patting and petting that day as
some dogs get in a lifetime, and it seemed to him, at least, that a
dog show was a most excellent kind of institution. Some of the dogs
didn't take to it in so kindly a manner. Mr. O'Brien, in fact, became
quite ill tempered before the day was over.

To say that Jimmie Rogers was pleased is not overstating the truth. He
was prouder of Rags than if he had won all the silver cups in
Christendom, and he kept busy most of the day putting Rags through his
many tricks.

The boys went home to dinner in relays, and by two o'clock the crowd
was even larger. They were curious to see what the judging would be
like. Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn and Tom Poultice arrived in the
automobile, and after they had inspected the dogs, many of whom knew
them, Mr. Hartshorn announced that the judging would begin.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said he. "If you will kindly give me your
attention, and if Monty Hubbard will be good enough to sit on Mr.
O'Brien's head, I will explain the manner in which the judging will be
conducted. When I call out the names, the owners will please bring
their dogs to the ring. I will inspect them in groups of five. I will
make a note of the best dogs in these groups, and will then ask to see
some of them a second time in order to determine for certain which
are, in my judgment, the best dogs."

Beginning with Hamlet, he called for the first five dogs in the row,
and proceeded thus until, in the last group, six were judged. He
went at it in a businesslike manner, examining each dog carefully, and
making jottings in a notebook. When asked about his basis for judging
the dogs, he promised to explain that when he announced the winners.
Each owner held his or her own dog in the ring, making him walk past
the judge when so requested, and it all went smoothly until the third
group came to be judged. Then, before anyone knew what had happened,
the overwrought Mr. O'Brien had made an angry lunge at Li Hung Chang,
and there was something doing in the show ring. The chow was not
lacking in courage and returned the attack, while the other three dogs
struggled vainly to mix in. Some of the ladies in the audience
screamed, and it required the combined efforts of Mr. Hartshorn, Mr.
Morton, Tom Poultice, and Monty Hubbard to separate the antagonists
and straighten things out again. Mr. O'Brien was unsatisfied and
snarled ominously, but it made him look all the more spirited during
the judging. After that there were no untoward events to mar the
occasion.

By the time Mr. Hartshorn had had some of the dogs up a second and
even a third time it was nearly four o'clock, the hour set for
announcing the winners. The place was crowded now, and not a little
speculation was heard as to the judge's probable decisions. Among the
boys, at least, this interest in the outcome amounted to tense
excitement, in which some of the grown-ups were not ashamed to share.

At length Mr. Hartshorn came to the rope and addressed the gathering.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said he: "you are all waiting, I know, to
learn the names of the winning dogs, but first I think I ought to
offer a few words of explanation. Let me say that we have some very
good dogs here to-day. They might not measure up to the standard set
in the big shows, but they are very good representatives of the
various breeds. Since it is necessary to compare dogs of different
breeds instead of dogs of the same breed in judging, it is not
altogether easy to reach a decision on comparative merits. I can only
rely upon my best judgment and will ask you to be indulgent with me in
case you do not agree with my choice.

"In judging dogs at a show, we do not take into consideration the
personal character or intelligence of a dog, but chiefly his physical
characteristics. He must not appear stupid, and he must show the
qualities of character attributed to his breed. A sleepy terrier, for
instance, cannot win in a show. Beyond that, however, it is a matter
of what is called type. Authorities have carefully gone over the
points that are typical of each breed and have written them out in
what are called the standards. Winning dogs must conform very
largely to the type described in the standard, and the more of the
established points he can show in perfect form, the higher will be his
score in selecting his position among the winners. I cannot take your
time to describe all these points in each case, but simply state that
my judging is on that basis.

"It is an arbitrary method, I grant you, and there are good people who
protest against judging dogs in accordance with their physical
features, not taking into account the qualities of heart and brain
that we really care for in a dog. But that is the fancier's way of
getting at it. If we did not have arbitrary and approved standards to
work toward in breeding, every breeder would work out his own personal
ideas, and we would have a strange assortment of sizes and shapes and
no predominant type in any breed. It is the work of the fanciers that
has produced the marked differences between the breeds and that keeps
them from degenerating into a sorry lot of mixed mongrels, until we
should not be able to tell a collie from a St. Bernard.

"I trust that this brief explanation will give you an idea of the
basis of my judgment in this show. I have given the preference not to
the wisest and most capable and most affectionate dogs, but to those
that most nearly approach the approved standards of their breeds. I
will now ask to have the following dogs brought to the ring: Mr.
Sanderson's German shepherd dog, Rupert of Hentzau; Mrs. Peabody's
Pekingese spaniel, Chi Yen; Herbert Pierson's Great Dane, Hamlet;
Harry Barton's English bulldog, Mike; Montague Hubbard's Irish
terrier, Mr. O'Brien (keep him on a short leash, Monty); Jack
Whipple's English setter, Remus."

All of these dogs have been previously mentioned except Rupert. Both
he and his master were newcomers in Boytown, and the big, strong,
active dog, with his wolfish look, his erect ears, and his brave,
bright eyes, had attracted a good deal of attention at the show. When
the six dogs had been brought again into the ring, Mr. Hartshorn
continued his discourse.

"I believe," said he, "that all of these dogs should receive honorable
mention, or, as we call it at the shows, the V. H. C.--very highly
commended. They all possess points of excellence, but all fall short
in some particulars. Rupert of Hentzau looks like a perfect dog, but
if you were to compare him with the best of his breed you would see
that he is a little too short in the head, too flat-sided, and too
leggy. Chi Yen measures up pretty well, but she hasn't a good color
and her coat isn't quite as profuse as it should be. Hamlet's feet and
ankles are bad. This is often the case with big dogs that grew fast
when they were puppies. Their bones do not strengthen fast enough to
bear their increasing weight, and the result is apt to be flat feet,
turning out, and bent ankles. Hamlet is a bit thin, too, but is
otherwise a good Dane. In the English bulldog classes, the preference
is generally given to the extreme types. A dog with wider elbows,
deeper chest, and a heavier jaw would beat Mike easily. Mr. O'Brien
has Irish terrier character a-plenty, but he is a bit too large and
coarse, as the expression is, and his coat is too long and soft and
too light in color. Remus will make a fine dog some day, I believe,
but he has had hard luck thus far and he hasn't grown up quite evenly.
He needs strengthening in the shoulders and he is out of coat. His
tail is a bit stringy. With proper care, I believe these defects can
be obviated. I take pleasure in conferring the V. H. C. on these six
dogs."

They were led out of the ring amid the applause of the spectators,
which somewhat softened the disappointment of their owners in not
taking prizes. When Mr. Hartshorn called for the three dogs that were
to receive the honors of the show, the applause increased. In answer
to their names, Theron Hammond, Ernest Whipple, and Dick Wheaton
brought their dogs proudly to the ring. Mr. Hartshorn took the
handsome silver cup from its shelf and held it up where all might see.

"It gives me great pleasure," he announced, "to confer the first
prize upon Alert, Boston terrier, owned by Theron Hammond."

Theron stepped forward, blushing violently and smiling broadly, and
took the trophy from the hands of the judge. Then he stooped down
impulsively and picked Alert up, hugging him in his arms, to which
demonstration Alert replied by gently chewing his master's ear. When
the hand-clapping had died down, Mr. Hartshorn continued:

"I will not spoil this triumph by pointing out Alert's defects. He
would very likely meet his superiors in one of the big shows, for the
Boston terrier entries are always very large, but I don't think he
would be entirely out of the running in a novice class. I understand
he is a registered and pedigreed dog, and he certainly shows evidences
of good breeding. In my judgment he comes closer to his breed's
standard than any other dog in this show.

"The second prize, this handsome dog collar, is won by Romulus,
English setter, owned by Ernest Whipple. He is a litter brother of
Remus, but he is better developed and has a better coat. He is a
first-class specimen of the Llewellyn type, and though there are a few
points in which he falls below the strict bench-show standard, he is a
splendid setter.

"The third prize, which will perhaps be better appreciated by its
recipient than any of the others, is a box of dog biscuit. I hope,
however, that it will not form his sole diet, as he is doubtless
accustomed to a more varied and palatable menu. This prize is won by
Gypsie, smooth fox terrier, owned by Richard Wheaton. Gyp is a little
off type in some respects, but I have decided that, according to my
score of points, he is the third best dog in the show."

[Illustration: Boston Terrier]

Mr. Hartshorn bowed and withdrew, while Mrs. Hartshorn remarked to a
friend that she didn't believe he had ever made such a long speech
before in his life. The spectators crowded around the winners to
congratulate the three boys and to pat and admire their dogs. More
than one person in that barn had his or her eyes opened that day for
the first time to the points of excellence of dog-flesh. Still, there
were some who stepped back to the bench where Rags sat, an
uncomprehending spectator, and assured him that he was the best dog in
the show after all, and that he would have received the silver cup if
they had been the judges. Ernest and Theron had never known a happier
day of triumph, and even Dick Wheaton, who had received his prize with
a supercilious smile, appeared to be a bit softened for the time being
and to show some pride in his ownership of the much-abused Gyp.

There were, indeed, some heart-burnings among the losers. Herbie
Pierson, for one, had had high hopes of Hamlet. But they had all
agreed to accept the outcome like good sports and they could not
remain long despondent in the face of the success of their show. As
for Jack Whipple, the youngest exhibitor of all, he displayed a spirit
that the others would have been ashamed not to follow. He was frankly
pleased at the success of Romulus, and stoutly asserted that Remus
would have his big day yet. Mr. Fellowes was as much pleased as Ernest
was, and privately confided to him that he was glad Romulus didn't get
first prize, as he would have been disappointed to see any other dog
wearing that collar.

The people were beginning to file out of the barn, after a final
tour of the benches, when Mr. Hartshorn, standing beside the cashier's
booth, once more called for order.

"As you know," he said in his strong voice, "the proceeds of this show
are to be given to the Red Cross, and you may be interested to learn
just how much has been netted for that good cause by to-day's unique
effort on the part of the Boytown Humane Society. The treasurer,
Theron Hammond, has been busy with arithmetic for the past twenty
minutes and has an announcement to make."

Theron was suddenly stricken with stage fright, but he did not attempt
to make a speech. He merely read the figures of his report.

"Entry fees for 26 dogs," he read, "$13.00. Attendance, 242. Gate
receipts, $60.50. Total receipts, $73.50. Advertising, $8.00. Other
expenses, $2.67. Total expense, $10.67. Net proceeds, $62.83."

"I wonder," remarked Mr. Hartshorn to his wife, "if a dozen women
could knit $62.83 worth of mufflers in one day."

The exhibitors began taking their weary dogs home and the boys started
the cleaning-up process that was part of their bargain with Mr.
Morton. And so the great day ended.

The only fly in the ointment of Ernest and Jack Whipple was the fact
that, although their father had been an enthusiastic spectator
throughout the greater part of the afternoon, their mother had not
seen fit to attend. She was very busy, she said, and anyway, dogs did
not particularly interest her.

Next morning the two local papers contained full accounts of the show,
to the extent of a column or more, and they treated it as one of the
season's events of Boytown, giving the names of all the dogs and their
owners and a complete report of the awards, besides the treasurer's
report. One of them even published an editorial praising the work of
the Humane Society and suggesting that the town should be proud of its
boys and its dogs. Mr. Whipple and the boys devoured the contents of
these papers eagerly before breakfast. After breakfast they found Mrs.
Whipple reading one of them in the sitting-room.

"What are you reading, mother?" asked Mr. Whipple, but she was so
absorbed that she did not answer for a time.

At length she murmured, half to herself, "Hm! I don't see yet why
Remus didn't get a prize."

Whereat, it must be related, Mr. Whipple turned and winked at the boys
in a most undignified manner.



CHAPTER XII

CAMP BRITCHES


Spring came, and with it more training for Romulus, until Sam
pronounced him a fairly well-broken bird dog. May drifted into June
and June into July. Another school year came to a close and another
long vacation period began. The great dog show was now a thing of
ancient history and things were a bit slow in Boytown. It appeared
essential to the happiness and welfare of numerous boys and dogs that
something new should be undertaken.

It was Jimmie Rogers who suggested it, though there were a dozen
active, eager minds ready to seize upon the idea and develop it. They
were sitting on the bank of the swimming hole near the brickyard,
resting after an hour's swim and warming themselves in the sun. The
dogs were either wandering restlessly about in search of new
adventures, or were stretched out at their masters' feet. The boys
were somewhat languidly discussing the events of the Glorious Fourth
just past, and bemoaning the fact that another one would be so long in
coming.

"Fourth o' July's all right," remarked Jimmie, "but I think the most
fun in the whole world is camping out."

"Ho!" scoffed Harry Barton. "When did you ever go camping out?"

"I camped out one night with my father in an old shack over Oakdale
way," asserted Jimmie.

"That isn't camping out," said Harry. "Camping out is living in a tent
in the woods all summer, catching your own fish and cooking your own
grub and--and everything."

"Did you ever do that?" demanded Jimmie.

Harry was forced to admit that he never did.

"Gee, I wish we could all go camping out this summer," said Ernest
Whipple. "It would be great fun to take the dogs along."

"Well, why can't we?" inquired Jimmie.

Many of the boys held inwardly a well-founded notion that there would
be serious parental objections to a plan of this kind, but their ready
imaginations caught fire at the idea and they were soon in the midst
of a lively discussion of plans that gradually settled down from the
wild and fantastic to the faintly feasible. When they separated that
afternoon it was with the hopeful belief that they were going to
organize a camping expedition.

The expected parental opposition developed promptly and decidedly, but
when a dozen American boys get their hearts set on anything short of
discovering the North Pole something is sure to happen. They did not
quickly abandon their rosy project and they set about conquering the
opposition by means of a determined siege.

The chief point of objection, of course, which indeed appeared
insurmountable, was the natural belief on the part of parents that it
would not be safe or wise to let their boys leave home and go camping
out without the guardianship of some older person. No arguments could
be invented to prevail against this. But help came from an unexpected
quarter.

Theron Hammond's older brother, Alfred, a student at Yale and a
steady, reliable sort of fellow, was spending his summer at home and
was finding Boytown a bit dull after the activities of Junior year at
college. One evening, when Theron had broached the subject for the
fortieth time and his father had once more given a firm refusal,
Alfred put in his oar.

"Aw, father," said he, "let him go and give us a little peace in the
house. It won't hurt him."

"But, Alfred," said his father, "you know very well it would never do
to let those boys go off alone. None of the parents would permit it."

"Suppose Horace and I went with them," suggested Alfred. Horace Ames
was a classmate of Alfred's who was also languishing in summer
idleness in Boytown.

That put another face on the matter entirely. It must not be supposed
that the victory was won at once, however. It required two weeks more
of the siege to win capitulation all along the line. But the boys
conquered at last. They liked and admired the college students and
accepted their alliance with enthusiastic acclaim. Alfred talked it
over with his chum, and the more they discussed it the more they felt
that the conducting of this boy-and-dog camp would be great fun.
Horace had brought home with him from New Haven the ugliest-looking
and gentlest-tempered bulldog ever seen in the streets of Boytown. His
name was Eli and Horace vowed he would give Eli the pleasure of
camping out with the other dogs of Boytown. Eli was in training as a
football mascot, and Horace asserted that a summer experience of this
sort was just what he needed.

As their interest in the project grew, Alfred and Horace decided to
take an active part in the campaign, and they called personally on
every one of the doubting parents. Little by little they won them over
until at last the success of the plan was assured. Mrs. Whipple was
the last to give way, but Mr. Whipple had already been enlisted in the
cause and he proved, as ever, a loyal advocate.

"You must remember, mother," said he, "that Jack is eleven years old
now."

"Yes," said she, dubiously. In her eyes Jack was still a rosy-cheeked
baby.

"It is never too soon for boys to gain self-reliance," said Mr.
Whipple. "This camp will do Jack a lot of good, and Ernest, too.
They'll have to hold their own on a common footing with the other
boys, which is what they must do in later life. And Alfred and Horace
are as reliable and trustworthy a pair of young fellows as I know.
They won't let anything happen to our boys."

So at last even Mrs. Whipple granted a reluctant consent, and fourteen
boys, besides the two older ones, were at last enrolled as members of
the expedition. At first it had been understood that the camp was to
include only members of the Humane Society, and would be a sort of
club outing, but Mrs. Hammond suggested that the invitation be
extended to include also any boy in town who owned a dog, on the
ground that this might serve to recruit new members for the society.
Alfred seconded this.

"The more the merrier," said he.

So the invitation was sent abroad and had already been accepted in two
cases when the troublesome question of Dick Wheaton again arose. The
boys didn't want Dick at the camp, and Dick evinced no interest in
the project, but the bars had been let down and there seemed to be no
good excuse for not admitting Dick. Mrs. Hammond advised them to
invite him, but before they had done so, the matter was taken out of
their hands; the difficulty was solved for them.

One night Gyp, tired of his ill treatment, heartbroken, hopeless of
ever being able to win his master's true affection, and doubtless
seeking a happier home, ran away and was never again seen in Boytown.
So Dick, since he no longer owned a dog, was automatically eliminated,
much to the relief of those who did not want him. It seemed a just
retribution that he should lose the creature that loved him so, but it
is doubtful if Dick cared very much.

"I only hope," said Mrs. Hammond, when she was told about it, "that
this will teach Dick a lesson and that poor Gyp will find a good
master and pass the rest of his days in peace and happiness. He is a
dear, loving little dog, and he deserves it."

Including Eli, there were fourteen dogs in the party, which was more
than had at first been counted on, for not all the members of the
Humane Society were dog owners, though the outsiders all had to be. It
happened in this way: Frank Stoddard had long been pleading with his
parents to be allowed to have a dog, and at last they surrendered and
gave him one on his birthday. Mr. Stoddard believed in doing nothing
by halves and so he purchased a really fine young collie, sable and
white, named MacTavish, and usually called Mac for short. So Frank had
a canine companion for the camp and his cup of joy was full.

And there was still another new dog in town. Elliot Garfield's uncle,
who knew of the boy's earnest desire to own a dog, sent him early in
August an Old English sheepdog. The uncle wrote that he was going to
travel a bit, and that if Elliot would guarantee to give his dog a
good home, he might have him for his own. You may believe that Elliot
was not slow in agreeing to that proposition. It was a pedigreed dog,
named Darley's Launcelot of Middlesex. That was a name no one could be
expected to use in calling a dog, and even Launcelot seemed a bit
strange. So Elliot, who possibly lacked originality, rechristened him
Rover.

Most of the residents of Boytown had never seen an Old English
sheepdog before, and Rover attracted not a little attention on the
street. Some people even laughed at his big round head, with hair over
his eyes, and his shambling gait and lack of a tail, but they soon got
used to him and came to admire his wonderful gray and white coat. And
Rover turned out to be one of the jolliest dog companions in Boytown.
He loved the water, and when he got his coat thoroughly wet he
seemed to shrink to half his normal size. He was really not much
bigger than Romulus, but when his hair was dry and all fluffed out he
looked as big as a Newfoundland.

With Rover and Mac added to the party, it began to look like a pretty
big affair, as indeed it was. Alfred and Horace entered into the
spirit of the thing with zest and arranged for the tents and general
equipment. They had both been camping in the Adirondacks, and they
knew just what was needed. So they drew up a list of the things each
boy must provide for himself--warm blankets, a bag to be stuffed with
sweet fern for a pillow, mosquito netting, and an aluminum plate,
bowl, and cup for each boy, a dish for his dog, knives, forks, spoons,
etc., besides the requisite clothing and toilet articles. It was all
done very systematically.

There was one thing that bothered Alfred and Horace, and that was the
cooking. They ordered a store of supplies, the boys having all
contributed to a fund for that purpose, but that did not solve the
problem of three meals a day. The boys had been inclined to pass over
this detail somewhat lightly, but Alfred and Horace knew from
experience that feeding a dozen hungry boys was no joke, and they
didn't intend to have their vacation spoiled by the necessity of
turning to themselves and doing all the work.

One day Mr. Morton stopped Alfred Hammond on the street and asked him
how the plans for the camp were progressing.

"Everything is going finely," said Alfred, "except for two things. We
shall have to postpone our start for a day or two because the tents
haven't come yet. Then there's the question of the cooking. I'm
blessed if I know how that gang of youngsters is going to be fed."

Mr. Morton stood and thought a moment.

"Maybe I can help you out," he said at length. "I'm just starting off
on a little vacation myself, and I've been wondering what I'd do with
Moses." (Moses was Mr. Morton's colored man-about-the-place.) "I
haven't enough to keep him busy during my absence and it wouldn't do
for him to fall into habits of idleness. How would you like to take
Moses along with you, and guarantee to keep him out of mischief? He
was once an assistant chef or something in a summer hotel, and I
believe he's a first-rate cook. His services would cost you nothing,
because I have to keep up his wages anyway. I'd be mighty glad to know
that he was being kept busy."

"Say, that's mighty white of you, Mr. Morton," said Alfred. "Moses for
ours. He's just what we need."

So that matter was settled. Mr. Morton explained to Moses just what
was required of him, and Moses became a not unwilling member of the
party.

The tents, which had been ordered from New York, came at last. There
were two of them, good-sized ones, each capable of accommodating seven
of the younger boys and one of the older ones. Horace Ames had a small
tent of his own which would serve for Moses. On the appointed day the
boys congregated at the Whipples' stable, each bringing his personal
equipment strapped up in his blanket. The camp site that had been
chosen was at Mallard Lake, about nine miles from Boytown, and two
wagons with drivers had been engaged to convey the outfit.

Presently one of these wagons appeared, containing Moses, Alfred,
Horace, the tents, a stack of old lumber, a box of cooking utensils,
and a second-hand kitchen range, besides a number of boxes containing
provisions. When the boys had heaved their personal belongings aboard
it made a big load. Then the human part of the expedition loaded
itself into the second wagon, with much laughter and skylarking, and
the party was ready to start. The dogs were allowed to run alongside,
and a lively pack they were. Mrs. Whipple, with a look of anxiety
still on her face, came to the gate to wave good-by.

They arrived at Mallard Lake about noon, and after unloading and
sending back the wagons, they sat down to partake of the picnic
lunch that each had brought with him. Then came the task of pitching
camp. It was no small thing to accomplish before dark, but there were
many hands to engage in it and efficient leadership.

The camp was located in some pine woods that ran down close to the
shore of the lake. On the other side of a little cape was a sandy
beach that looked like a good swimming place. Across the lake there
were two or three farmhouses, where the leaders had arranged for
supplies of milk, eggs, butter, bread, and baked beans. All the
available floating craft on the lake had been hired, and three
rowboats and a canoe lay drawn up on the bank. A little way back in
the woods was a spring of clear, pure, cold water for drinking
purposes, and a pool where the milk and butter could be kept fresh.

The leaders told the boys, however, that they would have to wait
another day before indulging in an exploration of the surroundings of
the camp. There was much to be done before night, and all must get to
work. The two tents were pitched on a little rise of ground back from
the water, and each boy was set to work gathering balsam boughs for
his bed. These were strewn a foot thick on the ground inside the tents
and the blankets were spread upon them, each boy being assigned his
place. They also stuffed their pillows with balsam, waiting till
another day to gather the fragrant sweet ferns in a near-by pasture.
Each boy also cut stakes and drove them into the ground about his bed
to hold his mosquito netting. Ropes were strung overhead to hold
clothing, and there were two lanterns for each tent.

Moses, meantime, had pitched his own tent and made his own bed, and
now they all turned to to help him knock together a rough shack to
serve as cook house and pantry. Then a long dining table and benches
were built and a frame erected over them on which was spread an old
awning. The range was set up in the cook house, the provisions were
stored away, firewood was cut, and Moses started preparations for
supper. Soon a fragrant smoke was issuing from the stovepipe, which
before long was mingled with the smell of frying bacon and other
things cooking that made every boy acutely aware of his appetite.
Still Alfred and Horace kept them at work, cleaning up around camp,
laying a stone foundation for a campfire, and erecting a lean-to
shelter for the dogs in stormy weather, for it was voted not to allow
the dogs to come into the tents.

Moses made good his reputation as a cook, and a prodigious amount of
provender disappeared at supper that night. The boys were in high
spirits and so were the dogs. The latter, not yet accustomed to their
new surroundings, and not realizing that they were to stay there,
were restless and excitable and gave some trouble, but they were at
last persuaded to quiet down. It was decided to tie them to the
lean-to for a few nights until they should learn the rules and
regulations.

After supper, while the boys were gathering brushwood for a campfire,
Jimmie Rogers hoisted the camp ensign, which created a roar of
laughter. I must explain about this ensign and the name of the camp.

Some time before they had discussed the subject of naming the camp,
but could agree on nothing. Mrs. Hammond had suggested Camp B. H. S.,
the letters being the initials of the Boytown Humane Society. This did
not fully please the popular fancy, and yet they did not like to
discard Mrs. Hammond's suggestion. They began trying to find a word or
words in some way made up of B. H. S. Alfred Hammond suggested Camp
Beeches. That sounded something like B. H. S., he said, and they would
very likely find beech trees about the camp. They adopted this name
for want of a better one, until Jimmie, in a moment of inspiration,
changed it to Camp Breeches. This name really had no very deep
meaning, but somehow it tickled the boys and it stuck, being still
further revised in process of use to Camp Britches. The ensign which
Jimmie tied to a sapling in front of the camp was an old pair of boy's
trousers.

It would require a whole book to tell of all the episodes that went to
make up the life of Camp Britches during the next week, of the fishing
and swimming, the exploring expeditions and berrying parties, of how
the boys built a landing wharf for the boats and a diving raft, and
how they divided up the routine duties of the camp. Some of these
episodes were glorious fun; some were not so pleasant; taken all
together they made up a memorable experience. Moses proved to be a
master at making griddle cakes and other good things, and once or
twice a boy ate not wisely but too well, and required the attention of
the camp physician, Horace Ames. But for the most part they were
healthy and happy, and incidentally they learned many things about
looking out for themselves.

One night a thunderstorm broke, a veritable cloudburst, and the boys
had to put on their bathing trunks and go out and dig deeper trenches
around the tents to keep the water from running in and soaking
everything. On another occasion a high wind blew one of the tents down
on its sleeping inmates, causing more fright than damage.

Perhaps the best part of it all was the evening campfire. By that time
the boys were physically sufficiently weary to enjoy resting, and, the
pangs of hunger being well satisfied through the ministrations of
Moses, they would light their pile of brushwood and lie about it,
wrapped in blankets on the cool nights, and watch the flames and
fondle their dogs, and gossip drowsily. Sometimes there was story
telling, at which Albert Hammond was an artist. And one afternoon Sam
Bumpus came by special invitation, walking all the way from his shack,
and that evening they had stirring tales of moose and deer hunting in
Maine.

Then, of course, there were always the dogs. Sometimes it seemed as
though there were too many of them, and it was necessary to make each
boy strictly accountable for the actions of his own. Mr. O'Brien was a
constant source of trouble and unrest, and there were times when it
almost seemed as though they would have to send him home. Still,
everybody liked Mr. O'Brien, after all. Wicked as he was, he was as
smart as a whip and he had a way of worming into your affections in
spite of you. Romulus and Remus had to be watched because of a
tendency to go roaming off together on hunting expeditions of their
own. Rags was, as ever, a general favorite and heaps of fun, and
Rover, the Old English sheepdog, proved to be almost as playful and
humorous. He was wonderfully active for a dog who appeared to be so
clumsy. He could hold his own in a scrap, too, as Mr. O'Brien learned
to his sorrow. In aquatic sports, Rover shone.

Speaking of the dogs, there came a night when one of them nearly upset
the entire camp. It was the handsome collie, MacTavish. He strayed
away from camp in the evening and managed to get into trouble with a
little animal that is sometimes found in the woods whose method of
defense is peculiar. It was a black and white skunk. MacTavish
returned, very unhappy, just as the boys were getting to sleep.
Seeking help and consolation in his distress, he entered the tent
where his master lay. In less time than it takes to tell it every
inmate of that tent was out in the open air. Moses and Horace took the
collie down to the lake, washed him as thoroughly as they could with
strong tar soap, and then tied him out in the woods where the poor
unfortunate's howls disturbed the camp's rest all night. They could
not send him home, and it was two or three days before he was entirely
fit for human companionship again.



CHAPTER XIII

THE PASSING OF RAGS


Camp Britches was pitched on a Wednesday, and the first week flew by
on winged feet. On the second Saturday an event occurred which the
boys had been looking forward to with anticipation. Mr. Hartshorn came
in his car to spend Sunday at the camp. He brought none of his dogs
with him, which was a source of regret, but he was a most welcome
visitor, nevertheless.

The boys feared that the appointments of their camp might not be quite
elegant enough for a man like Mr. Hartshorn, but he fitted in as
though he had been brought up to just that sort of thing and said it
was all bully. Frank Stoddard moved out and crowded into the other
tent, and a special bed was laid for the visitor. Moses outdid himself
in planning his Sunday menu.

Mr. Hartshorn arrived too late to be shown about the lake that day,
but supper was a jolly meal and a new interest was added to the
campfire hour that night.

Mr. Hartshorn had shown considerable interest in MacTavish and Rover,
both of whom he pronounced to be fine dogs, and this led to a
general discussion of sheepdogs and their kin.

"I wish you'd tell us something about bob-tails, Mr. Hartshorn," said
Elliot Garfield. "I really don't know a thing about them, and I ought
to, now I've got one."

"Please do," echoed Ernest Whipple. "You promised you'd tell us about
the shepherd breeds sometime."

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, laughing, "it's pretty near bedtime,
anyway, so if I put you to sleep it won't much matter. For my own
part, though, I'd rather listen to another of Alfred's stories."

The night was chilly, so he went to his car and got his auto robe,
wrapped himself up in it, lighted a cigar, and settled himself
comfortably beside the campfire.

"You may have noticed," he began, "that some breeds of dogs seem to
possess more individual character than others. Foxhounds, for example,
seem to me a good deal alike. That is because they live and work
mostly in packs. It is the constant association of a single dog with
his master that develops the traits of personality in him. No dogs
have had this personality more highly developed than the shepherd
breeds, for they have been the shepherds' personal companions, often
their only companions, for generations. They are, therefore, most
interesting dogs to know and to talk about.

"Of these shepherd breeds the best known is the collie. It is, in
fact, one of the most popular and numerous of all the breeds. The
modern collie, of which Mac here is a good example, has been developed
for beauty, as a show dog and companion rather than a working dog, but
he is a direct descendant of the old working collie of the Scottish
Highlands, which has been a distinct breed and has been used as a
shepherd's dog for centuries. The old working collie or shepherd dog,
which is still numerous in Scotland, is a splendid utility animal of
great intelligence and initiative, brave as a lion, and trained to
guard sheep.

"Though a straight development without much crossing with other
breeds, the modern collie is almost a different variety, with a
narrower head and muzzle, better pointed ears, and a fuller and finer
coat. From the fancier's point of view he is a great improvement on
the working dog, and he certainly is handsomer, but in my own humble
opinion the fanciers are well-nigh ruining the splendid character of
one of the best breeds of dogs ever given to man. For one thing, they
have made the head so narrow and snipey, imitating that of the Russian
wolfhound, that they have left insufficient room in the skull for all
the brains the old collie used to possess. And with this fineness of
breeding has come some uncertainty of disposition. The modern collie
isn't usually given a chance to learn the things his forefathers knew,
so how can we expect the same mental development? Mac, I am glad to
say, is not of the extreme type. He would doubtless be beaten in the
shows, but he is a better dog, for all that. The older type used to be
more common here, but has gradually been driven out by the show type
which began to be taken up about 1880.

[Illustration: Collie]

"The Scotch are great people for dog stories, and a good many of their
tales are about collies. Bob, Son of Battle, was an old-fashioned
collie. Many of the anecdotes that are told as true stories deal
with the breed's wonderful sagacity in caring for sheep. There was the
Ettrick Shepherd's famous collie Sirrah, for example. He could
undoubtedly do amazing things with sheep. One night something scared
the lambs, and they started off for the hills, dividing into three
groups. The shepherd called his dog and his assistant and started out
in the hope of rounding up at least one of the groups before morning.
But the night was dark and the hills a wilderness, and the two men
were at last forced to give up the attempt until daylight. At dawn,
when they started out again, what was their astonishment to see Sirrah
coming in with the lost lambs--not one group only, but the whole
flock. How he managed to get one group after the other, no one could
ever say, but between midnight and dawn he rounded them all up alone,
and not one was missing.

"This herding instinct is very strong in the collie. I once met a
modern collie in Des Moines, Iowa, who, because he had no sheep to
attend to, busied himself with the chickens, and he would never
consider his day's work finished until he had carefully herded all the
Rhode Island Reds into one corner of the poultry yard, and all the
Plymouth Rocks into another.

"Cases are on record of collies that were taught to steal for their
masters, by systematically driving off sheep from neighboring
flocks. Many stories deal with the collie's intelligence in fetching
help to a man or animal in danger. One collie brought in a flock of
half-frozen hens, one by one, that had strayed away from the barnyard
and got caught in a blizzard. He carried them tenderly in his mouth,
depositing them in a row before the open fire. Another collie brought
home a strayed horse by the bridle.

"Shepherd collies are wonderful with the sheep, but the so-called
house collie is often more generally wise and adaptable. Hector, a son
of Sirrah, was such a dog, and his master, a Mr. Hogg of Ettrick, has
told many amusing stories about him. He was always getting into
mischief, and Mr. Hogg's mother vowed he should never go visiting with
her, for, as she put it, 'he was always fighting with other dogs,
singing music, or breeding some uproar or other.' But with all that,
he was so intelligent, and seemed to understand so many things in
advance, that she used to say, 'I think the beast is no canny.'

"His master's father was one of the church elders of the place, and at
one time accepted the post of precentor. He knew only one tune
well--'St. Paul's'--and this he used to give out twice each Sunday. To
save the congregation from too great a dose of 'St. Paul's,' the son
agreed to relieve him of his duties. But here Hector, accustomed to
his master's company on Sundays, objected. He would follow him to
church, and when he heard his master's voice inside, he would raise
his in the churchyard, much to the amusement of the shepherds and the
country lassies. 'Sometimes,' said Mr. Hogg, 'there would be only the
two of us joining in the hymn.' The result was that he was forced to
resign, and the church was obliged to carry on as best it could with
the old precentor and 'St. Paul's.'

"Hector exhibited strange motives and peculiar logic sometimes. He was
jealous of the house cat and hated her, but he never touched her or
threatened to do her any harm. He merely kept a suspicious eye on her,
pointing her as a setter points a bird. He used to join in family
prayers, and just before the final 'Amen,' he would leap to his feet
and dash madly about, barking loudly. It was easy to understand how he
knew when the 'Amen' was approaching, but why the excitement that
followed? 'I found out by accident,' wrote Mr. Hogg. 'As we were
kneeling there, he thought we were all pointing Pussy, and he wanted
to be among the first at the death.'

"Next we come to Rover's breed. Old English sheepdog is its official
name, but I think it might better be called the bob-tailed sheepdog to
distinguish it from the original smooth sheepdog of England. In many
respects it is quite unlike any other breed that comes from England.
He was formerly used by English drovers as a cattle dog, but we know
little of his history. The bob-tail is the hairiest of the large dogs
and one of the most striking of all breeds in appearance. Some of the
puppies are born tailless, while others have their tails removed
within a few days after birth. The bob-tail is an active, swift,
intelligent dog and, as you know if you have watched Rover, very
playful and very expressive with his paws. Having no tail to wag, he
wags his whole hind quarters to let you know he is pleased or
friendly.

"The German shepherd dog has had a remarkable boom since its
introduction here in 1912. It is an old breed in Germany and its
appearance strongly suggests wolf blood in its ancestry. Originally a
shepherd's dog, and still used as such, this breed has shown itself
remarkably adaptable to police dog work and has been used in the war
more than any other breed. The German shepherd dog is not as gently
affectionate as some breeds, but is intelligent, active, alert, brave,
and loyal.

"I think I should also speak of the Belgian sheepdog, partly because
we are all interested in Belgium these days, and partly because we
have begun to get a few of these dogs over here. They are said to be
even cleverer police dogs than the Germans. A few have been
successfully used over here by police departments of New York and
vicinity, and a few fanciers have become interested in the
Groenendaele variety and have exhibited specimens in the Westminster
show."

"What do police dogs do?" inquired Herbie Pierson.

"I have never seen them at work on the other side," said Mr.
Hartshorn, "but I understand they are a recognized part of the police
service in many cities of France, Austria, Belgium, Holland, and
Germany. They are said to do wonderful things, such as rounding up
gangs of thieves, trailing criminals, and saving drowning persons,
including would-be suicides. In this country their usefulness has been
rather the prevention of crime. I have visited the dog squad, in the
Flatbush section of Brooklyn. There they are muzzled and are not
expected to attack people. They are taken out at night with the
patrolmen and scout around in back yards and anywhere that a burglar
or hold-up man might be lurking. The criminals don't like that idea,
and they have kept away from that section pretty consistently. I
believe these dogs have also found persons freezing in the snow.
Airedales have been tried out as well as Belgian and German shepherd
dogs. For trailing criminals and finding lost persons, the bloodhound
is most commonly used in this country, but I believe some rather
remarkable feats of trailing have been accomplished by Belgian
sheepdogs at Englewood and Ridgewood, New Jersey."

"They are used mostly as ambulance dogs in the war, aren't they?"
asked Harry Barton.

"Yes," said Mr. Hartshorn. "You have probably seen pictures of them
bringing in a wounded man's helmet, to guide the stretcher bearers to
where he lies. They are also used as messengers and for sentry duty in
the listening posts, where they are much quicker than the men to
detect the approach of a raiding party or an enemy patrol. I could
tell you some interesting and thrilling stories that I've heard about
these war dogs, but I for one am getting sleepy and I'd like to try
out that balsam bed and see if I like it."

There was a little less skylarking that night out of respect to the
honored visitor, and so everyone got a good rest and was up betimes in
the morning. After breakfast Mr. Hartshorn asked to be shown about the
country near the camp, and everybody joined in the expedition,
including the dogs.

"I suppose these dogs are all pretty well acquainted with one another
now," said Mr. Hartshorn, "but I must say it is wonderful how well
they get along together. It all shows the power of human
companionship. Kennel dogs like mine couldn't stand this sort of
thing for an hour. It must be that Rags and Rover keep them all
good-natured."

Sunday passed quietly and pleasantly and then came another evening
campfire. Some of the boys begged Mr. Hartshorn to tell them about
more breeds of dogs, but he laughingly refused.

"Sometime I'll tell you about the hound and greyhound families, but
not now. You've had enough," said he. "Besides, I came here to loaf,
not to teach a class. Let's have one of Alfred's stories."

"I'm afraid I've told them all," said Alfred. "I've tried to think of
more, but I guess there aren't any."

"We've all told our stock of stories," said Horace. "You're the only
one with a fresh supply. I guess it's up to you, Mr. Hartshorn."

"The trouble is," said he, "I'm no story teller, but I'll read you
something, if you'd like to hear it. I have quite a library of dog
literature, both fact and fiction, and I've tried to collect every
good thing that has been written about dogs. I selected two stories
that are fairly short and brought them along, thinking there might
develop a need for entertainment of that kind. Would you like to hear
them?"

A shout of unanimous approval went up. Two of the boys ran to Mr.
Hartshorn's car for the books, and another brought a lighted lantern
and placed it on a box at his elbow. Then they grouped themselves
about the fire again and listened with absorbed attention while he
read them two of the best short dog stories in his collection--"The
Bar Sinister," by Richard Harding Davis, and "Stikeen" by John Muir.

"My! Aren't those fine!" exclaimed Ernest Whipple.

"Haven't you any more?" begged Elliot Garfield.

"No," said Mr. Hartshorn, "I'm sorry to say I haven't any more with
me, but I shall be glad to lend my books to any of you boys who will
promise to return them. They are very precious. I'd like nothing
better than to introduce you to the dogs of literature. They're a
great lot."

Then he proceeded to tell them something of the best known of these
books--"Bob, Son of Battle," Ouida's "A Dog of Flanders," Jack
London's stories, and a number of others.

"But I think," he concluded, "that the one I like best of all is the
true story of a little Skye terrier named Greyfriars Bobby, one of the
most faithful dogs that ever lived."

"Oh, please tell us about him," begged Frank Stoddard.

"No," said Mr. Hartshorn, "I would only spoil the story. You must read
the book for yourselves. It will give you something to do next winter
when you can't go camping out, and I can promise you a rare treat."

The next morning Mr. Hartshorn was obliged to leave, and everyone was
up bright and early to see him off. He thanked them all for one of the
jolliest week-ends he had ever spent, and promised to invite them to a
campfire of reminiscence at Willowdale sometime. Then he got into his
car and started the motor.

I presume he had never taken part in so boisterous a departure. The
rough woods road was difficult enough to drive in at best, and the
boys and dogs crowded about the car, shouting and barking their
farewells. In spite of all Alfred and Horace could do, some of the
more venturesome jumped upon the running boards and rode a little way,
while the dogs, catching the spirit of excitement, dashed about in
front and everywhere. Alfred and Horace rushed in to quiet the
confusion, but before they could get the boys and dogs in hand a sharp
yelp of pain sounded and poor old Rags lay, a helpless, pathetic
figure, in the wheel rut behind the car.

No one knew, in the confusion, just how it had happened. Mr. Hartshorn
had been driving as slowly and carefully as he could under
difficulties. A moment before Rags had been barking riotously and
leaping at the hand of his master who stood perched precariously on
the running board. Now he lay, mute and motionless, all the joy gone
out of him, his eyes raised in dumb pleading to his master's face.

A sudden hush fell over the noisy crowd. Even the dogs seemed to know
that something dreadful had happened. Mr. Hartshorn stopped his car
and leaped out. Jimmie Rogers was kneeling on the ground beside his
beloved dog, his face very white, and Rags was feebly trying to lick
his master's hand.

Jimmie did not weep or cry out, but when Mr. Hartshorn came up, there
was a pleading look in the eyes he lifted to the man's face which was
much like the look in the eyes of the dog. Jimmie did not ask any
questions. He only moved over a little while Mr. Hartshorn leaned over
and tenderly felt of poor Rags's broken body.

"I must have gone square over him with both wheels," said he. "Poor
little Rags! I wouldn't have done it, old boy, if I'd seen you. You
know that, don't you?"

The dog's forgiving tongue gave him his answer. Mr. Hartshorn did not
scold the boys, but they all knew they had been to blame, and no
amount of scolding could have made them feel any more remorseful. They
stood about in silent shame and dread. The irrepressible Mr. O'Brien
trotted up to see what it was all about, sniffed at Rags, and then
walked slowly away, raising questioning eyes to his master's face.

When Mr. Hartshorn arose he was winking very hard and biting his lip.

"Is he much hurt, sir?" asked Horace.

"I'm afraid so," said he. "We must get him away at once. Jump into the
car, Jimmie, and come along with me."

He made a soft bed of the auto robe on the floor of the car, lifted
Rags tenderly in his arms, and laid him on it.

"Watch him, and keep him as comfortable as possible," he directed
Jimmie.

That was all that was said, and the car started off again, leaving
grief and woe at Camp Britches.

Mr. Hartshorn lost no time in getting back to Boytown, though he was
careful not to subject the suffering dog to the pain of rough riding.
At Boytown he jumped out and telegraphed to Bridgeport to command the
attendance of the best veterinary surgeon in the state. Then they sped
on to Willowdale.

They took Rags out to the little building that was used as a dog
hospital and made him as comfortable as they could. Mrs. Hartshorn
herself brought him a dish of water which he lapped gratefully. He
bore his pain heroically, but he was suffering terribly, and Tom
Poultice thought best to administer a merciful opiate. Then he made a
thorough examination.

"There's ribs broke," he said, "and I guess 'e's 'urt hinternal."

"Then there's nothing we can do?" asked Mr. Hartshorn.

Tom shook his head sorrowfully.

After awhile the effects of the drug wore off and Rags opened his
eyes. Tom put his hand on the dog's heart and shook his head
dubiously.

"I'm afraid 'e's going, sir," said he.

Mr. Hartshorn placed his arm about Jimmie's heaving shoulders and drew
him toward the dog, who seemed to be begging for one last caress of
his master's hand. Mrs. Hartshorn put her handkerchief to her eyes and
hurried out.

The surgeon arrived soon after noon, but it was too late. Rags had
died in Jimmie's arms.



CHAPTER XIV

THE COMING OF TATTERS


After the unfortunate episode that resulted in the accident to Rags,
it was as though a cloud rested over Camp Britches. There was no heart
for merrymaking. And when at last the sad news came of Rags's death,
it seemed as though all the joy had gone out of life. If you have
never been a boy, you do not know how quickly a mood of hilarious
jollity can be followed by one of deep depression. The plan had been
to continue in camp for four or five days more, and some of the boys
had been begging for a longer extension of the time, but now no one
seriously objected when Alfred and Horace proposed breaking camp and
going home. Every boy in camp had loved Rags next to his own dog, and
even Moses went about in an atmosphere of melancholy.

Sadly they hauled down Jimmie's humorous ensign and pulled up the tent
pegs. It seemed like a different crowd of boys from that which had so
joyously arrived in the wagons but two short weeks before.

On a sunny hillside half a mile south of the brickyard there grew, at
the edge of the woods, a beautiful little grove of dogwoods, which
in May was always a fairyland of snowy blossoms that almost seemed to
float in the air. In this peaceful spot it was decided to bury the
poor, broken body of Rags. I doubt if there has ever been a funeral in
Boytown that was attended by more sincere mourners. Harry Barton and
Monty Hubbard spent an afternoon, immediately after their return from
camp, making a simple little casket of white wood which they stained a
cherry color. It did not seem fitting that so gay a little dog as Rags
should be laid to rest in a black one. They lined it with soft
flannel, and Jimmie himself, trying hard not to cry, placed the stiff
little body inside, still wearing the old, worn collar, and nailed
down the top. Theron Hammond and Ernest Whipple were appointed to act
as bearers.

The Camp Britches boys were not the only ones who joined in that
sorrowful little procession to the dogwood grove. Jimmie's mother was
there, quietly weeping, for she had loved Rags like another child, and
with her were two or three of her neighbors. Mr. Fellowes closed up
his store and silently joined them, and there was a little knot of
girls with mournful faces, who had also known Rags and loved him. Mr.
and Mrs. Hartshorn came over from Willowdale and, leaving their car in
the town, followed the little casket on foot with the rest.

There was no clergyman present to read Scripture or to pray, but I
think the mourners were none the less devout. The whole ceremony, in
fact, was carried through in almost utter silence. It had been thought
best not to bring dogs who might not behave themselves, but Mike and
Hamlet were there, for they could be depended upon, and it seemed
fitting that Rags's canine friends as well as his human friends should
be represented.

A grave was dug in the sand and the little casket was lowered into it.
Beside it Jimmie placed the battered tin dish that Rags had used and a
much-chewed ladder rung that had been his favorite plaything. The
girls threw in some flowers and then the earth was shoveled in again
and the little company returned home.

I hope the loyal soul of Rags was where it could look down and see
that his old friends cared and had come to do him honor. At least his
life had been a happy one and free from any guile. And he was not soon
forgotten. Not long afterward there appeared at the head of the little
mound beneath the dogwoods a simple headstone, the gift of Mrs.
Hartshorn, and on it were inscribed these words:

      HERE LIES RAGS
    The Best-Loved Dog
      in Boytown.

For some little time the cloud remained over Boytown and there was
little disposition to take any active part in canine affairs. But
youthful spirits cannot long remain depressed, and as the autumn days
approached, one of the boys of Boytown, at least, discovered a new
interest in connection with dog ownership. That was Ernest Whipple.

For some time Sam Bumpus had been talking, somewhat vaguely, of the
possibility of testing out the powers of Romulus in the field trials,
and Mr. Hartshorn himself had occasionally mentioned this. Ernest
subscribed to a popular kennel paper, and early in September he began
reading about the All-American trials to be held at Denbigh, North
Dakota, and other similar events. The names of famous dogs were
mentioned, both pointers and setters, and there was much speculation
in the paper as to the prospects of winning. The thing fascinated
Ernest, but it was all a bit unintelligible to him. He wanted to learn
more about this sport that seemed to be followed by such a large and
enthusiastic number of people, and to find out the way of getting
Romulus into it. So one day he and Jack took their dogs and walked to
Willowdale, for the express purpose of getting the desired
information.

Tom Poultice was the first person they encountered, and he confessed
himself to be rather ignorant as to the conduct of American field
trials.

"I've seen many of them in Hengland," said he, "and a great game it
is. Get a bunch of fine bird dogs out in the fields in the fine
weather, with a big crowd following them, and maybe a bit of wagering
going on be'ind the judges' backs, and the dogs all eager to be after
the birds, and every one of them in the pink, and you've got a fine
sport, men. The dogs seem to know, too, and they go in for all's in
it. But just 'ow they run the trials over 'ere, I can't say. You'd
better ask Mr. 'Artshorn. 'E used to own bird dogs once, and I'll
warrant 'e's been all through it."

They found Mr. Hartshorn in his den, but he very gladly laid aside the
work he was doing and asked good-naturedly what the trouble was now.

"We've come to ask you to tell us about field trials," said Ernest.

"Well, that's a rather big contract," laughed Mr. Hartshorn. "I
suppose I could talk about field trials all night. I've seen some
thrilling contests in my time. Just what is it you would like to
know?"

"We want to know what a field trial is, how it is run, and what the
dogs do," said Ernest.

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, "a field trial is more than a mere race.
It's a real sport in which all the powers of a bird dog are brought
into play. It's a competition on actual game--prairie chickens or
quail, usually. The dogs are sent out to find the game and point,
with the judges and handlers and the gallery, as the spectators are
called, following. In the big trials there are three or more separate
events. One is called the Derby stake, for dogs under two years of
age. Then there is the All-Age stake, which is the biggest one.
Finally there is the Championship stake, for dogs specially qualified,
and the winning of that brings with it the highest honors in the
bird-dog world.

"The order of running is decided by lot, and the dogs are put down in
pairs. They start off after the birds and work for a stated length of
time, after which the judges decide which of the two dogs won, the
decision being based on speed, form, steadiness, bird-work, and
everything else that goes to make up the bird dog's special power.
Then these winners are tried together until the best and the second
best, called the runner-up, are chosen in each of the stakes. It takes
a good dog to win one of these stakes, for he has to run more than
once and his work must be consistent. Purses are offered by the clubs
as prizes, amounting to several hundred dollars at the big events.

"Occasionally there are other stakes, such as novice stakes and events
in which dogs are handled only by their owners. In the big events the
great dogs are usually handled by professionals, who take the dogs
right down the circuit and win all the prizes they can. The trials
begin in September in Manitoba and North Dakota, on prairie chicken,
and are followed by big and small events in the Middle Western states,
Pennsylvania, and finally in the South. The biggest of all is held in
December or January at Grand Junction, Tennessee, every year. Here the
All-America Field Trial Club holds its classic event, in which the
winner of the Championship stake is pronounced the amateur champion of
the United States for one year, winning also a large purse and a
handsome silver trophy."

"Have you ever seen one of those trials?" asked Jack.

"Several times," said Mr. Hartshorn. "I have seen some of the most
famous pointers and setters that ever lived run at Grand Junction and
win their deathless laurels."

"I suppose Romulus wouldn't stand a chance there," said Ernest, a bit
wistfully.

"Perhaps not, at first," said Mr. Hartshorn, "though you never can
tell. It's a pretty expensive matter, getting a dog ready and putting
him through one of those trials, even though the prizes are large. But
there are smaller ones, and it is possible to try a dog out nearer
home the first time, with less risk and expense. During the spring
there are many trials held by local clubs throughout the East."

"Couldn't Romulus be entered in one of those?" asked Ernest.

"I don't know why not," said Mr. Hartshorn. "I'll look it up and let
you know. Meanwhile, tell Sam Bumpus what you're up to and have him
keep Romulus in shape this winter."

"I suppose Remus couldn't run," said Jack.

"I'm afraid not, my boy," said Mr. Hartshorn, kindly. "Nose is one of
the prime requisites, and Remus hasn't the nose, as you know."

"I don't care," said the loyal Jack. "I'd rather win at a bench show,
anyway."

When Ernest told Sam Bumpus about the plan, that worthy was much
interested. He made a special trip all the way to Willowdale to
consult Mr. Hartshorn, and between them they worked out a plan. Sam
was enthusiastic now as to the superior abilities of Romulus as a bird
dog, and he presently took him in hand for special training to improve
his form and the other qualities that count in the trials. Off and on
all winter Sam took the dog out, patiently and persistently drilling
him. Sometimes Ernest went along and he was amazed by the intelligence
and speed which his good dog displayed. When spring came again Sam
announced that there was nothing more that he could do to improve the
form and capacity of Romulus.

"I'll back him against any bird dog in the state of Connecticut," said
he, proudly.

But before I tell how it fared with Romulus at the trials, I have one
episode to relate, the only happening of that winter which needs to be
recorded. For the rest, the weeks passed without any momentous event,
with the boys in whom we are interested growing ever a little older
and wiser. And this particular thing was not of great importance,
perhaps. It did not greatly affect the boy-and-dog life of Boytown.
But it did affect Jimmie Rogers, and Jimmie, since the death of Rags,
had been the one lonely, pathetic figure in the group. It would be a
shame not to tell of the thing that happened to him.

One day in early December Dick Wheaton appeared on Main Street,
dragging a forlorn-looking little dog by a string. He was a
smooth-coated dog of the terrier type, a rich chocolate brown in
color, with an active body and a good face and head, but anybody could
see he was only a mongrel. No one knew where he had come from and Dick
did not take the trouble to tell where he had found him.

In his present state the dog showed none of the alert, eager character
of the well-born terrier. He held his tail between his legs and he
cringed abjectly. This seemed to amuse Dick Wheaton. He made little
rushes at the dog and laughed to see the terror in his eyes. He
found entertainment in tapping the dog's toes with his foot and
watching him pull back on the string. Wearying of this, he began
maltreating the helpless animal more cruelly.

Mr. Fellowes saw all this from the window of his store, and his blood
boiled within him. Unable to stand it any longer, he started out of
his shop to protest, when he saw Jimmie Rogers come running along.

There could be no doubt as to Jimmie's purpose. His lips were tight
set and his eyes were blazing. He came close up to Dick and seized his
arm.

"Quit that!" cried Jimmie between his clenched teeth.

Dick was taller and heavier than Jimmie and he was not unaccustomed to
bullying boys of Jimmie's size. He shook off the hand and grinned
insolently.

"What's the matter with you, Mr. Humane Society?" he asked.

"I'll show you, if you don't leave that dog alone," said Jimmie.

For answer, Dick gave the string a jerk. It was tied tightly around
the dog's neck, and it hurt.

"Whose dog is this, I'd like to know," said Dick in a taunting tone.

Jimmie wasted no more breath in words. He snatched the string out of
Dick's hand and faced him defiantly. Dick, now angry in his turn, made
a lunge for the string. Mr. Fellowes couldn't see who struck the
first blow, but in a moment the two boys were fighting desperately,
Jimmie making up in fire and determination for what he lacked in size
and strength.

Mr. Fellowes felt that he was called upon to interfere. It would
hardly do to let a fight like this go on right in front of his shop,
on the sidewalk of Main Street. Besides, other people were hurrying up
and it might end in serious trouble.

Just then Dick managed to break free long enough to give the poor dog
a vicious and entirely uncalled-for kick, as though he were in this
way scoring an advantage over his opponent. The little terrier rolled
over and over on the sidewalk, yelping in pain and terror. Then he
found his footing and dashed blindly into Mr. Fellowes's legs.

The shopkeeper stooped and picked up the frightened little stray and
took him into the store, where he did his best to soothe and comfort
him, and it was wonderful how promptly the little chap responded and
licked the kind man's hand. It may have been the first time he had
ever tasted the milk of human kindness, but instinctively he
understood and looked up confidently into this stranger's eyes with an
expression of gratitude.

Meanwhile, a little knot of men and boys had gathered out in front of
the shop. It so happened that they were persons who would rather
witness a fight than stop it, or it may have been that there were some
of them who hoped that for once Dick Wheaton would get his deserts. At
any rate, it was a real fight, with no quarter, and it would have been
a cold-blooded person indeed who could not admire the pluck of Jimmie
Rogers. His nose was bleeding and his breath came in sobbing gasps,
but he kept at it with unabated fury. Three times Dick Wheaton threw
him, and three times he jumped to his feet and went for Dick.

The fighting of boys is no more to be encouraged than the fighting of
dogs, but there seem to be times in the affairs of boys as well as of
men when nothing but fighting will serve. The only way to cure a bully
is to thrash him, and if anyone ever had a justifiable motive for
fighting it was Jimmie Rogers.

At length Dick's blows appeared to be growing weaker. Jimmie, unable
often to reach his face, had been pummelling him consistently on the
vulnerable spot at the lower end of the breastbone, regardless of the
punishment he himself received, and these tactics were beginning to
tell on Dick's wind. His lips were parted, his eyes staring, and his
face took on a strange mottled look. He began to strike out weakly and
to concern himself chiefly with parrying Jimmie's troublesome blows
and protecting his stomach.

With lowered guard, Dick staggered uncertainly backward, and Jimmie,
rushing in, dealt him a smashing blow on the mouth that sent him
reeling. Tripping over the door stone of Mr. Fellowes's store, he fell
heavily, and lay there, with his arm crooked over his face, awaiting
he knew not what final _coup de grace_ in an attitude of abject
surrender.

Men rushed in now, but Jimmie was satisfied. He shook off their hands
and walked, somewhat unsteadily, into the store, and Mr. Fellowes
closed the door behind him. Someone picked Dick up.

"Well, I guess you've had enough," said this unsympathetic person.

Dick Wheaton slunk off home without replying.

Mr. Fellowes did not refer to the fight. He did not think it proper to
praise Jimmie, for he did not believe in boys fighting, but he could
not resist a feeling of proud satisfaction.

"Want to see the dog?" he asked.

"Yes," said Jimmie in a tremulous voice. He was almost crying with
weariness and he was doing his best to wipe the blood off his face and
brush the dust off his clothes.

"Let me help you," said Mr. Fellowes, kindly.

While he was bathing Jimmie's face, the boy felt a pair of little paws
reaching up on his leg, and a cold little nose thrust into his hand.
He stooped down and patted the little head. The tail came out from
between the dog's legs and wagged joyfully. Impulsively Jimmie caught
him up and hugged him close. It seemed a long time to Jimmie Rogers
since he had felt the moist caress of a loving tongue, and the thing
went straight to his lonely heart.

During all the fighting he had steadfastly held back the tears of pain
or anger, but now, weakened as he was by his exertions and the after
effects of excitement, he burst into tears, burying his face in the
little dog's warm, soft coat.

"Oh, little dog, little dog, you're going to be mine!" he cried.

Mr. Fellowes said not a word. While caring for the dog during the
fight, he had been thinking what a fine thing it would be to keep him,
to fill the place so long left vacant by the death of his Bounce. But
now, as he watched Jimmie, he made the sacrifice. This should be
Jimmie's dog. The boy had fairly won him. Mr. Fellowes understood how
he felt; he, too, had lost a dog. So he merely stroked the dog's head
and said, "What shall you call him?"

"Tatters," said Jimmie, and still carrying the dog tenderly in his
arms, he started out of the shop. At the door he turned back, with the
flash in his eye again. "And I'd like to see anybody try to take him
away from me," he said.

"I guess nobody will," said Mr. Fellowes, smiling, and Jimmie bore his
burden proudly home.

It was wonderful what a change a few days of kindness and good feeding
wrought in Tatters. He never became the favorite that Rags had been,
but he was a good dog, not without excellences and wisdom of his own,
and Jimmie loved him. And the change that came over Jimmie was hardly
less marked. With another dog for his own he was himself again, and
everyone rejoiced with him. On Christmas Day Mr. Fellowes saw to it
that the dogs' Santa Claus presented Tatters with a fine new collar.



CHAPTER XV

ROMULUS AT THE TRIALS


Mr. Hartshorn found, upon investigation, that the nearest field trials
were those at Bedlow, where the Field Trial Club of Eastern
Connecticut held its annual meet in April. It was not usually a large
affair nor prominent among the field trials of the country, but Mr.
Hartshorn thought it would be just about the right place for Romulus
to make his first appearance as a contestant for field-trial honors.
Though not a large affair, it was by no means insignificant, for there
were some good dogs in that part of the country and one or two kennels
from which had sprung dogs that had won a national reputation. Romulus
was pretty sure to have opponents worthy of him.

April 15th and 16th were the days set for the event. Mr. Hartshorn
communicated with the secretary of the club and made the necessary
arrangements. Ernest Whipple filled out the entry blanks and they were
properly filed. Unfortunately, Romulus was just a few months too old
now to be entered in the Derby, but Ernest was not displeased by the
necessity of seeking bigger game, and Romulus was entered in the
All-Age or Subscription stake. A purse of $50 was offered for the
winner and $30 for the runner-up.

April 14th dawned mild and bright, and about noon Sam Bumpus appeared
with Romulus, whom he pronounced to be at the top of his form after a
bit of light finishing off the day before. Sam was to go along to
handle the dog. He had not had much experience at field trials, but
Mr. Hartshorn had given him full instructions, and if anybody could
get winning action out of Romulus it was Sam. Mr. and Mrs. Whipple had
agreed to let Ernest and Jack go in care of Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn,
and both boys were full of excitement of the prospect. Mr. Whipple
came out to ask Sam a few questions and I am inclined to think that
even Mrs. Whipple shared a little of the excitement. Sam, as usual,
refused to come into the house, saying that he preferred to eat his
sandwiches in Rome, but he was glad to accept a cup of hot coffee and
some cake which Delia took out to him.

Soon after dinner Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn appeared in their big car and
the boys hurried out to join them. They sat together on the front
seat, while Sam, Ernest, Jack, and Romulus were bundled into the back
seat, with the suitcases and Sam's gun. It was a tight squeeze, but it
was a jolly party that set forth, waving good-by to Mr. and Mrs.
Whipple, Delia, and the disconsolate Remus.

"It does seem too bad to have to leave poor Remus, doesn't it?" said
Mrs. Hartshorn.

"That's all right," said Jack. "His day's coming. You'll see."

As for Romulus, he was wildly excited by this unusual experience, and
treated the residents of Boytown to a continuous barking, in which
Tatters and Mr. O'Brien and one or two of the other dogs joined,
running beside the car until it was well out of town. Then Sam managed
to quiet Romulus.

They arrived at Bedlow about dinner time, and Sam at once disappeared
with Romulus, saying that he wanted to see that he had a good dinner
and a place to sleep. The others went up to their rooms and washed up.
Sam did not reappear, and the boys began to be a bit anxious.

"Don't worry," said Mr. Hartshorn. "He's a queer duck, Sam is. But I
fancy he would be uncomfortable if he stayed with us, and we might as
well let him have his own way. I'll venture to say we won't see him
again till morning, but we can be sure of one thing: Romulus will be
well looked after."

Mr. and Mrs. Hartshorn and the boys had their supper in the
dining-room of the hotel, and all about them they heard dog talk.
After supper they all went to a movie on Mr. Hartshorn's invitation,
for he said that if they didn't get their minds off the trials for a
little while they would not sleep that night.

It was, in fact, some little time before Ernest and Jack could get to
sleep in their strange surroundings, but at length sleep came, and the
first thing they knew Mr. Hartshorn was knocking on their door and
bidding them get up. They dressed quickly and hurried down to
breakfast, where they found even more people than there were the night
before. Outside there were many automobiles and some horses, and here
and there a dog was to be seen, blanketed and receiving unusual
attention.

"I don't know where Sam slept last night," said Mr. Hartshorn. "It may
have been in the stable for all I know. I didn't ask him. But he's all
right, and so is Romulus. Sam saw to it that the dog got a good rest,
and he was up bright and early this morning, taking Romulus out for a
short walk to limber him up."

After breakfast they all piled into the car and started for the fields
a few miles outside of town where the trials were to be held. The sky
was overcast, but Mr. Hartshorn said he didn't think it would rain.
There was little wind, and Sam pronounced it ideal weather for the
contest.

"I hope it won't rain," said he, "because a wet coat bothers a setter
and gives the pointers the advantage."

There were a number of cars on the road before and behind them, and
now and then a man galloped past on horseback.

"Looks like a pretty good gallery," said Mr. Hartshorn.

When they arrived at the grounds, Mr. Hartshorn told the boys they had
better remain in the car with his wife, while he and Sam consulted
with the officials. After awhile he returned and announced that
Romulus had been paired with another setter named Dolly Grey.

"I can't find out much about her," said he. "At least, she's not one
of the famous ones, so it oughtn't to be too hard for Romulus. The
Derby will be run off first, so Romulus won't be called on until
afternoon. Sam has taken him off into the woods to keep him quiet."

In spite of the fact that Romulus did not figure in the Derby, it
proved to be an absorbing and exciting event to the Whipple boys. Two
by two the young dogs were called out and sent off in whirlwind races
after the cleverly hiding birds. Sometimes no birds were discovered,
and then it became merely a contest of speed and form in ranging until
the judges changed to fresh ground. Every now and then, however, one
of the dogs would catch the tell-tale scent, whirl about to some clump
of grass or thicket, and come to a rigid point, his less successful
opponent trailing him and backing him up. Behind them followed the
judges, handlers, and gallery, some in automobiles, some in traps,
some on horseback, and some afoot.

It turned out to be a fine day after all, and the dogs, eager and
swift, made a pretty sight among the old pastures and stubble fields.
For the most part they were kept away from the woods where it would be
difficult to judge of their performances.

A halt was called at noon to eat lunch and rest the dogs. Already the
constant shifting of ground had carried them far from Bedlow and the
men who were afoot were tired. The dogs were wrapped in blankets and
were kept as quiet as possible, most of them being in wagons. Mrs.
Hartshorn got out the luncheon kit and the boys found that they were
famously hungry. Sam appeared during the luncheon hour, to find out
how things were going, and Mrs. Hartshorn persuaded him to eat
something with the rest. Romulus, he said, seemed to be in good shape,
and on no account must anybody give him anything to eat.

About 1:30 the judges called for the final contest in the Derby. A
small lemon-and-white female setter named Dorothea was pitted against
a somewhat overgrown blue belton of the same species. At first it
seemed as though the advantage lay with the bigger, stronger dog,
whose name was King Arthur. He kept well in the lead in the ranging,
but the wise ones noted little Dorothea's superb form and said
nothing. Little by little she crept up on King Arthur, and at length
she swerved sharply to one side and pointed at a clump of alder
bushes. King Arthur had missed the scent entirely. The birds were
flushed and the dogs shot over, for that is the custom. Then the
judges, after a conference, declared the Derby closed and Dorothea the
winner. The party from Boytown saw a young woman rush out from among
the automobiles and throw her arms around the little setter.

"That must be her mistress," said Ernest. "I bet she's happy."

The boys were so much interested in all this that they did not realize
that the All-Age stake had already been commenced. Two pointers went
galloping across the field and the contest was on. From that moment
the boys kept their eyes fastened to the successive pairs of racing
dogs, trying to appraise their skill and form and to compare them with
Romulus. It was a better contest than the Derby, with more birds
found, and it was evident that Romulus had opponents worthy of him.
One interesting contestant was a beautiful Irish setter, whose red
coat glistened like gold in the sunshine. He did well, beating his
opponent, but he did not qualify for the finals.

At last Romulus was called, and with him the setter Dolly Grey. She
was a mild-looking animal, but once loosed she led Romulus a merry
chase. Both dogs were a bit heady at first and did a deal of running
without accomplishing anything, but at length Sam, with his patient
whistle, got Romulus straightened out and Dolly Grey also settled down
to business. She found the first birds, but after that Romulus beat
her to two coveys in rapid succession, and Romulus, to the great joy
of his master and Jack, was declared the winner.

"Didn't he do splendidly?" said Mrs. Hartshorn as Sam came up with the
panting dog.

"Waal," said Sam, "he might have done worse and he might have done
better. He wa'n't up to his top form, but it was his first trial. I
expect he'll do better in the finals. It was lucky he wa'n't paired
with one of the best dogs, or he might have been out of it now. As it
is he's got a chance, and I think it's a pretty good one. I heard one
of the judges say some nice things about him."

"Do you think they'll get to the finals this afternoon?" asked Mr.
Hartshorn.

"I don't think so," said Sam, "but I've got to stick around. They may
want to see Romulus work again."

They did try him out once more toward the end of the day, and this
time Sam seemed to be better pleased. Romulus won his heat handily
against a bigger dog. Meanwhile, however, everyone was commenting on
the superb work of a pointer with a chocolate brown head and markings
named Don Quixote, and even the boys could see that he was a past
master at the game. He went at it as though he knew just how to make
the winning move, and he did it every time.

"He ought to be in the championship class," said Mr. Hartshorn. "He's
an old-timer, and if Romulus can beat him it will be a great triumph."

Time was called as the shadows began to lengthen, and the crowd,
tired, hungry, and happy, returned to the hotel at Bedlow. At dinner
everyone was speculating as to which two dogs would be chosen to
compete in the finals, and Ernest was sure that the name of Romulus
was heard as often as that of any other dog except Don Quixote. In
response to the popular demand, the judges held a conference that
evening and chose the two who would compete for final honors on the
morrow. Crowds gathered in the lobby to ascertain the outcome of this
conference, and when at last the judges came out everyone was a-tiptoe
with expectation. One of the judges walked over to a bulletin board
and pinned up a piece of paper. It read: "The dogs chosen by the
judges to compete in the final heat of the All-Age stake to-morrow
morning are Don Quixote, pointer, owned by the Rathmore Kennels, and
Romulus, English setter, owned by Mr. Ernest Whipple. The trials will
start promptly at 9.30."

A cheer went up all over the lobby, and Ernest and Jack, strangely
enough, found tears in their eyes.

"That means," said Mr. Hartshorn, "that unless Romulus is in some way
disqualified, he wins second place at least, and to become runner-up
in the All-Age stake at his first trial is a big honor, even if he
isn't the winner. I tell you this because I don't want you to be too
much disappointed if Don Quixote beats him. The pointer is a fast,
rangy dog, an old-timer that knows all the tricks of the game, while
Romulus, for all Sam's fine training, is still green. Let's not expect
too much."

That evening Mr. Hartshorn did not even suggest a movie to take the
minds of the boys off the great event of the morrow; he knew it would
do no good. He told them stories of historic events in the field-trial
game, and then sent them to bed. They talked excitedly together for an
hour after that, but at last sleep claimed them, for they were really
tired, and running dogs filled their dreams.

An even larger crowd followed the dogs to the trial grounds next
morning, for there were some who were interested only in the
Championship stake, though they were glad to witness the finish of the
All-Age. The day was fine and Sam pronounced Romulus to be in
first-class trim.

This time the setter seemed to understand what was required of him. He
strained at his leash, and when at last he was set free at the command
of the judges, he was off like a shot, neck and neck with the pointer,
and the gallery cheered.

Old field-trial fans told Mr. Hartshorn afterward that they had never
witnessed a prettier contest than that one. The pointer was cool and
collected, but full of strength and spirit. When there was any leading
done at all, he generally did it. But there was a certain spontaneous
fire and energy in the running of Romulus that caught the fancy of the
spectators. And Sam's careful drilling began to tell. Romulus settled
down to the steadiest kind of work; his form was perfect and beautiful
to watch; his scent was sure and keen.

The second move brought the dogs to a very birdy spot, and the points
became frequent. In this department of the work it was nip-and-tuck
between the two dogs. No one could say that either had a quicker nose
than the other or responded more promptly to the scent. Sometimes one
dog would be first on the point, sometimes the other. It was largely a
matter of luck, for the birds lay on both sides of a series of fields,
and the dogs ranged from side to side, circling and quartering in a
manner to delight the heart of a sportsman.

If Romulus had a fault it was overzeal. He covered more ground than
was absolutely necessary.

"He is doing wonderfully," said Mr. Hartshorn. "I am only afraid he'll
run himself off his feet. This is bound to be a protracted contest,
the dogs are so nearly equal in every way, and endurance is the
quality that is going to tell in the end."

As the race continued, those who were familiar with the signs observed
that Romulus was weakening. The more methodical pointer kept up his
steady, fast lope unflagging, but Romulus showed an increasing
inclination to drop behind.

"I'm afraid this can't last much longer," said Mr. Hartshorn. "The
pace is too hot for Romulus. If he had had more experience he would
know how to save his strength for the last ten minutes. As it is, it
looks as though the pointer had the reserve power."

Suddenly Don Quixote seemed to tap a new supply of strength and speed.
He dashed to the right, and then circled swiftly around to the
hedgerow of wild shrubs at the left of the field, and all so swiftly
that poor Romulus was left well behind. As they watched, they saw the
setter stumble. He recovered himself, but stood trembling with
weariness and nervous tension. Sam's shrill whistle sounded and
Romulus gathered himself together again, but his feet seemed to
drag; he had lost speed.

Ernest Whipple was almost beside himself with excitement and fear of
defeat. A hush fell over the gallery as they watched this last
manoeuver of the dogs, and Ernest's voice sounded loud and distinct as
he shouted, "Go on, Romulus! Go on!"

The setter heard. He knew that voice and he loved it well. Sam's
whistle, which he had become accustomed to obey, had become monotonous
in his ears; it no longer served to put energy into his flagging
limbs. But here was a new call, a call that demanded the last atom of
his devotion and will and strength. He raised his head and looked
about for an instant, his lower jaw quivering. Then he seemed to draw
together and bound away like a steel spring released. Straight ahead
he went, cutting across the track of the pointer and circling around
clean in front of him. Don Quixote, surprised by the suddenness of
this rush, hesitated and looked a bit dazed. The awful strain of the
contest was telling on him, too, and the setter's burst of speed upset
his equilibrium.

While the pointer still trotted along in a wavering course, as though
in doubt whether to lead or to follow, Romulus caught a scent from the
bed of a little brook almost under the pointer's nose. He whipped
about like a flash and froze to a statuesque point that would have
made a perfect picture for an artist. The pointer, still bewildered,
did not even back him up.

The umpire's whistle sounded and the handlers called their dogs in.
Sam picked up the trembling Romulus bodily and carried him to the
Hartshorn car.

"He's all in," said Sam. "He used the last ounce he had. What a
heart!"

Jack began fondling the setter's ears, but Ernest was eagerly watching
the little group about the judges. At last a man on horseback came
riding up. He was smiling.

"My congratulations," said he. "Your dog won, and I never hope to see
a pluckier finish."

The forenoon was already half over and so the Championship stake was
begun immediately, but the occupants of the Hartshorn automobile had
no eyes for it. They could have told you nothing about what happened,
though they learned afterward that it was an exciting contest in which
some of the best dogs in New England took part. They were engrossed in
their own triumph, and if ever a dog stood in danger of being spoiled,
it was Romulus. Sam wore one of the broadest grins the human face is
capable of and Ernest found his emotions quite beyond expression.

The party left early, before the Championship stake was finished, and
they made a triumphal entry into Boytown. The last part of the way
they were accompanied by a noisy convoy of cheering boys and barking
dogs, and the town knew what had happened long before it read the
stirring account in the papers.

In due course Ernest received a handsome silver trophy, engraved with
the now famous name of Romulus, and Mrs. Whipple appeared to be as
proud of its appearance on the mantelpiece as any of the others. There
was also the fifty dollar purse, from which Ernest was obliged to
deduct a considerable amount for entrance fee and other expenses. The
rest he tried to force upon Sam in payment for his invaluable
services, but Sam would not hear of it.

"Why," said Ernest, "you earned ten times as much as that."

"I didn't earn anything I didn't get," said Sam. "I raised that pup
and I'm as proud of him as you are. I'm satisfied."

So Ernest put the balance in the savings bank as a fund for financing
similar undertakings in the future.

"A great dog, that Romulus," said Mr. Whipple, when it was all over.
"I always did believe he'd cut a figure somehow. It's a pity Remus
isn't in his class."

He didn't mean Jack to overhear him; he had no wish to hurt the boy's
feelings. But Jack did overhear and came promptly into the room.

"That's all right," said he. "Remus will have his day yet. He'll show
you."



CHAPTER XVI

THE MASSATUCKET SHOW


During the winter the Willowdale dogs had again won bench-show honors
in New York, Boston, and elsewhere, and Mr. Hartshorn and Tom Poultice
were now getting some of them in shape for the smaller outdoor shows
of the summer season. Several of the boys made a pilgrimage to
Thornboro one day early in June and found Tom engaged in combing the
soft, puppy hair out of the coat of one of the young Airedales.

"Why do you do that?" asked Elliot Garfield.

"It does seem foolish, doesn't it?" said Tom. "Well, you see a
Hairedale is supposed to 'ave a short, stiff coat, and if you put one
in the ring with a lot of this soft 'air on him, the judge won't look
twice at 'im."

"Are you going to show this one?" asked Ernest Whipple.

"Yep," said Tom. "'E goes to Mineola next week. It'll be his first
show. I don't know what his chances are. Mineola usually has a lot of
good dogs. It's near New York and it's one of the biggest of the
country shows. We usually try out the youngsters and the second-string
dogs on these summer shows and keep the best ones for the big winter
shows. Then we 'ave a chance to see 'ow they size up. If a dog wins
ribbons enough in the summer shows we figure he's qualified for the
big ones next winter. Sometimes a dog can win his championship without
ever seeing the inside of Madison Square Garden. He has to be shown a
lot of times, that's all, and win pretty regular."

"It isn't so hard to win at the summer shows, is it?" asked Theron
Hammond.

"Oh, my, no," said Tom. "Sometimes when the classes are small it's a
cinch. Take a rare kind of dog and he's apt to 'ave no competition."

"I wonder if any of our dogs would have a chance at one of the summer
shows," said Jack, with suppressed eagerness in his voice.

"I don't know why not," Tom responded.

That started the boys thinking and talking, and a week later they
trooped out to see Mr. Hartshorn about it. Half the boys in town had
decided that they wanted to show their dogs, and Mr. Hartshorn was at
first inclined to discourage them all.

"It's quite a job, taking dogs to a show and caring for them there,
and it costs something," said he. "You have some good dogs--in fact,
they're all fine fellows--but not many of them are of the show type.
You would find the competition somewhat different from that in
Morton's barn. I don't believe your parents would thank me for
encouraging you to enter dogs that haven't a good chance at the
ribbons, and I'm sure I would hesitate to be responsible for looking
after a gang of you."

"But couldn't a few of the dogs be tried?" asked Jack Whipple.

Mr. Hartshorn looked into the lad's eager, bright eyes and smiled.

"Perhaps," said he. "Let me think it over."

As a matter of fact it was Mr. Hartshorn's desire not to seem to show
favoritism that made him speak that way. For his own part he would
like nothing better than to see Remus and one or two of the other dogs
have a try at the ribbons, and his wife urged him to give them a
chance. The outcome of it was that most of the boys were dissuaded,
with quiet friendliness, from attempting the useless venture, while
five dogs were eventually entered in the show of the Massatucket
Kennel Club, to be held at Welden, some fifty miles from Boytown, in
July. These five were Romulus, Remus, Alert, Hamlet, and Rover. These
Mr. Hartshorn thought would stand the best chance of winning
something. The Old English sheepdog was entered under his original
name of Darley's Launcelot of Middlesex, and for once Elliot Garfield
was proud of the name.

Mr. Hartshorn knew he had quite a handful of boys and dogs to look
after, but Mrs. Hartshorn said she would help, while Tom Poultice took
sole charge of the half-dozen Willowdale dogs that were also entered.

The Willowdale dogs were shipped ahead in crates, as usual. So was
little Alert. The masters of the other four dogs, however, objected to
a form of confinement which the dogs couldn't understand, and it was
arranged that the boys should take the dogs with them in the baggage
car. Theron Hammond courteously offered to accompany Mrs. Hartshorn in
the coach and Tom Poultice took an earlier train, so the baggage car
party consisted of Romulus, Remus, Hamlet, Rover, Mr. Hartshorn,
Ernest and Jack Whipple, Herbie Pierson, and Elliot Garfield. It was
fortunate that only half a car-load of baggage was traveling that day,
or they might not have been able to crowd in. As it was, they managed
to find seats on various boxes and trunks and made themselves fairly
comfortable. The dogs, with their masters for company, were content,
after the first sense of strangeness had worn off.

"I understand," said Mr. Hartshorn, after the train had started,
"that about five hundred dogs are entered, so it ought to be a fairly
representative show. It won't be like New York, of course, but you
ought to have a chance to see good dogs of most of the well-known
breeds. And the dogs at an outdoor show are usually happier and less
nervous than if they were cooped up for two or three days in a crowded
hall and compelled to spend their nights there. There are really
serious objections to the big indoor shows. More danger of spreading
distemper and other diseases, too, than at the outdoor shows."

"Do you think we will see any of the famous champions there?" asked
Herbie.

"Yes," said Mr. Hartshorn, "I believe some of the crack Sealyhams and
wire-haired fox terriers are entered, and there's sure to be a good
showing of Boston terriers. Alert will be in fast company.

"The wires are always worth seeing," said he, after a pause. "It was a
white bull terrier that won best of all breeds in New York last
winter, but during the last half-dozen years wire-haired fox terriers
have won two-thirds of the first honors. The breeders seem to have
nearly achieved perfection with this variety. Matford Vic, Wireboy of
Paignton, Wycollar Boy, and several others have been almost perfect
specimens. But you never can tell. Their day may be passing, and for
the next few years it may be Airedales or bulldogs, or almost any
other breed that will force its way to the top. That's one of the
interesting features of the dog-show game. Then sometimes you find all
predictions upset, and all the big dogs beaten by a greyhound or an
Old English sheepdog. There's always a chance for everybody."

[Illustration: Beagles]

As the train pulled up at a station somewhere along the line a man
entered the baggage car with a brace of beagles on a leash. Nice
little dogs, they were, with friendly eyes and beautiful faces.

"Is the baggage man here?" asked the man.

"I haven't seen him lately," said Mr. Hartshorn. "Is there anything we
can do for you?"

"Why, yes," said the man. "I'm sending these dogs down to Welden.
There'll be someone to call for them there. You look as though you
might be bound for that place yourselves, and if you could keep an eye
on these dogs it would be a great favor."

"We'll do so with pleasure," said Mr. Hartshorn.

"What are their names?" asked Ernest.

"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," he answered. "I'm entering them as singles
and as a brace, and I think I stand a pretty good show."

The baggage man came along, and by the time the owner of the beagles
had arranged for their shipment the train was ready to start again.

"It's lucky you were here to take them," said the man, "or I shouldn't
have been able to send them this way. Good-by and good luck."

"Good-by," they shouted, and proceeded to get acquainted with the
beagles.

"They're like small hounds, aren't they?" said Jack.

"Yes," said Mr. Hartshorn, "they are really hounds."

"Oh," said Ernest, "that makes me think. You never told us about the
hound breeds, and you said you would sometime. Couldn't you do it
now?"

"Let's see," said Mr. Hartshorn, opening his grip. "Ah, yes, here it
is." He took out a small paper-covered book containing the standards
of the different breeds. "I always mean to take this with me to the
shows. Without my books I can't always remember the facts, but with
the help of this I guess I can make out.

"Now there still remain the hound and greyhound families to be
covered. They are both hounds, in a way, but they have been distinct
for centuries. They are both very old types of dogs.

"We will begin with the bloodhound because he's the biggest. There are
a lot of people who have got their ideas about the bloodhound from
'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' and there are places where you aren't allowed to
keep a bloodhound because the breed is supposed to be so dangerous and
ferocious. But that is a great injustice. The true English bloodhound
is not the mongrel beast that was used in slavery days, but is a
finely developed and reliable dog. Contrary to the general belief, the
modern bloodhound is not ferocious, but gentle and affectionate,
almost shy. He is a wonderful trailer and has often been successfully
used to find both criminals and lost persons, but he does not attack
them when he finds them.

"The otter hound is an English dog not common with us. He has a unique
appearance, something like a bloodhound in a rough coat, with a face
not unlike that of an Airedale terrier or a wire-haired pointing
griffon. He is a steady and methodical hunter, sure on the trail, a
strong swimmer, brave, patient, and affectionate.

"The foxhound is the most popular sporting dog of England, his history
being bound up with that of British hunting. I guess you know what a
foxhound looks like. The American Kennel Club recognizes two separate
classes of foxhounds, the English and the American. The latter is, of
course, native bred, and is somewhat smaller and lighter in bone than
the English hound. The so-called American coon-hound is a dog of the
foxhound type and of foxhound origin, bred carelessly as to type, but
trained to hunt the raccoon and opossum.

"The name harrier was first given somewhat indiscriminately to all
English hunting hounds before the foxhound was highly developed. Later
the harrier was developed as a separate breed for hunting hares. It is
now rare in England and there are almost no harriers in the United
States. The beagle is like a smaller, finer foxhound, and has the same
ancestry. He is a good, all-round sporting dog, and a good-looking
fellow, as you see, with a solid build, a rugged appearance, and a
fine face.

"The dachshund (don't call it dash-hund) is a canine dwarf best known
for his absurdly disproportionate appearance, but he is a most
attractive, serviceable little dog. He was evolved long ago from the
hounds of Germany for the special work of hunting the badger. His bent
forelegs and queer proportions are really deformities scientifically
bred. The dachshund has a wonderful nose and is a good worker with
foxes as well as with ground animals, though his peculiar build best
fits him for the latter. He is a clean, companionable house dog,
affectionate and spirited. The basset is a short-legged French hound
resembling the German dachshund, to which it is doubtless related. We
are not familiar with the breed in this country. It looks like a large
dachshund with a bloodhound head."

"Do you know any good hound stories?" asked Jack, who was fondling the
long, velvety ears of the two beagles.

"Not many," said Mr. Hartshorn. "Most of the foxhound stories I have
heard have illustrated the sagacity and cleverness of the fox rather
than that of the hound. There are also one or two stories that show
that the hound has a strong homing instinct like that of some of the
other breeds. The only foxhound anecdote of an amusing nature that I
recall is told of one that was owned by a strict Roman Catholic.
Whenever Lent arrived, this dog always ran away and paid a round of
visits on Protestant acquaintances until Easter ushered in a period of
more varied menus at home. This hound was not trained with a pack
but was kept as a single pet, which accounts for his marked
personality, more like that of a terrier than of a hound.

"I have read a number of accounts in the newspapers describing rescues
by bloodhounds. I remember one was about a Brooklyn girl who wandered
away from a hotel and was lost on a mountain in Vermont. A famous
bloodhound was brought over from Fairhaven and was allowed to smell of
a handkerchief belonging to the girl. He took up her trail at the
village store and followed it along roads where horses and automobiles
had been, through two other villages, and into the woods, and he at
last found the girl on the verge of exhaustion far up the
mountainside.

"Another bloodhound in California found a lost child at the edge of a
cliff in a dense fog and drew him back from the precipice just in
time. Most of the bloodhound stories are of that nature, though there
are some that have to do with the trailing of criminals.

"One of the classic stories of literature is that of the hound of
Montargis. He may have been a St. Hubert hound, or one of the other
French hounds, though I have always suspected that he may have been a
mâtin or dog of the Great Dane type. But the breed is a matter of
minor importance. The main features of the story are somewhat as
follows:

"There were once two officers of the King's bodyguard in France named
Macaire and Montdidier. Fast friends at first, they became bitter
enemies and rivals, and one day in the Forest of Bondi, near Paris,
after a violent quarrel, Macaire drew his sword and slew Montdidier
and buried his body in the woods.

"Now Montdidier owned a faithful hound who came to search for him. He
traced him to the grave and there he remained until he was nearly
famished. The poets would have us believe that the dog reached the
conclusion that his master had been slain, that he discovered the
scent of the murderer, and that he set out in quest of vengeance. At
any rate, he went to the home of a friend of his dead master's and was
given food. He attached himself to this household but went often to
the grave.

"Of course, Montdidier's comrades soon missed him and his absence was
reported to Charles V, the King. Foul play was suspected and the King
ordered an investigation, but no evidence was forthcoming. Meanwhile
Montdidier's friend had also become suspicious and one day he followed
the hound to the grave. Observing the dog's actions, he surmised what
must be there. He reported the matter to the King who had the body
exhumed and discovered marks of violence.

"On several occasions after that the hound attempted to attack Macaire
but was prevented from doing him injury. He was entirely peaceable
toward everybody else, so that these circumstances were noticed.
Guardsmen remembered that Macaire and Montdidier had quarreled and
suspicion fastened itself upon Macaire. The King was told of all this
and he himself observed the actions of the hound when he was brought
near his master's murderer.

"In those days it was sometimes the custom for judges to settle a
dispute by ordering the contestants to fight a duel. King Charles
decided to adopt this method in an effort to determine whether or not
Macaire was guilty, and he ordered a trial combat to take place
between the man and the dog at the Château of Montargis on the Isle of
Notre Dame, Paris. The man was given a stout cudgel as his only
weapon, while the dog was provided with an empty cask into which he
might retreat if too hard pressed.

"The battle was a terrible one, Macaire fighting for his life and the
dog to revenge his dead master. The hound paid no heed to the blows
that were rained upon him, but attacked blindly. At last he got a firm
grip on the man's throat and hung on. Macaire, weakening and
terrified, begged to be rescued and confessed his guilt. The dog was
dragged away at last and the gallows robbed him of his revenge."

"Whew!" exclaimed Herbie Pierson. "Some story! Got any more like that,
Mr. Hartshorn?"

"Half a dozen of them," replied Mr. Hartshorn with a laugh, "but
they'll have to wait till another time, as I believe we are nearing
our destination. For the same reason I must postpone telling you about
the dogs of the greyhound family. Here we are, boys."

Tom Poultice was waiting for them at the Welden station and so was the
man who had come for the two beagles. Under Tom's guidance they walked
out to the fair grounds, which were only a mile away. This was to be
the scene of the show, and there were already a number of dogs and
crates about.

"I've arranged to stay out 'ere," said Tom. "There's an 'ouse where I
can sleep, and I can look after all the dogs."

They looked around the grounds a bit. Mr. Hartshorn found the
superintendent of the show and had a few words with him, and then they
all returned to town, leaving the dogs in Tom's care. They were all
well acquainted with him and did not feel that they were being left
among total strangers.

They registered at the hotel, which they found to be overcrowded. An
extra cot was placed in one of the rooms, and Ernest, Jack, and Elliot
were assigned to it. They did not consider the situation to be any
hardship. They enjoyed a good dinner in the dining-room and then
gathered in Mr. Hartshorn's room for a talk.

After discussing dog shows some more and speculating as to the outcome
of the morrow's contests. Ernest, whose thirst for dog learning was
insatiable, reminded Mr. Hartshorn of his promise to tell them about
the breeds of the greyhound family.

"The greyhound proper," said he, "is of course the first to be
considered. It is perhaps the oldest distinct type of dog now in
existence. Likenesses of greyhounds are to be seen in relics of
Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculpture, and the type has
altered surprisingly little in seven thousand years. It was developed
for great speed from the first and was used in the chase. Unlike the
other hounds, the dogs of the greyhound family hunt by sight and not
by scent.

"The whippet is merely a smaller greyhound, but has been bred as a
separate variety for upward of a century. On a short course the
whippet is faster than a racehorse, covering the usual 200 yards in
about 12 seconds. Whippet racing as a sport has never taken hold in
America and we have comparatively few of the breed here. You have
already been told about the Italian greyhound. It belongs to the
greyhound family but is classed as a toy.

"Although speed is the thing for which the greyhound is most famous,
stories have been told which illustrate the breed's fidelity and
sagacity when his master makes a comrade of him. I will tell you one
of these tales. A French officer named St. Leger was imprisoned in
Vincennes, near Paris, during the wars of St. Bartholomew. He had a
female greyhound that was his dearest friend and he asked to have her
brought to him in prison. This request was denied and the dog was sent
back to St. Leger's home in the Rue des Lions St. Paul. She would not
remain there, however, and at the first opportunity she returned to
the prison and barked outside the walls. When she came under her
master's window he tossed a piece of bread out to her, and in this way
she discovered where he was.

"She contrived to visit him every day, and incidentally she won the
admiration and affection of one of the jailers, who smuggled her in
occasionally to see her master. St. Leger was at last released, but
his health was broken and in six months he died. The dog grieved for
him and would not be comforted by any of the members of the household.
At last she ran away and attached herself to the jailer who had
befriended her and her master, and with him she lived happily till the
day of her death.

"Now we come to one of the grandest breeds of all--the Irish
wolfhound. It is a breed of great antiquity and of great size and
power. The Latin writer Pliny speaks of it as _canis graius
Hibernicus_, and in Ireland it was known as _sagh clium_ or wolf dog.
For in ancient Ireland there were huge wolves and also enormous elk,
and the great dogs were used to hunt them. These hounds were even used
in battle in the old days of the Irish kings.

"Two classic stories are told of the Irish wolfhound. One is of the
hound of Aughrim. There was an Irish knight or officer who had his
wolfhound with him at the battle of Aughrim, and together they slew
many of the enemy. But at last the master himself was killed. He was
stripped and left on the battlefield to be devoured by wolves. But his
faithful dog never left him. He remained at his side day and night,
feeding on other dead bodies on the battlefield, but allowing neither
man nor beast to come near that of his master until nothing was left
of it but a pile of whitening bones. Then he was forced to go farther
away in search of food, but from July till January he never failed to
return to the bones of his master every night. One evening some
soldiers crossed the battlefield, and one of them came over to see
what manner of beast the wolfhound was. The dog, thinking his
master's bones were about to be disturbed, attacked the soldier, who
called loudly for help. Another soldier came running up and shot the
faithful dog.

"The other story is that of devoted Gelert which you may have heard.
Robert Spencer made a poem or ballad of it."

"I've never heard it," said Jack Whipple.

"Nor I," said Elliot Garfield.

"Well," said Mr. Hartshorn, "it's a rather tragic story. Put into
plain and unadorned prose, it runs something like this: Gelert was an
Irish wolfhound of great strength and great intelligence that had been
presented by King John in 1205 to Llewelyn the Great, who lived near
the base of Snowdon Mountain. Gelert became devoted to his master and
at night 'sentinel'd his master's bed,' as the poem has it. By day he
hunted with him.

"One day, however, Gelert did not appear at the chase and when
Llewelyn came home he was angry with the dog for failing him. He was
in that frame of mind when he met Gelert coming out of the chamber of
his child. The dog was covered with blood. Llewelyn rushed into the
room and discovered the bed overturned, the coverlet stained with
gore, and the child missing. He called to the boy but got no response.

"Believing that there was but one interpretation for all this,
Llewelyn called Gelert to him and in his wrath thrust his sword
through the dog's body. Gelert gave a great cry of anguish that
sounded almost human, and then, with his eyes fixed reproachfully on
his slayer's face, he died. Then another cry was heard--that of the
child, who had been awakened from sleep by the shriek of the dying
dog. Llewelyn rushed forward and found the child safe and unscratched
in a closet where he had fallen asleep. The father hurried back to the
bloody bed, and beneath it he found the dead body of a huge gray wolf
which told the whole story. In remorse Llewelyn erected a tomb and
chapel to the memory of faithful Gelert and the place is called Beth
Gelert to this day."

There was a suspicious moisture about more than one pair of eyes as
Mr. Hartshorn finished this narrative, and he hurried on to less
tragic matters.

"The Irish wolfhound is to-day a splendid animal," said he, "and the
breed deserves to be better known in this country. It has had an
interesting history. There was a time when it nearly died out in
Ireland, and the modern breed was started with the remnants some fifty
years ago, with the help of Great Dane and Scottish deerhound crosses.
The new breed was not thoroughly established, however, until the
latter part of the last century. As a made breed, so called, it is a
remarkable example of what can be accomplished by patient, scientific
breeding. The Irish wolfhound is a big, active, sagacious, wonderfully
companionable dog, muscular and graceful, and as full of fun as a
terrier.

"The Scottish deerhound is similar in most respects to the Irish
wolfhound, but is lighter, speedier, and less powerful. They have a
common ancestry, though the two breeds were distinct as long ago as
the twelfth century. The breed was a favorite with Sir Walter Scott.

"The Russian wolfhound, known in Russia as the borzoi, is one of the
most graceful and aristocratic of all the breeds, combining speed,
strength, symmetry, and a beautiful coat. He has been used for
centuries in Russia for hunting wolves and has been bred as the
sporting dog of the aristocracy."

"It makes a dog show a lot more interesting to know something about
the different breeds," said Ernest Whipple.

"Of course it does," said Mr. Hartshorn. "And if I am not mistaken, I
have told you something about almost every breed that you will ever be
likely to see at a dog show or anywhere else."

Soon afterward they separated for the night.



CHAPTER XVII

THE TEST OF REMUS


The Boytown party was at the fair grounds long before the show opened
the following morning, and you may be sure the dogs were glad to see
their masters, though they had been well cared for by Tom.

Though technically an outdoor show, there was room for all the dogs in
the commodious cattle-show sheds in case of rain. The weather promised
to be fair and warm, however, so only the smaller dogs and some of the
larger short-coated ones were benched inside, where they had plenty of
room and plenty of ventilation. The collies and Old English sheepdogs
were tied in a row in the shade of some maple trees at one side of the
grounds, and the rough-coated terriers, the setters, and some of the
other breeds were also outside. The boys found the places reserved for
their dogs and saw to it that they were properly and comfortably
benched.

When the show opened and the spectators began to arrive, the Boytown
dogs were at first nervous and excited and could not bear to have
their masters leave them. After an hour or two, however, they became
accustomed to their surroundings, and leaving them in charge of Tom
Poultice, the boys made the rounds of the show under the guidance of
Mr. Hartshorn.

It was a most interesting experience for them. Some of the breeds were
of course familiar to them, and Mr. Hartshorn called attention to
their points and showed how some of the dogs back home fell short of
conforming to the requirements of the standard. In some instances they
recognized breeds that Mr. Hartshorn had told them about but which
they had never seen before. There were, for example, a Scottish
deerhound, an Irish water spaniel, and some cairn terriers. As Mr.
Hartshorn had predicted, there were noteworthy entries of Sealyhams,
wire-haired fox terriers, and Boston terriers, and particularly
interesting exhibits of bulldogs and chows. There was one dog that
puzzled them--a white dog with fluffy coat and bright eyes. The
catalogue stated that it was a Samoyede.

"What is a Samoyede, Mr. Hartshorn?" asked Herbie Parsons. "I don't
think I ever heard of that kind."

"That's so," said Mr. Hartshorn. "I guess I never told you about the
Arctic breeds. This is one of them. They're not very common."

There were individual dogs, too, that demanded special attention,
friendly dogs that wanted to shake hands and be patted and that
begged the boys to stay with them. This encouraged loitering and made
the circuit of the benches quite a protracted affair. Mr. Hartshorn
had warned them about approaching the dogs without an introduction.

"There are always some dogs that aren't to be trusted," said he, "and
as the day wears on and they get more and more nervous, they may snap.
It's always well to be cautious at a dog show, no matter how well you
understand dogs. Never make a quick motion toward a dog or try to put
your hand on the top of his head at first. Reach your hand out toward
him quietly and let him sniff at the back of it. Then you can soon
tell whether he invites further advances or not."

The boys became so absorbed in trying out this form of introduction
that it was noon before they had finished visiting all the benches.
Mrs. Hartshorn insisted on having luncheon.

"I'm hungry if no one else is," said she.

The five boys suddenly discovered that they were hungry, too. Mr.
Hartshorn led them to a restaurant on the grounds and ordered the
meal. It might have been better, but the boys were not critical. When
they had finished eating they went out and sat for a little while in
the shade of some trees, not far from the collies, and watched the
people.

"Now I'll tell you about those Arctic breeds," said Mr. Hartshorn,
"and get that off my mind."

It was very warm, and they were all glad of a little chance to rest.
It is tiring to walk around a dog show and one becomes more weary than
one realizes. The boys stretched themselves out on the grass and
listened to Mr. Hartshorn's words mingled with the barking of the dogs
in all keys.

"It won't take very long to tell about these northern breeds," he
began. "Their natural habitat is in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions
of Asia, Europe, Greenland, and North America. They are probably
related to the Arctic wolf and they are generally used in those
countries as sledge dogs.

"The spitz dog found his way down from the cold countries long ago,
but he still retains some of his racial characteristics. The proper
name for the one occasionally seen here is the wolfspitz. He is the
largest of the spitz family, of which the Pomeranian is the miniature
member.

"The Samoyede or laika is the sledge dog of northern Russia and
western Siberia and was used by Nansen in his explorations. Next to
the wolfspitz, the Samoyede is the most attractive and domestic of the
Arctic breeds and has acquired some popularity among American
fanciers, especially the white ones.

"The Norwegian elkhound is used as a bird dog as well as for hunting
big game in Scandinavia. It is not a hound at all, but a general
utility dog of the Arctic type, dating back to the days of the
Vikings. A few have been shown in this country.

"The Eskimo dog is larger than the Samoyede and is nearer to the wolf
in type. He has long been known as a distinct breed, being a native of
Greenland and northern Canada, and was used by Peary, the Arctic
explorer. The breed has occasionally been shown in the United States.

"There are also a number of loosely bred sledge dogs in North America,
including the Canadian husky and the malamutes and Siwash dogs of
Alaska. The husky, is a powerful dog, weighing 125 pounds or more, and
is the common draught dog of Canada. He is said to be the result of a
cross between the Arctic wolf and the Eskimo dog."

"He sounds rather unattractive to me," said Mrs. Hartshorn.

"Well, he is, as a pet," said her husband, "but he is a wonderfully
useful animal in his own country. Is everybody rested now? I imagine
we'd better be going back. I want to be on hand when they judge the
Airedales."

The party rose and trooped back to the sheds. At intervals during the
afternoon they visited their own dogs and before night they had
finished their rounds of the show, but a good share of the time was
spent in the vicinity of the judging rings. These were two roped-off
enclosures on the open lawn, with camp chairs arranged about them for
the ladies. At all times there was a goodly gathering about the rings
of people whose interest was in the outcome of the judging.
Considering the fact that there was no lively action like that of a
field trial or an athletic contest, it was remarkable how much
excitement could be derived from these quiet competitions. When a
favorite dog was given the blue ribbon there was much hand-clapping
and a little cheering, and the boys heard very little complaining or
rebellion against the decisions of the judges. Dog fanciers are, for
the most part, good sports.

The Airedales were judged among the first, and as usual the Willowdale
dogs, skilfully exhibited by Tom Poultice, bore off their fair share
of the honors. Soon the Boston terriers were called for. This was
Theron Hammond's big moment, and when Alert was awarded second prize
in the novice class Theron was warmly congratulated by friends and
strangers alike, for there were a lot of good dogs shown and, as Mr.
Hartshorn had said, Alert was in fast company.

Rover, as Darley's Launcelot of Middlesex, had an easier time of it,
for only eight Old English sheepdogs were benched and none of the
famous kennels were represented here. There were only three dogs in
the novice class, and as the other two were second-rate dogs, Rover
won first place. He also won third in the open class, but was beaten
out by better dogs in the winners contest.

[Illustration: Old English Sheepdog]

Hamlet, however, didn't win anything. His forelegs weren't straight
and the judge took special note of them. He had better dogs against
him, and the better dogs won. It was a fair contest, but Herbie was
bitterly disappointed.

"Never mind, Herbie," said Jack Whipple, consolingly. "I bet Hamlet
is a better dog to own than any of them. That's what I said about
Remus when they said he hadn't any nose."

And Herbie, not to be outdone by the younger boy, plucked up spirit
and bore his defeat manfully.

It was a two-day show, and the judging of the bird dogs, hounds, and
some of the other breeds was put over to the second day. Ernest and
Jack, therefore, still had their exciting time ahead of them, but the
whole party was tired with so much walking about and watching, and
they were glad to turn their dogs over to Tom's care and return to the
hotel, with another day of it before them.

"Have you told us about all the breeds there are?" asked Ernest that
evening in Mr. Hartshorn's room.

"I believe I have," said Mr. Hartshorn, "except some little known
foreign ones."

"Oh, please tell us about those," pleaded Ernest.

Mr. Hartshorn laughed. "You're bound to know it all, aren't you?" said
he. "There are a number of European, Asiatic, and Australasian breeds,
some of which are very interesting, but you will probably never see
any of them and I haven't a list of them with me. When we get back to
Boytown, if there are any of you boys that would like to look up these
uncommon breeds, just to make your dog knowledge complete, I shall be
very glad to lend you a book which contains them all. For instance,
there's the German boxer which has sometimes been shown in this
country, and the Pyrenean sheepdog whose blood is to be found in
several of our large breeds, including the St. Bernard and the Irish
wolfhound. There are other European sheepdogs and hunting dogs,
Asiatic greyhounds, and some queer hairless freaks. When you've looked
those all up you'll know more about dogs than most naturalists do."

"Then if the breeds are all used up, I suppose the anecdotes have all
been used up, too," said Jack.

Mr. Hartshorn looked at his watch. "Well, no, not quite all used up,"
said he. "I have thought of two or three more, and I guess we've got
time for one of them to-night. It is about a tradesman of the Rue St.
Denis in Paris, a man named Dumont. He had a very smart dog, but I
don't know what kind of dog it was. Perhaps a terrier or a poodle.
This dog was great at finding hidden articles. One day Dumont was
walking with a friend in the Boulevard St. Antoine and was bragging
about his dog. The friend would not believe his statements, so they
laid a wager, the master claiming that the dog could find and bring
home a six-livre piece hidden anywhere in the dust of the road.

"So the piece of money was hidden in the dust when the dog was not
looking, and they went on a mile farther. Then the dog, whose name
was Caniche, was told to go back and get the coin, and he promptly
started. The friend wished to wait and see how it would come out, but
Dumont said, 'No, we will proceed. Caniche will bring the money home.'
They accordingly went to Dumont's home and waited, but no dog
appeared. The friend asserted that the dog had failed and claimed the
wager, but Dumont only said, 'Be patient, _mon ami_; something
unexpected has happened to delay him, but he will come.'

"Something unexpected had indeed happened. A traveler from Vincennes
came driving along in a chaise soon after Dumont and his friend had
passed that way, and his horse accidentally kicked the coin out of the
dust. The traveler, seeing it glisten, got out and picked it up, and
then drove on to his inn.

"When Caniche came up the money was, of course, not there, but he
picked up the traveler's scent and followed his chaise to the inn.
Arriving there and finding his man, Caniche proceeded to make friends
with him. The traveler, flattered by this attention, and being fond of
dogs, said he would like to adopt Caniche, and took him to his room.
The dog settled down and appeared to be quite content.

"When bedtime came and the man began to undress, Caniche arose and
barked at the door. The man, thinking this was quite natural, opened
the door to let him out. Suddenly Caniche turned, seized the man's
breeches, which he had just taken off, and bolted out with them. There
was a purse full of gold pieces in the breeches, and the traveler
dashed after the dog in his nightcap and _sans culottes_, as the
French say. Caniche made for home with the angry man after him.

"Arriving at Dumont's house, Caniche gained admittance and deposited
the breeches at his master's feet. Just then the owner of the breeches
burst in, loudly demanding his property and accusing Dumont of having
taught his dog to steal.

"'Softly, softly,' said Dumont. 'Caniche is no thief, and he would not
have done this without a reason. You have a coin in these breeches
that is not yours.'

"At first the stranger denied this, and then he remembered the coin he
had picked up in the Boulevard St. Antoine. Explanations followed, the
breeches and gold were restored to the traveler and the six-livre
piece was handed to Caniche, who returned it to his master with the
air of one who had fulfilled his duty. Dumont's friend paid his wager
and Dumont opened a bottle of wine, and they all drank to the health
of the cleverest dog in France.

"Whether that is a true story or not you must judge for yourselves. I
have told it as it was told to me, and I prefer not to vouch for it."

Laughing over this story, and thanking Mr. Hartshorn for telling it to
them, the boys trooped off to bed.

So far as Ernest and Jack Whipple were concerned, all the interest of
the second day of the Massatucket Dog Show centered about the judging
of the English setters. They had been studying the entry carefully,
and though there were some champions entered in the open and limit
classes, and though Mr. Hartshorn pointed out to them the superior
qualities of several of these dogs from the fancier's point of view,
it seemed to the boys that Romulus and Remus were as good as any dogs
there.

"Don't set your hopes too high," cautioned Mr. Hartshorn. "They will
be pitted against some good dogs, and I don't want to see you too
greatly disappointed. One has to learn to lose in the dog-show game
more often than one wins."

"Anyway," said Ernest, "I haven't seen anything in the novice class
that can beat them."

At last the hour arrived for the judging of the setters. The puppy
class was disposed of first, and then the novices. Ernest and Jack led
their own dogs into the ring, with numbers pinned to their
coat-sleeves. The two dogs behaved beautifully, holding up their heads
and standing at attention, as their masters had patiently taught them
to do. They were both in good condition, their eyes bright and their
coats soft and glossy. It was quite evident to the spectators about
the ring that the other dogs in the novice class were not to be
compared with them. Ernest and Jack were quite unconscious of the fact
that they were being observed as much as the dogs and that there were
some people present who admired their bright eyes as much as those of
Romulus and Remus. But it was the judge of this class that held their
fixed attention.

He was a brusque, dour-looking man, without a smile for anybody, but
he had a reputation for strict impartiality and for a true judgment of
dog-flesh. It did not take him long to reach his decision. With no
word of congratulation he handed Jack a blue ribbon and Ernest a red
one, and ushered them out of the ring.

"The Remus dog has the best head and most shapely body," was all that
he said.

But the spectators clapped and showered congratulations upon the boys,
and they were very happy.

"I knew it, I knew it!" cried Jack in an ecstasy of triumph. "Nose
doesn't count in the show ring, and Remus is, in every other way, the
best dog in the world. I told you he'd have his day. Good old Remus!"

And right before all those people he leaned down and hugged his dog
and kissed him on the silky ear.

But that was only the beginning. Remus also took first in the open
class, which was more than Mr. Hartshorn had hoped for, and Romulus
took third. And when it came to the final contest of the winners,
Remus won reserve to Ch. The Marquis, a dog that had won his spurs in
the biggest shows in the country. He was the only dog in this bunch
that could beat Remus, and there were those who affirmed that in
another year Remus would defeat him.

Ernest showed himself to be a good sport and was glad that Remus had
won. Jack communicated his high spirits to the other boys, and by the
time the afternoon was over they were in a hilarious mood and eager to
bring their trophies back to Boytown. They forgot their weariness, and
as the spectators began to leave the grounds, and it was proper to
release the dogs, they started off pell-mell, across the central oval
of the race track, boys and dogs together, shouting and barking in a
gladsome chorus. It was a goodly sight for some of the grown-ups to
see, and they paused to watch the frolic.

"I'm so glad Remus won," said Mrs. Hartshorn, smiling upon them all.

"Yes," responded her husband, "Jacky deserved it. He has stood by his
dog through thick and thin."

As the boys and dogs came romping back, Mrs. Hartshorn observed,
"Youth is a wonderful thing."

"Sometimes," said her husband, "I think it is a greater thing than
wisdom."

Perhaps a vision of her own youth came back to her, for she leaned
against her husband's arm and softly quoted:

    "When all the world is young, lad,
      And all the fields are green,
    And every goose a swan, lad,
      And every lass a queen;
    Then hey, for boot and horse, lad!
      Around the world away!
    Young blood must have its course, lad,
      And every dog his day."



CHAPTER XVIII

ON HULSE'S POND


A week or so after the Massatucket Show, when Ernest Whipple's kennel
paper arrived, he and Jack scrutinized it eagerly for the account of
the show. The man who reported it had a great deal to say, in more or
less technical terms, about a good many of the dogs. He seemed to
pride himself on his ability to pick future winners and he was rather
free with his predictions. Romulus he mentioned favorably in passing,
referring to his enviable field-trial record. But to Remus he devoted
an entire paragraph.

"This dog," he wrote, "owned by Master Jack Whipple, is a twin brother
to the afore-mentioned Romulus. Barring a slight weakness in the loins
and a look of wispiness about the stern, he was set down in good shape
and easily defeated the other novices. He has the classic type of
Laverack head, and this had much to do with his being placed reserve
to Ch. The Marquis in the winners class. He is a young dog, and with
proper treatment he should figure in the primary contests of next
winter. We predict a bright future on the bench for this Remus."

Incidentally the boys were pleased to learn that Tippecanoe and Tyler
Too had won the prize for the best brace of beagles in the show,
besides some individual honors, and they rejoiced for their
bright-faced little acquaintances of the baggage car.

The triumph of Remus was not short-lived. The residents of Boytown
learned through the local papers what had happened, and began to look
with a new interest upon these boys and their dogs as they passed
along the streets. Romulus came to be pointed out to strangers as a
coming field-trial champion, and Remus as a famous bench-show winner.
Such dogs were something for the citizens of any town to be proud of.
And there were not a few persons who gained thereby a new interest in
dogs, to the lasting betterment of their characters.

As the autumn days came on, Ernest began to feel the call of the woods
and fields, and begged to be allowed to have a gun and go hunting with
Sam Bumpus. He was now a tall, good-looking lad of fifteen, and he
felt himself quite old enough to become a hunter. Besides, what is the
use of owning a fine bird dog if you don't hunt with him?

Mrs. Whipple strongly objected, for she was afraid of guns, and at
last a compromise was reached. Ernest was to be allowed to go hunting
with Sam provided he would not ask to own or use a gun until he was
sixteen, and reluctantly he consented to this arrangement. Jack, who
was still only twelve, had not yet caught the hunting fever, and since
he owned a dog that could not hunt anyway, he was content to remain at
home, while Ernest spent his Saturdays afield with Sam.

Sam Bumpus, during the past three years, had grown to be a less lonely
man. Through the boys he had made friends in town, and people began to
look upon him as less queer and to recognize his sterling virtues. And
all that made him happier.

"It was a lucky day for me," he once said, "when I brought those
puppies down in my pockets."

"It was a luckier day for us," responded Ernest with warmth.

Now, tramping together 'cross country with their dogs, they became
even closer friends, and there was implanted in Ernest's character a
certain honesty and a love of nature that never left him. And withal,
it was great fun.

Then came another winter, and one day, during the Christmas vacation,
Mr. Hartshorn invited the whole crowd of boys up to his house to enjoy
an indoor campfire. Mrs. Hartshorn, as usual, spread her table with a
wealth of good things to eat, and after the dinner they all gathered
in the big living-room, where huge logs were blazing and crackling in
the fireplace.

"I only wish," said Ernest Whipple, "that there were more breeds of
dogs for you to tell us about, Mr. Hartshorn. I always enjoyed those
talks so much."

"Do you think you know all about all the breeds now?" asked Mr.
Hartshorn, with a smile.

"Well, no," confessed Ernest, "but I know something about them all,
and I have one or two good books to refer to. I guess there's always
more to be learned about everything."

"That is true," said their host, "and fortunately there are always
good things being written about dogs by men who know them. I never let
a chance go by to add to my own fund of dog lore."

Alfred Hammond and Horace Ames, who were home from college for the
holidays, were present at the campfire, and Alfred was now loudly
called upon for a dog story, Mr. Hartshorn insisting that he had told
every one he knew. Finally Alfred acceded to the demand.

"I ran across two anecdotes the other day which may fill the bill,"
said he. "I think they are both about collies, but I am not sure. The
first is about a Scotchman and his dog Brutus. The Scotchman, having
gone far out of his way in a storm, stopped at a lonely house and
asked for a shelter for the night. The owner of the house admitted him
and showed him to a chamber, and the Scotchman, being very weary,
prepared to go to bed.

"Brutus, however, was not so readily satisfied with his strange
surroundings and proceeded to investigate. At length he returned to
his master and began tugging at the bedclothes. The Scotchman was at
last sufficiently aroused to follow the dog out of the room and down
the stairs, and Brutus led him to the door of a closed room and
sniffed at it very cautiously. Light which made its way through the
cracks indicated that the room was occupied. The Scotchman could find
no hole to peep through, but much to his surprise he heard several
voices, for he thought that he and his host were alone in the house.

"He placed his ear to the door and heard enough to make him believe
that his life was in danger. He was a brave man, and prompt action
seemed necessary. Suddenly he pushed open the door and rushed in,
surprising half a dozen men. They reached for their weapons, but the
traveler was ready first. With his pistol he shot his host and cracked
another over the head. Brutus, meanwhile, attacked so vigorously and
to such good purpose that the man and his dog were able to escape
uninjured. He afterwards learned that the house where he had sought
hospitality was the resort of a gang of highwaymen.

"The other story is rather tragic, but I guess I'll tell it, as it's
the only one I have left. A traveling merchant in England was riding
along on horseback, when he dropped a bag containing all his money. He
was quite unconscious of his loss, but his dog had seen the bag fall.
The dog began to run in front of the horse's head, barking, and
dashing back along the road, but the merchant, who must have been
uncommonly stupid, I think, did not understand the meaning of his
strange actions. The dog became more insistent, as the man urged his
horse ahead, barking in an unusual tone and snapping at the horse's
feet.

"The merchant, who apparently did not know dogs very well, began to
fear that he was going mad. 'Mad dogs will not drink,' he reflected.
'At the next ford I will watch, and if he does not drink I must shoot
him.'

"Of course, the dog was much too anxious and excited to drink at the
next ford, and his master shot him. After riding on a little way the
man began to be troubled with doubts and misgivings, and he turned his
horse about. When he reached the ford again, the dog was not there,
but the man traced him back along the road by the marks of his blood.

"The merchant found his dog at last, lying beside the money-bag,
protecting his master's property with his last gasp. Remorsefully the
merchant stooped down and begged the dog's forgiveness. The faithful
animal licked his hand and looked up at him with eyes that seemed to
say, 'It's all right, my master. You didn't understand.'"

No more stories being forthcoming, the talk soon drifted to other
things. The boys vied with one another in telling of instances which
illustrated the superior courage, intelligence, and faithfulness of
their own dogs, and then fell into reminiscence. They talked of the
awakening of interest in the dogs of Boytown and what it had meant to
each of them, of the activities of the Boytown Humane Society, of the
Boytown Dog Show in Morton's barn, of the days at Camp Britches and
the death of beloved Rags, of the Eastern Connecticut field trials and
the winning of Romulus, of the Massatucket Dog Show and the triumph of
Remus, and of all the good times the boys and their dogs had had
together. They quoted Sam Bumpus's quaint sayings and Tom Poultice's
good advice about the care of dogs, and they told dog stories that
they had read.

"I don't see how anybody can help loving dogs," said Elliot Garfield.

"There are men who hate them, though," said Mr. Hartshorn. "American
sheep growers, for example, are bitterly opposed to dogs, and many of
them would like to see the canine race annihilated. And it must be
admitted that the dog forms the greatest obstacle in the path of
increasing the important sheep-raising industry in the United States.
Dogs do kill sheep, and there's no denying it."

"I thought there were laws to protect the sheep," said Ernest Whipple.

"There are," said Mr. Hartshorn. "Some of them are good and some of
them are bad. Some of them place it in the sheep man's power to take
the law into his own hands and act as judge, jury, and executioner on
the spot, which of course is all wrong. But unfortunately the best of
the laws do not protect the sheep. The state may pay damages, but that
does not restore the slain sheep."

"I don't see what can be done, then," said Theron Hammond, dolefully.

"For one thing," said Mr. Hartshorn, "more study should be put on
these laws before they are passed. They should not be drawn up by
either partisans of the dog or of the sheep. They should aim to
eliminate ownerless dogs and to make all owners responsible for the
acts of their dogs. On the other hand, the sheep owners should not be
allowed to collect damages unless they can show that they have taken
due precautions on their own part, such as the erection of dog-tight
fences. A man has to keep up his fences to keep his neighbor's cows
out of his corn, or he has no redress. Why shouldn't a sheep owner be
compelled to do likewise? But the real cure for the menace of the
sheep-killing dog is more dog. The American sheep men don't seem to
have learned the lesson that the past has tried to teach them. For
centuries the trained shepherd dog has been the protection of the
flock in all sheep-raising countries, and is so to-day in Great
Britain, Europe, and Australia. I don't believe there are a dozen
first-class trained shepherd dogs in this country, except in the Far
West. In Scotland there are more dogs to the square mile than there
are in the United States, yet the Scotch don't try to legislate the
dog out of existence. The Scotch shepherd never thinks of taking out
his flock without his trained collie, and the result is that few sheep
are killed either by stray dogs or wild animals. When the American
sheep growers learn their lesson from the shepherds of other
countries, overcome their prejudice against the dog, and adopt the
method that has been successfully employed for centuries in other
countries, they will solve this problem, and not until then. I hope to
see the day come when the sheep man is numbered among the dog's best
friends here as he is in Scotland."

A lively discussion followed, and then, still talking dogs, the boys
trudged home in the moonlight, over the crisp snow.

A few days later the whole crowd was out skating on Hulse's Pond. A
week of clear, cold weather following a thaw had made ideal skating,
and Boytown was making the most of it. There were a number of young
men and girls out and a few older devotees of the sport, but the boys
and their dogs had full possession of one end of the pond. Here a game
of hockey was in progress, which was somewhat interfered with by the
activities of Tatters, who had grown into a fine, lively, sport-loving
dog. He seemed to think the game was arranged for his special benefit,
and he chased the puck to and fro across the ice wherever it went.
Another general favorite was Rover, who never tired of racing with the
skaters and particularly enjoyed pulling the younger children about on
their sleds. These small children had another name for him--Santa
Claus--and he indeed looked the part. Others of the dogs were enjoying
the sport, too, though Romulus and Remus showed a tendency to leave
the ice and go scouting off on imaginary trails in the neighborhood.

Suddenly, while the fun was at its height, a sharp cry arose from the
upper end of the pond where the brook ran in. It was different from
the other shouts and cries that rang out over the ice; there was
terror in it. The loud, insistent barking of Tatters immediately
followed.

The hockey game was interrupted, and everyone looked toward that end
of the pond to see what could be the matter. Tatters was running
excitedly about the edge of a hole where the ice had broken in, and in
the black water appeared the head and shoulders of little Eddie
Greene, who had ventured too near a dangerous spot and had broken
through the thin ice.

The sounds of merrymaking suddenly ceased, and there was a general
rush in that direction. The bigger boys threw themselves flat on the
ice and tried to reach out to Eddie with their hands, but the ice
cracked alarmingly beneath the weight of so many of them, and they
dared not approach too close.

"Get back, boys, get back!" cried Theron Hammond, who was always a
leader. "Get back, or we'll all go in."

They saw that such a catastrophe would only make bad matters worse and
obeyed the command. Only Theron and Harry Barton remained to try to
reach the frightened little fellow, and they could not get near him.

The water was deep, and Eddie was struggling wildly to keep from going
under the ice, which broke off wherever he grasped it.

"Keep calm, Eddie," called Theron, but Eddie was terrified and could
not keep calm. His head went under once, and he seemed to be
weakening. Meanwhile Ernest Whipple and one or two of the others had
kicked off their skates and had run off in search of boards or fence
rails to throw across the hole, but there seemed to be none near by
and help was a long time coming. It began to look as though they would
be too late.

It was a tense moment. Some of the little girls had begun to cry, and
there was one young lady who gave way to hysterics. No one seemed to
know what to do. It was awful to stand there and watch the little
fellow drown before their eyes.

Then there came a sudden rush and a plunge and the black and white
head of Remus appeared beside that of the drowning boy. Though an
aristocrat of the bench show, this good dog had a brain that worked
quickly and a heart that knew no fear.

It was a good thing that Remus had learned to be such a good swimmer
in days gone by; he had need of all his strength and skill now. He
seized the boy's collar in his teeth and struggled to drag him out.
But it could not be done. The ice broke repeatedly under the dog's
paws, and it was all he could do to keep the boy's head and his own
above water. He could only struggle bravely and cast imploring looks
toward the helpless humans. The water was ice-cold, of course, and it
sapped the good dog's strength. His efforts weakened and he tried no
more to climb out, but he never relaxed his hold. He would have gone
down to his death with the boy before he would have done that.

Both heads went below the surface and came up again, and the dogged,
imploring look deepened in Remus's eyes. Jack Whipple called words of
encouragement, and it was pitiful to watch the noble dog's efforts to
respond. It was wonderful the way he held out, and in the end he won.
When it seemed as though the last atom of his strength must have been
spent, Ernest Whipple came running up with a plank which he threw
across the hole. Remus rested his paws on this and so was able to keep
from going under, but he had no strength left to drag himself and the
boy out. Eddie was now unconscious, and could not help himself. Then
Elliot Garfield and two other boys arrived with boards and fence
rails, and with these they built a sort of bridge across the dangerous
gap. Theron crawled cautiously out upon this, with Harry Barton
holding to his feet. He grasped Remus's collar, and with Harry's help
dragged the boy and the dog to firm ice.

Eddie was seized in friendly arms and was rubbed and rolled until he
revived. Remus fell, faint and trembling, to the ice, and Jack
Whipple, unconscious of his own sobs, gathered the heroic dog to his
breast.



CHAPTER XIX

EVERY DOG HIS DAY


Eddie Greene was hurried home and put to bed, and a doctor was called.
For a day or so he was watched over with tender solicitude by his
mother, but he soon insisted on getting up, and the doctor said that
the danger was past. His healthy young body recuperated rapidly and he
suffered no serious effects from his harrowing experience. In a few
days he was running about as well as ever, and his parents, watching
him, had good reason to bless the brave dog that had saved their boy's
life.

But with Remus it was different. Almost immediately he showed signs of
having contracted a severe cold. Weakened as he was by exposure and
exhausted by his almost superhuman struggles in the water, he was in
no condition to combat the malady, and pneumonia set in.

For days he lay dangerously ill on his bed in Rome, while Jack hoped
and prayed in vain for a noticeable turn for the better. Tom Poultice
came down and diagnosed the case and left some medicine, but still
Remus failed to show much improvement. Sam Bumpus came, too, and did
what he could, but he was forced to confess that the case was beyond
his powers. Remus was very weak and seemed unable to rally. Jack
Whipple was beside himself with anxiety.

When Remus had distemper he received visits from a good many of the
boys in town, but that was nothing to the interest that was now
displayed in him. The boys of the Humane Society hung about the
Whipple gates at all hours of the day, vainly wishing that they might
be of some help. Mr. Morton, Mr. Pierson, and other prominent citizens
telephoned their inquiries. Mr. Fellowes came every day, and total
strangers rang the doorbell to ask how the sick dog was getting on.
All Boytown did its best to show honor and sympathy for the hero, but,
alas, that brought no relief to the poor dog suffering on his bed in
Rome.

For some time now Mrs. Whipple had been unconsciously displaying a
different attitude toward the dogs. She never petted them; she was not
yet ready to go quite so far. But she never said anything against dogs
any more, and she had not concealed her pleasure and pride in the
triumphs that had been won by both Romulus and Remus. And now that
Remus was sick she made no attempt to conceal her anxiety, and
answered all the inquiries patiently. One day Mr. Whipple observed her
stealing out to Rome with a dish of warm broth, while the boys were
in school, and he couldn't help smiling a little. The mother's heart
had been won over at last.

There came a day when Remus seemed to be getting worse instead of
better, and Tom Poultice was sent for again. Mr. Hartshorn himself
brought Tom over in the car from Thornboro. Tom tested the sick dog's
temperature and general condition and shook his head solemnly.

"I'm afraid it's come to a crisis," said he.

"Nothing more you can do?" asked Mr. Hartshorn.

"I'm afraid not, sir," said Tom.

"Then there's no time to be lost," said Mr. Hartshorn. "We must send
for Dr. Runkle. I ought to have done it before."

They jumped into the car and drove down to the telegraph office.

The next day Dr. Runkle appeared with Tom and Mr. Hartshorn. He was
the Bridgeport veterinary surgeon that had come too late to save poor
Rags. Mr. Hartshorn considered him the best veterinarian in the state.

With gentle, skilful hands he made a thorough examination.

"A bad case of pneumonia," said he. "The first thing to do is to get
him into a warmer place. This barn is all right for most things, but
he needs some artificial heat now."

Mrs. Whipple was standing near, and Jack looked at her doubtfully. She
did not hesitate. Apparently she had forgotten all about her vow never
to allow the dogs into the house.

"Bring him right into the house," said she. "Jack, you go and get some
of that burlap from the storeroom, and we'll make a bed for him in the
kitchen."

Tom picked Remus up in his strong arms, and the little procession made
its way up to the house. Bringing up the rear came Romulus, a subdued
dog these last anxious days. His big eyes questioned the faces of his
human friends for the meaning of it all. He could not speak, but no
one showed a more genuine sympathy.

Never before had Romulus attempted to enter the house. Now he seemed
to understand that the ban had been lifted. He followed quietly in
through the door, and no one said him nay.

But I am happy to say that this story is not going to end sadly. I
don't believe I could tell it if it did. Dr. Runkle stayed at
Willowdale for three days, and each day he came down to attend his
patient. At last his skill and knowledge and the constant careful
nursing won the battle, and gradually Remus fought his way back to
health. His splendid constitution and stout heart stood him in good
stead, and once the crisis was passed, recovery was rapid and certain.

And that is really the end of the story, though by no means the end of
Romulus and Remus. They were destined to live to a ripe old age, much
honored in Boytown, and to win many triumphs on field and bench. I
need not tell you how happy Jack Whipple was to have his beloved dog
restored to health and strength again. The rest of the family were
hardly less so, and all Boytown rejoiced. I will only tell what a few
of the people said and did, because Remus, you will agree, deserved
all the honors and all the love that could be heaped upon him.

The first day that Jack was allowed to take Remus out into the
sunshine for a little airing, there was one who watched them from the
kitchen window. It was Irish Delia, who had objected so strenuously
when the puppies had first been brought into her kitchen. When Jack,
smiling happily, brought the dog in again, and Remus, whose legs were
still a bit unsteady, walked over to his dish for a drink of water,
Delia could restrain herself no longer. She flopped down on her knees
beside him, and putting her arms about him, sobbed unrestrainedly into
his soft coat.

"Ach, Remus, dear," she cried, "ye niver knew it, but I loved ye like
me own brother."

And what did Tom Poultice say after the danger was over? He placed a
kindly hand on Jack's shoulder and said, "I read a book once called
'The Mill on the Floss,' and there was a chap in it named Bob
Jakin--just a hordinary chap like me. One day 'e says to a lady, 'e
says, 'Hev a dog, Miss. They're better friends nor any Christian.'
I've always thought 'e was right, Jacky, and I think so now more than
ever."

Mr. Hartshorn didn't say much. He was not the demonstrative kind, but
everyone knew what he thought. One day he told the boys that he had
just received a letter from a cousin of his in the West who was a
sheep man.

"He hates dogs," said Mr. Hartshorn, "worse than coyotes. He always
makes fun of my sentimentality, as he calls it, and can't say too much
against an animal that can furnish neither eggs, milk, wool, nor meat.
He calls the dog a useless creature. I sat down and wrote him what
Remus did on Hulse's Pond, and asked him if he had ever heard of a
sheep that had saved a human life. I guess that will hold him for
awhile."

Sam Bumpus didn't say much, either. He just stroked Remus's head and
patted his flank, and then remarked, "I've sometimes thought life was
a pretty tough proposition, but I reckon so long as there's boys an'
dogs in the world, we can manage to stagger along an' bear up under
it."

What other people said didn't matter so much as what they did. Mr.
Morton quietly started a little affair of his own, and after he had
made numerous calls on business acquaintances of his, a little
ceremony took place in the Whipple yard, just outside of Rome. A
committee called, consisting of Mr. Morton, Mr. Pierson, and Mr.
Fellowes, and after a short speech was made by the banker, a bronze
medal was presented to Remus.

"It isn't to be hidden away in a drawer somewhere," explained Mr.
Morton. "He's to wear it on his collar, and if he loses it, we'll get
him another one."

One side of the medal bore the words, "Presented to Remus by the
citizens of Boytown." On the other side was a setter's head and the
words, "For heroism in saving human life."

April came again to Boytown, and with it the bluebirds and robins, the
pussy willows and red maple blossoms, and the green buds of the
dogwoods that watched over the resting-place of Rags on the hill. With
it, too, came strength to the graceful limbs of Remus. There were
warm, sunny days, when it was good for dogs and boys to be out of
doors, and there were crisp, cool evenings, when a crackling fire on
the hearth was pleasant.

Let us bid farewell to our friends as they sit before their open
fires, Sam Bumpus in his lonely shack, but not unhappy any more, Mr.
and Mrs. Hartshorn side by side in the big house at Willowdale, and
the Whipples in their pleasant sitting-room on Washburn Street. At one
side of the table sits Mrs. Whipple, sewing, with a look of
contentment on her face, mingled with pride as she watches the two
fine young fellows who are her sons. At the other side of the table
Mr. Whipple is reading aloud from that wonderful story, "Greyfriars
Bobby." Remus lies comfortably stretched out on one side of the hearth
and Romulus on the other, for they are no longer banished to Rome. The
house is none too good for them. And about each happy dog's neck are
entwined a loving master's arms.


THE END



THE MORE IMPORTANT BREEDS OF DOGS


I. NON-SPORTING AND UTILITY.

A. LARGE DOGS.

                          PAGE
    =St. Bernard.=        (109)  St. Bernard Rough and smooth
                                 varieties. Colors, red, orange, or
                                 brindle with white markings, or white
                                 with patches of these colors. Height,
                                 30 to 39 inches. Weight, 160 to 190
                                 pounds or more.

    =Mastiff.=            (111)  Colors, fawn or brindle, with black
                                 on the head. Coat, short. Height, 28
                                 inches average. Weight, 170 pounds
                                 average.

    =Newfoundland=.   (111-112)  Colors, jet black, black and white,
                                 or brown and white. Height, 25 to
                                 29 inches. Weight, 110 to 150 pounds.
                                 Coat, long.

    =Great Dane.=         (115)  Colors, brindle, fawn, blue, black,
                                 and harlequin. Height, 28 inches up.
                                 Weight, 90 pounds up. Coat, short.

B. SMALLER DOGS.

    =English            (57-58,  Colors varying from pure white to dark
      Bulldog.=        115-116)  brindle. Weight, 40 to 50 pounds
                                 average. Coat, short.

    =French Bulldog.=     (116)  Colors, any brindle or solid color
                                 except black, black and white, black
                                 and tan, liver, and mouse color.
                                 Weight, 22 to 28 pounds. Coat, smooth.

    =Chow Chow.=          (116)  Colors, all red, black, chocolate
                                 brown, blue, smoke, yellow, and white.
                                 Weight, 30 pounds up. Coat long.

    =Poodle.=             (116)  Colors, all black, white, red, brown,
                                 or blue. Coat, curly.

    =Dalmatian.=          (118)  Color, white with black or brown spots.
                                 Height, 19 to 23 inches. Weight, 35
                                 to 50 pounds. Coat, short.

    =Schipperke.=         (118)  Tailless. Color, all black. Weight,
                                 12 to 20 pounds. Coat, medium, thick.

C. SHEEP DOGS.

    =Collie.=         (201-202)  Colors not restricted. Height, 20 to
                                 24 inches. Weight, 40 to 65 pounds.
                                 Coat, long.

    =Old English      (189-190,  Tailless. Any color permissible except
      Sheep dog.=      205-206)  sable, brown, and black, the most
                                 popular being gray and white. Height,
                                 20 inches up. Coat, very long.

    =German Shepherd      (206)  Color, dark, grizzled gray commonest.
      Dog.=                      Also black, iron gray, ash gray,
                                 reddish tan, reddish brown, white,
                                 and harlequin. Height, 21 to 26 inches.
                                 Weight, 54 to 65 pounds. Coat, rather
                                 short.

    =Belgian Sheep    (206-207)  Smooth and wire-coated, usually fawn
      dog.=                      or sable. Long-coated or Groenendaele,
                                 jet black.


II. SPORTING BREEDS.

A. THE HOUND FAMILY.

    =Bloodhound.=         (252)  Colors, black and tan, red and tan, and
                                 tawny. Coat, short. Height, 24 to 27
                                 inches. Weight, 80 pounds up.

    =Otterhound.=     (252-253)  Colors, gray, buff, black, red, and
                                 mixtures. Height, 22 to 24 inches.
                                 Coat, wiry.

    =Foxhound.=           (253)  Combination of black, white, and tan
                                 preferred. Height, English foxhound,
                                 22 to 24 inches; American foxhound,
                                 20 to 24 inches. Coat, short.

    =Harrier.=            (253)  Foxhound colorings. Height, 16 to 19
                                 inches. Coat, short.

    =Beagle.=             (253)  Foxhound colorings. Height, 15 inches
                                 maximum. Coat, short.

    =Dachshund.=      (253-254)  Colors, all reddish, black, brown, or
                                 gray and tan, and dappled. Weight,
                                 17 to 24 pounds. The length is three
                                 times the height. Coat, smooth.

    =Basset Hound.=       (254)  Black, white, and tan preferred.
                                 Height, 12 inches average. Coat,
                                 smooth.

B. GREYHOUND FAMILY.

    =Greyhound.=          (259)  Any color allowable. Weight, 60 to 70
                                 pounds. Coat, smooth.


    =Whippet.=        (259-260)  Colors, black, red, white, blue,
                                 brindle, fawn, and mixtures. Height,
                                 18 to 23 pounds. Weight, 20 pounds
                                 average. Coat, smooth.

    =Irish Wolfhound.=    (261)  Colors, gray, brindle, red, black,
                                 white, or fawn. Height, 32 to 34
                                 inches. Weight, 140 pounds up. Coat,
                                 wiry.

    =Scottish Deerhound.= (264)  Blue-gray preferred; lighter gray,
                                 brindle, yellow, sandy red, and fawn
                                 acceptable. Height, 26 to 30 inches.
                                 Weight, 65 to 105 pounds. Coat, rather
                                 wiry.

    =Russian wolfhound.=  (264)  White predominates, often with markings
                                 of tan, fawn, blue-gray, lemon, or
                                 black. Height, 26 to 31 inches. Weight,
                                 65 to 100 pounds. Coat, long and silky.

C. BIRD DOGS.

    =Sussex Spaniel.=     (131)  Color, golden liver or chestnut.
                                 Weight, 35 to 45 pounds. Coat, long.

    =Clumber Spaniel.=    (131)  Color, pure white with lemon or orange
                                 markings. Weight, 35 to 65 pounds.
                                 Coat, long.

    =Field Spaniel.=      (131)  Color, pure black. Weight, 32 to 45
                                 pounds. Coat, long.

    =Cocker Spaniel.=     (131)  Coat, long. Colors, black, red, liver,
                                 or parti-colored with white. Weight,
                                 18 to 24 pounds.

    =Irish Water      (131-132)  Coat, curly. Color, a deep, pure
      Spaniel.=                  liver without white. Height, 21 to
                                 23 inches.

    =English Setter.= (133-134)  Coat, long. Colors, white and
                                 black, white and liver, white and
                                 lemon or orange, white and tan, or
                                 tri-color--black, white, and tan.
                                 Flecked dogs are called beltons.
                                 Height, 21 to 23 inches. Weight,
                                 35 to 55 pounds.

    =Irish Setter.=       (134)  Coat, long. Color, all red. Size,
                                 same as English setter.

    =Gordon Setter.=      (134)  Coat, long. Color, black and tan.
                                 Weight, somewhat greater than that
                                 of the English setter.

    =Retriever.=      (154-155)  Wavy-coated variety, black or liver.
                                 Curly-coated variety, dull black,
                                 occasionally liver. Weight, 65 to
                                 80 pounds.

    =Labrador Dog.=       (154)  Coat, medium. Similar to wavy-coated
                                 retriever.

    =Chesapeake Bay       (155)  Coat and color, variable. Height, 25
      Dog.=                      inches maximum. Weight, 65 to 80
                                 pounds or more.

    =Pointer.=        (153-154)  Coat, short Colors, liver and white,
                                 lemon and white, black and white, and
                                 other combinations; also ticked and
                                 speckled. Height, 20 to 25 inches.
                                 Weight, 45 to 60 pounds.

    =Wire-Haired          (155)  Coat, wiry. Color, steel-gray
      Pointing Griffon.=         with grizzled brown patches; also
                                 gray-white with brown or yellow
                                 patches. Height, 20 to 24 inches.
                                 Weight, 56 pounds average.


III. THE TERRIERS.

A. SMOOTH-COATED.

    =Manchester.=          (69)  Color, black and tan. Weight, 16 to
                                 20 pounds.

    =Bull Terrier.=    (65, 69)  Color, pure white. There are also
                                 brindles, but they are not recognized.
                                 Weight, 45 to 60 pounds.

    =Boston.=              (69)  Color, brindle and white. Weight,
                                 17 to 27 pounds.

    =Smooth Fox         (69-70)  Color, white, with black, sometimes
                                 tan, markings. Weight, 20 pounds
                                 maximum.

    =Doberman Pinscher.=   (70)  Color, black and tan. Height, 22 to
                                 26 inches. Weight, 40 to 48 pounds.

B. WIRE-HAIRED.

    =Wire-Haired           (71)  Same as the smooth variety except for
      Fox Terrier.=              the coat.

    =Airedale.=     (64-65, 71)  Color, tan, with black or dark grizzled
                                 body or saddle. Weight, 40 to 45
                                 pounds. Larger ones not approved.

    =Bedlington.=          (71)  Coat, mixture of soft and wiry.
                                 Colors, dark blue, blue and tan,
                                 liver, liver and tan, sandy, and
                                 sandy and tan. Height 15 to 16
                                 inches. Weight, 22 to 24 pounds.

    =Irish.=               (71)  Colors, red or red wheaten. Weight, 22
                                 to 24 pounds.

    =Welsh.=               (71)  Colors, black and tan, or black,
                                 grizzle, and tan. Height, 16 inches
                                 average. Weight, 22 pounds average.

    =Scottish.=            (72)  Colors, steel or iron gray, brindle
                                 or grizzle, black, sandy, and wheaton.
                                 Height, 9 to 12 inches. Weight, 16 to
                                 20 pounds.

    =West Highland         (72)  Color, pure white. Height, 8 to 12
      White.=                    inches. Weight, 12 to 18 pounds.

    =Cairn.=            (71-72)  Colors, red sandy, gray, brindle, or
                                 nearly black. Weight, 11 to 15 pounds.

    =Dandie Dinmont.=   (72-73)  The colors are gray, known as pepper,
                                 and fawn, known as mustard. Height, 8
                                 to 11 inches. Weight, 14 to 24 pounds.

    =Sealyham.=            (73)  Color, white, or white with black or
                                 brown markings, or both. Weight, 12
                                 to 17 pounds.

C. LONG-HAIRED.

    =Skye.=             (73-74)  Colors, dark or light blue or gray, or
                                 fawn with black points. Height, 8 to 9
                                 inches. Weight, 14 to 20 pounds.

    =Clydesdale.=          (74)  Color, steel blue and golden tan.
                                 Weight, 18 pounds maximum.

    =Yorkshire.=           (74)  Color, dark steel blue with tan
                                 markings. Weight, 5 to 12 pounds.


IV. TOY DOGS.

A. SMOOTH-COATED.

    =Italian          (82, 260)  Colors, all shades of fawn, red, mouse,
      Greyhound.=                blue, cream, and white; also black,
                                 brindle, and pied. Weight, 8 pounds
                                 average.

    =Pug.=                 (82)  Colors, black, silver fawn, or apricot
                                 fawn, with black mask and trace.
                                 Weight, 12 to 16 pounds.

    =Toy Manchester.=      (82)  Same as large Manchester, but weighing
                                 only 4 to 7 pounds.

    =Toy Bull Terrier.=    (82)  Pure white preferred, brindle allowed.
                                 Weight, 3 to 15 pounds.

    =Miniature Bulldog.=   (82)  Same as the large English bulldog, but
                                 weighing less than 20 pounds.

    =Chihuahua.=           (83)  Colors, fawn, black, chocolate, cream,
                                 and white. Weight, 23 ounces to 4
                                 pounds.

B. WIRE-HAIRED.

    =Brussels Griffon.=    (85)  Colors, reddish, black and tan, gray,
                                 or fawn. Weight, 6 to 10 pounds.

C. LONG-HAIRED.

    =Pomeranian.=          (83)  Colors, white, black, blue, gray,
                                 brown, sable, red, orange, fawn, or
                                 parti-colored. Weight, 5 to 12 pounds.

    =English Toy        (83-84)  The four recognized varieties are the
      Spaniel.=                  Blenheim, pure white with bright red,
                                 orange, or chestnut markings; the ruby,
                                 a chestnut red; the black and tan; the
                                 tri-color, black, white, and tan.
                                 Weight, 9 to 12 pounds.

    =Pekingese Spaniel.=   (84)  Colors, red, fawn, black, tan, brindle,
                                 sable, white, and parti-colored.
                                 Weight, 18 pounds maximum.

    =Japanese Spaniel.= (84-85)  Colors, black and white or red and
                                 white, the red including sable,
                                 brindle, lemon, and orange. Weight,
                                 7 pounds average.

    =Maltese.=             (85)  Color, pure white with black points.
                                 Weight, 10 pounds maximum.

    =Toy Poodle.=          (85)  Colors, all black, red, white, or blue;
                                 white preferred. Weight, 4 to 10
                                 pounds.


V. ARCTIC AND SUB-ARCTIC BREEDS.

    =Eskimo.=             (269)  Coat, hard and dense. Color, grizzled
                                 black or gray. Weight, 75 to 100
                                 pounds.

    =Husky.=              (269)  Color, variable. Weight, 125 pounds up.

    =Samoyede.=           (268)  Coat, medium long. Color, usually
                                 white; also black, black and white,
                                 brown, and fawn.

    =Spitz.=              (268)  Coat, long. Color, white or wolfish
                                 gray.

    =Norwegian        (268-269)  Coat, thick and coarse. Color, grizzled
      Elkhound.=                 brown or black. Height, 20 inches
                                 average.



THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DOGS


    Bench shows, 157-159, 245 _et seq._

    Championship, how won, 158

    Convulsions, 91, 93

    Discipline, 22-23

    Distemper, 88 _et seq._

    Eczema, 104-105

    Feeding, 39, 53-55

    Field trials, 218-221, 230 _et seq._

    Fleas, 127-128

    Gun-shy dogs, 24

    How to approach a dog, 267

    Judging show dogs, 174-175

    Medicine, how to administer, 51-52

    Puppies, care of, 39, 53

    Sheep, dogs used with, 286-288

    Skin troubles, 104-105

    Teeth, 120-121, 123-124

    Training bird dogs, 21-24, 137-138, 140-141, 142, 144

    Worms, 50-51



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    PUBLISHERS  (VIII'12)  NEW YORK





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