Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Better Than Men
Author: Hawkins, Rush
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 "Better Than Men" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Illustration: “CHARLIE”]



                            BETTER THAN MEN


                                   BY
                            RUSH C. HAWKINS

                              J. W. BOUTON
                      TEN WEST TWENTY-EIGHT STREET
                                NEW YORK
                                  1896

                          Copyright, 1896, by
                              J. W. Bouton

 TO MY BELOVED AND LOVING WIFE, EVER FAITHFUL AND TRUE, WHOSE GOODNESS
                       PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING



                                CONTENTS


  Explanatory                                                           1
  The Excursion                                                        13
  Tim, the Dissipated                                                  91
  Carlo, the Soldier                                                  113
  Jeff, the Inquisitive                                               127
  Toby, the Wise                                                      139
  Two Dogs                                                            149
  Two Innocents Abroad                                                165
  About Columbus, by an old showman                                   171
  In Relation to Mysteries                                            187
  Mysteries                                                           195



                              EXPLANATORY


The title chosen for the following sketches, written for the purpose of
presenting certain prominent characteristics of the lower animals worthy
of the attention of the human animal, stands for rather a serious
proposition which may be questioned by a majority of those readers whose
kindly interest in our mute friends has not already been seriously
awakened.

To write so that those who read may infer that a certain selected number
of so-called lower animals are better, by nature and conduct, in certain
elemental virtues, than men, is, to say the least, rather imprudent, and
to the optimistic student of human nature may appear irreverent to an
unpardonable degree. Usually, to the minds of such observers, humanity
is accepted for its traditional value, regardless of established
conditions or inherent actualities. Such investigators investigate only
one side of their subject. They start out handicapped with the old
theory that in every respect the human animal is superior to every
other, without attempting to analyze unseen interior conditions, whether
natural or developed.

In relation to natural conditions, the large majority of Christian sects
are perfectly logical. They lay down as a clearly established
fundamental fact that all human beings, owing to what they designate as
Adam’s fall, are born into this world morally corrupt and completely
depraved, but that they have within their control for ready application
an appropriate panacea for a certain cure of these natural defects. But
the optimist neither admits the disease nor the necessity for cure; he
says always, at least inferentially, that all human beings come into the
world in a state of innocence and purity, and that their few defects
represent a certain amount of degeneration.

Both of these theories may be wrong. It is possible that all children
come into the world with a certain number of well-known natural
qualities—good, bad, strong, and weak—in no two alike, and for which
they are in no way responsible; and that what they become in their
mature years depends largely, if not entirely, upon home training and
the care bestowed upon them by the government under whose laws they
exist. Strong, healthy, intellectual, and moral parents, aided by a wise
and honestly administered government, assist each other in forming
characters which make fine men and women. But without the combination of
those parental qualities ever actively engaged in instructing and
controlling, sustained by a wise political organization, there is
usually but little development of the higher and better qualities of our
nature, either moral or intellectual.

It is at this point that we may be permitted to cite the difference
between the so-called upper and lower animal. In the dog and horse,
notably, their better qualities are inherent, born with them, grow
stronger with time, and their almost perfect and complete development is
natural, and continues without aid, example, or instruction. Not more
than one dog or horse in a thousand, if kindly treated and left to
himself, would turn out vicious, and treat them as we may, no matter how
unjustly or cruelly, we can never deprive them of their perfect
integrity and splendid qualities of loyalty to master and friends.

These most valuable of all moral qualities are natural to certain
animals, and, no matter what man may do, they can never be extinguished.
Although intangible, they are as much parts of the living organism of
the horse and dog as are their eyes or the other organs needed for
physical purposes. The affection of the dog for those whom he loves is
actually boundless. It has neither taint of selfishness nor has it
limits, and it can only be extinguished with the loss of life. The
ever-willing horse will run himself to death to carry from danger, and
especially from the pursuit of enemies, those who make use of his
friendly aid. Other animals will do as much, but they never volunteer
for a dangerous service.

In India, where the elephant is used for domestic purposes and is
sometimes treated as a domestic animal, he has been known to protect
children left in his charge, and in the performance of his daily task
will yield willing obedience to orders; but he is a knowing and cautious
constructionist, and seldom goes outside of the strict line of duty. He
will always fight for his own master or friends when told, and sometimes
volunteers to encounter a danger to protect those around him who seek
the aid of his superior powers. He is however, a natural conservative,
and prefers peace to war.

Many other animals are capable of becoming affectionate pets and
interesting companions, but in no respect can they be compared with the
dog, the horse, or the elephant. In their separate and individual
combination of qualities which render them fit and useful companions for
man, they stand quite by themselves. The question of treating animals
with kindly consideration is usually disposed of by saying they are not
capable of appreciating kind treatment; that their brain capacity is so
limited in respect to quantity as to render them quite incapable of
distinguishing active kindness from passive indifference or even cruel
treatment.

This is the theory of the thoughtless.

The Newfoundland dog which, in the summer of 1866, I saw leap from a
bridge into a rapid-running deep creek and rescue a two-year-old child
from death, thought—and quickly at that. In a second he appreciated the
value of a critical moment, and estimated not only the magnitude but the
quality of the danger. No human being could have taken in the whole
situation more completely or caused the physical organization to respond
to the brain command with greater celerity. The whole incident was over
by the time the first on the spot of the would-be human rescuers had
taken off his coat.

Crowley, the remarkable chimpanzee, who had his home in the Central Park
Menagerie for about four years, proved to be a most convincing item of
testimony in favor of the intellectual development of one of the lower
animals. The gradual and certain unfolding of his intelligence betrayed
the presence of a quantity of natural brainpower almost equal to that of
an intelligent child of his own age.

Among his numerous accomplishments was a complete outfit of the table
manners of the average well-bred human being. His accurate holding of
knife, fork, and spoon, his perfect knowledge of their use, and the
delicate application to his lips of the napkin, proved the possession of
exceptional knowledge and a well-ordered memory.

The things he did and the words he tried to speak, for he made thousands
of efforts every day to utter his thoughts, would make a convincing list
of items all going to prove the presence of a capacity for thinking
quite worthy of consideration.

In elaborating the various powers which he employed in his methods of
expression he showed remarkable ingenuity. He, no doubt, reflected upon
his deficiencies, and thought the whole matter over with reference to
means of communication with those he cared to converse with, and then,
from out the store of his natural capacities, invented an extensive
combination of hand and feet signs with the variety of sounds at his
command, which finally enabled him to make himself perfectly understood
by those about him.

The intellectual development of Crowley, of which I have given only an
inadequate idea, came from kind treatment and constant contact with his
keeper and the director of the menagerie, both of whom were his devoted
friends and teachers.

These little character sketches, as they may perhaps be described, were
written for the purpose of awakening the personal interest of those who
may read them, with the hope also of enlisting their active influence in
behalf of spreading abroad a better understanding of the nature of our
four-footed friends and servants, who give so much and receive so little
in return. The better appreciation of their exceptionally fine qualities
will surely lead to closer relations between them and their masters,
and, in the end, insure better treatment for those humble and confiding
creatures which the Creator has placed so completely in the power of
man.

Fiction plays but a little part in these pages. It has long been a
source of pleasure to me to note the marks of intelligence in the
animals that we admit to our companionship, that we make a part of our
family rule and association. These sketches are nearly all based upon
personal experiences and observations of my own. They are my plea for
their greater civil rights—at least in the way of kindness and
appreciation. Incidentally I have given such local color to the stories
as they require. The first sketch, for example, has for its frame the
pleasant hills and valleys of Vermont. It recalls old days worth the
recording and a people of pure Anglo-Saxon blood worth a lasting memory.

                                                                R. C. H.



                             THE EXCURSION


A particular summer, back in the fifties, I spent in one of the
beautiful valley villages of the “Green Mountain State.” The
old-fashioned, unpretending country tavern was comfortable and the air
and scenery all that could be desired. The amusements, or rather
occupations, afforded to the sojourners, aside from reading the solid
literature of the period, were neither novel nor exhausting, but they
gave pleasure, were reposeful, and were innocent enough to have
satisfied the code of the most exacting moralist. The daily routine was
limited, not costly, and within easy reach.

Of course, the first rural recreation was to fish in streams where there
were no fish; to climb the highest hills as often as possible; argue
religious, political, and commercial questions with the numerous oracles
of the village, and diagnose the autumn crop question with the farmers.
These occupations were staple commodities, always in stock and on tap
ready to flow.

The good people of the town were very much astonished when they found I
had discovered an additional occupation. I had made the acquaintance of
all the town dogs, and found them a most entertaining and sociable lot
of easy-going vagabonds. The majority were much given to loafing,
barking at strangers and the passing vehicles, and not over-anxious to
earn the scant meals grudgingly doled out to them by the thrifty
housewives, who frequently addressed them in terms not of a
complimentary nature.

Those were not the days of romantic names for dogs. The New England
_répertoire_ for the canine race had been handed down, in an unbroken
line, from a remote Puritan period. If a dog was of a large size he was
sure to respond to the name of Tige, Rover, or Lion, and, if small, he
was usually adorned with the name of Skip, Fido, or Zip. In those days
there were neither kennel clubs nor dog exhibitions, and the high-flown
English names, such as attach to the canine blue-bloods of to-day, were
unknown.

Within the ranks of this lazy, good-for-nothing, good-natured tribe,
with its headquarters in my particular village, was a characteristic
specimen of a perfect nobody’s dog. He was not unpleasant to the vision,
but, on the contrary, rather attractive. He was of a light brindle
color, with a black nose, and was blessed with a pair of beautiful,
sympathetic, and expressive dark-brown eyes, that had a frank way of
looking clear into the eyes of whoever addressed him. But he was without
pedigree, industry, or hope, cared nothing for worldly possessions, was
always ready to wag a hearty response to every salutation, and was an
ever-flowing fountain of good nature and kindness, but not devoid of
character. Along with all his apparent indifference he had his strong
points, and good ones at that.

His great weakness was the woodchuck season. No sportsman was ever more
watchful for the return of the shooting period than was Rover for the
opening of the first woodchuck hole. For days before the first opening
he would range the fields very much after the manner of the truly
accomplished shopping woman of a large city in search of opportunities
on a “bargain day.” He had the keenest nose for his favorite game of any
dog in the town, and so devoted was he to his particular sport, that
frequently, while the season lasted, after a hard day’s work, he would
go to bed with an empty stomach, his chance mistress having issued an
edict to the effect that the kitchen door was to be closed at a certain
hour—Rover or no Rover. And so it came to pass that our devoted
sportsman often went to his couch in the shed a very hungry dog, not
happy for the moment, but always full of hope for the coming morning.

While his sporting season lasted he had but one occupation. As soon as
he had licked his breakfast plate clean, even to the last mite of food,
he would start off for new adventures, and, as soon as he had succeeded
in finding a new subterranean abode of his favorite game, he would give
a joyous bark, and commence a most vigorous digging, and, if the soil
happened to be of a soft nature, he would soon bury his body so as to
leave no part of his belongings in sight but the tip end of a very
quick-moving tail amid the débris of flying soil. If called from his
pursuit he would come out of his hole wagging most joyously and saying
as plainly as possible: “I wish you would turn in and help a fellow.”

He had never been known to capture a “chuck,” but he had his fun all the
same.

There is a story of a Frenchman, who, when walking in the woods, heard
the whistle of a woodcock and thereupon became possessed of an ardent
desire _pour la chasse_. He equipped himself by borrowing a gun from one
friend, a dog from another, a game-bag from a third, and the making of a
complete shooting outfit from several others. Early in the morning,
after the delusive whistle, he was up and off to the woods. Filled with
eager expectation he tramped hills and swamps the whole day through
without seeing a bird or getting a shot, and returned to the hotel much
the worse for the wear and tear of the search, but, Frenchman like, was
vivacious and cheerful. An English friend asked to see the inside of his
game-bag. “Ah,” answered the would-be huntsman, “I did not get ze
leetle—ze _bécasse_, I did hear his whistle, _mais j’ai eu ma chasse_
all ze same, and I am very happie.” And so it was with Rover. He saw
where his would-be victim was located, enjoyed the pleasure of hope, and
had a day’s digging.

The other dogs of the village were not ambitious, save at meal-time,
when they were vigorously punctual, but very unpunctual when there was
anything useful to do, such as going after the cows at milking-time,
driving enterprising pigs out of the garden, chasing the hens from the
front entrance of the house, and the like. As a rule they were content
to pass the sunny hours of the day beneath protecting shades, resting
their lazy carcasses upon the softest patch of greensward to be found,
and they were usually experts in the art of finding such spots. It was
not so, however, with Rover. He was an active dog, without a lazy bone
in his body, always on the alert for an occupation, no matter if
sometimes useful. Take them, however, for all in all, this worthless
pack of four-footed worthies were not a bad sort of a lot. All save one
were good-natured and sociable. That exception was a maltese-colored
abridgment of a mastiff, short-haired and old. He was the property of
one of the village doctors, who was a pestiferous Whig, with the
reputation of being the “tongueyist man in the county, if not in the
State.” He carried chips upon both shoulders, was the proprietor of a
loud voice—plenty of it—and was always ready for a war between tongues.
He “argered” for the sake of argument, but his ancient “Spot,” with a
thickened throat and wheezy voice, could only keep up a running _pro
forma_ barking accompaniment while his master “downed” his opponent. The
old dog had unconsciously contracted his master’s habit of controversy,
and felt that he must help him out. It is due to the memory of that
ancient canine to record that he attended strictly to his own affairs,
and would brook no interference from frivolous idle dogs with no
particular occupation, nor would he associate with them when off duty.
When not with his master, he kept inside his own fence, and barked and
made disagreeable faces at all would-be intruders.

As bearing upon the story that will develop, I may add that besides the
dogs there are, in Vermont, other four-footed friends and servants of
man worthy of consideration. The Vermont “Morgan horse” is one of the
acknowledged native “institutions,” and no lover of that animal has ever
made the intimate acquaintance of one of his strain without being
fascinated with his delicate, refined beauty, affectionate disposition,
intelligence, endurance, and willingness to serve.

I was brought up with them, and used to romp and race with the colts,
ride the mothers without saddle, bridle, or halter, and purloin sugar
and salt to feed them when the “old folks were not looking.” Among my
happiest hours were those of my childhood and boyhood spent in close
association with the great groups of animals that lived upon the hills
of the old farm at the “crotch in the roads.” Calves, among the most
beautiful of all the young animals, with their great soft eyes and
innocent faces, were a source of infinite joy to me, and even the silly
and unintellectual sheep always appealed to my affections and sense of
protection. These I regarded as wards to love and protect, but the dogs
and Morgan horses were my petted friends and companions. From their
habitual display of good faith, perfect integrity and affection I
learned all the lessons applicable to every-day life that have been of
value to me. From man I could have learned the arts of deceit and
cunning, selfishness and want of feeling, and the practise of vanity,
but never a single quality which came to me from the habitual
association with the honest four-footed friends of my youth.

The people of my native State, among their other fine characteristics,
have always been noted for their kindness to animals, which fact alone
stands for a very elevated plane of civilization. Ever since nearly a
century ago, when the Morgan horse first came to them, he has been an
object of their affection, and it is undoubtedly, to a great extent,
owing to that creditable fact that he has always been the same charming
animal that he is to-day.

That the equine hero of this sketch was not of that noble breed will not
detract from his special virtues or impair my passing tribute to the
Vermont horse and his master. The one selected for my riding excursions
was the only saddle-horse of repute in the county; he belonged to a
livery stable, and was of the “calico” red and white sort, tall, long of
body, sound of legs and feet, with large, liquid, expressive eyes, small
ears, and a beautiful open nostril. His pedigree was unknown, and no one
in the village could say where he came from. He had been turned out lame
from a “travelling show” the year before, and had been bought for a
song. Such only was his brief known history. To his physical beauties
were added the higher qualities of head and heart in abundance. He was
the sort of a beautiful creature that could not have done a mean act.
Nature never furnished him tools for that kind of work.

He was effusively affectionate, and his intelligence was of a high order
for a horse. We took a great fancy to each other, and both of us to
Rover, who once in a while could be coaxed from his pursuit of “chucks”
to take a run with us over the country roads.

Thus we became chosen friends, and I selected them as companions for a
recreative excursion which I had planned, and which we shall now
retrace.

An early breakfast for man, dog and horse, and off. The general plan was
to ride early and late, and rest during the hot hours of the middle
portion of the day. A village with a decent “tavern” for the night was
the objective point for each evening, and the usual daily distance, made
at an easy canter, was about twenty miles. Between each stretch of three
or four miles there was a halt for a dismount, a rest for the animals,
and a leg exercise for the rider. Rover was always glad for a loll
beneath the shady trees, but “Charlie,” my calico friend, improved his
opportunities for a nibble of the tender grass and sprouts within his
reach. During the first two or three days I had to retrace my steps to
remount, but I soon succeeded in making my companions understand the
nature and object of a call, and, before the tour was half over, they
would not permit me to walk out of their sight. Rover was on the watch,
and, as soon as he saw me disappearing in the distance, would give the
alarm, and then both would start off on a smart run to overtake me.

Upon one occasion, after climbing a sharp hill, I had left them at the
beginning of a long level piece of road, and had walked on. After going
about half a mile, I met a large drove of cattle. When I had succeeded
in passing through and beyond it, my attention was attracted by a
confused noise in the rear. Upon looking back I discovered a great cloud
of dust, and amidst it a confusion of moving horns and tails, while soon
there appeared, racing through the excited mass of bovines at the top of
his speed, Charlie, accompanied by his faithful attendant barking at the
top of his voice. The cattle were excited and frightened up to the point
of jumping and running they knew not where. Some went over fences,
others through them, while the main body kept to the road, and, for a
considerable distance, carried everything before them. I realized at
once that my zealous companions had got me into trouble.

For the information of readers not acquainted with the average
“droveyer” of forty and fifty years ago, it is necessary to record that
he was not the sort of an individual calculated to adorn refined
society, and the language used by those in charge of this particular
“drove” was more characteristic for its strength than for its elegance
or politeness. I tried to appease their wrath, apologized for the
unseemly conduct of dog and horse, alleged sudden fright, marshalled a
fine array of other excuses, and finally succeeded in neutralizing the
flow of their ire—just a little. But the chief spokesman was not
satisfied with excuses and soft words; he was a materialist, and wanted
to know, then and there, who was to put up the fence and pay for the
damage done by the trampling down of growing crops. Under the
circumstances the query did not seem to be an unreasonable one, and I
suggested that the better course to pursue would be for the authors of
the mischief to make terms with the owner of the crops, state facts, and
await his decision.

The season happened to be between planting and harvest, and “the
men-folks,” we were told, “are up on yender hill mending fence, and
won’t be down till dinner.” The head “droveyer,” impatient to keep with
his “drove,” would not wait, and informed me, in a rather emphatic sort
of way, that I would have to wait and “settle up.” There was no appeal
in sight from his decision. So he went and I waited.

The hot part of the day had arrived, and it was within about two hours
“till dinner.” After “hitchin’” the horse in the barn, away from the
flies, I suggested the loan of an axe. This excited surprise, and the
question came from the head of the interior of that particular domestic
establishment: “What are _you_ going to do with an axe?” I answered:
“I’m going to mend the fence where those cattle broke through.” This
feather came very near breaking the back of the housewife, and her sense
of the ridiculous was excited up to the point of explosion, but she was
too well bred to give the laugh direct, full in the face, and contented
herself by making an acute mental survey of my physical points. She
measured with her eye the hands and girth of chest, and made a close
calculation as to the amount of biceps assigned to each arm, and after
some reflection, said: “You’ll find an old axe in the woodshed; you can
take it and try and patch up the places, and, when you hear the horn,
you can come in and eat with the rest of the folks.” I started off,
filled with the pride born of knowledge, and confident of a coming
success, but the even flow of my happiness was soon disturbed by a sound
from the upper register of a very loud, shrill voice, saying, “Don’t
split your feet open with that are axe.” This was like a small streak of
ice water down the spinal column, but I was on my mettle and not to be
discouraged. The vacant spaces in the broken fence were encountered and
yielded to superior force, and a fairish amount of success was
accomplished about the time the welcome tones of the sonorous horn
announced the hour for feeding.

I was introduced to the “men-folks” as the stranger whose dog and horse
had “scart the cattle inter the oats.” At first it was easy to see that
I was not regarded with favor, but, as the dinner proceeded, and as
anecdotes succeeded each other about men, things and far-off countries I
had seen, the Green Mountain ice began to melt, and, by the time the
“Injun puddin’” was emptied out of its bag, cordial relations were
established. The two bright-faced boys had become communicative, and the
older members of the family had forgotten for the time the damage to the
oats.

The dinner ended, I requested a board of survey and an estimate. The
first relevant observation in relation to the case before the court came
from the grandfather: “Well, I declare, I couldn’t done it better
myself. I didn’t know you city folk could work so. Where did you l’arn
to mend fences?” This first witness for the defence produced a marked
effect upon the jury. The next point of observation was the field of
damaged oats. The eldest son, a Sunday-school-sort of boy, exclaimed:
“By pepper, they are pretty well trampled down, ain’t they? No cradle
can git under ’em; guess’ll have ter go at ’em with the sickle, but we
can save the heft of ’em by bending our backs a little.”

During the investigation not a word was uttered about compensation, and,
after leaving the field, the conversation ran into generalities; but
before we reached the house the grandfather’s curiosity got the better
of his timidity, and he asked: “Where did you l’arn to mend fences?”
When I told him that my name was ——, that I was a grandson of ——, was
born at the “Old H. Place at the crotch of the roads in the town of
P——,” learned to mend fences there, etc., etc., he had great difficulty
in suppressing the dimensions of the proud satisfaction my information
had produced. In his mind I was a degenerate Vermonter, living in the
great City of New York, but had not forgotten the lessons learned at the
old farm. I knew how to mend a fence, and that, for him, was my
certificate of character.

From the moment of my disclosures, I was admitted to the inner family
circle, and there was no more farm-work for the rest of the day, while
the afternoon hours were devoted to reminiscences of the olden times:
“Ah,” said the old grandfather, “when I first laid eyes on ye, I thought
I’d seen somebody like ye afore, and I remember it was your grandfather
on yer father’s side. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War in one
of the Rhode Island ridgiments, and my father belonged to one from
Massachusetts; both served till the end of the war, and then emigrated
to Vermont, together. My father settled on this farm, where I was born
in 1790; your grandfather took up some land in P——, and till the end of
his days was the best schoolmaster and surveyor anywhere round these
parts. He was a master-hand at poetry, and used to write sarcastical
varses agin the lop-sided cusses he hated. There’s allus some mean
critters in these country towns, who take advantage of poor folks that
ain’t very smart and cheat ’em outer their property. They used to feel
mighty mean, I tell ye, when they read your grandfather’s varses about
’em. I heerd old Si Simmons, up to town meeting only last year, telling
about a mean old critter down in P—— by the name of Podges and how your
grandfather writ a varse for his gravestun, and I remember it was about
like this:

  “‘Here lies the body of Podges Seth,
  The biggest knave that e’er drew breath;
  He lived like a hog and died like a brute,
  And has gone to the d——l beyond dispute.’”

I was able to respond in kind, for I happened to remember about another
local poet, who hated a surviving son of this rural vampire, who quite
worthily perpetuated the detestable qualities of his defunct parent,
and, when he died, as he did not many years after his father, the other
local poet, not to be outdone by my grandfather, composed the following
verse as a fitting epitaph:

  “Here lies the body of Podges Ed,
  We all rejoice to know he’s dead;
  Too bad for Heaven, too mean for Hell,
  And where he’s gone no one can tell.”

In the “Old Times” there were strong, honest, rugged characters among
the Vermont hills. The majority of them were men of plain speech and
unyielding contempt for meanness in any form. A goodly number of the
early settlers in the eastern counties were soldiers of the Revolution
who had emigrated to the new State soon after its close, and they
brought with them the simple, manly habits and ways of thinking which
are characteristic of service in the field. Many were the anecdotes told
of them that day—the day of the accident to the oats—very much to the
edification of the juniors, who were all eyes and ears, at least for
that occasion.

The old house at the “crotch of the roads,” when I was a boy, was the
Saturday and Sunday halting-place for the old soldiers of my own and
several of the neighboring towns. The larder was always well-supplied,
and the barrels of cider that lined a capacious cellar were ready to
respond to every call. Under the influence of an abundant supply of that
exhilarating beverage, the fighting over of old battles was always
vigorous and sometimes vividly realistic.

The most famous of the local veterans, of my time, was known among his
neighbors as “Uncle Daniel V——.” He was a Lexington-Bunker Hill man, who
had served till the end of the war. As I remember him, he was a most
interesting character, humorous, with a good memory, a famous drinker of
hard cider, and a notable singer of the patriotic soldier songs of the
“Seventy-six” period. I can recall, in his showing “how the Yankee boys
flaxed the Britishers,” how he would shoulder one of his canes—he was a
rheumatic and walked with two—and march up and down the broad kitchen of
the old house, going through the motions of loading, aiming and firing
at an imaginary enemy, greatly to my childish delight, for those were
the first fierce war’s alarms I had ever witnessed, and I can never
forget how my imagination was fired; nor how ardently I wished I had
been at Lexington and Bunker Hill, where “we gave it to the Red Coats.”
Uncle Daniel was far too good a patriot to say anything about the return
compliments, “How the Red Coats gave it to us,” upon one of those
historic fields. Since his day I have learned that one of his
glorification songs, which professed to give a correct account of one
particular Yankee victory, was not in strict accord with the truths of
history. I could recall for my host but a single verse of all the songs
he used to sing, and it savors so much of the camp that I had some
misgivings about repeating it before Christians, but upon being hard
pressed by the boys and seeing approving glances from other directions,
concluded to go ahead.

The verse I remember is one from a song supposed to have been sung by
British soldiers who were in the retreat after the defeat at Concord,
April 19, 1775, and runs thus:

  “From behind the hedges and the ditches.
    And every tree and stump.
  We would see the sons of ——
    And infernal Yankees jump.”

I also remember, vaguely, something of another Revolutionary camp song
which depicted the grief of the soldiers of Burgoyne’s army. The refrain
was like this:

  “We have got too far from Canada,
  Run, boys, run.”

When we had exhausted the Revolution, it was time for an afternoon
start. For more than an hour Rover had manifested his impatience by
numerous waggings and by pawing vigorously at the legs of my trousers
whenever I looked his way, and from the barn there came sounds of
hoof-poundings and impatient whinnerings—loud and plain calls for a
move. So, after many protests against the going, a move to go was made.

Before the advance upon the barn was fairly under way the youngster, who
had been an attentive listener, decided upon a search for information,
and, commanding a halt, informed me that “Old Jim Noyes, who lived over
in the Snow neighborhood, has two boys in Boston; the oldest was up here
in June and told us there was a steeple down in Boston as high as that
old ‘Jackson Hill’ of ours, but I didn’t b’leve a word of it. Hosea
Doten, the biggest man at figgers and surveying in this part of Vermont,
told mother last year that Old Jack was 1,200 feet above the sea and
more than five hundred above where we are standing; now, there ain’t no
such steeple in Boston nor anywhere else. What do folks want such a high
steeple for, anyway? And if meetin’ houses must have steeples, why won’t
fifty feet do as well as five hundred? Some folks say that bells are
hung up in steeples so God can hear them ring for folks to go to meetin’
Sunday mornin’. What odds would two or three hundred feet make to God?
He can hear a bell just as well in a fifty-foot steeple as in one five
hundred feet high. Meetin’ folks could save a lot of money by building
low steeples. And besides, they ain’t no use; nobody could live in ’em
five hundred feet up, and it would be too high to hang a thermometer on
unless you had a spy-glass to look at it with. I don’t b’leve in such
high steeples; they cost lots of money and ain’t of no use.”

I assured the young philosopher of my approval of his ideas about the
uselessness of high steeples, and told him that Boston was not the owner
of one five hundred feet high. This information was a source of immense
satisfaction. “I was right all the time,” he added, “and knew that Jim
Noyes was giving us lies just as fast as his tongue could work ’em out.
Do all Vermont boys that go to Boston learn to talk like him? There’s a
lot gone down there from about here. Some of ’em are up on a visit every
once in a while, and spend the most of their spare time in telling such
silly stories. I guess they think they can stuff us country folks just
like Thanksgiving turkeys. What makes ’em lie so? The boys round here,
if they talked like they do, would get licked a dozen times a week and
no decent folks would have anything to do with ’em. I suppose it’s all
right. Boys, when they git to Boston, have got to lie to keep their
places and git a living. Grandfather don’t take it to heart so much as
the rest of us. He says lying is the biggest part of the show, and the
longer we live the more on’t we’ll see.”

The day was well along, and the sun showed a decided intention of soon
disappearing behind the top of “Old Jack,” before I insisted on
departing. Then the calico horse was watered, saddled and bridled, and
brought out for inspection and admiration. His appearance elicited
expressions of unbounded admiration, his great, soft, brown, and
beautifully expressive eyes, his amiability and active intelligence
coming in for no end of complimentary remarks. The boys were especially
enthusiastic and proposed a “swap for a four-year-old raised on the
place.”

The oats question was again brought up for adjudication, and, after
considerable argument, the party owning the injured crop determined to
leave the amount of damage an open question until the individual
responsible for it could “come around agin.”

The moment had arrived for the reluctant good-by, the grasp of hands,
the mount and the start, amid great excitement and noise on the part of
the animals; and then commenced a most exhilarating run of more than
fifteen miles over a softish dirt road, through a series of lovely
valleys, to the little village of D——, where we called a halt for the
night, which was destined to be prolonged into the orthodox Sunday rest
of the place and period.

By this time the organization of three had crystallized into exact form,
and without effort had settled into an habitual daily routine, and the
incidents of to-day were quite certain to be repeated to-morrow. There
was always plenty of time, evenings and middle parts of days, for
talking with the “folks”—oracles about the village taverns—who, like the
old-time bar-room Major and Judge of the Slave States, were always on
hand and on tap for a copious outpouring of village gossip and political
information. In justice to the Major and Judge of the old days of the
South, it must be written that they were usually waiting for another
sort of a tap-flow to be turned on, from a tap not of their own.

It is doubtful if the happy trio ever appreciated the greatness of this
three weeks’ manifestation of themselves, through which they were
unambitious but undoubted involuntary heroes among the country folk.
John Gilpin could not have been more fortunate in the way of attracting
attention from all beholders; and “the more they gazed the more the
wonder grew,” and the puzzle of forty years ago, in the villages through
which we passed, of “What is it, anyway?” remains as profound a mystery
as ever.

In some places I was regarded as a very considerable personage on a
secret mission of great import; at other times the saddle-valise was
accused of containing a supply of a newly discovered life-saving pill;
but, generally, we were mistaken by the wise know-it-alls of the village
as the advance agents of a coming circus; if not, why the calico horse?
which to the rural mind, from the most remote period, has been
associated with the gorgeous, gilded bandwagon, spangles, and sawdust.
The fortunate suspicion of circus affiliations brought to us a measure
of attention far beyond our merits; both animals were treated with the
greatest respect, as possible performers of high standing, and upon
several occasions I was asked to “make ’em show off.”

The summer Saturday afternoon and evening in Vermont is always the same.
At the “stores” business flourishes, and profitable activity reigns
supreme until late into the evening hours. On the farm the opposite is
the rule, a general “slicking up for Sunday” and the doing of “odd
chores” around the house and barn is the order of the day, the whole
being a fitting prelude to the coming Sunday, which is always what it
ought to be, not the Lord’s any more than another day, nor anybody
else’s day, but a day of rest, pure and simple, for all the creatures of
the Creator. Ever since I can remember, Vermonters, without asking leave
of this or that authority have chosen their own way of Sunday resting.

In no state west of the Rocky Mountains do the beauties of nature make a
stronger appeal for human appreciation than in Vermont, and never are
they seen to better advantage than upon a quiet summer Sunday morning,
when the brilliant blue sky is filled with light, and all the world
seems to be at peace. The clear, limpid streams move silently on as
though controlled by the all-pervading spirit of rest; the leaves of the
trees, yielding to the universal feeling of repose, keep silence with
the rest of nature, and over all there is the fascinating power of
wondrous beauties abounding not made by the hands of man. Such days are
made for rest and reflection, when nature invites us to commune with her
works, that we may know more of them and be able to rise to a higher and
more ennobling appreciation of her beauties. The quiet, suggestive New
England summer Sunday morning’s appeal is nature’s most beneficent call
to her children to come to her and search for knowledge of things which
lead through untrodden paths, where, at every step, new pleasures unfold
to the view for our instruction and enjoyment.

Upon such occasions we yield to the influence of the silent voice and
the unseen hand, and unconsciously follow the beckonings of a wingless
fairy, Nature’s ever-present handmaid, who, without our knowledge, leads
us to a new Fairyland, where new beauties abound, and where countless
joys are within the reach of the most humble subjects of the Creator.

Such a typical Sunday as the one I have attempted to describe followed
the Saturday after our arrival at the little village of D——. The first
duties of the day were to our four-footed friends, and then came the
standard breakfast of the place and period for the superior being. Fifty
years ago this was very much more of a living Yankee institution than
now. In those days the French _menu_, much to the satisfaction of those
practitioners in the dental line, had not penetrated within the borders
of the New England rural districts. I remember distinctly the color and
taste of the native bean-coffee, the solidity of the morning pie-crusts,
the crumble after the crash of the cookey, and the greasy substantiality
of the venerated doughnut. All these we had in abundance, with the
incidental “apple sass” thrown in between courses that lovely Sunday
morning, forty-one years ago this writing.

The town of D——, happened to be the shire-town of the county in which it
was situated. At the time of my brief sojourn there, the Supreme Court
was in session and one of the judges had the head of the table at the
hotel, while I, being a supposed distinguished stranger, with “boughten
clothes” and a fair expanse of starched shirt-front, was given the seat
of honor at his right hand. I found him a regulation specimen of the
real original Yankee judge, quaint of speech, humorous, and intelligent,
and not a profound believer in the oft-alleged superior qualities of the
animal said to have been made in the image of his maker.

Our conversation started and continued for some time in the usual way;
the weather and condition of crops being used as an excuse for the
opening sentences, but, before the breakfast was over, a shrewd series
of inoffensive direct questions, deftly put, brought to the surface the
fact that I had travelled in strange and far-away countries.

Punctually at the usual hour and minute, the Sunday bells commenced
their weekly call to the faithful, and the Judge interrupted the easy
flow of his entertaining conversation to ask how I usually spent Sunday.
I told him I had no particular way of doing that day, but usually
permitted original sin to take its course. That idea seemed to strike
him favorably and brought out a proposition that we should take to the
woods and see which could tell the biggest story, he at the same time
remarking: “You have travelled so much that by this time you ought to be
an interesting liar. On such a beautiful day as this there is no excuse
for bothering the parson. Sometimes on a cold chilly day he is a real
comfort; he warms us up with the heat of the brimstone to come.”

That Sunday made its mark. It was a red-letter day never to be
forgotten. My new acquaintance proved to be a philosopher and thinker of
no ordinary dimensions. He was saturated with the teachings of Socrates,
Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, and Gibbon, and I suspected he had taken a sly
glance or two at Lucretius and Voltaire. He had ready for use, at
command, the essence of the entire teachings of his favorite authors,
and could quote whole pages from their works.

While we were stretched out upon a bed of dead leaves, looking up
through the living ones to the open sky above, my faithful companions,
feeling the quieting influence of the day, were near us, tranquilly
enjoying the shade, and acting as though taking in a conversation which
they seemed to understand. As with men we often meet, this silence was
passing them off for being wiser than they were. My canine companion was
close to my side with my hand gently resting upon his head, while my
calico equine friend was enjoying the grateful shade of a broad
spreading maple, and busying himself with switching away at speculative
flies in search of opportunities for luxurious dinners.

The satisfactory contentment of the two animals attracted the attention
of my judicial companion, and he asked me to explain the secret of our
close companionship. He was surprised when I told him there was no
secret about it, that I treated my four-footed friends as I would human
beings; looked after their general welfare, saw that they were
sufficiently fed with the proper food, talked to them in kindly tones of
voice, gave them tid-bits now and then that I knew they were fond of,
patted them approvingly, never scolded or used a whip, and, finally,
spent a great deal of my time in their company. I further explained that
intellectually I regarded them as being on a plane with children—to be
looked after, to be kindly treated, and to have their mental faculties
developed to the full extent of the separate capacity of each, and, that
by pursuing such a course, we could obtain the best service and an
amount of affection and companionship that would amply recompense us for
all of our trouble.

“Well,” he exclaimed, “this is all news to me! There is logic and good
sound sense in your whole scheme, and it’s strange I never thought of it
before. You have studied the subject of intellectual development in
animals and gotten something out of it I had never dreamed of. Ever
since I have been able to think my head has been filled with common law,
Court decisions, and the Statute in such case made and provided, and I
have had but little time, and, possibly, less disposition, to indulge in
sentiment. I suppose you know the people of your native state well
enough to appreciate their strong and weak points. The Vermonter, as a
rule, does not waste any time upon sentimentality; he is too busy
digging out a living from these old hills and from between the rocks for
those dependent upon him to waste much time cultivating the sentimental
side. He is quite apt to take the utilitarian view of most earthly
matters. His horse he regards as a useful animal, to be well fed and
comfortably housed in order to prolong his usefulness as much as
possible; and his dog he looks upon as a useless companion—not worthy of
respect, comfortable lodging, or good food, unless he earns all three by
bringing up the cows at night and chasing all marauders from grain and
planted fields during the day. Your side of the animal question is a new
one, and I am going to commence operations upon my faithful
burden-carrier as soon as we reach the stable. I’d be mightily pleased
to have him walk along with me and put his velvety nose against my face
as I have seen your calico friend do with you. All men, all real men,
properly put together, are fond of being loved, and are willing to take
it in wholesale doses, and a little dog and horse—when the women are not
around—thrown in to fill between the chinks, helps to make a perfect
whole. We men are a careless, selfish lot, who leave mothers, sisters,
wives, daughters, and dogs and horses to do the most of the loving, and
accept it as a matter of right, without making the returns which are
their due. They trudge along in silence, giving us their affection, and
work on, chiefly for us, when they ought to kick. In giving me this
Sunday lesson you have opened up a new lead in my make-up, and I intend
to explore it until I develop a new deposit of humanity, and I’ll
commence by stealing a lump of sugar for ‘Old Whitey’ the next time I
leave the tavern table, and, instead of having it charged in the bill,
I’ll open a new account, and credit my first theft to the cause of
animal development.”

The next morning I parted from my judicial acquaintance, he volunteering
the promise to write and let me know the result of his new experiment
among the inhabitants of the barnyard. During the night he had “analyzed
the whole business,” and arrived at the conclusion that there were other
dumb creatures besides dogs and horses worthy of cultivating. The much
neglected and despised pig, he proposed, with apparent humorous
sincerity, to take in hand, and make a special effort to reform his
manners and cultivate his mental faculties. He argued that human society
was responsible for “downing the pig.” It is a question of “mad dog!”
over again, he declared. “Some one in the far-off past had said the hog
was a filthy beast, and without stopping to inquire, everybody else had
joined in the cry. My mission is to do away with this unreasonable
prejudice, and to elevate to his proper social and intellectual position
among the animals of the earth my much abused and unappreciated porcine
friend.” These were his jovial parting words, and, with them ringing in
my ears, the trio made the morning start for the last day of the
outward-bound part of the excursion.

A thirty miles ride carried us to one of the oldest villages in the
northern part of the State—not far from the Canada line. One long
street, made up of the blacksmith, shoemaker, and tinshop; a dry goods
“Emporium,” a tavern—“The Farmers’ Home”—and the usual number of
churches, with a doctor’s shop, and a few dwellings thrown in, here and
there, to fill up the intervals between the more important
structures—made, with a good supply of shade-trees, an attractive
village. Of course the buildings were all square and white, and the
blinds were all green, and they were placed as near the road as
possible, but notwithstanding these faults of form, color, and position,
constituting crimes against Nature, the whole was fairly attractive. Do
what they will to offend and deface the beauties of New England, and
especially Vermont nature, the Philistines who inhabit its picturesque
valleys cannot destroy the beautiful ever-varying outlines of its hills
or the restful repose of its summer days. They have managed to slaughter
its forests and to dry up its limpid mountain streams, but, with the
consummation of those outrages, Nature calls a halt; and the Vandals
leave off destroying because there is little left to destroy.

The “Farmer’s Home” proved to be an attractive family affair. The
father, mother, son and daughter composed the entire _ménage_, and all
were equally at home in the duties of their special departments. There
was a tour of duty for each in the kitchen; but the energetic daughter
was supreme in the “Dining-hall,” where she propelled its affairs with
mechanical exactitude. Her unwritten motto was: “On time, or cold
victuals.” She was a strict constructionist, and “cl’ared off the
things” as soon as the last piece of pie had disappeared. But, as the
English would say, she was not at all a bad sort. She was active,
inquisitive, quaint, and direct,—had opinions upon all subjects, and
expressed them freely. I have always believed I was her first serious
anthropological study. At first, she accepted me with an immense
qualification. My manifest bias in favor of animals was something new to
her which she could not comprehend. To her practical mind, the petting
of a dog and looking after his welfare was a perfect waste of time,
while paying particular attention to the wants and care of a horse was
something not to be thought of. I saw she was rapidly filling up to the
bursting point with curiosity, but was too shy to ask the direct
questions which she was anxious to put to me. As soon as occasion
offered, I felt it my duty to give her an opportunity to free her mind,
and, sitting out the rest of the “boarders” at my last “supper,”
presented an opening for the point of the wedge to enter. By way of
introduction, I mentioned my regrets at being compelled to leave the
next morning.

“All the folks around here,” she frankly said, “will be sorry to hear
it; you ain’t like anybody else we’ve ever had in this town, at least
sence I can remember. Father and Tom, and all the rest of ’em that’s
been watching of you, say you care more for critters than you do for
human folks, and I think so too; ever sence I heard you talk to that dog
of yourn I couldn’t make you out. We never had anything like that up
here before, and one of the store fellers told me yesterday he thought
you were one of them New York City chaps a little off, that had come on
this ride for your health, and yit you talk sense about anything else
except them critters of yourn, and that’s what puzzles the folks—to
think that such a smart feller as you ’pear to be, should be clear gone
off when you get to talking to the critters. And then there ain’t any
sense in it, any way; you can talk to dogs and hosses all your life and
never git an answer. They are dumb beasts, that’s all they be, and you
can’t make ’em folks if you try a thousand years. I’ll bet anything you
ain’t got a wife. If you had, you wouldn’t be talking all this nonsense
to critters all the time; if you had one worth a cent, you’d stay to
home and talk to her, and let the critters take care of themselves, same
as other folks do. Nothing like a good wife to take such wrinkles out of
a man’s head! Why don’t you get married anyway? Right here in this town
there are a lot of first-rate girls, better educated than I be, been to
the high-school, and got as good learning as any of the city women, all
dying to git married, and you can take your choice right here now. If
you had one of our nice girls you wouldn’t need to have that darn fool
of a dog round all the time for company.”

The latter part of this mind-freeing was earnest and emphatic, and I
discovered between the spoken lines the true cause of the outburst. It
was as clear as the noonday sun that she had a very poor opinion of an
individual who preferred the company of a dog to the fascinations of
fair woman, and she had made up her mind to let me know what she
thought.

I ignored the nice girl part of the argument, and startled her by asking
if she were a Christian. “’Spose I am, I try to be. I don’t know much
about it anyhow. What makes you ask such an all-fired silly question?
All the folks round here are Christians; we ain’t heathens any mor’n
city folks.”

“Then it follows as a matter of course, you being a Christian, that you
believe the Creator made Heavens and the earth and all things therein,
and you do not believe he made anything in vain. All of his creations we
see or know anything of were made for a purpose. The domestic animals
were intended for the use of human beings, and upon the list of those
the horse stands first, because he is the most intelligent of the purely
useful animals; but the dog is far ahead of him in every respect save
physical power. His intelligence is of a high order, which entitles him
to our respect, and he is the only animal that will leave his kind to
associate with man; and there are thousands of instances recorded of his
having sacrificed his life for those he loved. No other animal has ever
been known to do that. The elephant, with his admitted capacity for
acute reasoning, never defends his master unless ordered; on the
contrary, he seldom misses an opportunity to kill those who have injured
or offended him. The dog never does this; he bears no malice, and
forgets and forgives injuries inflicted by those he loves, neither does
he know distinction of condition or rank. He knows you are his master or
mistress, and whether you are prince or peasant it matters not. The
palace or the garret are the same to him, provided a kind master is to
be found in either, and he shares with his master the feast or the crust
with equal pleasure. The noble dog possesses the highest qualities. He
gives you his loyal affection without reserve, never deceives you, and
is true even unto death, and I hold we are indebted to him for giving us
all that is good in his nature, for, the better you treat him, the more
his fine qualities come to the surface. Am I not right?”

“Well, I swan; you’ve taken the breath all out of my body; I never heard
such talk before. I don’t know what to say, and I can’t dispute you.
You’ve got the whole thing by heart and let it out just like one of them
revival exhorters that comes along here every once in a while. You’ve
said a lot about animals I never heard before or thought of; nobody
round here ever talks about ’em like you do. Why, you put the dog way up
head of folks. From what you say, he’s ten times as decent as most men,
and, if he could only talk, he would show us he could spell hard words
and do the meanest sums in the ’rithmetic. At any rate, if dogs and
horses and other sich like are as smart as you say they are, they ain’t
got no feelings like we have—ain’t got sense enough to be sensitive and
take on about pain and suffering like we do. You can’t make me b’leve
any sich stuff as that anyhow.”

This is the point usually made by those who have never seriously
considered the true nature and physical structure of animals. A cursory
examination would prove to the most careless observer, that the organs
and various parts of the human organization are duplicated in the
animals, especially in those of the domestic sort. The two points of
difference are in form of body and the four legs given to the lower
orders instead of two. The heart, lungs, bones, muscles, nerves,
blood-vessels and brain are in each about the same. In the animal, for
want of speech, the power of the brain is an unknown quantity, and the
absence of that faculty of giving expression to thought constitutes the
greatest difference between the species. Give the higher of the lower
animals the power of speech, and possibly some men would take rank as
the lower animal.

All this I explained to my audience of one, and, in addition, asserted
that a cruel punishment of a physical nature inflicted upon a human
being, if bestowed upon a dog, a horse or an ox would produce the same
amount of pain and suffering. If whipping is painless, why do all
animals who have once been whipped jump aside and try to dodge the whip
they see flourishing in the hands of those near them? The answer is,
fear of pain. There is no other explanation of their action. Schoolboys
dread the birch and ferule of the schoolmaster no more than a horse or
an ox fears and dreads the whip of a driver.

“I declare this is all news to me,” my rural friend replied, “and you
really have set me to thinking. I guess we ought to treat all sorts of
animals, including the human, better than we do. I’ve been going to
meeting sence I was old enough to go alone, and I never heard a minister
say anything about loving animals and treating them decently—kinder like
folks—do a lot of good if they did—’spose they think they ain’t paid for
that sort of business and ’ave got all they can do to save the souls of
sinners.”

This was the last attempt at pure missionary work in behalf of the lower
orders. The pleasure part of the excursion was about to end, and on the
morning of the morrow the business of returning to the starting point
was to commence in earnest. The return was made by a short series of
long days’ work, commencing early in the morning, running well into the
day, with rest in the middle, starting off again late in the afternoon,
and extending well into the evening. In three days the return was
finished, the whole excursion had lasted nearly three weeks—three joyous
weeks, never again to be duplicated.

The most pleasurable hours of the little tour came from the association
with my four-footed servants and companions. The gradual unfolding of
their intelligence and the rapid development of their affection were
never-failing sources of pleasure. Towards the last my calico horse
would leave his feed, no matter how fascinating to his taste the oats
might be, to be in my society, and the watchful dog was never away from
my side, night or day. At first he shared the stable with his companion,
but soon after, whenever he was ordered out for the night, his anxious,
silent pleadings became so tender and touching that I could not
withstand them, and I consented to his sharing my room with me. At first
he had the natural dog habit of rising at an inconveniently early hour,
but after being admonished of the irregularity of his behavior, he would
remain quiet until ordered out for his morning exercise.

Never before or since had I been blessed with more sincere and
disinterested friends—always anxious to serve and, seemingly, perfectly
happy only when in my society.

Within a week after our return came the final parting between us, and I
have never had more stings of conscience than I felt when closing the
door of the little paradise my confiding friends were never to enter
again. I parted with them in sorrow, filled with anxiety for their
future, as well I might have been, for early the ensuing autumn my
calico friend became again a “circus horse” and was heard of no more,
and the other resumed the role of “nobody’s dog” and went down to his
soulless (?) finality wishing, beyond all doubt, for another taste of
his lost paradise.


During the whole of the winter of 1862 and 1863, I was in camp with my
command at Falmouth, in front of Fredericksburg. The army was resting
after the colossal and tragic fiasco at Fredericksburg to recover a new
supply of strength and courage for the encounter with unknown blunders
to come; and, aside from doing as many drills as the mud would permit,
consuming rations and drawing pay, there was little to do. The winter
proved to be a period of weary inactivity, with no crowns of victory in
sight.

Late one stormy afternoon in the month of January, 1863, the orderly
announced a civilian stranger who desired an interview. He told the
orderly that his name was of no consequence and that his business was
personal. Upon his entering my tent, I discovered a complete embodiment
of limp weariness and sorrow, a palpable wreck of something better in
the past.

Upon being seated, he said: “I ’spose you don’t know me? Well, I don’t
blame you much, I’ve so changed since then; we’ve had a great sorrow
since your dog and horse scart that drove of cattle into the oats. Now I
b’leve you remember, but you’d never guess I’m the same man, would you?”

I had to answer that the change was very great, and asked the cause.

“That’s partly what I am here for,” he replied. “You see, when the war
first broke out, George, our oldest, you must remember him, a silent,
good and thoughtful boy, was at the high school. All Vermont was alive
with the right sort of feeling, and all the men and boys—and some of the
women, I guess,—wanted to shoulder arms and go. We were expecting all
the time to hear that George was going, but hoped the other way, and
finally one morning in June he got out of the stage with his whole kit
of books and clothes, and told his mother, whose eyes had already filled
with tears, that he had come home to go; that all the big boys of the
school had held a meeting, and agreed to enlist in the ‘Third,’ and he
was going with them. Well, I thought his mother would sink into the
ground then and there, but she didn’t. George, you know, was her
favorite. He was always a reliable, duty-loving boy. She wiped her eyes,
took him in her arms, and, while her heart was breaking, kissed him, and
said: ‘I ‘spose you ought to go where right and your country calls, but
it will be awful hard for me to part with you. I don’t know how I’m
going to live with you in danger.’ The week he spent with us, I tell
you, it was like a great shadow in that old house. His mother kept
about, but her heart was breaking with terrible forebodings, and her
eyes were always filling with tears. When he had stayed his week out,
the last at the old home, we all drove over with him to the recruiting
station, and saw him sign his name to the roll of Company ——, Third
Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, ‘for three years, or during the war.’ In
three weeks the regiment left for the field; we went over to see him
off, and he was the only happy one of the family. We were filled with
unspeakable sadness; we saw them march away, and, as the old flag
disappeared round the corner of the road, his mother fainted, and fell
into my arms. She never saw a well day after that, but kind of lived on
like a machine, taking no interest in anything but the newspapers
bringing news from the war.

“George was just as good a boy in the army as he had always been at
home, wrote encouraging letters to his mother, filled with ideas about
duty, patriotism, and all that. But it did no good. She had made up her
mind she would never see him again, and, although alive, he was as good
as dead almost to her. When the Winter ended, the Vermont troops went
with the army to Yorktown, and then came the dreadful 16th of
April—Lees’ Mills. Three days after the fight some one sent a Boston
paper to us, which gave the news of the first advance having been made
by Companies —— and —— of the Third, and the terrible slaughter of the
men, but gave no names. His mother knew her son was killed, and two days
later a letter from his Captain told us how well he had done his duty,
and how bravely he had died. The strain was more than she could bear,
she took to her bed, and at the end of five weeks we buried them side by
side, and my happiness along with them. Now do you see why I’ve
changed?”

After a slight pause, he resumed: “I forgot to tell you,—the other boy,
the one who talked to you about the meeting-house steeple five hundred
feet high, enlisted in the same company as soon as he got old enough, is
sick in the hospital here now, and I want to take him back home, and
that’s what I’m here about. I want you to help me to get him out of the
Army. He was a new recruit when he saw his brother killed, and hasn’t
been well since. You know he never was a strong boy, but he would go to
war to be with George. He wouldn’t consent to his brother facing danger
all the time, while he was safe at home. He’s all I’ve got left, except
my old father, who can’t last much longer, and they tell me if I can get
you to go with me to General —— he’ll order his discharge.”

The sad story—one of many I had heard, touched me deeply. But I could
offer no consolation, such wounds as his were too deep to be reached by
words. All I could do was to change the current of sad thoughts and
extend the meagre hospitalities of the camp. Then the ride to the field
hospital, the interview with the once bright, happy boy I had seen seven
years before, now with the seal of death implanted upon his beautiful,
honest and manly face, then to headquarters, the handing over of his
discharge, and then the parting, with heavy heart, from one whose burden
of sorrow I had been able to lighten.

Opportunities to do these acts of kindness for those kindred of the
fallen, whose hearts were overburdened with mighty sorrows, were about
the only rays of sunshine which ever invaded the tent life of those
whose responsibilities were often more burdensome than the sorrows of
others, which they were so often called upon to assuage.

In the summer of 1865, during another visit to my native town, a longing
came over me to revisit the scene of the accident to the oats, and I
searched in vain for two companions to take the places of those of
twelve years before. But, so far as I could ascertain, there was not a
known saddle horse in the county, and the race of nobody’s dogs had gone
quite out of fashion; so I was compelled to adopt the “buggy,” and,
along with it, between its “fills,” a lively and “spunky” little
specimen of a Vermont Morgan, that learned after the first hours of
driving that there was a kind friend holding the reins, and with whom,
from that moment, cordial relations were established. A very easy drive
carried me to the “old home,” about noon of the second day, and, as I
drove up to the door, a kindly faced, frank-mannered woman of middle age
came out of the house, and asked me to alight, hitch, and walk in. As I
entered I asked where they all were? “Who do you mean by all?” queried
my hostess. I answered, “The C——s who lived here twelve years ago.”

She took me to an open window, and, pointing to the top of a “Meeting
House” spire that came just above the point of a rise in the ground,
said: “Just at the bottom of that steeple you’ll find them all, save my
uncle C——, the grandfather of the boys; they are all buried there, and,
if you want to renew your acquaintance with them, you’ll have to go over
there to do it. I’m the old maid of the whole family, and taught school
until I came here right after Cousin George’s death—he was the last of
the four—to take care of uncle, who was awfully broken up, and is to
this day. I guess nothing but death will ever mend his broken heart. He
wanders about with no object in life, always wishing for the end to
come. He’s out in the fields somewhere; he will be here pretty soon and
awful glad to see you. It seems to me he only cares now for those who
knew the four who lie buried over there. He lives in the past
altogether, and takes no interest in the present or future.”

A walk of five minutes through a meadow to a group of maples brought me
to the spot where I found, reclining beneath the shades, my acquaintance
of other days. At first he did not recognize me, and was a little
offish, but gradually became interested, and at last came to me with
both hands extended and with eyes filled with tears:

“I didn’t know ye at first, but I oughter have known that voice
anywhere. Your animals scart the drove into the oats, but you were so
good to us afterward. If it hadn’t been for you, ‘Vin’ would have died
in that ere hospital, for he didn’t live long after we got him home. Oh,
he was sich a comfort to us while he did live. I shall never forgit the
last days; and may God spare me from ever goin’ through any more like
’em.”

While we were walking toward the house, I learned that Vincent, the
youngest boy, lived five weeks after he was brought home; that the
father died the next autumn, and, although nearly three years had passed
since the culmination of the “Great Sorrow,” the atmosphere seemed
impregnated with it. The want of signs of life and movement without, and
the evidence of long continued quiet and order within, told as plainly
as words the story of an all-absorbing grief.

During the dinner, the incidents of the oats, the conversation with
“Vin” about the steeple, his desire to trade for the “Kaliker” horse,
and all that was said upon the occasion of our first meeting, was
rehearsed, without a single item being omitted. The meal finished, there
came the walk to the “Meeting House Burying Ground,” where I saw the
seven simple headstones standing for four generations. The first to Mary
Gale, wife of G. C.; the second to “George C., a soldier of the
Revolutionary War, born at Old Middlebury, Mass., June 12, 1756, died in
this town, March 7, 1833;” next to him came his daughter-in-law; then a
vacant space for his son—the second George, and then the graves of the
other four of the third and fourth generation.

I have seen men stand in such a presence without being moved, but I
could never quite understand how they did it. Upon this occasion
something got into my throat, and I could not speak; something else
filled both eyes, and I had to turn away to conceal a weakness which I
could not control.

As I turned toward my companions, the elder, pointing to the line
exclaimed; “Pretty soon there’ll be four generations of Georges in this
lot, and that’s about all there is to it, I guess. There couldn’t be any
design in takin’ all of ’em from me in so short a time. A merciful God
wouldn’t have done such a cruel thing; if a kind God had had anything to
do with it, he would let some of ’em outlive me to have been a comfort
in my old age and to have kept the old place where we were all born in
the family name. No, I don’t b’leve in sich kindness; all of ’em ought
to have lived; they were jest as good as they could be, not one of ’em
ever told a lie or did a mean thing as long as they lived. Then if they
were so good, as they were, and nobody can dispute it, why were they all
taken away from me so soon, and so many mean critters, good for nothing
to nobody, allowed to live? No, the ministers may talk to me from now to
the end of eternity, that their God, if he really does sich cruelties,
is merciful, and I won’t b’leve ’em. It’s all nonsense to murder a man
alive and break his old heart and call it merciful and all for the best.
There is no mercy or best about it, it’s all wrong from beginnin’ to
end, and I don’t b’leve the heathen’s god or anybody’s God could be so
cruel and unjust.

“My father battled from Bunker Hill ’till the last Red Coat had left the
land and then came here and began a new battle with the virgin forests
of Vermont. And ever sence I was born and old enough to work, my sweat
has watered this soil so dear to all of us. There’s not a foot of the
cleared part of this old farm I have not worked over, and the whole of
it is as sacred in my eyes as if it were a lordly estate handed down
from scores of generations before me. The boys loved it as I do and
liked to work over it. Now what does it all amount to? In a short time
when I have passed over yender to join the rest on ’em, the old place
will go into the hands of unfeeling strangers who’ll care no more about
it than savages. Most likely they’ll rob the soil and skin it of the
last spear of grass, and all these noble old trees that have been my
friends sence I was a boy, will be cut down to feed the nearest sawmill.
It’s astonishing, how mean most folks act toward natur! They treat her
as though she had no rights and forgit all about the good things she
gives us. But I suppose there is no good in sentiment if God is agin
ye.”

His niece interrupted him gently: “Come away, uncle, you are nervous and
excited and saying too much.”

“No, I’m not nervous or excited; I’m saying what I b’leve, and I want
everybody to know it. Look at those graves holding all I had in the
world, and no one had better, and then tell me if I have no cause to
complain?”



                           TIM THE DISSIPATED


Very late in the year 1848—Christmas day, to be exact—I found myself in
New Orleans, bankrupt in health and looking forward, hopelessly, to a
seemingly not far off culmination of my earthly affairs. But, owing to
the possession of a strong constitution, the good offices of kind
friends, and careful medical treatment, I was enabled to disappoint the
prophets and to evade the undertaker. By the time I had regained my
feet, the balmy days of March had come around, and I improved the
opportunity to make my duty-calls upon the kind-hearted friends who had
taken an active interest in the welfare of a stranger who had been cast
upon their shores. I found them wonderfully to my liking, generous,
cordial, and frank, to a degree I had never dreamed of.

It was fortunate for me that I happened to become a denizen of that
interesting old city during one of its better periods. Socially it was
at high-water mark; the theatres were good and the French opera the
better of all outside of Paris. In the winter it was the rendezvous for
the well-to-do families of the whole far South. The rich cotton planters
from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, and the sugar planters from
along the “coast” came to this Southern metropolis, and brought with
them their pretty daughters with their velvety voices, unaffected
speech, garnished with its tint of African accent, and their frank,
disingenuous ways; and also came their sons, who were not so
fascinating, but were good fellows at heart—the majority of them—and, as
a rule, save for one weakness, they were all right. But they had the
unpleasant habit of “drawing at sight,” and to the credit of their
alertness, I am compelled to record that they were apt to see very
quick.

The presence of a large colony of well-to-do planters assisted to make
New Orleans a very attractive winter resort. But they were not more
given to pleasure than the average citizen of the place, who, as a rule,
did not take life very seriously. He was in business, but not its slave,
and each day brought with it its pleasurable recreation. With their
peculiar and novel ways they were, to me, a revelation; the community
made up of them seemed almost ideal, and had it not been for the
presence of the slave and the slave market, the old French city, in its
relation to a certain select few, could have passed for a kind of brick
and mortar Arcadia.

Among the favorite recreations of that period was a drive down the shell
road to Lake Ponchartrain, where there was a famous afternoon resort
kept by Capt. Dan Hicox, a once famous “Captain on the Lakes,” a teller
of good stories and fabricator of the best fish and game dinners and
suppers to be found in the whole South. To say that his establishment
was popular would give but a faint idea of the real conditions. Of a
pleasant afternoon, in certain seasons of the year, nearly all that was
jolliest and brightest in New Orleans society could be found sitting
upon the captain’s piazzas, enjoying the breezes of the lake, which were
usually tempered with something taken through a straw or drawn from the
upper end of a bottle recently from the ice-chest.

In addition to the usual attractions of such a resort, there was a
circular pen with a pole planted in the centre of it to which was
attached a certain two-thirds grown specimen of the common American
black bear. When the merest mite of a cub he had been captured in the
wilds of Michigan, and afterwards sent to “Captain Dan” as a present by
one of his old friends of the lakes.

“Tim” was a great pet and altogether comical. He found a comic side to
every incident which came under his observation, and, seemingly, never
had a serious thought or an unhappy moment. It might be said of him that
he was reared in luxury, for during his infancy he had a pleasant corner
of the bar-room for his abode, where he became the pet of the patrons
and the recipient of all kinds of good things from the larder, with now
and then a taste from the bottle arranged in a way to fit his appetite,
and very much to his liking.

In the interests of truthful history, it must be recorded that “Tim,”
within a short time after his first julep, became enamored of the
bottle, and, very much after the manner of the old style Southern
bar-room tippler, would watch the patrons of the bar, looking wistfully
into their faces for an invitation to “smile.” At the beginning of his
career as an habitual drinker, it took about six or seven “treats” to
put him in a state of good-natured inebriation. When in that condition,
he was the incarnation of animal happiness; lying upon his back with all
four feet in the air, head to one side, tongue half out of his wide-open
mouth, with eyes half closed, he was the perfect personification of good
nature and indifference to earthly happenings. Kings might rule the
world, but Tim’s happiness was supreme. He envied no other bear, and if
a tree trunk filled with the most delicious honey had been within easy
reach he would not have raised a paw for a barrel of it. The things of
this world troubled him not, and he possessed only one phase of the
great passion of avarice—he always, when sober, wanted enough strong
drink to make him happy. He had the appetite of the habitual human
drunkard, but, when in his cups, differed from his human _confrère_ in
one important particular; he was good natured and kind and never
quarrelsome or cruel like the human brute in a similar condition.

Sometimes, when he was floored, a friend would try to coax him to
another drink by temptingly placing a well-filled glass near his nose,
an invitation that would generally excite in him an effort to rise and a
very comical and unsteady attempt to follow the lead of the disappearing
glass; usually he would wobble over, but would right himself enough to
sit up and gaze intently after the fascinating beverage beyond his
reach. In respect to demeanor or quantity, he was quite human; he never
knew he was making a beast of himself, or when he had enough. I do not
pretend to say that Tim’s habits of drink were not reprehensible; for
the purposes of this true story he must have the blame. It was certainly
not the fault of his master; he simply suffered the usual penalty of
having too many thoughtless and convivial friends.

In course of time, Tim became quite a bear, altogether too large for a
bar-room pet, and was removed to a specially prepared pen and chained to
a pole with a platform rest at the top. The change for Tim was not a
success. He spent his time in running around and climbing up and down
his pole, all the time whining, pleading, and scolding; he grew thin,
and looked and acted as though he regarded life as a failure.
Occasionally, a friend, pitying his unhappy condition, would unchain him
and lead him to his old haunt. In fact, it was nearly impossible to lead
him in any other direction. As soon as released from his pole he would
start for the bar-room, dragging his friend with him, nor would he stop
until he reached his favorite room, when, standing up with his hands on
the counter, he would mumble out in his most intelligible bear-language
a peremptory demand for a drink. Sometimes he was indulged to an extent
which would enable him to catch a glimpse of his lost paradise, but
usually he was returned to his pen after having disposed of only enough
of his favorite beverage to give him an appetite for more.

It had often been suggested that if Tim could have a congenial
occupation his grief for his lost liberty would not be so acute.
Accidentally, an employment for all his spare time was forced upon him.

One day, during a great thunderstorm, when the wind was blowing strong
from the east, a small alligator, about six feet long, was carried by a
wave to a part of the piazza near where I was sitting. He undertook to
get back into the lake with the receding water, but, being determined to
detain him, I caught him by the end of the tail. Within half of a second
the problem of extremes meeting was solved. As soon as he felt my hold
he doubled himself around, brought his jaws to-together with a savage
snap, and came within an infinitesimal measure of catching my hand. By
that time my blood was up, and I made up my mind to effect a capture of
my belligerent caller. With the use of a strong chair for a weapon, I
succeeded in preventing his return to the lake. Soon assistance with a
rope arrived, and a tight-drawn noose around the upper jaw did the rest.
“De ’gater swished dat tail a’ his awfully Massa, but we done got him
sure,” was the announcement that conveyed to “Captain Dan” the
information that he was the owner of a “’gater.” Our captive was put in
a safe place for the night, and the next morning what to do with him
became the burning question.

After considerable discussion a valuable suggestion came from one of the
colored spectators. He said: “I reckon if dat ’gater and Tim had a
chance dey’d make fust-rate frens inside a week.” A unanimous vote
approved of the proposition, and in five minutes “de ’gater was in de
pen” and the gate closed.

It was Tim’s custom whenever he heard company approaching his place of
abode to meet them at the threshold. Upon this occasion, as usual, he
was ready to bestow the hospitalities of his establishment, but the
manner of his receiving was neither urbane nor graceful. His front door
was suddenly opened and an unwelcome guest unceremoniously thrust upon
the hospitality of the unsuspecting Tim, who was wholly unprepared for
such a visitor. It was his first experience with a Saurian. He had never
seen one before, and it took only a second for him to make up his mind
to pass the act of non-intercourse. He scampered to his pole and climbed
to his platform at the top, where, during the next twenty-four hours, he
remained an anxious and frightened observer.

The new arrangement was no more satisfactory to the guest than to the
host. He missed his shore promenades and bathing accommodations; could
not imagine why he was shut up in a small enclosure, and spent his first
day and night in searching for an opening large enough for him to crawl
through. By noon of his second day of confinement he gave up his
fruitless search and settled down to a midday repose.

Tim, weary with anxious watching, seeing his opportunity for an
investigation, cautiously descended to the ground, and noiselessly
approached near enough to his guest to reach him with a front paw; then,
for several minutes, he sat upon his haunches and made a very careful
diagnosis of the case before him and came to the conclusion that it was
not to his liking, and that he would have no more of it than he could
help. Acting upon this deliberately formed conclusion, he made a vicious
grab with both paws at the tail of the unsuspecting Saurian. Great was
his surprise to find that his victim was very wide awake, indeed, for no
sooner had he felt the disturbance at his caudal end than he sent his
open jaws around to ascertain the cause. This sudden flank movement was
a great surprise to Tim, who experienced considerable difficulty in
extracting one of his paws from the ample jaws of a “feller” that at
least one bear could not understand. Tim was not encouraged to another
investigation at the moment, but re-ascended to his throne, where he
spent the remainder of the day in licking the wounded paw, casting, now
and then, malicious glances at his unbidden guest, and concocting plans
for the future.

The next day was bright and sunny, and brought with it apparent peace to
the domain of Tim. The Saurian was calmly reposing in the sunshine, and
Tim was doing his best thinking. He had not quite decided as to the
manner of proceeding, but upon one point he had made up his mind. There
was to be no middle way. His enemy was to be conquered and the savage
attack upon his paw avenged. With his mind then fully made up he
descended for a second investigation and another possible attack. This
time his approach was doubly guarded, and he was particularly careful in
calculating the distance between his position and the jaws which had
given him such an unpleasant surprise.

After a deliberate survey of the situation, Tim made a sudden spring to
the side of his enemy, caught him under his chest, and turned him upon
his back. This side attack was unexpected and a perfect success, and the
reptile had an active and prolonged struggle to regain his natural
position. Tim watched the struggle with intense interest, seeming to be
happy in knowing that he held the key to the situation. From that time
on, his guest during the daylight hours had no peace. Whenever Tim had
an opportunity, he turned him over, and, when not engaged in that
diversion, he was chasing him around the enclosure. About one month of
such an existence brought the Saurian very near to his end. From a most
healthy and vigorous “’gater” at the time he was caught he had become
weak, weary and lank; so forlorn was his lamentable condition that he
excited the sympathy of some human friend, who, during the night, opened
the gate to the pen. The following morning the persecuted reptile was
nowhere to be found. From that moment Tim became his former self,
watched anxiously at the gate for the coming of friends, and pleaded
pertinaciously for the intoxicating beverage.

The summer and greater part of the autumn after the “’gater” incident, I
spent at the Mississippi Springs, and, while there, received a letter
from a friend, who, next to myself, was the most ardent admirer Tim ever
had. It was the last word relating to my comical four-footed intimate,
and I cannot close this truthful narration more appropriately than by
quoting from it:

“You will sympathize with me in our mutual loss. Probably, we have seen
the last of our old friend Tim; he departed from his well scratched pole
about two weeks ago, and is now on the road as an important item in ‘The
Most Colossal Show Ever Known.’ He had grown so large, and his appetite
for strong drink had increased to such an alarming extent, that the
attending darkies lost confidence in their ability to handle him. During
his later days at the Lake, he appeared to have but one idea, and that
related to opportunities for intoxication. Whenever his pen door opened,
no matter for what purpose, he would make a rush for whoever came in,
and demand to be led to the bar-room, and, if disappointed, would make a
most furious demonstration.

“‘Captain Dan’ was immensely attached to him, but felt that the time had
arrived when some disposition must be made of him. The menagerie at
Algiers was the opportunity. A bargain was struck, and the time fixed
for his departure.

“‘Captain Dan’ decided to give him a regular ‘Fourth of July’ send-off,
and, to that end, invited a few of his most intimate friends and
admirers to be present at the performance. The guests were assembled,
and Tim was released from his pole. He made a tremendous rush for the
open bar-room door dragging two stalwart Africans after him at a
break-neck pace. He went direct to his old corner where he found a large
tin pan filled with a milk-punch such as he had never tasted before. He
emptied it in short order and then, taking it between his paws, sat up,
licked the last reminiscence of the punch out of it, and in a few
moments became the most comical object imaginable. In fact he was never
known to be more funny. He was laughed at, poked with sticks, had his
ears pulled, but all to no purpose; he was too happy to be offended. He
made a few efforts to stand erect and to appear sober and dignified, but
ended each attempt by rolling over upon his back a helpless lump of limp
intoxication.

“In that condition, our old friend was bundled into a box on wheels, and
made ready for his departure to the new life. Before going we all shook
him by the paw, patted his head, and wished him a happy future, and, as
he disappeared in the distance, there was a general expression of regret
that we had seen the last of poor Tim. ‘Captain Dan’s’ lip trembled, and
I feel sure if he had had it to do over again, he wouldn’t have done
it.”

This parting with Tim proved to be the end of his connection with the
friends of his babyhood and youth: none of them so far as I know, ever
saw him again.

Possibly a little bit of a lesson may be shown from the simple life
described. Tim, no doubt, came of decent parents of good habits and
morals, and in his downfall, there was no question of heredity involved.
In his infancy he was placed within easy reach of the temptations of the
bowl, and so, in his manhood, became as much of a victim to strong drink
as his surrounding circumstances would permit. Therefore, the inference
is, if he had not been tempted, there would have been no fall, and Tim
would have led a sober life and have been a respectable member of bear
society, provided human beings had left him in the home intended for his
race.

His degradation, like that of the North American Indian, came from
contact with our superior Western civilization.



                           CARLO, THE SOLDIER


The Ninth New York Volunteers was organized in April, 1861, in the City
of New York. Two of its companies were extra-territorial. C was composed
of men from Hoboken and Paterson, New Jersey, and G marched into the
regimental headquarters fully organized from the town of Fort Lee in
that State. With this last named company came “Carlo,” the subject of
this sketch.

When he joined the regiment, he had passed beyond the period of
puppy-hood and was in the full flush of dogly beauty. He was large, not
very large,—would probably have turned the scales at about fifty pounds.
His build was decidedly “stocky,” and, as horsey men would say, his feet
were well under him; his chest was broad and full, back straight, color
a warm dark brindle, nose and lips very black, while he had a broad,
full forehead and a wonderful pair of large, round, soft, dark-brown
eyes. Add to this description an air of supreme, well-bred dignity, and
you have an idea of one of the noblest animals that ever lived. His
origin was obscure; one camp rumor asserted that he was born on board of
a merchant ship while his mother was making a passage from Calcutta to
New York; and another told of a beautiful mastiff living somewhere in
the State of New Jersey that had the honor of bringing him into the
world. It would be very interesting to know something of the parentage
of our hero, but, since the facts surrounding his birth are
unattainable, we must content ourselves with telling a portion of a
simple story of a good and noble life. It may be safe to assert that he
was not a native American; if he had been, he would have provided
himself with the regulation genealogical tree and family coat-of-arms.

During the first part of his term of service, Carlo was very loyal to
his Company, marched, messed, and slept with it, but he was not above
picking up, here and there, from the mess tents of the other Companies a
tid-bit, now and then, which proved acceptable to a well-appointed
digestion.

His first tour on guard was performed as a member of the detail from Co.
G, and always afterward, in the performance of that duty, he was most
faithful. No matter who else might be late, he was ever on time when the
call for guard mount was sounded, ready to go out with his own
particular squad. At first, he would march back to Company quarters with
the old detail, but, as soon as he came to realize the value and
importance of guard duty, he made up his mind that his place was at the
guard tent and on the patrol beat, where he could be of the greatest
service in watching the movements of the enemy. In the performance of
his duties as a member of the guard, he was very conscientious and ever
on the alert. No stray pig, wandering sheep, or silly calf could pass in
front of his part of the line without being investigated by him. It is
possible that his vigilance in investigating intruding meats, was
sharpened by the hope of substantial recognition in the way of a stray
rib extracted from the marauding offender whose ignorance of army
customs in time of war had brought their tender “corpuses” too near our
lines.

As a rule, Carlo, what with his guard duties and other purely routine
items, managed to dispose of the day until dress parade. At that time he
appeared at his best, and became the regimental dog. No officer or
soldier connected with the command more fully appreciated “The pomp and
circumstance of great and glorious war” than he. As the band marched out
to take position previous to playing for the Companies to assemble, he
would place himself alongside the drum-major, and, when the signal for
marching was given, would move off with stately and solemn tread, with
head well up, looking straight to the front. Upon those great occasions,
he fully realized the dignity of his position, and woe betide any
unhappy other dog that happened to get in front of the marching band.
When upon the parade field, he became, next to the Colonel, the
commanding officer, and ever regarded himself as the regulator of the
conduct of those careless and frivolous dogs, that go about the world
like the street _gamin_—having no character for respectability or
position in society to sustain.

Of those careless ne’er-do-wells the regiment had accumulated a very
large following. As a rule, they were harmless and companionable, and,
like the inevitable “befo’ de wah” Judge and Major, they were always on
hand ready for a free lunch and drink. It was only at dress parade that
they made themselves over-officious. Each Company was attended to the
parade ground by its particular family of canine companions, and, when
all of them had assembled, the second battalion of the regiment would
make itself known by a great variety of jumpings, caperings, barks of
joy, and cries of delight. To this unseasonable hilarity Carlo seriously
objected, and his demeanor plainly told the story of his disgust at the
conduct of the silly pates of his race. He usually remained a passive
observer until the exercise in the manual of arms, at which particular
period in the ceremonies, the caperings and the barkings would become
quite unendurable. Our hero would then assume the character of a
preserver of the peace. He would make for the nearest group of
revellers, and, in as many seconds, give a half a dozen or more of them
vigorous shakes, which would set them to howling, and warn the others of
the thoughtless tribe of an impending danger. Immediately the offenders
would all scamper to another part of the field, and remain quiet until
the dress parade was over. This duty was self-imposed and faithfully
performed upon many occasions. After the parade was dismissed Carlo
would march back to quarters with his own Company, where he would remain
until the last daily distribution of rations, whereupon, after having
disposed of his share, he would start out upon a tour of regimental
inspection, making friendly calls at various Company quarters and by
taps turning up at the headquarters of the guard. His duties ended for
the day, he would enjoy his well-earned rest until reveille, unless some
event of an unusual nature, occurring during the night, disturbed his
repose and demanded his attention.

During the first year of his service in the field, Carlo was very
fortunate. He had shared in all of the transportations by water, in all
the marchings, skirmishes, and battles, without receiving a scratch or
having a day’s illness. But his good fortune was soon to end, for it was
ordained that, like other brave defenders, he was to suffer in the great
cause for which all were risking their lives.

The morning of April 18, 1862, my brigade then stationed at Roanoke
Island, embarked upon the Steamer Ocean Wave for an expedition up the
Elizabeth River, the object of which was to destroy the locks of the
dismal swamp canal in order to prevent several imaginary iron-clads from
getting into Albemarle Sound, where we had assembled at that time what
was known as a “Pasteboard Fleet,” which the supposed iron-clads were to
destroy.

Among the first to embark was the ever ready and faithful Carlo, and the
next morning, when his companions disembarked near Elizabeth City, he
was one of the first to land, and, during the whole of the long and
dreary march of thirty miles to Camden Court House, lasting from three
o’clock in the morning until one in the afternoon, he was ever on the
alert, but keeping close to his regiment. The field of battle was
reached: the engagement, in which his command met with a great loss,
commenced and ended, and, when the particulars of the disaster were
inventoried, it was ascertained that a cruel Confederate bullet had
taken the rudimentary claw from Carlo’s left fore-leg. This was his
first wound, and he bore it like a hero without a whine or even a limp.
A private of Co. G, who first noticed the wound, exclaimed: “Ah, Carlo,
what a pity you are not an officer! If you were, the loss of that claw
would give you sixty days leave and a Brigadier-General’s Commission at
the end of it.” That was about the time that General’s Commissions had
become very plentiful in the Department of North Carolina.

The Command re-embarked, and reached Roanoke Island the morning after
the engagement, in time for the regulation “Hospital or Sick Call,”
which that day brought together an unusual number of patients, and among
them Carlo, who was asked to join the waiting line by one of the wounded
men. When his turn came to be inspected by the attending surgeon, he was
told to hold up the wounded leg, which he readily did, and then followed
the washing, the application of simple cerate, and the bandaging, with a
considerable show of interest and probable satisfaction. Thereafter,
there was no occasion to extend to him an invitation to attend the
Surgeon’s inspection. Each morning, as soon as the bugle call was
sounded, he would take his place in line with the other patients,
advance to his turn, and receive the usual treatment. This habit
continued until the wound was healed. Always, after this, to every
friendly greeting, he would respond by holding up the wounded leg for
inspection, and he acted as though he thought that everybody was
interested in the honorable scar that told the story of patriotic duty
faithfully performed.

Later on, for some reason known to himself, Carlo transferred his
special allegiance to Co. K, and maintained close connection with that
Company until the end of his term of service. He was regarded by its
members as a member of the Company mess, and was treated as one of them.
But, notwithstanding his special attachments, there can be no reasonable
doubt about his having considered himself a member of the regiment,
clothed with certain powers and responsibilities. At the end of his
term, he was fitted with a uniform—trousers, jacket, and fez, and, thus
apparalled, marched up Broadway, immediately behind the band. He was
soon after mustered out of the service, and received an honorable
discharge, not signed with written characters, but attested by the
good-will of every member of the regiment.

If alive to-day, he must be very old and decrepit; and I am sure that if
he is, in his honorable old age his honest traits of character have not
forsaken him. No doubt, he takes a just pride in the good service he
rendered to his country in the years of its great trials, and it is
fortunate that his having four legs has placed him beyond the temptation
to join the ranks of the Grand Army of treasury looters, who have traded
off the honorable name of soldier for that of the pensioned mercenary.



                         JEFF, THE INQUISITIVE


Among the gunboats doing duty on the inland waters of North Carolina, in
the early Spring of 1862, which composed what Commodore Goldsborough
designated his “Pasteboard Fleet,” was the Louisiana, commanded by
Commander Alexander Murray, who was noted for his efficiency and good
nature. His treatment of his crew made him one of the most popular
officers in the whole fleet. He entered into all of their sports, and
sympathized with the discomforts of forecastle life. He was fond of
animal pets, and always welcomed the arrival of a new one. At the time
of which I am writing, his ship carried quite a collection of tame birds
and four-footed favorites.

Among them was a singular little character known as “Jeff.” He was a
perfectly black pig of the “Racer Razor Back” order, which, at that
time, were plentiful in the coast sections of the more southern of the
slave-holding States. They were called “racers” because of their long
legs, slender bodies, and great capacity for running; and “Razor Backs”
on account of the prominence of the spinal column. The origin of this
particular species of the porcine tribe is unknown, but there is a
tradition to the effect that their progenitors were a part of the drove
that came to the coast of Florida with De Soto when he started on the
march which ended with the discovery of the Mississippi River. History
records the fact that a large number of animals were brought from Spain
for food, and that a considerable number of them succeeded in getting
away from the expedition soon after the landing was effected.

Our particular specimen of this wandering tribe of natural marauders was
captured by a boat’s crew of the Louisiana in one of the swamps adjacent
to Currituck Sound, when he was a wee bit of an orphaned waif not much
larger than an ostrich-egg. He was an ill-conditioned little mite that
had probably been abandoned by a heartless mother, possibly while
escaping from the prospective mess-kettle of a Confederate picket. In
those days Confederate pickets were not very particular as to quality or
kind of food, and I have a suspicion that even a “Razor Back” would have
been a welcome addition to their _menu_.

When “Jeff” was brought on board, his pitiful condition excited the
active sympathy of all, from the commander down to the smallest powder
monkey, and numerous were the suggestions made as to the course of
treatment for the new patient. The doctor was consulted, and, after a
careful diagnosis, decided there was no organic disease: want of
parental care, want of nourishment, and exposure, were held responsible
for “Jeff’s” unfavorable condition. It was decided to put him on a light
diet of milk, which proved an immediate success, for, within forty-eight
hours after his first meal, the patient became as lively as possible. As
days and weeks went on, there appeared an improvement of appetite that
was quite phenomenal, but no accumulation of flesh. His legs and body
grew longer; and, with this lengthening of parts, there came a
development of intellectual acuteness that was particularly surprising.
He attached himself to each individual of the ship. He had no favorites,
but was hail-fellow-well-met with all. He developed all the playful
qualities of a puppy, and reasoned out a considerable number of problems
in his own way, without the aid of books or schoolmaster. His particular
admirers declared that he learned the meaning of the different whistles
of the boatswain: that he knew when the meal pennant was hoisted to the
peak, could tell when the crew was beat to quarters for drill, and often
proved the correctness of this knowledge by scampering off to take his
place by one particular gun division which seemed to have taken his
fancy.

I can testify personally to only one item in the schedule of his
intellectual achievements. It is a custom in the navy for the commander
of a ship to receive any officer of rank of either branch of the service
at the gangway of the ship. In this act of courtesy he is always
accompanied by the officer of the deck, and often by others that may
happen to be at hand. After the advent of “Jeff,” whenever I went on
board the Louisiana he was always at the gangway, and seemingly was
deeply interested in the event. It may be said of him, generally, that
he was overflowing with spirits, and took an active interest in all the
daily routine work of his ship. He had a most pertinacious way of poking
his nose into all sorts of affairs, not at all after the manner of the
usual pig, but more like a village gossip who wants to know about
everything that is going on in the neighborhood.

In the gradual development of “Jeff’s” character, it was discovered that
he had none of the usual well-known traits of the pig. He was more like
a petted and pampered dog, was playful, good-natured, and expressed
pleasure, pain, anger, and desire, with various squeals and grunts,
delivered with a variety of intonations that were very easily
interpreted. He was never so happy as when in the lap of one of the
sailors, having his back stroked. His pleasure upon those occasions was
evinced by the emission of frequent good-natured grunts and looking up
into the face of the friendly stroker. When on shore, he followed like a
dog, and was never known to root. Except in speech and appearance, he
was the counterpart of a happy, good-natured, and well-cared-for
household dog—possibly, however, rather more intelligent than the
average canine pet.

The Fourth of July, 1862, was a gala day at Roanoke Island. The camps of
the island and the vessels in the harbor were _en grande fête_. Colors
were flying, bands playing, drums beating, patriotic steam was up to
high pressure, and a goodly number of glasses of “commissary” were
consumed in wishing success to the cause. The good old day, so dear to
the hearts of Americans, was made more glorious by the exchange of camp
hospitalities and an indulgence in such simple hilarity as the occasion
seemed to require; but “Jeff” was not forgotten. Early in the morning,
he was bathed and scrubbed, more than to his heart’s content, and then
patriotically decorated. In his right ear was a red ribbon, in his left
a white one; around his neck another of blue, and at his mizzen, or, in
other words, his tail, he carried a small Confederate flag. Thus adorned
he was brought on shore to pay me a visit, and, as he came through my
door, he appeared to be filled with the pride of patriotism and a
realization of the greatness of the occasion. His reward for this
unusual demonstration was instantaneous, and consisted of some apples
and a toothsome dessert of sugar. Afterward he made the round of the
camps with a special escort of warrant officers and devoted Jack Tars.
From after accounts it appeared that he had been so well received that
his escort experienced much difficulty in finding their way back to the
ship.

During this triumphant march over the island an incident occurred which
developed the slumbering instinct of the swamp “racer.” In a second, as
it were, and seemingly without cause, “Jeff” was seen to move off at a
tremendous pace at right angles with the line of march. He was seen,
after he had run a few yards, to make a great jump, and then remain in
his tracks. The pursuing party found him actively engaged in demolishing
a moccasin, which he had crushed by jumping and landing with his feet
upon its head and back. Hogs of this particular kind are famous
snake-killers. A big rattler or a garter snake is all the same to them.
They advance to the attack with the greatest impetuosity, and a feast
upon snake is the usual reward of exceptional bravery.

In his habits of eating, “Jeff” was a confirmed and persistent
_gourmand_, and in time paid the usual penalty for over-indulgence of a
very piggish sort of appetite. While the meal pennant was up, it was his
habit to go from one forecastle mess to another, and to insist upon
having rather more than his share of the choice morsels from each. In a
short time he came to the repair shop very much the worse for wear, with
an impaired digestion and a cuticle that showed unmistakable evidence of
scurvy. For the first, he was put upon short rations; for the second,
sand baths on shore were prescribed. Under this treatment poor “Jeff”
lost all his buoyancy of spirits and his habitual friskiness, and became
sad and dejected, but bore his troubles with becoming patience. He took
to the cool sand baths at once, and gave forth many disgruntled grunts
when lifted out of them.

The last time I saw “Jeff,” July 10, 1862, he was buried up to his ears
in the cool sands of the Roanoke Island shore, with eyes upturned and
looking like a very sad pig, but I fear none the wiser for his offences
against the rights of a well-regulated digestion.

This account has not been written for the only purpose of glorifying the
one particular pig, or pigs in general, but rather to call attention to
the fact that this universally despised animal, by associating with
human beings and receiving gentle treatment, may develop interesting
traits of character, which would otherwise remain unknown; and also to
prove that kindness bestowed upon lower animals may be appreciated and
reciprocated in a manner which the upper animal, man, who boasts of his
superiority, would do well to imitate.



                             TOBY, THE WISE


The chief subject of this truthful history is a jet-black, middle-aged
bird, commonly known in England as a rook, but nevertheless a notable
specimen of the crow family.

In his babyhood he was, in the language of the ancient chroniclers,
grievously hurt and wounded full sore, and particularly so in the left
wing. He was so badly disabled that he had to forego the pleasure of
flying through the air, and was obliged to content himself as best he
could with trudging about on the rough surface of our common mother
earth.

In his sad plight, with the maimed wing dragging painfully along, he
chanced to pass the window of a _sanctum_ belonging to and occupied by a
charming old English gentleman, a perfect example of the old school,
learned, benevolent, and very fond of animals and feathered pets. No one
can tell what chance it was that brought the unhappy and wounded young
rook to the window of this good man. But possibly it was a real
inspiration on the part of the young bird. Toby was wet, weary, wounded,
and hungry, and as he looked in upon the cheerful wood fire and the
kindly face of the master of the house, his longing expression was met
with a raising of the window and an invitation to walk in to a breakfast
of corn and meal that had been hastily prepared for him. He gazed and
thought, and thought and gazed, upon the joys within and still he
doubted; but, finally, appetite and curiosity got the better of his
discretion, and, as he walked cautiously in, the window was closed
behind him. So the wounded waif entered upon a new life.

At first he was a little shy and cautious, and it took considerable time
for him to convince himself that his protector was his friend. After a
few weeks, however, he realized the value of his new position, and
consented to the establishment of intimate relations. In fact, Toby
became so attached to his master, and so affectionate, that he was not
happy out of his presence.

During the first month of his captivity, his wounded wing was bound
close to his body for the purpose of giving the fractured bone an
opportunity to unite, and during most of that time he would walk by his
master’s side, cawing and looking up into his face as if asking for
recognition. When the wing got well, and his ability to fly was
re-established, he would anticipate the direction of the promenades by
flying in advance from shrub to bush, alighting and awaiting the arrival
of his master.

The most singular part of Toby’s domestication was his exclusive loyalty
to a single person. He had but one intimate friend, and to him his
loyalty was intense. He would tolerate the presence of other members of
the household, but when strangers appeared he was decidedly offish, and
scolded until they disappeared.

Three times a day Toby is decidedly funny, and goes through a comical
performance. In his master’s _sanctum_ there is a contrivance which, on
a small scale, resembles the old New England well-pole. At one end,
which rests upon the floor, Toby commences his ascent with a great
flapping of wings and uproarious cawing. When he arrives at the upper
end of the pole, some eight or nine feet from the floor, it falls and
lands him upon a platform, beside a plate containing his food. This
climbing up the pole precedes each meal, and takes place punctually at
the same hour and minute of each day.

In the spring of 1890 Toby was tempted from his loyalty, and flew off
with a marauding flock of his kind. He remained away all summer. He was
missed but not mourned, for his master felt certain he would return;
and, sure enough, one bleak, cold morning in November, Toby was found
looking longingly into the room where he had first seen his good master.
The window was opened, he walked in and mounted his pole, and after him
came a companion, a meek, modest, and timid young rook, more confiding
than Toby, and differing from him in many other respects. He, too, was
duly adopted, and was christened Jocko. He was easily domesticated, and
soon became a part of the _entourage_ of one of the finest old
Bedfordshire manorial homes.

With age Toby has taken on quite an amount of dignity. He is neither so
noisy nor so companionable as formerly, but is more staid and useful.
One of his favorite resting places, where he enjoys his after breakfast
contemplations and his afternoon siestas, is among the branches of a
fine old English oak, whose protecting shades, in the far-off past, were
the scene of the stolen love-meetings of Amy Wentworth and the
profligate Duke of Monmouth.

Neither of these knowing birds has been able to understand the mystery
of a looking-glass. They spend many hours of patient investigation
before a mirror in their master’s room, but all to no purpose, for the
puzzle seems to remain as great as ever. They usually walk directly up
to it, and betray great surprise when they find two other rooks
advancing to meet them. For a while they remain silent and motionless,
looking at the strangers, and waiting, apparently, for some sign of
recognition. Then they go through a considerable flapping of wings and
indulge in numerous caws, but after long waiting for an audible response
they give up the useless effort, only to return next day as eager as
ever to solve the mystery.

The older bird and his admiring junior are perfectly contented with
their home, and never leave it. They often look out from their perches
upon various wandering flocks of vagrant rooks, but are never tempted to
new adventures. The old fellow is very wise. Like a fat old
office-holder, he knows enough to appreciate a sinecure in which the
emoluments are liberal and the service nominal. His devoted follower
never falters in his dutiful imitation of his benefactor.

Toby proves by his actions that he appreciates the advantages of the
situation, and in his simple way makes some return for the pleasures he
enjoys. During a considerable portion of the pleasant days of the year
he is in reality the watchman upon the tower, ever on the outlook to
give notice of the approach of visitors to his castle, and no one can
intrude upon the premises under his self-appointed watchmanship without
exciting vigorous caws, which are enthusiastically reinforced by those
of his faithful subordinate. Aside from his affectionate devotion to his
master, displayed as often as occasion permits, this duty of “chief
watchman of the castle” is Toby’s most substantial return for favors
received!

In a letter of last May, the master wrote: “My two crows are sitting on
chairs close to me, and cawing to me that it is time for me to let them
out of the window, so I must obey.” This quotation gives but a faint
intimation of the exceptionally friendly relations existing between
these devoted friends. Blessed are the birds that can inspire such
affection in the heart of a noble old man, and doubly blessed is he who
is the object of such loving appreciation. Long may they all live to
enjoy the fulness of their mutual attachments!

This brief sketch is not intended for an amusing story. It is only a
narration of facts in support of an often repeated theory, viz: that the
humblest creatures are worthy of our tender consideration, and, when
properly treated, will make pleasing returns for the affection we may
bestow upon them.



                                TWO DOGS


In 1877, at his English home, I first made the acquaintance of “Max,” a
fine specimen of a Dandy Dinmont dog. He was of the usual size, with
brown, velvety eyes—very expressive—a long body, tail, and ears, coarse
hair of a blackish brown and light-tan color, and with short legs, not
particularly straight. The ancient Greeks, with their severe ideas
regarding lines of beauty, would not have called him beautiful to the
sight. But, notwithstanding his looks, he was, to all who knew him well,
very beautiful; for he was a dog of marked intelligence and superior
moral character. So fine was his sense of integrity that a most
delicious and canine-tempting bone might remain within his reach for
days without his touching it, no matter if he were ever so hungry.

His usual daily occupation commenced with a very early walk with his
master. Then, in regular order, after the family and guests had
breakfasted, the butler would give him his napkin, folded in his own
private ring, which he would carry from the dining-room to the kitchen,
where it would be spread upon a table, slightly raised from the floor,
arranged for serving his food. After the morning meal had been eaten,
his napkin would be refolded, and he would return it to the butler. The
same routine was always repeated for dinner. His time until evening, if
possible, was devoted to his master, of whom he was exceedingly fond,
but he would sometimes walk with the guests when told to do so by his
master, to whom he always appealed when invited for a promenade by a
stranger.

Every day, after dinner, when the family and guests had assembled in the
drawing-room, “Max” would insist upon giving his regular daily
exhibition, and there was no peace from his importunities until he had
completed the usual performance. His master always carried with him from
the dinner table a biscuit which, in the drawing-room, he would hold up
and say: “Max, I have a biscuit for you. Can’t you give us a little
dance and a song?” Whereupon he would commence to turn around upon his
hind feet, at the same time doing his best in the direction of singing a
very doleful sort of a song, all the while looking exceedingly grave,
the result of his abnormal effort. This part of the daily programme was
so exceedingly comical that it always excited unbounded applause from
the audience. The dance would go on until the master called out
“enough,” when the performer would stop and look imploringly into his
master’s face, as if asking him if he might continue the performance,
which consisted of his master going through the motion of firing,
accompanied with a noise which passed, in the doggish mind, for the
explosion of a gun, and was a signal for the actor to fall down
apparently dead, with eyes firmly closed, and keeping perfectly quiet.
In this position he would remain until his master told him to come to
life. The biscuit would then be given him, and that would end each day’s
work, by which he, we may infer, believed he earned his daily bread.

With passing time my little friend took on the garb of age, and, a few
years before his end, became totally blind, and among the most pathetic
sights I ever witnessed were his attempts to see his friends. I had been
so many times at his home that he had come to know me almost as one of
the family, and at each visit, after his loss of sight, as the carriage
drove up to the front door, when recognizing my voice, as I spoke to his
master, he would put his paws upon the steps of the carriage and wag me
a hearty welcome, at the same time trying his best to see me.

His career ended in November, 1883, when his master buried him near a
garden gate, put a neat wire fence around his grave, and planted flowers
over his remains. And now those who may chance to go to Toddington will
find embedded into the garden wall a handsome marble slab, with a
mortuary inscription and a verse composed by his kind master engraved
upon it, which runs as follows:

                                  “MAX
                         Died, November, 1883.

  If ever dog deserved a tear
    For fondness and fidelity,
  That darling one lies buried here
    Bemourned in all sincerity.”


One bright morning in the month of November, 1879, the front door of my
house was opened, and there came bounding through it and up the flight
of stairs, the most vivacious, clean, and inquiring little dog
imaginable. As soon as he arrived upon the second floor, calls came to
him from several directions at the same time, and he did his best to
answer them all at the same moment; all the while barking and dancing
around in the most frantic and delighted manner. Within five minutes
after his _début_, he was perfectly at home and upon the best of terms
with the entire household.

The name of this new member of the family was “Phiz,” and his alleged
place of nativity Yorkshire, England. In other words, he was a pure
Yorkshire terrier in descent, a mixture of blue, light gray, and silver
in color; in size a little larger than the average dog of that breed,
and, as one of his dog-expert friends often remarked: “He is one of the
doggiest dogs of his size I have ever known.” This was literally true,
for there never was a more manly and courageous little animal. In his
prime, his bravery was far beyond the point of reckless indiscretion,
and any dog whose appearance did not happen to please him, he would
attack, no matter how large, or under what disadvantageous
circumstances. The severe shakings and rough tumbles of to-day were
forgotten by the morrow, which found him ever ready for a new encounter.

The red-letter events in his active life occurred in Madison Square,
which he would enter as though shot from a catapult; and woe of woes to
the unfortunate plethoric pug which might happen to pass his way! It was
his habit when he saw one of these stupid and helpless unfortunates to
“ring on full steam and board him head-on mid-ships.” For a few seconds
after the coming together, there would be visible a comical mixture of
quick moving legs, tails, and ears, and a frantic attempt on the part of
the astonished pug to emit a wheezy sound of alarm, followed by a
condition of most abject submission. “Phiz,” standing over the prostrate
body of his victim, head erect, tail and ears stiffened with pride of
victory, made a picture of doggish vanity, once seen, never to be
forgotten. These scenes, in the warm season, were almost of daily
occurrence, much to the chagrin of many pug-loving dames.

“Phiz” only amused himself with the innocent pug (for he never was known
to offer to bite one), but he was always savagely in earnest in his
demonstrations of detestation of the face-making, ever-yelling average
street small boy. And he had no special love for the undersized
butcher’s and grocer’s assistant, whom he delighted to attack whenever
he could waylay them in a dark passage between the kitchen and front
basement hall. Some of these attacks were so sudden, fierce, and
unexpected, and were attended with such a volume of snarls and barks,
that the grocer’s boy had been known to drop his basket of eggs, and run
as if pursued by a terrible beast of huge dimensions.

As the subject of this sketch took on additional years, he accumulated
much knowledge, and, by the time he had accomplished the mature age of
six, he was far more wise than any serpent the writer had ever known. He
had never been taught to perform tricks, nor had been in any manner
trained, but by his own observation he had managed to pick up a world of
useful information, which proved of great value to him. Among his
acquirements he had learned how to make known, in an original and
intelligent manner, all the wants of a well-bred dog. He could tell
those around him when he desired to go up or down stairs, call for water
or food, ask to go out, and give a note of warning when a stranger was
coming up the street steps, but he was never known to bark at the like
approach of one of the family or a friend.

One of his undeviating customs was the morning call at the chambers of
his master and his mistress, when he would first make himself known by a
very delicate scratch upon the door. If not answered, then another and
more vigorous scratch; still no response, then a gentle bark of
interrogation, and then, if the door was not opened, would come a most
commanding full-voiced bark, saying as plainly as possible: “Why don’t
you let me in?” These gradations from the lesser to the greater in
effort and tones, all in the direction of asking for a certain thing,
proves conclusively the presence of powers to reason developed to a
considerable degree.

“Phiz” was selfishly interested in three things: a walk, cats generally,
and dogs particularly; and no conversation relating to these could take
place in his presence without exciting his active attention. When these
subjects were being discussed he would leave his couch and go from one
conversationalist to another, looking up into their faces in the most
inquisitive manner, all the while making a great mental effort to
understand exactly what they were saying.

His most remarkable manifestations of intelligence would occur at the
time when his master and mistress were about to leave their home for
their usual summer absence of about six months. On the first two or
three occasions of this kind he came to the carriage to wag a good-bye.
Later he must have arrived at the conclusion that certain preparations
meant a long period of loneliness for him, and then, from the
commencement of “putting things away” and packing boxes, he would appear
very much dejected—no more cheery barks and frisky wags, but, on the
contrary, he would show great depression of spirits, and, finally, when
the time arrived for the carriage and for carrying out the baggage,
“Phiz” would hide in some out-of-the-way place, there to nurse his
grief, undisturbed and unseen.

The subject of this sketch reached the ripe old age of eleven with all
functions and faculties unimpaired, save sight, which, we are compelled
to record, was totally obscured. I happened to be with him when he came
to the painful realization of his great misfortune. It was during his
accustomed late-in-the-afternoon walk. Failing to find his way along the
sidewalk he had stopped, while I, without seeing him, had passed on, but
only for a short distance, when I was attracted by a most pitiful and
grief-stricken cry. I looked around, and there was my poor little friend
and companion, sitting close to the lower stone of a flight of steps,
with his nose pointed straight up to the heavens, and crying as though
his heart would break. I hurried to him, took him gently in my arms, and
carried him to his box, which he hardly left for many days. His grief
was so intense that he refused to eat or be cheerful, and made very
faint responses to the most affectionate advances. Within a week or
more, however, he began to resume his interest in affairs, having, no
doubt, like human beings similarly afflicted, through process of
reasoning, become reconciled to his misfortune.

If he had been a man instead of a dog, he would have had an easy chair,
a pipe, and, in his moods of vainglory, fought his many battles over and
over again. But, as he was only a dog, he found his way about the house
as best he could, varying occasionally his dull routine by a short
promenade over the paths which were once the race-track of his wild and
gleeful prancings. And thus he passed on to that everlasting night, from
whence no dog whether good or bad has ever returned to wag a solution of
the mysteries which must have puzzled the minds of many generations of
wise and philosophical dogs.



                          TWO INNOCENTS ABROAD


I passed a portion of the summer of 1890 at Banff, a fascinating resort
in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, established and controlled by the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

It would be very difficult to find a more charming and picturesque
location for a summer resting-place. The hotel is situated about four
thousand five hundred feet above the sea-level, and is nearly surrounded
by lofty peaks and mountain-ranges which present a great variety of
rugged outline.

To the venturesome mountaineer, the inducements to climb seem almost
endless. In the immediate vicinity of the hotel, there is a choice of
ascents of from six to eleven thousand feet. Most of them may be made by
any one who has a cool head, a sure foot, and sufficient endurance; but
there are two or three which ought to be undertaken only by experienced
mountaineers. I made several of the lesser ascents alone, and, in each
instance, against the advice of inexperienced and timid persons, who
declared that I would either be dashed to pieces, by falling down a
precipice, or devoured by bears, which are supposed to be rather
plentiful.

My last climb was to the top of the middle peak of the “Sulphur Range.”
It was neither difficult nor dangerous; but the view from the little
table at the top was simply wonderful. As far as the eye could see, in
any direction, were mountain peaks, none covered with snow, but all
presenting magnificent rock-formations of a character which is quite
peculiar, I believe, to that part of the great American range.

The little table at the top of the peak is about thirty feet in diameter
and is covered with broken rock. While sitting there, musing upon the
natural wonders by which I was surrounded, I noticed the approach of two
chipmunks, coming up from the side of the mountain. They halted when
they saw a strange animal; but, finally, after sitting upright for a
short time and giving me a deliberate and careful stare, they concluded
to come on, and presently they discovered a little clump of stunted
grass growing from a crevice between the rocks, which they proceeded to
despoil of its dwarfed seeds. When they had finished their scanty meal
they looked about for something else to eat. Feeling sure of their
desires, I crushed a soft biscuit into small pieces, and dropped them at
my feet; and soon my little friends were busy eating the crumbs,
apparently quite unconscious of the fact that they were within easy
range of an animal supposed to have been created in the image of his
Maker, but the only one which kills for the sake of killing, and boasts
of the pleasure he derives from the destruction of innocent animal life.

Within a very few minutes this pair of little innocents became quite
familiar, and the crumbs continued to fall until they had filled their
stomachs and then the ample pouches on each side of their jaws. Thus
loaded they presented a most comical appearance. When I rose to my feet
their surprise made them appear still more comical. They were inclined
at first to scamper off, but, upon reflection, concluded they would see
the whole show; and, as I moved over to the edge of the table, to go
down the mountain, they followed a short distance, and gave me a most
quizzical parting glance, which said as plainly as their little faces
could express their thoughts: “Good-bye. Be sure to come again, and
don’t forget the biscuits.”

This is not a story; it is only an incident which proves what confiding
little fools the chipmunks were to trust themselves within reach of a
specimen of that tribe of superior animals which delights in the
destruction of life, kills for pleasure, and enjoys the infliction of
pain upon innocent and helpless creatures.

The excuse for their confiding folly consisted in the fact that they had
never seen a man before.



                             ABOUT COLUMBUS
                           BY AN OLD SHOWMAN


For fully a third of a century the large elephant bearing the name of
the great discoverer was well known to all the “Show” loving inhabitants
of our country. He was remarkable for his great size and bad temper,
and, if he had been left in his native wilds, might have established a
notable reputation as a rogue elephant. His keepers were of the opinion
that he made the mistake of his life when he became a mere show animal,
engaging in an occupation that required a certain amount of decent
behavior.

It was said of him that he was a very reasonable sort of an animal when
permitted to have his own way, but never submitted to confinement with
any sort of grace. He was always enraged at being chained to the ring or
stake, and sometimes decreed capital punishment, which he executed
himself, for the unfortunate keeper who was guilty of the offence of
chaining him. He was very much given to breaking and bolting, and when
once in the open, and fairly on the go, he became a very dangerous
customer, and his keeper, if wise, would give him a wide field until his
rampage was finished.

One among the many of them, who died in the seventies, was his friend,
and never had any trouble with him, and he always insisted that the
lively escapades of his ponderous charge were the result of an all
absorbing longing for liberty. He used to describe the magnificent old
pachyderm as the living embodiment of a justifiable revolt. He had not
much sympathy for the keepers who had been executed, nor did he have
much respect for their knowledge or discretion. According to his theory,
they were mere machines for so much per month; they never studied the
character or feelings of the splendid animal in their charge; they were
inconsiderate, unnecessarily harsh and cruel, and, from the
unnaturally-confined elephant’s standpoint, in most instances got what
they deserved.

The Columbus incident, of which an account is to follow, was not a
particularly exceptional one, and the description of it was written by
the friendly old keeper who had charge of the hero of it during two
consecutive years back in the thirties. The narration is a modest one,
and its phraseology proves it to have been written by a man of rare
courage. It was printed in a Cincinnati newspaper in the month of
February, 1870, and is now given, with the editorial head note just as
it appeared.

                         “THE ELEPHANT COLUMBUS.”

      “Letter from another witness of his rampage near New Orleans.”

  “The account of the rampage of the elephant Columbus near New Orleans,
  in 1839, which we published some time since, has refreshed the
  memories of many old showmen, and as we are always glad to publish
  anything of interest to them, we give the following letter, which we
  think will prove entertaining to our readers generally:

                            South Pomfret, Vt.,
                                                       January 30, 1870.

  To the Editor of the _Chronicle_:

  I have just received a copy of your paper, of December 31, 1869. I do
  not think the statement headed ‘A Curious Circus Reminiscence’ is
  quite correct. At that time I was the advertiser of one branch of the
  Combined Circus and Menagerie. We were to exhibit in Algiers until the
  7th of January, and in New Orleans on the 8th, that being the most
  popular day with the people of that city. William Crum was driving
  Hannibal, and George Potter Columbus. It was Crum’s horse that was
  knocked down, and Crum was killed. Samuel Ward and myself were
  standing within ten feet of Crum when he was killed. We had a bet on
  the height of the two elephants, and that was the reason why they were
  brought alongside of each other. Columbus was shot under the eye
  before he killed the drayman. We did not exhibit in Algiers. The
  people were too much frightened to attend. So we went to New Orleans
  on the 1st of January, instead of waiting until the 8th.

  On the same evening the difficulty occurred, James Raymond and James
  Humphrey, proprietors, came to me and wanted I should go and look
  after Columbus. I told them I would if John Carley would go with me. I
  knew him to be an old elephant man. They asked him: he said he would
  like to go, but was sick and would rather be excused. The next morning
  George Growe, a young green hand, who came with Foster’s company,
  volunteered to go with me. I must confess that when he came forward it
  cooled my courage, but two horses were saddled and brought to the
  door. I mounted mine in rather a confused state of mind, wishing
  myself anywhere except where I was. When we started out it was dark
  and foggy. I told Growe to go ahead, and, after going about half a
  mile, we put up for the night on a flatboat. At daylight the next
  morning we started again, and proceeded down the river about nine
  miles, where we found Columbus in a canefield, with his head against a
  pecan tree, asleep. I may now remark that Growe’s courage had somewhat
  cooled off, and he had fallen some half mile to my rear. I rode toward
  the elephant until I got within hailing distance, and then spoke to
  him to come to me. He raised up and began shaking his head. Presently
  he started for me the best he could, and my horse did a good business
  getting out of his way. He followed me for about six miles, and then
  came to a halt in front of a large pile of lumber on the levee, which
  he proceeded to throw into the river as fast as possible, and then
  started after me at a more moderate gait. When we got in front of a
  church at Algiers he made a second halt. I then told him to lie down,
  and, to my astonishment, he obeyed. I got off from my horse, took my
  knife, stuck it in his ear and held him down until assistance came
  from the canvas, which was about half a mile off; then Growe took him
  by the ear and led him to the canvas, and, the same day, we crossed
  over to New Orleans. Growe took care of him all that winter and left
  with him in the spring, but was killed by him the next summer, as I
  learned afterward.

  Poor Crum met with a terrible death. Columbus’ tusk entered his groin
  and came out at his shoulder, going through the entire length of his
  body.

  These are some of the exact facts as they occurred for I was on the
  spot, and saw the whole affair. I could say much more, but do not
  think it necessary.”

The writer of this letter was for two years the constant and interested
companion and friend of, possibly, the most unruly and bad-tempered
elephant ever exhibited in the United States, and the reason he got
along with him without accident was that he devoted his undivided
attention to his charge, studied his character, gave him frequent
opportunities for bathing, and as much liberty as circumstances would
permit.

The old keeper used to say that Columbus “was full of odd whims and more
given to mischief than malice.” When there was any hard work to be done,
like lifting cage wagons out of the mud, or clearing roads of fallen
trees, he was always ready to do his full share, and was never so happy
as when actively engaged in some laborious occupation. Once in a while
he would take it into his head that he would like a good run and an
opportunity to indulge in mischief, such as uprooting trees, scattering
fence rails, pulling off barn doors that happened to be standing open,
etc. etc. It was his habit to signify his desire, after the “show was
over,” by trumpeting nervously, dancing in his elephantine way, and
tugging at his chain. These notifications did not come very often, but
when they did, if not too inconvenient, his request was complied with.
These calls never came just before the performance or while it was in
progress. The mischief-loving old sinner was far too wise for that, for
he had a most lively appreciation of the usual inflow of goodies from
the boys and girls who were courageous enough to encounter the danger of
“feeding the elephant.”

The last conversation I had with the successful old keeper, only a year
before his death, was about his singular charge, and he insisted upon
the truthfulness of his old theory—that the elephant was not naturally
bad, but hated confinement, demanded kindness and consideration from
those who were the visible instruments used in depriving him of his
liberty, and, when he received neither, revenged himself by killing the
tyrants who were depriving him of the freedom to which he was naturally
entitled.

My old friend used to say: “It’s awfully hard lines for such a
magnificent old beast as Columbus was to be tied up and deprived of
liberty, and, if I had been in his place, I would have killed more fools
of keepers than he did. Why, the old elephant was just as smart as any
of us. He had thought the whole thing out for himself and put the boot
on the right leg every time. He knew we’d no right to confine him the
way we did, and made up his mind to be judge, jury, and executioner, and
in his time he did a lot of killing. I don’t quite remember how many he
made away with; some put it as high as ten, but I guess seven or eight
would be about correct.

“When I was first asked to take charge of Columbus, I was in the
business part of the ‘Show,’ and had never thought of becoming an
elephant-driver. But somehow, without effort or knowing why, I got well
acquainted with the old fellow, and, although often warned of his
dangerous amusements, was never afraid of him.

“During the winter of 183- and 183- we were in quarters at C——. The
confinement had been long and close, and during the whole winter
Columbus had been restive and cross. When it came time to start out for
the summer’s business no one could be found to drive him. So, as a last
resort, the owners offered me a large salary for the job. I had no fear
concerning the success of the undertaking, but hesitated about becoming
a professional ‘elephant-man,’ but the big pay was a great temptation,
and I yielded.

“The first few days after we started out upon the road, my charge was
cross and cranky, and I had to watch him all the time as a cat would a
mouse. Upon one occasion, when against my orders, just for the mere
deviltry of the thing, he went out of his way to turn over a plantation
cart that was standing by the roadside, I went for him savagely, with
hook and spear, and gave him a big dose of something he didn’t want; he
soon had enough, threw up his trunk, and yelled like a schoolboy being
flogged.

“This submission proved to be his complete surrender to my will, and
from that time we got on like a pair of loving brothers. We became
strong friends, and I used to talk to the old rascal as I would to a
human being. I have always believed he understood more than half I said
to him.

“He became very fond of our morning race. It was the custom to start
early in the morning—never later than four o’clock. When we would get
fairly out of a village where we had exhibited the day before, I would
ride up alongside and ask him if he would like a run, he would answer by
throwing up his trunk, giving a trumpet sound of joy, and starting off
at a stiff gait, keeping it up until I called a halt, and, if we
happened to be near a stream deep enough to hold him, he would take to
it, and stay until the rest of the show came up.

“No, I never had much difficulty in getting along with Columbus. From
the start he found out I was not afraid of him, and that I would give it
to him if he cut up any of his wicked capers; and he also came to
understand that I was his indulgent friend who humored many of his
harmless whims and treated him kindly.

“At the end of two years I was both glad and sorry to leave him. The
watchful confinement had become irksome, and I was sure that as soon as
I would leave him he would get into trouble,—which he did, and had a bad
time of it to the end of his days. I have always felt kind of sorry for
having put the knife through his ear, and never would have done it if I
had not been excited and scart half out of my wits. If I had given my
common sense half a chance, it would have told me that his lying down
was a sign of recognition of authority, and that he was willing to throw
up the sponge and behave himself. But I guess he forgave me, for,
whenever afterwards I went near him, he would give me the old time
friendly greeting.

“It’s many years now since I left the show business, and I’ve thought
the whole thing over, and concluded it’s all wrong. The confinement is
unnatural and cruel. Even the little animals in cages, while they seem
to be happy, are as miserable as they can be. Take a careful look at
them when they are not tired out or asleep, and you will find an anxious
expression on all their faces—a sort of looking out of their cages for
some one to come along and open the door.

“The great cat tribe, Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Panthers, and the rest of
them, are always pushing their noses against the bars for liberty, and
are usually pretty cross because they can’t get it.

“At any rate, it’s pleasant for me to look back upon my many years of
intercourse with the poor creatures, and to feel that I never, save in
the single instance, treated one of them unkindly.”

Assisting in the two years of successful management of Columbus was the
inevitable “elephant dog,” who was his constant companion and friend.
They slept together nights and tramped side by side during the days, and
often, when the elephant would not obey his keeper, the faithful
companion would, in some mysterious way, induce his huge friend to do
the reasonable and behave himself like a respectable and order loving
beast.

I have forgotten the manner of the taking off of the old slave of the
“Show,” but he, with his friendly keeper, who to the end of his days was
his champion, have long since passed on to that mysterious resting place
from which neither man nor elephant have sent any message back, and let
us hope that after their many trampings, and as a reward for the many
miseries endured while upon earth, that they are now enjoying the
rewards bestowed upon the forgiven and blest.



                        IN RELATION TO MYSTERIES


The relation of the three unusual incidents following these introductory
words are only simple statements of facts for each reader to solve in
his own way. Concerning them I have no theory whatever, and avow
emphatically an entire disbelief in their sometimes alleged supernatural
origin. That, for the present at least, they are inexplicable must be
admitted, but that they will always remain within the realm of mysteries
beyond the power of solution is very doubtful.

Up to the present time many accepted, or rather seeming, mysteries,
which, with the assistance of ages, have crystallized into form, have
been permitted to pass unchallenged, but the time has arrived when the
old fields, now almost sacred groves, where superstition has taken root
and blossomed, are about to be explored. The almost omnipotent
search-light of science is turning its rays into the dark nooks and
corners of complacent ignorance, greatly to the discomfiture of many old
theories and beliefs, whose foundations are as unsubstantial as dreams.

Until the possibly far-off culmination of the great scientific epoch,
new mysteries known only to the laboratories of Nature will continue to
be born. But those who have watched the progress of scientific
achievement, through the last half of the Nineteenth Century, must
believe that, within the next like period, the visible manifestations of
secrets coming from the bosom of Nature (of which the outer shell now
only is seen) will have been ascertained to belong to a previously
undiscovered series of natural phenomena.

We know as a certain fact of the existence of a natural element of power
called electricity, but what is it, and whence does it come? To the
ignorant it performs miracles in an apparently supernatural way, while
to the intelligent it is regarded as a subtle natural force coming from
the universal laboratory of boundless nature and as unending as time
itself. In electricity, as in many other manifestations of the forces of
nature, we see only results, and know little or nothing of the first
cause. The time, however, let us hope, is not far off when origins will
be as easily demonstrable as is now the seeing of effects we cannot
understand.

Present indications point to the early solution of all superstitions,
many of which for centuries have construed some of the simplest
happenings, which could not upon any known principles be explained, into
demonstrations flowing from supernatural sources. Superstition must
certainly fall before the great and impartial sweep of modern research.
In at least one direction, the battle will be of long duration, but at
the end of the conflict, the vicious old fabric coined out of ages of
falsehood as old as our civilization, sustained by centuries of
superstitious ignorance and countless unspeakable cruelties and crimes,
will totter from its foundation in the limitless sphere of human
credulity, and fall, let us hope, to its final decay.

The destruction of that inveterate enemy of intellectual progress and
the human race, will be the culminating triumph of scientific
achievement and the crowning glory of human effort in the interest of a
more exalted conception of the Deity, better morals, and a higher plane
of civilization.

From my birth to and including a part of the year 1846, I lived with my
grandparents in the town of Pomfret, Vermont. The inhabitants of that
old rural community during my time were, I believe without exception,
descendants from the early English colonists of Massachusetts,
Connecticut, and Rhode Island. They were an orderly, law-abiding,
industrious, and honest people, intensely patriotic, believing in the
fruits of the Revolution, in many of the battles of which they and their
immediate ancestors had taken part.

Up to the period of my early days they were still engaged in the
continuous difficult task of creating homes for their families and in
building a new state, and had but little time to bestow upon books or
mental culture of any sort. Their lives were laborious and beset with
many hardships. Indeed, it may be truly said of them that, from an
academic or bookish standpoint, they were educated and enlightened only
to a limited extent. Each household had its cupboard of books brought
from “below,” and they retained in their memories an interesting stock
of historic traditions and patriotic anecdotes, many of which were
connected with the early history of a majority of the families of this
community. The frequent recital of these served to keep alive the
patriotic spirit, and to impress upon the minds of the rising generation
the importance and value of the heroic services performed by their
ancestors.

As a rule, this little New England town unit, composed of strong, hardy
unlettered men and women, was exceptionally free from natural stupidity
and the usual _répertoire_ of rural superstitions, but they had a few
which were dear to many of the good old New England housewives of my
particular period. Among them was a belief in the misfortunes likely to
attend new undertakings begun on Friday; they had a perfect reliance in
the ill ending of any enterprise connected with the number thirteen; and
it was rank heresy for any one not to believe in the ill-omened,
grief-stricken howls of the family dog. That this latter belief was not
without a certain reasonable shadow of foundation, I am about to show in
the relation of a series of remarkable incidents, which are of a sort
that up to this time have not been explained.



                               MYSTERIES


                            AUGUST 27, 1840

In the month of August, 1840, the twenty-seventh day, to be exact, I was
still at the “old H——n Place” with my grandparents. “Just before
bedtime” of the night of that day my grandmother called the attention of
the household to the mournful and unusual howls of the little house dog
that was sitting in the front yard with his nose pointed straight up,
crying most piteously.

The incident connected with that sad sound was destined to affect me so
nearly that I have never lost it, and can hear it to-day as clearly as I
heard it fifty-four years ago. In about three weeks after the
demonstration by the little dog, the news arrived that my father,
Lorenzo Dow Hawkins, to whom I was passionately attached, had died at
St. Louis, Mo., late in the afternoon of August 27th. My kind-hearted
old grandmother looked down tenderly upon me, and said, “I knew
something dreadful had happened. Poor child, you will never see your
father again!”

In 1854 I visited St. Louis and saw Dr. Simmons, who had attended my
father during his last illness, and he remembered his death having
occurred in the afternoon, probably, between five and six o’clock. The
difference in time between Vermont and Missouri, would make the moment
of his death late in the afternoon at one place and between eight and
nine at the other.

  Since writing this account, a doubt has arisen in my mind in relation
  to the time when the two important incidents occurred. I am not quite
  certain that the death of my father and the howling of the dog took
  place at the same moment. I do remember, however, that both incidents
  occurred _about_ the same time, and I have a vague recollection of
  having heard my grandmother say, that the unusual and peculiar howl
  meant a death in the family. And when the news of my father’s decease
  arrived she expressed her belief in the certain connection between the
  two incidents.


                            AUGUST 12, 1864

In the month of August, 1864, I was visiting at the country residence of
my wife’s mother, in the State of Rhode Island. Her oldest son, Alfred
Nicholas Brown, was at that time staying at the New York Hotel in the
City of New York. His younger sister was the owner of, and had with her
at her mother’s residence, an intelligent little French poodle of a most
affectionate and sensitive nature. He suffered from the effects of the
summer heat and was very much annoyed by the attacks of house flies, and
in order, as far as possible, to avoid both annoyances, spent the
greater part of his time in a dark closet adjoining the sleeping room
occupied by my wife and myself.

“Tommy” was an unusually quiet dog, seldom barking, and had never been
known to howl save when certain notes of the piano were touched. About
three o’clock in the morning of the 12th of August we heard a most
plaintive and sorrowful howl from “Tommy” in his closet, which continued
until he was stopped by being spoken to. At half past seven o’clock, the
same morning, while the family were at breakfast a telegram was handed
to the mother, announcing the death of her son at the New York Hotel at
ten minutes past three o’clock that morning.

The fact of “Tommy’s” howl had been mentioned previously, and I am not
quite certain if it was discussed, but have been informed that at least
one member of the family had insisted that it was the forerunner of bad
news. The bad news undoubtedly followed, but did “Tommy” obtain it in
advance, and if he did, how? Or was his unusual howl an accidental
coincidence?


                             MARCH 8, 1871

On the afternoon of March 8th, 1871, I was called to the bed-side of an
old and intimate friend who resided at Newport, Rhode Island. He had
spent six weeks of the winter at the Everett House in New York, the
latter part of the time confined to his room, and when I saw him he was
very near his end.

Our friendship was very close and of many years standing, and we had had
an understanding between us to the effect that the one who survived the
other should inspect, and, at his discretion, destroy, letters and other
private papers left by the one deceased.

In pursuance of that understanding my friend handed me a package of
keys, and requested me to take the boat that afternoon for Newport, to
go to his house, to open his safe, to look over his letters and other
papers, and to destroy such as I might think ought not to be preserved.

I arrived at Newport at one o’clock the next morning, and drove directly
to his house. As I opened the front gate, a hundred feet or more from
the front door of the house, his Irish setter dog “Charlie” came
bounding down through the lawn to greet me. When he discovered I was not
his master, he showed signs of great disappointment, but, when he came
to realize that I was an old friend, he was better satisfied. The
servants let me in, and I went to rest in the bed usually occupied by my
absent friend, “Charlie” taking his usual place upon and at the foot of
the bed.

In a seemingly short time,—about four o’clock, I was startled from a
sound sleep by the most unearthly and weird moan I had ever heard. In a
moment I discovered “Charlie” sitting up upon the bed with his nose
pointed to the ceiling, in great agony of mind, pouring forth with all
his strength the uncanny wails of a broken heart. I spoke to him, but
did not succeed in quieting him until all the servants in the house came
to the room to ascertain the cause of such an unusual disturbance.

At seven o’clock I received a message telling me my friend had passed
away at ten minutes past four o’clock that morning.

During every moment of my entire stay at Newport, “Charlie” was always
at my side, and could not be coaxed away from me, and, when I departed
the next evening, he went with me to the wharf, and resisted our
separation almost to the point of biting the servant who was to take him
back to the house.

During the six weeks of his master’s absence, “Charlie” slept outside
the front door, ready and hoping to greet his master whenever he might
return, as was his custom, by one of the Sound steamboats.

I need not write that this unusual incident left a lasting impression
upon my mind. I have never attempted to solve it and never shall, as I
am quite satisfied that it was an example of natural phenomena entirely
beyond my comprehension.

The chief character in this narrative, was a most quiet, dignified, and
gentlemanly dog. During my six or seven years of intermittent
intercourse with him, I never knew him to do an ungentlemanly act. He
was a veritable Chesterfield among dogs, and his noble and gentle
bearing was a model even for men. He was also the most beautiful of his
race, perfect in his combination of colors, for he had many all
perfectly blending into an artistic and harmonious whole. His
intellectual qualities were quite in keeping with his physical beauties.
His forehead was large, indicating a well rounded and well developed
brain, which was deposited between a pair of the most beautiful large,
soft, brown, and expressive eyes imaginable.

He had never been taught tricks of any kind, but, by the application of
his natural understanding and constant reflective observation, had
gradually developed a rare amount of exact intelligence in relation to
many things. This rare intellectual development was largely due to his
constant companionship with his master. In the field, the road, the
stable, the bedroom, the dining-room, and at the table, he was usually
addressed and treated like a human being. At the three daily meals he
had his napkin adjusted to his neck, and sat at the right of his master,
and I think it may be written of him that, although his table manners
were of the dog sort, wherein the tongue played the most important part,
they were unexceptional, and that he was never known to commit a breach
of good table manners.

Next to his master, I was his oldest and most intimate friend. Often,
when the former was away, I was left in charge as the head of the house;
on such occasions “Charlie” would adopt me as a substitute for his
master, but upon his master’s return he would leave me and resume his
accustomed intercourse with the friend who, to him, was superior to all
others. He walked with me whenever ordered to do so by his master, but
not otherwise; I could not coax him even to a short promenade.

Not having been in Newport at the time, I cannot write of his conduct
there while his master was ill in New York, but was informed by the
servants that he was always, night and day, on the lookout for his
return, and that they often experienced considerable difficulty in
coaxing him into the kitchen for his meals. They arranged for him a
comfortable bed near the front door, where he passed his nights, while
his days were spent in anxiously watching at the lawn gate, in the vain
hope of seeing the loved form of his kind master, whom he was never to
behold again.

This was a rare instance (though probably not among dogs similarly
situated) of affection and devotion. But then the chief actor in the
pathetic little drama was ONLY A DOG.

This loving dog, however, in his simple and direct way, silently, but
not the less effectually for all that, taught human beings a lesson,
showing an extent of unselfish fidelity and affection which they would
do well to imitate.

In closing, I may repeat what Sir John Lubbock once said, that at some
future time, twenty thousand pounds would be offered as a reward to any
one who would teach a dog to talk, and that then the world will be
astonished to learn how insufficiently the knowledge of man’s most
disinterested friend has been appreciated.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Copyright notice included from the printed edition—this e-text is
  public domain in the country of publication.

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

--Only in the text versions, delimited italicized text in _underscores_
  (the HTML version reproduces the font form of the printed book.)





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Better Than Men" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home