The Bar Sinister by Richard Harding Davis
WHEN this story first appeared, the writer received letters of two
kinds, one asking a question and the other making a statement. The
question was, whether there was any foundation of truth in the story;
the statement challenged him to say that there was. The letters seemed
to show that a large proportion of readers prefer their dose of fiction
with a sweetening of fact. This is written to furnish that condiment,
and to answer the question and the statement.
In the dog world, the original of the bull-terrier in the story is
known as Edgewood Cold Steel and to his intimates as “Kid.” His father
was Lord Minto, a thoroughbred bullterrier, well known in Canada, but
the story of Kid's life is that his mother was a black-and-tan named
Vic. She was a lady of doubtful pedigree. Among her off spring by Lord
Minto, so I have been often informed by many Canadian dog-fanciers,
breeders, and exhibitors, Kid was the only white puppy in a litter of
black-and-tans. He made his first appearance in the show world in 1900
in Toronto, where, under the judging of Mr. Charles H. Mason, he was
easily first. During that year, when he came to our kennels, and in the
two years following, he carried off many blue ribbons and cups at
nearly every first-class show in the country. The other dog, “Jimmy
Jocks,” who in the book was his friend and mentor, was in. real life
his friend and companion, Woodcote Jumbo, or “Jaggers,” an aristocratic
son of a long line of English champions. He has gone to that place
where some day all good dogs must go.
In this autobiography I have tried to describe Kid as he really is,
and this year, when he again strives for blue ribbons, I trust, should
the gentle reader see him at any of the bench-shows, he will give him a
friendly pat and make his acquaintance. He will find his advances met
with a polite and gentle courtesy.
THE Master was walking most unsteady, his legs tripping each other.
After the fifth or sixth round, my legs often go the same way.
But even when the Master's legs bend and twist a bit, you mustn't
think he can't reach you. Indeed, that is the time he kicks most
frequent. So I kept behind him in the shadow, or ran in the middle of
the street. He stopped at many public houses with swinging doors, those
doors that are cut so high from the sidewalk that you can look in under
them, and see if the Master is inside. At night, when I peep beneath
them, the man at the counter will see me first and say, “Here's the
Kid, Jerry, come to take you home. Get a move on you.” and the Master
will stumble out and follow me. It's lucky for us I'm so white, for, no
matter how dark the night, he can always see me ahead, just out of
reach of his boot. At night the Master certainly does see most amazing.
Sometimes he sees two or four of me, and walks in a circle, so that I
have to take him by the leg of his trousers and lead him into the right
road. One night, when he was very nasty-tempered and I was coaxing him
along, two men passed us, and one of them says “Look at that brute!”
and the other asks, “Which?” and they both laugh. The Master he cursed
them good and proper.
But this night, whenever we stopped at a public house, the Master's
pals left it and went on with us to the next. They spoke quite civil to
me, and when the Master tried a flying kick, they gives him a shove.
“Do you want us to lose our money?” says the pals.
I had had nothing to eat for a day and a night, and just before we
set out the Master gives me a wash under the hydrant. Whenever I am
locked up until all the slop-pans in our alley are empty, and made to
take a bath, and the Master's pals speak civil and feel my ribs, I know
something is going to happen. And that night, when every time they see
a policeman under a lamp-post, they dodged across the street, and when
at the last one of them picked me up and hid me under his jacket, I
began to tremble; for I knew what it meant. It meant that I was to
fight again for the Master.
I don't fight because I like fighting. I fight because if I didn't
the other dog would find my throat, and the Master would lose his
stakes, and I would be very sorry for him, and ashamed. Dogs can pass
me and I can pass dogs, and I'd never pick a fight with none of them.
When I see two dogs standing on their hind legs in the streets, clawing
each other's ears, and snapping for each other's windpipes, or howling
and swearing and rolling in the mud, I feel sorry they should act so,
and pretend not to notice. If he'd let me, I'd like to pass the time of
day with every dog I meet. But there's something about me that no nice
dog can abide. When I trot up to nice dogs, nodding and grinning, to
make friends, they always tell me to be off.
“Go to the devil!” they bark at me. “Get out!” And when I walk away
they shout “Mongrel!” and “Gutterdog!” and sometimes, after my back is
turned, they rush me. I could kill most of them with three shakes,
breaking the backbone of the little ones and squeezing the throat of
the big ones. But what's the good? They are nice dogs; that's why I try
to make up to them: and, though it's not for them to say it, I am a
streetdog, and if I try to push into the company of my betters, I
suppose it's their right to teach me my place.
Of course they don't know I'm the best fighting bull-terrier of my
weight in Montreal. That's why it wouldn't be fair for me to take
notice of what they shout. They don't know that if I once locked my
jaws on them I'd carry away whatever I touched. The night I fought
Kelly's White Rat, I wouldn't loosen up until the Master made a noose
in my leash and strangled me; and, as for that Ottawa dog if the
handlers hadn't thrown red pepper down my nose I never would have let
go of him. I don't think the handlers treated me quite right that time,
but maybe they didn't know the Ottawa dog was dead. I did.
I learned my fighting from my mother when I was very young. We slept
in a lumberyard on the river-front, and by day hunted for food along
the wharves. When we got it, the other tramp-dogs would try to take it
off us, and then it was wonderful to see mother fly at them and drive
them away. All I know of fighting I learned from mother, watching her
picking the ash-heaps for me when I was too little to fight for myself.
No one ever was so good to me as mother. When it snowed and the ice was
in the St. Lawrence, she used to hunt alone, and bring me back new
bones, and she'd sit and laugh to see me trying to swallow 'em whole. I
was just a puppy then; my teeth was falling out. When I was able to
fight we kept the whole river-range to ourselves, I had the genuine
long “punishing” jaw, so mother said, and there wasn't a man or a dog
that dared worry us. Those were happy days, those were; and we lived
well, share and share alike, and when we wanted a bit of fun, we chased
the fat old wharf-rats! My, how they would squeal!
Then the trouble came. It was no trouble to me. I was too young to
care then. But mother took it so to heart that she grew ailing, and
wouldn't go abroad with me by day. it was the same old scandal that
they're always bringing up against me. I was so young then that I
didn't know. I couldn't see any difference between mother-and other
But one day a pack of curs we drove off snarled back some new names
at her, and mother dropped her head and ran, just as though they had
whipped us. After that she wouldn't go out with me except in the dark,
and one day she went away and never came back, and, though I hunted for
her in every court and alley and back street of Montreal, I never found
One night, a month after mother ran away, I asked Guardian, the old
blind mastiff, whose Master is the night watchman on our slip, what it
all meant. And he told me.
“Every dog in Montreal knows,” he says, “except you; and every
Master knows. So I think it's time you knew.”
Then he tells me that my father, who had treated mother so bad, was
a great and noble gentleman from London. “Your father had twenty two
registered ancestors, had your father,” old Guardian says, “and in him
was the best bull-terrier blood of England, the most ancientest, the
most royal; the winning 'blue-ribbon' blood, that breeds champions. He
had sleepy pink eyes and thin pink lips, and he was as white all over
as his own white teeth, and under his white skin you could see his
muscles, hard and smooth, like the links of a steel chain. When your
father stood still, and tipped his nose in the air, it was just as
though he was saying, 'Oh, yes, you common dogs and men, you may well
stare. It must be a rare treat for you colonials to see real English
royalty.' He certainly was pleased with hisself, was your f ather. He
looked just as proud and haughty as one of them stone dogs in Victoria
Park-them as is cut out of white marble. And you're like him,” says the
old mastiff-"by that, of course, meaning you're white, same as him.
That's the only likeness. But, you see, the trouble is, Kid—well, you
see, Kid, the trouble is—your mother—”
“That will do,” I said, for then I understood without his telling
me, and I got up and walked away, holding my head and tail high in the
But I was, oh, so miserable, and I wanted to see mother that very
minute, and tell her that I didn't care.
Mother is what I am, a street-dog; there's no royal blood in
mother's veins, nor is she like that father of mine, nor—and that's
the worst she's not even like me. For while I, when I'm washed for a
fight, am as white as clean snow, she—and this is our trouble—she, my
mother, is a black-and-tan.
When mother hid herself from me, I was twelve months old and able to
take care of myself, and as, after mother left me, the wharves were
never the same, I moved uptown and met the Master. Before he came, lots
of other menfolks had tried to make up to me, and to whistle me home.
But they either tried patting me or coaxing me with a piece of meat; so
I didn't take to 'em. But one day the Master pulled me out of a
streetfight by the hind-legs, and kicked me good.
“You want to fight. do you?” says he. “I'll give you all the
fighting you want!” he says, and he kicks me again. So I knew he was my
Master, and I followed him home. Since that day I've pulled off many
fights for him, and they've brought dogs from all over the province to
have a go at me; but up to that night none, under thirty pounds, had
ever downed me.
But that night, so soon as they carried me into the ring, I saw the
dog was overweight, and that I was no match for him. it was asking too
much of a puppy. The Master should have known I couldn't do it. Not
that I mean to blame the Master, for when sober, which he sometimes
was,—though not, as you might say, his habit,—he was most kind to me,
and let me out to find food, if I could get it, and only kicked me when
I didn't pick him up at night and lead him home.
But kicks will stiffen the muscles, and starving a dog so as to get
him ugly-tempered for a fight may make him nasty, but it's weakening to
his insides, and it causes the legs to wobble.
The ring was in a hall back of a public house. There was a red-hot
whitewashed stove in one corner, and the ring in the other. I lay in
the Master's lap, wrapped in my blanket, and, spite of the stove,
shivering awful; but I always shiver before a fight: I can't help
gettin' excited. While the men-folks were a-flashing their money and
taking their last drink at the bar, a little Irish groom in gaiters
came up to me and give me the back of his hand to smell, and scratched
me behind the cars.
“You poor little pup,” says he; “you haven't no show,” he says.
“That brute in the tap-room he'll eat your heart out.”
“That's what you think,” says the Master, snarling. “I'll lay you a
quid the Kid chews him up.”
The groom he shook his head, but kept looking at me so sorry-like
that I begun to get a bit sad myself. He seemed like he couldn't bear
to leave off a-patting of me, and he says, speaking low just like he
would to a man-folk, “well, good luck to you, little pup,” which I
thought so civil of him that I reached up and licked his hand. I don't
do that to many men. And the Master he knew I didn't, and took on
“What 'ave you got on the back of your hand?” says he, jumping up.
“Soap!' says the groom, quick as a rat. “That's more than you've got
on yours Do you want to smell of it?” and he sticks his fist under the
Master's nose. But the pals pushed in between 'em.
“He tried to poison the Kid” shouts the Master.
“Oh, one fight at a time,” says the referee. “Get into the ring,
Jerry We're waiting.” So we went into the ring.
I never could just remember what did happen in that ring. He give me
no time to spring. He fell on me like a horse. I couldn't keep my feet
against him, and though, as I saw, he could get his hold when he liked,
he wanted to chew me over a bit first. I was wondering if they'd be
able to pry him off me, when, in the third round, he took his hold; and
I begun to drown, just as I did when I fell into the river off the Red
C slip. He closed deeper and deeper on my throat, and everything went
black and red and bursting; and then, when I was sure I were dead, the
handlers pulled him off, and the Master give me a kick that brought me
to. But I couldn't move none, or even wink, both eyes being shut with
“He's a cur!” yells the Master, “a sneaking, cowardly cur! He lost
the fight for me,” says he, “because he's a ———cowardly cur.” And he
kicks me again in the lower ribs, so that I go sliding across the
“There's gratitude fer yer,” yells the Master. “I've fed that dog,
and nussed that dog and housed him like a prince; and now he puts his
tail between his legs and sells me out, he does. He's a coward! I've
done with him, I am. I'd sell him for a pipeful of tobacco.” He picked
me up by the tail, and swung me for the men-folks to see. “Does any
gentleman here want to buy a dog,” he says, “to make into sausage
meat?” he says. “That's all he's good for.”
Then I heard the little Irish groom say, “I'll give you ten bob for
And another voice says, “Ah, don't you do it; the dog's same as
dead—mebbe he is dead.”
“Ten shillings!” says the Master, and his voice sobers a bit; “make
it two pounds and he's yours.”
But the pals rushed in again.
“Don't you be a fool, Jerry,” they say. “You'll be sorry for this
when you're. sober. The Kid's worth a fiver.” One of my eyes was not so
swelled up as the other, and as I hung by my tail, I opened it, and saw
one of the pals take the groom by the shoulder.
“You ought to give 'im five pounds for that dog, mate,” he says;
“that's no ordinary dog. That dog's got good blood in him, that dog
has. Why, his father—that very dog's father—”
I thought he never would go on. He waited like he wanted to be sure
the groom was listening.
“That very dog's father,” says the pal, “is Regent Royal, son of
Champion Regent Monarch, champion bull-terrier of England for four
I was sore, and torn, and chewed most awful, but what the pal said
sounded so fine that I wanted to wag my tail, only couldn't, owing to
my hanging from it.
But the Master calls out: “Yes, his father was Regent Royal; who's
saying he wasn't but the pup's a cowardly cur, that's what his pup is.
And why? I'll tell you why: because his mother was a black-and-tan
street-dog, that's why!”
I don't see how I got the strength, but, someway I threw myself out
of the Master's grip and fell at his feet, and turned over and fastened
all my teeth in his ankle, just across the bone.
When I woke, after the pals had kicked me off him, I was in the
smoking-car of a railroad-train, lying in the lap of the little groom,
and he was rubbing my open wounds with a greasy yellow stuff, exquisite
to the smell and most agreeable to lick off.
“WELL, what's your name—Nolan? Well, Nolan, these references are
satisfactory,” said the young gentleman my new Master called “Mr.
Wyndham, sir” . . . “I'll take you on as second man. You can begin
My new Master shuffled his feet and put his finger to his forehead.
“Thank you. sir,” says he. Then he choked like he had swallowed a
fish-bone. “I have a little dawg, sir,” says he.
“You can't keep him” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” very short.
“'E's only a puppy, sir,” says my new Master; “'e wouldn't go
outside the stables, sir.”
“It's not that,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir.” “I have a large kennel of
very fine dogs; they're the best of their breed in America. I don't
allow strange dogs on the premises.”
The Master shakes his head, and motions me with his cap, and I crept
out from behind the door. “I'm sorry, sir,” says the Master. “Then I
can't take the place. I can't get along without the dawg, sir.”
“Mr. Wyndham, sir,” looked at me that fierce that I guessed he was
going to whip me, so I turned over on my back and begged with my legs
“Why, you beat him!” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” very stern.
“No fear!” the Master says, getting very red. “The party I bought
him off taught him that. He never learnt that from me!” He picked me up
in his arms, and to show “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” how well I loved the
Master, I bit his chin and hands.
“Mr. Wyndham, sir,” turned over the letters the Master had given
him. “Well, these references certainly are very strong,” he says. “I
guess I'll let the dog stay. Only see you keep him away from the
kennels—-or you'll both go.”
“Thank you, sir,” says the Master, grinning like a cat when she's
safe behind the area railing.
“He's not a bad bull-terrier,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” feeling my
head. “Not that I know much about the smooth-coated breeds. My dogs are
St. Bernards.” He stopped patting me and held up my nose. “What's the
matter with his ears?” he says. “They're chewed to pieces. Is this a
fighting dog?” he asks, quick and roughlike.
I could have laughed. If he hadn't been holding my nose, I certainly
would have had a good grin at him. Me the best under thirty pounds in
the Province of Quebec, and him asking if I was a fighting dog! I ran
to the Master and hung down my head modest-like, waiting for him to
tell my list of battles, but the Master he coughs in his cap most
painful. “Fightin'dawg, sir!” he cries. “Lor' bless you sir, the Kid
don't know the word. E's just a puppy sir, same as you see; a pet dog,
so to speak. E's a regular old lady's lap-dog the Kid is.”
“Well, you keep him away from my St. Bernards,” says “Mr. Wyndham,
sir,” . . . “or they might make a mouthful of him.”
“Yes, sir; that they might,” says the Master. But when we gets
outside he slaps his knee and laughs inside hisself, and winks at me
The Master's new home was in the country, in a province they called
Long Island. There was a high stone wall about his home with big iron
gates to it, same as Godfrey's brewery; and there was a house with five
red roofs; and the stables, where I lived, was cleaner than the aerated
bakery shop. And then there was the kennels; but they was like nothing
else in this world that ever I see. For the first days I couldn't sleep
of nights for fear some one would catch me lying in such a cleaned-up
place, and would chase me out of it; and when I did fall to sleep I'd
dream I was back in the old Master's attic, shivering tinder the rusty
stove, which never had no coals in it, with the Master flat on his back
on the cold floor, with his clothes on. And I'd wake up scared and
whimpering, and find myself on the new Master's cot with his hand on
the quilt beside me; and I'd see the glow of the big stove, and hear
the high-quality horses below-stairs stamping in their straw-lined
boxes, and I'd snoop the sweet smell of hay and harness-soap and go to
The stables was my jail, so the Master said, but I don't ask no
better home than that jail.
“Now, Kid,” says he, sitting on the top of a bucket upside down,
“you've got to understand this. When I whistle it means you're not to
go out of this 'ere yard. These stables is your jail. If you leave 'em
I'll have to leave 'em too, and over the seas, in the County Mayo, an
old mother will 'ave to leave her bit of a cottage. For two pounds I
must he sending her every month, or she'll have naught to eat, nor no
thatch over 'er head. I can't lose my place, Kid, so see you don't lose
it for me. You must keep away from the kennels,” says he; “they're not
for the likes of you. The kennels are for the quality. I wouldn't take
a litter of them woolly dogs for one wag of your tail, Kid, but for all
that they are your betters, same as the gentry up in the big house are
my betters. I know my place and keep away from the gentry, and you keep
away from the champions.”
So I never goes out of the stables. All day I just lay in the sun on
the stone flags, licking my jaws, and watching the grooms wash down the
carriages, and the only care I had was to see they didn't get gay and
turn the hose on me. There wasn't even a single rat to plague me. Such
stables I never did see.
“Nolan,” says the head groom, “some day that dog of yours will give
you the slip. You can't keep a street-dog tied up all his life. It's
against his natur'.” The head groom is a nice old gentleman, but he
doesn't know everything. just as though I'd been a street-dog because I
liked it! As if I'd rather poke for my vittles in ash-heaps than have
'em handed me in a wash-basin, and would sooner bite and fight than be
polite and sociable. If I'd had mother there I couldn't have asked for
nothing more. But I'd think of her snooping in the gutters, or freezing
of nights under the bridges, or, what's worst of all, running through
the hot streets with her tongue down, so wild and crazy for a drink
that the people would shout “mad dog” at her and stone her. Water's so
good that I don't blame the menfolks for locking it up inside their
houses: but when the hot days come, I think they might remember that
those are the dogdays, and leave a little water outside in a trough,
like they do for the horses. Then we wouldn't go mad, and the policemen
wouldn't shoot us. I had so much of everything I wanted that it made me
think a lot of the days when I hadn't nothing, and if I could have
given what I had to mother, as she used to share with me, I'd have been
the happiest dog in the land. Not that I wasn't happy then, and most
grateful to the Master, too, and if I'd only minded him, the trouble
wouldn't have come again.
But one day the coachman says that the little lady they called Miss
Dorothy had come back from school, and that same morning she runs over
to the stables to pat her ponies, and she sees me.
“Oh, what a nice little, white little dog!” said she. “Whose little
dog are you?” says she.
“That's my dog, miss,” says the Master. “'Is name is Kid.” And I ran
up to her most polite, and licks her fingers, for I never see so pretty
and kind a lady.
“You must come with me and call on my new puppies,” says she,
picking me up in her arms and starting off with me.
“Oh, but please, miss,” cries Nolan, “Mr. Wyndham give orders that
the Kid's not to go to the kennels!”
“That'll be all right,” says the little lady; “they're my kennels
too. And the puppies will like to play with him.”
You wouldn't believe me if I was to tell you of the style of them
quality-dogs. If I hadn't seen it myself I wouldn't have believed it
neither. The Viceroy of Canada don't live no better. There was forty of
them, but each one had his own house and a yard—most exclusive—and a
cot and a drinking-basin all to hisself. They had servants standing
round waiting to feed 'em when they was hungry, and valets to wash em;
and they had their hair combed and brushed like the grooms must when
they go out on the box. Even the puppies had overcoats with their names
on 'em in blue letters, and the name of each of those they called
champions was painted up fine over his front door just like it was a
public house or a veterinary's. They were the biggest St. Bernards I
ever did see. I could have walked under them if they'd have let me. But
they were very proud and haughty dogs, and looked only once at me, and
then sniffed in the air. The little lady's own dog was an old gentleman
bull-dog. He'd come along with us, and when he notices how taken aback
I was with all I see, 'e turned quite kind and affable and showed me
“Jimmy Jocks,” Miss Dorothy called him, but, owing to his weight, he
walked most dignified and slow, waddling like a duck, as you might say,
and looked much too proud and handsome for such a silly name.
“That's the runway, and that's the trophy house,” says he to me,
“and that over there is the hospital, where you have to go if you get
distemper, and the vet gives you beastly medicine.”
“And which of these is your 'ouse, sir?” asks I, wishing to be
respectful. But he looked that hurt and haughty. “I don't live in the
kennels,” says he, most contemptuous. “I am a house-dog. I sleep in
Miss Dorothy's room. And at lunch I'm let in with the family, if the
visitors don't mind. They 'most always do, but they're too polite to
say so. Besides,” says he, smiling most condescending, visitors are
always afraid of me. It's because I'm so ugly,” says he. “I suppose,”
says he, screwing up his wrinkles and speaking very slow and
impressive, “I suppose I'm the ugliest bulldog in America;” and as he
seemed to be so pleased to think hisself so, I said, “Yes, sir; you
certainly are the ugliest ever I see.” At which he nodded his head most
“But I couldn't hurt 'em, as you say,” he goes on, though I hadn't
said nothing like that, being too polite. “I'm too old,” he says; “I
haven't any teeth. The last time one of those grizzly bears,” said he,
glaring at the big St. Bernards, “took a hold of me, he nearly was my
death,” says he. I thought his eyes would pop out of his head, he
seemed so wrought up about it. “He rolled me around in the dirt, he
did,” says Jimmy Jocks “an' I couldn't get up. It was low,” says Jimmy
Jocks making a face like he had a bad taste in his mouth. “Low, that's
what I call it—bad form, you understand, young man, not done in my
set—and—and low.” He growled 'way down in his stomach, and puffed
hisself out, panting and blowing like he had been on a run.
“I'm not a street fighter,” he says, scowling at a St. Bernard
marked “Champion.” “And when my rheumatism is not troubling me,” he
says, “I endeavour to be civil to all dogs, so long as they are
“Yes, sir,” said I, for even to me he had been most affable.
At this we had come to a little house off by itself, and Jimmy Jocks
invites me in. “This is their trophy room,” he says, “where they keep
their prizes. Mine,” he says, rather grandlike, “are on the sideboard.”
Not knowing what a sideboard might be, I said, “Indeed, sir, that must
be very gratifying.” But he only wrinkled up his chops as much as to
say, “It is my right.”
The trophy-room was as wonderful as any public house I ever see. On
the walls was pictures of nothing but beautiful St. Bernard dogs, and
rows and rows of blue and red and yellow ribbons; and when I asked
Jimmy Jocks why they was so many more of blue than of the others, he
laughs and says, “Because these kennels always win.” And there was many
shining cups on the shelves, which Jimmy Jocks told me were prizes won
by the champions.
“Now, sir, might I ask you, sir,” says I, “wot is a champion?”
At that he panted and breathed so hard I thought he would bust
hisself. “My dear young friend!” says he, “wherever have you been
educated? A champion is a—a champion,” he says. “He must win nine blue
ribbons in the 'open' class. You follow me that is—against all comers.
Then he has the title before his name, and they put his photograph in
the sporting papers. You know, of course, that I am a champion,” says
he. 'I am Champion Woodstock Wizard III and the two other Woodstock
Wizards, my father and uncle, were both champions.”
“But I thought your name was Jimmy Jocks,” I said.
He laughs right out at that.
“That's my kennel name, not my registered name,” he says. “Why,
certainly you know that every dog has two names. Now, for instance,
what's your registered name and number?” says he.
“I've got only one name,” I says, “Just Kid.”
Woodstock Wizard puffs at that and wrinkles up his forehead and pops
out his eyes.
“Who are your people?” says he. “Where is your home?” “At the
stable, sir,” I said. “My Master is the second groom.”
At that Woodstock Wizard III looks at me for quite a bit without
winking, and stares all around the room over my head.
“Oh, well,” says he at last, “you're a very civil young dog,” says
he, “and I blame no one for what he can't help.” which I thought most
fair and liberal. “And I have known many bull-terriers that were
champions,” says he, “though as a rule they mostly run with
fire-engines and to fighting. For me, I wouldn't care to run through
the streets after a hose-cart, nor to fight,” says he: “but each to his
I could not help thinking that if Woodstock Wizard III tried to
follow a fire-engine he would die of apoplexy, and seeing he'd lost his
teeth, it was lucky he had no taste for fighting; but, after his being
so condescending, I didn't say nothing.
“Anyway,” says he, “every smooth-coated dog is better than any hairy
old camel like those St. Bernards, and if ever you're hungry down at
the stables, young man, come up to the house and I'll give you a bone.
I can't eat them myself, but I bury them around the garden from force
of habit and in case a friend should drop in. Ah, I see my mistress
coming,” he says, “and I bid you good day. I regret,” he says, “that
our different social position prevents our meeting frequent, for you're
a worthy young dog with a proper respect for your betters, and in this
country there's precious few of them have that.” Then he waddles off,
leaving me alone and very sad, for he was the first dog in many days
that had spoke to me. But since he showed, seeing that I was a
stable-dog, he didn't want my company, I waited for him to get well
away. It was not a cheerful place to wait, the trophy-house. The
pictures of the champions seemed to scowl at me, and ask what right
such as I had even to admire them, and the blue and gold ribbons and
the silver cups made me very miserable. I had never won no blue ribbons
or silver cups, only stakes for the old Master to spend in the publics;
and I hadn't won them for being a beautiful high-quality dog, but just
for fighting—which, of course, as Woodstock Wizard Ill says, is low.
So I started for the stables, with my head down and my tail between my
legs, feeling sorry I had ever left the Master. But I had more reason
to be sorry before I got back to him.
The trophy-house was quite a bit from the kennels, and as I left it
I see Miss Dorothy and Woodstock Wizard Ill walking back toward them,
and, also, that a big St. Bernard, his name was Champion Red Elfberg,
had broke his chain and was running their way. When he reaches old
Jimmy Jocks he lets out a roar like a grain-steamer in a fog, and he
makes three leaps for him. Old Jimmy Jocks was about a fourth his size;
but he plants his feet and curves his back, and his hair goes up around
his neck like a collar. But he never had no show at no time, for the
grizzly bear, as Jimmy Jocks had called him, lights on old Jimmy's back
and tries to break it, and old Jimmy Jocks snaps his gums and claws the
grass, panting and groaning awful. But he can't do nothing, and the
grizzly bear just rolls him under him, biting and tearing cruel. The
odds was all that Woodstock Wizard III was going to be killed; I had
fought enough to see that: but not knowing the rules of the game among
champions, I didn't like to interfere between two gentlemen who might
be settling a private affair, and, as it were, take it as presuming of
me. So I stood by, though I was shaking terrible, and holding myself in
like I was on a leash. But at that Woodstock Wizard III, who was
underneath, sees me through the dust, and calls very faint, “Help,
you!” he says. “Take him in the hind-leg,” he says. “He's murdering
me,” he says. And then the little Miss Dorothy, who was crying, and
calling to the kennel-men, catches at the Red Elfberg's hind-legs to
pull him off, and the brute, keeping his front pats well in Jimmy's
stomach, turns his big head and snaps at her. So that was all I asked
for, thank you. I went up under him. It was really nothing. He stood so
high that I had only to take off about three feet from him and come in
from the side, and my long “punishing jaw,” as mother was always
talking about, locked on his woolly throat, and my back teeth met. I
couldn't shake him, but I shook myself, and every time I shook myself
there was thirty pounds of weight tore at his windpipes. I couldn't see
nothing for his long hair, but I heard Jimmy Jocks puffing and blowing
on one side, and munching the brute's leg with his old gums. Jimmy was
an old sport that day, was Jimmy, or Woodstock Wizard III, as I should
say. When the Red Elfberg was out and down I had to run, or those
kennel-men would have had my life. They chased me right into the
stables; and from under the hay I watched the head groom take down a
carriagewhip and order them to the right about. Luckily Master and the
young grooms were out, or that day there'd have been fighting for
Well, it nearly did for me and the Master. “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” comes
raging to the stables. I'd half killed his best prize-winner, he says,
and had oughter be shot, and he gives the Master his notice. But Miss
Dorothy she follows him, and says it was his Red Elfberg what began the
fight, and that I'd saved Jimmy's life, and that old Jimmy Jocks was
worth more to her than all the St. Bernards in the Swiss
mountains-wherever they may be. And that I was her champion, anyway.
Then she cried over me most beautiful, and over Jimmy Jocks, too, who
was that tied up in bandages he couldn't even waddle. So when he heard
that side of it, “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” told us that if Nolan put me on a
chain we could stay. So it came out all right for everybody but me. I
was glad the Master kept his place, but I'd never worn a chain before,
and it disheartened me. But that was the least of it. For the
quality-dogs couldn't forgive my whipping their champion, and they came
to the fence between the kennels and the stables, and laughed through
the bars, barking most cruel words at me. I couldn't understand how
they found it out, but they knew. After the fight Jimmy Jocks was most
condescending to me, and he said the grooms had boasted to the
kennel-men that I was a son of Regent Royal, and that when the
kennelmen asked who was my mother they had had to tell them that too.
Perhaps that was the way of it, but, however, the scandal got out, and
every one of the quality-dogs knew that I was a street-dog and the son
of a black-and-tan.
“These misalliances will occur,” said Jimmy Jocks, in his
old-fashioned way; “but no well-bred dog,” says he, looking most
scornful at the St. Bernards, who were howling behind the palings,
“would refer to your misfortune before you, certainly not cast it in
your face. I myself remember your father's father, when he made his
debut at the Crystal Palace. He took four blue ribbons and three
But no sooner than Jimmy would leave me the St. Bernards would take
to howling again, insulting mother and insulting me. And when I tore at
my chain, they, seeing they were safe, would howl the more. It was
never the same after that; the laughs and the jeers cut into my heart,
and the chain bore heavy on my spirit. I was so sad that sometimes I
wished I was back in the gutter again, where no one was better than me,
and some nights I wished I was dead. If it hadn't been for the Master
being so kind, and that it would have looked like I was blaming mother,
I would have twisted my leash and hanged myself.
About a month after my fight, the word was passed through the
kennels that the New York Show was coming, and such goings on as
followed I never did see. If each of them had been matched to fight for
a thousand pounds and the gate, they couldn't have trained more
conscientious. But perhaps that's just my envy. The kennel-men rubbed
'em and scrubbed 'ern, and trims their hair and curls and combs it, and
some dogs. they fatted and some they starved. No one talked of nothing
but the Show, and the chances “our kennels” had against the other
kennels, and if this one of our champions would win over that one, and
whether them as hoped to be champions had better show in the “open” or
the “limit” class, and whether this dog would beat his own dad, or
whether his little puppy sister couldn't beat the two of 'em. Even the
grooms had their money up, and day or night you heard nothing but
praises of “our” dogs, until I, being so far out of it, couldn't have
felt meaner if I had been running the streets with a can to my tail. I
knew shows were not for such as me, and so all day I lay stretched at
the end of my chain, pretending I was asleep, and only too glad that
they had something so important to think of that they could leave me
But one day, before the Show opened, Miss Dorothy came to the
stables with “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” and seeing me chained up and so
miserable, she takes me in her arms.
“You poor little tyke!” says she. “It's cruel to tie him up so; he's
eating his heart out, Nolan,” she says. “I don't know nothing about
bull-terriers,” says she, “but I think Kid's got good points,” says
she, “and you ought to show him. Jimmy Jocks has three legs on the
Rensselaer Cup now, and I'm going to show him this time, so that he can
get the fourth; and, if you wish, I'll enter your dog too. How would
you like that, Kid?” says she. “How would you like to see the most
beautiful dogs in the world? Maybe you'd meet a pal or two,” says she.
“It would cheer you up, wouldn't it, Kid?” says she. But I was so upset
I could only wag my tail most violent. “He says it would!” says she,
though, being that excited, I hadn't said nothing.
So “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” laughs, and takes out a piece of blue paper
and sits down at the head groom's table.
“What's the name of the father of your dog, Nolan?” says he. And
Nolan says: “The man I got him off told me he was a son of Champion
Regent Royal, sir. But it don't seem likely, does it?” says Nolan.
“It does not!” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” short-like.
“Aren't you sure, Nolan?” says Miss Dorothy.
“No, miss,” says the Master.
“Sire unknown,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” and writes it down.
“Date of birth?” asks “Mr. Wyndham, sir.”
“I—I—unknown, sir,” says Nolan. And “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” writes it
“Breeder?” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir.”
“Unknown,” says Nolan, getting very red around the jaws, and I drops
my head and tail. And “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” writes that down.
“Mother's name says “Mr. Wyndham, sir.”
“She was a-unknown,” says the Master. And I licks his hand.
“Dam unknown,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” and writes it down. Then he
takes the paper and reads out loud: “'Sire unknown, dam unknown,
breeder unknown, date of birth unknown.' You'd better call him the
'Great Unknown',” says he. “Who's paying his entrance fee?”
“I am,” says Miss Dorothy.
Two weeks after we all got on a train for New York, Jimmy Jocks and
me following Nolan in the smoking-car, and twenty-two of the St.
Bernards in boxes and crates and on chains and leashes. Such a barking
and howling I never did hear; and when they sees me going, too, they
laughs fit to kill.
“Wot is this-a circus?” says the railroad man.
But I had no heart in it. I hated to go. I knew I was no “show” dog,
even though Miss Dorothy and the Master did their best to keep me from
sharing them. For before we set out Miss Dorothy brings a man from town
who scrubbed and rubbed me, and sandpapered my tail, which hurt most
awful, and shaved my ears with the Master's razor, so you could 'most
see clear through 'em, and sprinkles me over with pipeclay, till I
shines like a Tommy's cross-belts.
“Upon my word!” says Jimmy Jocks when he first sees me. “Wot a swell
you are! You're the image of your grand-dad when he made his debut at
the Crystal Palace. He took four firsts and three specials.” But I knew
he was only trying to throw heart into me. They might scrub, and they
might rub, and they might pipe-clay, but they couldn't pipe-clay the
insides of me, and they was black-and-tan.
Then we came to a garden, which it was not, but the biggest hall in
the world. Inside there was lines of benches a few miles long, and on
them sat every dog in America. If all the dog-snatchers in Montreal had
worked night and day for a year, they couldn't have caught so many
dogs. And they was all shouting and barking and howling so vicious that
my heart stopped beating. For at first I thought they was all enraged
at my presuming to intrude. But after I got in my place they kept at it
just the same, barking at every dog as he came in: daring him to fight,
and ordering him out, and asking him what breed of dog he thought he
was, anyway. Jimmy Jocks was chained just behind me, and he said he
never see so fine a show. “That's a hot class you're in, my lad,” he
says, looking over into my street, where there were thirty
bull-terriers. They was all as white as cream, and each so beautiful
that if I could have broke my chain I would have run all the way home
and hid myself under the horse-trough.
All night long they talked and sang, and passed greetings with old
pals, and the homesick puppies howled dismal. Them that couldn't sleep
wouldn't let no others sleep, and all the electric lights burned in the
roof, and in my eyes. I could hear Jimmy Jocks snoring peaceful, but I
could only doze by jerks, and when I dozed I dreamed horrible. All the
dogs in the hall seemed coming at me for daring to intrude, with their
jaws red and open, and their eyes blazing like the lights in the roof.
“You're a street-dog! Get out, you street-dog!” they yells. And as they
drives me out, the pipe-clay drops off me, and they laugh and shriek;
and when I looks down I see that I have turned into a black-and-tan.
They was most awful dreams, and next morning, when Miss Dorothy
comes and gives me water in a pan, I begs and begs her to take me home;
but she can't understand. “How well Kid is!” she says. And when I jumps
into the Master's arms and pulls to break my chain, he says, “If he
knew all as he had against him, miss, he wouldn't be so gay.” And from
a book they reads out the names of the beautiful highbred terriers
which I have got to meet. And I can't make 'em understand that I only
want to run away and hide myself where no one will see me.
Then suddenly men comes hurrying down our street and begins to brush
the beautiful bull-terriers; and the Master rubs me with a towel so
excited that his hands trembles awful, and Miss Dorothy tweaks my cars
between her gloves, so that the blood runs to 'em, and they turn pink
and stand up straight and sharp.
“Now, then, Nolan,” says she, her voice shaking just like his
fingers, “keep his head up-and never let the judge lose sight of him.”
When I hears that my legs breaks under me, for I knows all about
judges. Twice the old Master goes up before the judge for fighting me
with other dogs, and the judge promises him if he ever does it again
he'll chain him up in jail. I knew he'd find me out. A judge can't be
fooled by no pipe-clay. He can see right through you, and he reads your
The judging-ring, which is where the judge holds out, was so like a
fighting-pit that when I come in it, and find six other dogs there, I
springs into position, so that when they lets us go I can defend
myself. But the Master smooths down my hair and whispers, “Hold 'ard,
Kid, hold 'ard. This ain't a fight,” says he. “Look your prettiest,” he
whispers. “Please, Kid, look your prettiest;” and he pulls my leash so
tight that I can't touch my pats to the sawdust, and my nose goes up in
the air. There was millions of people a-watching us from the railings,
and three of our kennel-men, too, making fun of the Master and me, and
Miss Dorothy with her chin just reaching to the rail, and her eyes so
big that I thought she was a-going to cry. It was awful to think that
when the judge stood up and exposed me, all those people, and Miss
Dorothy, would be there to see me driven from the Show.
The judge he was, a fierce-looking man with specs on his nose, and a
red beard. When I first come in he didn't see me, owing to my being too
quick for him and dodging behind the Master. But when the Master drags
me round and I pulls at the sawdust to keep back, the judge looks at us
careless-like, and then stops and glares through his specs, and I knew
it was all up with me.
“Are there any more?” asks the judge to the gentleman at the gate,
but never taking his specs from me.
The man at the gate looks in his book. “Seven in the novice class,”
says he. “They're all here. You can go ahead,” and he shuts the gate.
The judge he doesn't hesitate a moment. He just waves his hand
toward the corner of the ring. “Take him away,” he says to the Master,
“over there, and keep him away;” and he turns and looks most solemn at
the six beautiful bullterriers. I don't know how I crawled to that
corner. I wanted to scratch under the sawdust and dig myself a grave.
The kennel-men they slapped the rail with their hands and laughed at
the Master like they would fall over. They pointed at me in the corner,
and their sides just shaked. But little Miss Dorothy she presses her
lips tight against the rail, and I see tears rolling from her eyes. The
Master he hangs his head like he had been whipped. I felt most sorry
for him than all. He was so red, and he was letting on not to see the
kennel-men, and blinking his eyes. If the judge had ordered me right
out it wouldn't have disgraced us so, but it was keeping me there while
he was judging the highbred dogs that hurt so hard. With all those
people staring, too. And his doing it so quick, without no doubt nor
questions. You can't fool the judges. They see inside you.
But he couldn't make up his mind about them high-bred dogs. He
scowls at 'em, and he glares at 'em, first with his head on the one
side and then on the other. And he feels of 'em, and orders 'em to run
about. And Nolan leans against the rails, with his head hung down, and
pats me. And Miss Dorothy comes over beside him, but don't say nothing,
only wipes her eye with her finger. A man on the other side of the rail
he says to the Master, “The judge don't like your dog?”
“No,” says the Master.
“Have you ever shown him before?” says the man.
“No,” says the Master, “and I'll never show him again. He's my dog,”
says the Master, “and he suits me! And I don't care what no judges
think.” And when he says them kind words, I licks his hand most
The judge had two of the six dogs on a little platform in the middle
of the ring, and he had chased the four other dogs into the corners,
where they was licking their chops, and letting on they didn't care,
same as Nolan was.
The two dogs on the platform was so beautiful that the judge hisself
couldn't tell which was the best of 'em, even when he stoops down and
holds their heads together. But at last he gives a sigh, and brushes
the sawdust off his knees, and goes to the table in the ring, where
there was a man keeping score, and heaps and heaps of blue and gold and
red and yellow ribbons. And the judge picks up a bunch of 'em and walks
to the two gentlemen who was holding the beautiful dogs, and he says to
each, “What's his number?” and he hands each gentleman a ribbon. And
then he turned sharp and comes straight at the Master.
“What's his number?” says the judge. And Master was so scared that
he couldn't make no answer.
But Miss Dorothy claps her hands and cries out like she was
laughing, “Three twenty-six,” and the judge writes it down and shoves
Master the blue ribbon.
I bit the Master, and I jumps and bit Miss Dorothy, and I waggled so
hard that the Master couldn't hold me. When I get to the gate Miss
Dorothy snatches me up and kisses me between the ears, right before
millions of people, and they both hold me so tight that I didn't know
which of them was carrying of me. But one thing I knew, for I listened
hard, as it was the judge hisself as said it.
“Did you see that puppy I gave first to?” says the judge to the
gentleman at the gate.
“I did. He was a bit out of his class,” says the gate gentleman.
“He certainly was!” says the judge, and they both laughed.
But I didn't care. They couldn't hurt me then, not with Nolan
holding the blue ribbon and Miss Dorothy hugging my ears, and the
kennel-men sneaking away, each looking like he'd been caught with his
nose under the lid of the slop can.
We sat down together, and we all three just talked as fast as we
could. They was so pleased that I couldn't help feeling proud myself,
and I barked and leaped about so gay that all the bull-terriers in our
street stretched on their chains and howled at me.
“Just look at him!” says one of those I had beat. “What's he giving
hisself airs about?”
“Because he's got one blue ribbon!” says another of 'em. “Why, when
I was a puppy I used to eat 'em, and if that judge could ever learn to
know a toy from a mastiff, I'd have had this one.”
But Jimmy Jocks he leaned over from his bench and says, “Well done,
Kid. Didn't I tell you so?” What he 'ad told me was that I might get a
“commended,” but I didn't remind him.
“Didn't I tell you,” says Jimmy Jocks, “that I saw your grandfather
make his debut at the Crystal?”
“Yes, sir, you did, sir,” says I, for I have no love for the men of
A gentleman with a showing-leash around his neck comes up just then
and looks at me very critical. “Nice dog you've got, Miss Wyndham,”
says he; “would you care to sell him?”
“He's not my dog,” says Miss Dorothy, holding me tight. “I wish he
“He's not for sale, sir,” says the Master, and I was that glad.
“Oh, he's yours, is he?” says the gentleman, looking hard at Nolan.
“Well, I'll give you a hundred dollars for him,” says he,
“Thank you, sir; he's not for sale,” says Nolan, but his eyes get
very big. The gentleman he walked away; but I watches him, and he talks
to a man in a golf-cap, and by and by the man comes along our street,
looking at all the dogs, and stops in front of me.
“This your dog?” says he to Nolan. “Pity he's so leggy,” says he.
“If he had a good tail, and a longer stop, and his ears were set
higher, he'd be a good dog. As he is, I'll give you fifty dollars for
But, before the Master could speak, Miss Dorothy laughs and says:
“You're Mr. Polk's kennel-man, I believe. Well, you tell Mr. Polk from
me that the dog's not for sale now any more than he was five minutes
ago, and that when he is, he'll have to bid against me for him.”
The man looks foolish at that, but he turns to Nolan quick-like.
“I'll give you three hundred for him,” he says.
“Oh, indeed!” whispers Miss Dorothy, like she was talking to
herself. “That's it, is it?” And she turns and looks at me just as
though she had never seen me before. Nolan he was a-gaping, too, with
his mouth open. But he holds me tight.
“He's not for sale,” he growls, like he was frightened; and the man
looks black and walks away.
'Why, Nolan!” cries Miss Dorothy, “Mr. Polk knows more about
bull-terriers than any amateur in America. What can he mean? Why, Kid
is no more than a puppy! Three hundred dollars for a puppy!”
“And he ain't no thoroughbred, neither!” cries the Master. “He's
'Unknown,' ain't he? Kid can't help it, of course, but his mother,
I dropped my head. I couldn't bear he should tell Miss Dorothy. I
couldn't bear she should know I had stolen my blue ribbon.
But the Master never told, for at that a gentleman runs up, calling,
“Three twenty-six, three twentysix!” And Miss Dorothy says, “Here he
is; what is it?”
“The Winners' class,” says the gentleman. “Hurry, please; the judge
is waiting for him.”
Nolan tries to get me off the chain on to a showing-leash, but he
shakes so, he only chokes me. “What is it, miss?” he says. “What is
“The Winners' class,” says Miss Dorothy. “The judge wants him with
the winners of the other classes—to decide which is the best. It's
only a form,” says she. “He has the champions against him now.”
“Yes,” says the gentleman, as he hurries us to the ring. “I'm afraid
it's only a form for your dog, but the judge wants all the winners,
puppy class even.”
We had got to the gate, and the gentleman there was writing down my
“Who won the open?” asks Miss Dorothy.
“Oh, who would?” laughs the gentleman. “The old champion, of course.
He's won for three years now. There he is. Isn't he wonderful?” says
he; and he points to a dog that's standing proud and haughty on the
platform in the middle of the ring.
I never see so beautiful a dog-so fine and clean and noble, so white
like he had rolled hisself in flour, holding his nose up and his eyes
shut, same as though no one was worth looking at. Aside of him we other
dogs, even though we had a blue ribbon apiece, seemed like lumps of
mud. He was a royal gentleman, a king, he was. His master didn't have
to hold his head with no leash. He held it hisself, standing as still
as an iron dog on a lawn, like he knew all the people was looking at
him. And so they was, and no one around the ring pointed at no other
dog but him.
“Oh, what a picture!” cried Miss Dorothy. “He's like a marble figure
by a great artist-one who loved dogs. Who is he?” says she, looking in
her book. 'I don't keep up with terriers.”
“Oh, you know him,” says the gentleman. “He is the champion of
champions, Regent Royal.”
The Master's face went red.
“And this is Regent Royal's son,” cries he, and he pulls me quick
into the ring, and plants me on the platform next my father.
I trembled so that I near fell. My legs twisted like a leash. But my
father he never looked at me. He only smiled the same sleepy smile, and
he still kept his eyes half shut, like as no one, no, not even his own
son, was worth his lookin' at.
The judge he didn't let me stay beside my father, but, one by one,
he placed the other dogs next to him and measured and felt and pulled
at them. And each one he put down, but he never put my father down. And
then he comes over and picks up me and sets me back on the platf orm,
shoulder to shoulder with the Champion Regent Royal, and goes down on
his knees, and looks into our eyes.
The gentleman with my f ather he laughs, and says to the judge,
“Thinking of keeping us here all day, John?” But the judge he doesn't
hear him, and goes behind us and runs his hand down my side, and holds
back my cars, and takes my jaws between his fingers. The crowd around
the ring is very deep now, and nobody says nothing. The gentleman at
the score-table, he is leaning forward, with his elbows on his knees
and his eyes very wide, and the gentleman at the gate is whispering
quick to Miss Dorothy, who has turned white. I stood as stiff as stone.
I didn't even breathe. But out of the corner of my eye I could see my
father licking his pink chops, and yawning just a little, like he was
The judge he had stopped looking fierce and was looking solemn,
Something inside him seemed a-troubling him awful. The more he stares
at us now, the more solemn he gets, and when he touches us he does it
gentle, like he was patting us. For a long time he kneels in the
sawdust, looking at my father and at me, and no one around the ring
says nothing to nobody. Then the judge takes a breath and touches me
sudden. “It's his,” he says. But he lays his hand just as quick on my
father. “I'm sorry,” says he.
The gentleman holding my father cries:
“Do you mean to tell me-”
And the judge he answers, “I mean the other is the better dog.” He
takes my father's head between his hands and looks down at him most
sorrowful. “The king is dead,” says he. “Long live the king! Goodbye,
Regent,” he says.
The crowd around the railings clapped their hands, and some laughed
scornful, and every one talks fast, and I start for the gate, so dizzy
that I can't see my way. But my f ather pushes in front of me, walking
very daintily, and smiling sleepy, same as he had just been waked, with
his head high and his eyes shut, looking at nobody.
So that is how I “came by my inheritance,” as Miss Dorothy calls it;
and just for that, though I couldn't feel where I was any different,
the crowd follows me to my bench, and pats me, and coos at me, like I
was a baby in a babycarriage. And the handlers have to hold 'em back so
that the gentlemen from the papers can make pictures of me, and Nolan
walks me up and down so proud, and the men shake their heads and says,
“He certainly is the true type, he is!” And the pretty ladies ask Miss
Dorothy, who sits beside me letting me lick her gloves to show the
crowd what friends we is, “Aren't you afraid he'll bite you?” And Jimmy
Jocks calls to me, “Didn't I tell you so? I always knew you were one of
us. Blood will out, Kid; blood will out. I saw your grandfather,” says
he, “make his debut at the Crystal Palace. But he was never the dog you
After that, if I could have asked for it, there was nothing I
couldn't get. You might have thought I was a snow-dog, and they was
afeard I'd melt. If I wet my pats, Nolan gave me a hot bath and chained
me to the stove; if I couldn't eat my food, being stuffed full by the
cook,—for I am a house-dog now, and let in to lunch, whether there is
visitors or not,—Nolan would run to bring the vet. It was all tommy
rot, as Jimmy says, but meant most kind. I couldn't scratch myself
comfortable, without Nolan giving me nasty drinks, and rubbing me
outside till it burnt awful; and I wasn't let to eat bones f or fear of
spoiling my “beautiful” mouth, what mother used to call my “punishing
jaw;” and my food was cooked special on a gas-stove; and Miss Dorothy
gives me an overcoat, cut very stylish like the champions', to wear
when we goes out carriage-driving.
After the next Show where I takes three blue ribbons, four silver
cups, two medals, and brings home forty five dollars for Nolan, they
gives me a “registered” name, same as Jimmy's. Miss Dorothy wanted to
call me “Regent Heir Apparent;” but I was that glad when Nolan says,
“No; Kid don't owe nothing to his father, only to you and hisself. So,
if you please, miss, we'll call him Wyndham Kid.” And so they did, and
you can see it on my overcoat in blue letters, and painted top of my
kennel. It was all too hard to understand. For days I just sat and
wondered if I was really me, and how it all come about, and why
everybody was so kind. But oh, it was so good they was, for if they
hadn't been I'd never have got the thing I most wished after. But,
because they was kind, and not liking to deny me nothing, they gave it
me, and it was more to me than anything in the world.
It came about one day when we was out driving. We was in the cart
they calls the dog-cart because it's the one Miss Dorothy keeps to take
Jimmy and me for an airing. Nolan was up behind, and me, in my new
overcoat, was sitting beside Miss Dorothy. I was admiring the view, and
thinking how good it was to have a horse pull you about so that you
needn't get yourself splashed and have to be washed, when I hears a dog
calling loud for help, and I pricks up my ears and looks over the
horse's head. And I sees something that makes me tremble down to my
toes. In the road before us three big dogs was chasing a little old
lady-dog. She had a string to her tail, where some boys had tied a can,
and she was dirty with mud and ashes, and torn most awful. She was too
far done up to get away, and too old to help herself, but she was
making a fight for her life, snapping her old gums savage, and dying
game. All this I see in a wink, and then the three dogs pinned her
down, and I can't stand it no longer, and clears the wheel and lands in
the road on my head. It was my stylish overcoat done that, and I cursed
it proper, but I gets my pats again quick, and makes a rush for the
fighting. Behind me I hear Miss Dorothy cry: “They'll kill that old
dog. Wait, take my whip. Beat them off her! The Kid can take care of
himself;” and I hear Nolan fall into the road, and the horse come to a
stop. The old lady-dog was down, and the three was eating her vicious;
but as I come up, scattering the pebbles, she hears, and thinking it's
one more of them, she lifts her head, and my heart breaks open like
some one had sunk his teeth in it. For, under the ashes arid the dirt
and the blood, I can see who it is, and I know that my mother has come
back to me.
I gives a yell that throws them three dogs off their legs.
“Mother!” I cries. “I'm the Kid,” I cries. “I'm coming to you.
Mother, I'm coming!”
And I shoots over her at the throat of the big dog, and the other
two they sinks their teeth into that stylish overcoat and tears it off
me, and that sets me free, and I lets them have it. I never had so fine
a fight as that! What with mother being there to see, and not having
been let to mix up in no fights since I become a prizewinner, it just
naturally did me good, and it wasn't three shakes before I had 'em
yelping. Quick as a wink, mother she jumps into help me, and I just
laughed to see her. It was so like old times. And Nolan he made me
laugh, too. He was like a hen on a bank, shaking the butt of his whip,
but not daring to cut in for fear of hitting me.
“Stop it, Kid,” he says, “stop it. Do you want to be all torn up?”
says he. “Think of the Boston show,” says he. “Think of Chicago. Think
of Danbury. Don't you never want to be a champion?”
How was I to think of all them places when I had three dogs to cut
up at the same time? But in a minute two of 'em begs for mercy, and
mother and me lets 'em run away. The big one he ain't able to run away.
Then mother and me we dances and jumps, and barks and laughs, and bites
each other and rolls each other in the road. There never was two dogs
so happy as we. And Nolan he whistles and calls and begs me to come to
him; but I just laugh and play larks with mother.
“Now, you come with me,” says I, “to my new home, and never try to
run away again.” And I shows her our house with the five red roofs, set
on the top of the hill. But mother trembles awful, and says: “They'd
never let me in such a place. Does the Viceroy live there, Kid?” says
she. And I laugh at her. “No; I do,” I says. “And if they won't let you
live there, too, you and me will go back to the streets together, for
we must never be parted no more. So we trots up the hill side by side,
with Nolan trying to catch me, and Miss Dorothy laughing at him from
“The Kid's made friends with the poor old dog,” says she. “Maybe he
knew her long ago when he ran the streets himself. Put her in here
beside me, and see if he doesn't follow.”
So when I hears that I tells mother to go with Nolan and sit in the
cart; but she says no-that she'd soil the pretty lady's frock; but I
tells her to do as I say, and so Nolan lifts her, trembling still, into
the cart, and I runs alongside, barking joyful.
When we drives into the stables I takes mother to my kennel, and
tells her to go inside it and make herself at home. “Oh, but he won't
let me!” says she.
“Who won't let you?” says I, keeping my eye on Nolan, and growling a
bit nasty, just to show I was meaning to have my way.
“Why, Wyndham Kid,” says she, looking up at the name on my kennel.
“But I'm Wyndham Kid!” says I. “You!” cries mother. “You! Is my
little Kid the great Wyndham Kid the dogs all talk about?” And at that,
she being very old, and sick, and nervous, as mothers are, just drops
down in the straw and weeps bitter.
Well, there ain't much more than that to tell. Miss Dorothy she
“If the Kid wants the poor old thing in the stables,” says she, “let
“You see,” says she, “she's a black-and-tan, and his mother was a
black-and-tan, and maybe that's what makes Kid feel so friendly toward
her,” says she.
“Indeed, for me,” says Nolan, “she can have the best there is. I'd
never drive out no dog that asks for a crust nor a shelter,” he says.
“But what will Mr. Wyndham do?”
“He'll do what I say,” says Miss Dorothy, “and if I say she's to
stay, she will stay, and I say-she's to stay!”
And so mother and Nolan and me found a home. Mother was scared at
first—not being used to kind people; but she was so gentle and loving
that the grooms got fonder of her than of me, and tried to make me
jealous by patting of her and giving her the pick of the vittles. But
that was the wrong way to hurt my feelings. That's all, I think. Mother
is so happy here that I tell her we ought to call it the Happy Hunting
Grounds, because no one hunts you, and there is nothing to hunt; it
just all comes to you. And so we live in peace, mother sleeping all day
in the sun, or behind the stove in the head groom's office, being fed
twice a day regular by Nolan, and all the day by the other grooms most
irregular. And as for me, I go hurrying around the country to the
benchshows, winning money and cups for Nolan, and taking the blue
ribbons away from father.