Miss Laura got a stick and scratched poor piggy’s back a little, and then she went back to the house. In a short time we went home with Mr. Wood. Mr. Harry was going to stay all night with the sick animals, and his mother would send him things to make him comfortable. She was better by the time we got home, and was horrified to hear the tale of Mr. Barron’s neglect. Later in the evening, she sent one of the men over with a whole box full of things for her darling boy, and a nice, hot tea, done up for him in a covered dish.
When the man came home, he said that Mr. Harry would not sleep in the Englishman’s dirty house, but had slung a hammock out under the trees. However, he would not be able to sleep much, for he had his lantern by his side, all ready to jump up and attend to the horse and cow. It was a very lonely place for him out there in the woods, and his mother said that she would be glad when the sick animals could be driven to their own farm.
* * * * *
THE END OF THE ENGLISHMAN
In a few days, thanks to Mr. Harry’s constant care, the horse and cow were able to walk. It was a mournful procession that came into the yard at Dingley Farm. The hollow-eyed horse, and lean cow, and funny, little thin pig, staggering along in such a shaky fashion. Their hoofs were diseased, and had partly rotted away, so that they could not walk straight. Though it was only a mile or two from Penhollow to Dingley Farm, they were tired out, and dropped down exhausted on their comfortable beds.
Miss Laura was so delighted to think that they had all lived, that she did not know what to do. Her eyes were bright and shining, and she went from one to another with such a happy face. The queer little pig that Mr. Harry had christened “Daddy Longlegs,” had been washed, and he lay on his heap of straw in the corner of his neat little pen, and surveyed his clean trough and abundance of food with the air of a prince. Why, he would be clean and dry here, and all his life he had been used to dirty, damp Penhollow, with the trees hanging over him, and his little feet in a mass of filth and dead leaves. Happy little pig! His ugly eyes seemed to blink and gleam with gratitude, and he knew Miss Laura and Mr. Harry as well as I did.
His tiny tail was curled so tight that it was almost in a knot. Mr. Wood said that was a sign that he was healthy and happy, and that when poor Daddy was at Penhollow he had noticed that his tail hung as limp and as loose as the tail of a rat. He came and leaned over the pen with Miss Laura, and had a little talk with her about pigs. He said they were by no means the stupid animals that some people considered them. He had had pigs that were as clever as dogs. One little black pig that he had once sold to a man away back in the country had found his way home, through the woods, across the river, up hill and down dale, and he’d been taken to the place with a bag over his head. Mr. Wood said that he kept that pig because he knew so much.