Billy and I sprang up and pushed open the door leading to the front hall. The thieves in a terrible fright were just rushing down the front steps. One of them got away, but the other fell, and I caught him by the coat, till Mr. Morris ran and put his hand on his shoulder.
He was a young fellow about Jack’s age, but not one-half so manly, and he was sniffling and scolding about “that pesky parrot.” Mr. Morris made him come back into the house, and had a talk with him. He found out that he was a poor, ignorant lad, half starved by a drunken father. He and his brother stole clothes, and sent them to his sister in Boston, who sold them and returned part of the money.
Mr. Morris asked him if he would not like to get his living in an honest way, and he said he had tried to, but no one would employ him. Mr. Morris told him to go home and take leave of his father and get his brother and bring him to Washington street the next day. He told him plainly that if he did not he would send a policeman after him.
The boy begged Mr. Morris not to do that, and early the next morning he appeared with his brother. Mrs. Morris gave them a good breakfast and fitted them out with clothes, and they were sent off in the train to one of her brothers, who was a kind farmer in the country, and who had been telegraphed to that these boys were coming, and wished to be provided with situations where they would have a chance to make honest men of themselves.
* * * * *
BILLY’S TRAINING CONTINUED
When Billy was five months old, he had his first walk in the street. Miss Laura knew that he had been well trained, so she did not hesitate to take him into the town. She was not the kind of a young lady to go into the street with a dog that would not behave himself, and she was never willing to attract attention to herself by calling out orders to any of her pets.
As soon as we got down the front steps, she said, quietly to Billy, “To heel.” It was very hard for little, playful Billy to keep close to her, when he saw so many new and wonderful things about him. He had gotten acquainted with everything in the house and garden, but this outside world was full of things he wanted to look at and smell of, and he was fairly crazy to play with some of the pretty dogs he saw running about. But he did just as he was told.
Soon we came to a shop, and Miss Laura went in to buy some ribbons. She said to me, “Stay out,” but Billy she took in with her. I watched them through the glass door, and saw her go to a counter and sit down. Billy stood behind her till she said, “Lie down.” Then he curled himself at her feet.
He lay quietly, even when she left him and went to another counter. But he eyed her very anxiously till she came back and said, “Up,” to him. Then he sprang up and followed her out to the street.