Van Bibber and Others eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 158 pages of information about Van Bibber and Others.
He was generally voted a most annoying adjunct to the Arnett household; but no one dared hint so to Miss Arnett, as she only loved those who loved the dog, or pretended to do it.  On the morning of the afternoon on which Van Bibber and his bag arrived, the dog disappeared and could not be recovered.  Van Bibber found the household in a state of much excitement in consequence, and his welcome was necessarily brief.  The arriving guest was not to be considered at all with the departed dog.  The men told Van Bibber, in confidence, that the general relief among the guests was something ecstatic, but this was marred later by the gloom of Miss Arnett and her inability to think of anything else but the finding of the lost collie.  Things became so feverish that for the sake of rest and peace the house-party proposed to contribute to a joint purse for the return of the dog, as even, nuisance as it was, it was not so bad as having their visit spoiled by Miss Arnett’s abandonment to grief and crossness.

“I think,” said the young woman, after luncheon, “that some of you men might be civil enough to offer to look for him.  I’m sure he can’t have gone far, or, if he has been stolen, the men who took him couldn’t have gone very far away either.  Now which of you will volunteer?  I’m sure you’ll do it to please me.  Mr. Van Bibber, now:  you say you’re so clever.  We’re all the time hearing of your adventures.  Why don’t you show how full of expedients you are and rise to the occasion?” The suggestion of scorn in this speech nettled Van Bibber.

“I’m sure I never posed as being clever,” he said, “and finding a lost dog with all Long Island to pick and choose from isn’t a particularly easy thing to pull off successfully, I should think.”

“I didn’t suppose you’d take a dare like that, Van Bibber,” said one of the men.  “Why, it’s just the sort of thing you do so well.”

“Yes,” said another, “I’ll back you to find him if you try.”

“Thanks,” said Van Bibber, dryly.  “There seems to be a disposition on the part of the young men present to turn me into a dog-catcher.  I doubt whether this is altogether unselfish.  I do not say that they would rather remain indoors and teach the girls how to play billiards, but I quite appreciate their reasons for not wishing to roam about in the snow and whistle for a dog.  However, to oblige the despondent mistress of this valuable member of the household, I will risk pneumonia, and I will, at the same time, in order to make the event interesting to all concerned, back myself to bring that dog back by eight o’clock.  Now, then, if any of you unselfish youths have any sporting blood, you will just name the sum.”

They named one hundred dollars, and arranged that Van Bibber was to have the dog back by eight o’clock, or just in time for dinner; for Van Bibber said he wouldn’t miss his dinner for all the dogs in the two hemispheres, unless the dogs happened to be his own.

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Van Bibber and Others from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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