What might have happened there is no telling, for at that moment Bashti’s eyes chanced to rest on the golden puppy for the first time since the capture of the Arangi. In the rush of events Bashti had forgotten the puppy.
“What name that fella dog?” he cried out sharply, causing wild-dog to crouch down again and attracting Lenerengo’s attention.
She cringed in fear to the ground before the terrible old chief and quavered a recital of the facts. Her good-for-nothing boy Lamai had picked the dog from the water. It had been the cause of much trouble in her house. But now Lamai had gone to live with the youths, and she was carrying the dog to Agno’s house at Agno’s express command.
“What name that dog stop along you?” Bashti demanded directly of Agno.
“Me kai-kai along him,” came the answer. “Him fat fella dog. Him good fella dog kai-kai.”
Into Bashti’s alert old brain flashed an idea that had been long maturing.
“Him good fella dog too much,” he announced. “Better you eat ’m bush fella dog,” he advised, pointing at wild-dog.
Agno shook his head. “Bush fella dog no good kai-kai.”
“Bush fella dog no good too much,” was Bashti’s judgment. “Bush fella dog too much fright. Plenty fella bush dog too much fright. White marster’s dog no fright. Bush dog no fight. White marster’s dog fight like hell. Bush dog run like hell. You look ’m eye belong you, you see.”
Bashti stepped over to Jerry and cut the cords that tied his legs. And Jerry, upon his feet in a surge, was for once in too great haste to pause to give thanks. He hurled himself after wild-dog, caught him in mid-flight, and rolled him over and over in a cloud of dust. Ever wild-dog strove to escape, and ever Jerry cornered him, rolled him, and bit him, while Bashti applauded and called on his head men to behold.
By this time Jerry had become a raging little demon. Fired by all his wrongs, from the bloody day on the Arangi and the loss of Skipper down to this latest tying of his legs, he was avenging himself on wild-dog for everything. The owner of wild-dog, a return boy, made the mistake of trying to kick Jerry away. Jerry was upon him in a flash scratching his calves with his teeth, in the suddenness of his onslaught getting between the black’s legs and tumbling him to the ground.
“What name!” Bashti cried in a rage at the offender, who lay fear-stricken where he had fallen, trembling for what next words might fall from his chief’s lips.
But Bashti was already doubling with laughter at sight of wild-dog running for his life down the street with Jerry a hundred feet behind and tearing up the dust.