“It means a bone instead of a beating—remember that always,” and a delicious greasy bone was taken from a capacious pocket and given him.
So Fisher went back to the stable with “Scotty “; where Jack McMillan and other ex-rebels, but now loyal subjects, ignored, with a politeness born of similar experiences, the little episode that taught Fisher once for all that respect for authority eliminates the necessity for a whipping. Which is, perhaps, the canine version of Virtue being its own Reward.
The drive back to town was pleasant but uneventful. Ben, perfectly well again, was eager to begin his school work and lay a foundation for the wonderful education that Moose Jones had in mind for him, while Baldy was glad to be at home once more where he could settle down to his regular duties. It was with a contentment quite new to him, for in “Scotty” Allan there was evident a growing recognition of his earnest desire to be of real use. And with that certainty he ceased to worry over the short-sightedness of a world which, till now, had appeared to him unable to grasp the idea that while beauty is only fur deep, ability goes to the bone.
Tom, Dick and Harry might attract the notice of strangers by their persuasive ways; Jack McMillan compel admiration by his magnificence; Irish and Rover win caresses by their affectionate demonstrations. But after all, in storm and stress, with perhaps a life at stake, it was to him, to Baldy the obscure, to Baldy “formerly of Golconda, now of Nome,” that his master had turned in his hour of greatest need.
With the Flight of Time
WITH THE FLIGHT OF TIME
The town of Nome, extending along the shore of Bering Sea for nearly two miles, is not built back to any extent on the tundra, which stretches away, a bog in summer, to the low-lying hills in the distance. In winter this is, however, a wide sweep of spotless snow crossed by well-defined trails—and it was here that the dogs were given their exercise.
There were many pleasant diversions in this daily training; visits to the outlying camps, where they were lauded and petted by the miners, and surreptitiously banqueted by the camp cooks.
Then there were impromptu races into town if by chance they encountered other teams coming back after the day’s work; when the leaders, eying one another critically, even scornfully, would, without so much as a bark by way of discussion, start headlong for Nome, which was visible in the shadowy gray twilight only by its curling smoke and twinkling lights.
On they would come, over the Bridge, and up the steep banks of Dry Creek, turning into Front Street, and dashing down that main thoroughfare at a pace that took little heed of city speed limits.