Franco followed the boys all that forenoon, as they went back and forth for their wood. At dinner, they did not say any thing about him to the farmer, because they supposed that he would go away, when they came in and left him, and that they should see no more of him in the afternoon. But when Jonas went out, after dinner, to get the old General, to harness him for work again, he found Franco lying snugly in the General’s stall, under the crib.
At night, therefore, he told the farmer about him. The farmer said that he was some dog that had strayed away from his master; and he told Jonas to go out after supper and drive him away. Josey begged his uncle to keep him, but his aunt said she would not have a dog about the house. She said it would cost as much to keep him as to keep a sheep, and that, instead of bringing them a good fleece, a dog was good for nothing, but to track your floors in wet weather, and keep you awake all night with his howling.
So the farmer told Jonas to go out after supper, and drive the dog away.
“Let us give him some supper first, father,” said Oliver.
“No,” said his father; “the more you give him, the more he won’t go away. I expect now, you’ve fooled with him so much, that it will be hard to get him off, at any rate.”
“Jonas has not fooled with him any,” said Oliver.
“Nor I,” said Josey.
After supper, Jonas went out, according to orders, to drive Franco away. It was a raw, windy night, but not very cold. Franco was in a little shed where there was a well, near the back door. He was lying down, but he got up and came to Jonas when he saw him appear at the door.
“Come, Franco,” said Jonas, “come with me.”
Franco wagged his tail, and followed Jonas.
Jonas walked out into the road, Franco after him. He walked along until he had got to some distance from the house, Franco keeping up with him all the way, sometimes on one side of the road, and sometimes on the other. At length, when Jonas thought that he had gone far enough, he stopped. Franco stopped too, and looked up at Jonas.
“Now, Franco, I’ve got to send you away. It’s a hard case, Franco, but you and I must both submit to orders. So go off, Franco, as fast as you can.”
So saying, Jonas pointed along the road, in the direction away from the house, and said, “St—— boy! St—— boy!”
Franco darted along the road a few steps, barked once, and then turned round, and looked eagerly at Jonas, as if he did not know what he wanted him to do.
“Get home!” said Jonas, in a stern and severe tone; “get home!” and he stamped with his foot upon the ground, and looked at Franco with a countenance of displeasure.
Franco bounded forward a few steps over the smooth and icy road, and then he turned round, and stood in the middle of the road, facing Jonas, and looking very much astonished.