“Yes, sir,” said Jonas, “if I could. But I haven’t got but a dollar at my command, and I suppose he is worth more than that.”
Jonas had a dollar of his own. Mr. Holiday had given it to him when he left his house, thinking it probable that he would want to buy something for himself. Jonas had taken this money with him when he left the farmer’s, intending to expend a part of it in the market town; but he did not see any thing that he really wanted, and so the money was in his pocket now.
“Why, yes,” said Mr. Edwards, “I gave a great deal more for him than that. Haven’t you any more money with you?”
“Not of my own,” said Jonas.
“I suppose you got some for your produce.”
“Yes, sir,” said Jonas; “but it belongs to the farmer that I work with.”
“And don’t you think that he would be willing to have you pay a part of it for the dog?”
“I don’t know, sir,” said Jonas. “I know he likes the dog very much, but I have no authority to buy him with his money.”
If Jonas had been willing to have used his employer’s money without authority, Mr. Edwards would not have taken it. He made the inquiry to see whether Jonas was trustworthy.
After a few minutes’ pause, Mr. Edwards resumed the conversation, as follows:—
“Well, Jonas,” said he, “I have been thinking of this a little, and have concluded to let you keep the dog for me a little while,—that is, if he is willing to go with you. But remember he is my property still, and I shall have a right to call for him, whenever I choose, and you must give him up to me.”
“Yes, sir,” said Jonas, “I will. And I wish that you would not agree to sell him to any body else, without letting me know.”
“Well,” replied Mr. Edwards, “I will not. So you may take him, and keep him till I send for him,—that is, provided he will go with you of his own accord. I can’t drive him away from his old home.”
Jonas thanked Mr. Edwards, and rose to go. Mr. Edwards took his hat, and followed him to the door, to see whether the dog would go willingly. When he was upon the step, he called him.
“Ney,” said he, “Ney.”
Ney looked up, and, in a moment afterwards, jumped out of the sleigh, and came running up to the door.
“Now,” continued Mr. Edwards, “if you can call him back, while I am standing here, it is pretty good proof that you have been kind to him, and that he would like to go with you.”
So Jonas walked down towards the gate, looking back, and calling,—
“Franco, Franco, Franco!”
The dog ran down towards him a little way, and then stopped, looked back, and, after a moment’s pause, he returned a few steps towards his former master. He seemed a little at a loss to know which to choose.
Jonas got into his sleigh.
“Franco!” said he.
Franco looked at him, then at Mr. Edwards, then at Jonas; and finally he went back to the door, and began to lick his old master’s hand.