When the conductor and passengers of the express walked back, Bill Adams was bending over a man in a blue jumper laid flat on the cinders. He was bleeding from a wound in his head. Lying beside him was a yellow dog licking his stiffened hand. A doctor among the passengers opened his red shirt and pressed his hand on the heart. He said he was breathing, and might live. Then they brought a stretcher from the office, and Connors and Bill Adams carried him up the hill, the dog following, limping.
Here they laid him on a bed beside a sobbing, frightened girl; the dog at her feet.
Adams bent over him, washing his head with a wad of cotton waste.
Just before he died he opened his eyes, rested them on his daughter, half raised his head as if in search of the dog, and then fell back on his bed, that same sweet, clear smile about his mouth.
“John Sanders,” said Adams, “how in h—– could a sensible man like you throw his life away for a damned yellow dog?”
“Don’t, Billy,” he said. “I couldn’t help it. He was a cripple.”
I was sitting in the shadow of Mme. Poulard’s delightful inn at St. Michel when I first saw Baeader. Dinner had been served, and I had helped to pay for my portion by tacking a sketch on the wall behind the chair of the hostess. This high valuation was not intended as a special compliment to me, the wall being already covered with similar souvenirs from the sketch-books of half the painters in Europe.
Baeader, he pronounced it Bayder, had at that moment arrived in answer to a telegram from the governor, who the night before, in a moment of desperation, had telegraphed the proprietor of his hotel in Paris, “Send me a courier at once who knows Normandy and speaks English.” The bare-headed man who, hat in hand, was at this moment bowing so obsequiously to the governor, was the person who had arrived in response. He was short and thick-set, and perfectly bald on the top of his head in a small spot, friar-fashion. He glistened with perspiration that collected near the hat-line, and escaped in two streams, drowning locks of black hair covering each temple, stranding them like wet grass on his cheek-bones below. His full face was clean-shaven, smug, and persuasive, and framed two shoe-button eyes that, while sharp and alert, lacked neither humor nor tenderness.
He wore a pair of new green kid gloves, was dressed in a brown cloth coat bound with a braid of several different shades, showing different dates of repair, and surmounted by a velvet collar of the same date as the coat. His trousers were of a nondescript gray, and flapped about a pair of brand-new gaiters, evidently purchased for the occasion, and, from the numerous positions assumed while he talked, evidently one size too small.