It was bravely put, but did not deceive Jack even a little bit; for he happened to know just how very fond his friend was of the particular girl in question.
“All right, then. Consider that settled, and I won’t say any more about it until I can report progress,” remarked the latter.
“Let’s talk of other things than my poor affairs. You insisted on knowing; and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Hello! there’s Carlo asking to come in again. Shall I let him past the door, Jack?”
“Why, of course. This is his den as well as mine. I keep sugar on tap, so as to put him through some of his paces. Here Carlo, how’s your sweet tooth coming on?” and Jack snapped his fingers in a peculiar way.
Immediately the educated dog squatted on his hind quarters, sat upright with his forepaws drooping appealingly, and waited, cocking his eyes in a humorous way at his young master, who had opened a drawer in his desk.
“Just one piece left. Somebody else likes sugar as well as Carlo, I guess. Well, here you are, now. On trust, boy, on trust!”
So saying he laid the piece of sugar upon the nose of the dog, balancing it so there could be no falling off.
Carlo, knowing what was expected of him, sat there like a drum major, quivering with eagerness, yet not daring to move as long as he failed to hear the command.
“Say, isn’t he a sport, all right, Paul? Don’t he sit up like a soldier? Look at his eyes fixed on me. Did you ever see such agony?”
Paul was laughing now.
“He’s speaking with his eyes, and begging you not to stretch it out too far, Jack. Have a little mercy on the poor beggar. Look at his tongue coming out and reaching up. I think he just wants to taste that sugar. Give it to him now!”
“Well, Carlo knows that he can’t expect to have anything on trust; but it’s a different thing when it’s paid for!”
With the last two words, spoken in a natural tone, Carlo became galvanized into sudden action. He had received the cue for which he was waiting so patiently. Immediately he made an upward spring; the lump of sugar was thrown into the air, and as it came down one quick snap secured it, after which there was a crunching of canine teeth, and a look of bliss appeared on Carlo’s dog face.
“There’s the supper gong. Come on down to the bathroom and wash up, Paul! And you come, too, old dog. No more sugar here; see, the drawer is empty. Carlo never comes up here without sniffing at that drawer, and looking at me knowingly. Go ahead, Paul, and I’ll put out the lamp.”
So they went downstairs, and after a while sought the dining room, where Paul met both parents of his chum, as well as a gentleman who was visiting Mr. Stormways.
“Mr. Jared Pender, an old schoolmate of mine, and with whom I made several voyages abroad years ago,” said Mr. Stormways. “He is in the employ of the Government now, and has to make visits all over the country, you know.”