Dracula eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 484 pages of information about Dracula.
There warn’t no one near, except some one that was evidently a-callin’ a dog somewheres out back of the gardings in the Park road.  Once or twice I went out to see that all was right, and it was, and then the ’owling stopped.  Just before twelve o’clock I just took a look round afore turnin’ in, an’, bust me, but when I kem opposite to old Bersicker’s cage I see the rails broken and twisted about and the cage empty.  And that’s all I know for certing.”

“Did any one else see anything?”

“One of our gard’ners was a-comin’ ’ome about that time from a ‘armony, when he sees a big gray dog comin’ out through the garding ’edges.  At least, so he says, but I don’t give much for it myself, for if he did ’e never said a word about it to his missis when ’e got ’ome, and it was only after the escape of the wolf was made known, and we had been up all night a-huntin’ of the Park for Bersicker, that he remembered seein’ anything.  My own belief was that the ’armony ’ad got into his ’ead.”

“Now, Mr. Bilder, can you account in any way for the escape of the wolf?”

“Well, Sir,” he said, with a suspicious sort of modesty, “I think I can, but I don’t know as ’ow you’d be satisfied with the theory.”

“Certainly I shall.  If a man like you, who knows the animals from experience, can’t hazard a good guess at any rate, who is even to try?”

“Well then, Sir, I accounts for it this way.  It seems to me that ’ere wolf escaped—­simply because he wanted to get out.”

From the hearty way that both Thomas and his wife laughed at the joke I could see that it had done service before, and that the whole explanation was simply an elaborate sell.  I couldn’t cope in badinage with the worthy Thomas, but I thought I knew a surer way to his heart, so I said, “Now, Mr. Bilder, we’ll consider that first half-sovereign worked off, and this brother of his is waiting to be claimed when you’ve told me what you think will happen.”

“Right y’are, Sir,” he said briskly.  “Ye’ll excoose me, I know, for a-chaffin’ of ye, but the old woman here winked at me, which was as much as telling me to go on.”

“Well, I never!” said the old lady.

“My opinion is this:  that ‘ere wolf is a’idin’ of, somewheres.  The gard’ner wot didn’t remember said he was a-gallopin’ northward faster than a horse could go, but I don’t believe him, for, yer see, Sir, wolves don’t gallop no more nor dogs does, they not bein’ built that way.  Wolves is fine things in a storybook, and I dessay when they gets in packs and does be chivyin’ somethin’ that’s more afeared than they is they can make a devil of a noise and chop it up, whatever it is.  But, Lor’ bless you, in real life a wolf is only a low creature, not half so clever or bold as a good dog, and not half a quarter so much fight in ’im.  This one ain’t been used to fightin’ or even to providin’ for hisself, and more like he’s somewhere round the Park a’hidin’ an’ a’shiverin’

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Dracula from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.