Our friend bent down, crumpling and crumpling at his dog’s ears. We, too, gazed at the ground, thinking of, that poor lost puppy, and the horrible inevitability of all that happens, seeing men are what they are; thinking of all the foul doings in the world, whose black godmother is Fear.
“And what became of the poor dog?” one of us asked at last.
“When,” said our friend slowly, “I’d had my fill of watching, I covered it with a rug, took this fellow away with me, and went to bed. There was nothing else to do. At dawn I was awakened by three dreadful cries—not like a dog’s at all. I hurried down. There was the poor beast—wriggled out from under the rug-stretched on its side, dead. This fellow of mine had followed me in, and he went and sat down by the body. When I spoke to him he just looked round, and wagged his tail along the ground, but would not come away; and there he sat till it was buried, very interested, but not sorry at all.”
Our friend was silent, looking angrily at something in the distance.
And we, too, were silent, seeing in spirit that vigil of early morning: The thin, lifeless, sandy-coloured body, stretched on those red mats; and this black creature—now lying at our feet—propped on its haunches like the dog in “The Death of Procris,” patient, curious, ungrieved, staring down at it with his bright, interested eyes. 1912.
By John Galsworthy
“Je vous dirai que
l’exces est toujours un mal.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS: QUALITY THE GRAND JURY GONE THRESHING THAT OLD-TIME PLACE ROMANCE—THREE GLEAMS MEMORIES FELICITY