The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy.
I found it.  I had some conversation with that farmer.  ‘That’s right,’ he said, ’but who was to know?  I couldn’t have my sheep worried.  The brute had blood on his muzzle.  These curs do a lot of harm when they’ve once been blooded.  You can’t run risks."’ Our friend cut viciously at a dandelion with his stick.  “Run risks!” he broke out suddenly:  “That was it from beginning to end of that poor beast’s sufferings, fear!  From that fellow on the bicycle, afraid of the worry and expense, as soon as it showed signs of distemper, to myself and the man with the pitch fork—­not one of us, I daresay, would have gone out of our way to do it—­a harm.  But we felt fear, and so by the law of self-preservation, or what ever you like—­it all began, till there the poor thing was, with a battered head and a hole in its neck, ravenous with hunger, and too distraught even to lap my bread and milk.  Yes, and there’s something uncanny about a suffering animal—­we sat watching it, and again we were afraid, looking at its eyes and the way it bit the air.  Fear!  It’s the black godmother of all damnable things!”

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.” 
—­Anatole France




Project Gutenberg
The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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