And another voice says, “Ah, don’t you do it; the dog’s same as dead--mebby he is dead.”
“Ten shillings!” says the Master, and his voice sobers a bit; “make it two pounds, and he’s yours.”
But the pals rushed in again.
“Don’t you be a fool, Jerry,” they say. “You’ll be sorry for this when you’re sober. The Kid’s worth a fiver.”
One of my eyes was not so swelled up as the other, and as I hung by my tail, I opened it, and saw one of the pals take the groom by the shoulder.
“You ought to give ’im five pounds for that dog, mate,” he says; “that’s no ordinary dog. That dog’s got good blood in him, that dog has. Why, his father—that very dog’s father—”
I thought he never would go on. He waited like he wanted to be sure the groom was listening.
“That very dog’s father,” says the pal, “is Regent Royal, son of Champion Regent Monarch, champion bull-terrier of England for four years.”
I was sore, and torn, and chewed most awful, but what the pal said sounded so fine that I wanted to wag my tail, only couldn’t, owing to my hanging from it.
But the Master calls out, “Yes, his father was Regent Royal; who’s saying he wasn’t? but the pup’s a cowardly cur, that’s what his pup is, and why—I’ll tell you why—because his mother was a black-and-tan street-dog, that’s why!”
I don’t see how I get the strength, but some way I threw myself out of the Master’s grip and fell at his feet, and turned over and fastened all my teeth in his ankle, just across the bone.
When I woke, after the pals had kicked me off him, I was in the smoking-car of a railroad-train, lying in the lap of the little groom, and he was rubbing my open wounds with a greasy, yellow stuff, exquisite to the smell, and most agreeable to lick off.
“Well—what’s your name—Nolan? Well, Nolan, these references are satisfactory,” said the young gentleman my new Master called “Mr. Wyndham, sir.” “I’ll take you on as second man. You can begin to-day.”
My new Master shuffled his feet, and put his finger to his forehead. “Thank you, sir,” says he. Then he choked like he had swallowed a fish-bone. “I have a little dawg, sir,” says he.
“You can’t keep him,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir,” very short.
“’Es only a puppy, sir,” says my new Master; “’e wouldn’t go outside the stables, sir.”
“It’s not that,” says “Mr. Wyndham, sir;” “I have a large kennel of very fine dogs; they’re the best of their breed in America. I don’t allow strange dogs on the premises.”
The Master shakes his head, and motions me with his cap, and I crept out from behind the door. “I’m sorry, sir,” says the Master. “Then I can’t take the place. I can’t get along without the dog, sir.”
“Mr. Wyndham, sir,” looked at me that fierce that I guessed he was going to whip me, so I turned over on my back and begged with my legs and tail.