And I shoots over her, at the throat of the big dog, and the other two, they sinks their teeth into that stylish overcoat, and tears it off me, and that sets me free, and I lets them have it. I never had so fine a fight as that! What with mother being there to see, and not having been let to mix up in no fights since I become a prize-winner, it just naturally did me good, and it wasn’t three shakes before I had ’em yelping. Quick as a wink, mother, she jumps in to help me, and I just laughed to see her. It was so like old times. And Nolan, he made me laugh too. He was like a hen on a bank, shaking the butt of his whip, but not daring to cut in for fear of hitting me.
“Stop it, Kid,” he says, “stop it. Do you want to be all torn up?” says he. “Think of the Boston show next week,” says he, “Think of Chicago. Think of Danbury. Don’t you never want to be a champion?” How was I to think of all them places when I had three dogs to cut up at the same time. But in a minute two of ’em begs for mercy, and mother and me lets ’em run away. The big one, he ain’t able to run away. Then mother and me, we dances and jumps, and barks and laughs, and bites each other and rolls each other in the road. There never was two dogs so happy as we, and Nolan, he whistles and calls and begs me to come to him, but I just laugh and play larks with mother.
“Now, you come with me,” says I, “to my new home, and never try to run away again.” And I shows her our house with the five red roofs, set on the top of the hill. But mother trembles awful, and says: “They’d never let the likes of me in such a place. Does the Viceroy live there, Kid?” says she. And I laugh at her. “No, I do,” I says; “and if they won’t let you live there, too, you and me will go back to the streets together, for we must never be parted no more.” So we trots up the hill, side by side, with Nolan trying to catch me, and Miss Dorothy laughing at him from the cart.
“The Kid’s made friends with the poor old dog,” says she. “Maybe he knew her long ago when he ran the streets himself. Put her in here beside me, and see if he doesn’t follow.”
So, when I hears that, I tells mother to go with Nolan and sit in the cart, but she says no, that she’d soil the pretty lady’s frock; but I tells her to do as I say, and so Nolan lifts her, trembling still, into the cart, and I runs alongside, barking joyful.
When we drives into the stables I takes mother to my kennel, and tells her to go inside it and make herself at home. “Oh, but he won’t let me!” says she.
“Who won’t let you?” says I, keeping my eye on Nolan, and growling a bit nasty, just to show I was meaning to have my way. “Why, Wyndham Kid,” says she, looking up at the name on my kennel.
“But I’m Wyndham Kid!” says I.
“You!” cries mother. “You! Is my little Kid the great Wyndham Kid the dogs all talk about?” And at that, she, being very old, and sick, and hungry, and nervous, as mothers are, just drops down in the straw and weeps bitter.