Jinks lay at his master’s feet, his forepaws stretched out in front of him, and his sharp-pointed, black nose nestling comfortably on them. To all appearance he was asleep; but every now and then his sharp, bright eyes would open, and glance swiftly round in all directions, so swiftly that it was hard to realize he had opened them at all.
It was an exceptionally hot morning, even for India, and Jinks’ master stopped reading, to sigh with the heat and wipe his streaming face. Jinks was only too glad of an interruption; he had been still quite long enough, and, in his restless, fidgety way, wanted to be doing something. So, as his master yawned, sighed and fluttered his silk handkerchief, Jinks rose up, stretched himself luxuriously, and, following his master’s example, yawned too.
He was a fine-looking animal as he stood up and wagged his bushy, fox-like tail, and his master was struck, for the first time, with his handsome appearance and size. For he had known Jinks from a tiny baby, having carried him home in his arms after he had found him with his dead mother, and fed him warm bread and milk, getting in return many a nasty bite from the vixenish little animal, who had all the viciousness of his race.
But, in due course of time, what with repeated kindnesses and tender care, Jinks had grown not only tame, but quite gentle, and was now extremely fond of his master, and never happy unless with him. His master returned his affection warmly, and the two were close companions; went out for long walks together, when it was not too hot; had their meals together, and would have shared the same room in the bungalow, had it not been that Jinks had a most unpleasant smell at times, which civilization could not dispel, and which made it quite impossible for him to be kept indoors at night. Indeed, there were times when this unpleasant odor was so manifest in the daytime, that Jinks was sent to his kennel in disgrace.
He always felt the disgrace keenly, and, although he invariably went at once when he was told, he did so under protest, with his bushy tail and dog-like head held down in a shamefaced manner, and a peculiar gleam in his eyes which spoke not only of shame, but of anger, only kept under through force of discipline. For his master, understanding his nature, had never allowed Jinks for one moment to get the better of him or disobey him in the smallest thing, and Jinks knew too well how a certain small dog-whip felt to wish for any more of it. He had been a pup up to this time, and just as full of wickedness and mischief as he could be.