Beautiful Joe
Chapter 10


Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


When Billy was five months old, he had his first walk in the street. Miss Laura knew that he had been well trained, so she did not hesitate to take him into the town. She was not the kind of a young lady to go into the street with a dog that would not behave himself, and she was never willing to attract attention to herself by calling out orders to any of her pets.

As soon as we got down the front steps, she said, quietly to Billy, "To heel." It was very hard for little, playful Billy to keep close to her, when he saw so many new and wonderful things about him. He had gotten acquainted with everything in the house and garden, but this outside world was full of things he wanted to look at and smell of, and he was fairly crazy to play with some of the pretty dogs he saw running about. But he did just as he was told.

Soon we came to a shop, and Miss Laura went in to buy some ribbons. She said to me, "Stay out," but Billy she took in with her. I watched them through the glass door, and saw her go to a counter and sit down. Billy stood behind her till she said, "Lie down." Then he curled himself at her feet.

He lay quietly, even when she left him and went to another counter. But he eyed her very anxiously till she came back and said, "Up," to him. Then he sprang up and followed her out to the street.

She stood in the shop door, and looked lovingly down on us as we fawned on her. "Good dogs," she said, softly; "you shall have a present." We went behind her again, and she took us to a shop where we both lay beside the counter. When we heard her ask the clerk for solid rubber balls, we could scarcely keep still. We both knew what "ball" meant.

Taking the parcel in her hand, she came out into the street. She did not do any more shopping, but turned her face toward the sea. She was going to give us a nice walk along the beach, although it was a dark, disagreeable, cloudy day, when most young ladies would have stayed in the house. The Morris children never minded the weather. Even in the pouring rain, the boys would put on rubber boots and coats and go out to play. Miss Laura walked along, the high wind blowing her cloak and dress about, and when we got past the houses, she had a little run with us.

We jumped, and frisked, and barked, till we were tired; and then we walked quietly along.

A little distance ahead of us were some boys throwing sticks in the water for two Newfoundland dogs. Suddenly a quarrel sprang up between the dogs. They were both powerful creatures, and fairly matched as regarded size. It was terrible to hear their fierce growling, and to see the way in which they tore at each other's throats. I looked at Miss Laura. If she had said a word, I would have run in and helped the dog that was getting the worst of it. But she told me to keep back, and ran on herself.