Beautiful Joe
Chapter 14

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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.


CHAPTER XIV: HOW WE CAUGHT THE BURGLAR

What was the wretch doing in the house with my dear Miss Laura? I thought I would go crazy. I scratched at the door, and barked and yelped. I sprang up on it, and though I was quite a heavy dog by this time, I felt as light as a feather.

It seemed to me that I would go mad if I could not get that door open. Every few seconds I stopped and put my head down to the doorsill to listen. There was a rushing about inside the room, and a chair fell over, and some one seemed to be getting out of the window.

This made me worse than ever. I did not stop to think that I was only a medium-sized dog, and that Jenkins would probably kill me, if he got his hands on me. I was so furious that I thought only of getting hold of him.

In the midst of the noise that I made, there was a screaming and a rushing to and fro upstairs. I ran up and down the hall, and half-way up the steps and back again. I did not want Miss Laura to come down, but how was I to make her understand? There she was, in her white gown, leaning over the railing, and holding back her long hair, her face a picture of surprise and alarm.

"The dog has gone mad," screamed Miss Bessie. "Nurse, pour a pitcher of water on him." The nurse was more sensible. She ran downstairs, her night-cap flying, and a blanket that she had seized from her bed, trailing behind her. "There are thieves in the house," she shouted at the top of her voice, "and the dog has found it out."

She did not go near the dining-room door, but threw open the front one, crying, "Policeman! Policeman! help, help, thieves, murder!"

Such a screaming as that old woman made! She was worse than I was. I dashed by her, out through the hall door, and away down to the gate, where I heard some one running. I gave a few loud yelps to call Jim, and leaped the gate as the man before me had done.

There was something savage in me that night. I think it must have been the smell of Jenkins. I felt as if I could tear him to pieces. I have never felt so wicked since. I was hunting him, as he had hunted me and my mother, and the thought gave me pleasure.

Old Jim soon caught up with me, and I gave him a push with my nose, to let him know I was glad he had come. We rushed swiftly on, and at the corner caught up with the miserable man who was running away from us.

I gave an angry growl, and jumping up, bit at his leg. He turned around, and though it was not a very bright night, there was light enough for me to see the ugly face of my old master.

He seemed so angry to think that Jim and I dared to snap at him. He caught up a handful of stones, and with some bad words threw them at us. Just then, away in front of us, was a queer whistle, and then another one like it behind us. Jenkins made a strange noise in his throat, and started to run down a side street, away from the direction of the two whistles.

I was afraid that he was going to get away, and though I could not hold him, I kept springing up on him, and once I tripped him up. Oh, how furious he was! He kicked me against the side of a wall, and gave me two or three hard blows with a stick that he caught up, and kept throwing stones at me.

I would not give up, though I could scarcely see him for the blood that was running over my eyes. Old Jim got so angry whenever Jenkins touched me, that he ran up behind and nipped his calves, to make him turn on him.

Soon Jenkins came to a high wall, where he stopped, and with a hurried look behind, began to climb over it. The wall was too high for me to jump. He was going to escape. What shall I do? I barked as loudly as I could for some one to come, and then sprang up and held him by the leg as he was getting over.

I had such a grip, that I went over the wall with him, and left Jim on the other side. Jenkins fell on his face in the earth. Then he got up, and with a look of deadly hatred on his face, pounced upon me. If help had not come, I think he would have dashed out my brains against the wall, as he dashed out my poor little brothers' against the horse's stall. But just then there was a running sound. Two men came down the street and sprang upon the wall, just where Jim was leaping up and down and barking in distress.