Beautiful Joe
Chapter 14, Page 2


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.


I saw at once by their uniform and the clubs in their hands, that they were policemen. In one short instant they had hold of Jenkins. He gave up then, but he stood snarling at me like an ugly dog. "If it hadn't been for that cur, I'd never a been caught. Why — — ," and he staggered back and uttered a bad word, "it's me own dog."

"More shame to you," said one of the policemen, sternly; "what have you been up to at this time of night, to have your own dog and a quiet minister's spaniel dog a chasing you through the street?"

Jenkins began to swear and would not tell them anything. There was a house in the garden, and just at this minute some one opened a window and called out: "Hallo, there, what are you doing?"

"We're catching a thief, sir," said one of the policemen, "leastwise I think that's what he's been up to. Could you throw us down a bit of rope? We've no handcuffs here, and one of us has to go to the lock-up and the other to Washington street, where there's a woman yelling blue murder; and hurry up, please, sir."

The gentleman threw down a rope, and in two minutes Jenkins' wrists were tied together, and he was walked through the gate, saying bad words as fast as he could to the policeman who was leading him. "Good dogs," said the other policeman to Jim and me. Then he ran up the street and we followed him.

As we hurried along Washington street, and came near our house, we saw lights gleaming through the darkness, and heard people running to and fro. The nurse's shrieking had alarmed the neighborhood. The Morris boys were all out in the street only half clad and shivering with cold, and the Drurys' coachman, with no hat on, and his hair sticking up all over his head, was running about with a lantern.

The neighbors' houses were all lighted up, and a good many people were hanging out of their windows and opening their doors, and calling to each other to know what all this noise meant.

When the policeman appeared with Jim and me at his heels, quite a crowd gathered around him to hear his part of the story. Jim and I dropped on the ground panting as hard as we could, and with little streams of water running from our tongues. We were both pretty well used up. Jim's back was bleeding in several places from the stones that Jenkins had thrown at him, and I was a mass of bruises.

Presently we were discovered, and then what a fuss was made over us. "Brave dogs! noble dogs!" everybody said, and patted and praised us. We were very proud and happy, and stood up and wagged our tails, at least Jim did, and I wagged what I could. Then they found what a state we were in. Mrs. Morris cried, and catching me up in her arms, ran in the house with me, and Jack followed with old Jim.

We all went into the parlor. There was a good fire there, and Miss Laura and Miss Bessie were sitting over it. They sprang up when they saw us, and right there in the parlor washed our wounds, and made us lie down by the fire.

"You saved our silver, brave Joe," said Miss Bessie; "just wait till my papa and mamma come home, and see what they will say. Well, Jack, what is the latest?" as the Morris boys came trooping into the room.

"The policeman has been questioning your nurse, and examining the dining-room, and has gone down to the station to make his report, and do you know what he has found out?" said Jack, excitedly.

"No — what?" asked Miss Bessie.

"Why that villain was going to burn your house."

Miss Bessie gave a little shriek. "Why, what do you mean?"

"Well," said Jack, "they think by what they discovered, that he planned to pack his bag with silver, and carry it off; but just before he did so he would pour oil around the room, and set fire to it, so people would not find out that he had been robbing you."

"Why we might have all been burned to death," said Miss Bessie. "He couldn't burn the dining-room without setting fire to the rest of the house."

"Certainly not," said Jack, that shows what a villain he is."

"Do they know this for certain, Jack?" asked Miss Laura.

"Well, they suppose so; they found some bottles of oil along with the bag he had for the silver."

"How horrible! You darling old Joe, perhaps you saved our lives," and pretty Miss Bessie kissed my ugly, swollen head. I could do nothing but lick her little hand, but always after that I thought a great deal of her.