Beautiful Joe
Chapter 14, Page 3


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.


It is now some years since all this happened, and I might as well tell the end of it. The next day the Drurys came home, and everything was found out about Jenkins. The night they left Fairport he had been hanging about the station. He knew just who were left in the house, for he had once supplied them with milk, and knew all about their family. He had no customers at this time, for after Mr. Harry rescued me, and that piece came out in the paper about him, he found that no one would take milk from him. His wife died, and some kind people put his children in an asylum, and he was obliged to sell Toby and the cows. Instead of learning a lesson from all this, and leading a better life, he kept sinking lower.

He was, therefore, ready for any kind of mischief that turned up, and when he saw the Drurys going away in the train, he thought he would steal a bag of silver from their sideboard, then set fire to the house, and run away and hide the silver. After a time he would take it to some city and sell it.

He was made to confess all this. Then for his wickedness he was sent to prison for ten years, and I hope he will get to be a better man there, and be one after he comes out.

I was sore and stiff for a long time, and one day Mrs. Drury came over to see me. She did not love dogs as the Morrises did. She tried to, but she could not.

Dogs can see fun in things as well as people can, and I buried my muzzle in the hearth-rug, so that she would not see how I was curling up my lip and smiling at her.

"You — are — a — good — dog," she said, slowly. "You are" — then she stopped, and could not think of anything else to say to me. I got up and stood in front of her, for a well-bred dog should not lie down when a lady speaks to him. I wagged my body a little, and I would gladly have said something to help her out of her difficulty, but I couldn't. If she had stroked me it might have helped her; but she didn't want to touch me, and I knew she didn't want me to touch her, so I just stood looking at her.

"Mrs. Morris," she said, turning from me with a puzzled face, "I don't like animals, and I can't pretend to, for they always find me out; but can't you let that dog know that I shall feel eternally grateful to him for saving not only our property — for that is a trifle — but my darling daughter from fright and annoyance, and a possible injury or loss of life?"

"I think he understands," said Mrs. Morris. "He is a very wise dog." And smiling in great amusement, she called me to her and put my paws on her lap. "Look at that lady, Joe. She is pleased with you for driving Jenkins away from her house. You remember Jenkins?"

I barked angrily and limped to the window.

"How intelligent he is," said Mrs. Drury. "My husband has sent to New York for a watchdog, and he says that from this on our house shall never be without one. Now I must go. Your dog is happy, Mrs. Morris, and I can do nothing for him, except to say that I shall never forget him, and I wish he would come over occasionally to see us. Perhaps when we get our dog he will. I shall tell my cook whenever she sees him to give him something to eat. This is a souvenir for Laura of that dreadful night. I feel under a deep obligation to you, so I am sure you will allow her to accept it." Then she gave Mrs. Morris a little box and went away.

When Miss Laura came in, she opened the box, and found in it a handsome diamond ring. On the inside of it was engraved: "Laura, in memory of December 20th, 18 — . From her grateful friend, Bessie."

The diamond was worth hundreds of dollars, and Mrs. Morris told Miss Laura that she had rather she would not wear it then, while she was a young girl. It was not suitable for her, and she knew Mrs. Drury did not expect her to do so. She wished to give her a valuable present, and this would always be worth a great deal of money.