Beautiful Joe
Chapter 15

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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 XV: OUR JOURNEY TO RIVERDALE

Every other summer, the Morris children were sent to some place in the country, so that they could have a change of air, and see what country life was like. As there were so many of them they usually went different ways.

The summer after I came to them, Jack and Carl went to an uncle in Vermont, Miss Laura went to another in New Hampshire, and Ned and Willie went to visit a maiden aunt who lived in the White Mountains.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris stayed at home. Fairport was a lovely place in summer, and many people came there to visit.

The children took some of their pets with them, and the others they left at home for their mother to take care of. She never allowed them to take a pet animal anywhere, unless she knew it would be perfectly welcome. "Don't let your pets be a worry to other people," she often said to them, "or they will dislike them and you too."

Miss Laura went away earlier than the others, for she had run down through the spring, and was pale and thin. One day, early in June, we set out. I say "we," for after my adventure with Jenkins, Miss Laura said that I should never be parted from her. If any one invited her to come and see them and didn't want me, she would stay at home.

The whole family went to the station to see us off. They put a chain on my collar and took me to the baggage office and got two tickets for me. One was tied to my collar and the other Miss Laura put in her purse. Then I was put in a baggage car and chained in a corner. I heard Mr. Morris say that as we were only going a short distance, it was not worth while to get an express ticket for me.

There was a dreadful noise and bustle at the station. Whistles were blowing and people were rushing up and down the platform. Some men were tumbling baggage so fast into the car where I was, that I was afraid some of it would fall on me.

For a few minutes Miss Laura stood by the door and looked in, but soon the men had piled up so many boxes and trunks that she could not see me. Then she went away. Mr. Morris asked one of the men to see that I did not get hurt, and I heard some money rattle. Then he went away too.

It was the beginning of June and the weather had suddenly become very hot. We had a long, cold spring, and not being used to the heat, it seemed very hard to bear.

Before the train started, the doors of the baggage car were closed, and it became quite dark inside. The darkness, and the heat, and the close smell, and the noise, as we went rushing along, made me feel sick and frightened.

I did not dare to lie down, but sat up trembling and wishing that we might soon come to Riverdale Station. But we did not get there for some time, and I was to have a great fright.

I was thinking of all the stories that I knew of animals traveling. In February, the Drurys' Newfoundland watch-dog, Pluto, had arrived from New York, and he told Jim and me that he had a miserable journey.

A gentleman friend of Mr. Drury's had brought him from New York. He saw him chained up in his car, and he went into his Pullman, first tipping the baggage-master handsomely to look after him. Pluto said that the baggage-master had a very red nose, and he was always getting drinks for himself when they stopped at a station, but he never once gave him a drink or anything to eat, from the time they left New York till they got to Fairport. When the train stopped there, and Pluto's chain was unfastened, he sprang out on the platform and nearly knocked Mr. Drury down. He saw some snow that had sifted through the station roof and he was so thirsty that he began to lick it up. When the snow was all gone, he jumped up and licked the frost on the windows.