Beautiful Joe
Chapter 20, 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.


When this boy took a seat, a young girl read some verses that she had clipped from a newspaper:

"Don't kill the toads, the ugly toads,
That hop around your door;
Each meal the little toad doth eat
A hundred bugs or more.

"He sits around with aspect meek,
Until the bug hath neared,
Then shoots he forth his little tongue
Like lightning double-geared.

"And then he soberly doth wink,
And shut his ugly mug,
And patiently doth wait until
There comes another bug."

Mr. Maxwell told a good dog story after this. He said the president need not have any fears as to its truth, for it had happened in his boarding house in the village, and he had seen it himself. Monday, the day before, being wash-day, his landlady had put out a large washing. Among the clothes on the line was a gray flannel shirt belonging to her husband. The young dog belonging to the house had pulled the shirt from the line and torn it to pieces. The woman put it aside and told him master would beat him. When the man came home to his dinner, he showed the dog the pieces of the shirt, and gave him a severe whipping. The dog ran away, visited all the clothes lines in the village, till he found a gray shirt very like his master's. He seized it and ran home, laying it at his master's feet, joyfully wagging his tail meanwhile.

Mr. Maxwell's story done, a bright-faced boy, called Simon Grey, got up and said: "You all know our old gray horse Ned. Last week father sold him to a man in Hoytville, and I went to the station when he was shipped. He was put in a box car. The doors were left a little open to give him air, and were locked in that way. There was a narrow, sliding door, four feet from the floor of the car, and, in some way or other, old Ned pushed this door open, crawled through it, and tumbled out on the ground. When I was coming from school, I saw him walking along the track. He hadn't hurt himself, except for a few cuts. He was glad to see me, and followed me home. He must have gotten off the train when it was going full speed, for he hadn't been seen at any of the stations, and the trainmen were astonished to find the doors locked and the car empty, when they got to Hoytville. Father got the man who bought him to release him from his bargain, for he says if Ned is so fond of Riverdale, he shall stay here."

The president asked the boys and girls to give three cheers for old Ned, and then they had some more singing. After all had taken their seats, he said he would like to know what the members had been doing for animals during the past fortnight.