Chapter 62144632

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1884-08-30
Page Number6
Word Count3278
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)
Trove TitleJohn Brown and His Dog Faithful
article text




About n month after wbat it» related tn the previene chapter, the following conversation took place be- tween John Blown ami Commissioner Ugessergin.

'. Woll. that is capital about I'at «nd your dog. I have noticed him look around corners very askant, and changr colour when I have older d him on some special duty ; hut he knows a command from me must be obeyed. Ile is areal Irishman. Only the other day hu brought in thr e prisoners for some trivial offence. 1 a.-ked him how ho captured three men singlo-handtd. ' Oh, bednd,' he said, ' I mr rounded them,' and he drow himself up to his full height. I would liko to test your dog further. Faithful v. policeman. I will call it. I know when we mut the other day by appointment, as a test, he walked round, smelling me in a suspicious manner, and then gave you a wicked look ; but then I had on my otficiul dress, You say you muoh question if he would save a trooper's life, under any circumstances. I um anxious to put this to the test by following madam's cxumple to an extent. What say you ?"

John Drown-" It is a matter for which I will not be responsible. I have told you how ho seized a Bow street officer at homo, bucause the man unfortunately laid his hands rather roughly on my shoulders, mis- taking uta for sumo person he after. I saved the man's life, and could only curb the dug by begging the Bow-street runner to go into a shop, but of sight for a montent or two ; thou I, iii suothittg tones, puc a muzrlo on thu mouth of the old dog. Tho remainder of. that day und all night hu nus locked up in a cell, and by bribes to the sulfuring (loliuciiinii, got the dog free. Faithful bus never forgotten this man's action to his master ; confinement in cell, and array of policemen around him in court."

-? But you tull me, Mr John Brown, that even iou have to mind your P.'s and Q.'s at certain times. How is it? A Newfoundland dog is gonerally so docile !"

?'? " Some years ugo. in tho old country, a burglar broke into my father's house. The lunn was putting on ii coat of mino in the hull, when the dog sprung upon him. Hearing a noise, I rushed from my room with a light, ami endeavoured to rescue the man. The dog gave one teariug shake of tho burglar, and turned on mo ; and if it hnd not been for my presence of mind in u-lu* a stout stick, I had picked up in the hall, and forcing it between his teeth as he oarae at me with open mouth. I don't know what would have been the end. I soothed tho dog by words ; then he stretched himself nt my feet, licking my hand, and whining in a most piteous manner, as if in great sorrow-sorrow that he had turned his anger on me. Tho burglar lived only three days to confess a long list ot crimes, inoluding ur.ou aud murder. I found by inquiry, in Bearohing tho dog's pedigree, that his grandfather was a puro bred bloodhound. So here was the explanation : tho keen scent of the hound, and tho docility of tho Newfoundland-a war at time uotweoa tho two natures. He is so docile that lie would not hurta ohild ; but whon rho blood- hound blood is up, look out. .Iiis sonto of smell is so acute at times, und anger BO great, that thu New- foundland blood is. entirely thrown into the book ground. I fully believe the taking my coat sealed the burglar's fate."

" Well, Mr John Brown I don't like such a dog against the force. I wish he wero on our side. Against criminals, why such a dog would be of more worth to me than all my men."

" Mr Commissioner, you forget ; Faithful's mode of proceeding would be bloodhound law, and not at - all timos British justice."

- " True i a remark I would expect from your sense of justioo. But to proooed. I don't boast ; but I con say I am not a coward (which was most true, for a braver man never walked on earth.) I want to test this dog, and see if ho will let a policeman sink or swim. I want to test his tn emery and scent."

. " On only two conditions, Mr Ugesscrgin. First, I hold myself unanswerable for the consequences. Second, my dog shall in no ways be harmed ; for, with all due respcot, I would not have Faithful harmed for the best officer in tho Victorian Govern- ment." i

" Strong language, Mr John Brown, for Faithful is only a doy after all."

"Yes, only, a dog" stroking his beard. "How many dog» have proved themselves more faithful than professing friends V Men talk in kind of sophistry of tho love of man to mun (women wo will say noth- ing about). Bah 1 What is such talk worth too often 1 Money I Cash-the lever, the motive power. After tho bosom friend is served, tho applioant is gratified ¡ becomes a blank, if there bo no mora golden coin. The giver has his day of brightness, followed too often by a night of tho darkness of neglect. How many dogs have, in the lone bush, remained by their dead muster's Bide, starving and pining away to daath. A more faithful oreature you cannot find if you search the world over than a dog. Call to mind St. Bernard's dogs. My own dog would pine away and die if anything happened to me to cause my death," ' '

" Well,1 Mr John Brown, I quite agree with you, and accept your two conditions. Your noblo animal shall in no wuy be harmed, and I will risk the re- sponsibility ; for when I have a hobby horse,'I liko to ride him to the end. But this is not put for- ward as a mere whim, but, if I may so say, an intel- lectual problem 1 want to work out. To-morrow will bo u quiet day j lot ns put tho matter to test, and ceo if tho sagaotous animal remembers ine, after the one interview wo had."

PlaitB were duly arranged, and John Brown meet- ing Pat, told him to be in ambush to see tho result.

"Will ho remember the Commissioner, think you, sir?"

" I fully believe ho will, Pat. , The instinct of a Newfoundland dog is great. Omi of these dogs was provoked boyond endurance by the continual annoy- ance of a little dog j it took tho tormentor in its mouth, well out to sea, and left it there to drown. (t\ict). Another was attacked by a small and pug- nacious bulldog, whloh sprung upon the unoffending canine giant, and after the manner of bulldogs, " pinned " him by tho nose, and thero hung in spite of all endeavours to shako him off. The Newfound- land Anding things so, seeing a pot full nf boiling tar, he deliberately lowered the bulldog into it." (.A fact).

" I am glad, sir, you havo told me that, for the baste might drop me into a pot or hole someday ; so I will keep away from tho baste."

The next day the trial was put to tho test; Only Achates and Pat were let into tho secret of Com- missioner Ugessergin's ' test. Lyndhurst was left smoking his black pipe.

Tho Commissioner, on the diggings side of tho oieek, took oil his coat and vest he usually 'wore (olHoial dress), and placed thom on tho ' bank j then wrapping a strong, thiok comforter round his nook for tho protection of his throat, walked tho log. All was previously arranged to tho moment by time.

John Brown mid Achntes, accompanied by Faith- ful, sauntered along tho opposito bank: Splash went Ugesscrgin. Thc dog prioked up his ears, and off ho wont ; John Brown and Aohates nt his hecla Pat-looking from his hiding place, ° murmuring, " Will tho baste find me 7"

Faithful plunged in, without a pause, and swam to tho apparently drowning chief ; caught hold of him by thc waistband of his trousers,, swam a few strokes, then stopped, looking at the man of law and ordor's faeo j dropped him with a kind of savage growl, and swain across tho creek alono. Mount- ing tho bank with flashing eyes, ho stumbled on the coat and vest ; smelled them, seized them between his tooth, and disappeared np thu bank, into some bushes, and there tore them into shreds, using his two hind feet as a parting sally, to kiok up Use earth on tho onco officiai garments-a Bign of the utmost contempt ; then trotted homo alone, (Lyndhurst said the dog looked very savage when ho entered tho hut.)

Half an hour af terwards, when the group of four (Pat having walked, ''promUommtly," he said, that way, joined tho three) stood around tho torn-up uniform, the chief roared with laughter.

- 'When his. mirth in a measure subsided, John Brown, looking very grave, brushing his beard, said,

"Be thankful it was not your body, instead of the clothes."

" No," replied the good-natured chief. 11 No, the scamp let mo drown ¡ so, by intent, is guilty of police

alaaghter. and considering I wu ns good aa dead, he I destroyed my clothes and woald bary them, to re-

move all trace ot his villainy. Come, I got the ; docking, and am more than satisle l. No more tests , for me. Come to my tent, aud we will drink success in champagne bj the old dog. Put (with a twinkle in his eye), will you arrest that dog for mu?"

'. No, by jahliera, I would sooner ¡urround the Bed Blanket tent alone. The haythua. baste ! Toa may


" All right. Now for the tent."

Achates' no.*: went up and hi* chin came dosra, a* they all walked to the Commissioner's tent.

About six weeks ufter tho ab ive occurrence took Ëlatw, thing» wura beginning to look gloomy at

Hack wood.

The gold returns wuru falling off: John Brown's claim was not paying any too well.

Lyndhurst had kept at work, but in his own

mind he was restless. John Browi and Achates

were not his stump. No betting-billiurds without cash-to give the game zest. Whi*t without »takes, no - points.'* in tJiort. the two friends were too etraitiht-iuuud for Lyndhurst ; so ho talked of going to Uullorat, und there commencing court work, atc.

So arrangement* wera made to dissolve partner- ship, ou a Tuesduy. This was done.

That same evening Lyndhurst went out. The two friends thought he ¡iud gone to one of the billiard saloons, aa hu intended they should ; but he wanted to learn if they would converse about kim. He wuntu! to know what they thought of himself, so sat down ou a log close to the hut. to play the eavesdropper, uud itt thu fol,owing conversation he pricked up his curs.

" I got a letter from my man of business (or rather, one of his quill-drivers) to-day, regarding that hui i in Collingwood 1 guve two thousand pounds tor. I know a good investment ; but the fool of a fellow sent mu thu deeds, in tho face of what I distinctly told him-to place them in the bank. There wu« tho risk by thu duuds coming here, und now tlvo equal risk of their transit back to tho haul: in Melbourne. The only thing I can do is tu seal them np ugain, and post them by next week's mull, direct to tho bank.

"You have done well uv getting that land, no doubt, John. Lawyers sometimes make blunders like other men, it appears. I have Home writing to do, so let us set tu, while we uro uloue and qu et."

Scratch, sera toll, scratch, wont the quill pens for

some timo.

?' Dono," oried Achates, with tho joyfulness of a person who hates letter writing, when tho hated

work is done. ; ' " "

" I huve also finished tho ruuj. Lost horse ; soy eecoud. Now, givo me one nf your offioiitl envelopes, Aohutcs, my buy." ?.< . .

"I will get ono.'* said Achates,'rising from the rickety table. . ; \'

"Look out, man,you have upset the only ink wo havo. Pick up your letters. Quiokl Just in time. Well, it cannot bu helped. Give nie the envelope, and I will seal thu deeds and lutter up, and, then they will be all ready to address, when we get some ink. Thanks; now for the seal." ,

With that Lyndhurst got up and walked away, muttering to himself

'. So, so, my boys. Two thousand pound's worth -a fhake of tho dieu. Yes, will aid me to work my plans in England. Gold I have my share, for work- ing as a hor. y hand of the soil (looking at his hands by a lighted match hu hud struck, to light his short, black oluy pipe.) Yes 1 blister upon blister ; and that John Brown told me, with a sneering smile, when I showed him my hands after the first day with the pick, thut hu looked at no man in an unkindly spirit ; but that he went deeper than the hand. Ile (forsooth.) said, ' Tho horny hand I value,

Sroviding it bu un honest hand, as muoh as the

owny palm and taper fingers,' und stretching out his hand, he went ou, ' Don't talk of blue blood, for ? it only shows u deeper dye of blackness, when it dips

itself into iniquity.' Well, Master John Brown, you hit me there below the belt ; but my name is not Handslip if I don't hit you in return, to tho tune of two thousand pounds."

Lyndhurst walked on.

'. Well, Achates, do you think we should have a look at that claim to-morrow morning-the French- man's?" i .;- '

Achates' noao went up and chin oame down, in contemplation, and the poor moustache suffered.

At the end of ton minutes oame the reply, " Yes ¡ but bad we not better sleep on it."

The next morning, the two inseparables did go to view tho Frenchman's olalm, which wus for: sale, leaving Lyndhurst to puck up his swag.

But few diggers travelled on horseback those days ; on foot was almost the universal way. . ? - ?

Faithful wus loft in tho hut. The hole and drive of Bacchus and Do Wort had been filled up, tho Commiaiioner insisting upon De Wert doing this ere he was transferred to the Melbourne1 penal establishment-Pentridge. '

At 1(1 o'clock a.m., John Brown and Achates' re- turned, and found their late mate all ready to start ; in foot, ho was waiting for them, to bid farowell. His gold ho had forwurded by tho escort. .

Farewells were taken ; thon Lyndhurst started by tho biased line to Daylesford,

" I don't liku that man," said Aohates, feeling his moustache. "He is a perfect enigma to me, He will smell homp yet, if he docs not take caro, ' - <r.v

" Well, he is puitling-onigmatioal ; beyond- all question.- Those deep-set eyes and mouth I don't fancy. Well, ho is gono." ": !. x^.

John Brown, looking up at tho dog,' continued. " What is tho matter, old boy ? No, I cannot let you off the chain. I'll give you a run this evening, when we return." ?. ,,. ?,, -, ,

Thu dog was whining and made very olear demon- stration to got off the ohain.

Tho Commissioner carno to tho hut a short time afterwards, so John Brown concluded Faithful hod smelled th« approach of Mr Ugesscrgin, and so hence his uneasiness. ,

Soon ufter tho three loft tho hut, and did not return until lute in tbo ufternoon,

The dog fawned upon his muster on John Brown's rotnrn, and mudtt suoh strong demonstration of want- ing to be loose that John Brown slipped the collar. Tho dog immediately loft the hut,

That ovening tho dog could not be found.

Time passed. John Brown became uneasy. Brown wont one way, and Aohates went another, to inquire, to get, if possible, some traue of the dog.

Neither could fathom or understand tho animal s movements. That he had gone after Lyndhurst, they both scouted the idea, for tho dog never took to him.

The Newfoundland hod never loft his master bofore in Uko fashion. It was a mystery.

John Brown found Faithful had boon soon crossing tho crook, then rnnning up and down on tho opposite side, as if in search of something, with nose olose to the ground. ? ; 1 .

When the two friends mot nt the hut, John Brown told Achates what ho had heard, saying,

" What can tho old scamp bo about, think you ?"

" I cannot toll. Think you he 1B after Lyndhurst ?" " No, for I cannot seo tho why or wherefore. Nothing of mino has been taken from tho hut. By Japitorl My letters 1" rising, and looking at the secret place lie kept his letters for post. " No, they aro all right ; signed, sealed, but not delivered. Yes, they are all safo."

f That night Faithful did not return.

Next day passed till nearly dusk ; yet no furthor trace of tho dog.

Just bofore dunk, Pat the policeman'rodo up to John Brown's hut, post haste, and rushed in, ex- claiming. " Be gorra 1 then I saw that hnythen baste of yours just now in the bushes thc other sido of the creek. Ile hud something besido him, in the scrub, and when I name (promiscuously) upon him, he left tho black object seeing it was me, and rushed at me. Bo gorra 1 I did not wait to spake to tho beast,, but Jut spurs to my horse, rushed across tho wliater,

alin' narvous.

" Contd you not see what ho had ?" said John Brown.

" No, by the soul of my mother. Be gorra, I did not wait, for I thought tho basto would spring on the buckof my horse. Tho basto will be the death of me yet." ' -

" Don't bo alarmed Pat, tho CommlsBlonor is going to transfer you to another distriot. Ho told mo so yesterday, when I spoko to him about you." '

" Thanks, thanks. Oh, thunder and nouns 1 Here comes the basto. Protect mo ; I am off."

And Pat waa off. Uko a moteor.

Faithful entered tho hut, carrying a swag-i.e. blankets rolled up and «trapped. Tho dog was quito exhausted, for ho no sooner carried the heavy swag to his master's feet than he throw himself down panting, by tho sido of tho swag. .

'. What is the meaning of this, old boy.?'' said John Brown. " Moro mystery 1 What is in the wind? Have yon killed any one ?" ,. ri . '. J' i

Achates looked deep, thought, adding the nana! signs.