|Newspaper Title||Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)|
|Trove Title||John Brown and His Dog Faithful|
HIS DOO- FAITHFUL
aar. a. w. nun,
LAWRENCE, CLARENCE RIVER, N, S. W.
With that ho walked iaaide to get a match, no! -knowing Aw match waa at his heels, throwing lighl on tho spot he wanted to ace. It waa only the werk ot a brace of minâtes, but I saw what I wanted."
There was a pause, for tho nose was feeding in the tumbler. , , ' . .
.- 11 Now, I will tell you tho whole sequel of my
"Jirlcjty, Bacchus, if you know such a word,' interjected Do Wert, killing a small, harmless ny on the tablo with a broken pronged fork.
-.: "The eaglohawk," proceeded Bacchus, having dur- ing hlB colleague's interjection held up the black bottle to tho light, to see how many charges were left, " The eaglehawk is boss of the nest. Ile put on his veto about Bending their gold away. They are doing well. Shuxpoyo purchased a large beer barrel _I wish. I hod thu boor, ho could have tho barrel saying ho wanted to keep his provisions in. He, by his skill, has cut out with great ingenuity a «mall trap or side door ; a sliolf is placed over it-a kind of brocket. This duor opens on to an orillee made in tho ground, whuro the gold is deposited ; tho bracket screwed over tho doer, etc., olevorly arranged. The cask ls Bunk In the ground ; provisions are placed in it. So to-day, I wanted to ac» the exact ¡.pot of thc said cask. I did and further, there is a heavy lid on top. This I was glad.of, on account ot thc dog : for oven with a good Spanish poniard I would not like close quarters with such a giant. Now, wc cannot got at tho bank as top sawyers, so our plan of oporation must be from below. I will carefully to-morrow uvoning, compilas and measure tho ground, Our shaft is not so far from tho eagle's nest but that wo can do this. The hut is due west from our bolo, BO wo must turn in our north drive west. All will think wo are going North while wo aro marohing Wost. Do you soo, my hearty ? Speak I"
He wanted a refresher.
" Yes, Bacchus, you huvo not boon idlo."
Tho molten grapo had fallen into tho tumblor, and the' Uro had poured down in the mean time ; the act was tho echo of bis lovo. .±- ».
" Nelson said ' England ox-mots every man to do his duty,' so I did not liko to waste tima while you wero Bpeaking, Do Wort. I wish I had boon on board when tho men tapped his cask."
"I don't think, Bacchus, when you pass ovor tc tho great majority any ono will need to preserve your body in spirits."
" No, Do Wort, some commence outwardly to pre- serve a body, following tho oxample of Crots and Blackwell, purveyors to her majesty ; but I believe in tho Egyptian plan with their dead, only, they loavo tho matter alouo till the man is dead. . By tho soul of-iny boot, I say commonoo during lifo. Aha I aha I aba I But, to proceed. I have maila the neces- sary calculations, so ns to gradually elevate our driva to reach tho bottom of tho oosk. To-morrow morning wo will commence duo Wost," draining tho .black bottlo os he spoke
* * . « . * * * .
Wo parted with John Brown and Achates on the Wednesday, returning homo. On thoir way they made a slight detour, so passed close to Da Wart and Bacohus' hole, (both thesa mon wore below at tho Urne.) J i.
- John Brown caught sight of tho earth that had been brought up during tho day. and ploking up a handful, walked on, drawing Achates' attention to the kind lt was.
-The HOBO wont up and chin came down instantly.
: Af tor a long pauso, Achates replied, " A screw loose somewhere ; that» not bottom soil. I don't Uko thoBO two ; they have appeared to me perfect
ohildron of Janus.'"
? "-Woll," Bimko John Brown, " wo must endeavour to uutio the knot of Gordlus, or follow tho example of Alexander tho Great, by cutting it. I have not Boen muoh of De Wort ; but phosphorous, I know, is no good. His motto,'' Evil, be thou my God.' "
That night John Drown had some quiet, yot plain, conversation with Lyndhurst, who for once was most frank, saying ne hod out the company of Bacchus sinco tho Saturday night-which was true, He told how ho hod played billiards with him, but what happened on Saturday night late, his mind was a blank. . Ho fut thor Baid, only on the Sunday a.m. had ho oponed his lips to Bacchus since, for ho was eurolie was a thorough scoundrel.
Lyndhurst was so frank, that John Brown was both pleased and satisfied. Mora pleased with him, in fact, than he had been ever sinco they first met ; and John Brown told Achates so.
- And when Lyndhurst was told of tho kind of soil from-Do Wort's shaft, ho, knowing the different strata of earth, at once saw .something was up, and said ho would go down their shaft that night whon all 'waa . quiet, and seo ; nnd further advised John Brown to remove tho gold from thc hiding place.
About two o'clock in the morning ho did go down, and saw all ; and by measurement with a line ho took with him, found the drive could not bo mora than nino feet from his hut.
So a council was held at oarly dawn.
' The three felt night would bo tho timo chosen for thcßitul movo ¡ but in casa not, Lyndhurst waa to remain home on Bick list, revolver ready, whioh
was done.- ? - 1 '? .
. ' Nothing happened, Night drow on, and further plans arranged.
. » "... .,,»,... .« . ». .» , «
. ' " Well, Baoohue, how far from the lead, think
" By my calculations, six feet and a half s I WOB not taught surveying for nothing, you will find."
"May your survoyorship prove your words by touching the Et -Dorado at tho right spot. I will break through my usual rule by taking some fire
water, and drinking success to TOOT undertaking. Bo here ia to yon. ' May your shadow never grow lea*, living to a green old age ; casting off your mortal coil in a bed of down.' There. Bacchus.
" Hear 1 hear 1 De Wert, you are waking up from Íour lethargy ; or, may I aay, lethargic somuambu
ism that too often dims the horiaon of your intel- lectual powers, through not wetting your faculties by the renovator of man-P. B.
" One in the firm of Bacchus and De Wert is enough. (Octtv ewe- yea, one too many.) Remember, immediately thia job is done to night, we must be «OM at. 1 have that job to do to-night at the butcher's, while he is away slaughtering the inno- cents for to-morrow's repast, and his obliging wife is sick. Let us meet at say 12 o'clock sharp, here, and then clear out. You are confident you can manage your work, now-alo ef I am equally confident."
" Confident I Yes, more than confident, for eagle sniffer, aud ferret are to give their patronage iv« dit) to-night to tile Serenader Company ; so there is only the dog. But the heavy lid shuts him out, so what
need 1 fear. Let us pack up, De Wert."
" Are you quito sure you can manage the hut par! of the business yourself, Mr Brown, without danger to your noble doff Í"
.. Yes, depend upon it, I would not risk my noble dog's life on an uncertain venture. But nota brue mar* well-in th¡B case his grip will be death
quick, sure, certain. But 1 have no scruple in th ii case, for Mr Acuate» has learned much within thii hour. His first cue was, he found De Wert hat robbed madam of *>lôU."
John Brown did not say-tho' he felt it-that mademoiselle being robbed, put Achates on hil
"So he was. led to play the eavesdropper at Bacchus' hut, und heard all their plans, which I wili now tell you."
Plans the reader knows of.
" Well, sir, leave De Wert s hut to mo ; some of inj men will be there und around the shaft, and-.
" For heaven's nuke, Commissioner, keep your mer from going into the hole or drive, for it the dug smells a trooper in the state of mind he will bo in, I would not give a button for the policeman's life Be cannot climb the hole, so let your men keep on top."
" I huve heard something about this dog'i antipathy to the force j but uuotbor time you will kindly tell me if it be all true. But to business ¡ time is valuable. One word. I fully agreo with you : let the dog do the work to the death, for I know Bacchus is a murderer, and only escaped the gallowt by swearing another man's life away. I could tell you even ni,ire : but to our work at onoe."
" Well, now the thiee havo gone, I must to work, I could do nothing till I saw them go. I am too fly for that. I value my throat too muoh. Ves, Dc Wert, I may walt for you ; but why should I J That's thu rub. No, no, my boy, I'll be done by ll o'clock, for the ground is soft ; so I will take all thc hut contains-your's and mine.. Aha, aha, aha, What is yours is mine, ito. You send mo back to the ohain gang I An unfortunate speech of yours. Why not put a polnard in your heart when you enter the hut on your return, and then I will have the but- cher's cash too. Yes, I'll do that. Yes, De Wert, you die to night, and I away to Amerioa. But now to work. De Wert, you will have a cold steel reception on your return. Now a good drink,- to give me nerve." ?;. ? , ?
In i kind of stage whisper, "Ho is working away, Pat. What do you say to go down the hole ¡ I'll stop here, as tho boss told me,"
" What 1 go down there, and give that baste a scent of me I By tho soul of my inothor, no, no. Da you think, Bob, tho baste could jump up tho hould, or
break out of the hut?"
" lie could not olirab tho hole, but might get up the chimney of the hut." Said with a satirical smile, unseen to Put in the intense darknoss.
" By my mother's soul, I forgot tho chimney. The murtherin baste. Bob, you stop hore, and I will get one of tho other boys to take my place, and I will givo you a day's pay. The baste I I am narvous,
" Stop, Pat. Listen I Bacchus is coming to the
mouth of thu drivo."
" Where is the bottle ? I left it here on this ledge. What I by the soul of my boot. What's this at my feet ? Broken, and my revolver in a pool of blandy ; and mutches, too. Oh 1 fury. A full bottle, too ; all lost. By tho soul of my boot, what shall I do 7 Revolver useless now ; but I won't need it. Matohes I do ; but must work in the dork. I have reached the cask ; only now to take out tho bottom. Yes, I can manage. Jupiter I What ls that 7 Havel the blue dovils ? My brain is in a whirl (putting his hand to his forehead). What I blue lights? What it thut ?" (Staring as if his vory oyes were starting out of his hood). A man with a out throat pleading foi I morey. Well, I wanted his money, and he was toe
old to live. Ah I did ho not plead with mo ; the old dotard. What ! a gibbet, a gallows, and a man dangling in the air, looking with eyes of Aro, that burn my brain. Take your oyes off me. I, only swore to a lie to admit you to tho land of spirits ; your body swings like an old sign board on a windy night. I caro not ; but keep your oyes away. Aha, aha, aha. What I you fiends, are you laughing ; as you dance around, like tho three witches ; and you, Satan, I havo served so well, grinning and beckoning mu ta you. 1 will not go. 1 defy you, and all your serfs.
Avaunt I avaunt 1 thou doubly damned fiends of hell. You press on, do you. Go back 1 back 1 My soul for u drink, to give me nervo. Ah 1 yes, you point to tho spilt brandy. Thanks, you are right ; I forgot. I will lap up what ls spilt-spilled for- tunately, in a pocket of tho hard rock."
With that Bacchus went flat down, and lapped as a dog that he was-tho spilt brandy. Lapped and lapped till tho vory dregs wera finished ; lapped and lapped till his tongue swept the olay at tho bottom of tho pookot. .Thou he scooped out with his snukoy, serpent fingers tho little clay thut nature's cup con- tained, saturated with tho flory liquor. Thou placing it at his noso, sniffed and sniffed tho essence again and again, till it was but spiritless day, ? ' .
" Ah 11 ara myself again. By tho soul of my boot. Richard is himself again. Lead on ; load on Mao duff, to the lead, without weapon, without light. ' I will, if necessary, now beard Satan himself in hie den." ....
With that Bacchus crawled up tho drive. " Did you hoar that, Pat ?'*
" Yes." Pat's teeth chattering, and shivering from head to foot. " Will ho let the baste loose, do you think 7 I'll mako tracks."
"You fool; what ÍB tho time ?"
" Just 11 o'clock," blowing out a match. ' "Ohl My G-,'" from tho barrel.
" Keep away, for your lifo, Mr Couimtsslonor, till I secure tho dog. Give me your dark lantern." ,
With that John Brown rushed into the hut, speak- ing loud to Faithful, that the dog might recognise his voice, and if possible save tho lifo of Bacchus, But, too late, for Faithful's grip was a fatal one. -
There was the dog, lashing his tail from side to side, as a lion ¡ fire of anger in his eyes, holding Bacchus by the throat ; his body ' half drawn up through the cask; his eyes protruding, with his tongue wedged between his teeth.
The man was dead, John Brown Baw ; but Faithful still held on, gluring at his master in an ominous
manner. , .. . .
John Brown know tho warning look, BO remained still as a statue (in duo time the reader will see the reason), for he knew tho dog. At last Faithful appeared satisfied, so raising himself on his two : foro feet, lifted the body up, up; then dragged it com- pletely out of tho cask, and would have attempted to go down tho barrel (but John Brown,' with , quick thought, clapped on the lid), for immediately tho dog had dragged the body far enough ho (the dog) made one bound to tho mouth of the cask. ? AB John Brown felt, Faithful hod drawn tho body up with this intention. He gave one Bavago growl at tho aask lid, and then with flashing eyes, prepared for a spring on John Brown. This he expected to an extent, so opened hts arms to rcccivo his dog, with firm eyes fixed on the animal. No lion tamer ever used his orbs to better purpose.
As tho dog was about to spring, John Brown spoke in gentío, soothing tones. < The spring was made. Still John Brown stood his ground. Planing his heels firmly in the earth, ho caught Faithful by tho two long cars, and soothed him with gentle words, until the dog licked his face, and whined as if in sorrow for his own anger.
.John Brown replied to his canino friend's sorrow, "You cannot help it old boy ; it ls in your blood. I know you love your master. You stop here and I will put you on tho chain."
' No dova could be moro docllo than Faithful- at
Bacchus had worked his way up tho cask, half, or moro than half stuplficd with the brandy ho had taken, and the visions he1 thought he saw. He' did not sea that the lid of the cask was off. Also the intense darVnees aided this.
John Brown hod left hi« handkerchief near the
raak, telling Faithful tx. watch it. When Baoohaa broke through, thu dog vt.in on thu ulert, and no sooner had Bacchus* head reucht-d the top of the barrel than he »as gripped by Ure throat-helpless,
powerless, lifeless. j
De Wert was apprehended that night, en erlng his ' hut with the butcher's cn sh in him. The £150 | belonging to madam and her friend WUK found in the ! hut, and returned by Achates, whh the Commis sionerV osrarpti rn tints.
Du Wert (rot »oven years or. tho mads.