|Chapter Title||JOHN BROWN AND ACHATES CONVERSATION RE HEBE, &C.- FAITHFUL AGAIN AFTER PAT - PAT'S HISTORY, &C.|
|Newspaper Title||Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)|
|Trove Title||John Brown and His Dog Faithful|
HIS DOG FAITHFUL
REV. E. W. HOLDEN.
LAWRENCE, CLARENCE RIVER, N. S. W.
A few days after the above conversation, John Brown and Achates went to look at a claim they thought of purchasing, on tho old Wombat Lead. The dog Faithful was with them, walking at their heels in a kind of brown study.
Both John Brown and Achates went down the hole to examine the drives and get some washdirt for themselves, leaving the Newfoundland "at grass." This the dog did not appreciate, so he went for a run
on his own account.
The two friends were for some time down the hole, "panning " off the stuff they were testing. When all was done, John Brown missed his dog. At first he could get no tidings, and was concluding Faithful had gone home, when he made one more inquiry. This was the reply he got,
" Why, I saw more than half an hour ago a fellow like a trooper running across that hill, like as if the father of Evil was at his heels, and a monster of a dog going pell mell after him. I can assure you it shook the blues out of me. When I saw it, I was writhing with toothache, but the sight drove it away. Such I should recommend as a panacea for all ills. Ha, ha, ha, it was grand ; I only wish I could have followed with my wooden leg."
" Come, Achates. off over the hill and see what is up. Ten to one it is Pat, for he was to arrive this morning, by what Ugessergin told me."
Over the rise they went, and saw a hut part way down on the other side, which they made for, to get further in formation if possible. They could see before they got to the hut that it was deserted. As they approached, they saw something glistening in the sun. It was a bright sword ; the sun's rays falling on it caused the glistening. Soon they heard a voice
of the Emerald Isle.
"You baste! What have you done with my sword ? You baste ! You have me in resarve. Sorra's the day I left ould Ireland, to come to this land of haythen bastes, Australy. By the soul of my mother ; you baste, give me my sword. Ah ! belave it, you gossoon, I will oblitherate you. It is ondacent of you to wag your tail. If you let me go I will make thracks, and niver come near you again. Aisy, you flays ; how did you get up here ? You flays ; and that baste enough to makr a man nervous. You never had a mother, or else you would have some tender blood in your veins. My country ! My country ! Why did I lave ould Ireland, and enter the police sarvice ? Tho ould mother tould me it was a dog life. My heart is in my boots. You're going to slape on the flure, are you? One eye open! you murtherin baste. Sarpent-eye monster. Hoult ! you baste ; devil a fut do you come up here ; you would dhrown me. You stuck your prongs into mo ; now you would murther me in cold blood, you haytben ! Not a fut will I come down, so you may laff. ? I saw nine policemen at the camp ; if half of them were here, I might come down. Sorra's the day I came to Australy. First the whater, nixt your prongs ; nixt now, you on the flure, and I up here.
Woukd you oblitherate me entirely ? If ever I see the like. Ba aisy ! you flays ; its ondacent, and your- selves know it. Wonst I get away, you sarpant-eye baste, you can have Australy for me, or the other police—ayther of 'em. You tuk my sword away, like you tuk my master's clothes, you haythen !"
John Brown and Achates had paused outside of the hut to listen to this language of Pat's. It took them all their time not to betray themselves. Just as Pat was saying—"Kape yerself in resarve," they entered the deserted hut.
There was Faithful stretched on the ground ; to all appearance quite comfortable, wagging his helm, and listening to Pat's brogue. There was Pat, straddle-legged on the tie-beam that was placed across the hut from wall plate to wall plate. He held in his hand the scabbard of his sword, as if he were doing duty.
John Brown said, with a smile on his face that he could not keep back. " Hallo ! Pat, are you all alone up there ?"
" Yes, barrin' the flays. They are not alone ; they are plinty of them to be alone, ayther of 'em. That haythen baste made me get up here, which is onda cent. Get him to make thracks, plaze."
" Where is your sword ?"
" Belave it, I dropped it getting up here, and tho baste tuk it away, which was mane."
" Come down, Pat, come."
"No, no, not on that flure while that baste is there."
" Tell me how it happened ? I know the old dog would not interfere with you without you did some- thing to make him suspicious."
" Three for you. I ran when I saw the haythen baste wag his tail and look at me. I ought to have kapt mysilf aisy, or in rasarve, as you tould me. Gossoon that I was. But I got narvous, and ran like the soul of my mother.
" There you made a mistake, Pat. Come down now, and pat him on the head, and make friends with the old dog."
" What ! Pat him on the head ! pat him on the head? with those prongs and sarpant's eyes? No, no, let the flays eat me fust. Make him give me my sword."
John Brown commanded Faithful to bring in the staff of office, which he did. Pat looked incredulous when he saw the dog walk in with it.
"By jabers ! he is not a haythen, but a Christian, the murtherin baste !"
" Well, I will take the dog away, and you come to the Wombat Hotel, and I will make it all right with you. Don't bring a single flea with you, Pat."
"No, your honor, for they are all married, with married families, and ptinty of children. I wonder they don't break their necks in jumping from this. Tie up the baste, plaze. Don't laff now I tould ye, becase the byes at the camp will be just foolin' me, the bloodthirsty villains. Let the baste go formist. No, I won't shuk|hands with him. Mind you bar the door, and put yersilf agin it, and whin all is ready I will come."
" But, Pat, you should not have run away, so stirred up the dog's bile."
" Bile ! did you say ? Does the murtherin' baste bile his victims before he ates them ? My heart says to me when I saw the baste, 'rin, my bye, rin, the devil's father is afther yer ; so I rin on my fate here formist. Wudn't you do it if your heart tould you ?"
" Well, Pat, we are off ; don't be long. I will muzzle the dog to-day if you like."
" Yes, faix ! you're right, shure ; and put darbys on his four legs. He has got powerful long legs in runnin'. Sorra's the day I left ould Ireland for Australy," Pat said, as the two friends left the
After a time, Pat moved along his wooden horse, and peeped through the crevices of the hut to see if the dog were in sight ; then descended from his roost. Then gingerly he trod the floor till he reached the door, holding it with both hands. He looked out, and coughed two or three times, as a challenge. Receiving no response, he wiped the perspiration from his face on a bag in the hut, which
left his face as if he had been tattooed like a New Zealand Maori. Then he marched out of the refuge with drawn sword in hand, as if on cavalier duty. Taking a circuitous route, he reached the hotel, and with a timid knock, signalised his presence at John Brown's sitting-room door.
John Brown received the Irishmen kindly, and ordered some Irish whiskey for Pat, and pointed out how his running away had caused the whole mis-
" Sorra a bit, sir, could I help it ; my hart tould me to rip, and we must obey the hart. I rounded up on fut three men from Ameraky, and I was not a bit narvous ; and next wake I rounded up on fut five Arobagines, on a plane, when they were thrying to make throcks in different directions. Devil a fut could they get away from me. I niver rin from any gossoon but that baste. It is ondacent of him ; place yourselves gentlemen, in my place." With this Pat laid his drawn sword on the floor, with his hat, that he might drink a noggin of whisky offered him by Achates.
" Yes, I will drink better manners to that Christian murtherin' baste. Here's may he go after O'Flathey s soul, who gave the masles to my mother's fat pig by slaping in the same room with ould Betsy, the mother of all the pigs in Sligo and Kerry, and I think in the mountains of Connemarra. Poor Betsy died from masles, and all her after fathers and mothers died ; the people said from sorrow, that there bringing into the world had departed. So there was not a live pig in Sligo, Kerry, or Connemarra, till Father Mahone visited each place with some of the "crature." Then my poor old mother died from thrue grief, so
we laid her alongside of Betsy. Then O'Flathey died. The prast said it was a narvous shock he got ;
we all know then he had seen the spirit of Betsy, for he never spoke, but drawed a figure of Betsy on his dhirty hand ; so all were oblitherated when Betsy died. I tuk fright, for I saw Betsy one night, and tuk thc masels, so ran way from ould Ireland to Australy. Sorra's the day I did it, for I think Betsy is in your baste, and will follow me from place to place : or why did that baste find me here ?"
" Well, Pat. I will bring the old dog in. Don't be afraid: he has got a muzzle on. You must try and
make friends with him."
" Give me another noggin of whiskey, so I won't be narvous, and hoult him tight, the haythen, plase."
John Brown brought Faithful into the room. The old dog looked very glum, not appreciating the muzzle. Pat held a chair between him and the dog,
"Don't rouse the dog's anger," called out John Brown. " Be a man, and show no fear."
" Kape him away, the father of evil. The soul of O'Flathey or Betsy is in the baste."
Faithful gave an ominous growl.
" That's jist the noise O'Flathey made when he died, begorra I it is. I was axed once in ould Ireland to idantify (identify) a cuson of mother's who was dead in a coffin, and the policemen axed me on the way to the dead-house if I could idantify the dead person if I saw it. I says, ' Let me spake to it, and
will know.' ' How !' says the peeler. ' Plaze wait,' says I, and in we wint, I spoke to it ; it never answered, so I knew it was the ould woman's cuson, for he had been dumb from the day he came into the whorld. So I know the voice of O'Flathey."
Faithful stretched himself at his master's feet, try- ing to get the muzzle off with his two fore feet ; then got up, turned his tail towards Pat, and scratched the
carpet with his hind feet, raising a dust on the Irish- man ; then stretched himself under the table. Pat at last sat down, close to the whiskey. Faithful was uneasy—the muzzle was too much for him. He rose; all were too busy talking to notice the dog's move- ments. Another noggin, and Pat rose to go ; but lo ! sword and hat were gone.
John Brown looked under the table. There was the Newfoundland, with Pat's hat crushed between his paws. He had rolled the hat with his muzzled mouth to his place of rest, then flattened it like a plate. The sword was found in John Brown's bed- room, under the bed ; how it got there was a mys- tery. the dog being muzzled. John Brown concluded the dog must have got his nose in the hilt, or hand space of the sword, and so removed it.
" Begorra !" said Pat, " I will ax to be removed from this district if that baste remains here. Plaze hoult him while I go."
Faithful kept by John Brown's side as he walked down the passage, seeing Pat safe out of the hotel.