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rambles, berrying and nutting. We could hardly be seen without him, and we loved him almost as we loved one another.
One afternoon in early spring, we had been into the woods for wild-flowers. I remember that I had my apron filled with wild violets, yellow and blue. My brother had taken off his cap, and filled it with beautiful green mosses.
We had just entered the long shady lane which ran down to the house, and were talking and laughing very merrily, when we saw a crowd of men and boys running towards us, and shouting as they ran. Before them was a large, brown bull-dog, that, as he came near, we saw was foaming at the mouth. Then we heard what the men were crying. It was, “Mad dog!”
My brother and I stopped, and clung to each other in great trouble. Hector stood before us and growled. The dog was already so near that we saw we could not escape; he came right at us, with his
dreadful frothy mouth wide open.
He was just upon us, when Hector caught him by the throat, and the two rolled on the ground, biting and struggling. But presently one of the men came up, and struck the mad dog on the head with a large club-so stunned him, and finally killed him. But Hector, poor Hector, was badly bitten in the neck and breast, and all the men said that he must die too, or he would
mad. One of the neighbours went home with us, and told my father and elder brothers all about it. They were greatly troubled, but promised that, for the safety of the neighbourhood, Hector should be shot in the morning. I remember how, while they were talking, Hector lay on the door-step licking his wounds, every now and then looking round, as if he thought that there was some trouble which he ought to understand.
I shall never, never forget how I grieved that night! I heard the clock strike ten, eleven, and twelve, as I lay awake weeping for my dear playfellow and noble preserver, who was to die in the morning. Hector was sleeping in the next room, and once I got up and stole out to see him as he lay on the hearth-rug in the clear moonlight, resting unquietly, for his wounds pained him. I went and stood so near that my tears fell on his beautiful head; but I was careful not to wake him, for I somehow felt guilty toward him.
That night the weather changed, and the next morning came up chilly and windy, with no sunshine at all; as though it would not have been a gloomy enough day, anyhow. After breakfast—ah! I remember well how little breakfast was eaten by any of us that morning—Hector was led out into the yard, and fastened to a stake. He had never before in all his life been tied, and he now looked troubled and ashamed. But my mother spoke
HECTOR, THE GREYHOUND. "One after another we all went up and took leave of our dear and faithful friend. My youngest brother clung about him longest, crying and sobbing as though his heart would break."- Page 121.