Studies in the Art of Rat Catching
exclaimed, "I say, what sport it would be if they would only teach rat-
catching at school! Wouldn't I just work hard then, that's all!"
The stories came to an end at bed-time, and I was then pressed by
my hearers to write from foreign lands some more of my old
reminiscences, and I readily gave a promise to do so. In this way
most of the following stories were written; and in writing them, I
endeavoured to carry out the idea that they were exercises to be
used in schools.
I don't anticipate that head-masters will very generally adopt the book
in their schools; but I hope it may, in some few instances, give boys a
taste for a wholesome country pastime.
The characters and incidents are rough, very rough, pen and ink
sketches of real people and scenes, and the dogs are all dear friends
of past days.
The Ferret Family—Crossed with the Polecat—Choosing Ferrets—Hutches—Feeding Ferrets—"Bar
the Tail"—Handling Ferrets
Bag versus Box—Ferrets Fighting—The Ratting Spade—Ratting Tools—Hints to Schoolmasters—
Learning Dog-Language—With a Scold in the Voice—Dogs' Kennel—Treating Dogs Kindly—Dogs in
their Proper Place
Aristocratic versus Plutocratic—Come-by-Chance—Chance's Friend—Nondescript Tinker—Grindum—
How I got Grindum—Grindum's Friends—Jack and his Sister—"Jack Took Me"—End of an Ugly
Story—Grindum's First Rat—Pepper and Wasp
A Day's Ratting—An Autumn Walk—"Steady, Dogs, Steady"—A Ferret Disabled—Rats up a Pollard—
A Rat-catcher's Picnic—Rats in a Drain—A Weary Walk Home—"Kennel, Dogs, Kennel"
A Poor Day's Ratting—A Rat in a Queer Place—Rats in my Lady's Chamber—Rats in a House— 85