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Under the Lilacs

Ben's Ride
Great was the mourning for Sancho, because his talents and virtues made him universally
admired and beloved. Miss Celia advertised, Thorny offered rewards, and even surly Pat
kept a sharp look-out for poodle dogs when he went to market; but no Sancho or any
trace of him appeared. Ben was inconsolable, and sternly said it served Bab right when
the dogwood poison affected both face and hands. Poor Bab thought so, too, and dared
ask no sympathy from him, though Thorny eagerly prescribed plantain leaves, and Betty
kept her supplied with an endless succession of them steeped in cream and pitying tears.
This treatment was so successful that the patient soon took her place in society as well as
ever, but for Ben's affliction there was no cure, and the boy really suffered in his spirits.
"I don't think it's fair that I should have so much trouble, -- first losing father and then
Sanch. If it wasn't for Lita and Miss Celia, I don't believe I could stand it," he said, one
day, in a fit of despair, about a week after the sad event.
"Oh, come now, don't give up so, old fellow. We'll find him if he s alive, and if he isn't
I'll try and get you another as good," answered Thorny, with a friendly slap on the
shoulder, as Ben sat disconsolately among the beans he had been hoeing.
"As if there ever could be another half as good!" cried Ben, indignant at the idea; "or as if
I'd ever try to fill his place with the best and biggest dog that ever wagged a tail! No, sir,
there's only one Sanch in all the world, and if I can't have him I'll never have a dog
again."
"Try some other sort of pet, then. You may have any of mine you like. Have the
peacocks; do now," urged Thorny, full of boyish sympathy and good-will.
"They are dreadful pretty, but I don't seem to care about em, thank you," replied the
mourner.
"Have the rabbits, all of them," which was a handsome offer on Thorny's part, for there
were a dozen at least.
"They don't love a fellow as a dog does; all they care for is stuff to eat and dirt to burrow
in. I'm sick of rabbits." And well he might be, for he had had the charge of them ever
since they came, and any boy who has ever kept bunnies knows what a care they are.
"So am I! Guess we'll have an auction and sell out. Would Jack be a comfort to you? If he
will, you may have him. I'm so well now, I can walk, or ride anything," added Thorny, in
a burst of generosity.
"Jack couldn't be with me always, as Sanch was, and I couldn't keep him if I had him."
 
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