Under the Lilacs
Bows And Arrows
If Sancho's abduction made a stir, one may easily imagine with what warmth and interest
he was welcomed back when his wrongs and wanderings were known. For several days
he held regular levees, that curious boys and sympathizing girls might see and pity the
changed and curtailed dog. Sancho behaved with dignified affability, and sat upon his
mat in the coach-house pensively eying his guests, and patiently submitting to their
caresses; while Ben and Thorny took turns to tell the few tragical facts which were not
shrouded in the deepest mystery. If the interesting sufferer could only have spoken, what
thrilling adventures and hair-breadth escapes he might have related. But, alas! he was
dumb; and the secrets of that memorable month never were revealed.
The lame paw soon healed, the dingy color slowly yielded to many washings, the woolly
coat began to knot up into little curls, a new collar, handsomely marked, made him a
respectable dog, and Sancho was himself again. But it was evident that his sufferings
were not forgotten; his once sweet temper was a trifle soured; and, with a few exceptions,
he had lost his faith in mankind. Before, he had been the most benevolent and hospitable
of dogs; now, he eyed all strangers suspiciously, and the sight of a shabby man made him
growl and bristle up, as if the mernory of his wrongs still burned hotly within him.
Fortunately, his gratitude was stronger than his resentment, and he never seemed to forget
that he owed his life to Betty, -- running to meet her whenever she appeared, instantly
obeying her commands, and suffering no one to molest her when he walked watchfully
beside her, with her hand upon his neck, as they had walked out of the almost fatal
backyard together, faithful friends for ever.
Miss Celia called them little Una and her lion, and read the pretty story to the children
when they wondered what she meant. Ben, with great pains, taught the dog to spell
"Betty," and surprised her with a display of this new accomplishment, which gratified her
so much that she was never tired of seeing Sanch paw the five red letters into place, then
come and lay his nose in her hand, as if he added, "That's the name of my dear mistress."
Of course Bab was glad to have everything pleasant and friendly again; but in a little dark
corner of her heart there was a drop of envy, and a desperate desire to do something
which would make every one in her small world like and praise her as they did Betty.
Trying to be as good and gentle did not satisfy her; she must do something brave or
surprising, and no chance for distinguishing herself in that way seemed likely to appear.
Betty was as fond as ever, and the boys were very kind to her; but she felt that they both
liked "little Beteinda," as they called her, best, because she found Sanch, and never
seemed to know that she had done any thing brave in defending him against all odds. Bab
did not tell any one how she felt, but endeavored to be amiable, while waiting for her
chance to come; and, when it did arrive, made the most of it, though there was nothing
heroic to add a charm.