|Set Display||Please Turn On Your Virtual Bookmarks||You Can Help This Site||Table of Contents||Jack London|
Another trick Dag Daughtry succeeded in teaching Michael so enhanced him in Captain Duncan's eyes as to impel him to offer fifty pounds, "and never mind the cat." At first, Daughtry practised the trick in private with the chief engineer and the Shortlands planter. Not until thoroughly satisfied did he make a public performance of it.
"Now just suppose you're policemen, or detectives," Daughtry told the first and third officers, "an' suppose I'm guilty of some horrible crime. An' suppose Killeny is the only clue, an' you've got Killeny. When he recognizes his master--me, of course--you've got your man. You go down the deck with him, leadin' by the rope. Then you come back this way with him, makin' believe this is the street, an' when he recognizes me you arrest me. But if he don't realize me, you can't arrest me. See?"
The two officers led Michael away, and after several minutes returned along the deck, Michael stretched out ahead on the taut rope seeking Steward.
"What'll you take for the dog?" Daughtry demanded, as they drew near--this the cue he had trained Michael to know.
And Michael, straining at the rope, went by, without so much as a wag of tail to Steward or a glance of eye. The officers stopped before Daughtry and drew Michael back into the group.
"He's a lost dog," said the first officer.
"We're trying to find his owner," supplemented the third.
"Some dog that--what'll you take for 'm?" Daughtry asked, studying Michael with critical eyes of interest. "What kind of a temper's he got?"
"Try him," was the answer.
The steward put out his hand to pat him on the head, but withdrew it hastily as Michael, with bristle and growl, viciously bared his teeth.
"Go on, go on, he won't hurt you," the delighted passengers urged.
This time the steward's hand was barely missed by a snap, and he leaped back as Michael ferociously sprang the length of the rope at him.
"Take 'm away!" Dag Daughtry roared angrily. "The treacherous beast! I wouldn't take 'm for gift!"
And as they obeyed, Michael strained backward in a paroxysm of rage, making fierce short jumps to the end of the tether as he snarled and growled with utmost fierceness at the steward.
"Eh? Who'd say he ever seen me in his life?" Daughtry demanded triumphantly. "It's a trick I never seen played myself, but I've heard tell about it. The old-time poachers in England used to do it with their lurcher dogs. If they did get the dog of a strange poacher, no gamekeeper or constable could identify 'm by the dog--mum was the word."
"Tell you what, he knows things, that Killeny. He knows English. Right now, in my room, with the door open, an' so as he can find 'm, is shoes, slippers, cap, towel, hair-brush, an' tobacco pouch. What'll it be? Name it an' he'll fetch it."
So immediately and variously did the passengers respond that every article was called for.