DOG-OWNER NO. 1
Part 1 of 3
Source: Crittenden Record-Press. (Marion, Ky.), June 5, 1913, Edition 1, Image 3 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.
(Reported by R. C. Haynes.)
At the conclusion of the story of Dog-Owner No. 3 it was agreed between the assembled dog-owners that No. 1 should take up his adventure where he left off, it will be remembered, at the suggestion of Dog-Owner No. 4, owing to the persistent interruptions of Dog-Owners Nos.2 and 3. He therefore resumed, as follows:
As I have intimated, gentlemen, old Nab was a sagacious dog, uncommonly watchful as to the welfare of the household over which he had been trained from his puphood to guard. Though he was friendly enough with our neighbors and friends, no stranger dared venture within the gates; and, moreover, though he commingled on friendly terms with our own flocks and herds, no tramp cow or stray hog was allowed around the premises.
"When on this occasion, therefore, I decided to leave the soil unturned and the clods unpulverized in the field and betake myself away fishing, I felt no misgiving in leaving my wife and baby at home with old Nab doing picket duty. So, setting out for Claylick creek, as I have said, afoot and alone, I arrived there in due time, selected a good fishing-hole, took a seat upon the bank and proceeded at once to business.
"When one goes alone on such occasions, he is generally rewarded for his loneliness by the catching of a good string of fish. It was so with me. I kept on getting bites and landing the fish on the bank, taking little note of the time occupied thereby. I was brought, however to a realization of the situation of things mundane when I looked toward the west and saw that the sun had gone down behind the Claylick hills and the shadows of twilight were gathering around the creek, darkening the waters of the stream and causing to fall upon me an almost imperceptible feeling of solitude.
"I must haul in my tackle and hasten home, I reflected, or Mary will be uneasy about me, thinking I have fallen into the creek, with no one to help me out. With these reflections, I arose, strung my fish and set out for home.
"I had brought no snake remedy with me on this occasion, which fact I mention, gentlemen, that you may be sure that I was in full possession of all my faculties when I met with the adventure I have set out to narrate.
"After leaving the creek I took my way through the pathless woods until I struck the public road, on which my farm was situated a mile or so farther on.
"Now that I have gained the public road, I reflected, I can make better time; and I was about to hasten on, when I looked back up the road to the west and saw a man just coming in sight over a hill, some three or four hundred yards away, driving a cow--at least an animal belonging to the kine family, though at that distance I could not determine whether male or female.
"The man had a rope looped around the animal's horns and the two were coming down the road, walking leisurely along and seemingly well contented. Owing to the distance between us, and the gathering shadows of night, I could not make out just who the cow-driver was, but thought it was either Bob Elkins, Nathan Ward, or Jim Hill.
"Being of a sociable nature, though I was in a hurry to get home to Mary and the baby, I decided to wait until the man with the cow came up and the three of us go on together so long as our destinations should lead in the same direction.
"They were coming down a long and rather steep hill and as the two approached me I could see that the cow was making efforts to increase her speed and was being held back by the man.
"The nearer they came to me the more discontented the cow became with her rate of speed, shaking her head, pawing the earth and plunging forward, the driver at the same time digging his heels in the ground and pulling back at the end of the rope in a desperate effort to hold her.
"I could not determine whether or not I was the magnet that was drawing the beast on so frantically, but, I reflected, if the animal be a bull he may be displeased at my presence in the roadway. I looked at my coat and trousers to see if there was anything red about my clothing, finding nothing, however, except a bandanna handkerchief protruding from one of my pockets, and that, I reflected, was not glaring enough to attract the attention or the animosity of the beast.
"On cavorted the cow, rearing and plunging, and on followed the driver, pulling manfully at the end of the rope. As they came thus on toward me, I heard the man bawl out something indistinctly, as he seemed to be about out of breath, but which I took to be:
"'Run, Ben, run! The cow has hydrophobia!'
"On hearing the word hydrophobia, I needed no other incentive to induce me to vacate that locality at once and to put as many feet of soil as possible between me and the cow.
"I therefore obeyed the voice of the cow-driver and started off and down the road in a run, leaving a blue streak behind me, my string of fish in one hand and my hat in the other.
"On I dashed down the road toward home and on rushed the cow and the cow-driver after me, the latter fast losing all control over the unmanageable beast.
"Still on I plunged, plumbing the middle of the road and kicking up the dust that lay thick in my pathway, and as I was thus dashing onward in an effort to widen the distance between me and the blamed cow, I heard a rip-roaring haw-haw-haw!--the sound emanating from the mouth of the either crazy or heartless cow-driver!
EDITOR'S NOTE--This stirring adventure, as told by Dog-Owner No. 1, will be continued in this department of the Record-Press next week.
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