After seeing Griz off, I fixed myself some soft-boiled eggs, and went to work cleaning stalls. Around seven o’clock, I became aware of a ruckus of some kind outside in the street. I went to the stable door and scanned the scene. There by the bell tower, in front of the Round Tent, several good-sized boys had waylaid a little black dog. They’d pinned him on his back and were roughing him up something fierce! As I watched, they released the terrified stray, and the elder of the ruffians gave him a good swift kick. They‘d tied half a dozen empty cans to one end of a cord and the other end to the little terriers tail. Seeing his opportunity for escape, the terrified animal had hit the ground running, only to be further tormented by his clanging cargo of tenacious cans. The poor little guy made two quick circles around the bell tower, yelping desperately and looking for cover, and then as he rounded the far turn, the string of cans wrapped around a hitching post, yanking him end over loop and landing him in a squirming heap on his back.
The three promoters of this inhumane display made their way boisterously to the boardwalk in front of the restaurant, in order to improve their vantage point and prepare for additional sport. After several minutes of witnessing this sorry spectacle, compassion seized my gut! My conscience would not be satisfied till I’d interceded on behalf of the victimized scamp. I rushed passed the three jubilant juveniles, and hurried to the little dog’s aid. The rawhide cord was tightly double knotted right at the base of the little terriers tail, and try as I might I couldn’t get it loose! After all attempts proved fruitless, I lifted the frantic animal into my arms, and made a beeline for the stable, cans and all! The boys stood squarely in my line of retreat, and as I approached, they blocked my way threateningly and began taunting. “Save the puppy sissy boy, haul him home to momma. Tuck yer tail between your legs, and run like a little girl.”
Most of my attention was currently invested in calming the squirming terrier, but I glanced up disgustedly at the delinquent mob as they stepped into my path, and then I braced for impact and shoved my way on through. Things looked hopeful as I pushed my way defiantly past the gang, and then at the last possible instant, the elder of the trio stuck out his foot, and they all laughed hysterically as I tripped and sprawled headlong in the muddy street. “Awfully sorry sissy boy,” the eldest boy mocked sarcastically, and then all three boys bent over and roared with laughter. I clung desperately to the squirming dog as I struggled to my feet, and then I glanced back indignantly and hurried for the stable door. OBIE’S QUEST