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Newspaper Page Text
THE ,FAITHFUL FRIEND
By Mildred Caroline Goodrrdge
A woman shrieked and fainted
away, a gathering of street loiterers
parted sumniarnjT-expressions of ex
citement, wonder and then horror
beat out upon the ambient afternoon
air at Purdy Corners.
Tragically and. without warning
there had sped around the corner of
1 Jfef 'M
Would Linger All Day and Night Near
the Closed Doorway of the House
the public square a panting, bristling,
wild-eyed collie dog. Its fleetness was
that of a grayhound, its progress that
of a loyal, intelligent dumb animal
bent upon some 'mission of vital ur
' ' Tudge Warren's dog!" shouted
Dices in unison.
"What's he up to gone mad?"
"No, he's been hurt look at the
blood on him!"
The last speaker was the village
smith. To him both dog and owner
had been known for years. With him
Don had been always friend and fa
vorite. The animal swung its blood
shot gazed toward him. There was
pathos and pleading in the glance, a
low whimpering howl, but Don kept
straight on until he reached the stone
steps leading up into the little county
It was there, ever since he had
done with judgeships and active busi
ness cares, that Judge Warren had
come daily to keep In the routine of
old acquaintanceship. That morning
he had been missed. And now his
usual companion had appeared in a
manner that indicated the mysteri
ous, the terrifying, the tragic.
For only a moment Don faltered at
the steps. Then he sprang up them.
The crowd followed. There was a
sudden hush over all the scene. It
was as if some dread were-wolf of
ancient times had invaded the peace
ful hamlet, bringing in its trail a san
guinary token of impending disaster.
And then an awesome thing hap
pened. The dog proceeded straight
to the courtroom. The court was not
in session, but the presiding judge sat
in his accustomed place listening to
some informal discussion of half a
dozen lawyers. At the edge of the
dais Don paused. As if appealing to
justice, the reeking animal lifted its
head. It uttered one shrill, curdling,
mournful howl. It was the cry for
vengeance, for justice, blood for
blood! The animal turned swiftly,
but first swept the faces of those near
to it and gave a plaintive whine as
though beseechingthem to follow.
The truth was known in an hour.
Grim-faced and stern the village
smith came to the office of Walter
"You were the attorney for Judge
Warren?" he said.