quotes_jul29_2012.htm

(July 29th to August 4th)



Format: Triple

The bull was ploughing along in the dust, fifty yards behind, rolling in his run, and smiling as bull-terriers will. I heard Vixen squeal; half a dozen of the curs closed in on her; a white streak came up behind me; a cloud of dust rose near Vixen, and, when it cleared, I saw one tall pariah with his back broken, and the bull wrenching another to earth. Vixen retreated to the protection of my whip, and the bull paddled back smiling more than ever, covered with the blood of his enemies.

  

This is from “Garm, a Hostage” in Actions and Reactions.

One night, the narrator saves his friend Private Stanley Ortheris, very drunk and disorderly, from imminent arrest. Three days later Stanley comes to call, bringing his magnificent bull-terrier, whom he insists on leaving as a hostage for his good behaviour. The dog, whom the narrator calls ‘Garm’, behaves in exemplary fashion, but pines for Stanley, who secretly comes to visit him rwo or three times a week. When the hot weather comes, Stanley is sent off to the hills with a group of invalids. Garm falls into a decline, and seems likely to die of a broken heart. Fortunately the narrator is able to follow him to Simla some weeks later, Stanley agrees to take the dog back, and they are happily reunited.


The face, with its knitted brows and drawn lips, was the face of a dog, but the look, for the fraction of time that I caught it, was human—wholly and horribly human. When the blood in my body went forward again he had dropped to the floor, and was merely studying me in his usual one-eyed fashion. Next day I returned him to Miss Sichliffe. I would not have kept him another day for the wealth of Asia, or even Ella Godfrey’s approval.

   

This is from “The Dog Hervey” in A Diversity of Creatures.

Moira Sichliffe, unmarried, unattractive, in her thirty-fourth year, directs on to a terrier puppy, also ungainly and unattractive, which she calls ‘Harvey’, an obsessive love which she would really like to give to a particular man. She has not seen him for some years, but he had stood up for her once and been kind to her. The Narrator looks after Harvey for a time while he is recovering from distemper, and finds the dog’s squinting tortured gaze uncomfortably human. Later, by a strange, perhaps supernatural, turn of events, ‘Harvey’ is instrumental in bringing happiness to his mistress.


Ah’ve seen a vast o’ dogs, but Rip was t’ prettiest picter iv a cliver fox-tarrier ’at iver I set eyes on. He cud do owt yo’ like but speeak, an’ t’ Colonel’s Laady set more store by him than if he hed been a Christian. She hed bairns iv her awn, but they was i’ England, and Rip seemed to get all t’ coodlin’ an’ pettin’ as belonged to a bairn by good rights.

   

This is from “Private Learoyd’s Story” in Soldiers Three.

Mrs DeSussa, a wealthy Eurasian lady, has taken a fancy to the Colonel’s wife’s dog, ‘Rip’, an engaging terrier. She offers Learoyd 350 rupees if he will steal the dog for her, so that she can take it home at the end of the cold season. The three soldiers steal another dog from the Canteen Sergeant, dye its coat so that it looks like Rip, and hand it over to her at the railway station. They hasten away before she discovers the deception – and the dog’s bad temper- and divide the 350 rupees between them.

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