13.0 Weejee The Pet Dog
We were sitting on the verandah of the Sopley’s summer cottage.
“How lovely it is here,” I said to my host and hostess, “and how still.”
It was at this moment that Weejee, the pet dog, took a sharp nip at the end of my tennis trousers.
“Weejee!!” exclaimed his mistress with great emphasis, “bad dog! how dare you, sir! bad dog!”
“I hope he hasn’t hurt you,” said my host.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” I answered cheerfully. “He hardly scratched me.”
“You know I don’t think he means anything by it,” said Mrs. Sopley.
“Oh, I’m sure he doesn’t,” I answered.
Weejee was coming nearer to me again as I spoke.
“Weejee!!” cried my hostess, “naughty dog, bad!”
“Funny thing about that dog,” said Sopley, “the way he knows people. It’s a sort of instinct. He knew right away that you were a stranger,—now, yesterday, when the butcher came, there was a new driver on the cart and Weejee knew it right away,—grabbed the man by the leg at once,—wouldn’t let go. I called out to the man that it was all right or he might have done Weejee some harm.”
At this moment Weejee took the second nip at my other trouser leg. There was a short gur-r-r and a slight mix-up.
“Weejee! Weejee!” called Mrs. Sopley. “How dare you, sir! You’re just a bad dog!! Go and lie down, sir. I’m so sorry. I think, you know, it’s your white trousers. For some reason Weejee simply hates white trousers. I do hope he hasn’t torn them.”
“Oh, no,” I said; “it’s nothing only a slight tear.”
“Here, Weege, Weege,” said Sopley, anxious to make a diversion and picking up a little chip of wood,—“chase it, fetch it out!” and he made the motions of throwing it into the lake.
“Don’t throw it too far, Charles,” said his wife. “He doesn’t swim awfully well,” she continued, turning to me, “and I’m always afraid he might get out of his depth. Last week he was ever so nearly drowned. Mr. Van Toy was in swimming, and he had on a dark blue suit (dark blue seems simply to infuriate Weejee) and Weejee just dashed in after him. He don’t mean anything, you know, it was only the suit made him angry,—he really likes Mr. Van Toy,—but just for a minute we were quite alarmed. If Mr. Van Toy hadn’t carried Weejee in I think he might have been drowned.
“By jove!” I said in a tone to indicate how appalled I was.
“Let me throw the stick, Charles,” continued Mrs. Sopley. “Now, Weejee, look Weejee—here, good dog—look! look now (sometimes Weejee simply won’t do what one wants), here, Weejee; now, good dog!”
Weejee had his tail sideways between his legs and was moving towards me again.
“Hold on,” said Sopley in a stern tone, “let me throw him in.”
“Do be careful, Charles,” said his wife.
Sopley picked Weejee up by the collar and carried him to the edge of the water—it was about six inches deep,—and threw him in,—with much the same force as, let us say, a pen is thrown into ink or a brush dipped into a pot of varnish.
“That’s enough; that’s quite enough, Charles,” exclaimed Mrs. Sopley. “I think he’d better not swim. The water in the evening is always a little cold. Good dog, good doggie, good Weejee!”
Meantime “good Weejee” had come out of the water and was moving again towards me.
“He goes straight to you,” said my hostess. “I think he must have taken a fancy to you.”
To prove it, Weejee gave himself a rotary whirl like a twirled mop.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” said Mrs. Sopley. “I am. He’s wetted you. Weejee, lie down, down, sir, good dog, bad dog, lie down!”
“It’s all right,” I said. “I’ve another white suit in my valise.”
“But you must be wet through,” said Mrs. Sopley. “Perhaps we’d better go in. It’s getting late, anyway, isn’t it?” And then she added to her husband, “I don’t think Weejee ought to sit out here now that he’s wet.”
So we went in.
“I think you’ll find everything you need,” said Sopley, as he showed me to my room, “and, by the way, don’t mind if Weejee comes into your room at night. We like to let him run all over the house and he often sleeps on this bed.”
“All right,” I said cheerfully, “I’ll look after him.”
That night Weejee came.
And when it was far on in the dead of night—so that even the lake and the trees were hushed in sleep, I took Weejee out and—but there is no need to give the details of it.
And the Sopleys are still wondering where Weejee has gone to, and waiting for him to come back, because he is so clever at finding his way.
But from where Weejee is, no one finds his way back.