**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Among The Animals
by [?]

“There’s a tent, but you’ll have to hurry up.”

“Oh, well, it doesn’t really matter,” said Jeremy, as he walked along with her. “Hereward’s natural beauty and agility will take him through.”

On the south lawn the pets and their owners were assembling. Jeremy took the leash out of his pocket and opened his cigarette-case.

“Good heavens!” he cried. “Hereward has escaped! Quick! Shut the gates!” He saw Adams near and hurried up to him. “My blight has escaped,” he said breathlessly, holding up the now useless leash. “He gnawed through the chain and got away. I’m afraid he may be running amok among the guests. Supposing he were to leap upon Sir Thomas from behind and savage him–it’s too terrible.” He moved anxiously on. “Have you seen my blight?” he asked Miss Trehearne. “He has escaped, and we are rather anxious. If he were to get the Vicar down and begin to worry him—-” He murmured something about “once getting the taste for blood” and hurried off. The guests were assembled, and the judges walked down the line and inspected their different animals. They were almost at the end of it when Jeremy sprinted up and took his place by the last beast.

“It’s all right,” he panted to his wife, “I’ve got him. Silly of me to mislay him, but he’s so confoundedly shy.” He held out his finger as the judges approached, and introduced them to the small green pet perching on the knuckle. “A blight,” he said. “Hereward, the Chief Blight. Been in the family for years. A dear old friend.”

Jeremy went home a proud man. “Mr. J. P. Smith’s blight, Hereward,” had taken first prize in the All-round class.

. . . . .

“Yes,” he admitted to his wife at dinner, “there is something on my mind.” He looked at the handsome cigarette-box on the table in front of him and sighed.

“What is it, dear? You enjoyed yourself this afternoon, you know you did, and Hereward won you that beautiful cigarette-box. You ought to be proud.”

“That’s the trouble. Hereward didn’t win it.”

“But they said–they read it out, and—-“

“Yes, but they didn’t know. It was really Elspeth who won it.”


“Yes, dear.” Jeremy sighed again. “When Hereward escaped and I went back for him, I didn’t find him as I–er–pretended. So I went to the rose garden and–and borrowed Elspeth. Fortunately no one noticed it was a lady blight … they all took it for Hereward…. But it was really Elspeth–and belonged to Lady Bendish.”

He helped himself to a cigarette from the box.

“It’s an interesting point,” he said. “I shall go and confess to-morrow to Sir Thomas, and see what he thinks about it. If he wants the box back, well and good.”

He refilled his glass.

“After all,” he said, “the real blow is losing Hereward. Elspeth–Elspeth is very dear to me, but she can never be quite the same.”