A Mental Struggle. 93
Wouldn't you be sorry ? Would / like it!" cries
Patricia tragically, clasping her hands.
" I shouldn't think anything of it. It's a mere trifle
after all, says Dick Bohun, defending his infamous action
"Oh, Mr. Bohun, but to die!—and by foul and mur¬
derous hands ! Is death, then, ' a trifle,' do you think ? "
" My clear, you exaggerate matters. It will be quite
instantaneous, I swear to you. The dog w^on't feel it."
" I don't know why you should call him by such a name
as that!" exclaims Patricia indignantly, her horror and
disgust overcoming her sense of fear.
" You wouldn't call him a ceit, would you ?" asks old
Bohun, laughing outright in a buoyant fashion that pre¬
cludes all belief in a latent remorse.
" I'd call him a man !—a fellow-creature !—a being with
a soul! " cries she, rising to her feet. Honest anger has
brought a brilliant colour to her cheek, and a light to her
eye ! _
It is now Dick Bohun's turn to betray amazement.
" What! accredit a half-bred bull-terrier with a soul!
Call him a man and a brother ! My dear child, your brain
is upset, and it is all my fault. You are faint from want
" I'm not," replies Patricia weakly. " I am only puzzled.
Tell me who it is you are going to poison ?"
" Why, Phil's abominable dog," says IMr. Bohun forcibly
" Who did you think it was ?"
" Fhil!" murmurs Patricia faintly, sinking back upon
For a few minutes the shrubberies to right and left of
them resound with Mr. Bohun's laughter. "Long and
loud laughs he." It seems to the ashamed Patricia as
though his merriment will never have an end. At last,
perforce, she joins in it.
" Oh! it is all very well," she cries at last, wiping her
eyes. " But anyone would have thought it, let me tell
you. And after all, what does it matter? People often
make mistakes, don't they ? You've made a mistake once
or twice in your life, haven't you now ? "