MONSIEUR DUMAS AND HIS BEASTS 143
feelings, in which admiration was more prominent than sympathy, and it was agreed that on our return the dog should be shut up in the stable, and that the stable-door should be bolted and padlocked. Pritchard, unsuspicious of our designs, ran on in front with a proud step and with his tail in the air.
'You know,' said Charpillon, 'that neither men nor dogs are allowed to go into the vineyards. I ought as a magistrate to set an example, and Gaignez still more, as he is the mayor. So mind you keep in Pritchard.'
' All right,' said I, ' I will keep him in.'
But Michel, approaching, suggested that I should send Pritchard home with him. ' It would be safer,' he said. ' We are quite near the house, and I have a notion that he might get us into some scrape by hunting in the vineyards.'
' Don't be afraid, Michel; I have thought of a plan to prevent him.'
Michel touched his hat. ' I know you are clever, sir — very clever; but I don't think you are as clever as that!'
' Wait till you see.'
' Indeed, sir, you will have to be quick, for there is Pritchard hunting already.'
We were just in time to see Pritchard disappear into a vineyard, and a moment afterwards he raised a covey of partridges.
' Call in your dog,' cried Gaignez.
I called Pritchard, who, however, turned a deaf ear.
' Catch him,' said I to Michel.
Michel went, and returned in a few minutes with Pritchard in a leash. In the meantime I had found a long stake, which I hung crosswise round his neck, and let him go loose with this ornament. Pritchard understood that he could no longer go through the vineyards, but the stake did not prevent his hunting, and he only went a good deal further off on the open ground.