THE ADVENTURES OF PYRAMUS 159
loudly, and the keeper, who was smoking at a little distance off, ran to his help; but before he could come up the goat was half dead. On hearing the steps of the keeper, and on listening to his strong language, Pyramus understood very well that this stout man dressed in blue would have something very serious to say to him, so he stretched his legs to their fullest extent, and started off like an arrow from a bow. But, as Man Friday long ago remarked, ' My little ball of lead can run faster than thou,' the keeper's little ball of lead ran faster than Pyramus, and that is how he came home with all the holes in his body.
There is no denying that Pyramus was a very bad dog, and as his master was fond of him, it is impossible to believe that he can always have been hungry, as, for instance, when he jumped up in a butcher's shop to steal a piece of meat and got the hook on which it was hung through his own jaws, so that someone had to come and unhook him. But hungry or not, Monsieur Dumas had no time to be perpetually getting him out of scrapes, and when a few months later an Englishman who wanted a sporting dog took a fancy to Pyramus, his master was not altogether sorry to say good-bye.