The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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THE STORY OF OSCAR
273
fierce snowstorm came on. The boat made but little way, and they were delayed two or three hours. Cold and tired, the minister thought with satisfaction of his warm fireside, with Oscar lying down beside his cosy chair. Then, for the first time since it had happened, he thought of the pigeons, and he half smiled as he recalled Oscar's downcast face as he came up the path.
With quick steps he hurried along the street from the landing-place. The snow was being blown about round him, and the night was fast closing in. He was quite near his own gate now, and he looked up, expecting to see the familiar brown head peering out of the door for him; but there was no sign of it.
He opened the gate and strode in. Still no Oscar to welcome him.
' Jean, Jean! ' he called. Jean appeared from the kitchen, and even in the firelight he could see traces of tears on her rough face.
' Where is Oscar? '
' Ah, sir, after ye were gone wi' the lad, he wouldna' come into the house, and wouldna' touch a morsel o' food. He lay quite still in the garden, and last night he died. An' it's my belief, sir, he died of a broken heart, because ye did na' beat him after killing the pigeons, and he couldna' make it up wi' ye.'
And the minister thought so, too; and when Jean was gone, he sat down by his lonely fireside and buried his face in his hands.
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