320 THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PINCHER
conveyed by a band of sympathisers to his own home, very unwell.
After this event Jack and Pincher were carefully kept apart, and Pincher firmly believed that his enemy was dead. But, in the following year, Pincher crossed the bridge, and, in the view of several credible witnesses, he encountered Jack. Instantly that short tail of Pincher's drooped, he trembled, turned, and fled. He had slain Jack, that he knew, and yet here was Jack again, re-arisen from his grave. Now, and never before, men saw Pincher fly from a foe. The inference is obvious: he regarded Jack as a visitor from the world of spirits. Brutus was not afraid of the ghost of Caesar, but in this one respect Pincher fell short of the Roman courage.
Pincher, though alarmed, was unconverted. Though gentle to small dogs, and the attached friend of little children, Pincher reigned the tyrant of the glen. When he marched down the middle of the village street, dogs and cats fled to back gardens and under beds in cottages. At the age of fourteen Pincher died. It was his habit to jump at the noses of trotting horses ; enfeebled by years he ' missed his tip,' was kicked by the justly irritated horse, and never recovered from the injury. Pincher was brave to a fault, tender, faithful, and the patron of at least one of the fine arts: sacred music. "When he first landed in the Highlands, the barque which bore him glided through clear water over a green field, submerged at high tide. In the mirror-like expanse Pincher beheld his own reflected shape, conceived it to be a hostile hound, and leaped to battle. His perplexed expression when he rose to the surface is said to have been extremely comic. His old age was gloomy, as he no longer dared to keep the crown of the causeway, dreading the reprisals of the young. The time came to this conqueror when, like Eob Roy in his last days, he had enough of fighting. Such, as drawn by a feeble but impartial hand, were the Life and Death of Pincher.