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half past seven o'clock — they pursued me all day long. They crawled into the cream, they scalded themselves to death in my coffee, they clambered over the butter, dragging their greasy legs heavily and slowly; they planted themselves on my paper
if I tried to write; they filled up my inkstand and clogged the ink; they scratched in my hair, selecting the tenderest and least thickly covered spots, and always re
turning to them after being frightened away; and when, exhausted with loss of rest and worn out with their attacks, I endeavored to take a nap, they fell upon me and banished sleep from my eyes.
“Flies!” said Weeville, when he heard of my miseries; “why do you not kill them off? I used to be troubled with them, but I bought some of the gray fly-paper- Berensohn's lightning-killer--and soon brought matters to an issue. The very first day we killed forty or fifty, and the girl swept them up in the kitchen by tea-cups full: the supply was not equal to the demand, and I have not been waked by a fly since. What a comfort it is to sleep through the morning in peace, and not a single buzz!”
Before night I had the famous death-dealer, and, according to directions, set it out in saucers, covered with a little water, and watched complacently, and with somewhat of an about-to-be-gratified revengeful feeling in my breast, for the result. I waited and waited; the flies buzzed, and crawled, and tickled, but not one went near the fatal saucer; in every part of the room were they except in that spot. They crawled up and down the walls, they perched on the ceiling, they committed suicide in the water-pitcher, they collected in masses on the crumbs lying about, and chased one another around in playful and amatory mood, but touch that saucer they did not. I moved it from place to place, and set it near where
they were thickest, but they only flew hurriedly away with louder buzz, as much as to say, “ Get out with your old fly-killer.” In a rage, I caught some and threw them into the poisoned chalice, but they whisked out again with a shake of their wings, and went off as diabolically busy and buzzy as ever. I poured out some of the water, fearing the attraction was too much diluted; then, finding that that did not answer, I added an extra quantity, but the result was the same. The only part of the room entirely free from flies was the neighborhood of the fly-paper. I was in despair till a happy thought struck me: taking two of the sheets, which are conveniently stuck together at the edges, I laid them over my face and composed myself to sleep. The effect was magical. Not a fly came near me, and my nap was deliciously unbroken.
Next day, Weeville, on hearing my account, abused me because I had not put some sugar in the water; but, as sugar was not mentioned in the direction, it is hardly to be expected a person would divine its necessity. With that addition, the paper afterward killed flies enough; but, unfortunately, the sugar attracted ten where the poison killed one, and recourse was finally had to nets, which kept the breeze and the flies out together.
I have said that Patrick, among his other acquisitions for our second year's operations, had obtained two pups and two kittens. This was with a view to the extermination of the rats and mice that ate our oats and danced nocturnal jigs in the partitions and ceilings of the house. As Patrick explained it, he wanted the dogs to catch the rats, and the cats to catch the mice, which was certainly a fair division of labor; but the former evidently considered that they were merely designed to carry into practice one link in the story of the “House that Jack Built," and devoted their time mainly to worrying the latter. Whether the pups would have caught rats or the kittens mice is hard to tell, as they were altogether too busy worrying or being worried to devote much attention to the chase, and many was the battle waged between the belligerents. The entire science of strategy could be learned from studying the conduct of this feline and canine war, and I have always believed that Grant and Lee had both gone to the cats and dogs to acquire their knowledge. Felis, being the weaker, retires behind her intrenchment of boxes or chairs, and takes advantage of the natural defenses of corners and holes, while canis, being driven to the attack, exhausts his ingenuity in endeavoring to turn his opponent's flank, or to inveigle her from her in
trenchments. I called my dogs Gran and Sher (it seemed almost sacrilegious to copy the names literally), and the cats Lee and John.
Gran was a bull-dog, although not of quite pure blood, and my conscience troubled me somewhat on that score; but his grip was most tenacious, and no punishment could make him “sing out;" while Sher was a full-blooded Scotch terrier, as ugly as possible, but a sly little fellow, great on unexpected attacks, and dodging in on exposed places. Apart from his permanent battle with the kittens, and a most inveterate dislike to boys and beggars, Gran was the gentlest of dogs. He would beg for his dinner, and would howl out his affection if asked whether he loved his master and simultaneously offered a piece of sugar, of which he was extravagantly fond. His countenance was expressive of the strongest devotion, and his curly tail had a kindly wag for all his acquaintances. But let a dirty boy appear--and Flushing abounds with this nuisance-or let a beggar attempt to enter the front gate, and Gran went into a paroxysm of rage; his hair bristled up, his tail straightened and became twice its natural thickness, and his eyes glared with the wildest fury. If the offending party carried a bag, his fate was sealed, and many was the time that I had to rush out and