Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/191

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Chapter XIX.

There was an ancient enmity between Jupiter and Bacchus. While the former was always quiet when Phillis came to see his mistress during her life, Bacchus never went near him without his displaying symptoms of the greatest irritation; his back was invariably raised, and his claws spread out ready for an attack on the slightest provocation. Phillis found it impossible to induce the cat to remain away from Aunt Peggy's house; he would stand on the door-step, and make the most appalling noises, fly into the windows, scratch against the panes, and if any children approached him to try and coax him away, he would fly at them, sending them off in a disabled condition. Phillis was obliged to go backward and forward putting him into the house and letting him out again. This was a good deal of trouble, and his savage mood continuing, the servants were unwilling to pass him, declaring he was a good deal worse than Aunt Peggy had ever been. Finally, a superstitious feeling got among them, that he was connected in some way with his dead mistress, and a thousand absurd stories were raised in consequence. Mr. Weston told Bacchus that he was so fierce that he might do some real mischief, so that he had better be caught and drowned. The catching was a matter of some moment, but Phillis seduced him into a bag by putting a piece of meat inside and then dexterously catching up the bag and drawing the string. It was impossible to hold him in, so Bacchus fastened the bag to the wheelbarrow, and after a good deal of difficulty, he got him down to the river under the bridge, and threw him in. He told Phillis when he got home, that he felt now for the first time as if