Page:Germ Growers.djvu/26

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21
THE RED SICKNESS.

yours, Furniss. You told me one day something about his breeding, and you promised to tell me more.

Furniss. Yes, it is quite a problem in natural history. Do you know, Tommy's ancestors have been in our family for four or five generations of men, and, I suppose, that is twenty generations of dogs.

Leopold. You told me something of it. You improved the breed greatly, I believe?

Furniss. Yes; but I have some distant cousins, and they have the same breed and yet not the same, for they have cultivated it in quite another direction.

Leopold. What are the differences?

Furniss. Our dogs are all more or less like Tommy here, gentle and faithful, very intelligent, and by no means deficient in pluck. My cousin's dogs are fierce and quarrelsome, so much so that they have not been suffered for generations to associate with children. And so they have lost intelligence and are become ill-conditioned and low-lived brutes.

Leopold. But I think I understood you to say that the change in the breed did not come about in the ordinary course of nature.

Furniss. I believe not. I heard my grandfather say that his father had told him that when he was a young man he had set about improving the breed. He had