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The Dog Of Montargis

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A Frenchman of family and fortune, travelling alone through a forest, was
murdered and buried under a tree. His dog, an English bloodhound, would
not quit his master's grave, till at length, compelled by hunger, he
proceeded to the house of a friend of his master's, and by his melancholy
howling seemed desirous of expressing the loss they had both sustained. He
repeated his cries, ran to the door, looked back to see if any one
followed him, returned to his master's friend, pulled him by the sleeve,
and with dumb eloquence entreated him to go with him.

Struck by these actions, the company decided to follow the dog, who led
them to a tree where he began scratching the earth and howling. On
digging, the body of the unhappy man was found.

Some time after, the dog accidentally met the assassin; when instantly
seizing him by the throat, he was with great difficulty compelled to quit
his prey. As the dog continued to pursue and attack his master's murderer,
although docile to all others, his behaviour began to attract notice and
comment.

At length the affair reached the king's ear, who sent for the dog, who
appeared extremely gentle till he saw the murderer, when he ran fiercely
towards him, growling at and attacking him as usual.

The king, struck with such a collection of circumstantial evidence,
determined to refer the decision to the chance of battle; in other words,
he gave orders for a combat between the assassin and the dog. The lists
were appointed, and the man was allowed for his weapon a great cudgel.

An empty cask was given to the dog as a place of retreat, to enable him to
recover breath. The dog finding himself at liberty ran around his
adversary, avoiding his blows, and menacing him on every side, till his
strength was exhausted; then springing forward, he gripped him by the
throat, threw him on the ground, and obliged him to confess before the
king and the whole court. The assassin was afterwards convicted and
beheaded.





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