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Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs
written by "Abbott, Eleanor Hallowell, 1872-1958"
...lame watched the fracas with dilated eyes. Hunched in the hug of his own arms the Stranger sat rocking himself to and fro in uncontrollable, choking mirth,—"ribald mirth" was what Flame called it. "Stop!" she begged. "Stop it! Somebody stop it!" It was not until the Black Plush Bag at bay had ripped a red streak down Miss Flora's avid nose that the Stranger rose to interfere. Very definitely then, with quick deeds, incisive words, he separated the immediate combatants, and ordered the other dogs into submission. "Here you, Demon Direful!" he ad[110]dressed the white Wolf Hound. "Drop that, Orion!" he shouted to the Irish Setter. "Cut it out, John!" he thundered at the Coach Dog. "Their names are 'Beautiful-Lovely'!" cried Flame. "And 'Lopsy!' and 'Blunder-Blot!'" With his hand on the Wolf Hound's collar, the Stranger stopped and stared up with frank astonishment, not to say resentment, at the girl's interference. "Their names are what?" he said. Something in the special intonation of the question infuriated Flame.... Maybe she thought his mouth scornful,—his narrowing eyes...? Goodness knows what she thought of his suddenly narrowing eyes! In an instant she had jumped from her retreat to the floor.[111] "Who are you, anyway?" she demanded. "How dare you come here like this? Butting into my party!... And—and spoiling my discipline with the dogs! Who are you, I say?" With Demon Direful, alias Beautiful-Lovely tugging wildly at his restraint, the Stranger's scornful mouth turned precipitously up, instead of down. "Who am I?" he said. "Why, no one special at all except just—the Master of the House!" "What?" gasped Flame. "Earle Delcote," bowed the Stranger. With a little hand that trembled perfectly palpably Flame reached back to the arm of the big carved chair for support. "Why—why, but Mr. Delcote is an old man," she gasped. "I'm almost sure he's an old man."[112] T...

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