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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XXIV. "A CONSIDERING-CAP."
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 When Cecile sank down in a swoon in the hut, Toby, who had been lying on the ground apparently half asleep, had risen impatiently. Things were by no means to this dog's liking; in fact, things had come to such a pass that he could no longer bear them quietly. Maurice gone; Joe quite wild and distracted; and Cecile lying like one dead. Toby had an instinct quite through his honest heart that the time had come for him to act and with a wild howl he rushed into the forest.  
Neither of the two he left behind noticed him; both were too absorbed in the world into which they had entered—Cecile was lying in the borderland between life and death, and Joe's poor feet had strayed to the edge of that darker country where dwells despair.
The dog said to himself: "Neither of them can act, and immediate steps must be taken. Maurice must be found; I, Toby, must not rest until I bring Maurice back."
He ran into the forest, he sniffed the air, for a few moments he rushed hither and thither; then, blaming himself for not putting his wits into requisition, he sat down on his haunches. There, in the forest of the Landes, Toby might have been seen putting on his considering-cap. Let no one laugh at him. This dog had been given brains by his Maker; he would use these brains now for the benefit of the creatures he loved. Maurice had strayed into the forest; he must bring him back. Now, this particular part of the forest was very large, covering indeed thousands of leagues. There was no saying how far the helpless child might have strayed, not being blessed with that peculiar sense which would have guided Toby back to the hut from any distance, He might have wandered now many leagues away; still Toby, the dog who had watched over his infancy, would not return until he found him again. The dog thought now in his own solemn fashion, What did Maurice like best? Ah! wise Toby knew well: the pretty things, the soft things, the good things of life were little Maurice's desires; plenty of nice food, plenty of warmth and sunshine, plenty of pretty things to see, to touch. In the forest what could Maurice get? Food? No, not without money; and Toby knew that Cecile always kept those little magic coins, which meant so much to them all, in her own safe keeping. No, Maurice could not have food in the forest, but he could have flowers. Toby therefore would seek for the straying child where the flowers grew. He found whole beds of hyacinths, of anemones, of blue-bells, of violets; wherever these grew, there Toby poked his sagacious nose; there he endeavored to take up the lost child's scent. At last he was successful; he found a clew. There was a trampled-down bed of violets; there were withered violets scattered about. How like Maurice to fill his hands with these tr............
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