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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Florence Nightingale

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"'Oh,' said Roger, 'Cap will never be of any more use to me; I'll have to hang him, poor fellow, as soon as I go home to-night.'

"'Hang him!' said Florence. 'Oh, Roger, how wicked of you! What has dear old Cap done?'

"'He has done nothing,' replied Roger; 'but he will never be of any more use to me, and I cannot afford to keep him for nothing; one of the mischievous school-boys throwed a stone at him yesterday, and broke one of his legs.' And the old shepherd's eyes filled with tears, which he wiped away with his shirt-sleeve; then he drove his spade deep in the ground to hide what he felt, for he did not like to be seen crying.

"'Poor Cap!' he sighed; 'he was as knowing almost as a human being.'

"'But are you sure his leg is broken?' asked Florence.

"'Oh, yes, miss, it is broken safe enough; he has not put his foot to the ground since.'

"Florence and her friend rode on without saying anything more to Roger.

"'We will go and see poor Cap,' said the vicar; 'I don't believe the leg is really broken. It would take a big stone and a hard blow to break the leg of a big dog like Cap.'

"'Oh, if you could but cure him, how glad Roger would be!' replied Florence.

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"They soon reached the shepherd's cottage, but the door was fastened; and when they moved the latch, such a furious barking was heard that they drew back, startled. However, a little boy came out of the next cottage, and asked if they wanted to go in, as Roger had left the key with his mother. So the key was got, and the door opened; and there on the bare brick floor lay the dog, his hair dishevelled, and his eyes sparkling with anger at the intruders. But when he saw the little boy he grew peaceful, and when he looked at Florence, and heard her call him 'poor Cap,' he began to wag his short tail; and then crept from under the table, and lay down at her feet. She took hold of one of his paws, patted his old rough head, and talked to him, whilst her friend examined the injured leg. It was dreadfully swollen, and hurt very much to have it examined; but the dog knew it was meant kindly, and though he moaned and winced with pain, he licked the hands that were hurting him.

"'It's only a bad bruise; no bones are broken,' said her old friend; 'rest is all Cap needs; he will soon be well again.'

"'I am so glad,' said Florence; 'but can we do nothing for him? he seems in such pain.'

"'There is one thing that would ease the pain and heal the leg all the sooner, and that is plenty of hot water to foment the part.'

"Florence struck a light with the tinder-box, and lighted the fire, which was already laid. She then set off to the other cottage to get something to bathe the leg with. She found an old flannel petticoat hanging up to dry, and this she carried off, and tore up into slips, which she wrung out in warm water, and laid them tenderly on Cap's swollen leg. It was not long before the poor dog felt the benefit of the application, and he looked grateful, wagging his little stump of a tail in thanks. On their way home they met the shepherd coming slowly along, with a piece of rope in his hand.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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