The Loaded Dog

Plot summary

Three gold miners named Dave Regan, Jim Bently, and Andy Page are sinking a shaft at Stony Creek. The trio own a young retriever dog named Tommy, described as "an overgrown pup... a big foolish, four-footed mate." Andy and Dave, fishing enthusiasts, devise a unique method of catching fish using explosives. The dog picks up an explosive cartridge in its mouth, and runs the fuse through the campfire, prompting the three men to flee. Tommy, thinking it a game, playfully chases down his "two-legged mates," who try everything in their power to escape the cartridge. Jim tries to climb a tree and then drops down a mine shaft, meanwhile Andy has hidden behind a log. When Dave seeks refuge in the local pub, the dog bounds in after him, causing the Bushmen inside to scatter. Tommy comes across a "vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog sulking and nursing his nastiness under [the kitchen]," who takes the cartridge for himself. A crowd of dogs, curious about this unusual object, gather around the cartridge. The subsequent explosion blows apart the yellow cattle-dog and maims numerous others. For half an hour, the Bushmen who witnessed the spectacle are laughing hysterically. Tommy the retriever trots home after Dave, "smiling his broadest, longest, and reddest smile of amiability, and apparently satisfied for one afternoon with the fun he’d had."


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