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The Spotted Dog

In An Editor's Tales, 1870. Originally published in Saint Paul's Magazine., March-April 1870

Julius Mackenzie, highly educated but unfortunately married and ruined by drink, appealed to the Editor for work. The Editor had on hand for indexing a manuscript on which a country clergyman had spent many years. Examining Mackenzie as to his fitness to do the work, he recognized his scholarship and decided to trust him with the task.

The poor man confessed that it would be unsafe for him to have the material at home, as his wife was a drunkard, and his children undisciplined. He suggested that his friends, the owners of the Spotted Dog, might he willing to keep it for him and allow him to work there. The Editor went with him to the pub, made the arrangements and turned over the manuscript to him. For a time he made good progress, and the Editor began to hope that all was well with him. The drunken wife, however, followed him to the pub, and in the ensuing disturbance the landlord turned them both out. When this was reported to the Editor he hurried to Mackenzie’s lodging, where he found the manuscript in the fireplace halfburned by the drink-maddened wife, and her husband a suicide.