Bill’s heart sank when he heard of his loyal dog’s fate, but he resolved to be brave and true. His spirits rose when he saw his three men running out of the woods towards Brutus, but then they sank again when he saw four other thug-like men emerge behind them.
Brutus was so focused on the prisoners in front of him that he didn’t hear the three sailors coming. They reached Brutus and staggered him with powerful blows, but then the other four thugs plus the overseer joined the melee and the fistfight was on.
Bill and his companions were chained together through their leg irons, so the group of them only had limited mobility, but they were arranged in a circle back to back, with machetes out.
Just when it seemed like Brutus and his friends were getting the upper hand, a bugle blast pierced the roars and cries of the fighting men, causing everyone to look around in surprise. The rest of Bill’s ship’s crew came rushing into the clearing, accompanied by members of the town’s militia.
Brutus and his men were quickly subdued, the chains removed from the prisoners, and order restored.
The leader of the local militia recognized his nephew among the captives, a man who had disappeared without a trace some weeks before.
“So, Brutus, you’re the culprit behind these disappearances,” he said quietly. “You’ll have to answer for this.”
There was a lot of hearty back-thumping and congratulating among the members of Bill’s crew, and then everyone remembered Sparky.
“What did you do with my dog?” Bill demanded of Brutus.
“Oh, I tossed him in a sack and threw him into the sea,” he said, with a gleam of triumph in his eyes. “You’ll never see him again.”
The atmosphere changed to one of sadness and indignation. Fists clenched and unclenched as the men remembered their beloved Sea Dog.
Bill retorted back, “Well just remember that no one would ever have found us without him. And now you are being brought to justice. So just think about the fact that he got his revenge, even from the bottom of the sea.”
What no one knew was that a street boy had seen Brutus catch the Sea Dog and throw him into the sack. He had followed, unobserved, as Brutus marched to the wharf and threw the sack into the water. And when Brutus left, satisfied, the boy had dived after the sack with a small, sharp knife in his hand. As he cut open the sack to release the Sea Dog, the dalmatian swam up to the surface and both of them reached land together.
On the shore, the Sea Dog shook the water out of his ears and the boy embraced him. “I’ve always wanted a dog,” he said. “Will you be my pal?”
To be continued.
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