THE BARON'S WONDERFUL DOG
By R. E. Raspe
I had married a lady of great beauty, who, having heard of my
sporting exploits, desired, a short time after our marriage, to go
out with me on a shooting expedition. I went on in front to start
something, and I soon saw my dog stop before several hundred
coveys of partridges. I waited for my wife, who was following me
with my lieutenant and a servant. I waited a long time; nobody
At length, very uneasy, I went back, and, when I was half-way to
the place where I had left my wife, I heard lamentable groans.
They seemed quite near, and yet I could see no trace of a human
being. I jumped off my horse; I put my ear to the ground, and not
only heard the groans distinctly rising from beneath, but my
wife's voice and those of my lieutenant and servant.
I remarked at the same time, not far from the spot, the shaft of a
coal-pit, and I had no doubt that my wife and her unfortunate
companions had been swallowed up in it. I rode full speed to the
nearest village to fetch the miners, who after great efforts
succeeded in drawing the unfortunate individuals buried in the
pit—which measured ninety feet—to the surface.
They first drew up the man-servant; then his horse; next the
lieutenant; next his horse; and at length my wife on her little
palfrey. The most curious part of this affair was that, in spite
of the awful depth to which they had fallen, no one was hurt, not
even the horses, if we except a few slight contusions. But they
had had a terrible fright, and were quite unable to pursue our
In all this confusion I quite forgot my setter, as no doubt you
The next day I was obliged to go away on duty, and did not return
home for a fortnight. On my return I asked for Diana, my setter.
No one knew anything about her. My servants thought she had
followed me. She was certainly lost, and I never hoped to see her
again! At length a bright idea occurred to me:
"She is perhaps still watching the partridges."
I hastened, full of hope and joy, to the spot, and actually there
she was!—my noble Diana—on the very place where I had left her a
"Hi, Diana!" I cried. "Seize them!"
She instantly sprang the partridges; they rose, and I killed
twenty-five at one shot. But the poor beast had scarcely strength
enough to follow me, she was so thin and famished. I was obliged
to carry her back to the house on my horse, where rest, feeding,
and great care soon restored her to health.
I was thoroughly glad to get her back again.