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October 18 , 2010

The Bar Sinister (1903)


When this story first appeared, the writer received letters of two kinds,

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Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis

According to Wikipedia: "Richard Harding Davis (18 April 1864—11 April 1916) was a popular writer of fiction and drama, and a journalist famous for his coverage of the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and the First World War. Davis, whose mother Rebecca Harding Davis was also a prominent writer in her day, made his reputation as a…

one asking a question and the other making a statement. The question was,

whether there was any foundation of truth in the story; the statement

challenged him to say that there was. The letters seemed to show that a

large proportion of readers prefer their dose of fiction with a

sweetening of fact. This is written to furnish that condiment, and to

answer the question and the statement.


In the dog world, the original of the bull-terrier in the story is known

as Edgewood Cold Steel and to his intimates as "Kid." His father was Lord

Minto, a thoroughbred bullterrier, well known in Canada, but the story of

Kid's life is that his mother was a black-and-tan named Vic. She was a

lady of doubtful pedigree. Among her off spring by Lord Minto, so I have

been often informed by many Canadian dog-fanciers, breeders, and

exhibitors, Kid was the only white puppy in a litter of black-and-tans.

He made his first appearance in the show world in 1900 in Toronto, where,

under the judging of Mr. Charles H. Mason, he was easily first. During

that year, when he came to our kennels, and in the two years following,

he carried off many blue ribbons and cups at nearly every first-class

show in the country. The other dog, "Jimmy Jocks," who in the book was

his friend and mentor, was in. real life his friend and companion,

Woodcote Jumbo, or "Jaggers," an aristocratic son of a long line of

English champions. He has gone to that place where some day all good dogs

must go.


In this autobiography I have tried to describe Kid as he really is, and

this year, when he again strives for blue ribbons, I trust, should the

gentle reader see him at any of the bench-shows, he will give him a

friendly pat and make his acquaintance. He will find his advances met

with a polite and gentle courtesy.

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