Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/64

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AUNT JO'S SCRAP-BAG.

evening dress. His face was white, with black hair parted in the middle; and whiskers, fiercely curled up at the end, gave him a martial look.

Every one admired him, and a vainer puss never caught a mouse. If he saw us looking at him, he instantly took an attitude; gazed pensively at the fire, as if unconscious of our praises; crouched like a tiger about to spring, and glared, and beat the floor with his tail; or lay luxuriously outstretched, rolling up his yellow eyes with a sentimental expression that was very funny.

We named him the Czar, and no tyrannical emperor of Russia ever carried greater desolation and terror to the souls of his serfs, than this royal cat did to the hearts and homes of the rats and mice over whom he ruled.

The dear little mice who used to come out to play so confidingly in my room, live in my best bonnet-box, and bring up their interesting young families in the store-room, now fell an easy prey to the Czar, who made nothing of catching half a dozen a day.

Brazen-faced old rats, gray in sin, who used to walk boldly in and out of the front door, ravage our