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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/122

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the alert. For some time they watched in vain. They eagerly scanned every point of vision, and for a time could observe nothing unusual.

"Hush!" said one; "see that dog!"

It was Cæsar, cautiously skulking along the trail. He would frequently stop and sniff the air. Fortunately for the Indian watchers, the wind was blowing toward them, and so the dog did not catch their scent. On he came, in a quiet yet swift gait, until he reached the spot where Papanekis stood when he pulled in the net. He gave one searching glance in every direction, and then he set to work. Seizing the rope in his teeth, Cæsar strongly pulled upon it, while he rapidly backed up some distance on the trail. Then, walking on the rope to the water's edge as it lay on the ground, to keep the pressure of the current from dragging it in, he again took a fresh grip upon it and repeated the process. This he did until the sixty feet of rope were hauled in, and the end of the net was reached to which it was attached. The net he now hauled in little by little, keeping his feet firmly on it to securely hold it down. As he drew it up, several varieties of inferior fish, such as suckers or mullets, pike or jackfish, were at first observed. To them Cæsar paid no attention. He was after the delicious whitefish, which dogs as well as human beings prefer to those of other kinds. When he had perhaps hauled twenty feet of the net, his cleverness was rewarded by the sight of a fine whitefish. Still holding the net with its struggling captives securely down with his feet, he began to devour this whitefish, which was so much more dainty than the coarser fish generally thrown to him. Papanekis and his comrade had seen enough. The mysterious culprit was detected in the act, and so with a "Whoop!" they rushed down upon him. Caught in the very act, Cæsar had to submit to a thrashing that ever after deterred him from again trying that cunning trick.

Who can read this story, which I give exactly as it occurred, without having to admit that here Cæsar "combined means for the attainment of particular ends"? On the previous visits which he made to the net the rapid current of the stream, working against the greater part of it in the water, soon carried it back again into its place ere Papanekis arrived later in the morning. The result was that Cæsar's cleverness was undetected for some time, even by these most observant Indians.

Many other equally clever instances convince me, and those who with me witnessed them, of the possession, in of course a limited degree, of reasoning powers. Scores of my dogs never seemed to reveal them, perhaps because no special opportunities were presented for their exhibition. They were just ordinary dogs, trained