Caspar has been reading us a story about Sherlock Holmes. We have got to the part about the Ghostly Hound. It had Glowing Eyes and Fearful Teeth and a habit of chewing people in a Morally Unsound fashion.
There cannot be a Hound like This, I say. No Moral Dog would behave this way. .
Caspar says he Knows Someone who Knew Someone who was the Great Grandson of Someone who was Actually There.
It must be True then, says Houdini.
Lucifer says he wants Glowing Eyes. It would be Helpful in the Park in the Mornings.
That night I howl. I am worried about the Ghostly Hound, I tell the Owner when she returns to me for the Third Time. It has Glowing Eyes and Fearful Teeth and a habit of Chewing People in a Morally Unsound Fashion. I Cannot Defend you Adequately from my Bed.
Has Caspar been reading the Hound of the Baskervilles? Asks the Owner.
He might have been, I say.
It is not a True Story, says the Owner.
It must be, I say. Caspar says he Knows Someone who Knew Someone who is the Grandson of Someone who was Actually There.
That is the thing about Ghost Stories, says the Owner. Those who tell them always Know Someone who Knew Someone who is the grandson of someone who was Actually There. Such persons are often Apocryphal.
One would not Make Up a Story like that, I say.
One Might, says the Owner. There is a Long History of the Publication of Such Stories. People appear to Enjoy Them.
Surely it is Not Moral, I say, to make up a story depicting a Moral Dog in such a manner? Such portrayal gets Moral Dogs a bad name. Other Less Moral Dogs, such as the Rude Dog we met yesterday, may take their Cue from such Stories and develop Glowing Eyes and Morally Unsound Chewing Habits. It should not Be Allowed.
It is no Worse than making up Stories about Ghostly Cats, says the Owner, or Ghostly Zombies, or Ghostly Vampires. Such stories are for Entertainment. They are not intended to be Taken Literally.
It is Obvious that Cats and Zombies and Vampires have already learned from such stories, I say, since it is Obvious that they are Not Moral. Zombies are particularly Known for their Poor Adherence to Moral Principles. Moral Dogs, however, are a Different Matter. The Ghostly Hound of Sherlock Holmes is a Danger To Us All.
I think you will enjoy the end of the Story, says the Owner. You will learn that the Ghostly Hound of Sherlock Holmes is More Moral than you have been Led to Believe.
That may prove True, I say. But I cannot Concede it when we are Only on Chapter Three. The Moral Dog must meanwhile Stand Guard.
How many Chapters are there? Asks the Owner.
Sixteen, I say.
Dammit, says the Man.
I don’t know what he means. I can Defend him so much more Adequately when I am Sitting on his Pillow.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.