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Title: The Adventures of Scamp

Date of first publication: 1943

Author: Enid Blyton [pseudo: Mary Pollock] (1897-1968)

Date first posted: June 8, 2019

Date last updated: June 8, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190616

This eBook was produced by: Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net





First published in 1943 by George Newnes Ltd,

under the pseudonym Mary Pollock.

Text of this book from the 1976 edition

of Dog Stories by Collins.

Illustrations from the George Newnes edition, uncredited.


Also published in 1959 along with

Three Boys and a Circus

in a volume titled Dog Stories.


1Scamp Gets His Name105
2Scamp Gets into Mischief111
3Scamp at His Lessons120
4Scamp Gets into Trouble127
5Scamp Grows up135
6Scamp Does His Best142
7Scamp is a Policeman150
8The Coming of the Circus155
9Where is Scamp?163
10Scamp is a Circus-dog167
11What a Lovely Surprise!173
12A Little Quarrel180
13Scamp is a Hero!184


When Scamp was born, he had no name at all, any more than you had. He lay in a dark kennel with his mother, Flossie, the wire-haired terrier. By him were three other puppies, squeaking as they wriggled about.

In the morning Mrs. Hill came to look into the kennel, and she cried out for joy. “Oh! Flossie’s got four beautiful puppies! John, come and see!”

Her husband came up and looked into the kennel. He could just see the four little puppies lying beside their proud mother.

“My, they’re beauties!” he said. “Two are black and white, and two are brown and white. Which shall we give to Kenneth and Joan?”

“Oh, we’ll wait and see,” said Mrs. Hill. “They had better choose for themselves.”

Soon the two children came racing up to see the new puppies too. Their mother and father had promised them one of them for their very own, and they were excited about it. Now that the puppies were really there, they could choose the one they wanted most.

Flossie let them look at her four puppies. “They’ve all got their eyes closed!” said Kenneth.

“Well, puppies and kittens always do have their eyes shut at first,” said Joan. “Aren’t they sweet? I’ll pick one up and cuddle it.”


But Flossie growled when Joan tried to pick up the nearest puppy, and the little girl put it down again in a hurry. “All right, Flossie,” she said. “I won’t hurt it. I only just want to choose one for ourselves.”

“Let’s wait till their eyes are open and they can run about,” said Kenneth. “Then we’ll choose the prettiest and the best!”

Every day the two children went to see Flossie and the puppies. They soon grew!

“I’m sure they are growing while I look at them!” said Joan. “And, oh, look, Kenneth—this one has got its eyes just a little bit open! It will see to-morrow!”

It was seeing already, but not very clearly. By the next day his eyes were wide open, for Flossie had licked the eyelids of the puppy with her pink tongue, and he was able to look around.

He had been able to smell before—the nice warm exciting smell of his mother and the other puppies. He had been able to taste too, and to hear the squeals of the others, the voices of the children, the growls of his mother. Now he could see—and that was very exciting indeed!

The other three had their eyes open wide the next day. Then they began to try and waddle round the kennel. They didn’t know how to use their legs at first, and they kept falling over. The children laughed when they saw them.

“Flossie, do let us take your pups on to the lawn!” they begged. “It will be good for them to waddle about there.”

Flossie didn’t mind the children having the puppies now that they were growing well. So Kenneth and Joan took them one by one on to the lawn. But the sunlight was too strong for their newly opened eyes. So they put them into the shade, and then the pups were happy.

They tried to run here and there. They fell over and got up again. They ran into the tree-trunks and bumped their noses. They smelt at a hurrying beetle and wondered what it was. They tried to climb on to the children’s laps, and altogether were really lovely to play with.

“Well, which are you going to have?” asked Mother, as she came to watch too.

“Oh, Mother, we simply don’t know,” said Joan. “They are all so sweet. I love this one with the black patch on his back, and this one too with the brown tail. And this little fellow is sweet with a black patch over one eye. The other one is rather small.”

“Yes, I wouldn’t have her,” said Mother. “She isn’t so well-grown as the others. And don’t have the one with the black patch on one side. His head is a little too big. Choose one of the others.”

Still the children didn’t know which to choose. Kenneth wanted one and Joan wanted the other. And then they both discovered that the puppy with the black patch over one eye was the naughtiest of the lot!

“Let’s have him, shall we?” said Joan. “I’d rather like a naughty puppy—wouldn’t you, Kenneth? He’d be more exciting than a good one. Look at him, the little monkey—he’s pulling the head off that flower. You scamp! Come here! Oh, stop him, Kenneth, he’s just going mad in that flower-bed!”

Kenneth ran to get the puppy. It tore away from him and disappeared into the wood-shed. It tried to get under the pile of firewood there—and by the time that Kenneth reached the shed, the wood was scattered all over the floor, and the puppy was angrily chewing up the piece that had hit him on the head!


“You really are a scamp!” said Kenneth, picking up the puppy, which at once tried to chew his sleeve. “Look at the mess you’ve made with that neatly stacked firewood. Now I shall have to tidy it all up. Joan! Take this pup, and keep him quiet. He’s a real scamp.”

“Kenneth! Do let’s choose this one and call him Scamp!” said Joan. “I believe he’ll be the most amusing puppy of the lot. Let’s have him.”

“All right,” said Kenneth, with a laugh, as he watched the puppy pulling at the buttons on Joan’s frock. “Look out—he’ll have those buttons off!”

Mother came up just then. “Children!” she said, “two of the puppies are going away to new homes this afternoon. Have you chosen yours yet?”

“Yes, Mother!” said Joan, and she held up the puppy in her arms. “This one! He’s awfully naughty.”

“Well, for goodness’ sake don’t choose him then,” said Mother, in alarm. “I don’t want my best hat chewed up, and all the mats nibbled!”

“Oh, Mother, we’ll see he doesn’t do anything too naughty!” said Joan, hugging him. “But we do want him. He’s really funny—and so loving. See how he licks me!”

“Yes, he’s a dear little fellow,” said Mother, “I should think he will grow into a fine rough-haired terrier very like his mother. I like that funny black patch over his eye too. It gives him such a cheeky look.”

The puppy looked up at her and barked in a funny little high bark.

“Oh, Mother! That’s the very first time he’s barked!” cried Kenneth, in surprise. “He looks rather astonished at himself, doesn’t he! I don’t expect he knew he could bark!”

Everybody laughed. “Yes, we really must keep him,” said Mother. “He’s going to be an interesting little creature, fearless and faithful. He’s the cleverest of the batch too. What are you going to call him?”

“Well, there’s only one name for him!” said Kenneth. “Scamp! Because he is a scamp, Mother.”

“All right. Scamp is a good name for a dog,” said Mother. “Nice and short, and easy to call. Scamp! You’ll soon know your name!”

Scamp almost seemed as if he knew it already. He rushed at Mother and tried to pull the laces out of her shoes. “Don’t!” she said, trying to take her feet away. “Oh, you little mischief! Leave my feet alone!”

But as fast as she tried to take her feet away Scamp went after them, barking in his funny little high voice, his short tail wagging hard. The children shouted with laughter. In the end Kenneth had to pick him up to let Mother go back to the house in safety.

“I’m glad we’ve chosen you,” said Joan, tickling the puppy round the neck and under his hairy little chin. “You’re our dog now. Our very own. Did you know that?”

“And you’re mine!” barked the puppy proudly. “You belong to me! I’ll look after you all my life long.”


Two of the puppies went away in a big box that afternoon to their new home. Scamp wandered about trying to find them. He had only a little sister-puppy left now, and she was the small one, and ran to shelter behind her mother if Scamp got too rough.

He liked to jump out at her and roll her over. Then he would nibble her ears and her tail, and make her squeal loudly. Flossie nipped him hard once when he was doing this, and gave him a real shock. After that he didn’t tease the other puppy quite so much.

But when two disappeared to new homes he only had the little puppy left to play with, and Mother said that they must find a home for her because Scamp was so much bigger and stronger that he really was making her afraid.

So three days later the small puppy went too, and then only Scamp was left. The children were rather sad when the three puppies were gone.

“It was such fun when they were all playing around, Mother,” said Kenneth.

“A bit too much fun!” said Mother. “Life is much more peaceful now we only have one left.”

“Well, I’m glad that one is Scamp,” said Joan. “We are lucky to be able to keep one. Now we have a dog, a puppy, and a cat!”

Scamp knew the cat quite well. She was called Fluffy because she had a soft, fluffy coat that stood out all round her. Her eyes were as green as cucumbers, and her tail was long and wavy.

At first Scamp thought that Fluffy was pleased when she wagged her tail, but he soon found out that she wasn’t!

He used to dart all around her, wuffing hard, and then her tail began to wag slowly from side to side, as she grew angry. Then, when Scamp darted at her, she wagged her tail more quickly, and began to hiss.

But the puppy, seeing her wagging tail, quite thought she was pleased and friendly, and pounced on it. Then Fluffy swung round, spat at him, and hit him hard on the nose with her paws. Once she put out her claws and scratched him so that his nose began to bleed.


Scamp was astonished. He ran crying to his mother, and she licked his hurt nose.

“You are a silly puppy,” she said. “You must know that cats wag their tails when they are angry, not when they want to be friends, as we do! Whenever you see a cat wagging her tail, keep right away from her.”

“Why do we wag our tails when we are pleased?” asked Scamp, settling down beside his mother. He loved her nice warm smell.

“Well, when two dogs meet one another, they are not sure at first that the other will not fight,” said Flossie. “They cannot smile at one another, as two-legged people do, because if a dog opens its mouth and shows its teeth, it means that it is ready to bite! So dogs use their tails as signals, you see. They wag them to tell the other dog that they want to be friends, not enemies.”

“And the other dog sees and wags his tail back!” said Scamp. “It’s a good idea, isn’t it? How do cats show they are friendly?”

“You will hear them purr,” said his mother. “Now, if I were you, I’d leave Fluffy alone. You haven’t claws like sharp needles, as she has—and it’s no good chasing her because she can climb trees and jump on walls, and you can’t. So she will only laugh at you.”

All the same, Scamp often did chase Fluffy, and it was only when the cat turned on him, flew at him, and put ten of her sharp claws into his head that he really thought it would be best not to run after her any more!

Scamp loved nibbling and chewing things. He liked to go into the nursery and see what he could find there to nibble. Sometimes he found a doll’s shoe and nibbled that. Then Joan would be very cross with him and scold him.

“You bad dog! Look what you’ve done. You’ve spoilt Angela’s best shoe. I’m ashamed of you.”

Then Scamp would put his tail down and look up at Joan with such sad brown eyes that she would forgive him at once. And a minute later he would be shaking the life out of Kenneth’s new ball, biting big holes in it, and growling at it as if it were a wicked rat!

Once Scamp went into the cook’s bedroom. He heard somebody coming, and hid under the bed. The footsteps went by, and he began to sniff around. There was a round box under the bed. Scamp worried at it until the lid came off. There was something rather exciting in the box.


“It looks like the flowers in the garden!” thought Scamp, as he looked at the hat inside, all trimmed with gay flowers. “But it doesn’t smell like flowers. I wonder what it is.”

He dragged the hat out on to the floor. He took it into the middle of the room and looked at it. One of the flowers shook a little and he put his paw on it. Then he began to nibble at the red roses on the hat.

They didn’t taste very nice. A bit of wire in one of them pricked his tongue. That made Scamp angry. He danced round the hat, barking loudly. “What! You dare to scratch me with your claws, like Fluffy does! I’ll chase you! Yes, I’ll chase you. Run away and I’ll come after you.”

But the hat didn’t run away. It wasn’t any fun at all. Scamp was cross. He pounced on the hat and the wire scratched him again. Then Scamp lost his temper and began to tear at the hat with his sharp puppy-teeth. He growled as he chewed the roses and the violets, and Cook heard him.

She came running upstairs and into her bedroom. When she saw her best Sunday hat on the floor, and Scamp chewing it hard, she gave an angry shout.

“Oh, you bad dog! Oh, you wicked dog! You’ve spoilt my lovely new hat! Oh, my, wait till I catch you!”

She caught up a bedroom slipper and slapped Scamp so hard with it that he yelped loudly and fled out of the room and down the stairs. The cook followed him, in tears.

Mrs. Hill heard the noise and came to see what the matter was. When she saw what the puppy had done she was very sorry. “I’ll give you a new hat,” she said to the cook. “Don’t be upset any more. That puppy really is getting into too much mischief.”

Mrs. Hill marched downstairs and found Scamp hiding under the table. She dragged him out and gave him a hard spanking.

“It’s time you learnt what to do and what not to do,” she said sternly. The children came running in when they heard poor Scamp howling.

“Oh, Mother, what has he done?” they cried. When they heard, they looked at Scamp with stern faces. Scamp crouched down and whimpered. He felt very sorry for himself indeed.

He crept up to Kenneth and tried to lick his hand. But the boy took his hand away. Scamp was terribly upset. He went to his basket and lay down there, his head over the edge, his ears down, and his tail quite still.

He felt as if he would never be happy again—never. Even kind-hearted Joan wouldn’t speak to him.

After an hour or two he crept out of his basket and went over to Mother. She put out a hand and patted him. He was overjoyed and began to bark at once. His tail went up, and he panted for joy.

“Now you’re forgiven,” said Mother, “but you must remember not to chew things up any more—only your own bones and balls, Scamp. Nothing else.”

So the next time that Scamp wanted to chew anything, he remembered his spanking and how unhappy he had been, and he ran off before he got his teeth into it. He was a good little fellow at learning his lessons!

When Scamp was a little older, the children bought him a collar. At first he couldn’t bear it. He didn’t like to feel it on his neck. He tried to wriggle it off. He put up his paw and pulled at the collar. But it wouldn’t come off.

“What are you trying to do?” asked the dog next door, when he met him, and saw him trying to get his collar off by rubbing it along the fence.

“I hate this collar-thing on my neck!” said Scamp. “I just hate it!”

“Well, don’t you want to be properly dressed, then?” said the big dog. “Haven’t you noticed that all grown-up dogs wear collars? All men wear collars too, but little boys like Kenneth usually wear jerseys. If you’ve been given a collar it means that you’re getting to be rather a grown-up dog. It’s only puppies that don’t wear collars.”

After that Scamp didn’t mind his collar. He wanted to be grown-up. He felt even more grown-up than Kenneth, who still wore only jerseys. And he felt far more important than Fluffy, who wore no collar at all.

“You wait till you see what your collar’s for!” said the big cat, swinging her tail. “It’s just to put a lead on when you go for a walk, so that you can’t run off wherever you want to! You won’t feel quite so pleased then!”

That was quite true. When Kenneth bought a lead and slipped it on to Scamp’s collar, he felt cross. That horrid lead! Whenever he wanted to run ahead it dragged him back. Certainly he didn’t like his collar any more.

But then Joan hung something on his collar that shone and tinkled. He wondered what it was. Flossie, his mother, told him.

“That’s to say who you are, and where you live,” said Flossie. “All dogs have to wear their name and address, you know.”

“Why?” asked Scamp, in surprise.

“Well, because their masters and mistresses love them, and don’t want to lose them, of course!” said Flossie. “If you should happen to be lost, anyone can look at the medal with your name and address on, and can bring you safely back home. Then Kenneth and Joan would be happy. Cats don’t wear their names and addresses on collars. That must be because we are the important animals of the house, and not the cats.”

So Scamp was pleased with his collar again and showed his name and address to Fluffy.

“Pooh!” said Fluffy. “Fancy having your name and address like that! Why, if I got lost, I’d know my way back without having to let people read my name and address, I can tell you! Dogs are poor creatures!”

“Woof!” said Scamp, in an angry voice. “You’re a horrid cat. I’m going to chase you. And I’ll nibble your tail right off this time! So look out!”

And Scamp really sounded so fierce that Fluffy thought she had better go. She ran off, her tail high up in the air, and Scamp pattered after her. Fluffy ran straight up a tree, and Scamp tried to follow. But he fell back to the ground at once and rolled over.

Fluffy sat up on a branch and laughed at him. “You may be an important dog with your name and address on your collar!” she mewed, “but I can climb a tree, and you can’t!”


Kenneth and Joan knew that Scamp would have to have lessons as he grew up. Not the same kind as children, of course—but lessons, all the same!

“You must learn to come at once when you are called or whistled,” said Kenneth to Scamp. “You must learn to walk to heel, and not go too far ahead, or lag behind when we take you for a walk. You must learn not to fight when we take you out. You must certainly never chase hens or sheep. What a lot of lessons for you to learn, Scamp!”

Scamp had always been taken out on a lead before—but now Kenneth took him out without one. Scamp was overjoyed. This was fun! He could run after any dog he met, and stay behind to sniff at all the exciting smells along the road.

But that wasn’t Kenneth’s idea at all! “Come to heel,” he said, in quite a stern voice. Scamp looked up at him. Kenneth tapped his knee. “Here,” he said. “Come here. Walk to heel.”

Scamp knew what “Come here” meant, and he ran to Kenneth. “Now walk close beside me,” said Kenneth. The boy had a rolled-up newspaper in his hand, and Scamp sniffed at it. “Yes,” said Kenneth, “that’s to tap your nose with if you go too far ahead. So look out!”

Scamp kept close by Kenneth for a little way, and then he saw a big dog just ahead. He ran past his little master to go to the dog. At once Kenneth gave him a smart tap on the nose. “Heel!” he said sternly. “Heel! Didn’t I tell you not to run ahead?”


Scamp was surprised at the tap on his nose. He looked at the rolled-up newspaper and decided that he didn’t like it at all. He wasn’t going to run ahead if that nasty thing kept hitting him on the nose!

He smelt an exciting smell in the hedge nearby and ran to sniff at it. “Heel!” said Kenneth at once. “Scamp, when we go walking in the town, you must keep close to my side. When we go in the country you can run loose all you please—but in the town I have to cross roads with you, and you must keep safe by my side. A well-trained, well-behaved dog always does that. Look at Don, across the road there. See how well he keeps at his master’s heels—and see that silly little dog, Spot—he’s running all over the place, even in the road!”

There was a screech of brakes as a passing car swerved to miss the little dog who was in the road. The driver leaned out and shouted to the man who owned Spot, “Can’t you keep your dog to heel? Look at him, all over the road! I nearly had an accident!”

The car went on. “There!” said Kenneth to Scamp. “That just shows you what I mean. Think how ashamed I would have felt if it had been you out in the road, Scamp.”

Scamp didn’t learn to keep to heel all in one lesson. He needed two or three before he made up his doggy mind that he had to do as he was told. Then he was very good indeed in the town, and walked so close to Kenneth or Joan that they could feel his warm breath on their legs! Kenneth didn’t have to carry the rolled-up newspaper any more.

“He’s a good dog, you know,” he said to Joan. “He really listens to us and tries to understand. Shall we teach him a few tricks too?”

“Only if he wants to learn them, and learns them easily,” said Joan. “If they are fun to him, that’s all right—but we mustn’t force him to learn tricks if he doesn’t want to.”

But Scamp did want to—especially when he found that biscuits always came to him after a trick! He learnt to sit up and beg the very first time that Kenneth and Joan gave him a lesson. He looked so funny with his little front paws held up. At first the children set him up with his back to the sofa to help him not to fall over. But he soon learnt to sit up anywhere.

“Sit up!” Kenneth cried, and Scamp sat up at once. He saw the little biscuit in Kenneth’s hand, and he was pleased. He gave a little yelp.

“He’s saying please, Joan!” cried Kenneth. “That yelp was ‘please’ as clearly as anything. Scamp, say please!”

“Woof!” said Scamp obligingly, and he got the biscuit at once. It didn’t take him long to gobble it up. Then Kenneth tried something else. He put a biscuit on the floor, and when Scamp went to get it he said, “No, Scamp. Trust! No. Trust. Trust.”

This was a new word to Scamp. He looked at the biscuit and he looked at Kenneth. What did “Trust” mean? He knew what the word “No” meant. Perhaps “No” and “Trust” meant much the same thing.

“Paid for!” shouted Kenneth suddenly. “Yes, you can have it. Paid for!”

Scamp pounced on the biscuit with a yelp. Then Joan put a biscuit down and said “Trust,” and Scamp sat as still as could be, looking at it but not taking it.

“Isn’t he clever?” said Joan. “He almost knows that trick already. Paid for, old thing, paid for!”

“Woof!” said Scamp joyfully, and pounced on the biscuit. The children never let his lessons go on for more than ten minutes at a time, because they didn’t want him to get bored or tired.

At the next lesson they did a funny thing. Joan took a biscuit and balanced it on the tip of Scamp’s black nose. Scamp tried to get it off at once.

“No, you must sit up and beg, and not touch the biscuit till we say ‘Paid for’,” said Joan. “Sit up! That’s right. Now—trust—trust—trust. No, don’t get the biscuit off, Scamp. Oh, you silly, you’ve made it fall off. No, you mustn’t have it yet. Sit up again.”


Scamp sat up. Joan put the biscuit on the tip of his nose again. Oh, how delicious that biscuit smelt! How Scamp wanted to eat it! It would be so easy to toss his head up, shake off the biscuit, and eat it at once! But Scamp knew he mustn’t do that.

So he sat and waited, his front paws in the air, looking at the children. “Good dog,” said Joan, “Very good dog. Trust! Now—paid for! You can have it!”

Scamp knew what “Paid for” meant. He tossed his head joyfully into the air—the biscuit flew high—and the clever little dog caught it as it came down. One crunch and it was gone!

“Goodness! He’s the cleverest dog in the world!” said Kenneth. “Fancy him doing that the first time. Oh, good dog, Scamp. Let’s do it again, Joan.”

When the butcher boy came to the back door, Scamp sat up and begged to him for a bone. The boy was so amused that he gave him one. Scamp was overjoyed. He ran off with it at once.

“Where did you get that?” asked Fluffy, in surprise.

“The butcher boy gave it to me,” said Scamp. “I sat up and begged for it. Like this.”

He showed Fluffy how he sat up and begged, but she thought it was silly.

“All right,” said Scamp, in a huff. “A bit of silliness it may be—but it got me this bone!”

Then Scamp thought he would go to the baker’s shop and beg for biscuits. So off he went and made his way into the shop. The baker was there, serving his customers. Scamp went up to him and sat up and begged.

But the baker was hard-hearted where dogs were concerned. He shouted at Scamp.

“Get out of here! After my biscuits and cakes, are you! No amount of begging will get any from me, so go away! I don’t like dogs in my shop.”

But Scamp wouldn’t go away. He still sat up and begged, and gave a little yelp, which meant “Please!”

The baker gave him a smack that sent him over. “When I say ‘Get out’ I mean ‘Get out,’ and not sit up and beg,” he said roughly. “Go and try your tricks on someone else.”

Scamp ran sadly out of the shop. “Perhaps it won’t do to sit up and beg to everybody,” he thought. “Maybe I’d better keep my tricks for my own family.”

So he sat up and begged to the cook. She sometimes laughed at him and gave him a titbit, and sometimes she didn’t. He sat up and begged to the parlour-maid, but she hadn’t any time for him. She just swept him away with her broom, and laughed when he yelped at her. He sat up and begged when the gardener came. The man gave him a bit of his cheese. So Scamp begged again.

“No, that’s enough,” said the man. “It’s no good your following me all over the place, begging.”

The children taught Scamp another thing too. They taught him to shut the door when he came into a room! He took two or three lessons to learn this, and the children were very patient with him. Then he suddenly got the idea, and shut the door with a bang.

It came open again a little. “It’s not properly shut, Scamp,” said Kenneth, and he shut the door with a click to show Scamp what he meant. So Scamp listened for the click when he shut the door, and if it didn’t come, he pushed it again until it did!

After that he went about shutting all the doors behind him, and this meant that he kept shutting himself into rooms and then howling to be let out.

“Oh, goodness, I almost wish we hadn’t taught Scamp to shut doors,” said Joan, as she let him out of the bathroom. “I’m always rushing after him now to let him out of some room he’s shut himself into!”

“Woof!” said Scamp. “I won’t do it unless I’m told now.” So he didn’t—and after that he wasn’t shut into any more rooms, and Joan told him he was a very clever dog indeed!


Scamp soon learnt to come whenever he was called, and to know the children’s whistle at once. Where-ever he was, he would come rushing to the children as soon as he heard them whistling to him.

But it was difficult to teach him not to chase anything that ran away! When Kenneth and Joan took him down to the farm lane, he saw hens wandering about all over the place. They scurried away, squawking when they saw Scamp coming, his nose to the ground!

“Ha! They’re afraid of me! What fun!” wuffed Scamp to himself. “I chase anything that runs away. Here goes!”

And off he went after the hens. How they scurried and flurried away! How they squawked and screeched! Scamp had a perfectly wonderful time.

“Scamp! Scamp! Stop it! Bad dog! Come here!” cried the children. But Scamp didn’t hear a word. He had caught a hen by the leg, and was trying to get rid of a mouthful of feathers without letting go the hen.

“Oh! He’s got a hen!” cried Kenneth. “Goodness, we shall get into trouble if we don’t stop him. Scamp! Bad dog! Come here at once.”

The wriggling hen made Scamp feel terribly excited. He still held on to it, enjoying its squawkings and clucks. The others ran away, terrified. Kenneth ran up to Scamp. He had the lead in his hand and he gave the excited dog a cut with it. It made Scamp jump. He let go the hen’s leg at once and turned to look up at Kenneth.

“Woof!” he said. “You hurt me! I’m sure you didn’t mean to.”

“Oh yes, I did,” said Kenneth sternly. “You were hurting that poor hen—so I had to hurt you to make you pay attention to what I was saying. Bad dog! Very bad dog! You will have to go on the lead all the way home!”

Scamp hated that. He put his tail down and went home very miserable. But all the way he kept thinking of the hens running away from him, and he longed to go down the lane again and chase them all once more! It was bad, he knew that. But perhaps if Kenneth didn’t know, it wouldn’t matter.

So he decided to slip off alone one morning and see if those exciting hens were still there. Off he went, his nose to the ground, smelling everything as he ran.

He soon came to the farm lane—and there, near the farmyard, were those red-brown hens, wandering about loose again everywhere! What fun!

There were some tiny chicks too—little yellow and brown things, saying “cheep-cheep-cheep!” They might be fun too, to chase. Scamp ran up to them.

Then something happened. A big fat hen ran at him, squawking at the top of her voice. How she squawked! It almost deafened Scamp. He stopped and looked at the hen. Then he made a little run at her, thinking she would turn tail and rush off like the others.

But the hen was the mother of the chicks, and she was very angry with Scamp for frightening her little ones. She was quite fearless. She didn’t care how big a dog he was, or how many teeth he had—she was going to protect her little chicks!

So when Scamp ran at her, she ran at him. She put out her strong neck and pecked him hard on the nose. It made him yelp. Then she struck at him with one of her feet, and flapped round him with her big wings.

Scamp was most astonished. He got another peck that took some hair out of his ear, and he yelped. The other hens came to watch, clucking in delight.


Scamp ran back a few steps. The big hen followed, squawking loudly. She gave him a quick and spiteful peck again. “I’ll teach you to chase my chicks!” she cried. “I’ll teach you to frighten them.” Peck—squawk—peck—squawk!

Scamp had had enough of it. He turned and fled down the farm lane, and the old hen scampered after him, screeching rude names. But she couldn’t catch him up, of course. She soon went back to her chicks, and all day the other hens clucked together about the silly dog who had run away when the mother-hen had pecked him.

“That’ll teach him a lesson,” they said. And it did! Scamp never once chased a hen again. Kenneth was very pleased when he took him down the farm lane, to see the way he kept close to heel.

“I soon taught him not to chase hens,” he said to Joan. But it wasn’t Kenneth who had taught him—it was the fat old hen!

Another thing Scamp had to learn was not to go into the fields where sheep were. Sheep were terrified of dogs, and soon bunched together and ran off if any dog came after them. This was bad for them, and the farmer grew very angry.

Two dogs were rascals at chasing the sheep. One was a big dog called Tinker, and the other was a small Scotty called Jock. Each day they slipped through the hedge into the field and made for the nearest group of sheep.

As soon as the sheep saw the dogs, they turned and ran. They frightened all the other sheep by their running, and it wasn’t long before the whole flock was tearing about from side to side of the field, trying to get away from the barking dogs.

One day Scamp met Scotty, and the little dog spoke to him. “You like a bit of fun, don’t you? Well, come along with us, and you’ll see some!”

“Good!” said Scamp, feeling grown-up and important. He scampered along with Scotty and Tinker, and they took him to the field where the sheep were feeding.

“Go through this hole in the hedge,” said Scotty. “That’s right. Now, you see those big grey creatures feeding over there? Well, just run after them and see how they rush away. It’s such fun!”

Soon the three dogs were having a wonderful time. The sheep tore all over the place. Then suddenly a loud voice came through the air.

“I’ll shoot you! You wicked dogs! I won’t have dogs in my fields at lambing-time.”

“Wagging tails, it’s the farmer!” barked Tinker. “Come away, quick! He may have a gun.”

The farmer hadn’t a gun that morning, or in his rage he might have shot at the dogs. As it was he managed to catch Scamp as he wriggled through the wrong hole in the hedge. He looked at his name and address.

“Oho! So you belong to the Hills, do you? Well, I’ll just give them one warning about you—and then, you bad little dog, I’ll shoot you next time you chase my sheep!”

He gave Scamp a blow that made him yell. He tore off down the lane at top speed. He felt ashamed of himself. He knew he shouldn’t chase sheep. He knew he shouldn’t chase hens. What would Kenneth and Joan say if they knew? But they wouldn’t know, because they hadn’t been there.

But they soon did know. A knock came at the door that very afternoon and outside was the farmer, looking very stern and grim.


“Good afternoon, Mam,” he said to Mrs. Hill. “I’ve come to give you a warning about that dog of yours. He was chasing my sheep this morning. Well, next time I see him doing that, I’ll shoot him. So if you value your dog’s life, you must either lock him up till the lambs are born, or you must keep him out of my fields.”

“Oh, Scamp!” said Kenneth, in dismay, when his mother told him what had happened. “How could you be such a bad dog? You know you mustn’t chase anything like that. Mother, what are we to do with him?”

“Keep him in the garden for a few days,” said Mother. “Maybe he will forget about the sheep then. And if you always take him on a lead when you pass the sheep, he won’t be able to chase them.”

Scamp was miserable. He hated being cooped up in the garden. It was such fun to wander round the country as he pleased. He felt certain he would never, never chase sheep again.

One afternoon Kenneth left the garden gate open. Scamp was out like a shot. Where should he go? He saw Scotty and Tinker on the other side of the road and he trotted over to them.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Down to the farm,” said Tinker. “Coming?”

“Well, I’m not chasing sheep any more,” said Scamp. “The farmer came to complain about me.”

“Well, you needn’t chase sheep,” said Scotty. “Just come for a walk and smell all the lovely farmyard smells. They’ve got some pigs down there, and we always think the pigsty smells wonderful.”

Then they passed near a field where the grey sheep were. Tinker poked his nose through the hedge. “They look good to chase this afternoon,” he said. “Is the farmer anywhere about?”

“I don’t want to chase sheep,” said Scamp.

“Well, don’t then, baby,” said Tinker. “You’re only a puppy, aren’t you? We don’t expect puppies to be as brave as we are!”

“I’m just as brave as any dog in the world!” cried Scamp, and he pushed his way into the field with the others. “I’ll soon show you! I’ll chase more sheep than either of you!”

And he darted at three sheep nearby and yelped so loudly that they turned and fled at once. Scamp kept at their heels, enjoying the chase thoroughly.

Then suddenly there was the loud crack of a gun! Bang! Scamp nearly jumped out of his skin. The farmer must have come to the field! Bang! The gun spoke again, and Scamp turned and ran for the hedge as fast as he could. Bang! The gun went once more, and this time Scamp felt something stinging him in half a dozen places.

“I’m shot, I’m shot!” he panted to Tinker and Scotty. “I’m shot all over! Oh, what shall I do!”

But Tinker and Scotty weren’t going to wait to look after a puppy-dog. They tore back home with their tails down, glad that they hadn’t been hurt.

Scamp had many little pellets in his legs and chest from the gun. He felt tired and hurt. He began to limp. He was very sorry for himself.

“Why did I chase those sheep? I didn’t really want to. I said I wouldn’t. It was only because the others said I was a baby. I wish I had been a baby now and not gone after the sheep. Then I wouldn’t have been hurt.”

Kenneth and Joan were very upset when Scamp came limping in. Mother had to bathe his little wounds and get out the bits of shot. His fur was thick, so he hadn’t really been hurt very much, but he felt as if he had.

He lay in his basket with his ears and tail down, looking very sorry for himself indeed. “Cheer up, Scamp!” said Kenneth, patting him. “You might have been shot dead instead of slightly hurt. But do let this be a lesson to you! Don’t go chasing things any more!”

“I won’t,” said Scamp. “Except cats. All good dogs chase cats. But I’ll never, never chase sheep again!”

And he never, never did!


Scamp grew fast. He was a strong little dog, and very healthy. He grew well, and the children were proud of him.

“You’re getting grown-up now, Scamp,” said Kenneth. “You’re a year old! Fancy that! It doesn’t seem very long since you were a tiny puppy in the kennel, with eyes that were shut!”

Scamp had a deep bark now. He had lost his puppy-teeth, and had his grown-up set of strong white ones, that he bared whenever he met dogs he didn’t like. Scamp was a fighter, and the children were always a little afraid that he might get hurt, for he sometimes fought dogs much bigger than himself.

“Scamp, you’re such a good clever dog, and yet you won’t learn that it’s silly to fight!” said Kenneth. “Why do you want to fight? There’s no sense in it!”

“The dogs sometimes call me rude names,” said Scamp. “I won’t stand that! They still think I’m a puppy. I’ve got to prove to them I’m not! And I can only do that by fighting, as you very well know.”

Scamp didn’t fight when he was with Kenneth or Joan. He knew they would put him on a lead if he began a fight, and he hated that. The free dogs always laughed at the dogs on a lead.

But he did fight when he was alone. He was quite a good-tempered dog really, but he simply couldn’t bear it if any other dog wouldn’t treat him as if he were grown-up.

One day he was very silly. He met a big dog he knew, and signalled to him with his tail to show that he was friendly. But the other dog was not in a good temper that morning. He hadn’t had anything to eat, and he was hungry and cross.

So he didn’t signal back to Scamp, but kept his tail quite straight and looked away.

“Why don’t you greet me this morning?” said Scamp. “Are you in a bad temper?”

“I don’t always want to be seen talking to a pup like you!” said the big dog, walking off. Scamp galloped after him in a rage.

“I’m not a pup! I’m a year old! I’ve got my dog-teeth, not my puppy-teeth. And they’re as strong as yours! I’ve fought heaps of dogs already.”

“Oh, go away, you make me tired,” said the big dog. “Pups like you always boast and think there is nobody like them in all the world. Go away or I’ll snap one of your ears off!”

“I’ll snap yours off first!” barked Scamp, in a temper, and he snapped so hard and so quickly at the big dog’s ear that he managed to get a few hairs into his mouth.

The big dog turned on him at once. All the fur rose at the back of his neck and along his back. He stared at Scamp, and lifted his upper lip so that he showed all his great strong teeth. He looked terrible.

But Scamp was not afraid, even when the big dog growled a deep growl right down in his throat. He stood quite still, and his hair, too, rose at the back of his neck. For a moment the two dogs stood there, growling fiercely—and then Scamp flung himself on the big dog, snapping hard with his teeth.

The dog tried to snap at Scamp, but the smaller dog had him by the neck and would not leave go. The big dog shook him hard and lifted him right off his legs. Then they both rolled over, growling and yelping.

And soon poor Scamp was yelping in pain because the big dog had got his teeth into him. People came running out to see what was the matter.

“Oh, that big dog is fighting the little one!” cried a woman. “What shall we do? He’ll kill him!”

A man went up to try and stop the dogs, but he was afraid of being bitten. The two angry animals worried one another, and loud barks and growls came from them. Then down the street came Kenneth and Joan!


“Oh, Kenneth! Look! Poor Scamp is one of those dogs!” cried Joan, tears coming into her eyes. “We must save him. We really must.”

A man looked over a nearby wall. “Hallo, hallo!” he said. “What a fight! I’d better stop it before there’s any damage done!”

“How can you stop it?” cried Kenneth. The man gave a grin and disappeared. The children looked over the wall. They saw that the man had been washing his car down with a hose. This hose he was bringing to the wall.

“A little of this will soon bring them to their senses!” he grinned. “Look out!”

The hose was gushing water out strongly from the spout at the end. The man dragged the hose over the wall and directed the end at the two growling dogs. A great gush of icy-cold water fell on them. At first they took no notice, and then, as the man went on hosing them, they began to choke and splutter. The water went into their mouths and ears, and they had to leave go of one another in order to breathe.

They stood there, growling, soaking wet, with the drops dripping from their coats. They both shook themselves, and thousands of shining drops flew all over the place. Kenneth and Joan were soaked.

“Come here, Scamp, come here!” they shouted. And the owner of the big dog shouted too.

“Here, Rover, here!”

The dogs took no notice of their masters, but stared at one another, their tails held quite still. They growled again. The man with the hose soaked them once more, and with a yelp the big dog turned and fled down the street. He couldn’t face that icy-cold water any more! His master went after him. Scamp was left by himself, shaking the water from his coat again.

Kenneth and Joan went to him. “Poor Scamp! Your ear is bleeding. You’ve got a lot of fur torn out of your neck. Come home quickly and we’ll bathe you. Poor old Scamp!”

Kenneth turned to the man with the hose. “Thank you for separating the dogs,” he said. “I should never have thought of that. It was a good idea. It didn’t hurt them, but it gave them a shock and forced them apart!”

“You’re welcome!” said the man, and took his hose back over the wall. The children walked slowly home with Scamp, who looked and felt very miserable.

Soon he was lying in his basket, bathed and comforted. Mother looked at him. “I don’t feel we ought to give you too much sympathy, Scamp,” she said. “I’ve a feeling that you were just as likely to start that fight as the other dog. You must learn to leave big dogs alone!”

Scamp was soon all right again. In a few days’ time he met the big dog again—but to his surprise the dog signalled to him with his tail at once! He wagged it hard.

Scamp wagged his back, feeling astonished. “That was a good scrap, wasn’t it?” said the big dog. “I shan’t call you puppy-dog any more. I see you’re grown-up now. It was brave of you to pounce on me. I’m so much bigger than you are. If that man hadn’t separated us I might have eaten you up. Let’s be friends now, shall we?”

“Oh yes!” barked Scamp, feeling proud. “How the other dogs would envy me if I were your friend!”

“Come and walk down the street with me,” said the big dog. “I’ll show you off to my own special friends.”

He did. The other older dogs were nice to Scamp, and he wagged his tail so many times that it really felt quite tired at the end!

“He’s not a puppy-dog any more,” said the big dog. “He’s grown-up, just as we are. Now, Scamp, you don’t need to fight us again, to show you aren’t a baby. We know you aren’t. So just be sensible and good-tempered. You may grow into a bad-tempered dog if you keep fighting—and then your master won’t keep you.”

After that Scamp didn’t fight again, but became friends with all the dogs in the street. They didn’t call him puppy-dog any more, but accepted him as one of themselves, a grown-up dog with fine strong teeth, a deep and fearsome bark, and legs that went like the wind!


Once Kenneth and Joan were ill. They had to stay in bed, and Scamp couldn’t understand this at all.

“What’s the matter with the children? Why don’t they get up!” asked Scamp, when Fluffy came by. “Are they so tired and sleepy?”

Fluffy looked at him out of her green eyes.

“They’ve got the measles,” she said.

Scamp didn’t know what that was. He stared at Fluffy. “Well, I’ve heard of weasels,” he said. “They’re what I sometimes chase in the fields. Are the measles cousins of the weasels? Why have the children got them? Are they keeping them for pets?”

Fluffy didn’t really know what the measles were either. She just swung her tail a little and washed her left side.

“You’d better go and ask them,” she said. “You’re such an ignorant dog. You never seem to know anything.”

“I think I’ll go upstairs and see what these measles are,” thought Scamp. “If they are anything like weasels, I might chase them round the bedroom. That would be fun.”

So he trotted upstairs and into the children’s room. Mother had put Kenneth’s bed in the same room as Joan’s, so that they might be company for one another. They shouted in delight when they saw Scamp.

“Scamp! Why haven’t you been to see us before? We’ve got the measles and Mother won’t let us get up!” they cried.

“Woof!” said Scamp, and his nose twitched as he tried to smell where the measles were. But he couldn’t seem to smell anything unusual at all. It was strange.

He poked his nose under Joan’s bed. No, there wasn’t a measle there. He went under Kenneth’s bed. There was no measle there either! Then where could they be?

Kenneth and Joan shouted with laughter. “Mother! Mother! I believe Scamp is looking for our measles!” cried Kenneth. “He’s hunting everywhere for something. Come out, Scamp. My measles aren’t under the bed.”


Scamp came out, puzzled. He soon gave up wondering where the measles were, and put his paws up on Kenneth’s bed. Kenneth patted him.

“Are you being a good dog?” he said. “Are you guarding the house well, and barking at bad strangers?”

“Woof,” said Scamp, his head on one side as he listened to what Kenneth said.

He always did bark at strangers he didn’t know and whose smell he didn’t like. He knew all the tradesmen now, and didn’t bark at them—except the dustman. He always barked at him, and he couldn’t understand why the cook let the dustman take away the dustbin each week. It seemed to Scamp that the dustbin belonged to the family, and the dustman had no right to come and take it.

So he barked loudly every time the man lifted the big bin on his back—but as he always brought it back again, Scamp didn’t bite him!

“And have you chewed anything you shouldn’t?” said Joan, from her bed. Scamp went and put his paws up on the eiderdown there and wagged his tail.

He hadn’t chewed anything he shouldn’t, so he didn’t put his tail or ears down as he did when he felt guilty. He had chewed his bone—and a bit of wood he had found in the garden—and Fluffy’s blanket. But that was all. He felt that he had been a really good dog.

Just then Mother came in, carrying a new doll for Joan and a new book for Kenneth.

“Little presents for ill people!” she said. “That’s the nice part of being ill, isn’t it, children? People bring you things! Auntie May is coming up in a minute—and she has something for you too!”

Auntie May came up—and she brought a big bunch of black grapes. The children squealed for joy to see them.

“Oh, thank you, Auntie May! We shall enjoy them!”

Scamp sat and listened to all this. So the children were ill. That wasn’t nice. But it was nice to have presents, of course. It made them feel better. Scamp scratched his left ear and thought hard.

“I love Kenneth and Joan, and I would like to help them to feel better too,” he thought. “I will bring them presents as well. That will be lovely for them. I will bring them the best presents I can think of!”

Scamp stayed with the children until their dinner-time. They loved to hear his paws pitter-pattering over the room, and to feel him bump against the bed when he stood up against it to look at them, his tail wagging as if it were set on a spring.

Mother sent him down at dinner-time. Then she gave the children their dinner, and let them have some black grapes at the end. She settled them down on their pillows and told them to have a rest.

“Oh, but Mother, Cook said she would give us something nice after dinner,” said Joan. “Can’t we wait till she comes?”

“No, she’s busy now,” said Mother. “You go to sleep and I’ll put whatever Cook has got for you on your beds. Then you can have it when you wake up for tea. But go to sleep now.”

So the children settled down and were soon fast asleep. Scamp went up to the bedroom, but they didn’t say a word to him, so he pattered out again.

“I’ll get them my presents,” he thought. He went into the garden and tried to remember where he had buried last week’s bone. Oh, yes—under the lilac bush.

He began to scrape madly there, and then stopped to sniff. Yes—his bone was still there. He could smell it. He scraped hard again.

At last he had got the bone up. It still smelt very good. He gave it a little nibble to see if it tasted nice. Yes—the children would be sure to like that. It was his very best bone, most precious to him. He was so afraid that Fluffy or Flossie would get it that he always buried it after he had had a good nibble at it.

“Well, that’s one present,” thought Scamp, and he scratched his left ear again. “I believe I know where there are some kipper-heads. Those would do nicely for a present. I think I smelt them somewhere next door. The cat there didn’t eat them.”

He squeezed through a hole in the privet hedge and went sniffing about the next-door garden. Under the yew-hedge he came across two or three old kipper-heads. The cat next door was very well-fed and didn’t always eat the kipper-heads she was given twice a week.

“Ah! These are fine!” thought Scamp, taking them into his mouth. “Wagging tails! They taste so nice that I do hope they won’t slip down my throat by mistake!”

They didn’t. He carried them to where he had left his bone and then wondered if he should give the children anything else.

“I’ll give Kenneth my ball, and Joan shall have the largest biscuit out of my dish,” he said to himself. “That will please them. They are such nice children and so good to me that I’d like to give them anything I’ve got.”

He went to fetch his ball and the biscuit. Then one by one he took his presents to the nursery. First he took the big bone and pattered into the bedroom. The children were still asleep. Scamp put the bone gently on Kenneth’s bed. Then he pattered out again and down the stairs.


He fetched the three kipper-heads and put those on Joan’s bed. Then he fetched the chewed ball for Kenneth and the big biscuit for Joan.

“It’s a bit nibbled round the edges, but I daresay she won’t mind that,” thought Scamp, as he put it on the eiderdown. Then he went downstairs again to tell Fluffy what he had done.

“I wish the children would hurry up and wake,” he said. “They’ll bark with delight when they see my presents!”

The children woke up about four o’clock. Kenneth stretched himself and then sniffed hard.

“What a funny smell!” he said out loud. Joan woke up and sniffed too.

“Gracious! There is a funny smell!” she said. “It’s like kippers or something.”

“Kippers! In the bedroom!” said Kenneth scornfully. “All the same—you’re right. It’s exactly like kippers.”

“I wonder if Cook has brought us anything whilst we’ve been asleep,” said Joan, sitting up. She looked on her eiderdown and gave a cry of surprise. “Good gracious! Whatever’s this that Cook has brought me?”

She looked at the three kipper-heads and the large biscuit. Kenneth sat up too—and saw the big dirty bone and the chewed ball. How surprised the two children were! At first they thought that Cook had played a trick on them.

Then Kenneth gave a shout. “Joan! It wasn’t Cook. It must have been dear, darling old Scamp! He saw other people bringing us presents because we were ill—and he thought he’d like to too!”

“He’s brought me three kipper-heads and a nibbled biscuit!” said Joan laughing till the tears came into her eyes. “Oh, what a darling he is! He must have simply longed to crunch up the kipper-heads himself!”

“And look at this awful old bone!” said Kenneth, holding it up for Joan to see. “And he’s given me his ball too—the one he loves so much. Joan, isn’t he a generous, loving little dog?”

“He’s the best dog in the world,” said Joan. “Mother! Mother, are you there! Do come and look at the presents Scamp has brought us. Oh, Mother, it’s so funny!”

Mother laughed when she came in, but she wasn’t very pleased to see the dirty bone and kipper-heads on the eiderdowns. She took them off and sponged the places where they had been.

“Scamp! Scamp!” called Kenneth, when he heard the sound of pattering feet on the landing. “Oh, you darling! Thank you, Scamp, for all the lovely presents you have brought us! We think they are the nicest we have ever had!”

“Do you really,” barked Scamp, his tail wagging fast. “I’m so glad. They were the best I could think of. Enjoy the bone, won’t you, and the kippers and the biscuit. And play with the ball as much as you like!”

Well, the bone, the kipper-heads, and the biscuit disappeared, and Scamp felt certain that the children had eaten them. He didn’t know that Mother had put them into the dustbin! But the ball didn’t disappear—and when the children were better you should have seen the games they played with Scamp and his ball. He had the finest time in his life—but he deserved it for being such a generous little dog. Don’t you think so?


One night Scamp had an adventure. He was lying asleep in his basket when he woke up suddenly. His ears had heard a strange noise whilst he was asleep.

“Now what woke me up?” wondered Scamp. He looked at Fluffy, asleep in the basket next to his. “Fluffy!” he said. “Did you hear anything?”

“Only you snoring,” said Fluffy, curling herself up more tightly. “Go to sleep, and don’t disturb me.”

So Scamp settled down again. But his ears stayed pricked up, and soon he heard a sound that that made him sit up straight.

It seemed to come from outside, not inside. Could there be anyone outside? If so, who was it? Nobody came at night. The tradesmen only came in the daytime and so did visitors. If anyone came at night they must be bad. They must want to steal something.

Scamp didn’t bark. He didn’t want to wake the whole household if there was no need for it. He got out of his basket and pattered across the floor. Fluffy woke up again.

“Have you got to run about all night?” she said crossly. “I do wish you wouldn’t keep on disturbing me.”

Scamp took no notice. He was wondering how to get out into the garden and see what that noise was. The front door was shut. The back door was shut. But maybe a window was open at the bottom. He ran round the house to see.

No—not a single window was open at the bottom. Scamp ran up to the half-landing and looked at the window there. Ah—someone had left that open. He could jump out.

“But it’s rather a long way to the ground,” thought Scamp, and he tried to think what was just below the window. “Oh—it’s all right, though. There’s a bush below. I shall fall into that!”

He scrambled up on to the window-ledge and then jumped into the darkness. He fell into the bush and lost his breath for a moment. Then he wriggled out of the bush and ran on to the grass. He stayed there, his ears up, listening.

At first he heard nothing. Then he heard a whispering sound some way off. Who could be whispering in the middle of the night?

He came to the hedge and squeezed through. Now he could hear the whispering much better. Somebody was at the back of the house. Two people. Why were they there?

“I’ve nearly got this window-catch undone,” he heard a voice whisper. “We’ll soon be in!”

“It must be robbers!” thought Scamp. “Yes, that must be it. Robbers! My mother has always told me to be on the look out for them at our house—and here are some next door. What shall I do? I’d better bark!”

But before he barked he ran up to the two men to smell them. They might perhaps be the people next door who had lost their key and were trying to get in at a window.

“Something touched me!” suddenly said the first man. “I felt something touch my leg! Oooh, I don’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” whispered back the second man. “It must have been a mouse running by.”

Then Scamp sniffed round his legs, and the second man almost jumped out of his skin. “Something touched me then!” he said, in a scared voice. “I say—let’s hurry up with this job and go. I’m getting jumpy.”

Then Scamp barked. Well, you should have heard him. He had a loud bark, but that night it sounded twice as loud! “Wuff, wuff, wuff! Wuff, wuff, wuff!”

The men dropped their tools in a fright. “We must run!” said one. “Quick—that tiresome dog will wake up the whole street!”

It was a very dark night, and the men could not see. They tried to run, but one of them fell headlong over the barking dog, who was trying to bark and bite at the same time. He fell to the ground and struck his head against the brick edge of the path. He lay still, for he had cut his head badly and had fainted.

“Jim! Jim! What’s up!” whispered the other man, wondering why his friend didn’t get up. “Come on. We shall be caught.”

He knelt down by Jim and tried to shake him. Then Scamp had his chance. He flew at the robber and got him by the collar. He held on for dear life, his teeth closed like a trap. He had meant to bite the man’s neck, but the robber had dodged just in time.


The robber was terrified. He did not dare to shake off the dog for fear he might fly at him again and get his teeth really into him. So he staggered about the garden in a terrible fright, trying to get over the wall at the bottom with the dog clinging to him.

But by this time the whole street was awake. Lights sprang up, and people with torches came into their gardens. They heard the tremendous growling going on in the garden next to the Hills’, and they ran to see what was the matter.

“It’s thieves!” cried Mr. Hill, switching his torch on to the half-forced window. “Look—here’s one on the ground. He’s hit his head against something and fainted. The dog must have tripped him up.”

“And there’s the other thief, trying to get over the wall!” cried somebody else, switching his torch on to the man and the dog.

“The dog’s got him!” cried Mr. Hill. “It’s Scamp! Good dog, Scamp! Hold him, hold him!”

Then a big policeman arrived, and the two men were soon taken in charge by him. The man who had fainted sat up and found himself surrounded by the people from the houses around.

The men were taken off. The people went back to their beds, talking excitedly. Kenneth and Joan, who had woken up, but hadn’t been allowed outside, welcomed Scamp with shouts and pats.


“Oh, you good, brave, clever dog! You caught those two robbers! Oh, Scamp, we are proud of you! Fancy catching two at once! Scamp, you are the cleverest dog in the town. Won’t all the dogs envy you to-morrow when your adventure is told everywhere!”

The people next door were very grateful indeed to Scamp for saving their house from being robbed. They sent him a marvellous new collar—the best that any dog wore in that town. And then you should have seen Scamp wearing it, feeling as proud as could be. Didn’t the other dogs stare!


Scamp had grown into a marvellous dog. His coat was perfect, his eyes were bright, his legs were swift and strong. He was clever and obedient, and everyone loved to see him do the tricks he knew.

He knew many more now. He could play hide-and-seek perfectly, and no matter where Kenneth hid a biscuit, he could find it. Then Kenneth would say “Trust! It isn’t yours yet. You must let me hide it again, Scamp!”

And Scamp would not eat it, but would take it in his mouth to Kenneth and drop it by his feet, waiting for him to hide it again.

He could play ball very well indeed too, and whenever children came to tea and played cricket, they always wanted him to be a fieldsman. Then he would take up his place, and when the ball came his way, how he would run after it to field it!

“Good dog!” the children would cry. “Good dog! Run, run!”

He couldn’t throw the ball back to them, of course, but he would run up to the right child and drop it down at his feet. The children thought he was marvellous.

Everybody in the town knew Scamp. “There goes Scamp!” they would say, as he came trotting along either by himself or with the children. And Scamp would wag his tail and look up at them with his bright eyes.

Now one day a circus came to the town, and all the children were most excited. “We’re going!” cried Joan and Kenneth. “Won’t it be fun!”

And it was fun! There were two wonderful elephants who did all kinds of funny things. One even did some washing in a tub of warm water, using his trunk as a hand. That did make the children laugh.

Then there were three marvellous chimpanzees who could ride bicycles all round the ring, and kept falling off just to make every one laugh. There were clowns who hit one another and fell over at once and pretended that they couldn’t get up. Really, it was lovely.

There was a troupe of performing dogs, too, who were very clever indeed. They each had their own little chair to sit on, and they did all kinds of tricks.

“All the same, they are not one bit cleverer than Scamp,” said Joan to Kenneth. “I am quite sure he could do all those tricks, and more too!”


When they got home they told Scamp all about the circus, and he listened with great interest. When he heard about the performing dogs, he thought he would like to go and have a word with them. They might have interesting things to tell him!

So that afternoon he trotted off by himself to the circus. It was just about to move on to the next show-place. The tents were being taken down, men were shouting to one another, and dogs and children were all over the place.

Scamp trotted up to one of the dogs, a rough-haired terrier like himself. “Hallo,” he said, wagging his tail hard at the dog. “Are you a circus-dog?”

“Yes,” said the dog, wagging his tail, too. “I perform in the ring.”

He looked rather proud as he said this. “That sounds grand,” said Scamp. “I wouldn’t want to belong to a circus though, because I live in a home. Two children belong to me, called Kenneth and Joan. I couldn’t bear to leave them. But all the same you must have fun in this circus!”

“Oh, yes, we do,” said the dog. “Come along and I’ll show some of my friends to you.”

Well, after that Scamp had a lovely time. First of all the dog, who was called Toby, took him over to a little crowd of dogs playing together.

“These are the other circus-dogs,” he said. “They do all kinds of tricks. That’s Billy—that’s Harry—that’s Jock—that’s Pluto—hey, chaps, here’s a dog who wants to know you.”

The dogs wagged their tails and made Scamp welcome. They took him to see the two big elephants, but Scamp couldn’t help being a little afraid of them, they were so enormous.

“They look as tall as a house to me,” he said, gazing up at the big grey animals. “I can hardly see where they end!”

The elephants looked down at the surprised little dog. Then one of them put out her trunk, wound it gently round Scamp, and lifted him up on to the top of her head.

“Woof!” said Scamp, in amazement and fright. “Let me down, please!”

The dogs were amused to see Scamp looking so scared. The elephant lifted him down gently and put him on the ground again.

“Jummy often does that to us,” said the dog called Toby. “It’s a favourite trick of hers. Come and see the three chimpanzees.”

The chimpanzees were delighted to see a new dog. One chimpanzee put out his hand and caught hold of Scamp’s tail. He wouldn’t let it go, and Scamp felt a bit frightened.

“He won’t hold me here outside his cage all day, will he?” asked Scamp. The chimpanzee had put his paw through the wires of his cage, and Scamp was held firmly in his place! It was funny to see.

“Let go, Jimmy,” said Toby, and the chimpanzee let go. Another chimpanzee put his paw through the wires to get hold of one of Scamp’s ears, but this time the dog was too quick, and leapt out of the way.

“I believe you took me over to the chimpanzees just to see me caught!” he said to the dogs around. And that was just what they had done!

“Now, let me show you the tricks I can do!” said Scamp, and he began to do some of the tricks he knew. He made up a few too, because he rather wanted the other dogs to think he was very clever. He found an old pipe on the ground, dropped by someone who had been to see the circus, and he picked it up in his mouth and pretended to be smoking it, just as he had seen Mr. Hill do with a pipe.

One of the circus men came up. He laughed to see Scamp doing his tricks. He called one of the other men.

“I say! Look here! Here’s a dog who’s a born performer! He’s quite a clown. Pity he doesn’t belong to the circus!”

The other man stayed to watch. Scamp did a few more tricks, and then the second man said something in a low voice to the first one. He nodded. The second man held out his hand to Scamp, and said, “Good dog! Clever dog! Come here!”

Scamp went to him. The man put his hand into his pocket and brought out a chocolate biscuit, just the kind that Scamp simply loved. The dog ate it up eagerly.

“Come with me and I’ll give you some dinner,” said the man. “Dinner! Nice dinner!”

Well, Scamp thought the man was the nicest he had ever met. Giving him chocolate biscuits and offering him dinner too! He followed him eagerly, his tail wagging hard.

The man took him to a big blue and red caravan. He went up some steps and opened the door at the back. He turned and whistled to Scamp, who leapt up the steps after him.

Inside the caravan was a woman, making some sort of a stew over a small stove. It smelt delicious. The man spoke to the woman.

“Liza, I want to keep this dog here. Give him some of that stew and put something in it to make him sleep for some hours. By that time we’ll be well away from here, and we can make him into a circus-dog.”

Scamp didn’t understand what the man was saying. He stood there, sniffing the delicious smell of stew. Oh, how lovely it was!

“What a nice kind man this is!” thought Scamp. “I do like him. I think the circus-dogs are lucky to belong to him.”

The woman ladled some of the stew out on to an enamel plate. She emptied something into it from a bottle, and stirred it well round. The smell of the stew hid the smell of the medicine.


She put the plate down in front of Scamp, and the dog began to eat up the stew quickly. Goodness, how grand it was! The bits of meat were delicious, and the gravy just ran down his throat. The man and the woman stood watching him as he gobbled it up.

“He’s a well-bred dog,” said the man. “And as clever as paint! My word, he’ll make our other dogs sit up and take notice of him once we teach him a few tricks!”

Scamp had finished his meal. He sat down, licking his lips. He could eat more of that stew, he thought.

He looked up at the woman, wagging his tail. Suddenly he felt terribly sleepy. He wanted to lie down. His eyes began to close. Scamp couldn’t understand it.

He lay down suddenly, with a flop. The woman pushed him gently with her foot under a bed in the corner of the caravan. He didn’t move, but lay there, sound asleep. The sleeping-medicine made him fall so fast asleep that he heard nothing more for hours and hours.

Scamp didn’t hear the circus caravans creaking away from the field. He didn’t hear the trumpeting of the two elephants as they were led away by their keeper. He didn’t hear the barking of the performing dogs as they were shut up in their travelling cage. He heard nothing at all.

The circus went on the road, and slowly it made its way to the next show-place, miles away. It took with it one new member—a rough-haired terrier who knew plenty of tricks—but who certainly didn’t want to belong to any circus!


Now at teatime that day Kenneth and Joan came home from school as usual, and looked out to see if Scamp was at the gate to meet them, as he always was.

But no Scamp came tearing down the garden to meet them. The children took a quick look round and ran into the house.

“Mother! Where’s Scamp? He didn’t come to meet us at the gate.”

“Oh, I expect he has trotted off somewhere on his own,” said Mother, looking up from her sewing.

“But Mother, he always meets us at the gate!” said Joan, almost in tears.

“Oh, Joan, don’t be silly,” said Mother. “He’ll come in at teatime for his biscuit, you’ll see!”

But he didn’t. Teatime came and went, and no Scamp arrived. The children went out into the garden to play, feeling very gloomy.


The children wondered still more when bedtime came and Scamp hadn’t turned up. Scamp always watched them have their baths, and he used to bring their bedroom slippers to them when they were ready for them. But to-night no Scamp watched them, and they fetched their own slippers.

When Mother went to say good-night to Joan, she was crying. “Mother, I do feel so worried about dear old Scamp,” said the little girl. “Oh, Mother, I do hope he hasn’t been run over. Do you think he has?”

“I shouldn’t think so,” said Mother. “We should have heard if he had, darling, because he has his name and address on his collar, you know—and anyone could telephone to us to tell us, if he had had an accident. I don’t think you need worry about that.”

“Mother, do you think he has lost his collar, and the police found him without one, and took him to the police-station?” called Kenneth from his room. “That’s what happened to John’s dog one day.”

“Well, that might possibly have happened,” said Mother. “I’ll telephone to the station and see if any dog has been taken there to-day.”

So she went downstairs and telephoned to the police-station. “We have lost our dog,” she said. “Could you please tell me if one has been found and brought in to you?”

“Yes,” said the policeman at once. “One was brought in this afternoon—found wandering without a collar. You can send down and get him, if you like, but you will have to pay half a crown.”

Mother was delighted. “I hope he hasn’t been any trouble,” she said. “He’s a good little dog.”

“Well, I should hardly call him a little dog!” said the policeman, in surprise. “He’s a very big fellow—a kind of Alsatian, I should think.”

“Oh dear!” said Mother, in dismay. “Then that isn’t our Scamp. He’s a rough-haired terrier.”

“Well, this dog is certainly not a terrier,” said the policeman. “Sorry, madam—but he can’t be yours. He’s the only dog we’ve had brought in to-day. I’ll let you know if a terrier comes in.”

“Thank you,” said Mother, and hung up the receiver in disappointment. What a pity!

The children didn’t go to sleep for a long time that night. They kept thinking and thinking about Scamp. Where could he be? Was he happy? Could he be hurt? Why didn’t he come home? How they wished they could hear his much-loved little bark outside that said “Woof! I’m home again! Let me in, somebody!”

But although the children kept awake half the night, listening, they heard no sound of barking, no noise of scratching outside the door.

They fell asleep at last, and the first thing they thought in the morning was—“Has old Scamp come back?”

They put on their dressing-gowns and crept downstairs to Scamp’s basket. Alas, it was empty! They looked at one another in fright. Oh dear—surely something dreadful must have happened to Scamp if he hadn’t come back at night!

Mother was worried too that morning, and so was Daddy. They were both very fond of Scamp, and they couldn’t imagine what could have happened. Flossie, Scamp’s mother, missed him too, and sniffed about everywhere for him.

Even Fluffy was sorry he hadn’t come home. “I always say there are too many dogs in this house,” she told the cat next door, “but Scamp wasn’t a bad fellow, even if he did chase me sometimes. I was fond of him. Where do you suppose he’s gone?”


But the next-door cat couldn’t tell her. They sat on the wall talking about it for a little while, and then Fluffy jumped down to see if Scamp was home yet.

A whole day went by. Mother rang up the police-station twice, but nobody had heard anything of Scamp. The children went to school and tore home again to see if Scamp had come back, but he hadn’t. They looked so gloomy that Mother was really unhappy about them.

“Where can he be?” said everyone. But nobody even guessed!


When Scamp woke up, he couldn’t think where he was. The caravan was still on the move, and the dog wondered what was happening when he felt the jerking beneath him, as the big caravan went over the ruts in the road.

He felt ill. The sleeping medicine had been strong. He tried to sit up, but he was still too drowsy.

Soon the man came into the caravan. He looked at Scamp, and then popped him into a sack he had brought with him. “He’s almost awake,” he said. “I’ll take him along and put him with the other dogs. He’ll be all right soon.”

Scamp had gone off to sleep again. He hardly felt himself being put into the sack. The man put him over his shoulder and went off. He dumped the dog into the cage where the other dogs sat or roamed around, and left him there.

The dogs were surprised to see Scamp. They sniffed around him a little. When he woke up properly, he sat up and looked round in great surprise. “Where am I?” he said.

“With us, the circus-dogs!” said Toby. “You must be joining our circus. What fun!”

“But I don’t want to join the circus!” said Scamp, in alarm. “I want to live with Kenneth and Joan.”

“Maybe they have sold you to the circus,” said Tinker. “My master sold me. Don’t worry, you’ll be quite happy.”

But Scamp wasn’t happy. He simply couldn’t bear to think that Kenneth and Joan might have sold him. Didn’t they love him any more, then? Didn’t they want him for their dog?


Poor Scamp sat in a corner, moping, his tail well down. He wouldn’t eat. He wouldn’t drink. He wouldn’t speak to the other dogs, because he was so unhappy.

“Cheer up!” said Toby. “You’ll soon get over it. Maybe you are worth a lot of money, and that’s why your people sold you. You must be a smart dog to be sold to a circus.”

“But why should Kenneth and Joan like a lot of money more than they like me?” thought poor Scamp. “I feel as if my heart is broken. I can’t bear it. I don’t want to belong to a circus, because I’m not a circus-dog. I want to go back to my home. And I will, too, if only I get the chance to escape!”

But he didn’t get the chance. The man who had stolen him felt certain that the dog would try to run away, and he kept him shut up when the other dogs were let loose. If Scamp was taken out, he was put on a lead so that he couldn’t escape. The dog was very angry, but it was no use. He couldn’t get away.

Three weeks passed and Scamp was still with the circus. He had to practise tricks in the ring with the other dogs, and because he was so quick and clever, he was soon one of the best. The man was very pleased with him and often tried to pat him and stroke him—but Scamp would never let him.

Scamp performed in the circus-ring with the other dogs when he was good enough. He couldn’t help feeling rather excited and proud the first night he trotted in, wearing a wonderful shining collar. Everyone clapped hard when the dogs came in, for they really looked marvellous—so well-brushed, bright-eyed, and eager.

Now you might think that Scamp would forget all about his home in a few weeks, but he didn’t. He always thought of it, night and day. He remembered his warm basket with the red rug. He thought of Flossie, his mother, in her kennel outside. He thought of Fluffy the cat, and wondered if she was missing him.

But most of all, he thought of Kenneth and Joan. “Do they ever think of me?” he wondered. “Have they forgotten me yet? Have they got another dog for their very own? Oh, I do hope not! I was their own dog, and I loved them. I would give anything in the world to belong to them again!”

And what about Kenneth and Joan? Had they forgotten their little dog? Of course not! They went on hoping and hoping that he would come back. They missed him terribly. They spoke of him every day. They looked for him whenever they went out. And then one day a letter came for them that made them tremendously excited.

It was from their cousin Fred. He wrote to them from his home in a town a good many miles off. He told them that he had been to see a circus there, and he said:

“You know, in this circus there were some performing dogs. They were simply marvellous. The best one of all was a rough-haired terrier, exactly like your Scamp. Really, you might have thought it was Scamp! How is Scamp? I expect he has grown a fine big dog by now. When I come over to see you in the holidays I’ll bring him a rubber bone.”

Kenneth read the letter out to Joan, and when they came to this part they stared at one another in the greatest excitement.

“Kenneth! Suppose it is Scamp!” cried Joan. “Oh, just suppose it is! Kenneth, the circus came to our town, you know—and Scamp might have been stolen. He was such a clever dog, and would do awfully well at circus tricks. Oh, do you think it can be Scamp?”


They went to show the letter to Mother. But she shook her head. “No, my dears,” she said, “I don’t think for a moment he can be in a circus. Circus-dogs are usually trained from puppyhood—a grown dog like Scamp wouldn’t be any use in a circus.”

“Oh, Mother, please do take us to the town where Fred lives and let’s go to the circus and see if it’s Scamp,” begged Kenneth. But Mother wouldn’t. She just kept on saying it was quite impossible.

The children went off into the garden. They sat down on the grass and looked at once another mournfully.

“I can’t help feeling it’s Scamp in that circus,” said Kenneth. “I just can’t. Oh, Joan, what shall we do?”

Joan sat and thought, her face looking rather sad. Then she cheered up a little and stared eagerly at Kenneth.

“Kenneth! The train goes from here to Rickenham, where Fred lives. Have we got enough money in our money-boxes to go there by ourselves? Then we could go to the circus and see if it was Scamp.”

“Oh, what a marvellous idea!” cried Kenneth, jumping up at once. “Let’s come and see, Joan.”

So they emptied out their money-boxes—and they had quite enough money there to go by train to Rickenham—and to see the circus too!


The children didn’t say a word to anybody at all about their plans. The next day was Saturday and they planned to go then. They were sure the circus would be on in the afternoon, and maybe they could go to it and see if the dog really was Scamp!

They slipped off to the station at ten o’clock. The train went at a quarter-past. They took their tickets and waited for it to come in. It took half an hour to go to Rickenham, so it wasn’t very long before they were there.

“Now we’ve got to find out where the circus is,” said Joan. That wasn’t difficult for there were big posters everywhere.

As they were walking along the main street of Rickenham they heard a shout across the road.

“Hie! Kenneth! Joan! What are you doing here?”

Their cousin Fred came rushing over to them and looked at them in amazement.

“Oh, Fred!” said Kenneth, “it’s a secret that we’re here. We wanted to see if that dog in the circus really was Scamp. You know, the one you told us about in your letter. We’ve lost dear old Scamp for weeks—and we just thought he might have been stolen and made into a circus-dog because he was so very clever.”

“Good gracious! Have you come here all by yourselves?” said Fred. “What about your dinner? Did you bring sandwiches?”

“No,” said Joan. “We didn’t think of that.”


“Well, you’d better come home with me and have dinner with us,” said Fred. “Mother will be pleased to see you. Goodness, what an adventure this is!”

The children were really feeling a little scared about everything now, and they thought they would like to go home with Fred. His mother was their Aunt Becky, and she was very kind. So they went home with Fred, and Aunt Becky was most astonished to see them.

She listened to their story, and then looked rather grave. “You shouldn’t leave home without telling your mother where you have gone,” she said. “Think how worried she would be at dinner-time when you didn’t come back! I’ll telephone to her and tell her you are here—and then you shall go to the circus this afternoon with your Uncle Harry and me. Fred can go again too. I’m afraid you’ll find the dog isn’t Scamp—but, never mind, it will put your mind at rest. You have worried very much about Scamp, I can see.”

They had a good dinner at their cousin’s house and then got ready to go to the circus. They couldn’t help feeling terribly excited. Suppose, just suppose they found dear old Scamp there? It would be too wonderful for words.

They bought their tickets at the gate and went into the big tent, where the circus-ring was. Wooden benches were set all round it. It looked exciting. A man came in and spread it with sawdust. Then the band began to play and the circus started!

First came the dancing horses. They were lovely. Then came the three chimpanzees on their bicycles, tearing madly round and round the ring knocking each other over whenever they could. Then came the clowns, and made the children roar with laughter at their funny tricks.

And then came the performing dogs! The ringmaster came in, cracked his big whip and roared out the name of the man who owned the dogs.

“And now let me present the famous dog-trainer, Rollo, and his troupe of marvellous dogs! All trained by kindness, and all as happy as can be! Rollo, the wonderful dog trainer!”

Into the ring came Rollo, dressed in silvery coat and trousers, a very grand red top-hat on his head, and a short silver-handled whip in his hand. He didn’t whip the dogs, but he used the whip as a signal to them, cracking it and pointing with it whenever he wanted anything done.

The dogs ran round him, their tails wagging hard. The children stared with excited eyes to see if one of them was Scamp. Then Joan clutched Kenneth hard and cried loudly to him.

“There he is! There’s Scamp! I’m sure it is! I’m sure it is!”

“Sh, sh!” said all the people nearby crossly. “Be quiet, little girl.”

But neither Kenneth nor Joan could possibly be quiet. They yelled at the tops of their voices.

“Scamp! Scamp! Scamp!”

And Scamp pricked up his ears in amazement and joy. Those were the voices of the two people he loved best in all the world! “Scamp! Scamp!” came the shouts again.


And with one bound Scamp was out of the ring and bounding over the benches to the two excited children. He leapt into their arms, yelping madly, and wriggled and licked and barked till everyone thought the children and the dog had gone mad.

Tears were running down Joan’s cheeks, for it was simply wonderful to have the little dog back again. “Let’s go, quick!” she said to Kenneth. “We’re holding up the show. Let’s go! But we’ll take Scamp with us!”

They made their way out of the tent. The dog-trainer guessed at once that the owners of Scamp had found him, and he made no attempt to go after them. He went on with his act, rather worried about what was going to happen. He had lost one of his cleverest dogs—and he wondered if the owners would tell the police and get him into trouble.

Kenneth, Joan, Scamp, and the others were soon outside in the circus-field. Scamp was quite mad for joy. He couldn’t stop barking. He couldn’t stop licking. He couldn’t stop jumping. He rolled over and over, he yelped, he tried to get into first Kenneth’s arms and then Joan’s. It was funny to watch him.

“Well, it’s certainly Scamp all right,” said Uncle Harry. “That man must have stolen him. I think this is a case for the police. I’ll go and report it straightaway.”

He did—and that afternoon, after the show, the dog-trainer found a policeman waiting for him, asking him to explain how he got the dog that didn’t belong to him.

“Well,” said the man, “he came along to my field one day, looking half-starved and very ill. So, as he hadn’t got a collar on, I took him in with my dogs, poor fellow, and fed him. He soon grew friendly, and as he was quite smart, I thought I’d train him along with my other dogs. That’s all.”

“You’ll be fined for not reporting a stray dog to the police,” said the policeman, not believing a single word the man said. “You’ll get a notice when to appear at court. Good-day!”

Kenneth and Joan didn’t care a bit about what was to happen to the man. They didn’t even care whether he was punished or not!

“After all, Scamp looks well and fat, and he hasn’t been ill-treated,” said Joan, feeling the dog all over with loving fingers. “Oh, Scamp, I simply can’t tell you how glad I am to get you back! We’ve missed you so!”

“So you didn’t sell me for money!” wuffed Scamp, feeling happier than he had ever been in his life before. “Oh, I knew you wouldn’t. I knew you wouldn’t. After all, if you love me, you couldn’t part with me—any more than I could part with you!”

Uncle Harry and Aunt Becky were quite excited about the afternoon’s happening. They telephoned to the children’s mother at once.

“We’ll see them safely on the train back after tea,” said Aunt Becky to Mother. “They’ve got Scamp with them, of course. They’re in such a state of excitement!”

Fred was excited too. “What a tale to tell the boys at school on Monday!” he said. “Golly, won’t it make them sit up when I tell them!”

Everyone went to see them off in the train. “Good-bye!” said Fred. “I’m so glad I wrote you that letter. I was sure it was Scamp—though I didn’t see how it could be! I do hope he won’t be stolen again.”

Mother was at the other station to meet them. Scamp went mad all over again when he saw her. Mother was so pleased to see him!

“He’s looking very well,” she said. “He must have moped at first—but certainly he has not been treated badly. Down, Scamp, down! Leave me a bit of my dress to go home in!”

Flossie rushed out to greet Scamp and licked him hard. Fluffy ran out to say “how-do-you-do,” and Scamp was so excited that he couldn’t help chasing her down the hall.

He ran all round the house, sniffing here and sniffing there. “Ah, the hall-mat smells just the same!” he told the children. “And my old ball is just as I left it. And my basket is still in its old place. Doesn’t it look nice? We didn’t have baskets at the circus. We just had straw to lie on, in the cage. Oh, how good it is to be home again!”

He didn’t leave the children till they were happily in bed. Then Mother made him go downstairs.

“I’m sure you’d like to sleep with them to-night,” she said. “But your basket is downstairs.”

“Mother, Mother, let Scamp sleep in his basket up here outside our doors to-night!” begged Kenneth. “Oh, do let him. Then we shall hear him moving and scratching about in the night, and we shall know he is safe, and we’ll be happy. Mother, do let him!”

And Mother said yes! So Scamp settled down in his basket outside on the landing that night—and it is impossible to say who was the happiest—Kenneth—Joan—or dear old Scamp.


Joan wanted Kenneth to go for a walk with her. It was such a lovely afternoon.

“No, I want to do some gardening,” said Kenneth. “My lettuces want thinning out, and I’ve got to cut all the dead roses off my rose trees. You go by yourself, Joan. But don’t take Scamp. I do like him playing around me whilst I’m gardening.”

“Oh, but he’s such good company when I’m out for a walk,” said Joan. “He just loves a walk, too. Don’t be selfish, Kenneth.”

“I’m not!” said Kenneth. “It’s you that are selfish—wanting to go off for a walk when you could help me with the garden—and then wanting to take Scamp with you too, when you know how he loves being with me.”

“Well, he loves being with me too,” said Joan. “He loves a walk much better than he loves gardening!”


Scamp came trotting up, his tail wagging. When he heard the children quarreling, his tail went down! He didn’t like that at all.

“Come here, Scamp,” said Kenneth, and Scamp went running to him to be patted. “Good dog! I’m going to do some gardening. Coming to help me? I’ll give you a biscuit if you work well!”

“Woof!” said Scamp joyfully. He loved being in the garden when Kenneth was working, because the boy talked to him all the time, and that was fun.

“Oh, Kenneth, you are mean!” said Joan, almost in tears. “You know how I love Scamp going out with me for a walk. Well, I shan’t ask him to come, because he just wouldn’t know what to choose, and he’d be unhappy. I’ll go by myself.”

The little girl walked off. She went down the garden path and let herself out of the gate at the bottom. It led into the lane, which was a nice place for a walk.

Scamp stared after her. So Joan was going for a walk. And she hadn’t asked him to come. Kenneth was gardening, and had asked him to stay. But Joan was unhappy, and the dog longed to go after her to comfort her.

He looked at Kenneth, who was bending over the garden bed, whistling. Why didn’t Kenneth go with Joan for a walk, then Scamp could go too, and everyone would be happy? The dog sat down and drooped his ears.

Kenneth wasn’t very happy either, really. He knew it was mean of him not to let Scamp go with Joan—and Joan hadn’t even tried to make Scamp go with her. That was rather nice of her.

Kenneth went on working and whistling. He began to think about Joan. He wondered where she had gone—down the lane, across the field, over the little level-crossing, and along by the river. It would be nice there this afternoon.

“I hope Joan doesn’t meet those rough boys we saw there the other day,” thought Kenneth suddenly. “It’s all right when Scamp and I are there, because they wouldn’t dare to call names after her or chase her then—but she’s alone to-day.”

He began to picture Joan being chased by the rough boys, and he felt more and more uncomfortable. “I should have let her take Scamp. It was selfish of me. I didn’t need Scamp—but she might. Why did I do that? It was really horrid of me. After all, I’m her brother, and I ought to see she’s safe always. And she was very unselfish about it.”

Kenneth looked at Scamp. Scamp wagged his tail a little. “I suppose you feel, too, that you should have gone with Joan?” said Kenneth. “Well, I feel that now. I wish I’d let you go with her. If I knew which way she’d gone, I’d go after her. But I should probably go the wrong way and miss her.”

“Woof!” said Scamp eagerly. “I shouldn’t miss her. I could smell her footsteps, you know.”

Kenneth guessed what Scamp was saying. He stood up and patted the eager little dog, who was now jumping about joyfully.

“Go and find Joan!” he said to him. “Go and find her! Tell her I sent you, and I’m sorry I was mean. You go and find her, Scamp!”

Scamp barked loudly, licked Kenneth’s hand, and set off like a streak of lightning down the garden path. He pushed open the garden door with his nose and shot out in the sunny lane. Fluffy was on the wall there, just by the door, and she stared at him in surprise.


“What’s up with you?” she asked. “Can you smell the butcher boy coming, or something?”

“No,” said Scamp, his nose to the ground. “I am going to find Joan.”

“Oh,” said Fluffy, “well, she went down the lane. I saw her.”

“You needn’t tell me that!” barked Scamp. “My nose has already told me! I can smell her footsteps—here they go—down this side of the lane—and into the ditch to pick a flower—and over to the other side to see something else—and then down the middle of the lane. Here I go! I’ll soon find Joan!”


Joan wasn’t enjoying her walk very much. She felt cross with Kenneth, and she missed Scamp. It was such fun when he came for walks—he always danced round them, ran after sticks they threw, rolled over and over in the grass, and altogether went quite mad. It was lonely without him.

The river was lovely that afternoon. It flowed along, smooth and blue and glittering.

The little girl ran along by the water. She suddenly saw a moorhen swimming along near the bank, its little black head bobbing to and fro as if it went by clockwork. She laughed. “You’re sweet!” she said. “Have you any babies? I wish I could see them. Moorhen chicks are lovely!”

The moorhen had some chicks. They were swimming after her in a long line, very small indeed. When the moorhen saw Joan she was frightened. She called to her chicks at once.

“Look out! That girl might be an enemy and throw stones. Our old nest is quite near here. Follow me and we will hide in it till she is gone.”

She swam to where the old nest, made of flattened rushes, lay hidden in a tiny cove nearby. The chicks scrambled up into it, and squatted down, quite quiet.

Joan wondered where they had gone. She went to see. She caught sight of the nest, and exclaimed in delight.

“Oh! You’re all in your old nest! Oh, I really must get nearer and see you!”

She put a foot carefully on to a clump of rushes. Then her left foot went on to another clump. The little girl bent over to see the moorhen’s nest and chicks.

Her foot suddenly slipped. She flung out her hands to try and get her balance, but she couldn’t, for the rushes were so slippery to tread on. She fell headlong into the water with such a splash that all the chicks were terrified and slipped out of their nest to hide under the water.

Joan struck out with her hands to try and get to the bank. She couldn’t swim, but she thought she could soon get to the bank. The water was very deep there. She pulled hard at some rushes, but instead of helping her, they gave way, and she fell back into deeper water.

Then the current of the river caught her and began to move her away from the bank. She screamed. “Help! Help! Oh, help me, someone! I’m in the water!”

And where was Scamp? He had just gone over the little level-crossing, and was running to the riverside. He stood there and looked. There was no sign of Joan anywhere. She must have gone a very long way!

The dog put his nose to the ground and went along by the water, sniffing where the little girl had walked. Then suddenly a faint, far-off sound came to his ears. Why, it was Joan’s voice. She must be in trouble! But where could she be? There wasn’t a sign of her anywhere.

Scamp looked into the water—and there, swung out to the middle of the river by the strong current, was poor Joan still struggling hard.

“I’m coming!” barked Scamp loudly. And into the water he leapt at once. He swam strongly towards the little girl, his nose just above the surface. He could not swim very fast, but he did the best he could.

His heart was beating fast, and he was panting when he reached the little girl. He caught hold of her dress, and turned himself round towards the bank. Somehow he must get her there before she sank under the water and disappeared!


It was hard work, for Joan was heavy and her clothes were full of water. But the dog would not give up. He worked his legs steadily, though he felt as if he really could not possibly swim even half-way to the bank with such a heavy load to drag. But it was Joan—the little girl he loved! He had to save her, even if his beating heart burst itself.

When they got near the bank Joan managed to clutch some strong tufts of rushes and pulled herself in. She lay on the sloping bank wet and frightened—but safe! Scamp shook himself, and then went to lick Joan. He was frightened too, and worried—but so glad that he had been able to save his little mistress when she was in danger. What a good thing Kenneth had let him go after her!

When Joan felt better, she stood up rather unsteadily, and began to walk slowly home. Scamp ran beside her. They met no one, and at last Joan went through the garden door and into the back garden of her home. Kenneth was still there, gardening.

Joan sank down on the grass beside him and told him in a faint voice all that had happened. “And if it hadn’t been for dear old darling Scamp, I’d have been drowned,” she said. “I’m sure I would. Oh, Kenneth, he was wonderful. He’s a real hero! Dear old Scamp!”

Kenneth put his arms round Joan and lifted her up. “It’s all my fault!” he said. “I should have come with you. Come indoors. You’re shivering. You must change your clothes. Poor Joan.”

Joan was soon out of her wet clothes and into a warm bed. Mother fussed over her, and Joan began to feel she had had quite an adventure. When Daddy came home he had to hear all about it too, and he looked rather grave.

“You mustn’t walk alone by the river again,” he told Joan. “You must always take Scamp. Good dog! What should we do without you? You’re a hero, Scamp! Did you know that? Yes—a real hero!”

Scamp didn’t know what a hero was, but he thought it must be something nice as Mr. Hill said it in such a proud voice. He wagged his tail hard, and ran off to find Fluffy.

“Hallo,” he said. “Did you know I was a hero? The master just said I was.”

“Well, he’s made a mistake,” said Fluffy, washing her face. “You’re no hero! You’re just a tiresome little dog with much too loud a bark!”

And that was all that Scamp got out of Fluffy! But the others made up for it—they gave him a fine new rubber ball, and emptied a tin of his favourite sardines into his dish, and bought him the biggest and juiciest bone he had ever had.

“You’re better than a hero!” said Joan, hugging him. “Scamp, you’re the dearest and the best dog that ever lived. How do you like that?”

Well—Scamp liked it very much indeed. I think Joan was right, don’t you?



Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of The Adventures of Scamp by Enid Blyton [pseudo: Mary Pollock]]