It’s a terrier’s world, we just live in it

The Airedale in The Great Gatsby

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‘I want to get one of those dogs,’ she said earnestly. ‘I want to get one for the apartment. They’re nice to have – a dog.’

We backed up to a grey old man who bore an absurd resemblance to John D. Rockefeller. In a basket swung from his neck cowered a dozen very recent puppies of an indeterminate breed.

‘What kind are they?’ asked Mrs Wilson eagerly, as he came to the taxi-window.

‘All kinds. What kind do you want lady?’

‘I’d like to get one of those police dogs; I don’t suppose you got that kind?’

The man peered doubtfully into the basket, plunged in his hand and drew one up, wriggling, by the back of the neck.

‘That’s no police dog, ‘ said Tom.

‘No, it’s not exactly a police dog,’ said the man with disappointment in his voice. ‘It’s more of an Airedale.’ He passed his hand over the brown washrag of a back. ‘Look at that coat. Some coat. That’s a dog that’ll never bother you with catching cold.’

‘I think it’s cute,’ said Mrs Wilson enthusiastically. ‘How much is it?’

‘That dog?’ He looked at it admiringly. ‘That dog will cost you ten dollars.’

The Airedale – undoubtedly there was Airedale in there somewhere, though its feet were startlingly white – changed hands and settled down into Mrs Wilson’s lap, where she fondled the weather-proof coat with rapture.

F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby.


Written by aterrier

July 7, 2008 at 12:06 am

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