Tag Archives: Victorian pets

The New York Girl and the Dog-Catchers: 1890

(c) Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

A New York Girl’s Nerve

From the New York Sun.

A black French poodle was trotting down Fifth avenue on a breezy, bright afternoon with a fine, straight young woman. The dog seemed proud of his mistress and the girl was proud of her dog. While all was peaceful and danger seemed nowhere nigh, a rickety and creaky covered wagon, drawn by a pitiable wreck of a horse, and having on its seat two repulsive young men, came around a corner. One of the young toughs leaped to the ground and made a quick plunge for the dog, catching it by the hind leg and whirling it above his head in a circle, running as he did so toward the rear of his wagon. Quicker than it takes to say so the young woman was in front of the young tough, with one hand clutching his coat collar and the other holding the muzzle of a silver-mounted smelling bottle to his face.

“You drop my dog or I’ll shoot you,” said the girl.

The young fellow peered out of his small eyes into the determined face before him, and as he attempted to shake the girl’s hand from his collar, said: “Aw, wot yer given me, any way? Don’t yer see we’re der dog catchers, an’ you ain’t got no right ter have yer purp out without a muzzle? Der dog goes along wid us, see?”

The girl’s face took on a fiercer and still more ominous look. The dog, still in the grasp of the man, was twisting to get away and yelping with pain.

“If you do not drop my dog this instant,” said the girl, “I will fire. Do you hear me?”

The catcher dropped the dog. By this time people were coming up to see the disturbance. The young woman put the bogus weapon into the small chatelaine bag that she wore, blew a small silver whistle, and, accompanied by her joyous dog, pursued her morning walk serenely and with stately grace.

The Anaconda Standard 29 October 1890: p. 3

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Just as Boston girls were labeled intellectuals and Philadelphia girls had a reputation as the souls of propriety, New York girls were said to be able to take care of themselves. Given the “mean streets,” they might walk—dodging scores of mashers, cads, and cat-callers—this was obviously a necessity. Hat-pins and stout parasols could be deployed in an emergency. This young lady showed a particularly inventive flair in using her smelling-salts bottle as a weapon. One of the Hall footmen, who is fond of thrillers at the cinema, reports that he has seen a lip-stick case used in an identical manner in a spy picture. Without the poodle, of course.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


The Pets’ Christmas: 1901-1915


Lamb Chops, Carrots, and Bottle Flies hang on Christmas Tree.

Chicago. On the Christmas tree hung four luscious lamb chops.

Near the top were eight fine, big blue bottle flies, each impaled deftly on a pin thrust through red tissue paper.

Two luscious carrots dangled by red ribbons, knotted into holly, from a lower branch.

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Crane fluttered about like flustered mamma and excited dad at a daughter’s coming-out party.

The tree was lighted; Mrs. Crane’s four chameleons executed deep courtesies; Dick, who was the guest of honor, barked a tiny squeak of appreciation, and the pets’ Christmas tree party was on.

Dick, be it known, is the Belgian griffon owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Grossmith. Vernon Castle, a brother of Mrs. Grossmith, solemnly baptized the dog a year ago, and has been Dick’s patron, so that these social affairs are somewhat boresome to him.

But Mrs. Crane’s chameleons’ party was not boresome. The chameleons feasted off the flies caught by café busboys at $1 per catch. Dick engaged the lamb chops in deadly encounter, and two mere rabbits, called in at the last minute by the resourceful Mrs. Crane when she received the regrets of George Arliss’ English bulldog, served their turn as “social fillers,” and munched the carrots. The Washington [DC] Post 29 December 1915: p. 6

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil has previously written on entertainments for favoured felines. With the approach of the winter festivals, naturally every dog must have his holiday.  Recently at the shops, Mrs Daffodil observed a department lavishly furnished with toys and gifts for pets, as well as special wrapping papers, decorations, costumes, and greeting cards designed with Our Furry Friends in mind.  One would imagine that our households were stocked with nothing but royal Corgis.

Mrs Daffodil is in favour of kindness to our animal companions, but draws the line at purchasing blue-bottle flies at premium prices. A saucer of sugar-water in the stables would produce as many choice specimens as desired. But perhaps these were pedigreed chameleons requiring a special diet.

Some other examples of celebrating with pets:


It was Laden With All Possible Canine Delicacies.

Baltimore, Dec. 26. A Christmas tree laden with sausages, ham bones, juicy chicken and other delicacies that would appeal to the taste of a dog was the novel holiday feature for the benefit of pet dogs on the estate of Miss Nannie Sloan, a well-known member of society. Miss Sloan has a beautiful country residence at Fairlee, near Lutherville, with O.B. Magrader, the manager of the place.

The tree was decorated with the usual trimmings, and the three pets, a greyhound, a fox terrier, and a pug, were taken to the room where the tree had been prepared and in a little while they were having the time of their lives. The dogs jumped after the various delicacies, much to the amusement of the spectators, and the event was voted a success. Wilkes-Barre [PA] Times 26 December 1906: p. 5

One imagines the tree did not long remain upright. The Queen of Servia’s dogs were more disciplined;


The Queen of Servia has a Christmas tree for her dogs. On it are placed those delicacies dearest to the canine heart. The animals are trained to take off these dainty morsels in an orderly manner, and at the Christmas ceremony itself the Queen and her friends attend to witness the proceedings. The Enquirer [Cincinnati OH] 22 December 1901: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

Only Two Owls: Part 2: 1898

two owls 1901

Only Two Owls, Part Two [Part One is here.]

Allan Forman

When I reached home I got a cage for them which they never liked, so I allowed them to roam about my room at their own sweet will. They soon found congenial quarters in a couple of empty pigeon-holes in my desk, where they would sit by the hour while I was writing; but the moment l lay down my pen or pencil they would dart out like a couple of young pirates, pounce upon it and drag it back into the pigeon-hole, whirring in triumph; they would play hide-and-seek with each other in the dark corners of the room, under the furniture, and sometimes, as a special treat, I used to close all the doors and let a live mouse loose on the floor. The owls would rise and float, like a bit of thistle-down, just over the mouse, then drop suddenly on it fixing their strong little claws in its back; they did not torment their victim like a cat, but tore its head off at once and proceeded to make a meal of it.

I regret to be obliged to record the fact that, notwithstanding the very evident affection which existed between the two upon all other occasions, they relapsed into savagery when feeding; and the one who was fortunate enough to secure the mouse scolded the other until the unfortunate rodent was snugly tucked away where it could not be got at. I generally tried to have two live mice for them at a time, and all our neighbors and the near-by grocery stores were laid under contribution to meet the demand. One curious feature of their manner of eating mice was a never-failing source of amusement; they had a habit of bolting the head and fore-quarters first, and then swallowing the rest without tearing it into bits, with the result that they would stand with their little paunches swelled out to an enormous size, and the mouse’s tail sticking out of the corner of their mouths, for all the world like a fat old man who has finished his dinner and was enjoying his after-dinner cigar.

Their flight was absolutely noiseless, they seemed to float rather than fly; but they were very swift on the wing for short distances, as many a sparrow discovered to its cost. When I went to the Country for the summer I took them with me, and used to carry them in my pockets when I went out for walks. The English sparrows were becoming very plentiful about our place and were driving away the more desirable songbirds. With the active co-operation of Doctor and Judge I declared war upon the impudent foreigners, and when I came upon a party of the little feathered ragamuffins I would set my two plainsmen free. They would float down among the sparrows, and seldom failed to catch a couple. Sometimes in the excitement of the chase, if one of them failed to catch a sparrow, he would start off after the nearest song-bird; but a sharp call never failed to ‘bring him back, obediently, to my shoulder. It was in this matter of obedience that they showed the only difference in their dispositions. When recalled from the chase Judge would turn at once, circle about me and settle contentedly on my shoulder, but Doctor was more minded to have his own way. He would float off after a song-bird like a bit of down on the breeze; when he heard me call he would flap back to me as heavily as an old crow, and would further display his vexation by snapping his bill close to my ear.

While it was evident that the strong sunlight annoyed them they seemed to see quite as well in the daytime as at night and, naturally, all their hunting was done in the daylight, tho I tried to select cloudy or overcast days for their excursions. They never seemed to have a desire to get away and, indeed, I fancy it would have been difficult to have made them go very far from some member of the family. They would sit on the branch of a tree not far from my window, but at nightfall they sought the family sitting-room, where they made themselves comfortable on my mother’s lap. In the city they delighted in sitting, for hours at a time, on the window-sill watching the people passing in the street and conversing with each other in low, chirping monosyllables. They had a dove-like fondness for caressing each other and sat close, side by side, motionless except as from time to time they would turn their heads and rub their bills together.

One evening I was romping with the Doctor and he was wrestling with my finger, a play in which he took an especial joy. We were in the midst of our frolic when he lost his balance. I heard a slight snap and he fell over on his side; he picked himself up again and tried to continue his sport, but I saw that his right leg hung limp and helpless. I quickly examined him and discovered that it was broken just above the knee. Tho I handled him as gently as I knew how, he squealed with pain and made a bee-line for his haven of refuge, my mother’s lap. We bandaged up the leg as best we could; but it was of no use, and after four days of suffering he died. During his illness the conduct of Judge was almost human. The evening of the accident he discovered that, for some reason he could not comprehend, Doctor was absorbing the attention of the family; he protested violently, flew on my mother’s lap half a dozen times, only to be driven off, and finally, in a fit of rage and jealousy, he retreated under the sofa and sulked.

The next morning, however, he discovered that there was something really wrong with his companion, and his anxiety knew no bounds. Our aim was to keep Doctor as quiet as possible, but Judge seemed to believe in that treatment that some well-meaning people deem so efficacious—he wanted to do something “to take up the patient’s mind”; he tried to lure the poor Doctor into games of hide-and-seek and excursions to the window-sill. When feeding-time came he absolutely refused to eat until Doctor had been fed, which was an entirely new development, as in the past they had both been greedy over their meals. When Doctor finally succumbed, Judge was frantic; his grief and loneliness were most pathetic; he would run about the room for hours, peering behind pieces of furniture and under sofas and chairs and continually keeping up that whirring chirp with which they used to call each other.

He could not seem to get it out of his head that the Doctor was hiding from him, and his search was heart-rending. He refused all food, tho I tempted him with every dainty I could think of—live mice, fresh meat, a small bird and a nest full of baby mice failed to attract him, and he grew emaciated with surprising rapidity. He would look at the food, then start off on his fruitless search, whirring piteously the while. After hunting under all the chairs and sofas he would go out into the middle of the room, stretch out his little neck and whir, so pleadingly, so caressingly, with exactly the same note that they used when rubbing their bills together on the window-sill that I have seen grown-up members of my family furtively wiping their eyes.

He grew very weak, and only seemed contented on my mother’s lap. One evening he was lying cuddled up under her hand, apparently asleep.

“Poor Judge,” I said, “he will never get over the loss of Doctor.” The familiar name aroused the little fellow; he staggered to his feet, looked about with great round eyes, which were already glazing in death, summoned all his strength and gave one last whirring call and fell back dead.

Pets die, and our most intimate human friends covertly sneer at our grief. For our own part we generally resolve never to keep another pet. But it was a long time before our family forgot our little prairie-owls; it is some comfort for me to feel, that being taken so young and never having known freedom they were as happy with me as they could have been, exposed to the dangers and privations of their wild life. They certainly gave me a warmer sympathy with the whole animal kingdom.

The Independent Vol. 50, 1898

The reader will excuse Mrs Daffodil from commentary. She has something in her eye.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


4,000 Dogs (and a few cats): Pet Licences: 1894

Young Lady with Dog, James John Hill, from the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

Young Lady with Dog, James John Hill, from the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum


A Stream of Women All Day at the Bergh Society’s Office.

The New System of Licensing Dogs Has Gone Into Effect

Owners in a Hurry to Get Licenses

Some Cats Presented Also

Young women whose carriages and tailor-made gowns attested their social standing had to line up in the street yesterday in front of the office of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with people who were hopelessly out of it if they wanted to get licenses for their pet poodles. This was because dog ethics have changed. The city no longer issues licenses and hires dog catchers. That is the right of the Bergh society, and the society is going to begin to-day to enforce its right with dog catchers in Bedford cord uniforms.

If the Plantagenet and Vere de Vere girls were wise they sent their maids to get licenses for their dogs. If they were not wise they came themselves and if they wanted the licenses at once they stood in line, most of the time in the street, for two hours. They rubbed shoulders with other girls’ maids and they had a very exciting time of it. From the time the society’s office at 10 East Twenty-second street was opened in the morning until 6 o’clock last night there was a line of women from the door halfway down the block. Several dog fights broke the monotony.

Under the new law the society issues all dog licenses at $2 each. The licenses may be renewed for $1 a year. Cats are not licensed, but they must wear a collar with the owner’s name attached. Otherwise, the society’s agents may pick them up in the street and given them chloroform forty-eight hours later if they are not claimed.

All sort of people fell in line yesterday, and grumbled because they had to wait. There were women accompanied by children who came to pay $12 for a dog license and who looked as if they might have difficulty in paying their rent, but they were willing to pay $2 for their dog. In some cases these women bought licenses for two dogs.

Not a few young ladies who drove up in their carriages brought their dogs with them and waited their turn in the line to make sure of a license. Three agents of the society were busy in the office making out the licenses and issuing the metal tags with the number of the license to be attached to the dog’s collar.

Dog owners had to fill out a blank giving the name of the dog, sex, breed, age, color, and markings. This was the application for the license, and it will be kept on file in the office. If a dog is picked up on the street with ta society’s tag on his collar his owner’s name can be obtained by referring to the application with the number of the tag on it. The old city pound has been remodeled and turned over to the society.

One old woman, shabbily dressed in black fell into line at 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon and waited an hour and a half until she worked her way up to the clerk’s window. An application blank was shoved out to her. She threw back her shawl, and there in her arms was a big black cat.

“I just want you to see him,” she said, “so’s you’ll know him if he gets lost.”

“But no licenses are required for cats,” said the clerk.

“But I don’t want to lose Tom. I’ve had him for ten years and he’s all I’ve got. Can’t you give me a license so’s I’ll be sure?”

“Can’t do it,” said the clerk. “Just put a collar on him.”

“Well, take a good look at him any way,” said Tom’s owner, “so’s you’ll know him if you do pick him up.”

The clerk looked and the old woman departed hugging her cat.

A maid who reached the clerk’s window asked him to make out the application for her.

“Well, what’s the dog’s name?” he asked.

“Tain’t a dog,” replied the maid. “It’s four gentlemen cats that I want to get permits for.”

“We don’t have any cat licenses,” said the clerk with a smile. “and they are not required.”

“Well, I’ll go where I can get them, then,” said the maid, and she swished out. But such incidents were so common yesterday that they ceased to amuse the clerks.

Two women who brought their dogs, one a poodle, and the other a terrier, got as far as the office when the dogs had trouble. They were tired of waiting, and they came together for trouble. The two women screamed, and the dogs held the floor for a minute until a policeman arrived and separated them. Then the women glared at each other.

If a dog owner was not in a hurry for a license, she, for they were nearly all women in line could leave $2 and the application at the office and receive the license by mail. “But supposing my dog should be picked up before I get the license?” asked each woman when this was explained to her.

“Oh, we’ll try to look out for him until you claim him,” was the regular reply. But few women were satisfied with this assurance. The Plantagenets and De Veres wanted to make sure and so did the old woman from the east side who had brought her children with her. Nearly 4,000 dog licenses had been granted last night.

The Sun [New York, NY] 2 may 1894: p. 7

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The Henry Bergh Humane Society, an alternate name for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded by Henry Bergh [1823-1888] in 1866. Son of a wealthy shipbuilder, diplomat, and playwright, Bergh was returning from a lengthy stay in Europe and a posting in Russia, when he met the Earl of Harrowby, President of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who inspired him to devote his life to the interests of the animal kingdom. Mr Bergh was of an inventive disposition, creating an an ambulance corps for removing disabled horses from the streets as well as a derrick to winch domestic animals out of pits and wells. One of Mr Bergh’s more whimsical–and humane–creations was the clay pigeon for sport-shooting.

Diary of a Young Dog: 1898


A Day from the Diary of a Young Dog.  

7:00 A. M. — Woke up feeling rather below par, owing to disturbed rest. Hardly energy enough to stretch myself. In the middle of the night a strange man came in by the kitchen window very quietly with a bag. I chummed up to him at once. He was nice to me and I was nice to him. He got me down a piece of meat that I could not reach myself. While I was engaged on this he, took a whole lot of silver things and put them into the bag. Then, as he was leaving, the brute — I believe now it was an accident — trod on my toe, making me yelp with pain. I bit him heartily, and he dropped his bag and scurried off through the window again. My yelping soon woke up the whole house, and in a very short time old Mr. Brown and young Mr. Brown appeared. They at once spot the bag of silver. They then declare I have saved the house and make no end of fuss with me. I am a hero. Later on Miss Brown came down and fondled me lots, and kissed me, and tied a piece of pink ribbon round my neck, and made me look like a fool. What’s the good of ribbon, I should like to know? It’s the most beastly tasting stuff there ever was.  

8:30. — Ate breakfast with difficulty. Have no appetite.  

8:35. — Ate kittens’ breakfast.  

8:36. — An affair with the cat (the kittens’ mother). But I soon leave her, as the coward does not fight fair, using claws.  

9:00. — Washed by Mary. A hateful business. Put into a tub and rubbed all over — mouth, tail, and everywhere—with filthy, soapy water, that loathsome cat looking on all the while and sneering in her dashed superior way. I don’t know, I am sure, why the hussy should be so conceited. She has to clean herself. I keep a servant to clean me. At the same time I often wish I was a black dog. They keep clean so much longer. Every finger-mark shows up so frightfully on the white part of me. I am a sight after cook has been stroking me.  

9:30. — Showed myself in my washed state to the family. All very nice to me. Quite a triumphal entry, in fact. It is simply wonderful the amount of kudos I’ve got from that incident with the man. Miss Brown (whom I rather like) particularly enthusiastic. Kissed me again and called me “a dear, clean, brave, sweet-smelling little doggie.” 

9:40. — While a visitor was being let in at the front door, I rushed out and had the most glorious roll in the mud. Felt more like my old self then.  

9:45. — Visited the family again. Shrieks of horror on seeing me caked in mud. But all agreed that I was not to be scolded to-day as I was a hero (over the man)! All, that is, except Aunt Brown, whose hand, for some reason or other, is always against me — though nothing is too good for the cat.  

9:50. — Glorious thought. I rushed upstairs and rolled over and over on the old maid’s bed. Thank heaven, the mud was still wet!  

10:00 to 1:00. — Dozed.  

1:00. — Ate dinner.  

1:15. — Ate kittens’ dinner.  

1:20. — Attacked by beast of cat again. She scratched my hind leg, and at that I refused to go on. Mem: To take it out of her kittens later.  

1:25. — Upstairs into dining-room. Family not finished luncheon yet. I go up to Miss Brown, and look at her with my great pleading eyes. I guessed it; they are irresistible. She gives me a piece of pudding. Aunt Brown tells her she shouldn’t. At which, with great pluck, Miss Brown tells her to mind her own business. I admire that girl more and more.  

1:30. — A windfall. A whole dish of mayonnaise fish on the slab in the hall. Before you can say Jack Robinson, I have bolted it.  

1:32. — Curious pains in my underneath.  

1:33. — Pains in my underneath get worse. 

1:34. — Horrid feeling of sickness.  

1:35. — Rush up into Aunt Brown’s room and am sick there.

 1:37, — Better. Think I shall pull through if I am careful.

 1:40. — Almost well again.

 1:41. — Quite well again. Thank Heaven! It was a narrow shave that time. People ought not to leave such stuff about.

 1:42. — Up into dining-room. And, to show how well I am, I gallop round and round the room at full pelt, about twenty times, steering myself by my tail. Then, as a grand finale, I jump twice on to the waistcoat part of old Mr. Brown, who is sleeping peacefully on the sofa. He wakes up very angry indeed, and orders Miss Brown to beat me. Miss Brown runs the burglar for all he is worth. But no good. Old Mr. Brown is dead to all decent feeling. So Miss Brown beats me. Very nice. Thoroughly enjoyable. Just like being patted. But of course I yelp and pretend it hurts frightfully, and do the sad-eye business, and she soon leaves off, and takes me into the next room and gives me six pieces of sugar.

Good business. Must remember always to do this.  

2:00 to 3:15. — Attempt to kill fur rug in back room. No good.

 3:15 to 3:45. — Sulked.

 3:46. — Small boy comes in and strokes me. I snap at him. I will not be every one’s plaything.

 3:47 to 4:00. — Another attempt to kill rug. Would have done it this time had not that odious Aunt Brown come in and interfered. I did not say anything, but gave her such a look, as much as to say, “I’ll do for you one day.” I think she understood.

 4:00 to 5:15. — Slept.

 5:15. — Awakened by bad attack of eczema.

 5:20 to 5:30 — Slept again,

 5:30. — Awakened again by eczema. Caught one.

 5:30 to 6:00. — Frightened canary by staring greedily at it.

 6:00. — Visited kitchen folk. Boned some bones.

 6:15. — Stalked a kitten in kitchen passage. The other little cowards ran away.  

6:20. — Things are looking brighter. Helped mouse escape from cat.  

6:30. — Upstairs, past the drawing-room. Door of old Mrs. Brown’s bedroom open invitingly. I entered. Never been in before. Nothing much worth having. Ate a few flowers out of a bonnet. Beastly.  

7:00. — Down to supper. Ate it, but without much relish. I am off my feed to-day.

 7:15. — Ate kittens’ supper. But I do wish they would not give them that eternal fish. I am getting sick of it.  

7:25. — Nasty feeling of lassitude comes over me, with loss of all initiative, so I decide to take things quietly, and lie down by kitchen fire. Sometimes I think that I am not the dog that I was.  

8:00. — Hooray! Appetite returning. 

8:01. — Ravenous.  

8-05. — Nose around the kitchen floor and glean a bit of onion, an imitation tortoise-shell comb, a shrimp (almost entire), an abominably stale chunk of bread, and about half a yard of capital string.  

8:30. — If one had to rely on other people, one might starve. Fortunately, in the hall I happen on the treacle-pudding, and I get first look in. Lap up the treacle, and leave the suet for the family. Ah.  

8:40. — Down into the kitchen again. Sit by the fire, and pretend I don’t know what treacle is like. But that vile cat is there — and I believe she guesses — keeps looking round at me with her hateful, superior look. Dash her, what right has she got to give herself such airs? She’s not half my size, and pays no taxes. Dash her smugness. Dash her altogether. The sight of her maddens me — and when her back is turned I rush at her and bite her. The crafty coward wags her tail, pretending she likes it, so I do it again, and then she rounds on me and scratches my paw viciously, drawing blood, and making me howl with pain. This brings Miss Brown down in a hurry.  She kisses me, tells the cat she is a naughty cat (I’d have killed her for it), gives me some sugar, and wraps the paw up in a bread poultice. Lord, how that girl loves me!  

9:00. — Ate the bread poultice.

 9:15. — Begin to get sleepy.

 9:15 to 10:00. — Dozed.

 10:00. — Led to kennel.

 10:15. — Lights out. Thus ends another derned dull day.

 The Argonaut [San Francisco, CA] 10 January 1898

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  In the course of her long career Mrs Daffodil has known a great many dogs–for example,  Wink, the Dowager Duchess of Spofford’s pomeranian, who came to a tragic end when a large caller at his mistress’s house sat upon him, mistaking him for a muff. One of Mrs Daffodil’s previous masters, a medical gentleman with a macabre sense of humour, prized a large black, wolfish animal, which he daubed with luminous paint and sent out to roam the moors at night.  And, of course, there was Master Georgie’s wolf-hound, Angela, unjustly accused of killing a fox to explain the blood in the library to the police. [See “A Spot of Bother.”]  Mrs Daffodil must applaud the ingenuity and spirit of this young (and surprisingly literate) dog in taking revenge on Aunt Brown and playing the innocent victim of the cat. It takes cunning to outwit a cat.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.