Chapter XX. Where Bowser Was
 
    When things are at their very worst,
    As bad, you think, as they can be,
    Just lay aside your feelings sad;
    The road ahead may turn, you see.

    Bowser the Hound.

You remember that Blacky the Crow led poor Bowser to an old road and there left him. Blacky reasoned that if Bowser had any sense at all, he would know that that road must lead somewhere and would follow it. If he didn't have sense enough to do this, he deserved to starve or freeze, was the way Blacky reasoned it out. Of course Blacky knew exactly where the road would lead.

Now Bowser did have sense. Of course he did. The minute he found that road, a great load was taken from his mind. He no longer felt wholly lost. He was certain that all he had to do was to keep in that road, and sooner or later he would come to a house. The thing that worried him most was whether or not he would have strength enough to keep going until he reached that house. You remember that he was weak from lack of food, lame, and half frozen.

Poor old Bowser! He certainly was the picture of misery as he limped along that road. His tail hung down as if he hadn't strength enough to hold it up. His head also hung low. He walked on three legs and limped with one of these. In his eyes was such a look of pain and suffering as would have touched the hardest heart. He whined and whimpered as he limped along.

It seemed to him that he had gone a terribly long distance, though really it was not far at all, when something tickled his nose, that wonderful nose which can smell the tracks of others long after they have passed. But this time it wasn't the smell of a track that tickled his nose; it was something in the air. Bowser lifted his head and sniffed long and hard. What he smelled was smoke. He knew what that meant. Somewhere not very far ahead of him was a house.

With new hope and courage Bowser tried to hurry on. Presently around a turn of the road he saw a farmyard. The smell of the smoke from the chimney of the farmhouse was stronger now, and with it was mingled an appetizing smell of things cooking. Into Bowser's whimper there now crept a little note of eagerness as he dragged himself across the farmyard and up to the back door. There his strength quite left him. He didn't have enough left to even bark. All he could do was whine. After what seemed a long, long time the door opened, and a motherly woman stood looking down at him. Two minutes later Bowser lay on a mat close by the kitchen stove.