Fancy's Story by Fred Cartan


Comely declined even with the best care by the sisters and died about a year later. Frowly Snarf started a music hall in London, and while he spent much of his time with actors and other low riff-raff, he appeared to be succeeding. Indeed he even began to expand into the theater, and financed plays. This type of work, which Fancy and Singlefoot felt not at all respectable, apparently suited him well. Prudently, they did not discuss him with their friends. However, he and Natasha had a daughter, who visited them often at Hoarhound House and gave them much pleasure.

Sharpmuzzle continued to manage the estate for a year or two after his marriage and then left to do legal work in Huntsmuth. He had done good work for Grumble and Grumble took him into partnership. He also began to rise in Tory politics and stood for Parliament. He was elected and began to make his name well known in the area. He and Solace often visited at Hoarhound House.

Singlefoot took over management of both the estates and succeeded in his quiet way. He still had visits from his military friends and kept one room in the house, to Fancy's annoyance, filled with his mementos.

Crossbark remained as he always had, dedicated to the welfare of the local folk. He remained as intolerant of maltreatment and neglect and continued to serve the community. He never married. As he grew older, he collected more friends and mellowed somewhat and was able to make improvements with somewhat fewer fulminations. He grew thinner and grayer with time but still remained Fancy's and Singlefoot's doctor and friend and a frequent visitor at Hoarhound House.

The Dark Dog never again visited England. However, they corresponded and exchanged goods between their shops in India and England to their mutual profit. The manager of the warehouse in Hundsmuth was able to expand the business and open stores in London and other cities. He too, did well and he and his wife and daughter Bibelot were close friends.

Fancy continued to take an active interest in the business and to her surprise, enjoyed it. Fancy and Singlefoot were happy with their country life. Their home was an active place with parties, dinners, hunts and similar social occasions. They liked children and encouraged their friends to bring theirs along. In consequence during the summers and on holidays, Hoarhound House was overrun with the noise and uproar of children.

In time Fancy and Singlefoot had two boys of their own. Singlefoot was a doting father, and Fancy had to administer all but the most formal discipline.

Singlefoot grew somewhat quieter while Fancy became more vivacious. The problems of their past seemed forgotten, and only a painting of the Devil's Kennel, done by Natasha, which was kept on their bedroom wall, was left to remind them of the past days. Fancy cherished it, and Singlefoot could not think why.