The sow, too blind with pain and rage to know reinforcements were coming to the aid of the half-dead hero, tore forward. The Mistress, with both hands, sought to drag Lad behind her. The maids screeched in plangent chorus.
Then, just as the sow was launching herself on the futilely snapping Lad, she was stupidly aware that the dog had somehow changed to three dogs. One of these three the Mistress was still holding. The two others, with excellent teamwork, were assailing the sow from opposite sides.
She came to a sliding stop in her charge; blinking in bewildered fury.
Bruce had caught her by the torn left ear; and was keeping easily out of her way, while he inflicted torture thereon. Wolf, like a furry whirlwind, had stopped only long enough to slash her bleeding nose to the bone; and now was tearing away at her hind leg in an industrious and very promising effort to hamstring her. In front, Lad was still straining to break the Mistress's loving hold; and to get at his pestered enemy.
This was more than the huge porker had bargained for. Through all her murder-rage, she had sense enough to know she was outnumbered and beaten. She broke into a clumsy gallop; heading homeward.
But Bruce and Wolf would not have it so. Delightedly they tore in to the attack. Their slashing fangs and their keenly nipping front teeth were everywhere. They were all over her. In sudden panic, blinded by terror and pain, the sow put her six hundred pounds of unwieldy weight into the fastest motion she could summon. At a scrambling run, she set off, around the house; head down, bitten tail aloft; the two dogs at her bleeding haunches.
Dimly, she saw a big and black obstacle loom up in her path. It was coming noisily toward her. But she was going too fast and too blindly to swerve. And she met it, headlong; throwing her vast weight forward in an attempt to smash through it. At the same time, Wolf and Bruce left off harrying her flanks and sprang aside.
Dugan had reached the garage unseen. There, he had backed out the car, by hand; shoving it into the open, lest the motor-whirr give premature announcement of his presence. Then, as he boarded the machine and reached for the self-starter, all bedlam broke loose, from somewhere in the general direction of the house, fifty yards away.