The block-and-tackle, running like a trolley on the overhead track, made it possible for the assistant to seize his tail and drag him through the air till he was above the chair. His helpless body guided thus by the tail, his chest jabbed by the iron fork in Mulcachy's hands, the rope was suddenly lowered, and Ben Bolt, with swimming brain, found himself seated in the chair. On the instant he leaped for the floor, received a blow on the nose from the heavy whip-handle, and had a blank cartridge fired straight into his nostril. His madness of pain and fear was multiplied. He sprang away in flight, but Mulcachy's voice rang out, "Hoist him!" and he slowly rose in the air again, hanging by his neck, and began to strangle.
Once more he was swung into position by his tail, jabbed in the chest, and lowered suddenly on the run--but so suddenly, with a frantic twist of his body on his part, that he fell violently across the chair on his belly. What little wind was left him from the strangling, seemed to have been ruined out of him by the violence of the fall. The glare in his eyes was maniacal and swimming. He panted frightfully, and his head rolled back and forth. Slaver dripped from his mouth, blood ran from his nose.
"Hoist away!" Mulcachy shouted.
And again, struggling frantically as the tightening collar shut off his wind, Ben Bolt was slowly lifted into the air. So wildly did he struggle that, ere his hind feet were off the floor, he pranced back and forth, so that when he was heaved clear his body swung like a huge pendulum. Over the chair, he was dropped, and for a fraction of a second the posture was his of a man sitting in a chair. Then he uttered a terrible cry and sprang.
It was neither snarl, nor growl, nor roar, that cry, but a sheer scream, as if something had broken inside of him. He missed Mulcachy by inches, as another blank cartridge exploded up his other nostril and as the men with the rope snapped him back so abruptly as almost to break his neck.
This time, lowered quickly, he sank into the chair like a half- empty sack of meal, and continued so to sink, until, crumpling at the middle, his great tawny head falling forward, he lay on the floor unconscious. His tongue, black and swollen, lolled out of his mouth. As buckets of water were poured on him he groaned and moaned. And here ended the first lesson.
"It's all right," Mulcachy said, day after day, as the teaching went on. "Patience and hard work will pull off the trick. I've got his goat. He's afraid of me. All that's required is time, and time adds to value with an animal like him."
Not on that first day, nor on the second, nor on the third, did the requisite something really break inside Ben Bolt. But at the end of a fortnight it did break. For the day came when Mulcachy rapped the chair with his whip-butt, when the attendant through the bars jabbed the iron fork into Ben Bolt's ribs, and when Ben Bolt, anything but royal, slinking like a beaten alley-cat, in pitiable terror, crawled over to the chair and sat down in it like a man. He now was an "educated" tiger. The sight of him, so sitting, tragically travestying man, has been considered, and is considered, "educative" by multitudinous audiences.