"Oh, Harley, I know it is he!" Villa cried. "Can't you test him? Can't you prove him?"
"But how?" Harley pondered. "He seems to recognize his name. It excites him. And though he never knew us very well, he seems to remember us and to be excited by us, too. If only he could talk . . . "
"Oh, talk! Talk!" Villa pleaded with Michael, catching both sides of his head and jaws in her hands and swaying him back and forth.
"Be careful, madam," Jacob Henderson warned. "He is a very sour dog; and he don't let people take such liberties."
"He does me," she laughed, half-hysterically. "Because he knows me. . . . Harley!" She broke off as the great idea dawned on her. "I have a test. Listen! Remember, Jerry was a nigger-chaser before we got him. And Michael was a nigger-chaser. You talk in beche-de-mer. Appear angry with some black boy, and see how it will affect him."
"I'll have to remember hard to resurrect any beche-de-mer," Harley said, nodding approval of the suggestion.
"At the same time I'll distract him," she rushed on.
Sitting down and bending forward to Michael so that his head was buried in her arms and breast, she began swaying him and crooning to him as was her wont with Jerry. Nor did he resent the liberty she took, and, like Jerry, he yielded to her crooning and softly began to croon with her. She signalled Harley with her eyes.