2152. It was not just that they expected to have to fight, it was their feeling of betrayal, in that just the proximity of such an event indicated that their owners, in the final analysis, could not really be trusted, if they indulged an interest in such sports. After a long time they were able to calm down and act trusting again, but ever after they exhibited a certain skittishness, the same as the first trip to the vets office produces in even the most obedient animal.
2153. But it was not so with Otis. Even the most
notorious, fighters, veterans of more than twenty combats to the death
upset him not in the least. These older dogs, some three and four years
old had survived more than two years combat and in their bearing and
posture they were much like old Roman gladiators. If these animals felt
fear at any time an observer would never be able to detect it, unless
that observer happened to be Otis.
2154. The gladiators were kept in specially constructed
rather large cages of wood reinforced with iron at the corners, and
behaved like lions behave in a zoo, constantly pacing and roaming back
and forth and stopping occasionally to stare down some spectator and
exhibit their fangs. Visitors kept at a respectful distance, because
although they were in cages they still seemed a perpetual menace.
2155. Otis walked up to these various killer dogs exhibiting only a certain curiosity and unabashed friendliness. The gladiators, accustomed by years of bravado reacted with an inner confusion that they were not able to completely conceal. Try as they might, they could not stand still confronted by Otis. Their legs would not obey them, and slowly, step by step they retreated to the corners of their cages.