Patrasche had been born of parents who had labored hard all their daysover the sharp-set stones of the various cities and the long, shadowless,weary roads of the two Flanders and of Brabant. He had been born to no other heritage than those of pain and of toil. He had been fed on cursesand baptized with blows. Why not? It was a Christian country, and Patrasche was but a dog. Before he was fully grown he had known the bitter gall of the cart and the collar. Before he had entered his thirteenth month he had become the property of a hardware-dealer, who was accustomed to wander over the land north and south, from the blue sea to the green mountains. They sold him for a small price, because he was so young.