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The Under Dog

by F. Hopkinson Smith

In the strife of life some men lose place through physical weakness or lost opportunities or impaired abilities; struggle on as they may, they must always be the Under Dog in the fight.Others are misjudged--often by their fellows; sometimes by the law. If you are one of the fellows, you pass the man with a nod. If you are the law, you crush out his life with a sentence.Still others lose place from being misunderstood; from being out of touch with their surroundings; out of reach of those who, if they knew, would help; men with hearts chilled by neglect, whose smouldering coals--coals deep hidden in their nature--need only the warm breath of some other man's sympathy to be fanned back into life.Once in a while there can be met another kind, one whose poverty or uncouthness makes us shun him at sight; and yet one, if we did but know it, with a joyous melody in his heart, ofttimes in tune with our own harmonies. This kind is rare, and when found adds another ripple to our scanty stock of laughter.These Under Dogs--grave and gay--have always appealed to me. Their stories are printed here in the hope that they may also appeal to you.

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