Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Alfonso comes to Ducky's rescue

December 11, 1913

King Alfonso XIII of Spain has proved to be a "friend in need" to Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, wife of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia, the New York Times is reporting from Paris.

The King, accompanied by his equerry, drove out to the Bois de Boulogne this morning to "engage in the new fashionable pastime," known as "Le Footing, "which is a "brisk walk" along the broad avenues.

The king out of his car at the Allée de Longchamp, and began his walk at a "vigorous pace."  He had not gotten very far when he caught sight "of a laduy looking into the dark words" with an "expression of distress on her face."

The lady in question was Grand Duchess Victoria, one of Queen Victoria Eugenie's first cousins.

The king hurried to Victoria's side.  "How do you do, Duchess," he said, raising his hat.  "Have you lost anything?  I thought you looked anxious."

Grand Duchess Victoria was in tears as she "bowed and touch the King's hand."

I have lost my little dog, Sire.  He is a fox terrier.  He was here a moment ago.  I am so afraid he has wandered into the woods and got lost."

"Where was he went you last saw him?  What do you call him,"  Alfonso asked.

"His name is Vic, but please, Sire, do not trouble," the Grand Duchess responded.

Victoria gasped as the king "sent out a piercing whistle," which echoed through the woods.

"You try that alley," the king called to his equerry.  "I will see if he is down here"

The king called out several times, "Vic! Vic! Vic!," and then whistled a few more times.

The equerry also tried to whistle, but the King "far out shrilled him," with "trills and staccato passages."  As "little dogs" scampered out of the avenue to greet him, the king appeared to be a "modern Pied Piper of Hamelin."

Finally, Vic, the errant terrier, "completely indifferent" to the anxiety he caused, ran out of the woods, and "jumped upon the King, who laughted triumphantly."

Grand Duchess Victoria was overjoyed to be reunited with her dog.