Butch watched as Lady slammed the back door in his face. He felt empty. He had been so scared when he had lost her, he had searched for her for hours until one of his mates said he saw a rich girl being taken to the jail. It took him so much to track her down. He had to ask around, some guys who had been near the jail when she was taken out by some creepy old lady. After that, it was just a matter of asking around. When he finally found out where she was, he had scooped up a little daisy for her from her neighbors yard - girls liked flowers right - and then proceeded into her backyard after hearing voices there.
When he saw the two other men there, he suddenly got very scared. Who were they? Men who liked her? Family? He had tried to plead his case but she wasn't hearing it. And then she revealed that she knew. She knew about The Tramp and all of the girls before her. He should have known someone in the jail would let it slip. More than anything he wanted to tell her that she was the only one who really mattered to him, the only one that he actually loved and wanted to be with, that those girls were nothing to him. But she made her point very clear. If she didn't want him, he wouldn't force himself on her. He still loved her and would do whatever she needed or wanted.
As he made his way down the street, all he could think about was her. He stood in the rain, getting drenched, already missing her. How could he be so stupid? He should have told her. He should have made it more clear how much he loved her. All at once, the only thing he cared about any more was taken from him and it hurt. He had never felt so hurt. Is this what girls felt like when he broke their hearts? Is that what he had just done? Broken Lady's heart? He didn't mean to. The idea of her hurting anything like this killed him inside and his protective instincts kicked in. Except this time he was the one who hurt her. And that stung more than anything else.
He heard a loud crash coming from behind him. He turned sharply and saw movement in the front of Lady's house. He couldn't stop himself from running in that direction as fast as he could. He saw one of her front windows broken and heard pounding from the door she had left behind. He ran into her backyard and could see her in the small window on the door, pounding frantically. He ran up to it and smashed the window with his fist, ignoring the sharp stab of glass busting his knuckles. He didn't care and he didn't even think about it. Lady needed him. He took her hands through the shattered window.
"Are you okay, Pidge?"
"There's a man," she exclaimed. His heart dropped. That was what he had seen. Was Pigeon in danger?
"Upstairs! In the baby's room!"
Lady watched his face darken.
"I'll be right back."
He ran to the front of the house where he saw the broken window and leapt in through it. He located the stairs immediately, hearing movement from the second floor. He ran up the stairs and to the only open door. There was a man standing over a baby crib, trying to reach in. Butch was on him in a second, shoving him away from the baby and punching him as hard as he could with a bloodied fist. The pain of the cut up fist had gone now, replaced by the adrenaline of keeping Lady and her family safe.
The man fought back, punching Butch in the gut which made him stagger for only a second before taking the man by the shoulders and throwing him to the ground. He was on top of the other man, punching him over and over again. Butch could hear the baby start wailing loudly as the man shoved him off and they face each other once again. As they slung each other around, knocking things over and making a lot of racket, Butch began to try and find ways to get the upper hand. He saw a glass vase on a desk next to a sofa and ran there immediately. As the man approached wildly, fists flying, Butch hit him upside the head, causing him to pass out and fall behind the couch.
He set the vase down, breathing heavily. It was only now that the fight was over that he felt the pain in his fist, realizing that it was covered in blood and his fingers were definitely out of place in some way. The light turned on suddenly and an old woman came running in with a broom.
"Merciful heavens," she yelled and began swinging the broom at him.
"No, it's not-"
"Back, back I say!"
She swung the broom at him, forcing him into the closet that she locked him in without hesitation.
"The police! I need to call the police!"
Butch heard her calm the baby and then run downstairs to use the phone. This was it for him. He had finally been caught.
Jim and Darling stepped off the trolley, seeing a police wagon and horse in front of their house. They saw a man with gray hair with a fist covered in blood being shoved into the back of the wagon.
"Take my advice and destroy that man at once," they heard Aunt Sarah saying.
"Don't worry ma'am," the officer told her. "We've been after this one for a long time. We'll take good care of him."
As the man climbed into his seat behind the horse, Jim stopped him to ask a question.
"Say what's going on here," he asked.
"Don't worry sir," the officer said, "just picking up a criminal. Caught him trying to steal a baby."
Jim and Darling panicked, running inside to see if their baby was okay. Sarah greeted them at the door, holding the baby safe.
"I knew that man was trouble. As soon as your daughter came back I knew he wouldn't be far behind," she exclaimed.
"Lady's home," Jim and Darling practically yelled at the same time. They suddenly began to hear pounding on the door to the mudroom.
"Let me out!"
Jim raced to the door, unlocked it and opened it, Lady rushing out without a second thought.
"Is he gone?! Is the baby safe?!"
"Lady, you're back," Darling exclaimed.
"That evil man is on his way to the jail, you awful girl," Sarah said harshly.
"Where's Butch then," Lady asked, looking around for him.
"That gray haired man," Sarah spat, "is on his way to jail to be executed."
Lady's heart dropped.
"He didn't do anything," she yelled, running upstairs.
"What do you mean, Lady," Jim asked.
"It wasn't him," she yelled again. Everyone followed her upstairs, sensing her dire urgency. She burst into the baby's room, locating the pair of feet sticking out from behind the couch. "It was him," she cried to her parents and uncle, pointing at the body. Sarah jumped back and screamed in shock and Darling held her baby close.
"Butch stopped him," she began crying, gripping onto Jim's coat. "Please, we have to stop them!"
Jim saw the urgency in his daughter's eyes and his decision was made quick.
"Darling, call Trusty," he told his wife, "we need to borrow his motorized vehicle."
Butch could see the gates to the jail in sight. He was scared. He knew they'd have him executed for everything. He didn't want to die. The only comfort he found in that moment was that Lady was safe. He heard horns hocking behind the car and saw a motorized vehicle pulling around to the front of the cart and then screeching to a stop. He heard loud voices from the officer screaming about what was going on and then the sound of a man explaining what had happened in Lady's house. He heard running footsteps and then there in front of him was Lady sticking her hands through the back bars of the cart to hold his.
"Hiya, Pidge," he muttered as he touched his forehead to hers through the bars of the cart.
"Jim and Trusty are explaining what happened," Lady told him, holding his hands tight. "We'll get you out of here."
"And after that," he asked, looking up at her big, brown eyes.
She took his cheek in one hand and pulled him close so she could kiss him. When they pulled apart, she left his hand on his face, stroking the stubble on his chin.
"You're never leaving me again."
Butch was released almost immediately and the police came back to Lady's house to pick up the real criminal, a man who had been kidnapping babies for months. The whole family watched him get carted away, Butch included who was standing on the porch, holding Lady close.
"You're hurt," Darling exclaimed, eyeing Butch's fist. He was invited inside by Jim so they could take care of his hand. Trusty and Jock joined them, having some experience with injuries having fought in the war.
While Jock and Darling patched up Butch's fist, Jim asked Lady the one very important question that she was hoping he wouldn't ask.
"Lady where have you been? Why did you run off?"
"I've been on my own. I heard you two talking that you didn't want me here anymore. That you needed the room for your new baby."
Jim laughed and it caught Lady by surprise. What was so funny?
"We didn't mean that we wanted you to leave," Jim explained. "We meant that we needed your bed room since it's right next to ours. We needed it so that we could tend to the baby more easily."
Lady felt so mortified that she had misread the situation so badly and that she acted so rashly. Butch watched her face go from sad to embarrassed and he interjected quickly.
"See, Pigeon," he spoke up, catching her attention. "People do rash things for those they love."
Jim wrapped Lady up in his arms.
"We love you Lady, just as much as we love our own son," he told her. Lady was startled but then wrapped her arms around him, breathing in his smell and beginning to choke up.
"I missed you so much," she whispered.
"You're home now."
As soon as they separated, Jim turned his eyes to Butch who was now flexing his bandaged hand and thanking Darling and Jock.
"And what about you," he asked with a raised eyebrow. "What's your relation to my daughter?"
"Well..." Butch mumbled not quite knowing what to tell them.
"This is Butch," Lady cut in, sitting next to him and grabbing his arm lovingly. "He took care of me while I was away, kept me safe. And now..." she trailed off, meeting his eyes with all the love and warmth in the world. "We're going to get married."
The joy on Butch's face when he met Lady's face, almost as if he was in disbelief of what she said, could not be topped by anything and Jim and Darling could see that they really loved each other. Jim smiled.
"Well, then," he said joyfully, "I'll call up the family! We'll start the preparations for the wedding right away!"