December 18, 1909


Master Lives on the Money Earned
by Pet He Bought for Price of
a Drink Eighteen Years
Ago in Paris.

Pilu is a ragged little black-and-white dog, an Irish terrier, blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. He is eighteen years old. He was purchased from a drunken Englishman in Paris for a drink of whisky. Sig. D. Ancilotti bought him at this low price when Pilu was a clumsy little puppy and little did the purchaser know then that he was making his whole fortune out of his kindly impulse to take a fluffy, whining cur from a drunkard. But he was.

Pilu today earns more money than a dozen laborers working ten hours a day could earn. Pilu is the only mind-reading dog in the world and the large audiences that are frequenting the Orpheum this week are being boggled by the truly marvelous feats performed by the canine. The act is an absolute novelty to vaudeville and is so entertaining that the animal and its master are invariably fatigued ere they finish answering the repeated encores.

Pilu performs his tricks with the aid of a low, horizontal bar on which are hung a series of cards numbered from one to ten. A fence of green cord is strung around the poles and inside this fence, up and down the length of the pole, the dog mind-reader walks stiffly and tells you what you are thinking about.

Pilu is very fat and has a stub of a tail which wiggles as he walks. Now and then he looks at Ancilotti and smiles, slipping out a great length of pink tongue with a knowing leer.


Pilu tells how many babies there are in the family of the police headquarters man and he gives the ages of several persons in the audience.

Last night this wonderful dog attempted a new one when some football fan asked Ancilotti if his pet could remember the final score of the Missouri-Kansas football game.

"Certainly," responded the master. "Pilu, what was the score of the Missouri-Kansas football game?"

Pilu cocked his head over to one side and ran out a length or two of the pink tongue, batted his blind eye and marched twice up and down the length of the pole. Then he put up his fuzzy paw and knocked down the cards thus, 1-2-6. And that, it pleasant to recollect for the Tiger, was the score of that memorable conflict on the local gridior last Thanksgiving.

M. Ancilotti protested that he had not known the score and to show his good faith, went off the stage with a number written by a spsectator and shouted over the scene:

"Allons, Pilu. Allons."

"Allons," in French, spoken to a wooly old mongrel, means, "get on your job." And, Pilu got on the job by knocking down the figures 2, 5 and 8 -- 258, which was the number that had been written by the auditor.

Of course everybody watches Ancilotti closely in the hopes of catching him giving the dog signals, but no one has yet announced a solution of the mystery as to how the animal knows what to do so unerringly.

"My dog never makes a meestake," he shouted toward the close of his act. "To show you, here is a newspaper. Now, Pilu, how many letters are there in the name of this paper?" Pilu promptly knocked down a 2 and a 0, meaning twenty. Once more the mindreading wonder was correct, for Ancilotti held a copy of The Kansas City Journal, in which title there are twenty letters.


When the show was over Pilu trotted down to his dressing room to Mme Ancilotti to be kissed and patted. He was well hugged. He ought to be. For years he has been earning the living of all three of the Ancilottis.

Sig. Ancilotti says that it required ten years of hard, persistent training to teach Pilu the science of mind-reading, but he would not intimate his method of training. He insists that the dog possesses not a dog mind, nor a human mind, but a superhuman mind and that he has no set of signals by which he aids the animal in its tests. The king of Italy shares Ancilotti's opinion as to the superhuman qualities of the dog's mind, for he has presented the shaggy little fellow with a handsome gold watch, believing that he could and should know the time of day.

Pilu will tour America until July and then will be taken to London, where he will make his farewell appearance on the stage. Old age forces an early retirement and Ancilotti already has his eyes cast wistfully on another dog with which he hopes to continue his harvest of gold.