In Brown’a story Rab and His Friends the narrator recalls a boyhood encounter with Rab. Rab, a faithful dog, causes the boy to make friends with his master, James Noble, a horsecart driver. Six years later, James brings his wife, Ailie, to the hospital where the narrator is now a medical student. She has breast cancer and the surgeon tells her that it must be operated the following day. James and the dog are allowed to remain nearby.
Ailie endures the operation bravely, but she dies a few days later. Shortly after her burial, James too falls ill and dies. Rab refuses to eat, it becomes hostile, and is killed by the new driver.
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