By Anne Sullivan
“Sylvia!” I screeched in horror. “Did you come into the house expressly to throw up?”
“No, boss, I came in to drink some water because I wasn’t feeling good,” she answered with a feeble wag of the tail.
“Well,” I corrected. “Feeling well.”
“Out.” I opened the door. “Right now.”
“Aw, gee whiz,” Sylvia said as she stalked out.
“One more thing.” I followed her onto the porch to avoid cleaning up the mess.
“What have I done wrong now?”
“Was it necessary to bark ALL last night?”
“If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Now, if you must put me out, kindly leave me with some paper. I’m on the fifth rewrite of Chapter One of my mystery novel and I’m almost finished.”
“You’re making good progress. That mysterious man, that editor, whoever he is, must be proud of you.”
“You think so?” Sylvia perked up, color returning to her face.
“Yes, you’ve been working very hard for the last week. I must say, I’d like to meet your mystery editor friend. Have you seen him lately?”
“Oh, yes, he comes by every day.”
“How come I’ve never seen him?”
“I couldn’t say. He always seems to drop in when you’ve gone to the Post Office.”
“Have you found out what his name is yet?”
“He said I could call him Max.”
“Max? I don’t know anybody called Max. As a matter of fact, I’ve never known anyone named Max. Does he live around here?”
“I really don’t know but I don’t think so. He doesn’t dress like anyone from here. But, guess what? He said I was beginning to understand the art of writing.”
“That must have cheered you up, Sylvia. It’s a nice compliment. Would you permit me to read the latest rewrite of your first chapter?”
“Certainly, boss. I just happen to have a copy right here in my doghouse.”
And this is what she wrote:
‘The cat and I watched as the body swung in the wind. A rope attached the body to a ponderosa branch.
“Who do you think that is?” Fatso, the Cat Detective asked.
“He has the look of a spy,” I, Veronica O’Leary, Dog Detective, answered.
“No doubt you are correct. You always are,” remarked Fatso, somewhat of a
sycophant. “But what was he doing here?”
“That’s what we must discover, my dear Fatso. From the looks of his Italian shoes, I deduce that he has something to do with the Water Grab.”
“That’s very clever, Veronica, but how can you tell?”
“Elementary, my dear Fatso. His shoes are wet. Come, we must head out to
the San Agustin Plains.”’
“That’s ever so much better, Sylvia. I really like it. Lots of action,” I interrupted.
“You haven’t finished it,” said Sylvia. “There’s much more.”
“That’s for another time. We’re out of space.”