Rufus and the Blue Smoke.
This story leads on from these two stories and it will enhance your reading pleasure if you read them first…..
I didn’t tell her straight away.
How do you tell your mistress that her boss, the person who helps her to get the money to buy dog food, pushed someone out of a window.
I have no idea why he did it, and it probably wouldn’t help even if I did.
Dogs understand that killing is serious. We only kill to obtain food and to protect our pack.
Humans, on the other hand, seem to kill for all sorts of reasons; sometimes, even for fun.
That I will never understand.
After I found the body in the garden all hell broke loose.
Pretty soon, the house and the gardens were swarming with men in uniform.
I heard someone say that they were policeman.
I’d only met one policeman up until then.
His name was Officer Eric, and he was very kind. He worked in the police station in the village where we lived.
He knew my mistress and he saved me from the new dog catcher.
The old dog catcher knew me very well and he would scratch me behind the ears when he saw me walking by. He knew that I always went home when I was finished traveling, and he also knew that I don’t cause trouble.
The new bloke didn’t know me from Adam, or Eric, for that matter.
He grabbed me.
Now, normally I wouldn’t let anyone get that close without giving them a ‘back off’ bark, but he confused me. He smelled like the old dog catcher; he must have been wearing his uniform; that’s why he got close enough to grab me. I would have bitten the bastard, but he had this long stick with a loop of rope on the end and I couldn’t get at him.
Officer Eric must have been driving by when all this kicked off because he came over and said something to the new dog catcher.
He had to raise his voice a bit and point to his policeman’s badge but eventually the new dog catcher let me go. That was my opportunity to bite the cheeky bastard, but I thought better of it and went and sat next to Officer Eric. He gave me a pat and told me it was going to be okay. The new dog catcher gave me one of those looks, and I knew I was going to have to keep an eye on him in the future.
Officer Eric gave me a ride in his police car.
I love riding in cars.
He even turned on the siren which made me howl.
I wasn’t upset or anything, I just need to howl when I hear a siren.
Officer Eric often turns on his siren when he comes to visit, just to watch me howl. Sometimes he even joins in.
I like Officer Eric. He saved me, and one day I will get to return the favour.
Officer Eric wasn’t called to the house with the dead body but a lot of other policemen were.
They asked a lot of questions, but they didn’t sniff anyone which seemed silly to me.
It took me a little while to find the person I had sniffed when everyone came to see the body.
I’m still a bit annoyed that they would not let me keep it; I found it after all.
My mistress explained that humans don’t think like dogs, and dead bodies have to be examined [whatever that means] and then buried in the ground.
That bit I understood.
If you don’t bury stuff in the ground other dogs might come along and steal your stuff; so at least humans understand that bit.
I got to thinking about how long it would take to dig a hole big enough to bury a human in and I worked out that it would take at least half a day. That’s a lot of time, and I think that I would be very sleepy and very hungry by the time I had finished. Fortunately, they didn’t ask me to bury anyone; even though I could have if they’d asked me.
By the time that the short, chubby, French sounding gentleman with the funny moustache had gathered everyone together in the library most of the humans had changed clothes and bathed.
This made my job a lot harder; but not impossible.
On a good day, if you breathed on me after eating Spaghetti Bolognese, I could tell you what all the ingredients were, and whether or not you used enough Oregano.
I’m that good.
I thought I had narrowed it down to two people but I was hampered by not being allowed to wander around while the short French-speaking gentleman was talking. He got quite annoyed when someone called him ‘an annoying little frog’. Personally, I didn’t think that he looked like a frog at all.
I thought he looked more like a large possum but apparently he thought that he looked like ‘an annoying little Belgian’.
I’m not sure, but I think that is some sort of Hedgehog.
I was a bit confused by all this, but very soon I got my man.
I heard it before I sniffed it.
The sound was very soft.
The sort of sound that only dogs can hear.
My mistresses’ publisher farted.
My mistress calls farts ‘blue smoke’, which is silly because they don’t have a colour, but they do tell you a lot about the person, or dog, who lets one go.
Roast beef, potatoes, peas, rice pudding, and a Cuban Cigar for ‘afters’; not to mention a rather nice Port.
But it was the Cigar that gave him away.
It was the same as the smell that I picked up when I found the body.
He was the only one who smoked a cigar that night.
I remember him making a big deal out of how much they cost.
“One of these would keep you in dog biscuits for a month boy”, he said to me. I considered peeing on his shoe, but I thought better of it.
I wanted to warn my mistress, but in the end I didn’t need to.
The little Belgian shaped person actually asked me who I thought had committed the murder.
I looked at my mistress and she said, “It’s okay Rufus, you can tell him”.
So I did.
I walked over and put my paw on the publisher. He looked at me with a mixture of amusement and horror.
The small Belgian shaped person said that he agreed with me and went on talking about it for fifteen minutes after which two policemen took the publisher outside.
Amazingly, the small Belgian shaped person never once mentioned how the killer smelled.
I just don’t understand humans.
My mistress was very happy with me and we went on an extra long walk.
I thought that she might be a bit upset that her publisher was the murderer, but she said that she was happy because it meant that she didn’t have to write anymore annoying romance novels. Now she could write crime novels and her first effort would be based on this weekend.
“We are going to be able to afford the large bag of dog biscuits when my new book gets published Rufus.”
I was very pleased to hear this, but I wondered who was going to publish this book if her publisher was in Gaol.
I didn’t wonder for long because that’s not my job.
My job is to protect my mistress, and I had done my job well.
I could hardly wait to get home and tell the other dogs in our neighbourhood about our adventure.
But first there would be that delicious ride in my mistresses’ Legonda.
Only this time I had to ride in the back because the little Belgian shaped person was coming with us.
He needed a ride back to town.
I wanted to ask him what a Belgian was but it would have taken too long, so I let it go.
I wasn’t very happy sitting in the back seat, but what can you do?
By now, you probably know that Rufus has an interesting life for a small black dog. He has been on many adventures and you can find some of the here…..