A Friendly Encounter
Some humans don’t have happy faces. Lt. Stine was one of them. Others do have happy faces. Take Bernie, for example, most of the time. Or at least some of the time. Charlie has a real happy face. So does Suzie. If humans had tails, hers would be … But forget all that. What was happening now, inside the stripped-down house in Cactus Heights, was Lt. Stine turning his unhappy face on Bernie and saying, “I hate when this happens.”
“Murder?” said Bernie.
“Not so much that. What I hate is being kept in the dark.”
“I hate that, too,” Bernie said.
“The difference,” said Lt. Stine, “is that I’m the law and you aren’t.”
That was the only difference between Bernie and Lt. Stine, whatever it was they were talking about? Whoa! There were big differences between them, starting with their smells, Bernie’s being the best human smell ever, and Lt. Stine’s being just so-so, a little too much like potatoes, if you want my opinion. And then there was the happy face thing, and how about their voices? The next thing I knew I’d sidled over to Lt. Stine and was giving his leg a kind of nudge.
“Chet?” Bernie said.
“It’s all right,” said Lt. Stine, giving me a pat. “I’ve got no issue with Chet.”
My tail started wagging. Had to like Lt. Stine, unhappy face, potato smell and all.
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