Sunday is when we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since Chet refers to this scene more than once in the Chet and Bernie series, including in Up On The Woof Top, coming in October, preorderable) how about today we turn to The Dog Who Knew Too Much, an in media res beginning where Bernie is giving the keynote speech to the Great Western Private Eye Association? It would be dishonest to say Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at Market Snodsbury Grammar School in P.G. Wodehouse’s Right, Ho Jeeves, wasn’t in the back of my mind:
Was I proud of Bernie or what?
True, he’d been pretty nervous going into this gig. I can always tell when Bernie’s nervous – which hardly ever happens, and never when we’re in action – because his smell sharpens a bit, although it’s still the best human smell there is, apples, bourbon, salt and pepper; but now, up on the stage, he was doing great.
“Which, um,” he was saying, “reminds me of a joke. “Sort of. Maybe not a joke,” he went on, turning a page, “more like a – “ and at that moment the whole wad of papers somehow jumped out of his hands, all the pages gliding down in different directions.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 28th, 2023 at 7:08 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Beginnings”

  1. Wose-The Small and Meek
    9:38 am on May 28th, 2023


    Oh, Bernie…sigh.

    My two favorite C&B covers. :^)

    Create a good day!

  2. B. Stover
    10:03 am on May 28th, 2023

    This scene always makes me laugh.

    Good day to all.

  3. WTAFP
    11:39 am on May 28th, 2023

    A sweet story to share this holiday weekend. It involves young Franklin D. and his lady friend next door, Miss Abby. Ms. Abby is black lab in her senior years, so she is really not in a position to play with Franklin (when she was younger, she did play with Teddy, but that was a while ago), but they have formed a strong bond facilitated by the hole in the ground on the bottom of the fence separating the two yards. Whenever Franklin is in the back yard playing (usually chasing balls thrown by yours truly), Ms. Abby will stick her face and nose through the hole to watch, and she and Franklin will receive an occasional treat from me as well whenever she posts. Recently (about four times in the past couple of months), when we go out in the morning to play ball, there has been a toy left in front of the hole, clearly a present from Abby to Franklin, which Abby apparently pushes through the hole. She has given Franklin a ball, two stuffed toys and a chew stick, and he cherishes each of these gifts as among his favorite possessions. I don’t think I have ever seen dog behavior quite like this, but it is incredibly endearing on her part to do this. A picture of Ms. Abby below:

  4. WTAFP
    11:41 am on May 28th, 2023

    And this is the most recent present, left a couple of days ago

  5. Wose-The Small and Meek
    1:16 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Awww, Miss Abby…I love the Franklin and Abby friendship story!

  6. Thieves!
    1:48 pm on May 28th, 2023

    That Miss Abby is an class act.

  7. mlaiuppa
    7:32 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Aw, Ms Abby is so sweet. I love how she presents him with tokens of her affection. Do you ever give them a chance to be together which the fence?

    Ms Abby must be given some presents to compensate her for her generosity.

    Who wouldn’t love Franklin and want to give him gifts and tokens of affection?

    I am reminded of the play within a play in Midsummernight’s Dream with the wall and the chink, Pyramus and Thisbe.

    This was my previous dog Ramses, stupidvising the laying in of the new driveway. The excavating for the pavers lowered the ground level enough so that he could get his head under the gate. He not only wanted to watch everything that went on he also wanted to keep track of me. He was my little gentleman.

  8. WTAFP
    7:52 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Franklin and Abby do meet on occasion when both are out for walks but Franklin is just too energetic for the two of them to have a real play date. Franklin also looks out for Abby in different ways. In particular, if she is under the fence and I am still inside, Franklin will bark to let me know that she is there, so I can come out and give her a treat.

  9. WTAFP
    7:58 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Franklin and Abby have on occasion met while out for walks, but he is just too energetic for them to have a real play date. Franklin will also alert me with a bark if Miss Abby is under the fence to let me know so I can give her a treat.

  10. WTAFP
    8:00 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Sorry for the almost Double Dawson but the site was not letting me post the first one which is why I tried to rewrite it, and then went ahead and posted both of them.

  11. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    10:43 pm on May 28th, 2023

    Hole!…The ole “Head Under the Fence” trick used mainly by Labradors …snort!…Those guys are excellent spies in my professional opinion…gurgle!…What is that most recent gift? I can’t quite make it out…wheeze!

  12. mlaiuppa
    12:11 am on May 29th, 2023

    Looks like it might be a squirrel.

    Ramses was not a Lab mix, although he certainly looked it. No lab in him. He was mostly Afghan Hound and Boston Terrier plus a mutt mix. He was only 55 lbs at the most. But he certainly looked like he has Lab in him.

    Same with Diana. She looks like a Lab mix but she is mostly German Shepherd and Golden Retriever with a healthy mix if mutt. But no Lab either.

    It’s the black coloring.

    I love that Miss Abby is such a cougar and Franklin seems smitten. Hopefully in a year or two when he isn’t so rambunctious they will be able to have some calmer play dates where they can just hang out and be together.

    You know wha they would both enjoy, with the permission of both owners? There is a clear plastic half bubble porthole you can install in a fence to allow your dog to look at what is going on on the other side. It would be fun to install one on each side so Abby could look into Franklin’s yard when he is there and Franklin can look into Abby’s yard when she is there.

    There is the Expawlorer (2 pack for $64), Pupteck and one with air holes so they can bark at each other. I’ve actually considered one for the alley fence in the hopes it would stop Diana’s barking. I still might do it.

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