More Birds (From Thereby Hangs A Tail)

What was I supposed to do now? Her eyes were open, at least the one that I could see: the moon gleamed in it, a tiny curve of silver light. I waited for some idea, and one came to me pretty quick: why not pick her up again and carry her? No other ideas seemed to be out there, but I hesitated. Not that I was too tired for the job or anything like that; in fact, I felt strong and peppy, especially now that the air had cooled. There must have been some other reason. I was kicking around a few possibilities about what they could be, as Bernie liked to say, although in fact I had no possibilities in mind, so was actually kicking around nothing, and as for kicking, a ball, for example, I’d never done that except by accident … I lost the thread and a moment or so later saw that Princess was shivering.

I stood over her. The wind rose, sharp and cool, maybe even cold. Not cold to me, but to Princess, for sure. Her big dark eye, the one I could see, didn’t seem to be looking at anything in particular. She didn’t make a sound, just kept shivering. I lay on the ground and curled up around her.

The moon moved across the sky. Once a big bird – maybe that same bird that had tracked us during the day – flew across it. The moon, I’m talking about. A very strange sight, the way the bird shape appeared out of nowhere on the moon and then vanished. Princess wriggled closer against me. The shivering stopped. I could feel the beat of her tiny heart.


Tags: ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 at 9:48 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.

62 Responses to “More Birds (From Thereby Hangs A Tail)”

  1. dawson
    5:03 am on March 27th, 2010

    Chet: I'm very proud of you for keeping Princess warm through the night. Hey! Remember Cap't Crunch?

    AbbieKitty: Give us some credit – we are way better than the Dortmunder regulars at research (referring to your late night post). Those Donald Westlake books are some of my all time favs.

    On the 12 hour shifts this weekend so will get to read some Thereby Hangs a Tail to the inmates… I mean residents.

  2. B. Stover
    5:13 am on March 27th, 2010

    Chet, the way you took care of Princess is one of the best parts of THAT.

    Rio: I think you were asking about Yevno Azef in yesterday's blog. Here is the Wikipedia site on him:

  3. AbbietheKitty
    5:19 am on March 27th, 2010

    OK Dawson,

    You are right. The 'regulars' at the Amsterdam are clueless for sure, and we have some clued in people …er creatures, on this list.

  4. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:38 am on March 27th, 2010

    Buzzard!… That big bird was a buzzard flying around up there, wasn’t it?…snort!… Chet mentioned it earlier in the day I think… grunt!… I loved this part of the book very much….wheeze!… A friend of ours and her Red Setter is reading this part right now….snicker!… Every time she seems me she says “Chet says Hi”…. gasp!…If she only knew…heh.

  5. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:50 am on March 27th, 2010

    Wow!… that Yevno Azef was something else! (literally)…heh!… I wonder if Rebecca West aka Cicely Isabel Fairfield, hung out with Ayn Rand?… snort!

  6. B. Stover
    5:58 am on March 27th, 2010

    Rebecca West "hung out" with H.G. Wells.

  7. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:15 am on March 27th, 2010

    Stover!… Interesting…. Snort!… He was probably a lot more fun anyway.

  8. Melanie
    6:17 am on March 27th, 2010

    Rio, since you don't do anything but sit and lay around . . . I bet Chet would have had second thoughts about picking you up. I mean Princess was in her top form. In a show dog, that's a given. Not sure about you. I mean obviously you're tops in the mind department at least in planning missions.

    But even if Chet felt "strong and peppy" would he have been able to pick you up?

    Chet was such a gentledog (way better than gentleman) when Princess was involved.

  9. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:28 am on March 27th, 2010

    Hey!… Last night I saw a photo of a Pug named Chopper, he runs 3 miles a day!…snort!… He looks a lot like me only more tan colored… grump!… No amount of exercise is going to change my shape… wheeze!… Besides who wants to be carried around by their neck?… gurgle.

  10. B. Stover
    9:20 am on March 27th, 2010

    I think Rio is right: No one would want to be carried around by the neck except in dire necessity.

    Since RW had a son (Anthony West) with HG, I guess he was more fun to hang around with.

  11. Melanie
    10:04 am on March 27th, 2010

    This is interesting. You see, I didn't think that Chet picked her up by her neck. AND, I can't check it because my sister has the book.

    Can anyone out there check it?

  12. B. Stover
    10:22 am on March 27th, 2010

    Melanie: Page 111: "A problem, right away: Princess didn't stop, kept scurrying, around the next bend and beyond. I bounded forward–one full bound and part of the next one–and caught her, snatching her up once more by the scruff of the neck, as gently as I could, but the point was it had to be done, gentle or not." (Chet has spotted the "bad" cops and is trying to get Princess away before they–cops–see them.

    Page 117: "The next day, or maybe the day after. I was a bit confused, mostly on account of the dizziness. Also, and hard to believe, I was getting dragged down by the weight of Princess, dangling from my mouth. How was that possible? She weighed nothing at all."

  13. B. Stover
    10:26 am on March 27th, 2010

    Also when Chet first finds Princess (page 106) he "snatched her up by the scruff of the neck" to carry her down the stairs and out of the building.

  14. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:19 am on March 27th, 2010

    Boy!…. am I tired!… wheeze!… I’ve been out visiting old folks and eating cake…snort!… Every now and then there is a perk!… grunt!…

    Stover!… you forget, sometimes Melanie only reads every other word….snort!…so she misses a few of the important details … grunt!… but we adore her anyway [please don’t cry Melanie!]…wheeze!

  15. B. Stover
    12:42 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Melanie is wonderful! I think most of the time Princess "trotted" in the desert with Chet. He only carried her when necessary. Just before they met the hippies (page 117), when they had been wandering the desert several days, he probably carried her because she couldn't keep up with him at all by that point.

    What old folks do you visit Rio?

  16. Wookie of Chevy Chas
    12:43 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hi everyone. Sorry I've been out of circulation the last couple of days, but I was a little under the weather — it may have been a bad reaction to the peeps (the Newfs did let me have a few after their scarf-fest). Anyway, we went to a quilt show today In Lancaster, PA; I spend a lot of time going to quilt shows and quilt shops. The rarely let me in but at least I get to keep my mom company on the way there and home again.

    Rio, way to go about the recognition from Spence. You should feel really proud!!! Also, while he has a sense that something was afoot at HQ, its clear that our mission went largely undetected. Good. And I'm sure we can count on Audrey not to breathe a word.

    Thank you B/ Stover for the Amazon suggestion. My dad ordered both Oblivion and The Tutor, although it will take a few days to get here; for some reason the delivery is a bit delayed.

    Lastly, the strangest thing over the past couple of days — this weird melody keeps going through my mind. Something like . . . Mollypop, Mollypop, hey, Molly, Mollypop. . . . For the life of me I don't know where it came from though. Oh yeah, March Madness is quickly drawing to a close. My dad keeps grumbling though about busted brackets, whatever that is. I don't think I broke anything, so he can't blame me. That's all for now, until later. Your friend and comrade-in-paws, Wookie.

  17. Rio - The Evil Pug
    12:59 pm on March 27th, 2010

    First!…I have to finish this with Stover or it will nag at me….snort!… So Anthony West, son of Rebecca and H.G., went on to become a well know biographer or is it bibliographer? … sniff!… all these people are dead now, but their work lives on… gruff!… wouldn’t it be grand to just be able to read and read and read….Wheeze!… I barely have time to read the next Peter Abrahams book I started… snort!… I take it everywhere with me, but can’t seem to just find the time to sit down and really dig into it!…groan!

  18. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:07 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Next!… Cap’n Crunch!… What a hoot!… that bird was funny stuff in the first book!…snort!…the birds whole repertoire was, “Madison Rocks”, “Light my fire”, and “Make it a double”…. Ha!… when Bernie left the Chambliss house and said, “I need a drink.”… grunt!…And that dumb bird said, “Make it a double.”… I think I was hooked on Chet and Bernie right then!… snort!

  19. Mollypop
    1:08 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Rio – I have said this before and I will say it again (which of course you love to hear) that you should be a character (oh boy do you qualify as a character!) in the next Chet book.

  20. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:11 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Lastly, for now!… Wookie!… my friend, glad you are okay… snort!… Sometimes I worry about you!… grunt!… I know all the risks you take going to the Cape and seeing Audrey in your spare time…gruff!… You know, if Admin catches you, it’s the pound for your butt pal….wheeze!… So please be careful!…snorkel!

  21. Melanie
    1:21 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Thanks B.Stover and don't worry Rio, I'm not crying.

    I do read every word. And it all gets filed away.

    It's just my filing has never been very good and I also have retrieval problems.

    Just ask my children, they say I never remember anything.

    Of course, I blame it all on them.

    Also if I write something down, why should I remember it? They'll learn. . .

    Gracie is in heat. Very interesting here. She is not in a good mood. Her grandmother was like that.

  22. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:26 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hi Molly!… How are you?…snort!… What character would I play in a Chet and Bernie mystery??…. hmmmm!… I think it would have to be the Bad Guy or at least the Bad Guys best friend….snort!….But, like I’ve said before, I’d have to work with Spence…groan!… and that guys got some serious issues….grunt!

  23. Lexi
    1:29 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hey, Chet. Do you know what happened to Cap 'N' Crunch? Meg and I saw this bird on Youtube yesterday-why? I don't know- named Einstein. You should see what sounds that bird can make! Go to youtube and type in Einstein, the talking bird! It's awesome, Chet! You and Bern would love it! I think….

  24. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:35 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Stover!… We visit my friends family, all of which are very old…snort!… The grandma is in an old folks home right now…gruff!…Grandma is 91 and adores me to no end… wheeze!…So I get to go see her…Cake!… And the mom and dad are both very old also… grunt!… We had fun today though, and a lot of laughs!… gruff!

  25. Mollypop
    1:40 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Rio – I see you as the bad guy's dog. At the end of the story, however, the perp is caught and you go on to be something famous on television.

  26. LizF
    1:47 pm on March 27th, 2010

    I know this is off subject but i love Cricket's photo in the slide show! Thanks for putting her up there. Her arthritis is so bad now she can't go to the beach anymore – but it's nice to remember her scampering around there!

  27. Rio - The Evil Pug
    2:01 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Molly!… You mean like Lassie???… snort!… “Rio Come Home”…. Heh!

  28. Rio - The Evil Pug
    2:06 pm on March 27th, 2010

    LizF!… Wow!… I absolutely love the artwork on your Resume Page… Whoa!… Absolutely breath taking…wheeze!

  29. Mollypop
    2:11 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Yeah Rio – You and Lassie are so alike – NOT. If Timmie fell down the well, you'd probably be either watching TV or gone out for hot wings and beer.

    I envision something different. Maybe selling ginsu knives.

  30. Rio - The Evil Pug
    2:18 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Molly!… Send me a script… snort!… My agent, Wookie, and I will get back to you…. Grunt!

  31. Mollypop
    2:23 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Maybe at the end of the book, you go on to Animal Planet to become the host of "The Rio Show."

  32. B. Stover
    2:48 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Anthony West wrote biographies and novels.

  33. Siberian Husky
    3:24 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hi gang!! I'm late today because mom went off to a pet adoption event. I had to stay home to look after dad, but he wouldn't turn the computer on for me.

    From yesterday; Rio, yes, Molly has caught many birds. Her mom has only slowed her down by changing her dog dish. My mom thinks Molly is above average intelligence for a Siberian because of some of the stunts she pulls.

    Keep pestering your cable company, Rio, if they don't get it fixed. My mom has a total breakdown if she even thinks about having to call "technical support"

    Molly and Magpie: The way to catch a chicken is by the neck.

  34. Melanie
    3:33 pm on March 27th, 2010

    LizF, Love your work. Very cool.

    I'm trying to take a pic of all the Pack for friends of Chet. It is more difficult than you would think.

  35. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:40 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Snort!… I want to see a group photo of the Newfs for sure!… grunt!.. And I would really love to see one of Siber-H!… wheeze!… come on pal!…groan!… I’ve put myself out there for all to laugh at…snort!… It’s your turn Husky!

  36. Siberian Husky
    3:45 pm on March 27th, 2010

    I think the bird Chet saw that night was a owl and the bird he saw tracking them in the daytime was maybe a raven. Ravens will follow wolves and coyotes because the birds know there may soon be food scraps from a hunt for them. Ravens are suppose to be very smart birds. I don't know as I have never had a conversation with one.

    Chet is a hero for taking such good care of Princess, and Rio is a good boy for visiting the old folks and being nice to them, as I am sure he is.

  37. AbbietheKitty
    3:56 pm on March 27th, 2010

    That is also one of my favorite parts of THAT. I was also amazed at how much of a trooper little Princess was. We need to have it repeated occasionally that small doesn't always meant weak. Sometimes it just means small.

    Alice Johnson, 8 pounds.

  38. Siberian Husky
    4:12 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Rio; Remember, I am a low-tech husky. I don't know how to upload a photo to a website. I'm going to tell you a little secret here and, oh crap, I hope she doesn't read this, but neither does my mother. She has lots of photos of me in her camera but her technical ability ends there. Maybe I can drag the 8 year old next door in here to do it for her.

    Me too!!! I want to see a group photo of the Newfs.

    That most recent photo of you was soo cute, Rio. You were smiling.

  39. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:29 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Siber-chicken!… Just put your picture out for us to see….snort!… If your photos have been saved as a .jpg file on your computer… wheeze!… you should be able to find them once you click on the “browse” button below where you put your comments… grunt!… This will lead you to your saved documents… gasp!… Look for the .jpg file with your face and click on it… snort!….and then hit ‘Save’…gruff!… your photo will be linked to the website if the Admin Gods allow….

  40. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:30 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hmmm… Maybe the bird that tracked Chet and Princess was a Vulcher…damn!… What are those birds called that eat dead things?…snort!…

  41. Siberian Husky
    4:45 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Vultures or Buzzards, Rio. Those birds don't track or hunt. They just fly around looking for lifeforms that are already dead.

  42. Siberian Husky
    4:48 pm on March 27th, 2010

    About the photos and the computer, Rio, you lost me on the second sentence. The photos are only in mom's camera, not in the computer.

  43. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:52 pm on March 27th, 2010

    …sigh….is it a digital camera?

  44. Sam
    5:01 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hi, I'm Samantha, Mollypop's cousin. Molly thinks I'm like Princess. I weigh 6 pounds but I wish they'd give me more food. What's up with that?

    [img ] on Chair.jpg[/img]

  45. Siberian Husky
    5:01 pm on March 27th, 2010

    yes, sigh

  46. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:14 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Okay!… lets bring in the Experts!… snort!… AbbieTheKat and Alice!… grunt!… they can put up photos at the drop of a hat… AND!… they have a digital camera and they have the Know-How to upload photo’s off their camera!…

    Alice!…AbbieTheKat!… Can you walk Siber-H through the process in a Very Detailed manner?….snort!

  47. Sam
    5:17 pm on March 27th, 2010

    My cousin Sam put up a photo that is still waiting for someone to approve. Mom says I have to go to bed so I will have to wait until tomorrow.

  48. Mollypop
    5:20 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Mollypop has to go to bed and poor little Sam, who looks like Princess, has to wait. She's very tired too, lots of playing today.

  49. Mollypop
    5:22 pm on March 27th, 2010

    You may see her picture and you may not.

  50. Mollypop
    5:27 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Did admin/Balloon Butt go out tonight? Try again tomorrow.

  51. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:37 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hmmm… strange !… I hope Molly is okay…. Snort!

  52. Siberian Husky
    5:44 pm on March 27th, 2010

    I think Molly is okay. We probably made her sleepy with all our technical talk. ok, non-technical on my part. Then, there is the time difference.

  53. Siberian Husky
    5:55 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hey!! Hi Sam! You are indeed pretty close to what I think Princess looks like.

  54. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:02 pm on March 27th, 2010

    OH!… It was the Admin Time Warp that made Molly’s remarks confusing!… snort!… now we can see her cousin Sam!…grunt!… whew!… This is becoming a family affair lately!…grunt!… What with Abbie and all her kin…. Wheeze!… Now we have Molly’s cousin, Sam!… wow!

  55. Rio - The Evil Pug
    7:43 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hey Kate!… Dog Show Expert!… snort!… Why don’t you post your remark on today’s post instead of 2 days ago?? … grunt!… That way everyone can see your post?? …grumble….What the hell? … wheeze!… Any thing you want to say, say it in the ‘here and now’… so we all can see it…. Growl!… We are a close knit group here.

  56. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:00 pm on March 27th, 2010

    This!… is top secret!… sniff!… I over-heard my friend talking about getting another Pug puppy!… snort!… She saw one in the paper … crap!… She’s crazy if she thinks I’m gonna look after a pug-pup!… damn!…. Aren’t I enough for her??? Seriously.

    Gasp!…My whole life could change. This sucks big time…aaaahhh…!… Oh please Creator of all Things Great and Small, please do not let a Pug pup come into my life… wheeze!…That would be Hell On Earth. … .Amen!

  57. AbbietheKitty
    8:09 pm on March 27th, 2010


    I have been out for Pizza and bluegrass at Dulono's Pizza. Wow great stuff and the Chris Silver band live!!! WOW! WOW!!
    I will talk to you tomorrow about cameras. The bad part is you usually have to connect your camera to the computer with a cable. AND you have to have downloaded the camera's software into the computer first.

    So, did a CD come with your camera? You could email me using Abbiethekitty's gmail account. Her name at I won't say it any more clearly cause I get enough spam as it is. If you can't get that click on my blog and leave me a message. We can talk that way.


  58. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:09 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hmm!… No AbbieTheDrattedKat! Showing up….

    Goodnight all!.. A good week, this week. Don’t let anything bite and crawl into bed with you.. ugh!….See you tomorrow.. maybe!… love and kisses. Good Night. Or maybe Good Morning

  59. AbbietheKitty
    8:15 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Oh Oh Rio,

    Think what you would be like as a big brother. You would be OK with that wouldn't you? Alice Johnson is my big (although small) sister. She never really has accepted me. She jumps in any chair I want and tries to get in front of me when 'grandma' gives me treats. She takes my boxes when I want to get in them. She is hard to live with.



    PS, please be nice Rio. Life is so much easier.

    (Who am I talking to? Am I crazy here? The name is Rio the evil pug, not Rio the little angel. Abbie get a grip.)

  60. LizF
    11:36 pm on March 27th, 2010

    Hey, i thought you guys would all be in bed – i must have worked out the time difference wrong… Thank you for your kind comments about my artwork! I really appreciate it.

  61. Rose
    3:22 am on March 28th, 2010

    Chivalry is your middle name, Chet!

  62. Tweets that mention Chet The Dog : More Birds (From Thereby Hangs A Tail) --
    2:14 am on March 29th, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChetTheDog. ChetTheDog said: More Birds (From Thereby Hangs A Tail): What was I supposed to do now? Her eyes were open, at least the one that I… […]

The Books

powered by wordpress | site by michael baker digital