PAW AND ORDER: Chapter 1, Excerpt 5 (Revised)

Bernie held up the gun in a delicate kind of way between his finger and thumb. “Any objection to me confiscating this? Wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Judging from the looks on their faces, that didn’t go over too well with the bikers. They seemed to be closing in, a dude with one of those teardrop tattoos, like he was always feeling sad, draw­ing a throwing knife from behind his back.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Bernie said, his eyes on no one in particular. “I’m making a big fuss about nothing. No way such a pipsqueaky thing could be accurate. You’re probably right, but . . .” Bernie’s grip on the gun changed a bit: still kind of loose but now his finger was on the trigger. Crack went the gun, but in a very small way. Then came a clang, and the throwing knife got knocked right out of the teardrop dude’s hand and fell to the floor. “Gracious me,” Bernie said. He stared at the pink-handled gun like he was amazed, then dropped it into his pocket.

Things settled down after that. In fact, it turned out the bik­ers all had somewhere else to be. By the time the waiter appeared with our order, we had the deck to ourselves.

“Where the hell did everybody go?” the waiter said.

“No one takes time to smell the roses anymore,” Bernie told him.

Roses? None around that I knew of, and you can trust me on that kind of thing. But the smell of Ti-Pierre’s Cajun BBQ was overpowering. The waiter laid a paper plate of brisket at my feet and I have no memories from that moment until Bernie and I were back in the car.

He opened the glove box, popped the little pink-handled gun inside, which was where we normally kept the .38 Special, now on the bottom of the sea for reasons I won’t go into. Bernie cranked us up, drove out of the lot and into the crossroads, started to turn, and then stopped. He took his hands off the wheel. There was no traffic, but stopping in the middle of the road? Not our usual M.O.

Bernie looked my way. “Left is west, Chet. West and home. We’re westerners, you and me.” I was just finding that out now? It sounded important. “But there’s a tide in the affairs of men.” This was getting complicated. I started to pant a bit. Bernie’s hands settled on the wheel. “And east is Suzie.”

– And that takes us to the end of Chapter One! Pub date is tomorrow. Chapter Two awaits. Spence will be at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale tomorrow night.



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59 Responses to “PAW AND ORDER: Chapter 1, Excerpt 5 (Revised)”

  1. Herd of Hounds
    8:06 am on August 4th, 2014

    Good morning, everyone! Wowser, what a whiz-bang start to PAO. Safe travels to OFA as he travels to AZ to kick off the annual “Grand Tour”. Can hardly wait for mom’s PAO to arrive tomorrow 🙂
    G-son is supposed to leave Sat. or Sun. no news yet but we are doing lots of activities this week (mom is sleeping for a week when he goes).
    Have a mindful (or mind full) Monday.

  2. Diane C.
    8:24 am on August 4th, 2014

    Good morning HOH et al–What a great opening scene, and what a good start to what promises to be a busy day! Have a wonderful and safe Monday, all.
    HOH–Remind your Mom to pace herself…

  3. Billy's Buddy
    8:44 am on August 4th, 2014

    Good morning to HOH and Diane and everyone.

    A great action-packed first chapter!

    Staff, the quilt top is gorgeous. You are extremely creative and talented.

    Have a wonderful day. We will be inside much of the day — hot and humid in Wisconsin.

  4. Barb & Maggie
    9:41 am on August 4th, 2014

    Good morning. Does everyone agree that Bernie is going to turn left? Don’t think we need a Spoiler Alert on that one!

    Diane, We do agree with you that a movie with Chet and Bernie would be difficult. We think it should just remain in book form where it is perfection.

    HOH, Where is g-son from? Did you tell us already?

    Busy day here too. Much running around to get ready for reunion starting Thursday. Something almost unheard of around here – Barb is getting a mani-pedi. We four-leggeds get our nails done, but Barb almost never. She says it is a special treat.

  5. Herd of Hounds
    9:41 am on August 4th, 2014

    During the Montague/Carpenter Memorial, mom watched lots of the River Bear videos and the “Elliesaurus” came to mind when she saw this. We chuckled, too.

  6. Herd of Hounds
    9:43 am on August 4th, 2014

    B&M, he is from the OC in So Cal…mom’s old, old, old stomping grounds.

  7. Barb & Maggie
    9:43 am on August 4th, 2014

    Sorry, we meant right. Duh!

  8. Mollypop's Mom
    9:50 am on August 4th, 2014

    Staff, your butterfly quilt is beautiful – as are all of your quilts.

  9. B.Stover
    10:07 am on August 4th, 2014

    What a great first chapter! (“I was just finding that out now?” LOL!) I’d forgotten the origin of the “tide in the affairs of men” reference so had to look it up. (Shakespeare’ Julius Caesar.)

    Good morning all.

  10. Wose-the small and meek
    10:15 am on August 4th, 2014


    Yay! Paw and Order tomorrow!

    Belle Starr: You tell your Pixie that Washington, DC is a hop, skip, and a paw hop to you, you, you! I really would like for Grizz to consider Alaska for jobs. He asked me want job would I get there. I told him the best one—working for Snowhook. You would always be the center of attention, always have tummies, hugs, and kisses! My therapist asked me recently what my ideal job would be, and I said working at Snowhook, oh yes I did! AND I would work for free!
    The love from all youse would be my payment! The THIEVES could show me the proper way to give fishheads, and Mama Luna would always guide me with a firm, but loving paw.

    And thank you for all your prayers. I woke up to more sparkles on my pillow!

  11. Wose-the small and meek
    10:16 am on August 4th, 2014

    HRH, B: An interesting and animated GOOGLE DOODLE today.

  12. Riö -The Evil Pug
    10:20 am on August 4th, 2014


  13. Teddy Ruff Rider
    10:22 am on August 4th, 2014

    Dad is reading Paw and Order out loud to mom and me. It is really exciting so far.

    Me and my gal Zeta had a great play date at Black Rock State Park on Saturday. I am working on her swimming skills and mine too. Some photos follow:

  14. Teddy Ruff Rider
    10:25 am on August 4th, 2014

    And this is me swimming. I love, love, love to swim! (sorry SiberH).

  15. Teddy Ruff Rider
    10:26 am on August 4th, 2014

    And after a vigorous play date, it is necessary to rest a bit in the car on the way home.

  16. B.Stover
    10:29 am on August 4th, 2014

    Thank you Rose. It’s one of the best Google Doodles. I used to love doing Venn diagrams (in logic class as an undergrad).

  17. B.Stover
    10:32 am on August 4th, 2014

    Love the pictures Teddy RR, especially the one of you and Zeta “resting.”

  18. Barb & Maggie
    10:52 am on August 4th, 2014

    Those are some tired out puppy dogs! Being a Golden, we are not surprised that Teddy likes to swim. Being a Sibe, not surprised that Zeta does not!

    Thank you Bee for the research. That Bernie is well read.

    Off for a round of errands. BBL

  19. Diane C.
    11:24 am on August 4th, 2014

    Teddy RR–thanks for the refreshing pictures of you and Zeta–a handsome couple disporting themselves with spirit and dignity. Cool.
    B. Stover–Yeah–for some reason I thought it was MacBeth. Can you explain why the tide has to be taken “at the flood” in that particular quote?
    B and M–Yikes, a reunion! Everyone pace yourselves and enjoy the nailwork (which reminds me…)
    Rose/Wose–You’re both still on the list (and I’m envying your sparkles)
    HOH–I love the bus photo. It remonded me of times on the hwy when I’d see a semi–how to describe this–with the cab angled forward, looking like it was breaking off of the load. The husband used to refer to these as “praying” or “devout” trucks. (I tried to find a picture, but no luck so far. Just a video of Olivia wilde and Halle Berry on “embracing aging”–like they have any room to talk yet.)
    Everyone–Enjoy the day.

  20. Tupper and Gilly
    11:25 am on August 4th, 2014

    A “mind full Monday” indeed. Mama has been cleaning up lots and lots of details and to-do lists this morning. She is feeling like she has accomplished mountains of paperwork!

    Teddy – we love the picture of you and your best gal resting together. How lovely to have a good friend like that.

    It was fun to read the final lines of today’s excerpt. Those lines were finished a long time before the book was written. We remember OFA quoting those lines to us when he disclosed the plot for his next book to us at our meet-and-greet a last summer.

    Barb – we bet the family will be awestruck by the new you – slim and svelt and mani/pedied. And hopefully, holding a bunch of newly ripe tomatoes.

  21. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:54 am on August 4th, 2014

    Poison!…Hey, The Poison Pen will have Live Streaming of Spencer giving his talk…snort!….How cool is that?

  22. B.Stover
    11:57 am on August 4th, 2014

    Diane: In the “taken at the flood” remark, Brutus is telling Cassius that they have to act while they have a chance to win. Here’s a link with an explanation:

  23. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:58 am on August 4th, 2014

    Time!…So when it is 7:00 in Arizona, what time is it everywhere else?…sniff!…If I remember correctly Arizona does not go on DayLight Savings time…grunt!

  24. B.Stover
    12:12 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Rio: In Arizona it is currently 9:12 AM. Here is what I found online:

    “Arizona is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to observing daylight saving time in the United States. Most parts of the state, except the Navajo Nation community, observe Mountain Standard Time (MST) all year long.”

  25. Siber-H
    12:14 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Rio, 6:00 our time for Spencer.

    Teddy, Thank you for the pictures. Love the one of you and Zeta resting.

  26. B.Stover
    12:17 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Isn’t 7PM Arizona time 10PM Eastern Daylight Time? I’m confused….

  27. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:18 pm on August 4th, 2014

    SiberH!…I think it will be 8:00pm our time…sniff!…As we leaped forward an hour…grumble!

  28. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:21 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Spencer!…Let’s all hope Spencer sets his watch when he gets to AZ…heh!heh!

  29. Siber-H
    12:22 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Oh Dog, I think you are right, Rio. I counted my toenails in the wrong direction

    HOH, The bus picture is funny…looks like somewhere in Europe.

  30. B.Stover
    12:32 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Rio: Do you have a link to the Poison Pen site?

  31. Siber-H
    12:39 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Stover, Just google Poison Pen Bookstore. It comes right up.

    BBL Mom has to drive a neighbor for some dental work.

  32. Wose-the small and meek
    12:56 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Barb, You go, girl! Bring It!

    Teddy, I love the pictures of you and Zeta. You are such a good swimmer, and a real gentleman to let Zeta use you as a pillow.

    Thanks HRH, B for explaining the GOOGLE DOODLE.

    It is hot here in Westchester.

  33. Staff
    1:28 pm on August 4th, 2014

    If you choose Transport and Thrives In Cold on the Venn Diagram it comes up with a Zamboni.

    Where is the Dog sled choice????? humph!

  34. B.Stover
    1:48 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Thanks Siber-H.

    The Google team that created today’s Doodle posted that they used “logic and silliness.” What a great combination!

  35. B.Stover
    1:52 pm on August 4th, 2014

    I had to look up Zamboni–an ice resurfacer. A dog sled would have been neat.

  36. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:57 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Ice-cream!…When you select Music and Thrives in Cold you get an Ice Cream Truck…snort!

  37. B.Stover
    2:13 pm on August 4th, 2014

    For anyone is interested: In logic a Venn diagram illustrates the validity of a categorical syllogism. The standard example is:

    A. All men are mortal.
    B. Socrates is a man.
    C. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

    In the Venn diagram, mortal men would be one circle and Socrates would be the other circle. When you combine them together and cross out the portions not part of the combination (the rest of “mankind” and the rest of what Socrates represents–great philosopher, etc.) you see that the syllogism is valid. (Whew! I don’t know if that’s clear or not.)

  38. Tupper and Gilly
    2:41 pm on August 4th, 2014

    All Corgis are precious.
    We are Corgis.
    Therefore we are precious.

    tee hee

  39. B.Stover
    2:46 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Excellent Tupper and Gilly…and so true!

  40. Diane C.
    2:52 pm on August 4th, 2014

    B. Stover–Thanks for the link–it makes sense if yuo think of it as a matter of momentum (I had been thinking it would be better to wait for the safety of low tide–too literal I guess.)
    I’m attaching my favorite Venn diagram (how nerdy is that?) which I think I originally found on this blog–but maybe not.

  41. Herd of Hounds
    4:10 pm on August 4th, 2014

    We now are all apple. Welcome HOH to the 21st century.

  42. B.Stover
    7:32 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Where is everyone?

  43. Staff
    7:44 pm on August 4th, 2014

    BStover we are outside. It is a lovely day here and no mosquitoes! I have been trying to clean the kitchen counters all day. Sigh. Why is it so hard to keep flat surfaces empty!


  44. B.Stover
    7:50 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Staff: It’s too hot and humid here…and raining off and on…to be outside. In my experience, flat surfaces attract clutter. I forgot to say how lovely the quilt piece is from yesterday.

  45. B.Stover
    8:16 pm on August 4th, 2014

    I received an email message from Poison Pen Bookstore about tomorrow’s signing.

  46. Herd of Hounds
    8:41 pm on August 4th, 2014

    I am trying to work the new I fone
    . Rock being helpful 🙁

  47. Barb & Maggie
    9:14 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Busy day here and then computer was off for awhile. Found out I disconnected a cord for the keyboard. Oops!

    T & G, I am happy with the weight loss so far, but I wouldn’t exactly use the adjective svelt. Pretty certain that word will never be used again to describe me. I will just be happy with healthy and mobile at my age!

  48. Barb & Maggie
    10:15 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Very quiet so think we will say good night now.

  49. Herd of Hounds
    10:51 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Got I phone today. Hope all works.

  50. Herd of Hounds
    10:59 pm on August 4th, 2014

    OK, on my own and will check i phone in the am. GAH! hope I am ok with this and the kiss for four more days. 🙂

  51. Herd of Hounds
    11:01 pm on August 4th, 2014

    KISS?…gah..kid, Kid, KID.

  52. Tupper's Mama
    11:23 pm on August 4th, 2014

    We have been busy, busy, busy all day. Our big, week long shew is coming up mid-August. We are trying to go into the show very ready and very organized.

    Stop laughing!

    Anyway, we are working on projects for the show every day. Every bit of silver jewelry has just been polished. Whew – that was a task. Next up: stripping out our van and packing it “fresh” so we know exactly what we have where.

    We usually try to get all this stuff done with just a couple of days til the show, so we are feeling very virtuous.
    And tired.
    Good night all.

  53. Thieves!
    11:31 pm on August 4th, 2014

    Virtuous? We have no idea what that feels like.

    Nighty noodles.

  54. Terri's Pal
    3:41 pm on August 5th, 2014

    What is it about the Chet and Bernie adventures? We just can’t get enough of them. “Them” refers to Terri and me. We spend the spring-summer seasons relaxing on the back deck, reading about our favorite canine detective Chet as often as we can. In the cold winter of Ontario in Canada, we wait for and wish for spring.
    Today I came across a link about the dangerously being-depleted underground aquifers that Bernie has been warning us about. Water Crunch. It’s a sad situation.

  55. Terri's Pal
    5:00 pm on August 5th, 2014

    Correction — “we” not “them” refers to Terri and her pal. Gess my mind needs a rest … on the deck.

  56. Terri's Pal
    5:01 pm on August 5th, 2014

    Correction — “we” not “them” refers to Terri and her pal. Guess my mind needs a rest … on the deck.

  57. Diane C.
    9:51 pm on August 5th, 2014

    Hello Terri’s Pal–I just came back to this page and found your post. My state also has aquifer problems, so I really relate to Bernie’s rants about water (and sometimes say similar things). Terri is a beauty. Rest is never a bad thing. Good to meet you.

  58. Terri's Pal
    2:29 pm on August 10th, 2014

    Hi Diane — I’m lucky to live in a part of Ontario where it gets quite warm in the spring; sunny quite often throughout the year. The land around here tends to be fairly wet. In my yard, the part at the back by the fence tends to be wet in the spring. It’s also hard to keep mowed since the mower doesn’t work well in damp grass and weeds. So far, our climate still has good rainfalls so the local farms produce lots of vegetables plus hay & corn for livestock. Too bad we can’t spread the rain around better so it lands in the southwest – California, Arizona, etc.

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