Per Ardua Ad Astra
“Maybe if I grab this rail like so,” Bernie said, “and put my other hand …” We were in Vegas, working on a missing persons case, which is our specialty at the Little Detective Agency. Bernie’s Bernie Little. I’m Chet, pure and simple. Once someone asked if Chet was a nickname for Chester. What was up with that? But the point is we were working on a missing persons case and the missing person was Astrid Jason. Also maybe her son Ray. We were outside the gate of Albie Rose’s mansion, no one answering the buzzer. Why we were here was something about Foster. If Foster was here, too, it meant he wasn’t in L.A. Because this was Vegas, right? And if he wasn’t in L.A., that meant … something important. Bernie’d been talking about that in the car on the drive. Now we had to get inside Albie’s gate. What had Bernie said? He was going to climb the gate, then open it up for me from the inside?
“Maybe it will be better if …” Bernie said. And he put his hand somewhere else, and reached as high as he could with one foot. I watched that for a while and then all of a sudden – does this ever happen to you? – I was charging around in a quick tight circle – my windup, Bernie calls it – and then racing straight at the gate, top speed. Leaping’s one of my very best things – I was the top leaper in K-9 school, although things hadn’t ended well, but no time for that now.
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