Posts Tagged ‘Monks of New Skete’

Borders

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July 27th, 2011 Posted 8:03 am

“No more Borders,” says Spence.

“Not good,” says Admin. “Remember that Q and A they did with Bernie?”

Borders: Having read Dog On It, I have the feeling we may not get much out of you in this interview.

Bernie: Oh?

Borders: This is just an impression – by the way, are you armed right now?

Bernie: I’d rather not say.

Borders: Just an impression, and no offense, but would it be fair to say that your approach to people is guarded?

Bernie: Fair to whom?

Borders: Good point. But what I’m leading to is the idea that the only being you really open up to is your dog Chet.

Bernie: I don’t think of him as my dog.

Borders: How do you think of him?

Bernie: We’re partners, Chet and I.

Borders: In the Little Detective Agency?

Bernie: That’s part of it.

Borders: Tell us about the Agency – how you got started, what kind of cases you take on, the highs and lows.

Bernie: I worked in law enforcement here in the Valley after I got out of the Army, and after a few years went out on my own.

Borders: You’re a graduate of West Point?

Bernie: Yes.

Borders: And you played baseball there?

Bernie: Uh-huh.

Borders: What position?

Bernie: Pitcher.

Borders: Did you harbor any dreams of playing in the Majors?

Bernie: Not realistic ones.

Borders: I understand you fought in Desert Storm. What can you tell us about that?

Bernie: I came back in one piece.

Borders: Let’s get to Chet. I take it you first encountered him on that notorious final day of his at K-9 school.

Bernie: Notorious?

Borders: The day Chet flunked out of the program. Perhaps we can say “eventful.”

Bernie: All right.

Borders: What were the circumstances?

Bernie: I just happened to be there, as a guest of Lt. Stine of the Valley PD.

Borders: A close reading of Dog On It suggests that a cat and blood were involved in Chet’s failure.

Bernie: I wouldn’t use the word “failure.”

Borders: But were a cat and blood part of the story?

Bernie: I couldn’t say for sure. It all happened very fast.

Borders: And you took Chet home that night?

Bernie: Yes.

Borders: You were married at the time. Reading between the lines, it’s my impression that your then-wife Leda didn’t bond quite so closely with Chet as you did.

Bernie: Now you’re getting into personal territory.

Borders: This is a promotional-type interview, after all.

Bernie: Maybe for you.

Borders: Uh, could you talk about your finances a bit? It’s repeatedly suggested in Dog On It that they’re “a mess.”

Bernie: We’re doing all right.

Borders: But what about the problem of those private school tuition payments you’re obligated to pay for your son Charlie even though you’re not the custodial –

Bernie (interrupting): Nothing about my son is a problem – and he’s off-limits for the purposes of this discussion.

Borders: No need to get up, Mr. Little. That’s better. Mind if I ask you your height and weight?

Bernie: six-two, two-oh-five.

Borders: And you seem to keep yourself in pretty good shape.

Bernie: Not really.

Borders: I’d imagine Chet’s in good shape, too.

Bernie: The best.

Borders: What makes him such a good detective? His hearing? Smelling ability? Strength? Endurance?

Bernie: Chet understands people. That what makes him such a good detective.

Borders: What’s the best thing about your job?

Bernie: Solving cases, missing children’s cases especially, when we bring them back safe.

Borders: And the worst?

Bernie: Seeing what some people will do to other people.

Borders: You seem to have taught Chet many things. He can open certain kinds of doorknobs, for example, and find buried evidence.

Bernie: Chet picks up some things pretty easily. But what I’ve taught him doesn’t compare to what he’s taught me.

Borders: Oh? Like what?

Bernie: The most important thing Chet taught me – and it’s something I’m still working on – is to get everything you can out of life. But that’s him barking outside. Nice meeting you.

CD’s Bernie is currently listening to:

Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday (Bernie gets the feeling that Chet especially enjoys Roy Eldridge’s trumpet solos.)

The Steeldrivers

When I Stop Dreaming: The Best of the Louvin Brothers

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music: Ray Charles

Gently Weeps: Jake Shimabukuro (Bernie plays the ukulele a bit himself, but not like this.)

Books on Bernie’s bedside table:

Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, by Douglas L. Wilson

Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West, by Hampton Sides

How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners, by the Monks of New Skete

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