Excerpt - Game of the Blues
Now available in e-book format




The Game of the Blues * Two Tragic Thefts 
Benevolence Verses Disdain * Preacher’s Nooses
Potpourri of Pleasures *Must It Make Sense?
Full Moon Nights * Canines, Crazies, and Clowns
Broken Ambition and Hope * A Sergeant’s Challenge
Serge Make It Go Away * Who Plays By The Rules?
Rousting Out Counterfeits * Fishing for Truth
Confronting the Counterfeiters * Convictions Come Home


Tribute – To the Fallen Heros

Epilogue – How Quickly We Forget







   .....anymore. We’re here.
With the cruiser windows down, they honed in on the howling. Dan pulled to the curb in a middle class neighborhood. “Close as we’re gonna get.”

“What time is it?” Ben asked logging the arrival.

“Time for all the doggies to be asleep.”

They walked toward the howls and came to a fence at the rear of a brick four-square house. An Alaskan Malamute stood on top of a shed doghouse arguing with the moon.

“Why doesn’t this ever bother the owner?” Dan asked.

Ben shrugged his shoulders and they went around to the front door. The doorbell brought no response. “Must be broken.”

“Broke? I can hear it ring.” Dan rapped loudly with his nightstick. The lone response was renewed efforts of the dog.

“Stick must be broke too,” Ben chuckled.

Additional attempts to raise the resident only excited the dog.

“You want to tackle him while I cuff him, or do I wrestle him while you cuff him?” Dan asked.

“Sorry, I don’t do dogs! ’Sides the cuffs won’t fit.”

“Suppose, if we ask nice, he’d ‘paws’ for awhile?”

“Silly talk isn’t solving anything. What’s more, it’s close to our stake-out time. We better get the Dog Warden up here.”

“You get a hold of some secondhand weed? No Dog Warden’s gonna get out of bed without a court order.”

“If we don’t get this mutt shut up, there won’t be a stake-out. Neighbors ’ll be calling all night.”

“Well then, we might as well camp out.”

“Maybe not, you see what I see?” Ben said referring to a patrol car approaching.

“Bet it’s the Ghost Rider.”

“Shame on him ’cause he’ll inherit the howlin’ hound.”

They walked back to meet the car at the sidewalk. The vehicle pulled to the curb, and Gary stepped out. “I heard the run. Stayed off the air to see what you had.”

“Well Gary,” Dan said, “Thanks to you, we don’t have anything. You do. It’s your beat.”

“Is that it?” Gary asked, hearing the howling.

“He’s mean, with big nasty fangs,” Ben said. “Good luck on shutting him up. We’ll be goin’.”

“Nooo problem. Got just the thing.” Using his flashlight Gary searched through his war bag perking Dan and Ben’s curiosity. “I know it’s in here. Know I got some.” Dan and Ben waited patiently for his secret weapon. After several minutes Gary set the hook. “Found it!” He closed the door and started toward the dog carrying nothing but a flashlight.

“What?” Dan exclaimed, “That’s your big secret? You gonna hypnotize it with a flashlight?”

“I gotta see this,” Ben said. “Change your name to dog charmer.”

“Oh no,” Gary replied, “I got these.” He turned opening his hand revealing a small pill canister. “Dog-gone-doggie-downers. You mean THE DUO doesn’t have any in their war bag?”

“How you planning on stuffing them down his throat?” Dan scoffed.

Ben laughed. “He’ll take your hand off!”

“No problem. I have PBJs leftovers from Box Town,” Gary said.

“That’ll do. Pooches love peanut butter,” Dan noted.

“Take notes, Dan,” Ben suggested. “Gary’s writing a new page in the Procedure Manual.”

Taking a sandwich and peeling back the top layer, Gary laid three capsules on the peanut butter. “That’ll do it. Maybe, one more.”

“You still got to feed it to him!” Ben reminded.

Ordinarily, they’d let the dog howl, and have Day Shift contact the owner. However, Gary saw a chance to get one up on his companions. The sandwich assembled, they all walked back to the fence.

Dan called the animal, “Here doggie, doggie, here boy.”

He stopped barking and glared. Gary launched the Mickey. The dog charged off his house to investigate, and was snapped back at the end of a chain.

“Just great! We’re short.” Gary said.

“What you mean, WE, Kemo-Sobie? You made the pitch,” Dan said.

“My toss ain’t short! The chain’s not regulation length.”

“Regulation length, doggie-poo!”

“Should have known. White boys can’t shoot,” Ben said. “Here, I’ll give you a boost over the fence.”

All this activity renewed the frenzied howling.

“I’m not getting that close! ’Sides, the chain doesn’t look very strong. You go. You have longer arms.”

“What’s longer arms got to do with it?”

“You don’t have to get as close.”

“I don’t do dogs!”

Gary looked at Dan hoping he’d have a better suggestion.

“Let’s review, uh, your beat, your idea, your Mickey Finn, your pitiful pitch,” Dan said raising a finger with each ‘your’. “Use your stick. Shove it over to him.”

“Yeah, remember your training. It’s an extension of your arm,” Ben chuckled. “Let me give you a boost.” Ben again made a stirrup with his hands.

“Come on! GO! Or, forget it. We got a stake-out to get to,” Dan urged.

Gary conceded reluctantly. Half way to the bait, the dog realized his domain was invaded. He became furious and strained against the chain. Howls became fierce snarls and growls. Stalactite fangs caused Gary to hesitate.

“It’s further back to the fence than the bait,” Dan encouraged. “A couple more steps!”

Gary’s nightstick nudged the bait into range. Jaws clamped around the stick and a fierce tug of war ensued.

“Let go of the stick you demon dog!” Gary screamed yanking with both hands. “Nooo! Release beast!—Release!”

The dog snapped at the stick for a better bite and it jerked loose. The sudden lack of resistance sent Gary sprawling backwards into the fence. The hound dispatched the sandwich in gulps. While he licked peanut butter, Gary clambered over the fence.

As they retreated, Dan noticed a robed man standing on the porch next door. Just walk away. Don’t even look at him. But, he saw the circus! Ignoring him might make it worse. The man motioned for them to come closer. Swell, no escape.

Gary also saw the man and went to the porch, “Are you the one who called?”
    “Officer, this goes on....
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