old rule about dogs running wild."
but that was before telephones. You ever see Tony running on your place, don't
shoot him, just give me a call, O.K.?"
Darvey is sharp.
Hollywood competitor, smiles a lot. Humor the old gaffer along, but show your
teeth just enough.
With me it is too
much. He likes his poodle, but I liked my sheep, too.
"Have a good
one, Harry," he says as I climb into the truck. He hustles to his house
holding his pencil like a scalpel, hurrying back to heal a cancerous
I sniff the sheep
smell wiped off the face of the big, lumbering poodle. True-blue Tony, probably
got an A plus in obedience school
yards, another driveway. This one lettered in hammered black iron: PATTIMAR.
Margaret is dominant, Patti the pale invisible presence in the corner.
out into the yard to quiet her two Afghans—long-limbed, silken-haired dogs, too
exotic for brush and ticks and foxtails: richly colored, supple, showy animals.
They ought to win blue ribbons. Patti stays inside the concrete block walls,
but she is listening at a tall, narrow window of the sunless house.
Margaret is a
blunt barrel, built about like Darvey.
When I try to
tell her my errand, she steps up close with a challenging hostility. I don't
feel hostile. I'm trying to save her dogs, but by now I can guess how it will
go. I hate it already.