The Transcendental Detective Agency
By Bob the Dog
Transcribed by Russell Rosander
Hello. My name is Bob the Dog. I am the one and only Bob the Dog and if any other dog claims to he´s Bob the Dog he outta have his butt kicked clear up to Siberia. I have no patience for imposterism.
I am also the sole proprietor, head honcho and chief sleuth extraordinaire of the Transcendental Detective Agency the office of which is in the middle of the street infront of Hector´s Corner Bar. I´m the suave dog with the big buttery brown eyes. The other one is Lorenzo, my assistant who really doesn´t amount to much and is totally unimportant. I let him hang around because he´s such a miserable cur that I feel sorta sorry for him. I really don´t need anyone to do legwork for me, but he needed a job and he works cheap, so there you have it. Actually, even in my advanced age, I´m spry as a pup although I try not to show off.
Anyhow, I was loungin´ in the office one afternoon here in sunny Barra de Navidad thinkin´ some rather large thoughts concernin´ my exalted oneness. Having practiced zen and transcendental meditation for many years I have finally reached a state of supreme enlightenment, though being a humble dog, most people would never know it. I have tried to pass on some of my wisdom to Lorenzo, but he´s a rather dense pup and doesn´t seem to get it most of the time. I tried just the other day to explain my position on the numerical system. As far as I´m concerned, the only number worth keepin´ is the number one. All the others are just there for decoration and only confuse things. The brains of humans are so full of unnecessary facts, It´s a wonder they can think at all. Just so much clutter as far as I´m concerned. One is the only one that counts. Two, after all, is just another one and three is still another one, so why not just call them all one. He told me, “You know Bob, I don´t think you know anything about higher mathematics and algebra,”, and I said “Algebra! What do I care about some country in the Middle East!” Maybe I outta just give up on him and let him sort it all out by himself.
“You know Lorenzo,” I told him, “You´d think that after I solved the `Who stole the beach´ caper, there´d be people linin´ up out here to hire us. I have a perfect record. I´ve solved every case I´ve ever had.”
“Well, first of all, we´re dogs and second, you´ve only solved one case.”
“Lorenzo, I´m not going to undignify myself by responding to more than one point. One out of one is one hundred percent.”
“Isn´t one hundred kind of high?” he asked.
“Well what do you think all those percents add up to? The answer is one. It´s more than enough to establish myself as an expert. It´s a fantastic success rate.”
“Oh,” he said with a confused look on his face.
“People just don´t seem to realize what super-natural intuitive and deductive and transcendent powers I have. They don´t realize that I can see into the future and solve mysteries before they even happen.”
“Maybe they think it´s just too unbelievable,” Lorenzo told me.
“Unbelievable! Good grief Lorenzo! The evidence speaks for itself! Reality has nothin´ to do with logic and believability!”
“Uh huh,” said Lorenzo.
“Anyway, my intuitive powers are tellin´ me that another case is just around the corner. All we have to do is be patient and keep our eyes and ears open. Solving another one is sure to up my reputation. After all, it´s a well known fact that reality is established by repetition. For instance, I am known as the one and only Bob the Dog because everyone has repeatedly called me that for years and years. It is now an established reality.
“Do you really think someone will pay us to solve a case?” Lorenzo asked.
“Of course not. We offer a free and benevolent service. Our species has no need for money. We are mendicant Bodhisattvas, humble spiritual helpers trying to help humans become better people.”
Later that same afternoon, a man arrived in a taxi from the airport. He was from Toronto and had never been here before. His name was Tom Cavendish and a Canadian friend who had just gone home had arranged an apartment for him halfway between the Corner Bar and the bus station. The owner met him there with the key and let him through an iron gate to a staircase that led to the roof above a barbeque chicken place and the one bedroom apartment in the back. Tom paid the rent for two weeks and put his bags on the bed. It was a bit lumpy, but the rent was outrageously cheap compared to anyplace in Ontario, and he was feeling so happy to be out of the snow and into this wonderful place full of warm winter sunshine that he didn´t care if the mattress was filled with rocks. The first thing he had noticed when he got out of the cab was a scruffy lookin´ black dog that came up and looked at him with pleading eyes. He would have dinner later and see if he couldn´t bring the dog a scrap or two. Restaurants always served more than he wanted to eat anyway and it would only go to waste. He moved his suitcases into the closet and laid down to rest for an hour or so and then he planned to go out and find a nice cold cerveza.
Lorenzo and I were layin´ out in the office baskin´ while the mariachis were buskin´ and I was just about to doze off when Lorenzo let out a bark. “Lorenzo, not now. Can´t ya see that I´m meditatin´ deep meditational meditations?”
“Bark, bark, bark,” he paid me no mind. I opened my eyes and looked and saw Lorenzo crossing the intersection, and barely being missed by a turnin´ bus, as he ran barkin´straight towards a scruffy lookin´ black dog I had never seen before. The black dog backed off a little and Lorenzo turned around and came back, this time payin´ more attention to the traffic.
“Any idea who he is?” I asked.
“Nope. Don´t know and don´t care. I just want him to stay on the other side of the intersection. We have to protect our spot.”
“Lorenzo, that´s one of the most astute things I´ve ever heard you say. There may be hope for you yet. But I still think we need to know more about him. Go back over there and sniff his butt.”
“Why me?” Lorenzo asked.
“Because I´m the boss of this detective agency and I say so, that´s why. Do I have to teach you everything?”
“But he seems to be stayin´ on his side of the street.”
“Yeah, but everyone one knows it´s a known fact that this is the best side of the street and sooner or later, he´s gonna try to pirate our spot. We need to size him up a little so we know better what to expect. In fact, the only reason I let you hang out here is to take care of things like this.”
Lorenzo dutifully went back across the street and went up behind the black dog and took a whiff. The black dog spun around, barked and snapped, barely missin´ Lorenzo´s nose. He growled a deep warnin´ and barked some more while Lorenzo trotted back across the intersection.
“Well,” I asked, “Whaddya find out?”
“Stinks,” Lorenzo said, “I think maybe he´s been eatin´ out of garabage cans. His pooter smells really bad like he ate some funky tacos and he doesn´t seem a bit friendly.”
“I ´spect so. I hope none of `em hopped off onto me.”
“Then you better lay down over there a ways, but keep your eyes open. If he comes over this way, kill him.”
“Well, what´ll you be doin´.”
“I´m gonna be meditatin´ a big meditation to give you strength.”
Tom was awakened by what sounded like a dog fight outside. By the time he got up and across the roof to look down there was nothin´ to see. He decided he had rested enough to do a little exploring so he locked up the apartment and went down to the street. He headed towards the beach, a mere two blocks away and noticed that the black dog was following him at a discreet distance. He took off his flip-flops and walked along the surf line for a ways and came back. The dog was always there, but never close. Walking in the heat of the afternoon sun had made him thirsty so when he came back down his street he passed his gate and headed for the bar across the intersection. Here, the black dog held back and instead of following, went and laid down in the shade in front of his gate.
He sat at a table under an umbrella and ordered a beer from the waitress. Within´ minutes, another customer came in and sat down at the same table. He introduced himself and also ordered a beer. He was a friendly enough person who apparently had moved to Barra de Navidad seven or eight years ago. His name was Bill and he told Tom that this bar was where many of the expats and Canadian snow-birds wet their whistle. “You can always be sure of being able to have a conversation with someone in English here and it´s one of the best places in town to hear about whatever was happening in town,” he told him.
He noticed that the two dogs who seemed to take turns laying in the middle of the street never took their eyes off of him. “What´s the deal with the two dogs?” he asked Bill.
“Oh,” Bill told him, “That´s Bob the Dog and his new sidekick Lorenzo. Bob´s the older one with the brown eyes and the little red one is Lorenzo. He´s not much more than a pup. Bob´s been hangin´ around here for years and Lorenzo is sort of his protégé. Both of those crazy dogs like to lay in the middle of the street. The cars and trucks just go around them and the dogs just ignore them. It´s a wonder one of them hasn´t been hit. We used to yell at them but it never did a bit of good.”
By the time Tom was on his third beer, he had six or seven new friends. “I think I´m going to like this place,” he thought, “What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.”
Me and Lorenzo had been eyin´ the stranger the whole time in a state of hyper-vigilance. “Notice the eye patch?” I asked Lorenzo.
“Uh-huh. What about it?” Lorenzo asked.
“He´s a pirate,” I said.
“Go on! There haven´t been any pirates around here for years. The only reason they´re in any of the murals is because there were some a long time ago and everybody likes pirate stories. Sometimes people dress up like pirates in a parade or sumpthin´, but their just pretendin´.”
“Oh Lorenzo,” I said, “You´re so gullible. Just because no one´s seen one in full regalia for a long time it doesn´t mean their not real. A lotta people used to say the same thing about the mermaids, but now we know differently, don´t we.”
“Ok,” said Lorenzo, “I´ll give you the mermaids, but have you seen any pirate ships out there in the bay lately?”
“They keep them hid. If the Marinero´s saw them, they´d blast `em right outta the water. It´s prob´ly around the point or behind some rocks or in a secret cove someplace.”
“You think all this because he´s wearin´ an eye-patch?”
“Yep. Sure sign. Pirates always wear eye-patches. It´s a pirate law or sumpthin´. Look at all the pictures. They all have eye-patches.”
“Yeah, but they don´t wear flip-flops. What about them? You see any flip-flops in any of the pictures?”
“That´s just disguise. He´s tryin´ to blend in, but the eye-patch is a dead give-away.”
“(Sigh) Sure Bob.” Lorenzo got up and went over to an empty table and laid down in the shade under it.
After leaving the bar, Tom went in search of dinner. He walked down towards the malecón and saw several restaurants along the main drag that led to it. Most of the one´s along the ocean side of the street specialized in mariscos, or seafood meals snacks. He chose one that looked appealing and had a row of plastic tables and chairs with umbrellas along the beach. He picked a table and sat down and watched the sea birds cavorting in the waves and people laying on the beach watching their children play in a gentle surf. There were few people left as it was almost sunset. The sky was already changing from blue to orange and pink when the waiter approached, handed him a menu and asked if he wanted a drink. He asked for a margarita and turned to read the menu when the waiter left.
A few minutes later a rather pretty young woman with dark hair wearing short jeans and a colorful blouse entered and took a seat at the table next to his. He looked up and watched her sit down.
“Hello,” she said, “My name is Grace.”
“Hi,” he told her, “Mine´s Tom. Are you just visiting here too?”
By the time the waiter returned they were sitting at the same table. By the time their drinks arrived, her´s a glass of red wine, they were engrossed in conversation. Grace, it turned out, was from Vancouver and had been here for a month. She had been spending winter´s here for several years. Once their dinners arrived, they sampled each other´s food. He had ordered a shrimp brochette and she a pasta-seafood medly. They watched the sunset, one of the most beautiful he had seen anywhere, small wisps of purple clouds crossed the deep red of the sun.. “Look,” said Grace, “That little one looks like a pirate ship with billowy sails and it´s sinking with the sun.”
He told her once the ship and the sun had gone down, “You know, a pirate is what brought me here. I have a cousin in Toronto who gotten into tracing our family history on the internet. She discovered that I had the same name as one of my distant ancestors, an English corsair named Thomas Cavendish. I learned that he had hunted these waters for Spanish galleons taking the treasures looted from Mexico, silver, gold and pearls, to be traded in the east for spices and silk. At one point, he burned the shipyard here in Barra de Navidad or Puerto Navidad as it was called then, where they were building warships with indio slaves to protect their fleets. After reading the story, I wanted to come and see the place, so this year, when my vacation came around, I did. I have a friend whose been here before and he left me his apartment when he left.
“Wow,” said Grace. “You even look like a pirate with that eye-patch.”
“Oh that,” he said. “It´s from a lawn-mower accident when I was a kid, but since hearing about my ancestor, I kinda fancy it.”
Soon they realized they had been talking for over three hours and she suggested that they go dancing at an upstairs bar down the street a little ways called Chynna´s Back-Stage where there was live music tonight. And that´s exactly what they did.
The pirate ship shaped cloud that went down with the sun hadn´t escaped my notice either, and neither did his admission about having pirate blood. I was lurking in the shadows around the corner of the building out of sight. Normally, I would have had Lorenzo tail him but he had already taken off to wherever he goes at night, before I thought of it. I knew Grace, of course. She was a regular customer at the corner bar where she often came for breakfast or lunch. My thoughts now were, “What the heck is she doin´ with this pirate scoudrel?”
After a while, I got hungry and tired of sneakin´ around and went over to my friend, Heather the Artist´s house for a nice bowl of Gravy Train and a nap. On the way there, I thought about pirates. I must confess that I´m not opposed to the idea of piracy in general. As a youth, me and my litter-mates roamed the streets and alleys of Barra ourselves in search of booty. Dogs are piratical by nature, and if not taken care of by some benevolent human, they will always resort to roaming the town in search of tip-able garbage cans. “Hmmmm,” I thought, “Is there anything prettier than the sound of a trash can crashin´ on it´s side?” Dig a little in any empty lot around here and you´ll find our buried treasure, mostly beef and pork bones. But human pirates are a different breed. They´re idea of treasure is anything that´s glitters or gleams and is totally useless for anything except vain ornamentation. This is one area where the intelligence of a dog is obviously superior to that of a human. “Sheesh. A dog´d soon be toothless if he tried to gnaw on that stuff.”
The next morning around eleven, Tom and Grace were eatin´ breakfast at the corner bar. Me and Lorenzo were takin´ turns watchin´ them from the office in the middle of the cobbled street while the morning traffic swerved to avoid hitting us. This was the best view of everything that went on at the Corner Bar, the best place for surveillance . The trick of surveillance is to appear as disinterested as possible in everything around you while not missing a thing. Having a street center office, one learns to keep and ear or an eye open at all times. You never know when some careless, stupid driver might not see you and you´ll have to jump out of the way at the last possible second. I´ve had to do it many times.
The night before, Grace had offered to be Tom´s guide for the day, showing him the most interesting features of our little town. Today, they planned to take a water taxi tour of the lagoon and have lunch at the waterside restaurant in Colimia, on the other side. Then they would come back and relax for the rest of the afternoon and decide what to do next.
Most of what Grace knew about the history of Barra de Navidad came from the plaque on the monument at the end of the malecón. It memorialized this place as where Don Miguel de Legazpi and the navigator, Fray Andres de Urdaneta on the first expedition to the Philippine Islands in 1564. That expedition marked the beginning of trade between Asia and New Spain for the next two hundred and fifty years, the “Nao de China”. “I´m guessing that the lagoon was used as a millpond for the shipyard,” Grace said, “There must have been a lot more hardwood trees here then. Now, there are just a few of the big flowering Primavera trees scattered around in the hills. They would have made perfect building material for the ships.”
“Trade with the east had been going on for twenty years by the time my ancestor came here and burned it. Those treasure laden ships must have been a big temptation for the pirates.” Tom told her. “And weren´t they all just a bunch of pirates. The Spanish were looting and sacking the the great pre-Columbian empires that were thriving here before they came, and the British, Dutch and French were looting the ships that were taking the booty out of here. I doubt if any of them were very nice people. They were all motivated by greed.”
“But still, they must have been a colorful bunch of cutthroats.” Grace said, “The legends all give them a kinda romantic enchantment – like the swashbuckling Errol Flynn.”
“Well,” Tom said suggestively, “Barra de Navidad certainly seems to be the place for romance today.”
“Pzzzzt, Lorenzo,” I whispered.
“Yeah,” he replied.
“What´s that piece of paper stickin´ outta Grace´s purse? My eyes aren´t that good anymore.”
“How should I know. I don´t know how to read.”
“Well, what does it look like?”
“I think it´s just a tourist map.”
“A map!” I said excitedly, “Does it have any X´s on it?”
“Let me go look.” Lorenzo trotted over and Grace patted him on the head. While she was doin´ that, He peeked down and examined the folded map more closely. There were a lotta pictures of restaurants and stuff around the edges of it and a lotta words.
He trotted back and told me, “I think there are a lotta words in Spanish that have X´s in them, but I don´t know what any of them mean.”
“Ah-HAH! So that´s it,” I said. “He´s after treasure. And he´s usin´ Grace to get to it! Just despicable! Ohhh, Lorenzo, this is bad, bad, BAD!”
“Well, what if they just have the tourist map because they´re bein´ tourists?”
“Lorenzo, Lorenzo, Lorenzo. You certainly have a lot to learn about transcendental detection.”
When Grace and Tom left the bar walking down the street in the direction of the water-taxi stand, I told Lorenzo, in no uncertain terms, that it was his job to be the tail today. No more buggin´ out like he did last night. About halfway down there, Lorenzo noticed that he wasn´t the only tail. The black dog was trottin´ down the other side of the street.
I settled back down to do some meditatin´. Solving mysteries by means of transcendental intuition and detection is my specialty. But sometimes, it´s tricky business. In this particular case, I have started out with the solution which is that the pirate is guilty. Now, I have to work back to discover what the crime is. In this way, the Transcendental Detective Agency is unique. Every other sort of detective agency mistakenly approaches detection from the wrong end. No wonder they often fail. I´ve often thought that if dogs were allowed to patent methods, I would patent this one. But why bother. Someone would just pirate the idea anyway. Look at all those CD´s and movies they sell in the ten peso stores and the Thursday market. If it were known that I am the only one that uses the transcendental method of detection, it would surely become a big temptation for others.
After a while, I got tired of meditatin´ and fell asleep, then woke up later from a terrible day-mare.
I was still shaken when couple of hours later, Lorenzo returned. I immediately led him over to a shady spot to debrief him. “Well?” I asked.
“They went down to the water-taxi dock just like they said they were goin´ to do.”
“They hired a water-taxi and left.”
“Hmmm, pretty sneaky. It only took them about five minutes to shake you as their tail.”
“I´m not going to swim all over the lagoon just to follow them. There are crocodiles back there.”
“Well, what were you doin´ all that time?”
“I laid down under the dock to wait for them. The black dog was there doin´ the same thing.”
“THE BLACK DOG! You laid down with the black dog? Have you forgotten that he´s tryin´ to pirate the only spot we´ve got?”
“I think he just likes the pirate because he´s kind to him, and since that spot under the dock belongs to neither of us, we got along fine. Actually, he´s not a bad dog, as far as I can tell. We had a nice conversation.”
“Lorenzo, Lorenzo, Lorenzo. Of course he´s bad! What did he say?”
“He said Tom was nice to him and even bought him some dog food.”
“Ah-HA! Now I know their in cahoots. He´s prob´ly a spy or sumpthin´.
“Seems to me he was mostly hungry.”
“Hungry indeed,” I said, “The hunger of blind greed! Lorenzo, I´m ashamed of you. I ought to throw you outta the agency on the spot right now, but I sorta soft hearted so I´ll give you a choice. Is it going to be livin´ the good life, hangin´ out on the corner with me as your beloved teacher, or are you goin´ to fall in with the pirates and take up a life of piracy.”
“I don´t wanna be a pirate,” Lorenzo whined.
“Good. Now lay over there aways away from me. You´ve prob´ly got fleas from him. From now on, you don´t listen to anything he has to say without my permission and then, only when he doesn´t know your listening. You got it?” Pirates are well known for tellin´ lies. They´ll feed you all kinds of false information just to lead you astray. But if he thinks your not listening, he just might let something slip. Something like what exactly is the crime the pirate has committed or is about to commit. So, did Grace and the pirate ever come back to the dock?”
“Yep. And then they went to a store and bought a bottle of wine. They´re up in his apartment drinkin´ it as we speak.”
“Oh gag me!” I said, “Poor Grace!”
Grace, however at that moment, thought she was having a wonderful time. Tom, she had discovered was a very nice and charming person. Tomorrow, they planned to take the bus to La Manzania and spend the day at the beach and to see the crocodiles in the river. She laughingly wondered if they would hear the ticking of a clock coming from the belly of one of them, Captain Hook´s nemisis that had bit off his hand and swallowed an alarm clock.
She wondered how many of these little bays along the Costalegre had once hidden pirate ships waiting in ambush for the treasure laden ships of the “Nao de China”, filled with Aztec gold and silver and pearls from the oysters that grew in such abundance in the bay and lagoon. They would have used the poor indo slaves to dive for them too. They deserved no sympathy for being robbed themselves in her book.
Anyway, she was really starting to like this pirate from Toronto. She was particularly impressed by his kindness to the black street dog that now hung around his gate all the time. He told her he wanted to bring him up to his apartment but not until he was de-loused. He planned to take the dog to the vet after their trip to La Manzania. Not many tourists would show such concern and empathy for the dog. Street dogs are a dime a dozen around here.
The next day at the Corner Bar was fairly quiet. I did notice that the black dog had, at least temporarily, given up on takin´ over our spot and was spendin´ his time in front of the pirate´s gate. Lorenzo had seen Grace and the pirate gettin´ on a bus early in the mornin´. I suspected he was takin´ her to his ship, hidden in some pirate cove along the coast.
“Ya know Lorenzo, maybe if we knew what kind of treasure the pirate was after, we could help him get lucky so he would leave. If he went back to Canada, maybe he´d just freeze to death. I hear it gets real cold up there.”
“Are you sayin´ you´re givin´ up?”
“No. Of course not. I want more than ever to discover his crime and solve the case, but you know, some crimes are of little importance in a transcendental sense. They just don´t matter in the long run. I´ve prob´ly commited a few inconsequential crimes myself in my youth.”
“I thought you had told me that all pirates were murderin´ scoundrels. Don´t they all rape and pillage? Isn´t that crime enough for you?”
“True, and if he doesn´t find what he´s lookin´ for, that prob´ly exactly what´s gonna happen around here. If we knew what he was after, maybe we could avert a huge disaster.”
“Well, whaddya suppose he´s after?”
“That´s the mystery, Lorenzo. I´ve been rackin´ my brain, but so far, all I´ve come up with are things that seem too reasonable. I figure it´s gotta be sumpthin´ so unlikely that it´s gotta be true. I´ve been imaginin´ one illogical thing after another, but so far, I haven´t come up with anything that’s so incredible that it´s credible. I´m lookin´ for an answer that´s so wrong, it´s gotta be right.”
“How do you think of these things?” Lorenzo asked.
“I´m the transcendental detective.” I told him.
The next morning, Grace and the pirate were back at the Corner eating breakfast again. Grace had a plastic bag with somethin´ in it layin´ by her feet. I went over to take a sniff. Sometimes, I gotten a nice tamale that way. She patted me on the head while I looked discreetly down.
“Gadzooks!” I couldn´t believe it! There in that innocent lookin´ pink plastic bag was a collar and a leash! The terrible day-mare I´d had yesterday afternoon came crashing back into my mind! I knew what the pirate wanted!
What I had dreamt was that we were just layin´ around mindin´ our own business, when there´s a lotta noise comin´ from down the street. Then we saw them, maybe a hundred viscous cut-throat pirates was comin´ straight for us wavin´ blunderbusses and bloody cutlasses in the air. They captured us and tied everybody up. Then they proceeded to have a raucous party. They brought Hector´s rum bottle out and started pourin´ themselves big mugfulls, wavin´ them around and singin´ Ho, Ho, Ho, and yellin´ pirate words like “Avast”. They forced all the pretty waitresses to sit on their knees and kept callin´ them “wenches”. Then, the pirate from Toronto got up on a table and growled “Aaaargh!” He thrust his bloody cutlass up into the air and held out a bloody necklace of …..DOG TESTICLES! “Bring the dog´s on!” he yelled.
I, myself, was exempt because I had been de-masculated years ago by a mad scientist called a veterinarian. Their one goal in life is to turn every dog into a docile mascota. They steal our pride and and force us into humiliating servitude to their race. They dole out stingy rations of dog food, of which they have an endless supply, to keep us on the hook.
We watched in horror as they got up after payin´ for their breakfast and walked back over to the black dog in front of the gate. Grace knelt down and put the collar around the black dog´s neck and snapped on the leash. Then they led him across the street and into the veterinarian´s store.
Lorenzo came up beside me. “They got me last year,” was all he said.
A few hours later, Grace and the pirate came out of the veterinarian´s with the black dog. He looked a lot cleaner, but he was still groggy and couldn´t walk right. They carried him up the stairs. It was a pitiful sight. The pirate was carryin´ a bag of dog food. The piratical acts of the pirate didn´t surprise me, but I was deeply disappointed in Grace for her part in the whole affair. Pirates! They steal our pride, our very piracy!
After the pirate had been here for two week, spendin´ every minute of it with Grace and the black dog, I might add, a taxi pulled up in front of his gate. Grace was there holding the black dog, which they now called “Black Spot” on his leash. Among the things they loaded into the taxi, was a plastic dog carrier. They put the black dog inside the cage and then Grace and the pirate hugged each other and kissed long deep kisses. “I´ll meet you in Toronto in another month,” she told him, then he got in the cab and left. He was headed, no doubt, to the secret pirate cove where his ship was waiting to take him back to Canada where he would freeze to death.
A month later, Grace came over and said goodbye to me and Lorenzo, sayin´ that she and Tom would be back next winter.
I have new respect for the black dog. His sacrifice prob´ly saved the town from bein´ raped and pillaged by cutthroats. Were prob´ly safe now until next winter when who knows what will happen.