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   Chapter 20 No.20

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 5737

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:01


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The Herr Doktor had a pet dog. It was a rather thin looking, tired little dog for its twenty years – but then, having had to develop a keen sense of danger had taken its toll. This dog had given his best advice to all the pets the good Doktor had brought home, in the best, most direct way possible – that is, if dogs could actually give advice. "Listen kid, " He would say in Dog-ese (whatever frequency that was on) "You wanna stay alive and in one piece? You wanna stay alive as long as me? Then take my advice – Don't sleep. Sleeping at all is inviting trouble. Sleeping deep could be terminal. Turning your back on the Master's experiments is courting disaster…"

Vluffy happened to sense something rather unpleasant yet indefinable about Mr Xyl. There was something strange about his eyes for a start – and what was with that spoon anyway…? Sitting on the rather frazzled and worn aubergine carpet, Vluffy licked his short whiskers, warily watching the uninvited guest as he emerged from the steamy bathroom. The dog thought the man was strange looking to begin with. What emerged from the bathroom, in clothes borrowed from the Herr Doctors wardrobe, was a lot more normal looking. Gone was the smoky, pungent apparition. Gone were the blackened ragged clothes. Gone also, was the teaspoon. Even his black hair was neatly combed and gelled. His teeth glittered white and sparkling, like a fella from a toothpaste advert. He even smelled nice – well, for a human anyway. But dogs – especially dogs that had to be continually ready to run for cover at short notice, and wore a flameproof doggie jacket like a second skin, develop a keen sense of danger. Unless they're the more stupid variety of dog – whi

e more a case of what can I do for you?"

* * *

Gary Beck had spent two hours diligently following the surprisingly clear trail of black footprints through the city. The fact that they went all the way up one side of a lamp post and down the other side hadn't improved his feelings about this case any. Having to borrow a boat to follow the part of the trail that led across the Bay on the underside of Bottlenose Bridge didn't help much either. And the handful of confused looking fishermen he encountered on the pebbly beach around the base of one of the giant pillars that supported the bridge was just unsettling. They were just sitting in stunned silence in their fold-up chairs, staring glassy-eyed into the turquoise waves breaking gently at their feet.

And then there was Albrecht, who was very clearly traumatized by his encounter with Xyl. He was sitting at one of the small round tables at the front of his shop, under a sun umbrella – hands trembling and looking like the planet was resting on his shoulders. He kept babbling on about 'two cups of Hot Stuff Blend (not ONE, but TWO)!!' to a paramedic who was examining him.

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