Except the Dying

Except the Dying Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: Except the Dying Read Online Free PDF
Author: Maureen Jennings
Tags: Historical, Mystery
it might have taken the occupant to get out of bed, the door opened a crack. A young man stood there in his nightshirt. He was holding on to the collar of a small black and tan dog. It was hard to believe so loud a sound could come from an animal that size.
    “Is something wrong with the dog?” Murdoch bellowed.
    Before the man could answer, the animal gave a quick twist of its head and moved backwards, leaving the man holding an empty collar. In a flash, it slipped between his legs and darted off towards the kitchen.
    “Princess, stop!” the man yelled. At that moment another dog, tiny and long-haired, appeared from behind him and scampered off in pursuit, yapping excitedly.
    “Ettie, catch him!” the man shouted again.
    At the kitchen threshold, the bitch halted and began to jump up and down, barking at top volume. The little one was right behind and reared himself up on his hind legs in an attempt to mount her. His erection was bright scarlet. The hound turned her head and snapped at him over her shoulder as indifferently as if he were a fly. Not daunted, he gripped her more tightly, a difficult task as she was easily twice as tall as he was. Ettie, with Alice peering over her shoulder, burst out laughing. The young man in the nightshirt pushed past Murdoch and ran down the hall. Quickly, he snatched the tiny dog up in his arms, where he wriggled wildly, trying to get back to his pleasure.
    “Grab Princess.”
    Ettie tried to oblige but it was easier said than done; the dog was dancing round her feet, barking non-stop. She shouted to make herself heard above the din. “Does she want a bit of meat, then?”
    The dog stopped barking as if a switch had been thrown and sat down abruptly, her tongue out, tail wagging. Ettie smiled lovingly, her voice as tender as if she were addressing a beloved child. “Come on, my chick, I’ll see what I can find.”
    She went over to the pine cupboard next to the sink.
    The dog in Quinn’s arms was still yipping shrilly but Quinn smacked him smartly on the nose and he shut up, snuffling in surprise.
    “Thank God for that,” said Alice. “What a din.”
    Quinn became aware of Murdoch standing behind him and smiled disarmingly. “Sorry about all the noise.”
    “Sounded like she was being tortured.”
    “I know. It’s ’cause she has hound blood in her. Really she just wanted to get out and see if Ettie had any treats.”
    Alice scowled at that. “Dog has a better life than I do,” she said. “What a fuss.”
    Quinn was standing barefoot in the cold hall, dressed as he was, in his nightshirt, and he started to hop from one foot to the other.
    “Didn’t I hear you shout ‘Police’?” he asked Murdoch.
    “He’s a detective. Mr. Mud something. He wants to ask you some questions,” said Alice. “Hope your pot’s clean.” Her glance at Quinn was full of malice.
    “Oh? What about?” Quinn looked decidedly uneasy.
    “Let’s go to your room, and I can speak to you there,”said Murdoch. He was keen to regain some control of the situation.
    Ettie came back from the kitchen, Princess behind her.
    “Is that all you want from us?”
    “For now. But Quinn here will catch his death if he doesn’t get some clothes on.”
    The little dog was struggling wildly to get free, and suddenly Quinn thrust him into Murdoch’s arms.
    “Carry him, will you? Hold him tight.”
    Murdoch had no choice but to obey. It was a small dog but it must have weighed a good ten pounds, most of the flesh in its portly belly. The dog’s long, silky coat was caramel-coloured and smelled like violets, as if he’d recently been bathed with perfumed soap. He had a squashed-in face, long ears and bulging eyes that were nonetheless bright with intelligence. Or lust. His major aim at the moment seemed to be to get back to the bitch. Quinn caught Princess by the scruff of the neck and half dragged, half pushed her down the hall to his room. He stepped back to usher in Murdoch.
    “My humble abode, as
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