Triple Witch

Triple Witch by Sarah Graves Read Free Book Online

Book: Triple Witch by Sarah Graves Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Graves
Maybe he just didn’t know how hard that wine would hit him.”
    “He drank,” Ellie pointed out, “a whole bottle. He’s got to have realized that would have some impact.”
    The road narrowed and began slanting downhill. “Victor’s been pretty mellow for a while, at least since Sam was in New York with him,” I said. “He’s had things the way he wanted them. But if his intuition tells him that’s about to change—”
    “Victor has the intuition of a cinder block.”
    Which was comforting in its intent but not quite true. Victor had plenty of intuition. The trouble was, the things he intuited were always things that you did not want him knowing about.
    “I’ve got,” Ellie said, “a bad feeling about him.” Shefound the landmark she’d been looking for. “Hey, this is it.”
    Ken Mumford’s trailer was located at the back of an acre of uncleared land at the end of Toll Bridge Road, nearly to where the bridge once stood. Now the bridge—and before it, the flat barge-like ferry—were memories, the bright water moving swiftly where carts and carriages once rumbled for a penny.
    “Here goes nothing,” she said as we started bush-whacking in.
    “What do you mean?” I plucked raspberry bramble from my sleeve.
    “My understanding from Tim is that Kenny had a dog. A big,” Ellie said, “dog. It’s why he wanted us to come out here.”
    “Oh,” I said doubtfully. From what I had gathered on Crow Island, Tim’s idea of a big dog was the size of a brontosaurus.
    “That’s what Tim is mainly worried about,” Ellie went on. “Who’s going to take care of the animal.”
    Just then the animal in question hurtled from the forest at us: not big as a brontosaurus. No bigger, really, than a Buick.
    A Buick with sharp white teeth, two blazing coals for eyes, and a bark like the one you might hear on a nature program whose film has had to be retrieved from amongst the scattered bones of the cameraman, to whose memory the production is dedicated.
    I had a second to notice the width of its shoulders, the blocky head atop the thick neck. It was a German shepherd and as it hurled itself I did the only thing I could think of: I ducked.
    The dog sailed over me with a
snap
of his massive jaws, hit the brush in a skid, and whirled for another rush at me; then from somewhere up ahead came a whistle and a girl’s anxious call.
    “Cosmo, heel!”
    The only heel this monster wanted was mine, andwith my leg attached. I couldn’t see Ellie, but I hadn’t heard screaming; it was the only good thing I could think of about the situation.
    The girl’s voice, again; this time the dog paid attention. With its regal head lofty, bones as big as sledgehammers, and a coat as heavily underfluffed as fox fur, the dog was—now that it wasn’t trying to kill me—magnificent.
    “Jacobia, I’m so sorry,” Ellie managed shakily, rising from where she’d been crouched. “I didn’t know it was a
wild
dog.”
    “It’s not.” I watched it depart. “It’s a
Schutzhund
dog.”
    “I don’t care what it is. Bob Arnold can just come out here and take it to the shelter, before it hurts someone.”
    “Wait.” I caught up with Ellie. “Whoever called it, the dog obeys her. Sort of,” I added.
    Ellie looked doubtful. “What if she tells it to attack us?”
    “Well, then probably we’re dead. But she won’t, or why would she have called it off in the first place?”
    The girl hadn’t called
heel
, I realized. She’d given the dog a command in German, the language in which the dogs were trained.
    “Ellie, those dogs are amazing. The training costs a mint, but when they’re done, you’ve got the best bodyguard
and
the best companion dog in the world.”
    Ellie eyed me. “I thought you were scared of strange dogs.” But she was pushing with me through the bramble again.
    “Not of strange dogs. Just mean dogs. And I like to get it clear which kind I’m dealing with. But this dog …”
    The path broke through to a

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