He was damned dapper.
After the demi-god’s destruction, we had a few quiet days. Not so quiet as to allow the dogs of Deus Canum to leave, but quiet enough so that we didn’t have to worry about an attack on the farm.
As our fourth day of relative peace began, sounds of fighting rolled across the lake and made their way to me. I’d no sooner finished my second cup of coffee and was considering where to hunt next when a knock sounded at the back door. When I opened it, I found Edgar there, preening beneath his right wing and glancing over at me.
“Bit of a curiosity, Duncan,” the raven stated.
The sentence took me aback. “A curiosity?”
The bird nodded. “We checked on the gunfire, turns out it’s, well, it’s difficult to explain.”
Now, I’ve never seen him at a lack for words. Nor did I ever expect to.
“I’ll confess,” I told him, “you’ve piqued my curiosity, Edgar. What’s going on?”
“You’ve a guest,” the bird answered. “He’ll be here shortly.”
The barking of dogs distracted me, and as I turned to look, I saw a pair of hounds come bounding in from a lake trail. Their tales whipped back and forth, and their tongues lolled out of their mouths. I was about to ask what in the hell was going on when the answer stepped out after them.
He was a big dog. Not as tall or as thick as Brutus, but he was close in height. He wore a three-piece suit with a top hat and a beautiful jaeger pipe clutched between his teeth. When he reached me, the dog offered a low bow.
“Mr. Blood,” the dog greeted. “I am Lord Erasmus, and I am afraid our ship ran aground passing through the lake. As I am sure. You heard there is a bit of gunplay right now.”
“I heard it.”
The dog smiled, and the pipe danced in his mouth. “We seem to have run into a small platoon of soldiers, ostensibly under the command of your mother, and they opened fire. We should make short work of them. I was sent along to apologize and to ask might we have the dead?”
“By all means. Enjoy it.”
Lord Erasmus bowed again. “Many thanks, Mr. Blood.”
As the dog took his leave, I was left with one question.
How in the hell did that pipe stay in his mouth?