I know I posted a story excerpt from Beyond the Ocean's Edge earlier today, but I came across something on Twitter that causes me to post another. Here we jump to the middle portion of Chapter Seven, "Auspicious Meetings" as Pierce arrives at the home of Harold Smythe. This particular passage recounts his first meeting, not with Smythe, but with the dog, Junior.
“I am here to see a Mr. Harold Smythe,” said Pierce. “I was given his name concerning possible employment while we are at peace.”
“Please come in, won’t you?” He looked at the dog, black and white, with a touch of tan and gray, one blue eye and one of brown, who watched Pierce guardedly.
“That’ll do!” he said. “Junior, that’ll do!” The dog relaxed and let Pierce enter the house.
“Whom shall I say is calling?”
“Edward Pierce, Lieutenant, Royal Navy.”
“Very well, sir. You may wait here.”
The old man led Pierce into a study. It needed a good tidying, looking comfortably used. Books were scattered about, and a tray with the remnants of light refreshment sat on a small table. The table top and other furniture had a slight layer of dust, evidence of days passed since any cleaning. Another table had maps and charts spread out in haphazard fashion.
Curious, Pierce glanced at the top map, which was of the Indian Ocean. It had several positions annotated, and he wondered at their significance. Did they have anything to do with the voyage being planned? He spotted a comfortable-looking chair and, being weary, sat down.
The dog had remained, and now Pierce saw him lying in front of the fire. Was the dog there to guard him? The dog was awake and aware, but paid him no attention.
“Junior?” Pierce said softly. The dog looked. “Junior? How are you, boy?” Hearing the voice and his name once more, the dog relaxed, wagged his tail tentatively, and approached. Junior sniffed at Pierce’s proffered hand. With another beat of his tail, he extended a paw as if to shake hands.
“How do you do, Junior?” said Pierce, who gently shook the paw. Junior looked him in the eye and smiled as only a dog can smile, and lay down contentedly under Pierce’s feet.
Tanya (top), and Tiffany, our first "Canine Kids" may have helped inspire Junior in the Stone Island Sea Stories.