"Let's see here. The total for the last two months including interest and late fees will come to nine hundred and seventy-six dollars."

John pulled out his checkbook and used the corner of the glass-topped desk to write on. He wrote out the check, signed it, and tore it off. "Need two forms of ID?"

Phillip stood and took the check. "I think we can trust you on this one," he said, studying the check.

John was glad to have this all behind him. He hated getting into situations like this. It took almost every cent of Tammy's retainer, but it was worth it. After the shooting in the office yesterday, she gave him the retainer before she left. This, John explained to her, was standard procedure and it would cover his expenses while working on her case. Unlike past clients, she didn't put up a fight about it.

Phillip put the check in the file and extended his hand. John thanked him for seeing him on such short notice and promised that they would not have to meet like this again.

"You know," the lawyer said as John was turning to leave the office. "I might have a job for you."

This got John's attention.

"Ever do animals?"

John was confused. "What?"

Phillip let out a sigh. "You could be a pet detective for me. What do you say?"


"I think they did a movie about that," John remarked. He was still not quite sure if the lawyer was being serious.

"I'll take two hundred dollars off of next month's rent if you'll help me."

Now he was serious. "Sure," John said. "How hard could it me."

"Someone's dog, or more like some little beast of some sort, defecates on my lawn," the lawyer said without cracking a smile.

"You want me to find the little mongrel?"

"How hard can it be?"

John nodded, "Right. How hard can it be?"

"The thing craps right next to my mailbox. I have to see the stuff every afternoon when I get the mail. I shouldn't have to see it. Right?"


"We have laws. Most people with a have pint of good sense carry a plastic bag with them. They use a scooper."

"You want me to steak out your front yard?"

"Whatever you PIs do. Do it."

"I'll start tomorrow," John told him. He figured the conversation was over when the lawyer started intently reading something on his desk.

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