Third Sentence Thursday – Is there a dog at all?

The Case of the Howling Dog by Erle Stanley Gardner

p. 52: “He pounded on the panels of the door with his knuckles, and received no answer.”

Perry Mason is trying to locate his client – but nobody’s home at the client’s house except his housekeeper. She’s deaf. Will anyone ever answer the door?

Mason has been doing his best for his new client, Arthur Cartwright. Mr. Cartwright insists that his next door neighbor Clinton Foley trained his dog to howl just to torment Arthur, as well as poor sick Mrs. Foley. He wants the police to put a stop to the howling, but he’s afraid that Clinton Foley will take revenge on him.

Oh, and just in case anything happens to him, Cartwright wants Mason to help him make a cast-iron will leaving everything he has to Mrs. Foley.

Mason calls on an assistant district attorney – who owes him a favor – to start slow with an official letter to Foley. (That proves that this is a very early story; later in the series, nobody in the district attorney’s office would ever admit they owe Mason anything.) Next thing you know, Foley is accusing Cartwright of being a homicidal maniac and offering witnesses who will testify that the dog has never ever howled since it was a puppy. And Cartwright has disappeared.

And so has Mrs. Foley.

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