RedDress, Two Wives

An excerpt from my newest novel. Edited for space. I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 1
Sarah sat in her dilapidated Volkswagen waiting for the heat to crank up, rubbing her hands together to stave off the cold. She wished now that she had worn something a little less revealing with a lot more coverage. But, hey, it was a celebration she had gone to, not a wake!
The bachelorette party had gone off with just a couple of bumps, nothing that hadn’t been salvageable. Sarah had planned it all, from the cake to the male strippers. Well, almost strippers. The fool men had left on their G-strings because of some stupid law. Oh well, she’d grinded herself against a few men throughout the night, and enjoyed every minute of it! Well, most of it.
Sarah checked her watch and realized she wouldn’t have time to change before going to work. Ugh, she knew that Grandfather would be there, raising his eyebrows at her clothes in disapproval. He was such a stickler for tradition and expected all the girls to wear potato sacks, well, at least cover themselves- properly. Sarah sighed, she knew that Grandfather was the elder Kiowa and that everyone looked up to him in the community. She just wished that he wouldn’t complain about her clothing.

‘Give the men sips of milk, they don’t need to guzzle a beverage to know it’s good.’

Grandfather had such a silly way with words, and he didn’t understand at all. She wasn’t giving men her milk, she was bar-b-queuing them. Roasting ‘em up real good! Fire lit, meat sizzling, ready for the main course… eat them alive. Well, she’d planned to- if that stupid cat hadn’t interfered.
Sarah glanced down at her seatmate. He sat there all nice and cozy without a care in the world. With a yawn Dingle curled himself into a ball, placing his paws over his eyes then snored softly. Snored!
Dumb Dingle cat!
If Sarah didn’t know better, she’d think the idiot cat had planned it. Earlier at the party, she’d had two male strippers vying for her, drinking whiskey off her belly when that foolish cat had interfered. How Dingle ended up at the bar was beyond her, but then again, Dingle turned up everywhere! It seemed as if he was part homing pigeon, diving for dangling man parts. Or a trickster, nope she wasn’t going to think that, there was no such thing. Folklore, Indian tales and Grandfather’s stories, that was it! Nothing more.
Ugh! Another night wasted with no nookie to show for it. How was she supposed to fulfill her dreams if that idiot cat was around?
Sarah shivered as the car warmed up enough to drive away from the memory of screaming men- big babies she corrected herself with an irritated groan. One last glare at Dingle, one small rise of a finger, which halted in mid-rise as she thought of the implications if he was an actual trickster. With a growl Sarah shoved down the clutch, propelling the car forward, irritated at her thoughts.

Pulling up the long drive, Sarah looked around cautiously. It was 5 am, early enough for Grandfather to be up and out with the horses. The house had an air of oldness; it was the only way to explain it; lived in, loved and old. Slowly she drove around to the back of the house near the studio and parked. Dingle perked up the minute the engine turned off and pawed at the door, demanding she open it- now. The cat jumped out and ran for the house, his dark figure disappearing into the shadowy surroundings.
“Ya, you go ahead,” Sarah yelled to the cat. “Tell Grandfather all about it!”
A pair of green glowing eyes turned toward Sarah, lit by some unknown force and winked at her. Startled, Sarah sighed, she would never get used to that weird cat.
He’s just a cat, that’s all, a pretty little black kitty and she’d had way too much whiskey.
Sarah shut the car door and gazed at the dark farm. The house had once been a part of a larger track of land, inherited by Grandfather from his Kiowa mother. Sarah didn’t know any of the details about that, but she’d often wondered how a Native American owned land in Kansas at that time. It seemed odd to her. It didn’t fit with the cowboy and Indian history she’d been taught in school. But, she’d never paid much attention to her heritage- having been born into an Anglo society. However, she’d been told that Grandfather invited her family here- and offered land for the family to settle on in order to strengthen the community.
Behind the main house was a smaller outbuilding previously used for tools. Now, however, it was Designs by Painted Girl’s studio. Sarah had started working for Painted Girl when her brother, Jack RedHorse had gone off to war in Afghanistan. Pottery, hand-painted tiles and some odd bits of woodcarvings decorated the outside proclaiming Painted Girl’s earlier work, and Grandfather’s too. Painted Girl’s business was a wonderful addition to the Native American community in Farlington, Kansas. A small community, with Benjamin NoName as the elder, protector and keeper of their heritage. Everyone called him Grandfather, as was the tradition and his right. He gathered “grandchildren” and made them members of his own family, helping them to find their inner Indian- whether they wanted to or not.
Sarah did not. She enjoyed playing the young Anglo girl, getting into trouble and whiskey nights with steamy strippers. She sighed, Grandfather would not approve.
Turning, Sarah gazed at the still house and grounds, nary a light on but for a lone glow in the studio. A door creaked in the wind, signaling Dingle’s entry into the house. Wait, Sarah thought her brain a little foggy, how does a cat open a door?
Too much whiskey… that’s how. It was just the wind… or her imagination mirrored in the shadows.
The cold began to creep up Sarah’s legs through her heels. Her bare legs shivered in the moonlight while casting odd shadows on the studio walls. The tiles shimmered in the moonlight, some tingling a quiet song. Her hands quaked from the cold, the shadows or Dingle, she didn’t know which.
A cold November wind blew her hair, whipping it around her face. Her gaze fell on the prairie stretched out beyond the hill to the dark, foreboding woods in the distance. Chirps from nearby early birds signaled the earliest light. Day would be breaking the horizon soon, but for now Stella was making her presence known.
Stella the skunk that is. Time to forget her musings and go inside and begin her day.

“Hocha! Sarah you working?” Sarah called the traditional greeting as she entered the studio. Piles of greenware were scattered in a precise pattern across the floor- begging her to catalog them for shipment.
“Hocha, Sarah, and quit calling me Sarah, Grandfather might hear you! I don’t want to listen to him telling you off again,” Painted Girl whispered. “I had my naming ceremony and you are not to use that name anymore. Just call me Painted Girl, or you could call me Vi- the traditional Kiowa endearment.”
“Fine, but I don’t understand why you let him rename you. Even though it was annoying having two girls with the same name working together.” Sarah answered. “It’s too old fashioned for me. If you’re born with a name, you should keep that name.” Sarah took off her coat and hung it neatly on a peg by the window. Pottery dotted the studio in different stages of progress heeding her steps through the shop. It was an enjoyable workplace and everyone was treated like family, which was the Kiowa way of doing things.
“It’s the tradition,” Painted Girl told her for the umpteenth time. “Kiowa are renamed when they are twenty one. I had a beautiful Naming Ceremony followed by a traditional ‘Special’ celebration. You should have a new name to honor you, it’s time for you to embrace your heritage.” Painted Girl looked at Sarah’s clothes with a start. Good Lord, Painted Girl thought why didn’t that girl change clothes before she came to work? She watched as Sarah’s dark eyes took on a menacing gaze, blazing charcoal black, daring Painted Girl to comment on her lack of covering. Grandfather will have a fit when he sees her! Painted Girl mused.
Such a pretty girl Painted Girl reflected. Sarah had the beautiful Kiowa cheekbones and long flowing hair, but she’d done something different to it recently. Highlights she called them, long gold streaks in her hair, framing her face, taking away her Kiowa identity.
“I’m glad he’s not my grandfather!” Sarah answered, then added with apprehension, “what kind of name would he give me?”
Painted Girl paused, perturbed at her first statement. “Every elder is called Grandfather as a way of respect, it is the Kiowa way. Even you call him that!”
“Ya, well,” Sarah said, “If I called him Benjamin NoName he’d have me fired!”
“He loves you, you know. He wouldn’t call you Granddaughter if he didn’t. He treats everyone like family and only wants the best for us. Look what he’s doing for your brother; they went out hunting earlier. RedHorse is learning his heritage.”
“Jack needs to get out of the house, he’s driving everyone loco!” Sarah said while placing some molds on the table, organizing the tiles. “You’d think he lost his balls, not his arm!”
“Sarah!” Painted Girl said aghast. “Don’t speak ill of your brother, Jack RedHorse is a good man. He’s just having trouble adjusting to his prosthetic. He’ll get better soon with Grandfather’s help!”
“My brother has starting talking like Grandfather. You should have heard what he said about my clothes last night!” Sarah slammed the tile down, startled at her own temper, she sighed in relief when she found no cracks on its surface.
Painted Girl looked at Sarah and for the life of her, she could not figure out what was going through Sarah’s head. She had become angry of late, changing into someone Painted Girl did not recognize.
Painted Girl sighed. Sarah needed to find herself, her father’s death had been hard on her and then her brother Jack, or RedHorse as everyone calls him, had lost his arm in Afghanistan; life was complicated to say the least.
“I’m sorry, Painted Girl,” Sarah lamented. “Things aren’t going as I expected and Dingle spooks me sometimes.” And I’ve had way too much to drink.
“What did the cat do now?”
“He showed up at the bachelorette party, of all places!”
“How’d he get there?”
“I have no idea,” Sarah began, “but he foiled my plans for a fun evening.” Sarah giggled at the memory. Sarah picked up another tile and stared at the etching. “This isn’t on the planning sheet, who’s it for?”
“Oh,” Painted Girl began, “it’s for Karen… er Little Sparrow, Sally ordered it, but keep it a secret will you?”
Secrets, everybody had a secret, Sarah just wished that she knew why everything had to stay hidden.
“How are you and my brother getting along?” Sarah asked changing the subject. Knowing that a secret here was a secret everywhere.
“RedHorse is being difficult; he thinks he’s not whole yet.”
“You’re good for Jack, he loves you, I know he does.”
“I wish I could convince him to commit himself,” Painted Girl said. “Grandfather is helping him find his path in life. Once RedHorse finds his Indian we can be together. I just hope he can find the path that leads to me.”
“Jack will find his way in life,” Sarah said, “you’re perfect for each other, you always have been.” Sarah hoped, she needed RedHorse to stay busy and focused on his own life so she could work on hers. But why he needed to find his Indian was beyond her. Everyone put too much emphasis on their Native American heritage. Embrace the future was her motto, or embrace the boys, both worked.

Sarah slugged through the early morning work and realized-too soon- that she needed to make a trip to the house. She made her way, clasping her arms around her for warmth in the cold November morning. Painted Girl’s borrowed sweater did not help dissipate the cold air, and neither did the lingering whiskey in her system. A light shone in the window, illuminating Grandfather and Dingle, who sat at the table together eating pie. She watched as Dingle grabbed a juicy strawberry from Grandfather’s pie and nibbled at it greedily. Grandfather must have finished his hunt early, Sarah realized. She had hoped to avoid Grandfather today, but nature called. There was no choice, either the woods or the house. Sarah did an about turn and went to the back, hoping to sneak into the house that way. She opened the door, hoping the cold air would not seep in alerting Grandfather and took a few cautious steps into the house, hearing voices within.
“I do not like this; I don’t like it at all.” Grandfather’s voice carried through the house.
“I would not lie to you, Grandfather,” Followed an unfamiliar voice. “I did my best to stop it and had some fun, too!”
“You didn’t hurt anyone did you?” Grandfather’s voice echoed in the stillness.
“Of course not, Grandfather, I just bounced a few balls.” Unfamiliar laughter filled the house scaring Sarah. Silently she tiptoed into the family room to get a better look. Dingle sat on the table near Grandfather, his eyes glowing that odd green. Dingle looked up, placed a paw on Grandfather’s arm and motioned toward her with his head.
“Oh, Granddaughter, I did not see you there,” Grandfather started, “Hocha.”
“Hocha, Grandfather,” Sarah stammered. “I thought I heard voices.”
“Oh.” Grandfather’s eyes grew round, and he paused, looking at Dingle. “I was talking to myself, yes, that it right, I’m old and I talk to myself.” Grandfather fidgeted, pulling his collar. “What did you hear Granddaughter?”
“Oh, nothing, just you mumbling.”
“Good, good, oh not that I mumble, I’m getting old,” Grandfather said waving his hand. “We talk to ourselves as entertainment, that’s all. What can I do for you Granddaughter?”
“I need to use the powder room.” Sarah looked at Dingle; he winked making her bump the wall. Panic cursed through for a moment before her brain made the connection-I must have drank more than I thought.

Sarah returned later and fluttered around the workshop, getting orders ready for shipping. She handled everything for Designs by Painted Girl but her specialty was sales. She had a knack for speaking with customers and convincing them to buy more of Painted Girl’s pottery, whether they wanted to or not.
Sarah sat down at the computer, pulling her long hair behind her. She enjoyed her work and was thankful that Painted Girl had given her a job. Oh, Sarah knew that in the beginning Painted Girl hired her because she was RedHorse’s sister. Now, however, she had made herself irreplaceable, at least in Sarah’s eyes. Sarah had plans for her life and she was tired of waiting. She wanted a family, well, at least she wanted a child, she wasn’t so sure she would like a man permanently in her life. She liked to have fun and Sarah did have fun- at least when that idiot cat wasn’t around.
The phone rang and Sarah grabbed it, hoping for a distraction. “Designs by Painted Girl, Sarah speaking.”
“Hello, lovely,” A deep voice began, “It’s John, from LaRosa Construction.”
“Well, hello yourself,” Sarah began in her sultry voice, “How’s my favorite contractor?”
“I’ve been missing your voice, such a sexy voice. I’ll bet it matches your face,” John began. His voice burned into Sarah’s soul. She loved flirting with John on the phone and looked forward to his calls. They’d been chatting for a couple of years now and she looked forward to his calls. The would spend an hour talking in vaguely hidden sexual undertones. It amazed Sarah that their conversation could take an everyday piece of pottery and make it naughty.
Sarah giggled, then noticed Painted Girl looking at her oddly. She whipped around and lowered her voice, “Ahh, you know how to tease a girl!” Sarah looked into the mirror, saw Painted Girl roll her eyes, and turned away. Ugh, she’d be getting another earful later from Painted Girl for flirting, echoing Grandfather’s silly way of saying things. Small sips of milk, don’t give away the cow with the milk. You’d think that everyone around here had an advertising deal with the milk company. She knew that Painted Girl thought she had way too much fun. But, hey, she did have too much fun, and she loved every minute of it. Finally putting down the phone, Sarah returned to work and reached for a new tile.
“More secret tiles for Karen?” Sarah moaned, her worksheet would be all astray.
“Little Sparrow,” Painted Girl corrected her, “She had her naming ceremony, you were there, remember? And keep your voice down, I saw her and Richard pull up a minute ago.”
“Who’s Richard?”
“You know, the guy that…” Painted Girl paused. “It’s a guy Little Sparrow’s been dating.”
“Really? She brought him from New York to meet Grandfather? It must be serious,” Sarah paused, confused. “How long have they been dating?”
“Five days.”
What?”
“It’s a long story.” Painted Girl whispered, “Grandfather set them up with Mike and Sally’s help. He’s Mike’s daughter’s widow, I think. I don’t know all the particulars, but it’s working.”
“So why does Karen -er- Little Sparrow need tiles made?”
“It’s a wedding present for their house.”
“What?” Sarah asked. It seemed as though she was being left out of the fun, as usual. No one told her anything.
“Shush, here they come, act natural, I’ll explain later.” Looking at Sarah’s flushed face, she continued, “I’ll owe you a favor, any favor and I’ll explain later.”
“Oh, I like that, an Indian always keep their promises!” Sarah winked, “No matter what.”
“Now you remember you’re a Kiowa?” Painted Girl gazed around taking in her work. “Quick, hide those tiles!”

A few minutes later, Sarah stood back examining Little Sparrow’s beau. Grandfather could pick ‘em, that’s for sure. Gorgeous, maybe she should let Grandfather pick her husband. At least then, he would quit complaining about giving away the milk. Sarah rolled her eyes as Grandfather came in. He always looked the same; braided hair, cowboy-er-Indian shirt and boots. Grandfather gave her the once over and raised his eyebrows at her clothes. Luckily, he did not say anything to embarrass her in front of everyone. Sarah went over to Little Sparrow and chatted for a few minutes, keeping her ear on Grandfather and Richard. His voice sounded vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it.
“LaRosa Construction,” Sarah overheard Richard say.
LaRosa? That’s where she’d heard Richard’s voice. His company orders our products; they are one of our biggest buyers. So, Richard is Mike’s son-in-law, that’s not a coincidence. Wait, John works for LaRosa. John the flirter, with the sexy voice on the phone. Sarah giggled, intrigued.
“I have a business proposition for you Painted Girl,” Richard began. “I’d like you to exclusively design our bathrooms and kitchens. Kay would be the head decorator, but you’d have to help her. Right now, she is too pregnant to go to New York so I’d like you to go and start the process.”
Painted Girl, go to New York? The city would be wasted on her! Oh my God, she could meet John. I hope his body is as sexy as his voice.
“I don’t like the idea of my granddaughter being alone in such a big city. She would get lost,” Grandfather interrupted, “She may not come back once she sees a big city.”
“Grandfather, I’ll always come home,” Painted Girl touched his shoulder and smiled at him, “You know that, I’ll be here forever.”
“I can go with her,” Sarah put in, “we would be together and I would help out.”
Grandfather looked at her, raising his eyes at her clothes again. Sarah faltered realizing that her big chance at New York was going to fail if she didn’t think of something fast. “I would love a chance to spend more time with Painted Girl. She can tell me lots about my heritage. Today she was explaining to me that I should wear longer clothing and cover my belly, to honor myself. Didn’t you, Painted Girl?” Sarah beamed at Grandfather. “She’s such a good influence on me.”
Dingle laughed, covering his mouth with his paw making everyone look at him oddly. He sashayed over to Grandfather and rubbed himself against him, purring.
“Hairball,” Grandfather explained, “He’s been getting those a lot lately.” Dingle’s body shook as he jumped up on the table, eyeing everyone in turn. Sarah grimaced and turned away from his knowing gaze.
“Grandfather,” Painted Girl said, “If I do this, more people can enjoy my work and we’d be financially set for life. It wouldn’t be for long either; I’ll come back.”
Your promise! Sarah mouthed, I want to go!
“Sarah would be a great help to me too,” Painted Girl said. “I’d need someone to help me and we can stay at Little Sparrow’s apartment in New York. Sarah will be a good girl.”
Dingle jumped up and ran from the room, his buttocks mirroring his shaking laugh.
“Big hairball,” Grandfather explained.

Chapter 2
Sarah decided that it was a good time to be a little sneaky today. After booking their flight, she wrote an email to Little Sparrow about their arrival plans but forgot to send it. Of course, this was after John mentioned on the phone that they could stay at one of the model home- where he’d be near her every day.
Hey, even if they didn’t hit it off, being in the center of a construction zone could have its benefits.
Naughty benefits, Sarah giggled.
Sarah wanted to look special for her first meeting with John and decided that a bubble bath would be perfect. However, her house overflowed with siblings and only boasted one bathtub. So, that’s how Sarah found herself lounging in a bath full of bubbles, in Grandfather’s house. She was bidding her time before she had to leave for the airport.
Sarah gazed around taking in the décor. Painted Girl knew how to decorate- she would give her that. This room had been Painted Girl’s first project and a photo of the bathroom appropriated a large portion of her brochure. Orange and brown hand glazed tiles stair-stepped around the claw-foot tub culminating in a bold tile wall behind her. The lone window produced a fiery glow as the sun danced up the walls giving warmth to the room. Sarah had thought that so much color would overwhelm the small room, but it enhanced it, bringing it to life. Where the wall was void of tile, Painted Girl had mixed the perfect orange paint, not too brown, not too brassy. It was the classiest room in the house. Except for one detail. The door wouldn’t shut properly, which caused a lot of embarrassing accidents. So many that Painted Girl had made a sign to tack on the door when in use.
Beauty bath in progress, do not enter.
Sarah leaned back in the claw foot tub, enjoying the solitude. Her thoughts revolved around a plan for her future. A slight creak notified her that she had a visitor. Sarah looked wondering who was invading her space.
Dumb cat can’t read.
Dingle walked in and looked around, his long black body tense in the sunlight. An odd smile formed on the cat’s face as he spied Sarah in the bath.
“There’s a sign on the door Dingle; it says this bath is ocupado.”
Dingle turned around and sashayed over to the door, butting it as far closed as it would go with his head. He trotted to the claw foot tub and put his paws on the side, looking in he smiled at the clear water. Dingle’s grin seemed to grow larger as he jumped up onto the edge- then laid down on the rim facing Sarah. His ears pulled back as he placed a paw into the water, swirling it around.
“Oh, now you wanna make nice,” Sarah said soaping her legs. “I thought cats hate water. You’re an odd one Dingle. Grandfather’s right, you do think like a dog.”
Dingle’s eyes dilated a bright green as he watched Sarah, his eyes following the washcloth in anticipation. However, Sarah failed to notice and closed her eyes, enjoying the quiet.
“Do you want to tell me why you interrupted my fun at the bachelorette party?” Sarah asked. “Hum? I had those two strippers licking whiskey off my belly when you barged in! I thought that guy was gonna have a heart attack when you smacked his… well, his parts. Those G-strings don’t have much fabric on them, ya know. How in the world you ended up between his legs is beyond me.” Sarah sighed and placed a washcloth over her eyes settling into the tub. Irritated she picked one end up and focused on Dingle. “I saw you, you know. You crouched down with your tail swishing and your ears cocked. Then you wiggled your butt and leaped, smacking the guy squarely on his dangly. At least you gave the other guy a meow warning. I’d never seen a cat open his mouth so wide. It was if it stretched and floated slowly toward that man’s… parts. Your teeth seemed to grow and I swear- you had freaking goo-goo eyes. I don’t know. Maybe it’s time to quit drinking whiskey. Do you think tequila would be better?” Sarah giggled, replaced the washcloth over her eyes and sank down in the tub with a sigh. “Cats don’t pull down G-strings either. You embarrassed him, it was cold in there, he couldn’t help it if it shriveled and disappeared. Big babies, the lot of them and you’re a party pooper.”
Dingle stifled a giggle, doing his best to make it sound like a kitty cough.
“Granddaughter?” Grandfather called from the hallway, “are you taking a bath? Dingle’s not in there is he?”
“Yes to both questions Grandfather.” There’s a sign on the door! Right in front of you!
“Dingle! You get out of there right now before I tell on you.’
Tell who? Ugh, Grandfather acted like that cat was a real person sometimes.
Dingle continued to cough while he swirled the water, ignoring Grandfather. His eyes glazed over as Sarah strung her hair over the tub.
“Dingle, you come out of there now!”
The cat pulled his ears back with a tilt of his head, gave in and jumped down. He turned around, gaining one last picture of Sarah relaxing in her bath. Sarah raised her eyebrows at Dingle wondering why he hadn’t left yet. She sat up in the tub and put her hands under her breast, jiggling them.
“Is this what you wanna see boy?”
Dingle’s body shook so that he had trouble walking to the door. His head bobbed foiling his balance as he walked drunkenly toward the door. His guffaw echoed off the walls, producing an eerie sound frightening Sarah. Sarah slumped down in the tub feeling violated, which had Dingle coughing even more.
“You can’t do that Dingle. A bath is sacred to a woman; you shouldn’t have gone in there.” Sarah heard Grandfather say through the door. She listened as Grandfather continued to berate the cat, but Dingle’s shrieks took on an eerie sound almost filling the house.

An hour later, Sarah joined Painted Girl in the kitchen. Sarah’s suitcases towered over Painted Girl’s, ready to be loaded into the car.
Dingle jumped up and sat between the two girls, licking his paws, darting quick looks at Sarah. Grandfather and Doc Tate, the vet, leaned against the counter, drinking piki.
“Are you ready to go yet?” Painted Girl asked Sarah.
“In a minute. Grandfather, why don’t you have Doc Tate look at Dingle. He’s had an odd cough of late.” Sarah asked as she scooted her chair away from the cat.
Dingle shivered, hiding his giggle. He brought his paw to his mouth to lick it. He thought that was a good idea. Act normal
“He’s seems cold, maybe he has a fever.” Sarah edged further away from the cat, bumping into Painted Girl in her haste.
“I’ll look at him now. Let me get my things,” Doc Tate answered. The local vet and Grandfather’s only physician set down his drink and rummaged through his vet bag for a thermometer. His Navajo heritage was proclaimed by the medicine wheel he wore proudly around his neck. It was a gift from Grandfather when he’d found his heritage… with Grandfather’s help. “Here Dingle, let me take your temperature.”
Dingle opened his mouth wide and stuck out his tongue. His tail swished. He was a happy kitty.
“Uh, Dingle,” Grandfather began, “that’s not where a vet takes a temperature.” Amused, Grandfather crossed his arms. His braids danced over his shoulders as he withheld a laugh.
Dingle raised his eyebrow at Grandfather and hesitated. His face glowed as he cocked his ear toward Doc Tate- and flapped an invitation. He was a smart cat.
“Dingle,” Grandfather said, “that’s not where he puts it either.” His rough face, aged from many years spent outdoors threatened to creak into a smile.
Kitty furled his eyebrows, clearly dumbfounded. Dingle needed to go over the events for clarity. He opened his mouth and closed it, then wiggled his ear toward Doc Tate perplexed. He scratched his ear- it helped him think.
Doc Tate, however, was never confused in his line of work. He grabbed Dingle’s tail and pulled it up.
“Bingo!” Grandfather roared as Dingle’s eyes flashed. Dingle howled and ran from the room as fast as his paws could carry him- clearing a path through the luggage and spilling it everywhere. Grandfather’s laughter followed Dingle from the kitchen.
“Maybe next time you’ll think twice before interrupting a lady’s bath!”

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