“Call the cops!”
Detective Brian Griswald stopped cold in his tracks, listening intently to the conversation taking place on the other side of the brick wall.
“Call the cops,” the unseen male voice said again nervously.
“We’re not calling the cops,” a woman answered, clearly annoyed by the situation. “I’ll handle it.”
“She could die,” the man argued.
Grabbing his badge in one hand and resting his other palm on the butt of his gun, Brian ran around the wall. “Police!”
A man and a woman, their backs to him, were staring up into a tree.
The man spun around, hands in the air, signaling his surrender. The quick action sent the strange hat he was wearing tumbling to the ground.
“Shhh!” the woman ordered, without moving.
“Don’t shoot,” the man begged.
“Shut up, Stanley. You’re scaring her,” the woman warned.
Brian put his badge away. “What’s going on here?”
The woman waved him away dismissively. “We don’t need the cops or the fire department. I’ve got this.”
Brian frowned at the man, hoping to intimidate him into giving an answer.
Stanley retrieved his fallen hat, and stuck what looked like a mortar board, minus a tassel, back on his head. He pointed at the tree. “She’s stuck up there.”
Brian squinted at the tree, but didn’t see anything out of place. “Who?”
“A kid?” Brian moved closer.
“A dog,” Stanley said.
“You mean a cat?” Brian scanned the branches.
“No,” the woman huffed. “He means a dog.”
Brian closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. It was bad enough that he was here because he was investigating the disappearance of a woman who claimed to be a psychic matchmaker. Now he had to contend with a dog stuck in a tree. He was pretty sure his job description didn’t include animal rescue.
“C’mon, Gracie,” the woman called in a much sweeter voice than she used on humans.
As she moved past Brian he thought he smelled honeysuckle.
Leaning against the tree, she cajoled, “Come down, sweetheart.”
Following her line of site, Brian finally spotted the gray and black ball of fluff perched between two tree branches fifteen feet off the ground.
“How the hell did she get up there?” Brian asked, stepping beside the woman to get a better look at the wayward dog. He definitely smelled honeysuckle, but there were no vines in the vicinity.
Twitching her pointy ears, Grace looked back at him with dark, inquisitive eyes.
The woman sighed. “She’s a climber. Stanley, go find me a ladder and some food to entice her down with.”
“Of course.” Stanley hurried away.
“He’ll probably bring back a macaron,” she muttered.
“Macarons. Meringue-based French pastries.”From the note of longing in her voice, Brian guessed that she was quite fond of these pastry things.