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TitleNine Lives to Die
File Size2.5 MB
Total Pages235
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Cast of Characters
The Really Important Characters
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Other Books by This Author
About the Authors
Document Text Contents
Page 117

Odin named the jutting rock outcropping near the spine of the mountain.

Mrs. Murphy called
The coyote lay down, head on paws.

The three animals remained there as clouds moved in, the wind picked
up. Hours passed. Tucker felt stiff, and Mrs. Murphy shivered. Odin
watched them with his glittering yellow eyes.
As what little light there was shifted, the skeleton seemed to smile,
then the light faded, the clouds turning Prussian blue.
In the far distance, Mrs. Murphy heard Harry’s truck. Her
uncommonly good ears would astonish a human being.

Tucker barked and barked.
Harry paid little attention, for the barking was far away. She walked
into the house, laid packages on the kitchen table. She took off her coat,
seeing only Pewter, thinking the other two were asleep.

said Pewter.
“You’re chatty.”

the cat screeched.
A half hour passed; Harry finally checked each room. No cat or dog.
She threw on her coat, walked out to the barn. They weren’t there
either. Just then, Fair drove in, and as she was telling him, they both
stopped. They heard their corgi barking.
“Tucker?” Fair wondered, then froze, for he heard Odin howl.
Harry hopped behind the wheel.
Fair did the same in the truck’s passenger seat.
“Wait a minute.” Fair quickly got out, opened his big vet truck door,
then climbed back in. A .22 revolver rested on his lap. Ratshot could
scare off animals.
Harry drove behind the barn on the farm road, keeping on it until the
edge of the forest. She stopped, rolled down her window.
They listened intently. Again, they heard Tucker bark. Odin howled
too, much closer now.
“This baby might be old, but she’s four-wheel drive,” said Harry. “You

Page 118

ready?” She looked at her husband.
“Yeah, I don’t worry about my body bouncing around. It’s my head
hitting the roof.”
“Get ready.” She’d turned the small dials on the old hubcaps to drive
through the snow when she came home.
Now she shifted into the lowest gear—the tires were winter tires—
then hit the gas, and the rear end fishtailed. They climbed up the side of
the mountain on the old road. It had deeper ruts than the farm road.
Each time the wheel slid into a rut, Harry gunned the motor to get
out. Poor Fair bounced up, even with the seatbelt on. Finally, he put his
hand on top of his head.
They reached a small turnaround.
“You’d better turn this around, keep her in gear, cut the motor. We
can’t risk going higher, especially now.” Fair noticed snowflakes in the
beams of the headlights.
She did as told, also yanking on the emergency brake. The turnaround
was level enough, but she worried about sliding in the snow, even with
the truck parked. It might give a little when they climbed out. Both of
them, raised in the country, knew dumb things happen.
She cut the lights, pulled her scarf tighter around her neck. Fair
stepped out, slid the revolver in his belt, pulled on his gloves.
Tucker was clearly close and to their left, so they walked through the
walnuts, brushed by some hollies, tripped on uneven ground covered by
the snow.

Mrs. Murphy yelled.
Tucker yowled as she could see the flashlight swinging

right and left.
Odin let out one howl before hurrying off into the darkness, calling
over his shoulder,

Neither animal knew whether or not to believe him. Tucker took no
chances. She wasn’t emerging until Harry and Fair reached them. The
two animals had forgotten about the skeleton.
Close enough now for Tucker to smell her and Fair, Harry couldn’t see
much for the darkness.
Fair, beside her, shined the light right where Tucker still barked. The
dog’s eyes glowed in the flashlight. Fair flicked the light upward. There

Page 234

About the Authors

RITA MAE BROWN has written many bestsellers and received two Emmy
nominations. In addition to the Mrs. Murphy series, she has authored

and , the first two mysteries in a new
dog series, and the Sister Jane foxhunting series, as well as many other
acclaimed books. She and Sneaky Pie live with several other rescued

SNEAKY PIE BROWN, a tiger cat rescue, has written many mysteries—witness
the list at the front of this novel. Having to share credit with the above-
named human is a small irritant, but she manages it. Anything is better
than typing, which is what “Big Brown” does for the series. Sneaky calls
her human that name behind her back after the wonderful
Thoroughbred racehorse. As her human is rather small, it brings giggles
among the other animals. Sneaky’s main character—Mrs. Murphy, a
tiger cat—is a bit sweeter than Miss Pie, who can be caustic.

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