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The Perfume Flunks Out, but All Is Not Lost From Hank the Cowdog #5: Faded Love Hank is out to win the heart of his one true love,Miss Beulah the Collie. On the way to her ranch, he meets Rip and Snort who convince him that the smell of dead skunk is an ancient coyote love potion. Thoroughly covered with this unusual perfume, Hank approaches Beulah and decides to open his heart.
I turned to the lady of my dreams. "Hi, Beulah."
"Hello, Hank." Our eyes met and I knew that the old magic was still there. And in that honey-smooth voice of hers, Beulah said, "Do you smell something?"
Heh, heh. I had her now. She would be putty in my hands.
"Yes, Beulah, and I can reveal its source. What you smell is an exotic love potion, known only to the wild coyote tribes and passed down from generation to generation since the dawn of time. Risking death and fates too horrible to mention in polite company, I stole the secret formula from a band of savage coyotes and Beulah, I did it just for you."
"Oh, Hank, you," she moved upwind, "you shouldn't have done that. Why, you might have been. . ."
"Killed? Maimed?" I moved upwind. "Dear lady, to die in your service would be an honor of which I am unworthy."
She scooted around upwind. Guess she was afraid of being overwhelmed.
"But honestly, Hank, fighting coyotes! They're very. . ."
"Dangerous? Deadly? Ferocious? Yes, my lady, all of those things." I slipped around upwind. "But with the memory of your lovely face etched on my heart, my only fear of death is that I might not see you again."
"Oh, Hank, you do carry on, don't you?"
She moved upwind.
"As you very well know, my years of combat and detective work have given me the outward appearance of steel, but beneath that shell of armor lie the gentler emotions known to ordinary dogs."
She got up and moved upwind.
"Hank, are you feeling all right? You don't have a fever, do you?"
"Yes, I have a fever, Lady Fair, and I admit it without shame." I moved upwind. I had to give that perfume a chance to do its stuff. "It's a fever of the heart, and some people would describe it as LOVE!"
"Oh my, how. . .nice. But Hank, I must admit something to you." She got up and moved.
"I know what you're going to say, my petunia. How many tortured nights have I spent dreaming of the time you would say those words to me? Ach, there's no pain to compare with the ache of unblemished love!"
She moved upwind.
"Hank, I don't know how to say this."
"Yes, my tulip, I have the same problem." I moved. "We spend so little time speaking the language of the heart that we find it hard to say those three simple words. Am I right, my perfect rose, three simple words?"
"Yes, Hank, three simple words, but. . ."
"Just say them, Beulah, out with them and we'll go plunging into the unknown!"
"All right, Hank, here goes. . ."
What three words will Beulah say? Will it be cowdog bliss for Hank or will he be left with nothing but a pawful of memories? Find out in Hank the Cowdog #5: Faded Love (Copyright John R. Erickson).