Andrea's friends, a white dog and a stalker, an online story
White German Shepherd
Some background from previous story: Since coming to Rock Island, Andrea and her friends have had a strange white dog help them and then disappear. Andréa has become attached to the dog and wonders where the dog has gone. A strange heavyset man has also shown up and appears to be stalking them. An enemy that Andrea identified in connection to a crime has come to hate her and her friends and has made known intent to stalk and harass them. Is the heavy set man somehow connected to the criminal that has threatened them?
The White Dog
“There’s that white dog again. See. He just went around the grounds of the hotel,” Andrea said. She impulsively brushed back a strand of her blond hair and her voice revealed frustration. “Why do you think that dog comes and goes so mysteriously? Where does he get his food? He never takes anything we offer him.”
Jay her beau, said, “The dog is mysterious. It’s like he plays a role of protector for all of us. Maybe you more so.”
“That’s a thought,” Roald, the preacher, broke in. His brows were furrowed in thought. “In a way it’s like we somehow conjured up this dog.”
“Roald, you’re not going to go mystical on us, are you?” This was from Karolina, Andrea’s friend, who was keeping company with Roald.
“No. This is the nineteenth century, after all. Yet, early Christianity had quite a bit of lore about angels and spirits appearing in various forms to help when needed.”
“Roald, sometimes you downright infuriate me when you get pompous because you have more education than the rest of us. But now is a good time to use all that book learning you have. What you know about angels and spirits might come in handy about now.”
“I think Andrea has a point.” Karolina entered the conversation. “There is something about that dog that seems unearthly. It doesn’t act like an ordinary dog.”
“Alright,” Roald agreed .” I did study at the seminary and I’ll try to apply what I know to the situation. Remember, what I learned is only a tool for understanding things in the real situations. The answers will sometimes be guesses.”
“We understand that,” Jay said.
“I recall reading somewhere,” Roald started out, gradually slipping into his sermon style, “a dream with a friendly white dog might be a sign of a successful venture. Now none of us really dreamed of a dog, but there did seem to be a white dog in Andrea’s subconscious mind that she put on the canvas of the stage settings.”
“You think that’s why the white dog shows up when we need him. Because he is really a spirit of some kind?” asked Andrea.
“Now I didn’t say that. We are not living in the middle ages. Still there has been precedent for such things.”
“But why does he show up when we need him and then run off somewhere? Why not stick around?”
“Another possibility is that one of us wanted him to,” Roald went on.
“What do you mean by that?” Jay asked.
“Well,” Roald speculated. “Why did Andrea draw the dog into the railroad picture? And why that heavyset man? If the dog is a friend, who is the man?”
It was Andrea’s turn to look thoughtful. “I don’t really know. Like I said before, I don’t remember doing it.”
“The dog in the picture came from your subconscious mind. Instead of being a dog in a dream, it ended up on your canvas.”
Andrea closed her eyes.” When she opened them she said “You have a point Roald, but I didn’t conjure up the dog. We had seen it before. Where did it come from?”
“Could be a stray dog, “Jay said.
The conversation was interrupted when they got to the riverboat theater and had to prepare for the afternoon performance. “Let’s try the waltz. Carry it around the stage,” the Colonel Fenwick instructed... Karolina found herself dancing with Roald. “I don’t think that dog is a stray of any kind. If it were, it would likely be hungry and the white dog looks well fed and refuses any treats people offer it.”
They glided over the stage and the colonel invited some bystanders to join with the cast members. The cast danced lightly and skillfully, leading the new people into a skill they didn’t realize they had. From her peripheral vision Andrea noticed the heavy man again dancing. When the dance ended the cast members went to take a break and the other people left the stage. When they were together Roald said he gave some thought to the idea of some sort of spirit dog, possibly an angel. “There was a priest I heard about in
Italy some years ago. He was working in a dangerous neighborhood and was hated by a group that made attempts on his life. According to the stories, a wolf like dog would show up out of nowhere to help him. Like the white dog it would just run off. Also like the white dog it would never take food from anyone.”
“Then it is possible the dog was sent to help us?” Andrea said.
“It has been said God will give us the help we need,” Roald answered, “maybe your drawing was a message.”
"If you really think that’s the case, what say we flush out this guy? I bet he is a pal of that fake detective Alexander Jones that the police warned us was on the loose again,” Andrea had a determined look about her.”
Roald knew she was at a stage where nothing would change her mind or course of action. “Alright,” Roald said with resignation. “How do you want to do it?”
“It seems to me,” Andrea said ,”this guy always shows up where we are; stalking us or me. I say, let’s turn the tables on him. It might be daring, but let’s take turns…” Andrea explained her plan of taking every opportunity for one of them to confront the man.
It was soon Roald’s time to give his train talk again. As soon as he started his talk, Karolina slipped into the seat beside the heavy man, “Isn’t that train picture real looking?” she said.
The man was startled by the unexpected question.”Er.” he stammered. “Well, yes it is. Aren’t you one of the cast?”
“That’s right. I’m Karolina, a friend of Andrea, the one you’ve been following. Gee, we sure wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her. Enjoy the show again.” She said and got up and left.
Roald finished his talk and Colonel Fenwick directed the company to do another waltz routine “And get the audience involved,” he added.
Andrea saw the heavy man start to pick a partner to dance with but cut him off and engaged him with dancing with her. “You’ve been such an ardent member of the audience, I felt I had to meet you,” she said. Before he could answer Roald cut in and danced Andrea gracefully away. Just than Jay approached the heavy man and said “let’s sit this one out. We all want to get to know you better. “Are you by chance a friend of Alexander Jones.We’ve been advised that he is out of jail and wanted revenge on Andrea for identifying him, which helped the police catch him.. I bet he sent you thinking it would unnerve us all. He knew if he showed up himself we could turn him over to the cops.”
“I haven’t committed any crime. ”the man said. If I follow you people it’s because I like the theater.”
“Excuse me, Sir. I have to get ready for the next act. Just remember, Andrea means a lot to me. Stalking her could become dangerous.”
Jay went away and the man went back to his set. “Isn’t Jay a great guy?” Andrea said as she sat down beside the man. He jumped slightly, startled by her voice.”er. Yes, yes, He stammered. “Is he a close friend of yours?”
“Oh yes,” Andrea enthused. “We may get married. Yes, he is very concerned about me.”
“Ah, he should be, with a lovely lady such as yourself to look after.”
“Oh, thank you for the compliment,” Andrea said leaning back in her seat. “Sometimes I do worry about his temper though. He just can’t stand the thought of anyone hurting me. Oh, dear. When I think about it, I just don’t know what he might do. Oh. Give my regards to detective Alexander Jones when you see him. I understand he’s out of jail now.”
The next day the friends went through their routines but didn’t see the heavy man. Colonel Fenwick said he hadn’t seen him since the previous day. “He seemed rather nervous and asked to be let out the back door. There was a white dog out there that seemed to make him even more nervous."
“That reminds me,” Andrea said. “Where’s the white dog?”
"He might not be needed for a while,” Roald said.
Afterword: Although this story and characters are fiction the information about a Catholic priest in Italy refers to John Bosco who was later canonized by the Catholic Church and was founder of the an order of priests. The story of the dog is fairly well known, but many biographies ignore it.
© 2012 Don A. Hoglund