The knock came at midnight. Bert opened the door.
“We’d been worried about you, Miss Wentworth,” Bert said. “’Tisn’t safe out on the fens. Not when the Black Dog walks.”
“Oh, I’ve heard tales.”
“It’s no tale, woman! To meet Old Shuck is death within the year.”
What was that shadow behind her, huge, with glowing red eyes? Bert shuddered and snatched for the door handle; Miss Wentworth blocked him.
“Nonsense. All any dog needs is firmness and affection. Shuck! Come!”
The monstrous hound, pony-sized, trotted in on muddy paws.
Bert sighed. It was going to be a long week.
Author’s note: Around Bungay, Suffolk, the black dog “Old Shuck” is said to haunt the fens – and inspired Conan Doyle’s “Hound of the Baskervilles.”