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Well, it’d be dreadful if they were crooks and professional.’
Gaspode nodded. Nice one. Nice one.
There was the sound of footsteps hurrying around a desk. When Dibbler spoke next, you could have sunk a well in his voice and sold it at ten dollars a barrel.
‘Victor! Vic‘How much was it?’
‘For a dog? We’re in the wrong business.’
‘It can do all kinds of tricks, the breeder said. Bright as a button, he said. Just ! Haven’t I been like an uncle to you?’ Well, yes, thought Gaspode. He’s like an uncle to most people here. That’s because they’re his nephews. He stopped listening, partly because Victor was going to get his day off and was very likely going to get paid for it as well, but mainly because another dog had been led into the room. It was huge and glossy. Its coat shone like honey. Gaspode recognized it as pure-bred Ramtop hunting dog. When it sat down beside him, it was as if a beautifully sleek racing yacht had slipped into a berth alongside a coal barge. He heard Soll say, ‘So that is Uncle’s latest idea, is it? What’s it called?’ ‘Laddie,’ said the handler.