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My Landlady’s Cat

Once again, ORbits offers you the opportunity to test your knowledge of all things literary. To commemorate the late Sir Ludovic Kennedy, author and tireless campaigner against miscarriages of justice, this week’s passage comes from a classic crime novel rooted in true events:

I knew that he would eat me alive. I knew that losing to a taco bender would ruin my local celebrity. I knew that running from the fight would hurt me, but fighting it would kill me. I started looking for a place to run to. The army, navy and marines looked good, then Pearl Harbor got bombed and made them look great. Then the old man had a stroke, lost his job and pension and started sucking baby food through a straw. I got a hardship deferment and joined the Los Angeles Police Department.

I saw where my thoughts were going. FBI goons were asking me if I considered myself a German or an American, and would I be willing to prove my patriotism by helping them out. I fought what was next by concentrating on my landlady’s cat stalking a bluejay across the garage roof.

The answer to last week’s challenge was Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively.

This week’s answer, and another challenge, on ORbits next week.