Excerpts from Boxcar to Nowhere


She stood again and started dressing while thinking about Jazzy. Where was he…did he get back inside? Out of the corner of her eye she caught some movement near the door and looked that way. Jazzy was looking directly at her, a smile on his face, as he made his way to her side. After touching her leg with his muzzle, he sat down and looked silently at her face, intense love written all over him.

Jazzy wasn’t an overly affectionate dog. He would allow petting, constantly, if that is what Hope wanted. But he was happy just being around her, watching her work or study but giving her enough space to not feel burdened or overwhelmed by him.

“I don’t think that will work, Dave,” Hope informed him. “Jazzy is retired and now is my dog.”


As they turned into the railroad yards, Hope could see a dozen police cars parked at odd angles and uniformed officers as well as plain clothed detectives. Some were walking up and down by the lines of parked freight cars stretching into the distance. Others were standing in small groups, and several of those held long guns pointing at the ground.

Heads were shaking, and faces were glum, but they needed this dog, this particular dog, to go ahead of them and find the fugitives with his ears and nose. Something only a trained and gifted dog could do.

Jazzy returned to Hope’s side from under the boxcar. He had a worried look, an embarrassed look, as he came up to her, positioning himself beside her right leg, occasionally glancing up to her face as if to apologize for leaving her alone.

This time, the big sliding door was partially open, and Jazzy came to a stop right in front of it. His full attention focused on whatever was inside waiting for them. Hope could feel her hands start to sweat. She wished that she never wanted this adventure or went with Dave, so insolently, so confidently.