BY SLIM RANDLES
"Good morning," Dud, Doc said.
"Nothing good about it. Nothing at all. In fact, it's a bummer all day."
"Uh oh ..."
Dud flipped his coffee cup over. "And I don't want to talk about it."
"Okay with me," Doc said.
"Me too," said Bert.
"I can wait," said Steve.
Dud waited until his cup filled with coffee. "Well, if you must know ..."
"Don't really have to," said Doc.
"Hey, I'm good, too," said Bert.
"My book got rejected," Dud said.
"No ... MY book," Dud said. "I wrote one."
"No kidding? What kind of book?"
"Murder mystery. I worked it all out very carefully before I wrote it, you know. Then I wrote it a little each day. It gave me something to look forward to. Well, I finally finished it and sent it off to this publisher. In New York, even. They sent it back. Got it back this morning."
"Sorry to hear that," Doc said. "But hey, you just send that puppy right back out again now."
"That's right," said Steve, the cowboy of the bunch. "You get bucked off, you get right back on again."
"Been thinking, some," Dud said. "About what they wrote me. Maybe I need to work on it some more ... you know, before it's ready for publication."
"They wrote you a letter and told you what was wrong with it? Hey, that's pretty nice of them."
"Well, yes, I guess so. But if I redo it the way they want it, it'll take me a long time. Months maybe."
"What was their problem with it?" Doc asked, kindly. Doc has always been a silent patron of the arts.
"They said eight murders was too many."
Well, I for one don't think eight murders is too many for a murder mystery," Doc said. "I know other mystery writers who have had eight murders in one book and they got published just fine."
"That's true, Doc," Dud said, "but these folks said eight murders was too many in the first chapter."
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