For a cold-blooded killer, Hemlock certainly baby-talked to her horse a lot. Angler’s conception of wild-eyed murderers had not previously included the phrase “Who’s a good boy? Who’s my snoogie-woogums, den?”
“Don’t roll your eyes like that,” said Hemlock reproachfully, looking at him from under Pinky’s chin. “He enjoys it.”
Pinky did indeed have a cheerfully besotted look, although it was hard to tell with horses. Angler rolled his eyes anyway.
“What, you never talk to your bluebird like that?”
She put her hands on her hips, still holding the currying brushes. “Then how will he know that you love him?”
“He knows I love him!” said Angler, who hadn’t known it himself until just now, but under Hemlock’s stare, not loving his bluebird seemed unbelievably churlish.
He looked at the bird. The bird looked at him.
“You know, right?” he asked the bird.
It let out a whistle and crapped in his hat.
Hemlock laughed until he thought she’d rupture something.
Angler sighed. “Ingrate.”