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175 It was fine with Monique, too. She’d also have her uncle Leroy Bear Red Ears cleanse her when she returned to Oklahoma. “We all do,” Roxanne said. Then she burst into tears. Warren sat next to her and gave her a hug. “It’s okay, Honey.” “Why did Tony have these things?” She asked between sobs. “He wasn’t going to sell them, was he?” “Let’s not jump to conclusions,” Monique interjected as she handed Roxanne a Kleenex. “Tony may have had a good reason for doing what he did.” “Man, I hope so,” Warren said quietly. Roxanne blew her nose. “I guess we’ll take these things to the station,” Monique said. “And we need to ask the elders in there about how to store them so we’ll all be safe.” “Man, we never have to go through all this with dead white people,” Clarke said. Roxanne leaned back in the sofa so she could look at the ceiling. “That’s the problem with you white guys. You don’t know how to relate to the dead.” Did Tony? thought Monique. Tuesday, noon The sun beat down on the Impala. There was no wind and little traffic on the highway to Reynolds. The two officers had completed their cleansing ceremony. The old Hopi man started it, then Arnold Old Bull finished it. Afterwards they ate a large brunch of corn bread, fruit salad, and elk stew, courtesy of the successful hunter Tony Smoke Rise, who had given Roxanne and Warren several packages of frozen meat the previous fall. “Well, I feel good. You feel good?” Monique asked Clarke as she drank a large swig of canned tea. “I guess. How am I supposed to feel?” “Good. How’s the foot? Still feel like a raisin?” “Not a raisin. A risin.’ You know, like a big pimple.” “Gross. Whatever. Nice of Old Bull to look at it. You need to give him 176 something for doing that. He won’t take money, but a new Toolman would be nice. I noticed that his knife blade had broken off of the one he has now.” “Yeah, okay. No wonder there aren’t many Indian archaeologists,” Clarke commented. “They’d be doing ceremonies all the time.” “I think that’s part of why they avoid this business. The death aspect, I mean. Why they’d want to be archaeologists in the first place is the real question.” It was sometimes bad enough working in law enforcement. Monique couldn’t imagine purposely wanting to be around dead people. And physical anthropologists made that decision. So did coroners. Maybe it’s a personality disorder, she thought. The detectives talked calmly on the road to see Jasper Deere. They didn’t know how Jasper was connected to the murder, but since Tony had come to Reynolds to mail the packages, perhaps he had stopped by to see Jasper. They reached the turn-­ off ramp and the large truck stop at the crest of the hill. They passed small houses built like ski chalets and others that looked like nothing more than mobile homes held together by duct tape and tires on the roofs. Monique drove another half mile down a potholed road until they reached a cluster of neat, but small, older homes. They were meticulously landscaped with decorative rocks and plants that fell over the terraces or climbed up the house walls. Some yards featured bronze sculptures, while others had brightly colored, gaudy carved figures of animals and flowers. “Artist community,” Monique commented. “That would account for it.” Monique drove a few more blocks and stopped in front of a huge cinder block building with a metal roof. A giant painting of a cattle drive was pealing away on the west wall. A chain link fence surrounded the property, including a dirt parking area that Jasper rented out for boats and RVs. On the west side were shining piles of hub caps of every make and size. “How’d he get all those hub caps?” Clarke asked. “Found some, then traded for others.” Monique parked and the two got out, sans jackets. The sun beat down, making the day pleasant in the shade, but not in the direct sun. The front porch was long and covered by a thick wood overhang shingled with metal 177 sheets. The detectives took the steps two at a time and entered the cool warehouse. “Holy shit,” Clarke exclaimed. “This looks like twenty antique places...


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MARC Record
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