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DOWN FROM COEUR d'ALENE / Dan Thrapp AT NIGHTFALL, when they stopped across the river from Lewiston, m\ Mary Ann was not crying and said she would only be a minute. She got out of the jeep. Kyle put the gun in his belt, zipped up his jacket, and got out after her. The station was a teepee made of concrete with zig-zag Indian designs painted around its base. Inside, an attendant turned in his wooden swivel chair as the door opened. He was an Indian, a teenaged boy—black-haired, brown-eyed. He was thin. His head was square. He asked if Kyle wanted the key to the men's room. "It's kept locked," he said. Kyle stepped in, leaving the door open. "I'm okay." He looked at the room, at the counter, the cash register on the counter, the stacks of oil cans and brake fluid and gas treatment on shelves along the wall that separated the office from the restrooms. He looked at the fan belts looped on hooks above the shelves, at the green and brown linoleum on the floor, at the wooden desk, at the boy again. "It's her that needs to pee," he said. "She's my little girl. How old are you?" "Sixteen." The Indian boy smiled, his teeth large, white. "That's how old she is." Kyle cocked one hip and broke wind. "There, that's my name. Now tell me yours." The boy looked away and then looked at him again. "It's Jerome." "Jerome," Kyle said. He said the name again, drawing the name out slowly. "I like it. Funny name for an Indian. You're Indian, aren't you? You're from Lapwai. What's your last name?" Jerome blinked as he looked at Kyle. Kyle's shoulders were heavy and round. His butchcut hair had no color in the station's fluorescent light. "It's Crowshoe," Jerome said. "There you go. That's an Indian name. Nez Perce. Nay Persay, right?" Jerome looked down at his hands and then through the window toward Kyle's jeep parked at the edge of the concrete apron. "But Jerome," Kyle said. He took out a cigarette. "That's not a good name for an Indian. I ought to call you Tonto or something." "Crap," Jerome said, showing his teeth again. "That's funny isn't it?" Kyle grinned and opened the cap on his lighter and lit his cigarette. He turned away from Jerome to inspect the packages of potato chips and corn chips and Cheetos clipped to the display rack on the counter next to the register. He selected Cheetos and split the bag open. "You want to share these, Jerome?" "You got to pay for that," Jerome said. 224 · The Missouri Review Kyle grinned again. "AU right. But let me show you something now. You got spunk." He crossed the room to the boy. He put his boot on the space of chair between the boy's legs, and Jerome shifted, but the tip of the boot touched where the inseam crossed the center seam of the boy's jeans. "Look at this," Kyle said and unzipped his jacket. Light glinted on the silver buckle of Kyle's belt and on the black pistol tucked in beside it. Jerome's brown eyes looked at the gun and then calmly at Kyle. "It's a forty-five, Jerome. Big and mean. What do you think of that, little buck?" Jerome kept his hands on his knees, but his thick Indian lips slackened outward. "You going to rob me?" Kyle took his boot off the edge of the chair. "You're a good Indian," he said. "You know about these things. I like you, Jerome Crowfoot." He exhaled smoke at the boy. "It's no matter. I might rob you. I might shoot you, but Mary Ann's in the potty, so we can wait. She'll be in there for a time. We're all the way down from Coeur d'Alene. I didn't need to stop, but she had to. She couldn't wait till we crossed the river." Kyle shook his head. "Damn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 114-122
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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