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Bandon-Vernal Transgender Mystery the Jacksonville-Donner Story

Bandon-Vernal Transgender Mystery the Jacksonville-Donner Story

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Bandon-Vernal Transgender Mystery the Jacksonville-Donner Story

Länge:
339 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Dec 27, 2013
ISBN:
9781491715314
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Bandon-Vernal Transgender Mystery

Sleuth Nancy Duncan, her partner, Bobbi OBrien, ex-cop Tim OBrien, and a lesbian couple and their baby are having a reunion in Bandon by the sea. Nancy comes upon the body of a transgender man and a pursuit of the killer ensues. This takes them to Vernal, Flaming Gorge and Zion National Monument, Utah in pursuit of the personal history of the victim and circumstances of his death. Riches are uncovered and confusion over gender reassignment as well as resentments lead Nancy into scary encounters from the past and present life of the victim. Native American customs and ritual as well as rich mining history present challenges to Nancy and her partner as they try to solve the complex circumstances of this murder.

The Jacksonville-Donner Story

Nancy and Bobbi are seeking rest and relaxation at Lake Tahoe when the Donner party tragedy stirs their curiosity. Nancy sees a face in the rocks which preoccupies her. On their way home they are confronted by a Chinese-American woman who is seeking answers to her grandfathers death and burial. Jacksonville, Oregon becomes the focus for resolving mysterious deaths, Chinese mining and orchard history. It becomes apparent that some of the towns people know more than they want to reveal. Pursuit of the truth puts Nancy and Bobbi at risk, along with Bobbis uncle Tim and his Native American partner, Martha.

By Rosemary Dunn Dalton

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Dec 27, 2013
ISBN:
9781491715314
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Rosemary Dunn Dalton is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice and a former teacher at Southern Oregon University (SOU). She founded several women’s programs including Dunn House, a shelter for battered women and their children. Dunn Dalton was awarded the SOU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. She is a co-editor of Lesbian Psychologies (University of Illinois Press, 1987); the author or Lamenting Lost Fathers: Adult Daughters Search for the Message of the Father (iuniverse Press, 2004) and Arches Treasure/Mystery at the Escalantes (iuniverse Press, 2008). Dunn Dalton was featured in Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 (University of Illinois Press, 2006). Dunn Dalton enjoys painting, writing plays and poetry, playing guitar and hanging out with her partner, Marie, and her daughters, Brigid and Molly.

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Bandon-Vernal Transgender Mystery the Jacksonville-Donner Story - Rosemary Dunn Dalton

BANDON-VERNAL

TRANSGENDER

MYSTERY

THE

JACKSONVILLE-

DONNER

STORY

ROSEMARY DUNN DALTON

iUniverse LLC

Bloomington

BANDON-VERNAL TRANSGENDER MYSTERY

THE JACKSONVILLE- DONNER STORY

Copyright © 2013 Rosemary Dunn Dalton.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

iUniverse books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:

iUniverse LLC

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

www.iuniverse.com

1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677)

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

ISBN: 978-1-4917-1530-7 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4917-1531-4 (e)

iUniverse rev. date: 12/17/2013

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

THE JACKSON VILLE DONNER

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

References

Tom

Who would have known you’d leave in the night

Birds flock at night

If you could see the sky

You would see them in flight

Who would have known you’d leave in the night

Silently, powerfully, flying to freedom in the night

Chapter 1

I t was time for a reunion. Courage was a year old and Tim O’Brien had called Shalom and Rakki in Portland, Oregon, to say that he wanted to see the baby that he had known since inception. He and his coroner friend, Quinn, in Escalante, Utah, had been part of a celebration when Rakki and Shalom inseminated the little girl, Courage. They had named her after Carrie who had shown remarkable bravery in defending her own life against her uncle who had murdered her older sister Jane. Tim was a retired police officer and now worked closely with Quinn on suspicious cases brought to Quinn’s lab in Utah.

Let’s get together closer to your territory, maybe at the Oregon coast, he’d said. Just a time to relax and play with the baby. I know how to take care of kids, you know. After all, my sister had all those little ones so close in age. I’m sure you remember that Bobbi is the middle child of my sister’s family. Whatchasay?

Shalom and Rakki were thrilled with the idea of having more support from their extended family. They called Nancy Duncan and Bobbi O’Brien, their two close friends in Ashland, Oregon, to see if they would make this trip. They suggested a week at Bandon on the Oregon coast. Nancy said she was happy to oblige, that she and Bobbi would be there, no matter what. It had been two months since they had taken a trip to Portland to see Courage and their two best friends.

Soon, everyone was settled in Bandon, enjoying the summer sunshine in this small port. It was fun reconnecting with Bobbi’s uncle, Tim, hearing how it was going in Escalante, Utah, with his tales of working on local crime issues. As a retired police officer from Salt Lake City, the legal offenses seemed so much more minor. He also had become fascinated with the local Mormon population and how they worked closely with the indigenous clans. He and Quinn, both robustly plump, balding and almost sixty, had been having fun batching it as two men living without partners. They joked that it was a lot easier than having to cut the lawn and take out the garbage for their former wives. The women listened in amusement and said as women partners, they shared all the duties in the household, although Bobbi admitted that she was really the one who had trash patrol. Shalom and Rakki said it almost felt like they had moved to a new country since Courage had been born.

Early the second morning Nancy decided to take a stroll down to the jetty while Bobbi slept off a touchy knee injury. It was very, very windy and chilly, unusual for July in Bandon. Both she and Bobbi had been steadily working in their human services jobs and were glad to take a break. It had been over a year and a half since they had returned from their last vacation which had turned into a real mystery trip, dead bodies and all.

Bundled up tightly with a windbreaker to thwart the wind, Nancy cruised down the waterfront, and then stopped to check out the monument to the Coquille Indians at Weber’s Fishing Pier. This portrayed another tragic story of wiping out native peoples. The Bandon site had been a fishing and gathering place for the Nasomah Village where Coquille natives and white settlers worked cooperatively. Then gold was discovered and in 1854 miners, led by William Packwood, slaughtered villagers, causing the tribe to eventually move north to Yachats, Oregon. This eliminated a 3,500-year-old site for the Nasamah band of Coquille. In 1989 the United States government recognized the Coquille tribe and ten years later, 5,410 acres of land were returned to the tribe. Nancy contemplated this turbulent history and was struck by the irony of an eventual fire in 1936 that destroyed the small village of Bandon.

In September, 1936, a fire broke out east of Bandon in the Bear Creek area and even though residents were warned of the impending danger, many felt that somehow the flames would pass them by. By almost midnight phone service had been cut out and people were fleeing in boats in the waterfront, some being rescued by the supply ship Rose, where over 150 people were sheltered. A lumber carrier, Alvarado, distributed food and supplies; the National Guard built shelters and privies on sections of dock that had not burned. People on the south side of the river hustled through dunes and bluffs to gather on the beach’s surf line. While deaths from this tragic event immediately registered at less than 30, others ultimately died in the winter from lung illnesses stemming from smoke inhalation. Records indicate the acts of heroism and amazing escapes from blazing fire and smoke, along with accounts of help from the WPA construction crews. The WPA, a product of the Roosevelt administration, was a federal program designed to supply jobs and restoration services.

Nancy had researched some details of the great fire and had decided that she would do more of that during this week’s vacation. It was turning out to be a gorgeous day in Bandon as Nancy continued to meander down toward a view of the lighthouse. The spring wildflowers were still in bloom as the coolness of the ocean had helped them thrive. Nancy began naming the flowers—Cow’s Parsnip looked just like something to nibble on if you were a cow. You sure had to be careful if you were a goat lifting the buds off prickly thorns of Gorse. The Scotch Broom with its bright yellow buds was aptly named as it was a perfect description of a sweeping broom. Nancy’s favorite, Queen Anne’s Lace, reminded her to talk to Bobbi about a commitment ceremony. She would carry Queen Anne’s Lace and she would slip a spray into Bobbi’s lapel.

Ah, there it was—the lighthouse. Nancy had painted a watercolor of this lighthouse a few times and snapped a photo in case she wanted to attempt another version, maybe in gouache this time. The lighthouse was no longer in use as it had been replaced by a new nearby light. Originally, it had been built by the U.S. Government in 1890 on Rackleff Rock at the mouth of the Coquille River. Eventually there was a rock walkway built to connect the lighthouse to the mainland to accommodate the keeper after the north jetty was finished. The lighthouse was noted for its architectural style—an octagon with a pyramid on top. The tower measured 47 feet tall with light that could be seen for over 13 miles of sea. In February of 1896 it was lit for the first time. Over time it became apparent that the light signaled ships to enter unsafe waters and rocks off the Coquille River, so it was replaced by the beacon on the south jetty.

As Nancy moved along the rock she stood very still to observe two killdeer just before they waddled off to another spot. They offered their usual squeal as they foraged the millions of water-soaked shells and live mussels. Nancy had drifted out quite a ways toward the sparkling, rushing water in this tight little bay. She decided it was time to return to the motel. She’d take Bobbi back to the historical Coquille spot because Bobbi loved studying Oregon’s history. Suddenly she became aware of the vibration of her cell phone, checked and saw that it was Tim. Everyone had been having such a great time walking on the beach, birding at the reserve, watching the tides come in and go out. Nancy had given Courage her first birding lesson. Tim was staying at the Inn at Face Rock and Nancy, Bobbi, Shalom, Rakki and the baby were all closer to town in a motel overlooking the bay of stored sailboats and fishing rigs. Courage, a curious and fast-moving little girl with dark curls, resembled one of the babies showcased on television to advertise baby food and diapers. Amazingly, her complexion reflected her native history, much like Rakki’s whose parents immigrated to Arizona from India. The women had been pleasantly surprised by this unexpected development. She easily laughed and giggled except when she was hungry and searching for her mother’s breast. Then she would be content sucking and darting those brown eyes back and forth, squirming to look for someone to flirt with.

Nancy answered her phone. Kinda early to be hearing from you, isn’t it, Tim? I was just down at the lighthouse and checking out the birdies.

Sorry to disturb you, and to disrupt your vacation, Nancy, but you’re not going to believe this—someone found a body apparently not far from where you are right now. I got the call from my buddy in the sheriff’s department. Sounds like they are on their way to the site and I thought you should check it out. It sounds like it’s a guy, or a woman, not sure. Maybe both. He looks like a guy, but the person who called it in said the body was female. I’m not sure folks around here will know what to think. Maybe you can help.

Sure enough, just as Nancy rounded a corner she heard movement of water and realized she was next to a small culvert. It had a short fence and Nancy leaned forward. Oh my god. she thought, There’s a body! It’s a man. She observed that he hadn’t been there long, as his body was not yet altered by the deterioration of death. Besides, not too long prior she had walked right past the spot. But Nancy could see that he was definitely dead. Two locals were standing by, one with a cell phone in her hand. Nancy looked over as if ask a question.

Before she uttered a word, a woman said, I knew this person as a kid when we lived in Yachats. She was a girl then, I don’t know what she is now. But she looks like a guy. Without replying, Nancy got on her cell and told Bobbi to hurry and join her.

Bobbi arrived just about the same time as the cops and Tim did. Nancy hadn’t realized that Tim had checked in with the sheriff’s office to let them know he was in town. She figured it was another buddy from one of the many cop trainings that Tim had attended over the years. Bobbi had thrown on a sweatshirt, shorts and her slippers. Nancy knew Bobbi would come braless and would be embarrassed so she would wear a sweatshirt to cover up, even though it had gotten pretty warm outside. She was still the good Catholic middle child concerned with modesty and morality, one of many reasons why Nancy loved her. It had probably been easy to spot Bobbi as a lesbian if people really observed her. She kept her blondish hair short and pretty much refused to wear feminine clothes and could always be seen in her sneakers. Her social life was satisfied through a softball team and other sports. Bobbi had revealed to her parents that she was a lesbian at age 19 after a failed attempt at college. They insisted she meet with the church pastor who declared it was just a phase. Bobbi stuck to her guns, however, and insisted that everyone understand that she was gay and that was that. Later on, this same priest made a pass at Bobbi, perhaps to convert her to heterosexuality, no one knew for sure. Bobbi’s older sister ended up in a relationship with him and eventually he was banned from family functions. Bobbi spoke on occasion of these contradictive perspectives on morality.

*     *     *

Richard Silvermine, who made quite a handsome young man, had been on hormones for over a year and had already had a breast reduction. His complexion was lightly tinted with yellow, brown and red hues which you could easily detect if you took the time to really look. His eyes were dark brown speckled with yellow dots and he had a bright white smile. Richard was just about 5'8" and was developing an appealing physique due to hard work and regular visits to the local gym. One morning he had called his twin sister to say that she needed to know something about him and that she better brace herself for the news. Rochelle lived in New York City and was pursuing a career as an actor, receiving bit parts in Broadway plays. Richard knew that Rochelle was a worldly person exposed to diversity. She had even starred in a couple of plays in SOHO, a popular place for lesbian, gay and transgender culture.

Let’s see, Rickie, let me think, what could you tell me that I can’t guess? Tell me that our mother has turned into a decent person and that would surprise me. Anything else I can take with a grain of salt.

Well, we can start by having you call me by my name, Richard, and the rest you can guess. I’ve been living as a man now for a year, happy to say. My next move, in fact, is to visit the tribe in Yachats and have a talk with our mother.

Good luck with that. But, congratulations on being who you have always been. I remember we used to tease that you were my prince while I, of course, was the eternal princess. It took me years to realize that mother was beating on you, punishing you for who you really were, not because you were the more defiant of the two of us. Remember how we used to plot how we were going to kill her? We were joking, of course, but imagine the deep-seeded hate we had for her. She used to accuse us of having bad native blood and now she is the virulent Coquille Indian, living off the tribe, even collecting money from the government. Isn’t she tied up with a casino in the area too?

Well, I don’t begrudge her identifying with our heritage. Maybe she’ll gain some spirituality in the process. Sometimes I blame our father more than her because he was so passive. He’s been dead ten years and I still don’t know who he was, except that he was Ute Indian from Utah. Mom was raised in Yachats like us. You know she just had her fiftieth birthday, right?

Hey, he died from the booze and as for her birthday, I could care less. Whenever I contact her she writes back and asks for money. So, I don’t bother anymore. I just know she was 20 when I was born—that way I can keep track of my own age. Rochelle chuckled.

Richard sat quietly after he hung up the phone and thought about how angry his sister was. So many memories flashed before his mind. So many years wasted on drugs and alcohol as he tried to comply with the standards of being female. He had even married once in a drunken stupor. He and whatever her name was had taken a trip to Las Vegas for a quick ceremony. To this day he didn’t know whether the thing was legal or not. He had compassion and a lot of guilt for all the times both his father and mother had bailed him out of jail or a drug den or a rehab center. He knew all the drug dens and the people who peddled cocaine. He had quit that stuff and had truly had learned his lesson. He could no longer use the excuse that he was Native American in a bigoted town with fishermen and lumberjacks on his case or that he was physically and emotionally abused by his parents. Now, he had work to do to live as a man on hormones. Richard was hopeful about his future—he just needed to stay safe. If what happened last week was any indication of what was next, things might get a little scary.

Richard had spent a little time researching his father’s roots but he hadn’t shared that with his sister, Rochelle. His father, Joseph Silvermine, was born in 1950 and had died in 1998. He had been raised by his father after his mother had died giving birth to him. Joseph and his father led a simple life with few amenities as part of the Ute tribe from the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah. Joseph had worked in the Silver King mine from the age of 14. His father had died from miner’s lung disease, having worked for years in the Dyer mine, 26 miles north of Vernal. The Dyer mine had flourished until 1941, producing lead, silver, some gold and three million dollars worth of copper. It was rumored that Joseph chose the Silver King mine because he wanted to separate himself from the place that he viewed as causing his father’s illness. Silver mine production peaked just prior to his birth and later he was one of the last miners to leave. Joseph took on the last name of Silvermine in memory of his mining days. At age 20 he headed west to Yachats, Oregon, to change his life’s path and there he met Jo Anna Firebush, a Coquille Indian. They met in a tavern and spent the night. The Silvermine twins were of product of this feisty and tumultuous relationship between Joseph and Jo Anna.

The Uinta is the largest mountain range in Utah and runs east and west, unusual because most mountain ranges run north to south. One hundred million years ago the basin was filled with lake water which eventually turned to swampland, making way for dinosaurs to thrive. Subsequent glacial action created the Uinta Mountains, leaving them rich in ores, natural gas, oil phosphate and hydrocarbons. The pursuit of gold eventually attracted Spanish exploration, leaving artifacts of cannonballs, helmets, swords and writing on rocks and trees.

The Ute were moved by the federal government to reservations in 1868 where land was set aside in order to keep the bands together and control them. The Ute Indians had a rich tradition of sun dances and bear dances and a peyote religion or cult was in place by the 1920s. The combination of celebration and spirits provided a powerful connection between Ute and other tribes as each shared parts of their culture with the others. Peyote was referred to as beans, often shipped by mail from South Dakota to Utah. Sometimes confiscated by the U.S. Postal Service, hallucinogens were frowned upon. The bean was chewed and used by dancers who sought healing and spiritual enhancement. The dances went on for days, often leaving the dancers depleted and exhausted. The use of peyote and dances was deeply misunderstood by some Christian churches especially in light of the fact that many Native Americans were drawn to religion. More and more Mormons, Protestants and Catholics moved closer to or became part of the reservations.

The Ute revered the medicine men but as diseases devastated the tribe, more and more Indians began to turn to traditional medical services which were eventually managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and subsequent overseers. The influenza epidemic of 1918 greatly impacted the reservations. Censuses indicated a population numbering 8,000 to 10,000 at the time of contact with white people. This number decreased by 75 percent in subsequent centuries, especially in the early 1900s during a time of Mormon and other occupations. Sparse accounts of actual numbers of Ute are most probably due to the fact that the tribe did shrink over time due to sickness and neglect by the federal government administration, coupled by negative attitudes and misunderstanding of the life and practices of the Ute.

*     *     *

It was August, just over a month since Richard had been found murdered. Nancy and Bobbi decided to go to Utah to the Uinta Basin outside of Vernal to find answers to questions regarding Richard’s roots. It was all too mysterious—why had his twin sister become so frightened when she saw her mother at Richard’s memorial? She had said she didn’t know why but she was more than normally disturbed by a dream she had about her father, Joseph Silvermine. In the dream she was visiting the Vernal petroglyphs and saw a disturbing portrayal of Richard’s death. She felt sure the dream was connected to her twin and the way he died.

I want to go to Vernal and learn more about Richard’s roots. He’s a descendant of the Ute Indians. They tend to be pretty shy and keep to themselves, so I’ve read. Let’s go check out the area. We can fly out of Portland, Nancy said.

The women cleared the way with their clients and work sites and went to visit with Rakki, Shalom and Courage in Portland. It had been a sweet one as Courage was beginning to walk. The family of three was very happy.

That night as they prepared to go to bed, Bobbi said, That baby makes my heart sing. If I knew at 20 what I know now at 37, I would have had a child.

We still can, you know, Nancy replied. I could keep working to support us. That would be okay.

Bobbi felt moved as she drew closer and nestled her fingers up to Nancy’s nipples. That’s so sweet. I wish we could make our own baby and not depend on anyone for sperm. I don’t want to be inseminated and I’m not going to have sex with a man. Only you make me feel aroused and ready to make love. Bobbi slowly guided Nancy unto Rakki and Shalom’s bed. They won’t mind if we take a little time out to review just how we would make a baby, she chuckled.

As Nancy moved her legs in between Bobbi’s, they landed and she said, I love mystery and we’re in the throes of another. Maybe this will suffice for a baby right now.

Oh yes, I can feel you rising, my beauty. This is enough for me right now.

*     *     *

The two women flew out of the Portland airport to Salt Lake City, Utah, landed and rented a car. It was quite a jaunt through Heber City, Roosevelt and beyond. Nine miles of construction slowed the trip down and both Nancy and Bobbi grew impatient. Oh my god, if this weren’t such stunningly beautiful turf, I’d be pissed by this 45-minute standstill. I’m going to take a shot of the Cottenwoods. Look how wonderful—a grove of beauty just off Highway 40. The backdrop of hoodoos is so reminiscent of our last two adventures here in Utah, Bobbi exclaimed. She got out of the standing car and snapped a quick photo of trees tucked into red and white sandstone.

It was dusk as the women drove into the Best Western on Main Street in Vernal. The woman at the front desk was dark haired with dark skin, clearly of native descent. She was remarkably darker than Ma’ii, the native who had befriended Nancy and Bobbi in Moab two years prior. Nancy decided to risk inquiring about the woman’s heritage.

Do you mind if I ask? Are you Ute Native American?

The woman smiled as she pressed the registration forms toward Nancy and replied, Yes, not everyone can guess that. You’ve been reading up, haven’t you? I know the books say we are darker than the Navajo or the Paiute.

Yes, we’ve been researching a bit. We’re trying to find out about Joseph Silvermine. He died in 1998—ten years ago.

I knew him when we were young. He moved to Oregon, then he came back. He had a couple of kids—said he had to come back to reclaim some territory. Guess the mining company ripped him off royally. He lived right down off 500 W. street, close to Dry Fork. The small house set back off the corner lot there.

Nancy looked at Bobbi as if to say—Can you believe this? Small world. She said, Thank you. What is your name?

Leaning forward on the counter, the woman replied, Martha Wintersmoke. I’ve been working here for 20 years, since it was the original motel. Looked a lot different then. When you go out there to his house, be careful. It’s boarded up, but people say there’s strange stuff going on there. Couldn’t say myself what it is.

It’s been good talking to you, Martha. We’ll be aware of your warnings, Bobbi replied, as she filled out the paperwork and handed Martha her credit card. We’ll head out in the morning.

Nancy and Bobbi flopped into bed, weary from traveling. They agreed to talk in the morning about what to do next about the mystery as well as take in the fabulous sites. Flaming Gorge was about 30 minutes away and they knew it was a beautiful spectacle. The women briefly cuddled and promptly fell asleep.

It was about two in the morning when Nancy stirred and awakened to a strange sound outside the room window. She quietly crept to the window and pulled the curtain back about an inch. There was a coyote! He was sitting there looking straight up into her eyes. Nancy sat mesmerized by the beauty of the animal, recalling how people said he was sometimes a trickster. As they peered at each other, Nancy detected a smile on the coyote’s face and she realized he looked just like Richard. Nancy felt no fear for she had become accustomed to this animal appearing in her Utah sojourns and she felt they had a special relationship. In fact, she wondered if he might be Ma’ii posing as Richard, alerting her to stay sharp in their pursuit of Richard’s murderer. Ma’ii, named after the coyote, had befriended Nancy and Bobbi near the Arches Monument. Now the coyote evaporated right on the spot. Nancy returned to bed and lay there next to Bobbi wondering just what was in store for them as they pursued this mystery.

It was after ten the next morning before the women got moving. Bobbi had said she needed to sleep in so that her knee would get a rest. They put on shorts and sleeveless shirts as they figured it would be a typical hot summer Utah day. Hot and dry.

I appreciate your willingness to check out the petroglyphs, Bobbi, before we head north to the Dinosaur National Monument, even though they are in the opposite direction. First, I’m going to Joseph Silvermine’s homestead and see what it looks like. I wonder what Martha meant when she said people talked about weird stuff going on there. Here, we are just about on top of the spot now, right on the corner. I’ll move up the driveway to see if we get a rise out of whoever is in there, Nancy said.

Did you see that? Bobbi asked, her voice raising an octave. I swear someone just moved that curtain. Kinda strange seeing as the place seems abandoned.

Suddenly a shot rang out. It seemed like it cruised right past the roof of the car. Nancy, let’s get the hell out of here! Bobbi cried.

No, we shouldn’t give in to this intimidation. Nancy yelled out, Wait, don’t do that again. We are here to ask about Joseph Silvermine. We thought this was his house. Who are you? Why are you trying to scare us? Please, talk to us. Another shot rang out. Nancy quickly put the car in reverse and moved to the end of the long driveway. The women sat there for a moment. Let’s creep up along the tree line and see if we can get closer.

Oh, for god’s sake, Nancy, you’re nuts. You’re gonna get us killed! I’m staying right here; you can go up if you want. I’ll get into the driver’s seat in case we have to barrel out of here.

Nancy

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