Chapter II: A Peace Chief

From Chapter II: A Peace Chief

We came to the cabin on Bill Rivers’ ranch at dusk, Fisher and I—with fresh shirts to replace those we’d dropped from the airplane—in a patrol car driven by Skunk Bear, followed by O’Day hauling two horses in a trailer behind his pickup. I’d heard Rivers’ cabin described by a man who’d seen it a half-century ago, and it still looked the same: logs carved and notched to fit at the corners, weathered and gray where their color came through the dry gray mud which had spattered shoulder high up the walls: only the shingles on the roof were a darker color. The ground around the cabin was packed hard, like the prairie north of these mountains, though not cracked as the gray prairie itself would be this late in summer.

The cabin’s washed-out look should have made it seem old and therefore permanent, something that, having lasted, would continue to last; but instead the cabin seemed to be turning into dust which would finally be covered by the grass and brush which grew everywhere else in the valley.