The miles slipped by all too swiftly for Mike. He was going over the weekend's events in his head as the Wilbur's place came into view.
'One thing Johnny. What's the story? Jay's Shoshone chief ancestor and the Goddamned potato?' asked Mike just before bailing out of Johnny's sedan into the Wilbur's yard.
'Kind of a legend with his people, how that old chief bested a bunch of white people intent on stealing the land. They wanted the Shoshone people to give up hunting and start planting stuff. Corn. Wheat. Potatoes an' all. They sent a passel of commissioners and soldiers, and they spent hours speechifying as to the advantages of growing crops. Then it was the chief's turn to reply. An' you know what he said.'
'I kinda like that,' mused Mike.
'Yeah. It's cool. Tomorrow then, brother?'
'Yeah. See ya!'
Meanwhile at Sergeant Seven Elk's station house, he was bent over the computer keyboard working on a hunch. He still had not told Special Agent Marshetta about the Wilbur connection even though the two men got on well together. Marshetta would rib Nathan about his round gut, and Nathan would retaliate with a comment about the agent's freaky hairstyle. Each made disparaging remarks about the parentage of the other.
Yes, they got on well - like brothers almost. But certain facts you kept to yourself. Facts that might hurt the two people who took you in as a kid and treated you like a son. Facts that might make them look like prime suspects, when you knew that was so much bull. He wanted to protect Hettie and Dan Wilbur, because he knew they were innocent of any crime. He also knew that Richard Marshetta would want to run them in for questioning - probably search their house, dig up the yard. He figured Marshetta had enough cop in him to soon see the obvious, and let them both go. But they were getting on in years, and people say no smoke without fire. It would be a bad trip for two people who deserved better, and Nathan was doing his level best to make sure "better" is what they got.
Nathan's mind drifted back to the mountains again. This time he saw them through his own fourteen-year-old eyes, and the man guiding him was Dan. And it was all the proof he needed. If Dan got off on killing kids, Nathan knew he would have been bones these last twenty-six years.
Dan melted away in Nathan's mind to be replaced by the blood-stained and broken Stevie. Nathan's lip curled in an expression of hate for the monster who had killed him.