From CleanPosts

Jump to: navigation, search


True to his word, Klaus Hanson had nothing more to say at the sher- iff's station and even Paul Bergin declined to make his phone call to a lawyer or anyone else. FBI Special Agent Mark Felt was content to let them both stew in the county lockup overnight and he called it a day.

The sheriff dropped him off at the library on 17th and V. After he stepped out of the truck Felt said, I want to bring Doriel and Tashun- ka to the station tomorrow to tidy up a few more things on the case."

"I'll track them down and let them know."

When Felt wasn't active in the field he slammed to the full reverse and became a man of precise routine. His ritual at the end of the workday was always to sit in a library, summarize the events of the day, and mail it to Dotty back in DC. Somehow the young lady named Robyn the sheriff spoke to the day before, on the afternoon of the 20th of January, knew this.

Felt thought the day just concluding had been more eventful for him than any day since Quantico, and it took Felt longer than usual to summarize all the pertinent events for Dotty on the stationary Robyn had provided. Before he was even half finished, Felt spotted a book on the table with a note taped to it, inked in a neat feminine hand.

The note said:

Dear Special Agent Felt, Well done on the bust, but one of the two men you've put away has (or rather he will have) an unexpected ally within the Bureau. You may already suspect this. I advise that you defer any objection that you may rightly have, at least until things play out. Be assured that all will be well.

Meanwhile, to compensate for the unfortunate renovation of B Wing at the Temple, I bring your attention to this excellent account of the Red Wing's part in the origin of the Church of Green Dome. I believe it will explain the odd behavior of your supervisor. Enjoy!

Felt glanced around the library to see if Robyn was watching. How did she know to leave the book at just that table and not another one? It was a mystery, and one sufficient to break Felt out of his rigid rou- tine.

The title of the book was "Island in the Sky: The Life of the Kuwapi People" written in 1925 by Jashen Shybear and it was rather thick.

He learned that the Oglala Sioux were so named because the word means "They scatter their own" and he learned the Kuwapi were the ones they cast out to earn that name.

He learned of the massacres at the hands of the US Army, and the ex- tended war that was fought over the Black Hills, which the whites wanted to mine, but the Lakota held to be sacred, and how the Army gnawed away at the problem until, with few exceptions, they ground all the plains Indians into submission.

He learned of how the Bureau of Indian Affairs classified the Kuwapi as part of the Oglala tribe, making them eligible for settlement in a reservation, but the Kuwapi declined, because they had fallen in with a group of white settlers from Pennsylvania who baptised them and formed a single congregation of believers. As he read, Mark's attention was drawn to something called the Golden Gift, a religious artifact the Kuwapi people believed to have been given to Chief Wanica by the Great Spirit himself, Wakan Tanka. He noted that even the white members of their united faith assembly be- lieved this, and he recalled a line written in the front matter of the Printer's Manuscript that he had dismissed as irrelvant at the time. It had read thus:

"The Sacred Relic shall remain in the possession of the Deacon of the Church, who shall be minister of the Last Rite."

Felt saw the artifact was associated somehow with how the Church dealt with the end of a believer's life. But he didn't yet guess the Golden Gift was the focus of Tolson's obsession with Headwater.

Opening the book had been a mistake. He had drowned in the text, and before he even knew it, the librarian came around to inform him the branch was closing and he had made not the slightest effort writing his report to Dotty. He did note the Dewey number on the spine of the book so he could find it again, then spent the last fifteen minutes finishing out his report to Dotty.

                           *  *  *  *  *

At roughly the same time that evening Dr. Wahkan received an honored guest in his office. The visitor said, "Dory told me you found some- thing on Kim's body and hid it from the police."

"Yes, Teacher, certainly," said Dr. Wahkan, and he retrieved a small object from his desk. It was rubbery on one side, and looked like one end of the Purple Cable on the other. He gave it to Yeshua.

Yeshua asked, "Does anyone else know about this?"

"No one saw it, Teacher, and I didn't write it up in a report. Dory was very specific about that."

"Thank you, Doctor. This device doesn't really belong in this time and place, you see. It comes from about fifty years from here, after a great many changes occur that you would find difficult to fathom."

"Teacher, may I ask what it does?"

Yeshua smiled gently. "It has two purposes, Doctor Wahkan. This side looks like a big brown mole because that's easier to explain than an electrical connector coming out of your head. But it's also very much like a radio transmitter."

"How wonderful," said Wahkan. "I don't believe I've seen a single tube smaller than that gadget."

"Yes. Vacuum tubes are useful but in only one generation they will seem as quaint as whale oil lamps. I gave Kim this 'gadget' so I could capture all her experiences, even to the very instant of her death. It was a promise I made to her when she agreed to be killed."

                           *  *  *  *  *

Felt had been standing in the cold outside of the closed library for ten minutes before Agent Bill Sullivan swung by to pick him up as previously arranged. He apologized for being a little late and blamed it on the difficulty of breaking free of Tolson. "He's got his inves- tigatory teeth into another steak."

He started driving toward the FBI trailer north of Greendome where they would stay overnight.

"Tomorrow, Bill," said Felt, "if you please, I'd like to see the town's cemetery before we go back to the sheriff's station."

"That little thing? I've seen it. It's on the side of Mt. Motorcycle down where the railroad loops around back on itself. You know, Felt, Headwater is a small town, but it's not that small, and it's almost eighty years old, so you'd think their local version of Boot Hill would be bigger, but no, it's only about the size of any single lot in town. Maybe forty plots."

"I wonder why that is."

"So did Tolson. He already ran it down. None of the faithful get buried here. It turns out that little cemetery is only for the hea- thens, for folks who weren't a member of the Church of Green Dome and committed the unthinkable faux pas of dying here."

Personal tools
Strangers In Paradise