Draft62

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CHAPTER 62

Dory was an early bird, so after Roddy Walker summoned her and Tashun- ka by phone to drop by his office for questioning sha was the first to arrive. Felt introduced himself and mentioned that he had a few ques- tions for har.

In his opening gambit Felt said, "You are not under any obligation to answer, but I do have a few questions remaining to tie off this case and your help would be greatly prohibited. I only warn you that mak- ing a false statement to a federal agent is a crime. Do you under- stand, Miss Doriel?"

"My friends call me Dory. And yes, Special Agent Felt, I do understand how serious this is."

"What was your relationship to the deceased?"

"She and I were classmates at the Church parochial school. For a time, we were officers of the Church. And also we were very close friends."

"Where were you two days ago, on January 20?"

"I spent the entire day either in the Temple, or in the Temple parking lot, or at my house, or on the road between the Temple and my house."

"What time do you first arrive at the Temple."

"About a quarter to eight, in the morning, as was my habit. I was still the Apostle of the Church on that morning."

"Can you tell me if anything of note happened after you arrived at the Temple?"

"The former Apostle of the Church arrived, Special Agent Felt. A Mr. Klaus Hansen. He came with Paul Bergin, who used to be the Deacon, until both of them stormed out and started their own church in some barn. It wasn't the first they'd been back to the Temple since their first temper tantrum. I guess they thought throwing a temper tantrum was a good negotiating technique. They stormed out last Monday after Kim and Gabriel flashed their wedding rings and told they they would never get a divorce. Then on Wednesday they came back and said we had one more chance to put the Church back together. Can you be believe that? They said we had one more chance."

"What were their conditions?"

"They wanted their old positions back, both Apostle and Deacon, as though nothing had happened. Gabriel told 'em to go pound sand, so they made as though they were leaving again. I thought I would break the logjam by resigning my own position. Offer 'em half of what the arrogant fools were demanding, at any rate."

"Then what happened?"

"Klaus took the deal, natch, because at least he got his job back, and Paul's pretty much his lapdog anyway. Then they talked Robyn and Ga- briel into going down to their barn and patching things up with the White Wing. I'm Red Wing so I wouldn't be welcome there anyway. I stayed in the Temple cleaning the rooms we reserve for out-of- towners."

"Were you alone in the Temple after that, Dory?"

"As far as I know, yes. As you may know, it's pretty big. But the only vehicle in the parking lot was Twofeather's Woodie."

"Did he give you that?"

"Yeah, and his house, and everything in it. You can't take it with you, as everyone knows."

"Did anyone come to the Temple during the rest of that day?"

"The next one back was Gabriel, about an hour later, he said he walked halfway up the mountain from where Hansen kicked him out of his truck. About a half hour after that Hansen and Bergin came back too and I thought it must have been a pretty short reunion ceremony. Hansen booted me out of the Temple because I wasn't an officer of the Church anymore, I guess, and he said he only wanted to see me there on Wednesdays with the rest of the Red Wing. So I got in my station wagon and drove home."

"Thank you Dory. That's all the questions I have. But I believe my associate Special Agent Bill Sullivan has a few more. Please remem- ber, the same rules apply."

Sullivan asked, "What is your relationship with one Sophie Krause?"

"It is precisely the same as my relationship with one Kimberly Zinter, we are classmates and friends, except that I presume Sofie is still alive."

"When was the last time you saw her?"

"What does this have to do with the murder case."

"It has to do with the fugitive case."

"You know, Special Agent Sullivan, I still haven't seen one piece of paper signed by a judge that says to arrest Sofie for what-have-you. What do you think she's done to make her a fugitive?"

"She broke quarantine."

"What quarantine? I haven't seen that piece of paper either."

"I'm asking the questions here."

"And under the rules laid out by Special Agent Mark Felt, which he subsequently affirmed apply to your line of questioning, I'm under no obligation to answer."

With that she walked briskly out of the sheriff's station.

By that time Tashunka had checked in. He was appraised of the same set of conditions that Dory had been given, and said he was ready to speak.

Felt said, "The sheriff tells me, sir, that you're even older than the town of Headwater."

"I was a boy of nine when they platted out the town," Tashunka said. "There was no roads back then. There were no houses, no Temple, not even state borders. They say you're here because Kimberly's body lay across three states, but imagine what a small thing that must seem to me compared to the underlying fact, which is that a girl is dead."

"How did you find her?"

"I live on the same dirt road that passes near the tri-state marker, out where it wanders into what they tell me is the edge of Wyoming, but of course that doesn't mean much to me either. I was making for the Temple to see Gabriel about getting more of those half-dollars he never seems to run out of and that's when I saw her."

"Did you draw near to the body?"

"Only near enough to see her breath didn't make clouds in the cold air and so I knew she was dead. I knew she was in the Church from her hair. And after more observation I knew she was Kimberly Zinter."

"This is very important, Tashunka. What time was it when you found the girl?"

"I don't have a clock in my truck, but it was early in the eleven o'- clock hour because soon after that I saw a clock on a wall at the sheriff's station that said 11:20."

"And how long did it take for you to get from the murder scene to the sheriff's station?"

"About fifteen minutes. I know it's not that far, but I drove slowly because the road was icy and I knew the girl was dead and there really wasn't any need to hurry."

"Thank you, sir," said Mark Felt. "You've been very helpful, and those are all the questions I have for you today."

"But I have a few more questions," said Tolson, who had been listen- ing, but perhaps not so intently. "I'm Special Agent in Charge Clyde Tolson, and my questions will run more to the deep background. For instance, are you the same Tashunka who stayed with Chief Wanica when his son rode down the river with Lieutenant Wells hard on his heels?"

"I was that boy," Tashunka said. "I see you have read the Green Book, Special Agent in Charge Clyde Tolson. That's very flattering."

"Thank you. My question to you is, how did Wanica deal with Morrison and Smalley and the two other calvarymen really? How did the bodies of all those soldiers and their horses disappear really?"

"Special Agent in Charge Clyde Tolson, now that you have read the Green Book, it will save both you and I much time if you to realize what sort of book it really is."

"And what sort of book is it, really, Tashunka?"

"It is not a book of religious poetry, Special Agent in Charge Clyde Tolson. It does not veer into metaphor or allegory. Everything con- tained within that book really happened, exactly as it was written. And that is all I have to say about that."

Then Tashunka got up and following the example of Dory he departed the sheriff's station with no more words.

Next up was Klaus Hansen, who hobbled into the interrogation room with his ankles cuffed so he had no illusion he could just get up and walk out like Dory and Tashunka just did. Tolson consulted a brief Felt had put together for him before he spoke.

"Mr. Hansen, we placed your vehicle at the crime scene."

"With what, Clyde, tire treads? How many different kinds of tires do you think there are in a town as small as this?"

"Gabriel Shybear is willing to testify that you declared the girl dead before her body was found by the old Indian, who, by the way, inmmedi- ately notified the sheriff while you did not."

"But you can't tie the murder weapon to me. You can't tie the foot- prints to anyone. So all you have is the word of an aggrieved hus- band."

"You had motive in that you led the White Wing out of the Church over the marriage of Gabriel and Kim, and only returned when such a mar- riage was made forbidden as an article of canon law."

"All that means, Clyde, is the new Prophet had more common sense than the old one did."

"Ah, yes, but that ruling left the original marriage in place, to be dissolved by any means necessary. And finally, you cannot account for your whereabouts between the time when you left Gabriel on the side of the road and the time you returned to the Temple, which also happens to bracket the time of the murder."

"The girl was already dead when I got down there," Hansen said.

"Paul Bergin is a small fellow," Tolson said. "Even Kim loomed over him, and that makes the murder puzzling because killing someone who doesn't want to die is harder than you think. Yet somehow she was slaughtered and her body hoisted onto that marker. You just admitted you were both there, and I know you deliberately made the case federal to get my attention. So now you indeed have it, Klaus. The floor is yours."

"If you keep me here in custody Gabriel Shybear will hold Last Rites for his wife in a private ceremony and you will never see the Golden Gift. If you swear to drop the charges, I'll make her Last Rites pub- lic services. At the end you and your agents can descend on Gabriel and scoop up the Golden Gift at your leisure.

Mark Felt gave a start, but the advice Robyn left for him in the li- brary the previous night served him well here. He knew the Director would never tolerate letting Hansen go free. No judge would instruct a jury to ignore the other set of footprints, but even if one did, Ber- gin's defense team would argue for a mistrial. Failing that, they would certainly get his conviction overturned on appeal.

Sheriff Walker responded the way Felt initially wanted to do when he said, "You can't be seriously thinking of letting him go. We've got him cold for conspiracy to commit murder, at the very least."

Mark Felt said, "Sheriff, I'm dying to discuss this with you, but this is neither the time nor the place."

Tolson found that remark interesting. "Where are your thoughts trend- ing, Felt?"

"Sir, when the Director sent me here he told me the case would be in- dependent of your DECON work, and my reports were to go directly to him, but unfortunately here's a situation where the two investigations have run right into each other. The Director's orders to me were to, quote, 'mesh with Tolson where practical' so I will look to the senior agent on site for guidance."

"Excellent, Felt. Then let us go forward and see what shakes out. Klaus, you have my word as a federal agent the Bureau will not charge you with the murder of this girl. But if this is just a big bait-and- switch operation, if I don't have the Golden Gift in my hand at the conclusion of all this, you will be right back in here and all bets are off."

"I understand."

Tolson instructed the sheriff to remove the shackles from the prison- er's ankles. After he was done Felt caught Walker's eye and gestured to meet him outside.

When they were both out of earshot, the Sheriff said, "There's no need to explain, Special Agent Felt. I get it. Operational deception. Even the sheriff of a ramshackle town like this knows the FBI doesn't actu- ally charge perps with crimes, they leave that to the US Attorney or a Grand Jury."

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