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The Novel So Far . . .

This is the current chapter I am working on.  For previous chapters, please see the tab marked “Previous Chapters” above. To sign up to received my novel tweets, please go to


“Hiru belarritan igaren hitz isila, orotan lasterka dabila,” Eneca Udaberri muttered to herself in Basque as she ended the call.  It translated roughly as “A secret told to three ears, runs everywhere.” According to her usual sources, Eneca’s boss, Dean Fuller, was dead. When she was under stress, Eneca’s mind always worked in #Basque first and English second. Basque was comfort, the language of her parents.  She wasn’t as fluent as she had been when she was young, but the old sayings were always there in her mind ready to bubble to the surface.  The news had been shocking, and she wasn’t sure what would happen next. It was first thing in the morning, she had a full day ahead of her.  She picked up the phone and dialed four numbers, “This is Eneca. We need to talk.”  She paused, listening for a moment, then quietly hung up.

He walked quietly through the sagebrush, desert peach, and the few Piñon Pine that grew here. His dog was beside him, a daypack on his back.  The land around him was scarred by mining.   Most of the damage was done over a century ago during the Comstock Load era. Eager prospectors had left a dangerous legacy of open ventilation shafts, iron scrap, and colored leavings when their mines had played out. Some of them didn’t leave their claims voluntarily.  They were forced out by scalding water when their pick or shovel hit a geothermal vent.

There wasn’t much water above the ground, but the hot springs ran deep, and they weren’t hard to find.  They smelled like sulfur, like hell.  He carefully stepped between the clumps of brush and cheatgrass along the edge of an abandoned mine.  It looked promising and smelled awful.  He didn’t want to fall through a crust of earth to his death, and he didn’t want the dog to fall either.  “Butch, get over here!” he called. His dog had gotten excited when he left the truck with his gun, anxious to hunt Chucker or Sage Hen. But that wasn’t why he grabbed the gun.  He brought the dog to dress the ruse.  Anyone who saw him would think the same thing Butch thought: bird hunting.

But this was a deer rifle.

No one in their right mind would hunt birds with this gun, but it worked great on troublesome college bitches.  He was sorry to let it go.