"I sure wish my guide would show up. I'm really ready to hit the hay. I don't suppose you could give me directions to the reservation?"
"Oh, I could get you to Stone Circles, the biggest of the native villages, okay, or even Mound, which is a bit trickier, but that would not solve your problem. There is no motel or hotel out there, no boarding house, and I can't imagine you living with any of the families I know."
She feels tears welling up in her eyes. Hoping that the poor light hides them from the sheriff, she continues, "Do you know this Juan Quantico, the man who said he would meet me?"
Gruffly, the sheriff admits, "Yes. But he doesn't come to town."
"So you said earlier. Could that Tomás fellow Tex ran off possibly be the one I was supposed to meet?"
Still sounding angry, the sheriff stiffens, then says, "Possibly, but not very likely. There's still a vacancy next door."
"That doesn't do me any good." She hesitates, loathe to lie outright.
It is the obvious strings that seem to be attached to that offer.
"I promised to live on the reservation." Her words sound hollow and false even to herself.
A pretty thin excuse. I haven't even started, yet. As far as I know, I haven't even set foot on the reservation, and from all the help I'm getting here, I am not likely to tonight.
As if he can read her mind, he adds enticingly, "Rooms let for only $8.00 per night. They're pretty primitive -- no water, minimal heat."
"Oh, I'm sure they're plenty warm enough for tonight."
"The desert gets cold at night."
"I've read all about diurnal ranges, I assure you." Her hand barely hides a yawn. "If he doesn't put in an appearance pretty soon, I will just have to sleep in my truck."
Last updated 1/3/02.