Beverly Connor. The Night Killer
(Diane Fallon — 8)
To all my cousins
The gray sky grew darker as Diane watched. The storm was coming fast. She tried not to show her unease as she listened to Roy Barre going on about his grandfather’s collection of Indian arrowheads that he was loaning to the museum. The two of them stood beside the museum’s SUV, the four-wheel-drive vehicle she had driven to his mountain home. Diane had the driver’s-side door open, key in hand, ready to get in when he wound down, or at least paused in his narrative.
“So, you going to put a plaque up on the wall with Granddaddy’s name?” Barre said. “He’d like that. He picked up arrowheads from the time he was a little boy. Found a lot of them in the creek bed. That big, pretty one I showed you of red flint-he was crossing the creek, looked down, and there it was, big as life right there with the river rocks.”
Diane had heard the story several times already.
“Yes,” she said, “there will be a plaque. Our archaeologist, Jonas Briggs, will oversee the display.”
Roy Barre was a tall, rounded, cheerful man in his mid-fifties with a ruddy face, graying beard, and brown hair down to his collar. In his overalls and plaid shirt, he didn’t look as though he owned most of the mountain and the one next to it. Even with the oncoming storm, had she consented, he would at this moment be showing her the property and the crisscross of creeks where his grandfather had found his arrowheads.
“Granddaddy didn’t dig for them, even when he was a little boy-he knowed that was wrong. You know, some people look for Indian burials and dig up the bones looking for pottery and nice arrowheads. Granddaddy didn’t do that. No, he didn’t bother anybody’s resting place. He just picked up arrowheads he found on the ground or in the creek. A lot of them was in the creek, washed from somewhere. He never knew from where. He just eyed the creek bottom and, sure enough, he’d always find something. He sure found some pretty ones. Yes, he did.”