Mystery and Crime Fiction posted February 23, 2013 Chapters:  ...30 31 -32- 33... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
the body count builds

A chapter in the book Along the Jericho Road

Iyaope Moon

by Writingfundimension


"Matthew Buell moved to within sight of the two men. "Understand something, Sheriff. I'm not here to impede your efforts. I respect your limitations. But I am by nature a deal maker, and when necessary, a ball breaker. He glanced up at the wall clock. "In less than thirty minutes, accompanied by an attractive blonde television anchor, I intend to offer a $10,000 incentive for finding my father."

Derek turned toward Matthew, planted one leg and rested his opposite knee against the edge of the desk.

"Throwing that kind of money into the mix is dangerous --- ninety per cent of the leads are bullshit and a waste of manpower," Derek insisted. Are you willing to take that risk?"

"I'm going to use my resources as I see fit, Sheriff. What I have is money. Lots of money...' Matthew's voice cracked and he looked away for a moment. "Dad held two jobs in order to pay for my college education. He made me the man I am. And I intend to use everything at my disposal to bring him home safe."


Tribal policeman, Ty Longacre, found himself dead center of a family dispute. He'd been called to the Bree farm on Cowbird Lane to break up an altercation between twin brothers, Raymond and Russell.

Lynn Bree, niece of the twins and co-owner of the farmstead, was the one who made the call. She was waiting for him at the top of the driveway as he stepped from his patrol car.

"What're they fightin' about this time, Lynn?" Ty asked without preamble.

"The same old nonsense. Casino allotment checks came in the mail yesterday. Raymond discovered Russell opened his envelope without permission -- you know he just won't give up on the idea he's getting less of a payout. The uncles never questioned each other's honesty until that damned casino opened."

She raised a palm to shade her eyes against a sudden burst of light through patchy gray clouds. "I heard them hollering and thought nothing of it. But when I saw Raymond heading to the shed, I figured I'd better get you over here just in case things get out of hand."

Ty's answering smile curved gently like a river connecting two mountain peaks. His high cheekbones and deep-set, cocoa-brown eyes set every single woman's pulse fluttering. Lynn was one of the few that didn't go soft under his scrutiny.

"I've got goats to milk, Ty. The uncles are upsetting the animals, and I'd appreciate it if you could get them settled down."

He tipped his hat and promised, "I'll throw them in jail overnight if I have to."

"For what its worth, you have my permission to do whatever it takes." She turned her back on him and walked to where three goats scrubbed the top of their wire pen with their tongues.

Ty openly enjoyed the easy sway of her hips and the gentle rock of her waist-length braid as she made her way up the slope to her animals.

You're a fine lookin' lady, Lynn Bree.

Reluctantly he turned away and followed shouts to a naked patch of ground a few feet from a tool shed. Past arguments between the brothers were rarely serious, mostly just a way to let off some steam. But Raymond appeared unusually frenzied today, and Ty figured it had to do with the empty liquor bottle he spied lying on the ground.

Grabbing a shovel leaning against the shed, Raymond swung it close to his brother's face, missing skin by a whisker. Russell blushed blood- red and screamed, "You crazy jackass." Thrusting out his chest like a randy bull, he rammed into his brother, knocking him to the ground. His enraged twin wrapped his arms around his brother's legs, laying him out flat. The two rolled around on the ground while hurling insults back and forth.

Ty picked up the shovel and set it inside the shed. He closed the door and stood watching the two men who showed no signs of letting up. Tentative scraping sounds came through the warped slats of wood behind him. A slight movement among the tall grasses to his left drew his attention.

A barn cat moved with practiced stealth in the direction of the rickety building.

Idukala (mouse) will soon feel the breath of Igmu (cat), he thought.

He watched the brothers tussle, hoping they'd lose steam of their own volition. Taking off his genuine black Stetson, he pulled out a square of cloth from his pocket and wiped moisture from the inner band. He'd been razzed for looking like a Wasicu (white person) when he first started wearing it. But he admired its craftsmanship and the inches it added to his height.

He placed the hat back on his head, tapped it into place and walked to where the two men were still going at it. Reaching down, he grabbed Russell who was sitting on his brother's chest and working to extract a handful of his brother's hair.

The old man struggled briefly then went slack in Ty's grip. Raymond made no move other than to turn his head sideways and spit out the dirt and pebbles in his mouth. Looking from one to the other, Ty rumbled, "I'm tired of comin' out here and pryin' you two knuckleheads apart. This is your last warning. Next time I'm called out here, you two will be treated to an overnight stay in our fine jail. Am I clear?"

"Lynn had no business calling you," Raymond protested. "This is family business. We'll settle it our own way."

Ty released his hold on Raymond. He looked down at his twin and and asked, "That how you feel about it, Russell? Because I've got better things to do with my time than come out here and save your sorry ass."

Russell held his hand out for his brother to pull him to his feet. He took a minute to steady himself before answering, "I agree with Raymond. This is family business to be settled between ourselves. Our Tuzaya (niece) doesn't understand the old ways."

"There's old ways and then there's stupid," Ty shot back. "If you ask me, Lynn's the only one with common sense in this family."

Raymond's hand shot out and gripped Ty's wrist. "Never disrespect the old ways," he warned. "You young people sneer and call us crazy for holding to tradition." He leaned closer. "But something's coming, I can feel its ready to show its face. The signs are everywhere, but you're blind to them."

Ty felt a stir of excitement mixed with dread. The Elder mirrored his own thoughts following the recent conversation with his cousin, Detective Jana Burke, about her missing persons case.

He jerked at the sudden buzz of his cell phone. Shaking off Raymond's hand, Ty grabbed the phone from his belt. The two brothers took advantage of the distraction to head for their cabin.

"What you got, Lu?"

Dispatcher, Luella Bovier, spoke slowly to cover the shaking of her voice. "Tony Buday just called to report he's found a body. You'll find him and... it... at the turnout overlooking Mullet Lake."

Ty held the phone close to his ear as he hurried up the slope to his car. He knew he would likely get no further details about the body beyond what was required. Luella was a die-hard follower of the Sioux belief that it was inviting disaster to discuss a dead person.

"One of ours?" he ventured as he maneuvered his way onto the main highway.

Her breathing was thick with the struggle of whether to answer. "A Wasicu," she finally replied.

"Aw, crap," he blurted.

"Copy that," she responded.

"I'll need back-up. Have Jake stop by the station to get the crime scene kit and meet me at the site. My ETA is twenty minutes. And if Mr. Buday calls again patch him right through to me."

"Yes, Sir. Be careful, hey? I've got a really bad feeling about this one."

"Thanks, Lu. I'm gonna need you to keep an extra tight lid on this one. If it's the guy they're offering a $10,000 reward to find, our office will shortly be the center of the storm."

"One of the advantages of being a sovereign nation, Ty. The Feds don't join the party unless we invite 'em."

"The Feds I can handle. A son bent on finding someone to blame for his father's murder? Our tribal rights mean little to a rich white man unbalanced by grief and looking for vengeance. Get as tough as you need to, Lu. Nobody, including personnel from the Granite Mountain Sheriff's Department, is to be given any information until I've had all the time I need to find out what we're dealing with."

"Does that include your cousin?"

Ty paused. It wasn't that he had any particular issue with his cop- cousin, but he knew she'd be extra protective of her Uncle Tony.

"At least for now, especially not Jana."


Tony Buday: Medicine Man for the Sioux tribe and uncle of Detective Jana Burke.
Tyson Longacre: Tribal policeman and cousin of Homicide Detective Jana Burke.
Russell/Raymond Bree: Twin Brothers and member of the Sioux Indian Nation.
Lynn Bree: Niece of Russell Bree and member of the Sioux Nation.
Luella Bouvier: Dispatcher for the Tribal Police and member of the Sioux Indian Nation.
Matthew Buell: Son of missing man
Fritz Buell: Missing man

Native American Terms:
Iyaope: Blame (ee-yah-ohn-pay)

Mullet: A type of fish

Thanks to donkeyoatey for the awesome accompanying artwork:
Eve's seducer

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