Should have noted in the first chapter the name of Lily’s ranch. It’s the Bar JR Ranch. Named after her father, James Rowen.
The second chapter starts with Archie talking about and to Alma Greve, the young mother in the middle of this murder. He states “I have never meet a nineteen-year-old boy who gave me the impression he knew things that I wouldn’t understand, but three girls around that age have and little Alma Greve was one of them.”
After an unproductive discussion with Alma, who appears to believe her father killed Brodell, but since they live in Montana, he won’t be be convicted, her mother comes in. Some bickering back and forth occurs and Alma departs to listen at keyholes.
The language in this book is dated even for the time it was written. Not saying that different areas don’t have their own dialects but Stout seemed to go overboard with the western dialect. I guess it was colorful and descriptive without being offensive the way profanity is to so many. If you are reading along you know what I’m talking about, otherwise you are missing out. 😉
Archie and Carol (the mother) talk about the murder and other things. He tries to get her and Harvey to hire a local detective that the folks will talk to as he is an out of state dude. Harvey had already told her that Archie was better than any local so he can’t get off the hook that easily.
The fact that Alma met Brodell at a dance a year ago comes up and in the ensuing conversation Archie accuses her of being the kind that might shoot a man in the back. She says that she would hit what she aimed for but that she didn’t kill him. A bit more back and forth in the classic Archie style ensues. Read the book!
She doesn’t have a bible but she has her prize rodeo saddle that she won in Pendleton in 1947 that she swears on that she didn’t kill Brodell. After more of the classic Stout western dialog in the oath he decides to believe her.
The oath is a really classic and I have got to include it:
“If I shot that Brodell toad may this saddle mold up and rot and stink and get maggots, so help me God.”
That’s the kind of classic prose you’re missing if you’re not reading along.
Carol also swears that Alma was there all afternoon the day of the murder and that Gil Haight wasn’t.
And so ends Chapter 2.
Comments, corrections, criticism requested.
Albert Freyer; Counselor at Law aka David E. Patty