When Sheriff Pontieff arrived on the scene at 10:35 Tuesday morning, the area was already swarming with cops and rescue personnel and god knew who else. What happened here last night, he asked one of the officers in his command.
Well, it wasn’t a snake bite, like was originally reported.
Is that a fact? Pontieff looked around at the unfamiliar faces around him. Who the Christ are all these people, Harlow? Did you hire some staff when I wasn’t lookin’?
Well, sir, it appears that the crime took place in Carter County, though just barely. They claim the Powderville police were called in by mistake.
Christ, this must be big for them not to pawn this one off on us. And just what crime are we talking about here, anyways?
Murder, from the looks of it, sir.
Murder? Hell, why this fellow was driving off the off-beaten track, I just don’t get. But how someone else happened by and...and what, Harlow? How’d the man die? He pushed past Harlow before the officer had a chance to answer. Never mind. I’ll have a look myself.
Doc Helen saw Sheriff Pontieff nearing the scene and decided to approach him first. She knew he wouldn’t like hearing that Crier had put himself in charge of the case. Helen was the only coroner in three counties since losing most of her department's funding six months ago. Pontieff, she said.
He-len, Pontieff replied one syllable at a time. What have we got here?
Seven gunshot wounds. One through the heart, another through ..ah.. his other heart, if you know what I mean. I won’t be able to say which shot was the fatal one until we get the body back to the lab.
Holy Jesus. . . Do we know who the man is?
Yes. His wallet and I.D. seem intact. Money, credit cards. His name is . . . was Richard Onge.
Doesn’t ring a bell.
Well, that's because he’s not from around here. Looks like he took a wrong turn somewhere up in Canada.
Je-sus. . ..