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By Tony Hillerman

Reunited by way of a grave robber and a corpse, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is making an attempt to figure out the id of a homicide sufferer, whereas Officer Jim Chee is arresting Smithsonian conservator Henry Highhawk for ransacking the sacred bones of his ancestors.

But with every one peeled-back layer, it turns into shockingly transparent that those situations are mysteriously connected—and that others are pursuing Highhawk, with deadly intentions. And the quest for solutions to a perilous puzzle is pulling Leaphorn and Chee into the perilous enviornment of superstition, historic rite, and dwelling gods.

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Yet no one pulled the large gap lever,” St. Germain acknowledged. “The ATS process malfunctioned and stopped it. ” “ATS? ” “They used to name it the useless man’s switch,” St. Germain stated. “If the engineer doesn’t push the button periodically, it immediately applies the air brakes. It’s simply in case the engineer has a middle assault or a stroke or whatever. or perhaps is going to sleep. Then he doesn’t push the button and the ATS stops the teach instantly. ” “That capability it was once simply an twist of fate? A passenger couldn’t reason that? absolute confidence approximately it? ” “No query in any respect. Such issues need to be pronounced in writing. It’s all there at the hold up record. The Amtrak used to be seven mins not on time. Then, a number of miles east of the fortress Wingate spur, the ATS shorted out or anything and wear the brakes. ” Leaphorn stared on the map at the wall in the back of his table, rethinking his idea. “How lengthy used to be it stopped? ” “I knew you’d ask that,” St. Germain stated. “It was once stopped thirty-eight mins. From 8:34 until eventually 9:12 P. M. that will be approximately commonplace, i believe. The engineer has to get the air strain up and the brakes must be reset. So forth. ” “Could passengers get off? ” “Not speculated to. ” “But might they? ” “Sure. Why now not? ” “And come again on back? ” “Yep. ” “Would anyone see if anyone did? anyone at the educate group? ” “You suggest at evening? After darkish? it'll rely. yet not likely. no longer if the fellow didn’t are looking to be visible. it'd be basic sufficient. You’d simply need to wait till each person was once busy. not anyone taking a look. ” “Bernard, what occurs to the baggage if a passenger will get off earlier than his vacation spot and leaves it? ” “They take it off on the finish of the line—the turnaround aspect while they’re cleansing out the autos. It is going into the claims place of work. The misplaced and located. Or, if it comes out of a reserved compartment at the sleeper, or a roomette, then they’d do a tracer on it and ship it again to the purpose of foundation. So the passenger may decide it up there. ” “This Amtrak that comes via the following, might the turnaround aspect be l. a.? ” “Not precisely. There’s an eastbound and a westbound on a daily basis. West is quantity three. East is quantity four. ” “Who might I name there to determine approximately left-behind baggage? ” St. Germain advised him. Kennedy might wait a minute to have lunch with him. He known as the Amtrak claims place of work in l. a., and informed the guy who replied who he was once, what he wanted, and why he wanted it. He gave the fellow the educate and the date. Then he waited. It didn’t take lengthy. “Yeah. there has been a suitcase and a few own stuff left in a roomette on that educate. We held it right here to determine if an individual could declare it. yet now it’s long gone again to Washington,” the guy stated. “Washington? ” “That’s the place the passenger boarded. He transferred to quantity three in Chicago. ” Leaphorn took the cap off his ballpoint, pulled his word pad towards him. “What used to be his identify? ” “Who is familiar with? i suppose you may get it from the claims place of work in Washington. Or from the reservations place of work. anywhere they maintain that kind of files. That’s no longer my finish of the enterprise.

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