Fiction | March 01, 1988

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This was the best part, this opening into the plains.  The red Toyota pickup swerved easily down the eastern slope of the pass and Caroline turned up the music.  Keith Jarrett’s piano crescendoes echoed the land rising westward, sleek as a hawk’s wing, to the tips of the dark Rockies.  Her heart picked up speed; she felt swept clean.  She liked to expand her territory inch by inch, a slow, sensual gaining of the world.  The geology job helped.  Now, Scobey, Montana, a tumbleweed town pinned to the map near the Canadian border.  She’d spend a few days in the musty courthouse, probably not much different from the half dozen others she had poked through, poring over old mineral claims, sad diaries of ambition and loss, and then the hikes over the land, looking for ore clues in the rockey outcrops.

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