The Body of Martin Aguilera
Lewis asked.
    â€œYeah. Are you doing all right?”
    â€œYep. How was Laura?”
    â€œOkay.” Maggie sounded unsure. “Her feelings were hurt, but I don’t think she knows what’s going on.”
    â€œAt least something’s working out right.”
    â€œDo you need me to pick up anything on my way home?”
    â€œNot that I can think of. Please, be careful. I’m fine, so don’t hurry. Don’t use me as an excuse to drive the way you normally do.”
    â€œFunny man.”
    â€œSee you when you get here.”
    â€œThat’s one of those stupid things that people say,” Maggie said. “Of course you’ll see me when I get there.” She laughed. “Just giving you a sample of what you’re getting.”
    â€œBye.”
    Lewis took the shotgun and went out into the yard. He pointed it at trees and at the shed and at his car. The thing felt heavier than he had ever remembered. He sat down on the chopping block and looked at the plateau below. When he was a boy he would go hunting with his father and uncle. He’d never liked the noise and after he got his first kill, a fat mallard, he always tried to miss. He could put up with the teasing about his eyes, but not with the dead animal, eyes open, looking back at him as his father held it high. But still he went. Even though given a choice, he went.
    â€œWhy do you keep going?” his wife had asked, for he continued to attend the rituals as an adult.
    He didn’t have an answer for her. It was the killing, though. It was the killing that kept him going back out there. He couldn’t do it, but he wanted to see it.

Chapter Nineteen
    Maggie was overdue. Lewis looked at his watch. It had been only three minutes since his last glance. It was five-thirty-seven. If Maggie had left Albuquerque as late as one-thirty, she was still overdue. He considered that she might have stopped to shop, though it seemed unlikely. Perhaps there had been yet another mass escape from the state prison in Santa Fe and she was being delayed by road blocks. He switched on the radio and found a station with news. The woman giving the report talked about a young boy’s body being found floating in a ditch, then a story on the building water in the Elephant Butte and Cochiti dams. No jail break. He watched out the window and listened. Maybe she’d had car trouble. She would have called. He switched off the radio and went to the phone in the kitchen. He called the state police and asked if there had been any accidents reported involving a maroon Mazda pickup. A woman told him there had not been any such accident. He thanked her and hung up. He was sure that if he left the house the phone would ring and it would be Maggie needing help, but he felt an urge to leave and search for her. He reached for the receiver again, this time dialing the sheriff’s number which was written on the pad in front of him.
    â€œMay I speak to Sheriff Mondragon?”
    â€œWho’s calling?”
    â€œLewis Mason. Tell him it’s important. Please.”
    He was put on hold.
    â€œProf?” It was Manny.
    â€œManny, I need your help. At least, I think I need your help. You know Maggie Okada.”
    â€œYes.”
    â€œWell, she drove my granddaughter to the airport in Albuquerque and left there at noon or so and she’s not back yet.”
    â€œProbably stopped to shop,” Manny said.
    â€œI don’t think so.”
    â€œYou think she’s having a problem or something?”
    â€œI don’t know.”
    â€œWell, if she’s just a couple hours late—” Manny paused. “I don’t see why you’re worried enough to call me.”
    â€œI guess I’m just over-reacting.”
    â€œI can have a man drive the road, take a look. I can’t do much more than that.”
    â€œOkay, thanks, Manny.”
    â€œCall me back if she doesn’t

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