The Glacier Gallows
Brian dead.”
    â€œI had nothing to do with—”
    The phone line went dead.
    â€œNANCY, I THINK I’m in trouble.” He sat in his brother’s den. The room had once been his father’s, but Walter had claimed it when he took over the Blackwater Ranch. Much of his father’s memorabilia remained: the mounted elk-head trophy, the old Sharps single-shot rifle that had been his grandfather’s, the licence plates dating back to the 1940s.
    â€œWhat do you need?” asked Nancy.
    â€œI need you. And I think I need a lawyer.”
    â€œHI, DADDY. I miss you! How was your hike?”
    Cole pressed the phone into the side of his head so hard that it made a red mark. “Sarah, listen, I have to tell you something.”
    NANCY WEBBER CAUGHT the first flight from Vancouver to Calgary the next morning and by noon was at the Blackwater Ranch. Cole hadn’t seen her in two weeks, and when she stepped out of her rental car, he was dumbstruck by how beautiful she was.
    â€œHi ya, Curly.” Nancy embraced him.
    â€œHi, Nancy.”
    She held on to his thick frame a few moments and then looked at him. “Are you okay?”
    â€œBetter now that you’re here.”
    â€œCome on, buy a girl a cup of cowboy coffee and tell her what’s going on.”
    â€œMom has an espresso maker. She’ll make you a cappuccino.”
    â€œI like Alberta more and more.”
    They went inside, and Nancy hugged Dorothy Blackwater. Then Walter came in from the barn, and they all had coffee. After they were done, Cole, Nancy, and Walter went outside, walked to the barn, and leaned on a rail fence. They looked up at the eastern slope of the Porcupine Hills.
    â€œI found Perry Gilbert,” said Nancy.
    â€œThat was fast.” Cole held a blade of timothy between his teeth.
    â€œWasn’t hard. And I’m a reporter. I know how to find people. He works for a law firm in Calgary. I’ve got his number. You really think you’re going to need it?”
    â€œWhat do you think, Walter?”
    â€œUs po-dunks in the Park Service have been cut out of this investigation. Maybe they just don’t want me involved. I don’t know one way or another. Talking with this Gilbert fellow couldn’t hurt.”
    â€œI think they’re coming for me,” said Cole, shaking his head.
    â€œIT’S GOOD TO hear from you, Cole,” said Perry Gilbert. “What’s it been?”
    â€œA little over two years,” said Cole.
    â€œSeems like longer.”
    â€œTell me about it. So, you work for a big firm now? What happened to being a public defender?”
    â€œI discovered money can buy things.” Gilbert laughed.
    â€œYou guys are all the same.”
    â€œI got tired of being told which cases I had to take. Now I can choose.”
    â€œWell, I seem to have got myself in a bit of bind, and I wonder if you might choose to help me. ”
    â€œTell me what’s going on.”
    Cole explained the matter to the lawyer. He finished and asked, “What do you think?”
    â€œWhat a nightmare,” said Gilbert. “The jurisdictional question alone is going to be a complete mess. Who’s lead investigator for the RCMP ?”
    â€œThat’s the funny thing. It’s Reimer. Remember her?”
    â€œOf course.”
    â€œShe’s Inspector Reimer now. She leads the Major Crimes Unit in Southern Alberta. What do you think I should do?”
    â€œDon’t talk with them again unless you have a lawyer present. If you want, I can help you out. Even give you a little discount for old times’ sake. If they call and ask you to come in, agree, and then call me immediately. Here’s my home number and my Blackberry. Got it, Cole?”
    Cole had written the number down but was silent.
    â€œCole? You okay?”
    â€œI don’t know.”
    TWO DAYS PASSED. Cole, Nancy, and Walter rode up into the Porcupine Hills and

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