Hanson Page 11
happens. I put up a picture of Chief Joseph in the classroom, then on Back to School Night I see his double, a 40-year-old logger whose son has a reading problem. For a second, when I meet him, I expect him to say, 'We were deer, and white men were grizzly bears.' I don't know if I'm supposed to turn and run or offer an apology for Lewis and Clark."
    "It's strange."
    Now again I felt things were closing in, converging, like the night in Albert Rainie's house in Fresno when past and present seemed reflected in his long mirror attached to the closed bedroom door--the blue flower in the crystal vase of special water, the folded letters from Rainie's fiancée from 50 years ago, my face that matched my murdered father's, as if in death he had aged and now we'd become perfect counterparts who stared a minute into each
other's blue eyes--

    Glad and I had found Rainie dead on the lawn beside the flower, the old man stripped bare of the overcoat that later turned up at Sacred Heart with the note and $90,000 sewn in the lining--
    "I just want to take some water."
    It wasn't a murder-robbery but a coronary and that night at home the scent of star jasmine wafted through the bedroom's gauze curtains and I dreamed about the blue flower--
    I was Albert Rainie and his lost love had become Ellen who wore a blue dress silvery in the moonlight and whispered something secret about Montana, after she bent to kiss me, her cool lips tasted blue and sweet like the flower, like blue vanilla and sandalwood and something else, I tried but I couldn't pin down the elusive flavor, just as the phone rang and rang and she was gone, I thought it was the painter calling to say that Ellen had taken her life