machine gun erupting in a roaring sickening bark and something exploded
like a windshield blowing out.
"Sheriff Blair! Do you copy?" Juana
"Request back-up! Olson Ranch." Now
it was Bell. "Hurry! Get down, Jack--Christ!"
"Back-up en route," Juana radioed.
I swung left at the crossroads just before
the tall mountain and sped a quarter mile past a white wood fence,
missed the sign for the on-ramp, crimped the wheel and slid onto the
interstate in front of a semi that squealed its air brakes as its
lit trailers zigzagged like a shattering constellation.
Car and pickup taillights rushed up and the
lit town off to the right flashed by as I held the car at 95 for seven
miles, my hand on the horn to move traffic over, afraid to push the
Ford any harder, the rapid machine gun booming from the radio over
Bell's breathless shouts to Blair--
air went dead.
Sergeant Lujan tried frantically to raise
them again and I shot past a cattle truck, saw the sign
and took the exit, the tires throwing a wave of gravel at the shoulder
when I nearly lost the car in the tight unmarked turn.
I raced along the narrow two-lane blacktop