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“Bob Barnes says they got a dead body out on BLM land. He’s on line one.”
She might have knocked, but I didn’t her it because I was watching the geese. I watch the geese a lot in the fall, when the days get shorter and the ice traces the rocky edges of Clear Creek. The sheriff’s office in our country is an old Carnegie building that my department inherited when the Absaroka County Library got so many books they had to go live somewhere else. …
I’ve got the large office in the south side bay, which allows me an unobstructed view of the Big Horn Mountains to my right and the Powder River Valley to my left. The geese fly down the valley south, with their backs to me, and I usually sit with my back to the window, but occasionally I get caught with my chair turned; this seems to be happening more and more lately. …
“Did he sound drunk?” …
He didn’t sound particularly drunk, but Bob’s a professional, so you never can tell. …
“Where’s Vic?” …
I thought about it. “I’m not going out 137 to look at dead sheep.”
“Vic’s down the street, directing traffic.”
“We’ve only got one street. What’s she doing that for?”
“Electricals for the Christmas decorations.” …
I had a choice: I could either go out to 137, drink beer, and look at dead sheep with a drunken Bob Barnes and his half-wit son or go directing traffic and let Vic show me how displeased she was with me.
from: The Cold Dish
Last Sheriff Standing
Welcome to the Wild Wild West – or whatever remained of it. Somewhere in Wyoming in Absaroka County (you won’t find it on the map!) Sheriff Walt Longmire stands for law and order. He commands a small team of officers almost lost in the vastness of the place. Of course they all drive around in big 4WD, the gun at their hips and the rifle in the 4WD.
… we are in the 90s resp. 00s … ongoing! However, except of modern arms, modern cars and lots of electronic equipment, not too much changed. People stick to their estates and defend everything to the full extend of their capabilities. So Walt and his team are always busy.
I really enjoyed the modern Wild Wild West stories although sometimes it’s real hard stuff. Law and order doesn’t always mean that the Sheriff and his team straighten everything up and send the culprit to the court. Often … justice is done by the parties involved which results in more dirty work for Walt. Somehow it’s the daily life for anybody to wear a gun and shoot whenever thinking it’s necessary. Of course anybody is always sure that it is his unalienable right to do so. Poor Walt … and his team!
Of course there is an Indian reservation, a homeland for an Indian tribe, and of course there is always some kind of trouble. Modern Indians have their very own plans for future and business – as well as crime. They’ve got their own tribal police and Walt is lost and without rights as soon as he enters the reservation. Co-operation? Low … very low …
Nevertheless one of the Walt’s best buddies, Henry Standing Bear, is one of the Indians. He manages his own bar. Both were in Vietnam when the USA fought their war over there … Walt relies on Henry again and again – and Henry relies on Walt. Together they solve any case – and together they manage to survive any disaster in the wilderness that would break anybody else.
Walt was married. His wife Martha was killed and the mystery of her death (failed robbery, manslaughter, murder) arouses the reader’s curiosity during some of the novels. At the end it’s a mess almost breaking the back of Walt’s best buddy.
Life isn’t easy for Walt after his wife’s death. He lives on the edge in a more or less dilapidated house not able to start basic renovation work. Nobody can rescue him out of his private hell … only when there are crimes around him, bodies suddenly piling up Walt seems to get the light at the end of the tunnel.
He’s got a daughter, Cady, who studied law and worries about her father. Nevertheless life moves on and Walt’s daughter gets married and becomes a mother making Walt to a grandfather.
One of his deputies is Vic Moretti with whom Walt has an ongoing affair … while Vic’s brother becomes Cady’s husband aka Walt’s son-in-law. Family troubles? Not so far.
Walt has severe problems of getting old (my impression). He is always keen on doing – sometimes preposterous – stunts like staying in the mountains in the mid of winter during a blizzard. Each novel is full of his adventures in nature and amid the elements. He often gets injured, but recovers – ready for his next stunt. (Thank goodness there is Henry who never lets him down.)
Does he seriously look for life-threatening situations? Is it because of his age or because of missing his beloved wife? It seems that neither his daughter whom he adores or his grandchild nor any friends like Henry or lovers like Vic are able to brighten up his life. From the viewpoint of the readers of the novels it means that excitement is guaranteed in the wild and vast landscape of Wyoming.