THE POW WOW

The morning had been full of phone Calls, meetings and deadlines

Now if she didn’t hurry Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill, would be late for court.  Rushing through the courthouse building hallway, she turned a corner and felt a hand grab her and pull her behind one of the big pillars in the hall. Her shock quickly turned to joy when she saw her cowboy.  Cordell Walker standing there.  He pulled her out of everyone’s view and kissed her.

She smiled and asked “What are you doing?”

“I haven’t seen you in a week and this is the greeting I get?”  he asked.

“I’m sorry, my case load had been so hectic. This trial is taking up all my time. I have been neglecting you, haven’t I?”

“Well then let’s go out tonight.  Just the two of us, no phones, no beepers you know.”  he said.

Alex gave him a ‘something’s up’ look.

“What?” he asked trying to keep a straight face.

She just continued to look at him.

“How about it?  Let’s go to Dawson’s for dinner and then for a drive.”

“Okay, but I have to go now I’m already late for court.” she walked off.

“Pick you up at seven” he called as she left.

She waved in agreement as she hurried off.  Court was taxing.  She entered her condo, dropped her briefcase and purse and sat on the couch to relax.  She was glad to be home.  Now all she wanted was a long bath and an even longer nap.  After soaking in the tub for what she thought was a half an hour, she looked at the clock and realized it was 6:30 p.m.  ‘I must have fallen asleep in the tub’ she thought. ‘Walker will be here soon.’ She hurriedly dried off and dressed.  She then started fixing her hair.

Walker checked his watch as he pulled in to the parking lot of her condo building. It was 6:57, he chuckled and said to himself “I’ll bet she’s not ready yet.” He took his time walking to her door and got there about 7:05. His knock was met with a  “Just a minute” from behind the door.

She opened the door a moment later.  What he saw was worth waiting for.  She had on a short black dress, which perfectly accented her feminine curves.  Her blonde hair was gathered in a French twist.  The pearl necklace she wore drew attention to the low cut neckline of the dress.

He pulled her close and said “You look gorgeous tonight.” He kissed her and said “Maybe we should stay in tonight. I don’t want to share you with anyone.”

“No way, I didn’t get all dressed up for nothing.”  she said smiling.

Dinner at Dawson’s was good as always. Walker had the steak and Alex ordered seafood.  A bottle of wine topped the meal off nicely. After a leisurely dinner they paid and left the restaurant. They drove out into the country.  Alex was so glad to be away from court and court papers for a change.  For the past week she had been doing nothing but work. Walker pulled his truck off the main road on to a secluded dirt road.  He brought the vehicle to a stop on the top of a hill.  The view was fabulous.  The moon shone just enough light to put a romantic glow in the cab of the truck. Alex slid close to the Ranger.  He put his arms around her and kissed her.  The insensitivity of the kiss made him pull away.

“Whoa, Cowboy” she said.  “Something going on. Out with it.” she said.

He let go of her, staring straight ahead he said “ “Alex I have to go to the reservation for a couple of weeks.”

“It’s not you’re regular trip time again is it?”

“No there is a special pow wow being held to elect new tribal elders. Sam asked me to come because White Eagle is being nominated. And well you know how close we are.”

“That’s wonderful Walker, White Eagle will be glad you are there.” she said with a smile.  Then she looked serious.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I’ve got plenty here to do to keep me busy but whose going to go keep you out of trouble?”

He was relieved, he was not sure how she would feel about the trip since she had too much to do to go with him.

“I mean I wish I could go but work is just so busy right now.”

“I wish you could go with me too, but Trivette volunteered to go with me.” He wrapped his arms around her. She kissed him and ran her fingers through his red hair. After the kiss he said “Alex come to the ranch and stay with me tonight, please?”  he held her closer “This will be the only time we will have together for awhile” he whispered.  The kiss that followed showed her how much he needed her. Back at the ranch then sat on the porch swing enjoying the night breeze and each other.

“It’s so peaceful here” she said “ It makes me think we are in a different world.”

Walker didn’t answer her, he took her in his arms and captured her lips in a passionate kiss. As the kiss became more definite Alex could feel her desires beginning to build deep inside her. He scooped her into his arms, stood and carried her into the house. He decided not to go up stairs but instead he takes his love into the guest room. 

The night that ensued was one of immense pleasure for them both.  Morning found them sleeping close.              

Alex woke first, she looked lovingly at the man by her side. Almost instinctively Walker knew she was looking at his and without opening his eyes he said “ Good morning.”

She jumped a little, she didn’t know he was awake.

He laughed “ I knew you were looking at me, I felt your eyes on me”.

She rolled close to him and started snuggling.

“I have to meet Trivette in a little while” he said.

“Well” she kisses his cheek “ How much time does that give us then.” she rubbed her body against his.. She smiled as she felt his desire rise.

“Alex Cahill, you are incorrigible”  he said, as she rolled on top of him.  At first he tried to ignore her advances but as he felt her naked breasts against his chest he said “Trivette can wait.” Again the love they made was sweet and memorable.

In front of Jimmy Trivette’s apartment building a lone figure sat on the curb with a duffel bag at his side. Walker’s Ram pulled up. Trivette jumped up and said “It’s about time man. Do you know how long I’ve been sitting out here?”

“Something came up.” Walker said smiling.

“Did you see Alex and tell her about the trip and--” he stopped talking  he could tell by the smile on his partners face that he had been with Alex prior to picking him up. He also decided not to pry.

“Does White Eagle know you are coming?”  he asked to change the subject.

“Well Sam didn’t tell him, but I learned a long time ago that White Eagle knows more than he’s supposed to. I’m sure he knows we are coming.”

“How?” Trivette asked.

“He always says the sprits tell him.”  he laughed “It seems he always knows.”

“I’ll bet you couldn’t sneak around much as a kid with him around?’

“I never had to worry about it. Like I said before, I wasn’t a brat like you.”

“Yeah right.”  Trivette said.

“Yeah right’ Walked repeated.

Walker drove toward the reservation, the day was warm and there was little breeze making the ride seem longer. They stopped once for gas and sandwiches.  They then continued on their way. They reached the reservation just before dark. At the reservation police station, Walker’s old friend, Sam Coyote, was setting on the porch drinking a cola. He stood as he saw the truck approaching. Bringing the gray truck to a stop at the foot of the porch steps, Walker put the gear in park and shut off the engine. He and Jimmy then got out of the truck.

Trivette stretched. Walker went to greet his friend. The two embraced and then Sam asked “Where’s Alex?”

“She couldn’t come, too much work to do at the office.”  Walker said “I brought Trivette instead.”

“Well” Sam said “Alex is prettier you know”

“I know”  Walker said smiling.

Sam also smiled and extended his hand to Jimmy for a hand shake.             

“Walker, now even your friends are picking on me, no fair.” Jimmy said.

“Trivette no one ever said life was fair.”  Walker said

The young Ranger and the Indian officer shook hands Sam said “Trivette glad to see you again.”

“Washo, have you two eaten?”

“Not since lunch” Jimmy said.

“Well I made some stew last night. I still have some left.” Sam said.

“Stew?”  Walker said,  “You cooked it?” he asked. Walker made a ‘I’m not sure about this face’ and rubbed his stomach.

Sam laughed “My cooking hasn’t killed you yet.”

“Yes, that’s true but I’ve been sick a few times.”  Both men chuckled.

They all decided to go to Sam’s house and see if the remainder of his homemade stew had eaten a hole in the cooking pot yet. Sam climbed the two steps to the porch and began to lock the office door. He heard the telephone ringing. He went inside and answered the phone “Sam Coyote here. Yes I’ll be right there” he said with a very concerned look on his rugged face. The Rangers had followed the officer into the office. Walker knew by the look on Sam’s face that something serious had happened. Without having to be ask Walker knew to follow Sam.

At a small house at the edge of the mainly populated area, the three men met a native American man approximately 25 years old.  He had longer dark hair and was clad in blue jeans and a green tee shirt.

He led them into the dwelling.  There on the floor lie the body of an older Indian man.  He appeared to have been in his sixty’s.

Walker said “Spotted Elk!” He turned to the younger man and asked

“Raymond, how did this happen?”

“Washo, I don’t know. I was at my girl friends house and when I came home I found him like this.” The man’s voice was choppy and he was visibly shaken by what he had found.

“Okay, Raymond”  Walker said, softly he asked “ Is there somewhere you can stay for a few days?  We need to block off the house and save the evidence.”

“Well I could stay with my cousin.”

“Good we’ll let you know what we find out.  Sam why don’t you take Raymond to his cousins house?  Trivette and I will start the investigation.”

“Thanks, Washo.  I’ll be back soon.”  He said and left to take Raymond to where the cousin lived.

The Ranger reentered the house and looked around to see what could have happened.

Walker checked the body.  He said “Natural causes is ruled out.”

“How do you know that?” Trivette asked.

“He’s been shot in the head.”

They checked to house thoroughly, being careful not to disturb any evidence.

There was not any evidence to be visually seen, “Who ever did this knew what they were doing” Walker said.

Once Sam arrived back at the scene, the reservation doctor was called and the body was taken to the hospital.  The house was sealed off and a local crime team was notified.  Since the murder was on the reservation, the investigation was not a priority and the team would be there in the morning.

“Man I can’t believe they won’t be here until tomorrow Walker.” Jimmy said.

“Welcome to reservation life” Sam told him.

It was almost midnight when they finally got to Sam’s house.  Sam fixed some eggs for them to eat then they went to bed, to get an early start in the morning. Before dawn Jimmy heard noises coming from the kitchen.  He sat up on the couch, where he had slept,  and shook his head to clear to cobwebs. Walker came in from the porch, where he had slept.  The house was too hot for him. Sam said “Good morning, didn’t mean to disturb you.  Just wanted to make some coffee. When you’re used to living alone you don’t usually care about making noise.”

“That’s okay, I know what you mean. When I have company they always complain about the noise I make.”

 Not to mention the coffee he makes.” Walker remarked.

“Very funny,  HA HA!”  Trivette said.

Once they had coffee, they went to the office to wait for the crime team. As they waited A small girl ran up to Sam.  She was crying “Mr. Coyote my grandfather is asleep and I can’t wake him up.”

Sam stooped to talk to the girl.  “Mary calm down, where is your grandfather?”

“He is outside in back of his house.”  she cried “Mother asked me to go get him to help her do something and he was asleep outside and I can’t get him to wake up.”  The little girl sobbed.

“Sam why don’t you take Mary home and Trivette and I will go to Crying Wolfs house and see what’s wrong. Bring Mary Ellen there if you can.”

“Okay Washo.” Sam picked up the little girl and carried her to his car. 

Walker and Trivette proceeded to Crying Wolf’s house.  At the house they found the old man slumped down near a pile of fire wood.  Walker checked the body and said “Trivette, there is something funny going on.”

“What is he shot too?”

“Yes, in the same place as Spotted Elk”  Walker said.

Trivette looked at Walker with a very puzzled look on his face, “Walker what’s going on?”

“I don’t know but I” he was interrupted by the police car pulling up in the front of the house. They heard a car door and then Sam called “Washo,  Trivette.”

“We’re out back Sam” Walker replied.

As Sam and the old man’s daughter come to the back of the house, the daughter sees her father, screams and goes into hysterics.

Sam was trying to control the woman but not having much luck.  Walker rushes to aid Sam when he sees the problem the lawman is having. They carry her to the patrol car to set her down and try to calm her. By now she was beginning to regain her senses.  She was sobbing very hard.

Walker said, very softly “Mary Ellen, I’m sorry”  this was the part of his job that he hated. It was always hard notifying the family.” Your father was shot.”

“SHOT” she cried “Who could have done such a thing?” she asked.

“I don’t know, but I promise you we will find out.”  He told her.

Officer Coyote called the medical doctor and once he arrived, the body was taken to the hospital to be examined along with the they had found the night before.

Sam then took Crying Wolf’s daughter to the hospital for the doctor the check her out also. Walker and Jimmy stayed behind at the scene to gather any clues that might have been there, but like the other murder there were no clues. Back at the police station all three officers tried to figure out what could have happened to the two men. 

“We have two dead men, no clues, no suspects and no motive” Walker said, thinking out loud.

“Okay, then what’s the bad news” Trivette said, trying to lighten the mood a little.

Walker realized what is friend and partner was trying to do,  He laughed and shook his head. Then the Doctor called and told them he was finished the autopsies. The cause of death in both victims was a single gun shot to the head. The physician also told them that he was able to retrieve only fragments of the bullet in both cases. A bullet usually explodes against a hard object like a skull. It  breaks into a lot of pieces. Both men skulls were a mess.  Then the doctor hung up.

Walker said, “Okay, Let’s call Alex and see if we can get ballistics to look at the bullet fragments for analysis.” He dialed the number to the District Attorney’s office in Dallas.

“Amy is she in?”  he asked.  His voice was so familiar to the secretaries that he never has to identify himself.

“Yes, she just got off the phone, hold on.”  she connected him to his lady.

“Hi there” he said.

Her spirits lifted just hearing his voice.  “Hello Cowboy” she said. “How is everything at the reservation?”

“Well that’s why I’m calling right now.  I need to ask you to do me a favor.”  He then explained what was going on and what he wanted her to do.

“I’ll do anything I can to help, you know that.”  she said “Walker please be careful.”

“I always am.”  he said “I’ll call you later.” then he hung up.

She knew he wasn’t alone and he couldn’t get personal in front of anyone, that was just not his way.  She chuckled as she thought about how much he reminded her of a little boy sometimes.

He then prepared the bullet fragments to be sent to Dallas. Once she received the package it would be sent to ballistics.

Sam and the Rangers were trying to find a connection with the dead men.  Other than the obvious, that the were male, Indian and found dead on the reservation.

The office door opened and the tribal shaman entered the room. “Washo, Coyote and Ranger Trivette, I knew you would be here.”

They all greeted the older Indian.

“There is troubled in your hearts.”  White Eagle said.

“Yes White Eagle” Walker said, “ We have found 2 bodies, both shot and killed.”

“I know my old friends Crying Wolf and Spotted Elk. The spirits told me.”

“Wait a minute” Sam said “Spotted Elk and Crying Wolf being nominated for the elder council?”

“Yes there were ten of us.” White Eagle said.

“Something evil is here” White Eagle said.  “The spirits were restless last night and I heard an owl hoot, that’s never a good sign.”

“Oh come on” Jimmy said “ Owls hoot at night.”

“Not like this Trivette, it was a sad hoot.” White Eagle explained.

Jimmy started to argue but Walker gave him a look so he decided to keep quiet.

“White Eagle, Do you have the names of the other men up for nomination?” Walker asked.

“Yes, I think I know them.”  he was quiet for a moment then he said “There is Running Dog, Tame Buffalo, Scar Face, Two Trees, Spirit Watcher, Antelope Runner and Two Ponies.  We are all being considered.”

“You don’t think this has something to do with the elections do you Washo?” Sam asked the bearded Ranger.           

“I really don’t know Sam but we have to look into every possibility”

The desk phone rang,  Sam answered it.  He suddenly got a concerned look on his face.  He hung up the receiver and said “ Two Trees was found with a bullet in his head near the river”.  They all rushed from the office, Sam and White Eagle led in the patrol car and Walker and Trivette followed in the Ram.

There were two teenage boys standing along the road when the police arrived.  They had found the body and placed the call for help from a pay phone about a mile down the road.  Neither boy had seen a dead body before and they were understandably upset.  Walker told them to go home and try to relax they would talk to them later.  Sam knew the boys and where they lived.

They searched the site but just as with the other sites there were no clues. 

After getting the report from the doctor on the third victim (which read exactly like the first two reports).  Walker said “ I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all the victims are council nominees”.

“What are you saying Walker?”  Trivette asked.  Then he answered his own question “That all the murders have a connection to the election.”

“Well, that’s the way it looks” he said “ Sam can we call a meeting with the rest of the nominees?”

“Yes, I’ll call Judge Three Kills and get him to arrange it”.

“Good”  Walker said.  He turned to White Eagle and said “White Eagle, I know you don’t like staying indoors, but I would feel better if you stayed with us at Sam’s until this is over.”

“Washo, do not be concerned for me.  The spirits will protect me.”  The shaman said.

“I know they will but we want to be close enough to help them.”  Walker said smiling.

“You have a good heart Washo.  Thank you my son and I will stay close.”  he puts his hand on Walkers shoulder.

The phone had rung and Sam answered it.

“Washo, it’s for you”  he said and handed the phone to his friend.

“Walker,  hi Alex,”  he listened “Hummm I see”  he listened some more, “Uh huh,”  he walks as far away from the other as the phone cord would allow.  Lowly he said “I miss you too,” he was quiet then he said “Just remember the last night we had together before I left.”

She said “ That’s all I seem to be thinking about.”

“Well then I’ll be there in your dreams, you are in mine.”

“I love you Walker.”

“I lo” he stopped Trivette had walked past him heading to the water fountain.

“I’ll talk to you later”  he said, and gave his partner a hard look.

“Bye” she said. ‘Why is it so hard for him to say those three little words.’

Walker hung the phone up and said “Both the bullets we sent were fired from the same gun. It seems a Saturday night special shot the bullets.”

“You might know it wouldn’t be too easy right?” Jimmy said.

“Well they have to make us earn our money, Trivette” Walker said.

Sam called the judge and arranged for all the remaining nominees to come to the meeting. The meeting was arranged quickly.

Running Dog, an older man in his mid sixties, sat at the table next to the judge.  White Eagle sat between Walker and Sam. Trivette stayed in the back of the room to observe the whole meeting. Scare Face and Tame Buffalo were reluctant to join. They were afraid that they might be the next ones shot. The rest of the elders filed into the room and the meeting was started.

Judge Three Kills explained why they were there and then turned the meeting over to Walker and Sam.

Walker began “Gentlemen, we need your cooperation, as you know Spotted Elk and Crying Wolf were killed yesterday. You may not know that Two Trees was killed this morning.”

Muttering filed the room. Once the room began to quite down, White Eagle leaned to Sam and said “There is someone missing, Coyote.”

“What?” Sam whispered.

“Spirit Watcher is not here.”

Sam stood and whisper to Walker.

“Has anyone seen Spirit Watcher today?” The bearded Ranger asked.

Running Dog said “He was still at home when I came here. There was a car parked in front of his house so I did not stop.”

Sam and the younger Ranger quickly left the meeting. 

At Spirit Watchers cabin the two found the old Indian. He was dead, he had been shot once in the head.

“Trivette, we have got to catch this guy.” Sam said, hanging his head.

This was the forth friend he had lost this week.

Walker and Judge Three Kills had wrapped up the meeting; telling the elders to be aware of everyone around them. Try to stay in crowded places. “That will be the safest place for you, no one should shoot you in a crowd.” Walker ended.

After leaving the meeting, Walker and the shaman meet Sam and Jimmy at the reservation hospital.

Sam told Walker about what they had learned, which was not much.

The doctor came out of the exam room.  He shook his head and said, “This is the forth one in two days. Guys, what is happening here?”

“We don’t know Doc but we have to find out before any one else is killed.”  Walker answered him.

Just the an older woman came into the hospital accompanied by a younger man.  It was Spirit Watchers wife and son.

The woman was near hysteria, the doctor and nurse took her into another room to calm her down.

Joseph (Spirit Watchers son) asked “What is going on?  I bring my mother home from the store and find out from a neighbor that my father had been killed.”

Sam said “Joseph, we just found him and we had no idea where you or your mother were.”

“Joseph?”  Walker asked lowly “Do you have a car?”

“No Washo.  Spirit Watcher was against such modern things.  I have a horse and wagon which I use to take mother to the store one a month. Why?”

“Someone saw a car parked outside the house this afternoon.”  Walker replied.

“There was no car there when we left” Joseph said.

The doctor came out and said “Little Dove is resting now, I left the nurse with her.  The sedative I gave her should take effect soon.”

The men decided to take a dinner break and regroup.  Joseph stayed with his mother. They went to Sam’s house, darkness had fallen.  The events of the day had tired them all considerably. Walker finally found a moment alone,  He dialed his loves number.

“Hello” she said, the phone had woke her.

“Hi there. Did I wake you?”

“That’s okay. It’s worth losing sleep to hear your voice. I miss you.”

What she really wanted to say was ‘I need you, come home now. Take me in your arms and make passionate love to me’ but she knew that would have to remain unsaid for now.

“I miss you too” he said.  He felt the same way she did.  For a few moments no words were spoken, none were needed.  Even over the telephone they were able to sense each other feelings.

Finally Walker said “How are your cases going?”

At first she didn’t answer.  She was lost in a fantasy. Snapping back to reality she said “What.  I’m sorry um. My cases are fine we are almost ready to go to court on one of them.”  Her face turned red she hoped her could tell what she was thinking.

Starting to remark, Walker looked out the window and something seemed strange.  “Alex, I gotta go, call you later.”  he quickly hung the phone up.

White Eagle was sitting on a log near the policeman’s home.  A stranger stood behind him with the gun aimed at the shamans head.  As the man took aim, a powerful arm knocked him to the ground.  The gun fell out of reach.

The gun man stands to face Walker. As he charged the Ranger he tried to hit him.  Walker ducked and all that the stranger hit was air.  A couple of well placed blows from Walker and the tall man stumbled back.  Two round kicks and the man was lying motionless on the ground.

By this time Sam and Trivette knew something was wrong and came running from the house.

Walker rushed to his old friend, who had been watching the fight, “White Eagle, are you okay?”  he asked.

“I am fine.”

“What happened?” Sam asked.

Walker explained, when he was talking to Alex on the phone he looked outside and saw the outline of an eagle circling. “I knew something was wrong.”

“Washo, I told you the spirits would watch out for me.” White Eagle said “And you were right you were close enough to help them.”

The assassin was arrested and faced 4 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Knowing he was facing the possible death penalty he made a deal and turned over the man who hired him.  A land developer wanted to buy some reservation land cheap and sell it to a firm for a proposed mall.  The elders were against the sale and he was having them killed off.

The FBI was notified and both men were taken into custody.

Walker and Trivette got back to Dallas about 2:30 a.m. the next morning. After he dropped Jimmy at his apartment he had only one place on his mind.

Alex was sleeping. He used his key (which she had given him for emergencies) and let himself into her condo. Quietly he made his way to her bedroom.

He stood at the door looking at her at first ‘She is so beautiful’ he thought.

He walked to the bed leaned over and kissed her. At first she thought she was dreaming. With a start she opened her eyes.

“Walker” she said both surprised and overjoyed.

“Shh” he said and captured her lips in a urgent passionate kiss.

Feeling the desire in his kiss she knew she was not dreaming, her Cowboy was there. The night seemed to linger as they shared the love they both had been only dreaming of, until now.

THE END

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