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By Tony Hillerman

In 1956, an plane crash left the is still of 172 passengers scattered one of the majestic cliffs of the Grand Canyon—including an arm connected to a briefcase containing a fortune in gem stones. part a century later, one of many lacking diamonds has reappeared . . . and the wolves are at the scent.

Former Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is popping out of retirement to assist exonerate a gradual, easy child accused of robbing a buying and selling put up. Billy Tuve claims he obtained the diamond he attempted to pawn from a mysterious previous guy within the canyon, and his tale has attracted the harmful consciousness of strangers to the Navajo lands—one extra drawn to a severed limb than within the fortune it was once handcuffed to; one other prepared to homicide to maintain misplaced secrets and techniques hidden. yet nature herself may well end up the deadliest adversary, as Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee stick to a puzzle—and a killer—down into the darkish realm of Skeleton Man.

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Acquired none. “Is there a few cause that doesn’t shock you? ” “Couple of reasons,” Leaphorn acknowledged. “Body components have been scattered all over the place in that crash—across the mesa best, down the canyon partitions, down into the river itself. Rescue crews have been gathering physique bits in baggage. And in addition to, I heard the arm tale prior to. ” “Did the arm you’re listening to approximately have a few kind of connecté case hooked up to it? possibly with a series and a handcuff? ” “Yep,” Leaphorn acknowledged. “That’s the only. however the guy who noticed it in my tale couldn’t achieve it with out drowning. whilst he obtained again with a few helpers, the river had swept it away. in the past, after all. i might have inspiration it'd be pretty much forgotten via now. ” Louisa laughed. “Joe! Who’s going to put out of your mind seeing an arm protruding of particles of their river? That’s more than enough to make a Greek fantasy. It’s one of many difficulties for us seekers of undiluted, real legends, old and uninfected by way of our unromantic sleek occasions. ” “I wager you’re correct. ” “Besides, if that arm with the case chained to it have been forgotten, an individual has stirred it up back. ” “How? ” Leaphorn requested. “And who? And why might they? ” “They published a sheet delivering a ten-thousand-dollar gift for simply the sort of set of arm bones. somebody dispensed them on the Grand Canyon resort, the non-public one, and on the nationwide Park carrier resort, and customer facilities, and obtained them unfold round one of the expert consultant and go with the flow journey clothes, and at Peach Springs. There’s a host to call—I imagine it’s in Flagstaff—if you discover the arm and wish to assemble. ” Louisa laughed. “I must have kept one for you. ” “Get one for me if you happen to can, Louisa. What did it say? ” “Well, an immense headline around the most sensible acknowledged ‘Ten-Thousand-Dollar present. ’ And lower than that—in smaller type—it acknowledged whatever like ‘Family of 1956 airline crash sufferer seeks bones of the left arm of John Clarke, with the intention to be positioned along with his physique within the family’s burial crypt. ’ after which it went directly to clarify the arm have been torn from his physique whilst these airways collided over the Canyon and had by no means been recovered. It stated the bones can be pointed out as the forearm were damaged formerly and repaired with a surgical pin whilst this Clarke used to be younger, or the forearm may perhaps nonetheless be hooked up via a steel and cuff to which a leather-based case was once secured. ” “I’d quite prefer to have a few these flyers,” Leaphorn stated. “One for Jim Chee. i believe he and Dashee are going to take Tuve down within the Canyon and take a look at to discover the guy he obtained the diamond from. ” That produced an extended pause. “After God understands what percentage years? ” Louisa stated. “How on the planet are they going to discover him? No identify or something. That sounds very unlikely. ” “Yeah,” Leaphorn acknowledged. “All they comprehend is the place the switch was once made and that the previous fellow with the diamonds used to be an Indian, yet no longer a Hopi or Navajo, and after the switch deal was once agreed on, he needed to move down the canyon perhaps a half-mile to get the stone. Their wager is he should have been a few kind of hermit—maybe a Havasupai shaman—who had the diamonds cached in a cave.

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