Two decades after his brother and the outlaw Gig Garrett shot each other in a burning cabin beside the Potomac river, Owen Thompson comes home to resolve his own guilt. He had planned to accompany Drew to Garrett's cabin. So had Henry Zimmerman, who vanished after the killings. Now Zimmerman has resurfaced, and Owen is determined to make him explain what happened the night Drew died. More
In New Mexico in 1924, archaeologist Owen Thompson drowns his insomnia and nightmares with whiskey. When his wife leaves with his young daughter, Owen knows he must find an answer to the question that has haunted him for twenty-two years: to what degree was he responsible for his brother’s killing?
Owen was seventeen on the night in 1902 when his brother Drew and the outlaw Gig Garrett shot each other in a burning cabin near the Potomac River. Owen had planned to accompany Drew to Garrett’s cabin that night. So had Henry Zimmerman. Now Zimmerman has resurfaced in Maryland, and Owen is determined to find out what role the fugitive heroin dealer played in Drew’s death. That’s the only way he can understand the consequences of his own failure that night.
So Owen returns home and poses as a drug buyer. He arranges to meet Zimmerman at night on an abandoned scow beside the wrecked canal. Over rounds of moonshine he tries to persuade Zimmerman – at gunpoint when necessary -- to reveal his motives on the night Drew and Garrett died.
When Zimmerman says his final assessment of Gig Garrett was forged in the Yukon Territory during the Klondike gold rush, Owen forces him to tell the Klondike story. Then Owen must decide how much of the story to believe. He learns during the encounter that the dissipated Zimmerman is still dangerous -- and that they can’t both survive the night.