Elgin’s father claimed to have always been a cowboy though no knew where he’d come from before he’s arrived and wooed the fair Jessica. He claimed to be one half Native American and a member of the local tribe, with no proof. His winter pass time after Jessica vanished was a letter writing campaign to get ‘his’ cut of the tribe’s take from the local casino and tourist industry, spending many hours on long rambling screeds to various people, papers, officials and offices about his terrible plight. Never to any avail.
His sixteenth birthday fell on an early fall school-day Thursday. Elgin left his father on the lean-to porch leading to the Air-Stream's door, kicked back on a rickety old chair that looked like it was about to collapse, the coffee on his belly steaming in the cool dry air. The two exchanged glances and no more before the already wide shouldered boy walked out to catch the bus.
That evening Elgin returned to find his father still kicked back in the old chair, the coffee cup in the same position, stone cold, eyes closed, face peaceful. The flakes of snow in the air were settling on the body, already the same temperature as the cold evening air. It was at the burial that Elgin found out that his father had been a week less than forty.
After that Elgin was taken care of by a, perhaps self declared, network of cousins among the locals, people he'd known his whole life but never called kin. Most of his 'cousins' were identifiably Amerind, the blond, blue-eyed Elgin had always been a minority among them but had never complained about having to play the bad white guy again and again.
He'd never been in any real trouble before and though he hung out with the local hooligans through high-school he didn't get it any more trouble than was normal. A ‘good looking boy’ he was not a hit with the girls, and though reasonably ‘common sensed’ he was never a good student or a hard worker, at least as far as school went.
Elgin drifted into adult life with no plan and no ambition. At twenty nine Elgin still lived in the Air-Stream and worked at the ranch job he’d ‘inherited’ from his father. He wasn’t exactly a drunk, or a pot head, but he wasn’t sober much of the time away from the ranch. His only companion was a huge cat called Humphrey, or Humph.