By Thomas P. Hopp
A Peyton McKean Mystery
First Edition copyright 2009 Thomas P. Hopp
Smashwords Edition copyright 2012 Thomas P. Hopp
Author’s note: I was delighted when this story was chosen as the lead piece in the anthology, Seattle Noir. I’ve expanded the story somewhat from its original, necessarily compressed form to indulge the fascination I’ve had for some time with local Native American culture and the Duwamish Tribe. That interest comes through more intensely in this longer version of the tale. I feel a close connection to the tribe because my earliest childhood days were spent in a housing project on the banks of the Duwamish River and my feet were covered more than once with that dark and contaminated mud.
The Duwamish riverbanks are, for those reasons and many others, the perfect setting for a noir tale like this one. In fact, Seattle in general is a great locale for noir, given its frequently gloomy skies and its sordid past relations with its original inhabitants. I’ve tried to spread some of that cultural darkness like fertilizer while telling this story. Go ahead and explore this gloomy space but keep an eye out for hints of redemption. There’s always hope that the good old ways are not gone forever.