Part One * The book opens with David Hayden talking about his father serving his second term in 1948 in Mercer Country, Montana. It talks about the type of country Montana is. * David’s father doesn’t fit the ideal of what he should be in his occupation, and his wife didn’t think so either. She wanted him to better himself and become a lawyer. The reason that his father is the sheriff of Montana is because when David’s grandfather finally decided to retire, he handed the job down to his son; David’s father.
David’s mother wanted to leave Montana for several reasons; she wanted David’s father to be fully himself and not do his job just because his father told him to, and for David; she feared for his soul, and his values and
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Wes tries to question Gail’s accusation but she tells him that he makes some of his patient’s undress and get into indecent positions, jump up and down while he fondles their breasts. Gail tells Wes that his brother is raping these Indian women. Wes asks who she is telling this to; the brother, the husband, Marie’s employer, or the sheriff? Wes decides to go and talk to Marie. * David’s parents were in Marie’s room for a long time. After supper, Wes says that he is going to see Les, his deputy and next-door neighbour. Soon Les and his wife Daisy were over, with Wes and Len standing in the front yard and Daisy and Gail and Daisy at the kitchen table. David continued to walk in and out hearing snippets of each convosation. * Later that night, Gail checked on Marie once more and then told her husband and David she is sleeping again. David could tell that his father was having a hard time dealing with the fact that his brother was taking advantage of his Indian patient’s. The main reason that he didn’t want this going around town is because he didn’t want his father finding out. They stopped talking as his mother didn’t want to discuss it in front of David. Wes tells his wife that he will deal with this in his own way. Even though he wouldn’t admit it, David’s father knew his brother was guilty.
Part Two * The next day Wes began investigating the accusation Marie had made against his brother.