He tried to set her up.
As Ilse poured out her soul, Ron interrupted her with a series of questions: "Mark was telling me about the cutting those poles up there at the Canyon Mine. Pretty, pretty neat little scam? Were you in on that?"

"So does Mark pretty well tell you what's going on?"
"I remember, oh more than a year ago you were so excited about the prospect of being able to do things. So you've been able to get in and do some of that . . . ?

"But it sounds like you, I mean, you've been doing enough stuff out there in the field that you can take quite a bit of satisfaction from that. I felt kind of frustrated myself . . . not doing."

Actually, Ilse Asplund hadn't done much of anything at all, as her answer made clear.

She hadn't been nearly as busy as her frustrated suitor, the noble lover of sheep dogs, Ron Frazier.

To be continued

While Frazier was instructing Davis on how to cut through metal, he also dreamed of deepening his attachment to Ilse Asplund.

Davis is built like a jukebox but it is not his tree-stump squareness that first squeezes your eye.

You don't use an old lover to baby-sit your children while you step out with the Hootchie Cootchie Man.

Mark Davis was Commander Testosterone of the pines, the man singularly responsible for the elevated pheromone count in Prescott.

Simon's words are administered like aural prozac to a witness whose cerebral transmitters are liable to light up like cranial popcorn.

Why does Roslyn Moore-Silver wear those Day-Glo wrist watches with the interchangeable color bands to match her vivid outfits?

Was Mark Davis a terrorist, as the government charges, or was he coaxed down the path that led to this federal courthouse?

"I do have access to, uh, little thermite charges . . . grenades. Little thermite grenades.

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