Under Tower Peak: A Thriller
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With lean, efficient prose and dialogue that crackles with repartee, Bart Paul has written a contemporary thriller of steadily mounting suspense and ruthless action. He captures both the beauty of the high mountain wilderness and the laconic rhythms of the outfitters’ lives. In Tommy Smith he offers a protagonist whose cool competence, home-grown decency, and clarity of purpose in the face of danger suggest a brotherhood with heroes from the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy.
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phoned her.” “I’m getting spooked,” he said. “You should be.” “You worry me, old son,” he said. “You’re getting that look.” “Yeah, well.” We slipped and slid down the snowfield. At the bottom we cinched up our horses, grabbed that damned packhorse with the tools, which was another damn lie, and rode back down the trail. I always felt at home up in this country, the wilder the better, which is why I came back. But now that big mountain half scared me to death. Chapter Six We rode back
“Great. Get him out of here,” she said, “just go.” She walked away, pissed as hell. Chapter Seven I got Lester led halfway back to my Dodge when he pulled away and ran over to the ambulance. They were just buttoning things up, but most of the county people knew Lester and let him through. He took a long look at the body, then gave a halfway nod to the EMT and walked away hugging his arms as hard as he could. When I was turning the truck around, I asked him if he wanted to go anywhere or
climb. I held my string back so as not to crowd them, and headed out when he was about a third of the way up. I followed in his tracks when they were solid and made new ones when they weren’t. Lester stopped a couple of times to let his animals rest and get their bearings. When I finally got up to the wreck, he was already dismounted and tying his string in a hemlock thicket. We picked out a campsite for ourselves down-trail from the horses, then unsaddled and hobbled them out on the new grass.
windbreaker over a tee shirt, and didn’t pack so much as a damn sandwich,” he said. “Some big adventurer.” “He probably didn’t figure on smacking into the mountain.” “They never figured on the mountain,” he said, trying to sound like a movie trailer. I started walking around the wreck myself, taking a better look this time. Lester followed me, just full of the devil. Inside I saw blood splattered on the instruments and a pilot’s map, plus a blue windbreaker. All told, there was less damage
complaints. I left the chainsaw on a rock and stashed the other stuff deep in the pines so there’d be no trace of the wreck left on the trail. Somebody might find that junk someday, but not till this whole mess was over. I got Lester to his feet and took the Crown Royal bottle from him so he wouldn’t drop it when we walked back to the horses. I steadied him, but he was still buckaroo enough to get on his horse by himself, even with a hole in his back. We left his slicker on him to keep him warm.