…a very minor courtier in an exceptionally regal retinue.

From Breakup, the seventh Kate Shugak novel:

The Roadhouse door opened abruptly into the conversation, almost catching Mrs. Baker on the nose and smacking into Kate’s reflexively upraised hand. A man somersaulted out of the building to roll down the steps and fetch up flat on his back in a puddle of muddy slush. There was a slurred curse.

The Bakers regarded the outcast for an expressionless moment before Mr. Baker reached for the door, which was swinging slowly closed, and pulled it open with a polite inclination of his head. Mrs. Baker swept through, with Kate bringing up the rear, feeling like a very minor courtier in an exceptionally regal retinue.

Inside, the bar was three deep, there wasn’t an empty table in the joint, and the floor was jammed with dancers in Pendleton shirts, Levi’s and wafflestompers, the men distinguished from the women only by their beards. On a twenty-four-inch television screen suspended from one corner of the roof Steven Seagal was putting out an oil rig fire in a series of actions that would have put his ass into orbit on any oil field other than Hollywood’s. An enthusiastic audience led by Old Sam Dementieff was improvising new dialogue. Half a dozen older women sat in a circle quilting, mugs of hot buttered rum at their elbows, Auntie Vi firmly guiding the gathered needles in some complicated knot. She looked up, saw Kate and beckoned. Kate deliberately mistook the gesture and waved back airily.


Chatter Kate Shugak Uncategorized

Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. BTW, Ben’s girlfriend, Marta, has been reading the Kate Shugak books while they are traveling in Europe. I hope she had enough, because they missed their flight back to the US due to the workers strike in France. Back later tonight.


  2. I was sitting in my friend’s swing, listening to a creek talking to himself, and here was this post in my mail. I laughed out loud yet again with sheer joy at your writing. Thank you.

  3. BREAKUP AND BLOOD WILL TELL REMAIN TWO OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS. Kate’s story at the convention is one I have read aloud many times. I really enjoy your writing. Thanks for so many hours of enjoyment.

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