Something should be Done.

[from “Conspiracy,” a Kate Shugak short story]

At the same time the Grosdidier brothers were settling on a command structure at home, they were willing, nay, eager to assert their independence abroad. There were a few years when Park rats had only to see the Grosdidier brothers coming in one door to exit immediately out of any available other. Their quadranarily sequential ascent to the venerable age of twenty-one was viewed with alarm, and there was talk in the Park that Something should be Done.

“Like what?” Bernie Koslowski said. Himself, he relied on the baseball bat and the twelve-gauge shotgun behind the bar to discourage bad behavior beneath his roof. Not that he had need of either, because as proprietor of the only bar within driving, snogoing, flying, boating and snowshoeing distance of Niniltna, all Park rats with a wish to imbibe liquid refreshment in congenial surroundings had a vested interest in keeping the Roadhouse peace.

No one had a good answer to his question, and the idea died a natural death, although the commentary on the Grosdidiers’ continued willingness to instruct Park rats and indeed any stray passersby in the code of conduct tolerable to the citizenry of twenty million acres of southeastern Alaska was audible, particularly from those who had been so instructed.

the third Eye of Isis novel, publishing November 3, 2022

Chatter Eye of Isis Kate Shugak

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