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Friday, October 23

Owlshead Mountain: Part 9 – Cooter

A cool blue radiance leaked from several fist-sized hollows in the chamber’s walls ahead. Though dim, the light was strong enough to reveal a pit in the chamber’s foreground. Within the pit, skeletal fragments suggested the form of two bodies, one adult and one child. Both forms were dressed in the remnants of rotting ceremonial dress. Beyond the pit, dry grass was piled in an irregular circle four feet in diameter and two feet high.

"This is Chief Cornstalk's tomb." Waban leaned down on his knees to peer into the pit. "His son is interred here too."

Time had rendered both sets of remains into so many skeletal fragments posed in the hard soil. A small, ornately painted drum lay near the hand of the smaller form, while a strange wooden mask lay upon the fragments suggesting the head of the other.

"The talisman!" said Archive, pointing at the mask.

"Kawkiutl," said Waban.

Hammer inspected the grass beyond the pit. "That's odd."

"What isn't odd around here?" asked Jim-Bean.

"The grass is only a week or so old." Hammer picked something up. "This is Harold Gall's photo ID—"

With an awful shriek, a naked, crazed man lunged out of the grass with a woodsman's ax. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:36 AM


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