Monday, September 22, 2008

Guest Blog - White Shell Woman

After doing some serious reading for awhile (well, serious reading for me) I picked up a James D. Doss novel and have thoroughly enjoyed indulging in a Charlie Moon mystery. And I have to admit that I did not see this one coming. The totally logical solution hidden among Indian lore and mysticism completely surprised me.

White Shell Woman is a mythological character from the creation stories of several different Native American tribes. This novel opens with various tribes having a tour of a national park before the official opening for the season. The park overlooks two sandstone monoliths who are said to be the twin sons of White Shell Woman. As in many novels set in the mountain west, there is a sense of conflict over the sacred lands of the ancient tribes who still inhabit the area and people who would exploit the land. Part of the park is being excavated by an archeological team and only a few days after Charlie Moon and his aunt Daisy have visited the park, a young woman is found dead in one of the digs.

Mysterious sightings of a crouching man who turns into a dog along with other seemingly inexplicable occurrences make this an intriguing story. As usual it is challenging to try to separate the lore from the facts. While I was left wondering though, Charlie had no trouble sorting them out.

The blogger happens to have a Master’s degree in English, so when I came across this quote at the end of the novel, I had to share it with her. I hope you will enjoy the humor as well. It is a conversation between Charlie Moon and his friend Parris. Charlies says:

“You been engaged for about six hundred years. And me-I’m supposed to be your best man. And your best friend to boot. So if there’s something gone sour, you should tell me.”
“Well, there’s lots of reasons. If you really want to know-”
Parris choked back a sigh. “Sometimes Anne kinda gets on my nerves.”
”Gimme a f’r-instance.”
”Well, she’s always correcting the way I talk. Like I don’t never say nothing right.”
Moon sighed. “Ain’t that always the way.”
Parris took a deep breath. “Keep this under our hat-but I found out she’s an English major.”
“You should not make an accusation like that without evidence.”
“She keeps the sheepskin hid in a closet. But I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
“When you first met the woman, she should’ve told you about that right up front.”
They enjoyed a long silence. White Shell Woman p. 271

In case you cannot tell, I have grown quite attached to these two fictitious friends from Colorado.


Blogger said...

I am so offended on behalf of all English majors. Actually, it reminds me a little of that bit on The Prairie Home Companion's "Partnership of English Majors" skits.

Wanna-Be Lit said...

I haven't heard that skit. I miss brush up on my Home Companion.