They had to sit for a time after dragging the body so far in this
heat - two young women in sleeveless summer dresses, hugging their
knees on the hillside while the hot wind danced in their hair and
crept up their skirts and a dead man lay behind them. They both
looked straight ahead across the rolling fields of prairie grass,
and nowhere else.
"We should have tied him to a board or something," Ruth said after
a few minutes; "so he wouldn't get tangled up in the grass like he
Laura opened her mouth, then closed it abruptly. She'd almost said
they'd know better next time. She closed her eyes and saw big, raw
hands dragging through the grass, fingers curled, almost as if he'd
been trying to hang on. It was high summer and the grass was long,
whipping in the wind and wrapping around the rough fabric of his
"Shall we start?"
Laura felt her heart skip a beat. "In a minute."
But it was impossible to keep Ruth still for very long. She was
like one of those little birds whose wings beat so fast you
couldn't see them, darting here and there like they were always on
the edge of panic. She was trying to be still to please Laura, but
her hands were busy, almost frantic, shredding one piece of grass
and then another. "I have a