The mission sat in a converted store front on the corner of a medium-busy street. There was a small crowd gathered in front – no real surprise, since they gave out food and clothing, all all you had to do was spend a few moments of your life listening to the good reverend explain why you were going to Hell. It seemed like a pretty good bargain, even to me, but I wasn’t hungry.

But hold on: Didn’t I remember that the original language of the Bible was not Hebrew but something else? I beat my gray cells brutally, and they finally came out with it. Yes, it had been something I remembered from that unimpeachable scholarly source, Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the language I was looking for was Aramaic.

But from the way she was looking at me now, I began to think that perhaps that had been a mistake. Human relationships, especially the whole Being Married Thing, were foreign territory for me. It was clear I should have called to say I would be late-but could the consequences really be this calamitous? Was

Kraunauer was waiting for me, standing next to the same young and serious agent who had brought us up. “I’m beginning to believe,

He had been counting coup on me, that ancient game of the Plains Indians. It was the ultimate insult if you were a Lakota, a failure of manhood so shameful it could actually end a warrior’s life when it happened, to be touched by an enemy while you stood helpless-but I was not a Native American.

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