by marshal Zeke Drummond, from the "Portrait of Crime" series by Sharon Pape
Howdy folks - I'm federal marshal Zeke Drummond, deceased since 1878. Those of you who have been readin' what I like to call "The Sketch Books," have already made my acquaintance. But I'm mighty pleased to meet any newcomers among you. For the past few years, I've been busy solvin' murders with my partner Rory McCain, a feisty little redhead who's still very much alive. She got herself overscheduled recently, so she asked me to conduct an interview for her. I was reluctant at first. You see, the only people I've ever interviewed were the criminal type. I told her I'd do my best, though. A man can't promise more than that.
I'll be interviewin' Daniel Yazzi, a full-blooded Navajo from the same state where I was born. Of course back then it was only a territory. Now you may have met Daniel's friends, Jaye and Sierra, over the past couple of months right on this very site. All three of them reside in Sedona, Arizona, where Jaye and Sierra found themselves suspects in a murder case. The three friends teamed up to solve the case and put the real killer behind bars.
Zeke: "Thanks for talkin' with me today, Daniel."
Daniel: "Glad to be here. I have to admit I've never talked to a ghost before, but I feel like we already have a sort of bond, since we've both lived and worked in Arizona. I think my grandmother, Doli Joe, would feel perfectly comfortable with you. She comes from a long line of medicine women."
Zeke: "Did you grow up in Sedona?"
Daniel: "No, I was raised in Tuba City up on the Navajo reservation. I left the rez to go to college and when I got back, my cousin George and I moved to Sedona and started Premier Navajo Tours."
Zeke: "Why don't you tell us a little about your business."
Daniel: "Well, we take tourists off road in open-air Jeeps to explore Sedona's Red Rock country."
Zeke: "I was up there a time or two myself, way back when. For those folks who've never been there, we ought to explain that the Red Rocks aren't just rocks. That's what they call the mountains and cliffs there. I never did see anythin' quite like it in my life."
Daniel: "It's pretty special. Draws tens of thousands every year and never disappoints."
Zeke: "Do you get back up to the reservation often?"
Daniel: "Not nearly as much as I should. My family still lives up in Tuba. But you know how it is -- life gets in the way. (He laughs.) Especially when you're trying to keep your best friends out of jail."
Zeke: "I understand there was somethin' mighty peculiar going on at the same time you were involved with your investigatin'."
Daniel: "Yeah, you must mean Raffles. She's definitely a strange little creature. We still haven't figured out exactly what she is, or where she came from, although my grandmother has a pretty amazing theory. Anyway, now that Jaye and Sierra are out of jeopardy, we'll have more time to sort that out."
Zeke: "Well, I sure wish you and your friends good luck. I hope you'll stop by sometime and give us an update."
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