Jacob Garstein has built a house in the Targhee forest. A visiting childhood
friend finds him distraught at having broken a promise to bury his deceased
wife’s ashes beside those of two relatives in a favourite glade across the
mountains in Wyoming, a promise that the friend helps him to fulfil, whereupon
Garstein suddenly dies on the spot.
The friend, a successful financier, had promised to take care of the house but
himself dies a few years later estranged from all that remain of his relatives,
and leaves the house with most of his wealth to an English couple who many years earlier had comforted his dying wife after an accident. Their heir Mike Crampton, a newly-unemployed mechanic, is sufficiently intrigued to visit the house, finding there an informal request to check the conditions of the glade, and seeking directions is helped by Josie to whom he is strongly attracted.
Back home he uses his newly-acquired wealth to rescue from bankruptcy the bus company for which he had worked, on condition of taking operational control, and so can provide a replacement when the next year he finds Josie and a touring party she leads stranded by an accident to their coach.
It transpires that Garstein might have buried with the ashes some clue to the
whereabouts of a long-kidnapped nuclear engineer Donald Harris, and being unable to describe adequately the location he has to guide a recovery party that
unearths a can of film. This does lead to a rescue, and Harris turns out to be
Returning to work at the Idaho National Laboratory Harris finds the situation
unsatisfactory, turns to drink and becomes so violent that Josie reluctantly
leaves him. He then pulls himself together enough to participate in a seminar at
the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, but afterwards is accidentally jostled on a
Metro station platform and falls under a train. Josie has to identify the body; her aunt would normally accompany her but cannot, and asks Mike to deputise.
Three years later, with Mike’s guidance, she buries Harris’s ashes near those of
the Garsteins, and is then ready to move on.
About Peter Wilson
See more books from this Author
Published June 9, 2011
by Peter D. Wilson.