Four weeks had passed since he returned to the liv-ing. Two weeks earlier the hospital moved him to a rehabil-itative center. Thanks to stroke therapy, the slur in his voice had lessened until he spoke almost normal.
He sat in a recliner while she combed his white head and braided his hair.
“I’ve brought you bread baked from my horno ov-en. I have my oven shaped like a bee hive; you have your bees; together we can make honey bread,” she said.
“Your bread does not smell like the cow and the bee as Old-Woman’s did. Butter skated across her yeast while honey ruled her rise like a queen. How I miss her legumes and stews. She sat on my lap when I lay in your truck with one moccasin in the grave. Odd, none of my wives floated over to welcome me. I would have married her had she not lost patience and left to look for a dead husband, one more talkative than I,” he said, laughing.
“My old honey is still single and wants me. My magic failed else I would be dancing at my wedding right now. There will be no wedding guests. You will regret after my death, that I cannot in clear conscience become one with the Cloud People and float up to Kachina Village, while they are lost,” he said, crossing his arms and thrust-ing out his chin.
“I’ve wanted to tell you, but your doctor advised me to wait. I’ve called NAGPRA and we have a right to claim everything Dr. Kidder took from Pecos.”
“This man was no kidder but a thief,” he said.
“The Pecos land was privately owned in 1915 so he legally stole for science,” she said.
“The land is red because of our blood and why Pe-cos has always belonged to us,” he said, spitting and wiping his mouth with a shaky hand.
Hopefully, her news about NAGPRA would calm him down but he swatted her hand away like a fly. She swore not to argue with him and bit her lip.
“Where is Steve? You should be home seeing to your husband,” he said.
“He’s at work. He has orders to fill. You know what a fine jeweler he is and his turquoise designs are in high demand.”
“You are not a good wife.”
“I’m trying to be a good granddaughter so I visit every day to make sure you don’t frighten the nurses off.”
He promised to eat all his dinner but like a child, he turned his mouth away from the spoon she offered.
“Fine, don’t eat,” she said, stomping out of the room without even a good night.
RETURN OF THE BONES has won BEST HISTORICAL FICTION for the 2013 NEW MEXICO / ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS!
A dazzling, family epic of love and forgiveness. Return of the Bones is a very special book inspired by a true story -- In 1915, 2,067 skeletons were stolen from the ghost pueblo of Pecos and transported to Harvard University for medical research...In present day and across the miles, the wind carries their cries to Grandfather who hears the bones longing for home.
Hollow-Woman and Grandfather are the last of the Pecos people, but Hollow-Woman is not interested in ancient skeletons. She works at an Indian casino and is of the modern ways, while Grandfather is a shaman and values tradition. She hopes the road trip will heal their broken hearts.
Grandfather fashions a magical dream catcher to help her "see" her ancestors' lives, and come to love the missing bones, as he does. While driving a ratty old pickup-camper, the cantankerous Grandfather and stubborn Hollow-Woman bicker from New Mexico to the Peabody Museum.
A glowing literary work, with religious undertones of the persecution of Native Americans by the Catholic Church's Spanish Inquisition. Return of the Bones pulses with emotion. The pages are filled with the comical way Grandfather looks at the world while embracing the heartbreak and spirituality of the Native American peoples.
You may know these famous bones on which landmark studies proved that exercise prevents osteoporosis!
Did you know that President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, dug up Geronimo's grave and stole his skull to be used as initiation into the Skull and Bones Society at Yale?
Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – PG
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