The Fourth Woman: Chapter 9

With the help of a couple of tribal officers, the search for the man on the opposite side of the gap was made. ‘Shoshoni Johnny’ Hansen was an 83-year-old Paiute who lived by himself and often could be seen wandering the desert in the company of his dog.

“So, did you see anything on that day?”

“I see lots of things. Anything in particular?”

“The day the two women disappeared.”

“Yes. I saw them, but I did not make them disappear.”

“What can you tell us about what you saw.”

“I saw a red car with four girls in it. When it left there were only two girls in the car.”

“Didn’t that seem strange to you?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I figgered the Nimerigar got the other two.”

“Nimerigar?”

“Yes. The little people. Bad. Don’t like humans and will eat them, both Whites and Indians.”

“Did you see these little people?”

“No, I’ve never seen them. I have a dog. They do not like dogs. Afraid of dogs.”

“So, what about the young man who came out to the caves yesterday, did you see him?”

“Yes. Nice motorbike. Always wanted one. Looks like fun to ride.”

“Did you watch him.”

“Watched him until he called out to me. I left because I do not want him calling the Nimerigar’s attention to me. Stupid boy.”

“Anything else that you can tell us?”

“About that day when girls go missing, I saw lights floating in the sky above the caves early in the morning, before sun. I also heard Winnescheika screaming and crying. Came home immediately.”

“Can you describe the lights?”

“Blue. Like a hot fire on a torch, without torch, that move back and forth and up and down. I have seen them before. I always return home when I see them.”

“And you said you heard a scream?”

“Not jus’ a scream – Winnescheika.”

“Winnescheika?”

“A witch. She’s believed to be dead by many, but White man dug her up after her death and her ghost walks the desert not far from where she was buried. If it is the Nimerigar who stole young girl, they have already eaten her, bones too. If it is Winnescheika, her ghost will return her when it is finish using her. Could be long time.”

The detectives looked at each other quickly. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Hansen.”

“You are welcome. Come by again. I enjoyed the visit.”

Once back in the car, “I think the old chief’s cheese has slid off his cracker.” The pair laughed at the remark.

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