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Eight-year-old Carleen doesn’t know that she will inherit a massive fortune that her deadbeat father, Connor, believes is rightfully his. She doesn’t know that Connor is after her or that he nearly found her at the Pendleton Roundup. She doesn’t know that the real reason her mother is stuck in jail is because she shot Connor, who escaped with minor injuries. All she knows is that she’s with Miller Cane for now, traveling across America in his motorhome, and not sure when she can return to her real home. For his part, Miller’s been doing his best to distract Carleen with history lessons along the road and with tales of “Little House on the Prairie.” Carleen, meanwhile, has been doing some writing of her own.


Tuesday. Sitting Bull had a vision of soldiers falling into camp. The ranger was a historian Miller said and he told the story of Custer and Sitting Bull and all the others as we stood looking over the Greasy Grass. Thousands of Indians and dust from the ponies. Children playing and soldiers falling into camp. That’s when the fighting started. Not all the white men died but all Yellow Hairs did. I asked about the women putting holes in his ears. With a sewing awl the ranger said. But no one knows if its true. My grandfather knows a boy beside me said. Its hard to know for sure, Miller said. Some things


Miller Cane: A True and Exact History, a new novel by Samuel Ligon, is being published for the first time in the pages of the Inlander. The latest installments of the book will always appear in print first, then on the web the following Wednesday MADE POSSIBLE BY and then on Spokane Public Radio, which is broadcasting audio versions of each installment. Visit for more details.

are easier to believe than others. Like Lauras story I said. My mother could tell when I was lying she thought. The way the ranger told it was like being inside a vision. Our past tells the story of who we are Miller said. There’s lots of parts I would tell a different way I said. It doesn’t matter Miller said as long as its true. Bellas grandmother could tell the future and so could Bella. She put her hands on my head in the moho and had a vision of me and my mother. What are we doing I said. Making dolls and drinking coffee she said. I knew it was true because of the dolls and because I don’t drink coffee yet. Thursday. Miller said its going to be longer than you think but everything is longer than you think. Until its over and then its not as long as it should have been. Last night I had a vision that my mother and I were home. She was making cupcakes and I was making shrinky dinks and Miller was on the couch reading.


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She looks just like you the man at Yellowstone said. We saw the Rushmore and Crazy Horse heads coming out of the mountains. There should be girls up there I said like Mom saying it. I’m sick she said on the phone thats all. A little under the weather. I couldn’t hear her and before bed Miller said what if its just us for awhile. Who I said and he said you and me. That is what it is I said. But we’re going home after Lauras right? Of course we are he said. Sunday. Nebraska and Kansas are prairie and so is South Dakota. Lawrence Kansas is a grandfather I said and Miller laughed. What do you think about this place he said and I said good. What about this place he said and I said good. What about this place he said. Spearfish. I liked that one. I like Omaha too. It sounds like a grandmother. Wednesday. When she called I couldn’t hear her at all. ...continued on next page


MAY 23, 2019 INLANDER 23

Profile for The Inlander

Inlander 05/23/2019  

Inlander 05/23/2019