Roosevelt, Muir, Clio and Me: A Novel of Loss and Discovery by David Matthew Wilcox
Excerpt from Chapter Five – “Playing Sherlock Holmes”:
A mid dew-studded grass and moist autumn air, Winston’s second sabbatical
day began. He found Clio’s sleeping bag empty. This startled
him. He threw open his damp bag and ambled to his feet. Quietly calling her
name, he stiffly walked to the van. Perhaps she wanted to sleep in the van
after all, he thought. But after opening the front door and peering throughout
the van’s rubble, he saw nothing, nothing out of place, nothing that resembled
a sleeping lump. Walking confused back to the sleeping bags, he began
to notice things that the vale of sleepiness had hidden before. He saw Clio’s
bag neatly closed and zipped, with a green flannel-covered pillow on top. He
noticed the candle with all three flames lit heating a small pot of water. He
noticed the book, Teddy’s autobiography, neatly placed on top of the cooler.
Then, before he could force the air out of his lungs, through his mouth, past
his tongue and teeth, which were just then forming the shapes that created the
word “Clio,” he saw her. Walking toward him between the gravel road and the
fence line, Clio had a big, wide-faced grin on her face. In her hands she held
clumps of green leaves.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Clio said, still smiling. “I got up with the sun. Read
your book. I re-read the part that put me to sleep last night and finished the
rest of the chapter. I put on some water to boil, or to see if it would boil, then
decided to walk the fence line to see what I could find.” She held up her leafy
hands for inspection.