Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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This book seems like it will just get better and better. This book will be interesting to show how life in Montana is different than life in South Dakota. Already there are some of the same incidents that are happening in the book that have happened in my life.

Well, there have been a few things that were surprising, but it's a good book. Their housekeeper, Marie, is sick. Wes Hayden, David's father, is the sheriff in town, and his brother Frank is a doctor, so he comes to see Marie. Marie says she doesn't want to see him, but Wes doesn't listen because he just thinks it's some dumb Indian thing, and that's the only reason. David's father, Wes, thinks that Indians are inferior to him and that they are also lazy. He also has no respect for them at all, but most people didn't back then.

Wes makes fun of Indian beliefs and how they have the tribal medicine men instead of doctors.

Now I am getting to know Uncle Frank better. Frank and Wes have their brotherly rivalries like many brothers do. He came to see Marie at their house. When Frank goes in to see Marie, she starts screaming, and so Gloria goes in to see what the problem is. Marie wants her to stay in the room with her; she doesn't want to be alone with Frank.

I can't believe that Frank does that to the Indian women. It really comes as a surprise to me because he seems as though he can do no wrong and that he is perfect. It is not that way at all. It seems like that is the way it always goes. Many people think that Frank is so perfect.

Wes and Gail are discussing who they are going to talk to about the situation. They decide to go and talk to Len and Daisy, their neighbors. They don't talk about Marie or Frank or the other Indian girls. They just talk about the weather and different things.

Julian knows that Frank likes Indian girls; he has known for a long time. I can't believe that he can still be so proud of Frank and take his side on everything. I don't understand the relationships that some fathers and sons have. In most cases the fathers have their favorites, and Frank is Julian's favorite. I don't understand how a parent can have a favorite child. Sometimes families are just like that.

Frank, Gloria, and Dave are going out to Julian's farm for dinner. Dave is really excited since he hasn't been out to the farm for a while. Gloria doesn't want to go because Frank will be there. I can see her point, but she will have to deal with him sometime, even though she doesn't want to deal with him. The favoritism that Julian shows to Frank is unreal, and he is always is putting Wes down.

I can't believe that Marie is dead. I haven't figured out what is going on if Frank killed her or what. Although Frank promised Wes that he wouldn't rape anymore Indians, something bad happened. David reveals information that leads his father to suspect that Frank had something to do with Marie's death. Wes arrests Frank, but locks him in his own basement instead of in jail.

Everything else that happens in the book relates to the arrest of Frank: grandfather Hayden threatens Wes the sheriff, excusing the war hero uncle's sexual behavior as normal instinct. A comment that he made earlier in the book was "You know Frank has always been partial to red meat." Wes put Frank in their basement because Frank doesn't want everyone in the town to know what he does with some of his patients.

During the second night Frank breaks all the jelly jars in the basement that Gail worked so hard to can. Wes Gail and Dave were all woken up by the loud bursts of the jars. Frank and Wes agreed that night that in the morning Wes would take Frank over to the jail. When Wes went down the basement in the morning he found his brother dead with all his blood on the floor mixed in with all of the other liquids from the jars that he broke. Frank had killed himself be slitting his wrists. Wes and Gail decide to move away from Bentrock, Montana, and go to Minnesota. Wes became a lawyer that's what Gail always wanted.

This story shows how one family member's actions can change the entire family forever. It also shows that sometimes the families that appear to be so well off also have their secrets.