Anna Pigeon 09 Blood Lure by Nevada Barr

By Nevada Barr

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Sample text

Anna and Rory were set to work collecting the hair while she took scat samples from the many opportunities with which ecstatic bears had provided her. Approximately every foot along the wire was a barb. Wearing gloves so as not to contaminate the samples, Anna carefully plucked the fur free of each barb and deposited it in its own small envelope. Rory then sealed it and wrote the date and location of the trap on the back. Using an alcohol-based disinfectant, the metal was then cleaned to remove any remaining tissue or hair cells, and they moved on to the next barb to repeat the process.

Anna slapped at the flies trying to skinny-dip in the sweat at her temples. " Joan asked Anna after a moment. Anna hadn't. "Ah, well," Joan said. " She looked worried. One of her four-hundred-pound charges had misbehaved. The concern wasn't misplaced, considering what penalties humankind often extracted from other species for even the slightest infractions. Joan stirred around in the pile some more. "These lumps, dog food or horse pellets is my guess. Bears don't have what you'd call careful digestion.

Despite Mother Nature's considerable aggravations, Rory worked with a quiet diligence Anna found admirable in a boy his age. The patience he exhibited with the fussy and exacting nature of their task was admirable in a person at any age. "My dad—Les," he corrected himself, or punished his father, "and I used to put together airplane models when I was in grade school. " "Used to? " Anna asked, ready to change the subject if he brought up any touching stories of cripples or lingering illness. No sense getting to know him that well.

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