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The following excerpt is from Whelp of the She-Bear, a full-length unpublished suspense novel written by Judge David Sentelle. The novel, which takes place in the early 1970s, centers on the kidnapping for ransom of the granddaughter of Wolf Sequoya, a Cherokee Indian chief. Roger Dale Fornby, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears in two of Sentelle’s “Clyde Haywood” stories, is one of the detectives on the case. The other is June Junaluska, a Cherokee who is an alcoholic and a former police officer. The pair of gumshoes has only three days to find the child, who they fear will soon be murdered. The novel is set on the Cherokee Indian reservation in western North Carolina, where Sentelle spent some time as an investigator in the 1970s. He stood at last, shivered a second, naked in the unaccustomed draft, then smiled as he thought what Lawanda would say if she knew what he was thinking. Wolf Sequoya, you’ve checked on that child at least a thousand times because you thought you heard something, and at least a hundred more because you thought it was too quiet. Now you’re going to check on her because the air doesn’t feel right. Then she would probably get up and go with him. With that thought, he started to wake her and tell her what he was thinking. He looked down at her still form on the back side of the bed. His movements had partly uncovered her. More by memory than moonlight he could make out the dim lines of her breasts moving gently with her breathing. No, he thought. I’ll leave her sleeping while I check on Little Princess, then I’ll come back in here and slide up next to her and caress her awake. We’ll have plenty of time before I need to go down to the motel. Happy in that thought, he padded quickly across the hall to the baby’s room. He stopped at the doorway, intending to tiptoe over to her cribside and peek at her over the rail. But first, he focused on her window through the slight illumination of her night light. He had been right. It was wide open, and that draft was cool. How could that have happened? He turned to the window to bring it down. But wait — Where was the screen? He rushed over to the baby bed. Then he woke Lawanda, not with a lover’s touch, but with a scream like a panther in the night. Little Princess was gone.
For a moment Roger Dale studied the weathered face, brown and cracked like old cowhide — the lumpy body — the loose beer fat falling around the waist and hips. “No, June-June, you don’t look much like a police to me.” “What I look like then? I look like a drunk, don’t I?” “Yeah. You look like a drunk.” Fornby sniffed the air like a hunting dog. “You smell like one too.” “Then why you come in here telling me you gonna give me police work?” June asked. “Because I need a good cop,” said Roger Dale. “And I need him bad. And I don’t need the best cop in the Cherokee nation lying up here on his ass looking and smelling like a drunk.” They sat in silence for a moment. Then Fornby stood up. “I started some coffee making in the kitchen,” he said. “And I put a couple of Cokes in the fridge and doughnuts on the table. Get some of that in you. Take a shower and put some clean clothes on. Meet me down at the R.A. in Gibsontown at one o’clock and you can start to work.” “And if I’m not there?” June-June asked. “You’ll be there,” said Roger Dale. “This is the first time in seven years you’ve had a chance to do any real policing. And if you don’t take this chance, you ain’t real likely to get another one.”

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