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to make him paranoid? By the time he started up the truck and pulled down to the corner of Fell Street, Emmett didn't care about it anymore and dumped the paper-wrapped rusted automatic, which probably would never have worked anyway, down the sewer and tore the note up into fine, little squares, letting them flutter out his window like a handful of confetti. He geared the truck onto the entrance ramp and along the freeway to North Beach and Tumble's pad without the slightest intention of ever telling anyone about the anonymous package left on the front seat of the pickup or the note that accompanied it, offering a little help from some friends.

It was at Tumble's pad that afternoon that Emmett met Larry Little Bird, a Pueblo Indian who had been raised on the Santo Domingo Reservation near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Little Bird was twenty-five years old and thoroughly maintained his Indianness; a black-pearl-eyed man who was as graceful and strong as a birch tree dancing in the wind. He quietly studied Emmett over a can of malt liquor and within less than thirty minutes of their having been introduced, Larry Little Bird invited Emmett to return with him to New Mexico, because he had the look of a man who could learn what every man needs to learn about himself and what every Indian like Little Bird knows.

Strangely, and to some perhaps selfishly, Emmett didn't have one hesitating thought about leaving with Little Bird that evening for New Mexico, and it would be a month before he'd realize why he went to the wilderness without ever seriously considering his responsibility to his charge--the streets of Haight-Ashbury. The Communication Company issued a handbill the next morning, announcing that "Emmett Grogan has gone for a while," and everyone wondered why, with the promised cataclysmic "Summer of Love" drawing near. So did Emmett Grogan.

It was dawn when they drove up to the comfortable, wood-stove cabin set deep in the woodline on the outskirts of a village called El Rito in the northern part of the state. It was here that Natural Suzanne was to stay with Little Bird's tall, Kentucky-born woman, Cease, while Emmett went into the forests to be taught without words the lessons he had come there to learn.

He had absolutely no money, but Little Bird had a bit and staked Emmett to a short, eighty-pound-pull Bear bow, sleeved in camouflage cloth, and a dozen aluminum-shaft target-and-hunting arrows, as well as a .22 single-shot Magnum, which is treated like a boy's toy by the American Rifle Association, but in reality is a weapon that [end page 367]


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