. .
. . A Novel by Douglas Christian Schroeder   .


Chapter 1
Ask Chief



Ish tak ha ba

Man am I happy to be out of there. I got to figure out what to do fast. They are probably after me already SHIT! I wish that I could remember what Mac said about where downtown Salem was, coming from the hospital. Through those trees I think. Then I should come to a street then right. I think. Good! There are the trees and they are pine trees . They are my special friends. I can talk to them and they will help me out. ……Chief remembered what his Grandfather had told him. He had said that trees were like transmitters of telepathic energy. You talk to a tree in one place and it transmits it to another tree near to where you want to contact another person or animal. With animals it works best. Good! Now I am in the trees. Lets see now find a big old healthy one and hug it . Good! An now I become the tree. There! That's perfect. Chief walks up to a big pine tree and hugs it. It is very hard to tell which is the tree and which is the Indian.
Chief is six feet eleven inches tall. He weighs 275 pounds. It is as if he is made of red, bent steel. There isn't an ounce of fat on him. He moves very gracefully for a man of his size. He moves through the woods like a young deer despite his age of 38 years. Chief embraces the tree, feeling the rough bark on his finger tips. He calls out in a loud voice, HELLO, I am chief ish tak ha ba of the Minnesota Sioux. I need your help. I just broke out of that loony bin over there that's called the Oregon State Hospital. I need to find my way out of here without getting caught. He continued talking in a loud voice. My grandfather told me that I could always come to a tree and ask for help and here I am. . I need help!!! He yelled it out. I trust you!! Just then a voice came into his head. It said. You had a very wise grandfather. Chief was overwhelmed with surprise. The voice of the tree continued in his head. What were you in that loony bin for? Or were you just taking a little R&R?. Chief stuttered out loud with his voice cracking. He couldn't believe he was talking to a tree. I was over on Warm Springs reservation over in Eastern Oregon. He continued. I was driving a dump truck, hauling grain from the fields to the grain elevator in town. Back and forth all day long back and forth on the same gravel road. Very boring. He sighed as if he was reliving the experience. One time when I drive my truck from the field to the elevator, the man asked me for my number through the window. It was about the tenth or fifteenth time. You would think he could remember it by now. I gave him the finger and pulled the trip cord that dumps the grain and it went all over the scales and not back in the bin where it belonged. He looked at me, with amazement through the window.
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