The afternoon sun broiled the beach. The olive-drab Skagit River, on the last lazy stage of its long journey from the Canadian Cascades, roiled and burbled. A little Mexican girl, dressed only in a sagging swimsuit bottom and dried mud, ran in tight circles, stirring up a cloud of choking dust.
Jake Mosby unbuttoned the bib of his patched and stained Carhartt denim overalls to expose his chest’s thatch of gray hair; otherwise, he did not acknowledge the heat. He raised his fifth of Early Times bourbon in salute to a bald eagle lurking in a tree across the river. The eagle had been staring at Jake for an hour.