Uncivil actions at the Hood Canal find an immortal entity dragging cars into the Puget Sound sluice’s wide and dismal depths.
Cady goes phantasmological again, as in Inagehi (1994), which bodied forth the Native American myth of part-human/part-spirit Nunnehi. But the author of The American Writer: Shaping a Nation’s Mind (1999) not only likes to get at the spirit of a region and go for the mytho-cosmic, he also admires giving a good Irish jig to his sentence and each word its winsome whirl in the moonlight. So when a young wreck hauler comes into Bertha’s Beer and Bait, home of pool hustlers, and speaks of the car he’s just hauled out of Hood Canal with a guy and a lady in it, he must say fancifully, “A hell of a thing to do to a Buick.” And then this playboy of the Puget Sound adds, “A’ course it’s busted up a little.” After the pining blacksmith Sugar Bear hammers a hole into the head of an unwholesome man for his nasty remark about virginal young witch Green Annie, he sinks the body deep into Hood Canal, car and all. The lovelorn young witch then makes up wild tales to distract the cops from thinking about the missing man and invents a car-crushingly oversensitive Water Fury that twists Studebakers into love knots. When low rainfall shrinks the canal, the dunked car is exposed but the body is gone. Then the tow-truck kid loses his Ranchero to the Stinking Thing, and a babbling canal fisherman sees the Creature hover and gangle below him like something out of Lovecraft.
You would have to be deaf to miss the John Millington Synge in Cady’s twanging, Twain-like tall tale. But you can always depend on Cady for a full-blooded monster and a big damn contest between good and evil. It’s that Pacific Northwest darkness coursing in his veins, whatever the comedy.