If his daughter Maria hadn't fallen for a documentary filmmaker, Gabriel Du Pré might never have earned his five minutes of fame. But unpredictability is something master fiddler, world-class tracker, and unreconstructed wise man of Toussaint, Montana has grown to savor—except maybe this time. Ben Burke's documentary centers on the famed Lewis & Clark expedition, and Du Pré, who finds it difficult to say no to his beloved Maria, signs on at her behest as historical advisor. But it's a trying time for the film company. The local ranchers detest the interlopers, perceiving them as the vanguard of a horde that will ultimately overwhelm their cherished remoteness. ("It's a country for not many people," Du Pré agrees.) And then suddenly violent death strikes and strikes again. To Du Pré, the why of this is obvious, the who only a little less so. And though he sympathizes with the ranchers, he's too much the moralist to tolerate murder, whatever its cause. On a happier note, Du Pré has unearthed Lewis's lost journal from its 200-year old hiding place. Who owns it now? The US Government claims it does. Du Pré thinks his own claim is better. Under the rapt gaze of the nation's media, Du Pré stands the feds on their collective ear, catches the killers, and—over eight outings now (The Stick Game, 2000, etc.)—continues a relentless march to his own drummer.
Colorful characters, amusing dialogue, but a plot as thin as a tenderfoot's welcome in Montana high country.