Occidental Hotel

He met her at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming. She was a maid at the hotel. She’d come west from Missouri not intending to do much more than stop and work for a few weeks before heading to California. But there was a lot of money to be made at the Occidental, especially during conventions. This was February 1912. He’d come for a convention. The state Republican Party was meeting to decide on a successor for McKlintock. It was after nine in the morning. She’d knocked on the door twice and waited. Silence. She took the key out of her apron and unlocked the door. A man was sitting on the bed, pulling on a boot. His face was so still it could have been made of wax. His eyes. Even from the door she could see them, huge and glassy and full of motion. Like small heads bobbing in water.

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