Poor Elmont—the first, but certainly not the last person—accused of cooperation with police against the excesses of the hunt. Six feet tall and built like a blob. Could have been a linebacker if he didn’t have the soul of a Muppet. Just big for nothing. Those guys worked him over pretty good. Blows to the ribs, legs, kidneys. All that. Then they slammed his tongue in a car door. They didn’t have to do that, but they did.
It all started with George who one morning tossed Elmont a plastic shopping bag filled with a bunch of assorted junk and said, Hey, Elmont could you take this to the dumpster for me. Thanks.
Elmont shrugged and walked 500 feet, tossing it all into oblivion, never to think about it again until that next week when the police questioned him. They had the bag, the soda cans and balled up tissues and cotton balls from inside it.
Do you know a George Cooper? How do you know Mr. Cooper? Did you throw this bag into the Lovely Hills dumpster? The one on Lovely Street and 4th Place. About what time? Did you know the contents? How did you come into possession of the bag? Are you sure? Did you receive payment for tossing the bag? Are you sure? What time did you say you first saw George that day? What were you doing that morning? Did you have any contact with George in the two weeks prior to receiving the bag in question? How could you not know? Do you know of a woman who goes by the name jane? How do you feel about her? Are you sure? What’s you opinion on the Wolf Liberation Front? Are you sure? Are you sure?
Elmont answered dutifully before the detectives presented the bloody clothes they said were balled up at the bottom of the bag.
Does this look familiar to you? Are you sure?
George’s wife, it turned out, had gone missing. Unbeknownst to George she had joined the resistance, becoming one of jane’s main forest puppeteers. Her husband, the archer—a wolfer of distinction and prosperity, in a fit of passion fired an arrow into her neck as if she were a common forest wolf. Then, in a fit of panic, he chopped the woman to pieces and stuffed her body into a furnace that he tried and tried and tried to light.
Elmont, so oblivious. So confused all the time. So trusting of everyone and everything. So maddening to the police in his lack of detail. His blank, happy face, which to them was a silly put on.
When the police chauffeured him to his front door deep in the heart of the Lovely Hills Apartment Homes, they knew exactly what they were doing. Drove down the block and picked up George as if to underline and then highlight their point. The wolves were out, the human ones who watched this big-for-nothing giant waddle slowly to his apartment, dazed and weary, desiring sleep, but whole, thinking nothing of his tongue, taking for granted that it would always be safe and there for him when he needed it.