the Goliard


To No Avail Slaps the Tale - A Jordan Dane Mystery
* Chapter One
* Interlude One
* Chapter Two
* Chapter Three
* Chapter Four
* Chapter Five
* Chapter Six
* Chapter Seven
* Chapter Eight
* Chapter Nine
* Chapter Ten
* Chapter Eleven
* Chapter Twelve
* Chapter Thirteen



To No Avail
      Slaps the Tail - Interlude One

Mike Hacker's novel, when it was finally published, would commence with a scene describing two young trustfunders and a walk they took one evening along a meandering circular wooded lane roughly fifteen miles east of Telluride Colorado. The opening scene chronicles a disagreement between the two of them that became more acrimonious by the page, the subject of which was the perceived importance, or lack thereof, of them forsaking their Jewish upbringings to become rastafarians. It isn't clear whether Hacker based this scene on any specific familiarity with the actual facts.

What is well documented is that, on a Saturday night in August of the year before, a walk was taken on Mangas Mesa by one Ira Gold, one Debra Finkelstein, and one Newfoundland puppy named Rasta Pasta. It was a walk interrupted by a vicious attack by hybrid wolves, which everyone living in the near vicinity would hear about by the next day, and a walk concurrent, or nearly so, with a gruesome killing that, due to the fame or infame of the deceased's family, many around the country would know about by the next week.

Mike Hacker was living on Mangas Mesa at the time and so an idea that this walk and the events that followed served as impetus and/or catalyst for his tale might be safe speculation. The book jacket would have us believe that things transpired in exactly the manner Hacker relates and that the facts he came privy to during his investigation, as he covered the case for The Telluride Daily Lode, were of such a singular nature, of such unique occurrence, that he would have been remiss of his journalistic duties and authorial aspirations had he not attempted to lay them before the reader in novel form. As to whether Hacker's word, or for that matter, book jackets in and of themselves, are to be believed, well it's hard to know. Several lawsuits are still to be settled on the matter

Booksellers routinely vacillate on how to classify Hacker's offering with some filing it as true crime, others as mystery, and still more as popular or general fiction. Nothing on the book jacket mentions a love story. It can also be assumed that the story that Hacker eventually ended up getting published would bear little similarity to the one he had planned to write when he left the Midwest to live in his aunt's cabin up in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado.

And regardless if one is spinning a yarn based on facts, imagination, memory or some mixture, it is of no small import that prospective readers be drawn into the action of the tale immediately. In retrospect, Hacker's decision to begin with the walk in the woods may have been as good as any.

Chapter Two

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.