The period between my Uncle Frank’s death, and when we moved to North Dakota, was an awkward experience for my entire family. It was decided that we would tell people that Frank had died in an accident. I felt that was the best option we had. Frank was dead and could not harm anyone else and telling the truth would only hurt people like my grandmother and Aunt Gloria. It would also destroy the memory of my uncle. While he was a rapist and murder, to the townspeople he was a war hero and leader in the community. Telling the truth would not undo anything he did so my family agreed to tell the public that Frank had fallen off the ladder while helping my father.
I was never very comfortable in Bentrock after the events of that summer. Not only could I not go in our laundry room or the extra bedroom without getting the chills, but also I felt strange while out in public. Although I knew that the only person in town to know that Uncle Frank was not killed by falling from a ladder was the town’s funeral director, it seem liked people looked at me differently. They may have been looking at me with mournful eyes for a boy who had lost an uncle and a caretaker. To me they were looks of disgust for what my uncle had done.
Things improved for me when I returned to school in September. School and our pending move helped to keep my mind off of Marie and Uncle Frank. I told my friends that I would probably return the falling summer, but this was a lie. Since the time we left Bentrock that winter, I have never returned to that town. I could not face the events that took place in Montana in 1948.