By Nevada Barr
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Additional resources for Anna Pigeon 08 Deep South
Now she was going to have to develop people skills. Anna found herself wishing she was back on the road with the alligator. Anna's office was small and dirtv. Scraps of wisdom, trash, information and memorabilia from the last half dozen district rangers were crammed in drawers and file cabinets, thumbtacked to walls, taped to cupboards. A vintage computer, the likes of which any self-respecting grade school would turn its nose up at, sat dusty and forlorn in one corner. A deceased roach had turned up six feet worth of toes and lay in the dust beneath a counter built into the far wall and serving as a desk.
Not just old and cluttered, but dirty, as if maintenance had gone on strike. Or given up. The rangers' desks were elbow deep in flotsam: coffee cups, evidence, candy wrappers, phone messages. Two bulletin boards were completely covered with notes and notices, some yellowed and curling with age. Anna pinched up the corner of a notification of an electrical shutdown at the Mount Locust Historical Site. It was seven years old. "We were going to get around to organizing those boards," Bartholomew told her as he set her coffee down on Thigpen's desk.
Steve Stilwell, she was prepared to like. She had spent too many years in the desert not to feel kindly toward a man offering water. A flicker of movement caught her eye, and she wandered into the dining area, the short leg of the L-shaped living room. On the wall near the windows overlooking the backyard were two shockingly green lizards, each about four inches long. For a moment she watched them doing push-ups as they gauged the distance between themselves and this intruder. "If you eat spiders, I'll ask Piedmont to let you live," she told them.