Navajo spirits are pushing harder on Katie. They want something from her, yet she’s unsure what it is. They don’t want to kill her otherwise she’d be toast by now. The answer becomes clearer following an all-night peyote tipi rite. Rory realizes the tug on Katie might pull her from him, and he ups the ante by marrying his sweetheart. Nonetheless, her quest to understand the ravages of disease continues to push her to further her education.
Katie Reynolds is a modern Navajo Indian. They call themselves the Diné. Early in her life, Katie was bitten with the bug, the bug to help animals. Hard work and intelligence paid off, she became a veterinarian, a first in her Navajo nation, and fell in love with Rory in veterinary school.
The two lovers manage to overcome turbulent issues during school, but the relationship begins to crack from their cultural and physical distances. They come together for a time in California, where Rory is building a practice. Although he hadn't intended on going into small animal practice he arranges to open a clinic so both he and Katie have enough work to make a living, build a home.
Katie continues to feel the tug of advanced learning, still hoping to strengthen her people in a land where evilness rampant on the res ran her off.
During the tipi rite, she runs into Tal and Pelipe, her Ute friends from a neighboring reservation. Working with Katie they convince Rory to try the peyote ritual. Strange things happened afterward. The next day during a tour of Hearst Castle malevolent spirits causes a 3,000 year-old statue to jump off a shelf, causing her to collapse and lose time. She recovers in a hospital but cannot recollect events of the entire day.
Worries about marrying Rory emerge from this, as she wonders if the spirits are warning her not to do this. The indecision is compounded when she and Tal go on a road trip to San Francisco, then Davis, where Katie’s post-graduate schooling is starting her on a new quest to more fully understand the ravages of disease and evil in humans and animals.
Realizing the tug on Katie might pull her from him, Rory ups the ante proposing to marry his sweetheart before she returns to school.
“I heard something fall in Marion's bedroom.” Denise ran to the room. “Oh my god, Katie has fainted!”
The others rushed in, gathered the limp, unconscious Katie, and laid her on the bed. Rory cradled her head, gently pushed the hair off her face, and spoke quietly to her until she came back to him.
“Katie are you all right?” he asked when he saw her eyelids flutter.
“I, I think so.” She nodded her head and rubbed her forehead. “I have to leave this place.”
“Russ, Denise, she wants to go. What is the quickest way out?”
“Follow me.” Russ guided them through a door, down a flight of stairs and into a utility hallway. This area was a stark change from the opulence of the rest of the Hearst castle. Modern light fixtures and drywall were the only adornments.
“Rory, do you need help?” René hollered down the stairs from the open door.
“Yes, get Katie’s purse from the bedroom.”
Russ led the way down the long utility hallway. No one was in this part of the structure, so the lights were off. As he and Rory walked and supported Katie, he realized he hadn't turned on the lights, but there was a kind of glow illuminating the hall. Rory was dumbfounded to see the fluorescent bulbs glowed a brilliant greenish/blue hue, much brighter than typical fluorescence. He was even more surprised to see the lamps glowed bright and dimmed, one by one, as Katie passed underneath. She was somehow energizing the neon gas to excite the phosphors lining the lights. It was breathtaking and spooky at the same time.
Stepping into Marion's bedroom, René found Katie’s purse at the foot of the bed. He grabbed it and turned to go but noticed a lumpy looking statue had fallen from a shelf. Instinctively he bent to pick it up.
“Whoa!” he said, feeling a jolt of electricity when he touched it. Assuming it was static electricity he tapped it again, to test for more shocks. There were no jolts, but he was surprised at how hot the statue was, as if it had been in an oven.
“Denise, what is the statue in there?” He asked as he met her at the doorway, pointing to the statue, not wanting to touch it.
“Oh, it’s the Goddess of Death. It's one of the oldest pieces Hearst has.”
--Tsegi Ruins, Chapter 10: Lempa Statue