“Have you ever heard of the rock garou?” the young woman at Fort de Chartres asked me. Her enthusiasm for the matter startled me and set me on edge.
“The rock what?” I asked.
“Garou. Like loup garou. It’s French for werewolf,” she smiled at me, her high ponytail swinging wildly on the back of her head as she led me to a table where I could study the scrapbooks in her hands. “The rock garou is a local legend—an almost invincible creature, part man, part wolf, who’s supposedly been in these parts for years. There are all kinds of stories.”
I was trying to be polite, but I failed to see what the connection between my problems and her flight of fancy was.
“We finally had a folklorist from the University of Chicago come down and study it. I mean, it was that famous—the rock garou,” she set the books down and stood their pertly. “But he said it wasn’t ‘the rock garou’ at all. He gave us this book.” She pushed it across the table to me. “It’s full of his research on it. I thought you’d want to see it.”
“No,” I said. “I don’t think I have any interest in your werewolf at all.”
She raised one eyebrow at me, almost mocking. “Oh,” she said, “But I think you do. Because it wasn’t originally ‘the rock garou.’ Even back up in Canada, the creature was Deraque garou.”
If you did not cheer when you read the Deraque garou terrorizes the Illinois/Missouri countryside, I’m not even sure we can be friends.
I did not see THAT coming.