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It was a desolate place, but no more desolate than the rest of the Jornada. A single dune, anchored by a cluster of soapweed yucca, rose above the flat expanse of desert. While the workmen wrestled the stock tank off the pickup, the scientists began staking out positions in the sand, setting up chairs and umbrellas and laying out coolers. Off to one side, a volleyball net was erected. Beach Boys harmonies blared from a portable stereo. The leg of her cut-off jeans was warm and damp. She shifted to reverse, started speeding backward, then twisted toward me in her seat to look back over her shoulder. I was just pulling myself over the edge of the bank when suddenly a figure loomed up above me. I almost lost hold of the rope and gave a small, startled shriek, and then a flash of lightning showed that it was Michael. I had to grab onto Michael to keep from falling. I decided that any clues not already washed away would still be there in the morning. I was so exhausted that I barely managed to pull my clothes off and make it to the bed before I fell asleep. Their gardener has no idea how to get the lawn ready for an outdoor event.