A Dish Served Cold
It’s said that the Eskimos …. Wait. That’s not politically correct any more. It’s said that the *Inuit* have twenty-seven words for snow.
Augustus Van Dorn didn’t know about that, but he knew how to curse in twenty-seven languages and he used all of them as he stood in the snow near the arctic circle, his string of profanities ending with “fucking Eskimos.”
He thought back to how this had all started.
* * *
In his line of work, you got to see places most people never see. He’d been to Paris, in the spring, sipping coffee on the Champs Elysee. He’d been to New Delhi during the festival of Diwali, where the candles and oil lamps and fireworks lit up the night like a hundred million lightning bugs. He was in Sydney on New Year’s Eve, 1999, as people rejoiced in the biggest party of the millennium. He’d also been to the depths of the Sahara Desert in the middle of summer, where you could literally fry an egg on the sand at mid-day, and to the slums of Mexico City, where life was worth less than nothing. Of course, in his line of work, he didn’t work for nothing.
A drop of poison in the coffee of a certain French government official. Fifty thousand Euros. The immolation of an problematical business owner from Noida. One hundred fifty thousand Swiss Francs. Orchestrating the “accidental” fall of a foreign diplomat from the top of the Sydney Opera House. Two hundred fifty thousand Australian dollars. Making an adventure-seeking CEO disappear from the face of the Earth during his one man off-road crossing of the Sahara? Well, that one had netted him a cool three million British Pounds. After his near fatal incident in Mexico, he had decided to give up the life.
Before he could close down his operations, though, he was contacted for one more job. It seemed some eco-friendly Eskimo with a law degree was interfering with a certain corporation’s desire to open up some territory in northern Alaska for mineral exploration. One million, American, to eliminate the problem.
Van Dorn did a cursory check and found out who was really behind the request. For the ex-politician who was trying to hire him, one million was pocket change. At the best of times, Van Dorn was apolitical. It was fairly standard in his line of work. Van Dorn wasn’t one of that politician’s true-believer flunkies and he didn’t like being low-balled. He sent a reply via coded e-mail from an untraceable source: “Insult me again and I’ll take a job for your opponent, free of charge.”
Ten minutes later, the revised offer came in: Five million dollars, American, in gold, the first million up front at the drop point of his choosing.
Van Dorn nodded. Okay. One more job before he left for good.
He decided to play it as an adventurer hunter after big game. He booked first class flights to Anchorage. Arriving in Anchorage with insufficient cold weather gear, he went to a hunting shop and played the wealthy but none too bright tourist adventurer and let the shop owner provide him with the top of the line rifle, handgun and gear for a trip deep into Alaska.
“Y’know, you really should come back in the summer time, Mister Lancaster” the shop owner said, using the alias Van Dorn was using on this job. The owner was a man by the name of Billy Ray Johnson. “I’ve been here for nigh on fifty years. I came just after Alaska became a state. I can tell you that the best hunting is in the summer. Sure, you might maybe find some caribou out there … maybe even a bear or two … but your odds would be a lot better six months from now. If you go missing out there, this time of year, ain’t no one gonna be able to go looking for you for months.”
Six months was out of the question. His client needed the target out of the way before the warmer weather made mineral exploration possible. Besides, that meant there would be no great investigation of his target’s unfortunate demise for months, either.
“Thank you for your concern,” Van Dorn replied, playing his part to the hilt. “The thing is, part of this is bragging rights. My friends have all bagged big game here in the summer. Think of the way I can top them when I tell them I bagged mine in the middle of an Alaskan winter. It is a lot colder than I’d thought it would be. It’s one thing to say twenty degrees below zero and minus forty with wind chill but it’s something else to actually experience it.”
Johnson shook his head. “It is, that. Well, I can’t say you weren’t warned. At least now you’re properly equipped.”
“Thanks for the information about the three fifty-seven. Down in New York, everyone told me I needed a three fifty-seven magnum in case a bear attacks.”
“Well,” Johnson said, “that’s New Yorkers for you, no offense.”
“You wanna hear a joke you can tell your New York friends the next time they tell you you need a pop gun like that for one of the big Alaskan grizzlies?”
Van Dorn avoided showing any signs of dislike for the man. Let him tell his joke. After all, he was a loose end that would be tied up on the way out of Alaska. “Sure,” he said with as much in-the-know conspiratorial joviality as he could muster.
Johnson smiled. “A greenhorn walks into a hunting store, goes up to the counter and says he needs a three fifty-seven magnum. The store owner looks at him and says, sure, he can sell him that gun but why does he need it. The greenhorn says he gonna go hiking in the back country and he needs it in case he’s attacked by a grizzly bear. The store owner says, ‘Grizzly bears, eh? I got other guns which ….” but the greenhorn interrupts him and demands the three fifty-seven magnum. The store owner realizes that there’s no arguing with a fool so he says, ‘Sure, I can sell you the three fifty-seven. Do you want me to file the front sights off for you?’ The greenhorn stops and asks, ‘Why would you file the front sights off?’ and the store owner says, ‘So that after you shoot the grizzly, it won’t hurt so much when he takes it away from you and shoves it up your ass.’ ”
Van Dorn had heard that one before but he laughed as if it were the funniest thing he’d heard in weeks. “Wow. That’s a good one. I’ll definitely tell that to the boys at the club when I get back.
Johnson chuckled as well. “You sure you don’t want to test fire the .50 caliber before you go? It’s got a helluva kick.”
“Nah,” Van Dorn replied. “I’ll fire off a few rounds when I’m out in the middle of nowhere. Don’t wanna wake up your neighbors down in Juneau, now, do I?”
Johnson laughed. “Nice one, Mister Lancaster. I might use that myself as a sales tactic.”
“Feel free,” Van Dorn replied. “It’s fair exchange for the advice you gave.”
Van Dorn went to his too-chilly hotel room to prepare his gear before a bush pilot took him into the wilderness near to his target the following day. He found that he although he didn’t need gloves in the room, his hands still had a chill in them. He put on his gloves as he examined his weapons, since he’d be wearing gloves when he had to use them. The rife was a very pretty Remington thirty ought six, with a Zeiss hunting scope and soft rounds that would bring down a caribou (the only thing it was legal to hunt this time of year) … or blow a hole in a man the size of a dinner plate. He’d used similar rifles early in his career and he’d be able to master the feel of this one with only a handful of practice shots. The pistol was the real beauty, though, and cost more than the rest of his gear put together.
It was a custom tooled piece, made by a man named Perry. It held only five rounds but, at fifty caliber and with soft-nosed ammunition, it was the only handgun he knew which actually could make a grizzly bear or polar bear think twice about its life choices without you having to hit a vital spot. And if you hit a vital spot, you would definitely be going home with the dead bear instead of the bear going home with a dead you. Now, Van Dorn would prefer to take out his target with his rifle, since only a fool relies on a handgun in a deadly confrontation unless absolutely necessary, but if he had to have a handgun as a backup, well … Dirty Harry might have warned the punk that a forty-four magnum would take his head off, but he was exaggerating. If Dirty Harry had been carrying the Perry, it wouldn’t have been an exaggeration.
Van Dorn slept very well with it under his pillow that night, although he’d needed two extra blankets to feel warm. He found he didn’t really hate the Sahara after all. Anything was better than the cold.
The following morning, when the clock showed six-thirty anno meridian and the thermometer showed negative twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit, he met the bush pilot at a small air strip outside of the Anchorage city limits. He noted with satisfaction that his snowmobile was already loaded into the cargo area of a cold-weather-modified Cessna. He saw skis instead of wheels on the place and noted that the air strip itself of made of hard packed snow and ice instead of asphalt. That made sense, since it mirrored the terrain in which the place would land later.
“Mister Lancaster?” asked a rangy man wearing a bright orange snow suit.
“Yeah,” Van Dorn replied. “Are you Watson?”
“Jack Watson, pilot extraordinaire of the air ship Victoria, at your service. You sure you want to do this? Have me drop you off at those coordinates? There ain’t nothing out there for five hundred miles except a small village of Inuit that hunt caribou for a living. They ain’t even got snowmobiles out there … just dogs.”
“I’m hunting caribou,” Van Dorn replied. “I have to go where the caribou are to do that.”
Watson shook his head. “Okay, pal. It’s your money. I’ve already done the pre-flight check. Let’s get you loaded and get going. I want to land there while it’s still light … and this time of year, that’s about a two hour window.”
Van Dorn stowed his gear where Watson indicated, then strapped himself into the second seat of Cessna.
“You’ve been in a Cessna before?” Watson asked as he climbed into the pilot seat.
“What?” Van Dorn asked.
“I said you’ve been in a Cessna before. You climbed into the second seat without me pointing it out to you.”
Van Dorn cursed himself silently for the mental slip, blaming it on the cold. “When I was young, I took flying lessons. I haven’t been in one of these in years but I guess I still know which seat is which.” The lie came easily. The truth was that his special military training included how to commandeer and fly small planes but that hardly fit in with the life of the playboy hunter, Alexander Lancaster.
“Ain’t nothing like it,” Watson was saying. “Flying up here is trickier because of the cold but the air’s also so much clearer, at least when it ain’t snowing. I used to fly for a big airline, once upon a time. I just got tired of pushing buttons, obeying voices in my ear to turn and ascend and descend, telling me when to take off and when to land, flying through fog and smog and smoke, and listening to passengers complaining about delays that weren’t my fault, every damned day. Now it’s just me, the ol’ Cessna, here, and the wide open sky.”
Van Dorn sat in his seat and shivered. He wished the pilot would shut up but he was worse than the stereotypical New York City cab driver. Last job, he said to himself silently. Last job. Then he could head off to his retirement spot … a little tropical island, off the tourist path … where he wouldn’t have to listen to inane chatter. “You ever think about going back? I hear airline pilots make great money.”
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? You see, it’s like this ….”
Van Dorn did his best to tune him out during the four hour flight, shivering in his seat and making only the minimum necessary comments to keep the pilot chatting and not talking about Van Dorn. He imagined that he’d enjoy killing Watson when this was all over. Strictly professional, of course. Watson would be another loose end. But he’d still enjoy it.
“Here we go,” Watson said. “This looks like the best landing area close to your coordinates. I didn’t see any caribou but it’s still kind of warm so they’re probably further north. I guess it’s that global warming they keep talking about, eh?”
Van Dorn noticed that the air temperature outside the plane was minus forty, the point at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales crossed on the thermometer. “Global warming?”
Watson grinned. “Yup. It’s usually closer to minus fifty this time of year. You caught us in a heat wave.” Before Van Dorn could reply, Watson said, “Hang on. Our ‘runway’ looks a little short so I’m gonna drop us in there kinda quick.”
“Kinda quick” felt like free fall to Van Dorn. The landing was bumpy … no hand tended air strip here; just what nature provided. Still, Watson got them down in one piece. Van Dorn had to admit that the man knew how to fly his plane.
Once they were on the ground, Watson was all business. He had Van Dorn’s gear unloaded and clear of the plane within twenty minutes, including the powerful snowmobile.
“I don’t know how you’re gonna sneak up on any caribou on that thing but that’s your lookout. Just remember, ol’ Victoria here does have a weight limit. You come back with more than two thousand pounds of trophies, you’ll have to leave either the trophies or the snowmobile behind. Understand?”
“I understand,” Van Dorn said.
“Okay, then.” Watson walked to the back of the plane, carrying a six foot spear-looking item. It was painted bright orange, like his snowsuit and it glittered faintly in the weak northern sunlight. He drove the pointed end into the ground, then waggles it around to make sure it would stay upright. At the upper end, he hit a button and a small but powerful green LED light began flashing. “Seven days from today, at noon, you be by this marker. I’ll land, wait until the sun sets, and then I’m gone. I’ll report you missing, back in Anchorage, but I won’t be coming back unless the rescue forces pay me to do so. Last chance. You staying?”
“I came up here to hunt,” Van Dorn said, “and that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Okay, then. I’ll let you drive away first, so the wind from Victoria’s engines don’t foul your gear. See you in a week, Mister Lancaster.”
“One week,” Van Dorn said. He checked the straps holding his gear to his snowmobile, checked his GPS location tracker, and headed north. A few minutes later, the Cessna flew over him, then circled back south and gradually disappeared. As it disappeared, so did “Mister Lancaster”. Van Dorn finally let all of the pretenses and mannerisms of his cover persona drop away, leaving only the stone cold killer. At the thought of cold, he huddled deeper into his parka.
After an hour, the sun began to set. For this first night, Van Dorn chose to acclimate to the terrain. He found a high, level spot and set camp. As the light faded, he set up a few targets (snowballs the size of his fist) one hundred paces from his tent. Just after sunset, he checked his rifle, loaded it and took aim. His first shot was slightly left, cutting a divot into the snowball but leaving it otherwise intact. The sights were fine but his heavy gloves had pushed the rifle perhaps one or two millimeters to the left as he pulled the trigger. He adjusted for the push and aimed again. The next three bullets were dead center, blowing apart the snowballs as they hit. It was a fine rifle. Next, he pulled out the Perry, checked it, loaded it, and walked toward the targets. When he was ten paces away, he aimed with his arm straight out and fired. The sound was nearly deafening in the quiet desolation of the arctic tundra. The kick was more than he expected and his first shot went high, missing the snowball completely. He braced the handgun with his second hand and fired again. The target vanished in a puff of snowflakes. So did the next one. He tried a one-handed shot again, with the gun held close to his body. The next snowball was hit off center and spun away as half of it was removed by the bullet. One more, and the last snowball disintegrated from the force of the fifty caliber bullet. Van Dorn nodded. Without a two handed grip, the weapon was dreadfully imprecise. However, against a large target at close range, such as a bear … or a man, it would suffice in an emergency. He walked back to his tent and reloaded both weapons. He was ready.
Dinner was a self-heating MRE ration which barely approached tepid in the freezing temperatures inside the tent. Van Dorn doubted it was meant for these conditions. He doubted anything made by men was meant for these conditions. Still, his target called this place home. For the first time, a glimmer of trepidation entered his consciousness. He had never felt so much at a disadvantage on a job. He pushed the feeling aside. He was a goddamn professional and his target was a civilian, an idiot who lived where no human being would ever live voluntarily. He would stalk his prey. He would kill his prey. And then he would be out of the game, once and for all.
He took out the file on his target. He’d read it all before but it was part of his routine to review the whole thing once more before he set off to finish the job. The man’s nickname was “Quinn”, a full blood Inuit. Van Dorn shook his head upon reading that name as he did when he first read it. “Quinn the Eskimo”? Really? He came from a village that didn’t even have a name. The government had a designation for it: A.V. 369. Quinn had apparently won a scholarship and left the village to attend college in Juneau. He went on to earn a law degree in environmental law, passed the bar exam (both Alaskan and Federal) and then returned to his village. When one of the big corporations determined that there might be valuable minerals (oil, natural gas, and possible gold) under the lands occupied by A.V. 369 per the federal treaties which put that land under Inuit control, the corporation’s lobbyists in D.C. had begun their campaign to have the laws governing the exploration and exploitation of mineral rights changed to allow them to bypass the Inuit “for the good of the country”. What they hadn’t counted on was an Inuit attorney showing up to the congressional hearings with a detailed and exhaustive brief which covered the rights of the Inuit, the history of the federal government breaking treaties and then apologizing for breaking them illegally, full and detailed environmental studies demonstrating how the corporation’s plans would jeopardize not only the native wildlife but the Inuit settlements for a thousand miles in every direction. Van Dorn could see why the corporation would want him silenced during the Alaskan winter while he was home with his clan, especially as a “hunting accident” by a hunter who fled the scene. After the death of Quinn the Eskimo, the corporation would be the one dancing for joy and re-start the process to appropriate the mineral wealth of the region.
Van Dorn memorized the face of his target, the location of the target’s house in the village, and the locations and numbers of the other Inuit in the village. He packed everything away and then settled in for the evening. Tomorrow, he go the village and case it.
The next morning, he woke up shivering in the dark. “I hate this fucking place.” He ate another barely warm MRE, then packed up his tent and gear. He drove slowly through the dark Alaskan morning, relying on starlight, moonlight, and the headlight of his snowmobile to avoid sharp dips and cracks in the permafrost. Eventually, the sun peeked over the horizon and the terrain lit up with a (figuratively) warm yellow light.
He came to a stop and checked his position. He found that he’d drifted a bit west of where he needed to be but the village was now less than fifty miles away. He’d ride until he was within ten miles and then hike in. As he was putting away the GPS, he noticed a movement just behind a slight rise. To his surprise, a single caribou walked out. He smiled. Perfect cover. He freed his rifle. Distantly, he was aware that the rifle in his hands made the cold in his bones disappear. He took a moment to let the adrenaline equalize in his body. Then, still sitting on the snowmobile, he took careful aim. He fired and the caribou stumbled for a half dozen steps, then dropped. It was a perfect shot through the heart. He drove the snowmobile over to the carcass. Behind the small rise, he noticed that there was a caribou calf. It had been hiding. Seeing him, it made a bleating sound and ran off.
Van Dorn debated using another bullet to save the calf a slow death without its mother, then shrugged. Life was hard. He shifted the gear on his snowmobile to make room for the dead caribou. One good thing about the cold … the body wouldn’t smell. Now Watson the pilot wouldn’t suspect a damned thing.
By the time he’d finished securing the caribou, the sun had already crossed half its arc. He decided to eat while it was light and then drive on in the darkness. His blood was up, now. Needlessly killing the oversized Bambi was just what he needed to put his mind back on the task. This must be why all those hicks who kill animals just for the sport of it get all fired up about hunting. He had more in common with the Inuit than those yahoos … at least for them, like him, it was business, life and death. Too bad for this particular Inuit, but that was what he got for going up against a corporation. He’d finish this tomorrow and then be at the pick up point in plenty of time.
The drive to his second campsite was uneventful and when he checked his GPS, he was exactly where he needed to be. He made camp and, this time, he accepted the MRE for what little warmth it offered. He went to sleep early and slept well.
The following morning, he woke up early. The shivering was gone. He’d finally acclimated to his environment. He was still cold but he no longer shivered … a good sign for his accuracy. He covered his hunters orange with a white camouflage cloak he’d brought with him on the plane to Alaska. (He didn’t want anyone asking why he would buy such a thing if he was just an ordinary hunter.) He shouldered his rife and made sure his handgun was easily available in case of surprises. He was in enemy territory, now. Instead of police or military, he’d have to avoid a village of Inuit. Well, that was fine. He was ready.
He checked his GPS and set off at a steady, ground-eating pace. Five hours later, he could see signs of the village. The sun was just beginning to rise. He dropped to the ground and ate a protein bar. Van Dorn loved technology. Even in the cold, the artificial ingredients and preservatives prevented the thing from freezing. He took out his binoculars and scanned the village.
“Fuck,” he whispered.
How could he have overlooked something so simple? All of the Inuit, every one, was wearing a parka with the hood up in the cold weather. He checked his bearings and oriented on the village. Okay, he’d do this the hard way. His target’s house … shack, really … would be to his right, the one furthest south in the village. He looked through his binoculars again and checked his orientation. Yes. He could see the house. Okay, then. He would wait for dark and then approach from the south. He’d take out everyone in that house and then make his escape.
Darkness came quickly. In an hour, the sun was just a suggestion in the far southwest. In another, it was gone. Van Dorn waited one more so that he would not show up as a silhouette against the sky when he approached.
He began walking to his target’s house. As he did so, his mind grew calm. His soul grew colder than the ice on which he trod. He was no longer concerned about screw ups or money or the cold or anything else. His attention had focused on the job, a laser seeking a single point. No distractions. No qualms. No fear.
Until he stepped on the dog, which yelped in pain as it woke from its sleep.
And that dog woke the other dogs.
And the howling began.
And the lights flickered on in a dozen houses, with flashlights searching in his direction.
He heard the Inuit shouting back and forth to each other in their own language, but he didn’t understand it. He could imagine, though.
[“Hey! Why are the dogs barking?”]
[“How the hell should I know?”]
[“You see any polar bears around, today?”]
[“No! How about you?”]
[“No! God damn it to hell, someone shut those fucking dogs up!”]
[“Everyone shut the hell up! I’ll go see what’s bothering the dogs!”]
One of the flashlights started moving closer. The dogs continued their barking. It had all gone so terribly wrong. Van Dorn thought for a second on his three choices. One, he could say screw it, run away, and retire without the final score. That was a bad idea, knowing who would be coming after him for failing to make the hit. Two, he could try to kill everyone in the village. Also a bad idea. He didn’t know exactly how many there were or how they were armed. Third was a bad idea, too, but it had a slight potential for him to both complete the job and live to tell the tale. He’d end up leaving a village full of loose ends, but he’d have to accept that.
“Hello?” he called into the darkness, using his Lancaster personality. “A little help, please?”
“Who’s there?” called a voice in English.
“Oh, thank God. My name’s Lancaster. I was out hunting and my snowmobile broke down. I saw your village. Can you help me?”
“Stay there,” the voice said. “We’ll come to you.”
Shortly, the light came closer and Van Dorn saw three men approach.
“Welcome to our village,” the first man said.
“Thank you,” Van Dorn said.
“Are you hurt?”
“No,” Van Dorn said. “Just very tired.”
“Come with us. We all need to get out of the night and the cold. That may not be simple fatigue. The early stages of frostbite resemble it..”
Van Dorn followed the three men. Too easy, he thought.
The men led him to a small house near the center of the village. He wondered if one of the men with him was his target. He put one hand into his parka’s pocket and held the revolver in anticipation.
“Here we are,” the man said.
One of the Inuit men opened the door first and entered, followed by the other. Neither had said a word since Van Dorn had allowed himself to be found. The man with the flashlight waved the light toward the door indicating Van Dorn was to go next. The hit man relaxed just a bit. He took his hand out of his pocket to hold the door frame with both hands, since he had seen the two men step down into the room on the other side of the door. And he put his hands on the door frame, something hit him on the back of the head and he fell into the room. He had time to notice that there were a dozen men in the room before everything went black.
When he came to, he had been stripped naked, with his hands bound behind his back. The fire in the center of the room made things tolerable, if just barely. He winced at his own pun. The dozen or so Inuit surrounding him were grim. Two of them held his guns. Three had spears pointed at him. Two by the door, the only means of escape, had clubs. The rest had knives.
“Welcome, Mister Van Dorn,” the first man said. With the man’s hood down, Van Dorn recognized him as the target.
“My name’s Lancaster,” Van Dorn said. “Alexander Lancaster.”
“Please, Mister Van Dorn. Haven’t you figured it out, yet? You’ve been set up.”
“Did you really think my little fight with the U.S. Congress was enough to warrant a five million dollar bounty on my head? That was just a way to provide a pretext for people with money to hire people like you to kill people like me. The truth is, your former employers don’t like the idea of a man such as yourself retiring, what with all you know about their affairs. When assassins outlive their usefulness, we … our village … provide a discreet service.”
“So this whole thing?”
“Designed to take an assassin out of his comfort zone so that he … or she … can be disposed of.”
“Not really. Tell me, if someone had tried to kill you in a major city, or on the little island you were going to go to, what would have happened?”
“I’d have seen them coming and killed them,” Van Dorn said, proud of his skill.
“Exactly. Instead, you were led out here in ‘the middle of nowhere’ as our employers like to call it. Our land, not yours. Our advantage.”
Van Dorn stood up straight. “So? Kill me already. Unless you want to torture me some more with tales of how I screwed up.”
“Our intention is not to torture you,” the man said. He said some words in his native language and all of the men said a phrase in the same language. When they were done, the man said, “My people have apologized to you for what we are about to do. It is … necessary.”
“Yes. It has always been our way to honor the animals we kill for our survival. With the destruction of so many animals and the change to our climate, our old ways no longer sustain us as they once did. Were it not for the business of which you are now the subject, our village would have had to move to one of the cities, become no more than another group of ‘Eskimos’ scraping by on what scraps the oil companies deign to leave for us.”
“So, how are you gonna do it? The rifle? The handgun?”
“No,” the man said. “It is a bad thing to spill blood in a home. We prefer a more natural death for you. It will not be very pleasant, I’m afraid, but it will be quick.”
* * *
They had subdued him and taken him outside. He found that his snowmobile had been located. The caribou had been taken away. They lashed him to the snowmobile as he had lashed the caribou to it, then covered him with a thick blanket which kept out the worst of the cold. They drove the snowmobile for perhaps three miles … it was so difficult to tell in the night-covered tundra. Then they untied him, took away his blanket and drove away.
Before they did so, he asked, “How are you gonna explain me being naked out here when I’m eventually found?”
“Oh, you won’t be found, Mister Van Dorn,” their leader said. “After you’re dead, well, our dogs need to eat, too. And we won’t squander good caribou on them when something else is available.”
Augustus Van Dorn knew how to curse in twenty-seven languages and he used all of them as he stood in the snow near the arctic circle, his string of profanities ending with “fucking Eskimos.”
Damn, it was cold.