Having pulled the gurgling corpse of the man out of the Red River, the coroner of McCurtain County discovered there were, folded up in the breast pockets of the dead man’s shirt, two distinct but very similar notes. Carefully created, laminated against the tribulations of the silty river, each began with an identical suicide note, listing out the man’s reasons for taking his own life.
While each of these was laboriously detailed, the coroner could only guess that the deceased had shot himself in the head in such a position, possibly at the edge of a bridge, where he had then fallen into the Red River. It seemed unfortunate that, judging by the amount of water inhaled, the shot had not killed him. But what made the hardened coroner of McCurtain County pause, was that each suicide note was appended with instructions. The left note detailed what to do with his body should it be found in Arkansas, the right with directions on how to proceed should his remains be found in Texas. Standing over the dead man, the living one wasn’t sure what to do with the corpse that had washed up on the shores in Oklahoma.