In Joyce McDonald’s novel, “Swallowing Stones” the protagonist, Michael MacKenzie, continues to make bad choices which lead to trouble.
On Michael MacKenzie’s seventeenth birthday, he got a .45-70 Winchester rifle from his grandpa. Michael figured he’d try out his new gun. Michael and a friend, Joe Sadowski, decided to shoot the rifle on the Fourth of July. They had no idea of the repercussion that it would cause when they did. The bullet that they fired traveled four blocks over and hit a man named Charlie Ward in the head as he was fixing his roof.
Michael was on his way to his driving test at the D.M.V. when on the radio, it was broadcasted that Charlie Ward was mysteriously killed by a bullet from the sky on the Fourth of July. Michael finally realizes that he fired the shot that killed Charlie Ward. Michael panics and decides to hide his rifle in his back yard under a pile of wood.
When the police go around from door to door, interviewing people and asking if anyone had any firearms, they get to Michael’s house. When the police ask if they had any firearms, Michael’s dad volunteers the information that his son owns a .45-70 Winchester rifle. The police ask to see the rifle, but Michael makes up a story that it was stolen from his friends car, thus making his friend an accessory.
Jenna, Charlie Ward’s daughter, is hunting for her fathers killer, she has pictured him as a faceless killer, a cold hearted man, but she finally hears from the town gossip that the shot came from the MacKenzie house during a party. Soon the police begin to think that it was Michael who fired the shot and they search the property, and they use metal detectors to try and find the gun, but come up with only a shell casing from the rifle.
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