Barren River is set in the southern Kentucky cave country in 1962. Arnie Travers and Morgan Hargett are lifelong friends who have taken to exploring caverns in the region hoping to find one interesting enough to develop and exploit through public display. The story begins with the proceedings of a coroner's inquest into the death of Morgan who has become trapped in a cave that he and Arnie are exploring. He apparently has fallen into a pit inside the cave and died of his injuries. Arnie has found his way out and summoned help for Morgan, but too late. During the inquest Morgan's wife accuses Arnie of murdering Morgan and reveals that she and Arnie have had an affair and have planned to go away together. Arnie's testimony convinces the jury that the affair had ended and that he has held no grudge against Morgan. The coroner's jury is sent out to deliberate the verdict and most of the members who have known Morgan and Arnie for several years are ready to rule it an accident.
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May 18, 2008
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