belong to?” I didn’t belong to a church, so it was soon apparent I wasn’t properly in the fold. Talbot must have wondered why I wasn’t and how the church could get me back. Or he may have suspected that I was a non-believer, out to criticize and to make the church look ridiculous. The Chief Seattle Club was open from eight to nine-thirty every morning but Saturday. On Sunday there was a mass. Talbot would show up right at eight most mornings and unlock the black iron grate in front of the door. There were usually a few Indians waiting. Talbot often called the Indians heathens. Heathens were unconverted. They hadn’t been baptized, and would go straight to hell (or maybe only purgatory) when they died. One day he told me that he had been at the Daybreak Star Indian Center the night before to accept an award for his mission work. He said it was very nice of them to do that but, “They’re all heathens, you know.”

My plan to establish a home in Pioneer Square worked as I had hoped. I got to know all the regulars at the Chief Seattle Club and, eventually, to photograph them. I worked there through the summer making portraits and talking to people about how they lived. I heard a lot about other missions — the Bread of Life (some called it the Dread of Life), the Union Gospel Mission, the Lutheran Compass Center, St. Martin de Porres, and the Matt Talbot Day Center. (Matt Talbot, no relation to Father Talbot, was an Irishman who had lived a debauched life, then stopped drinking and tried to get everyone else to stop before he died.) I met some people from the Pioneer Square Medical Clinic, the Harborview Hospital Detox Center, and the cheap hotels, because Talbot sometimes asked me to take an Indian to one of these places to “get them straightened out.”

Talbot used to read to me from a book called Ponder Slowly. (To myself, I called it Ponderously Slow.) He kept trying to get me to go on a spiritual retreat. I think he thought I was good nun potential: I was thirty-five years old and single. It was an odd, surreal experience inside this crummy, dark building early in the morning, the Indians