"Remember, Hollis, we had a deal. I leave that weak, boring sister of ours and her precious Thomas alone and you help Pa produce me a violin that will set the music world on fire. That was our bargain, don't you even dream of backing out on it." I shook her off, shaking my head incredulously. "I gave my word. You will get exactly what you deserve."
Hollis has no idea at the time how prophetic his response will be.
The action opens when Hollis's dog Digger brings back a rotting piece of bone and flesh to chew on. Hollis makes a grisly discovery. The bone is from Eliza's skull. Digger leads him to a large tree in the bank of a creek where the rest of her remains have come to rest. Eliza's skeletal fingers still grasp a clump of ebony hair--Rachael's hair. Pa dies the day Hollis finds Eliza, but Hollis keeps the news from Rachael. He sets about making Rachael's fiddle, using some very fitting supplies at hand. (If you're familiar with The Red Violin, you'll have some idea of what those bits are.) Hollis presents Rachael with her fiddle, or violin as she calls it, and gets exactly what she deserves.
"Bone Music" is a great example of how much story can be packed into a short narrative. The characters are static but this story isn't about character development. Suter gives us just enough to understand the dominant traits of their personalities and their motivations. Rachael, for instance, is wicked all the way through. Her greed and ambition have consumed her and ultimately destroy her. "Bone Music" is akin to a very satisfying fairy tale.