Agent with a History (Chapter Six - Strung Up, page 1 of 4)

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Of course, the first person I had to run into when I entered the office was the Captain. Immediately I started to stumble over myself, in my hurry to apologize for sleeping in late, but he held up a hand.

"I'm just glad to see you rested, no apology needed. You'll want to check in with Sal and Rafferty. They found out something interesting about our mystery man Flint."

He patted me on the back and continued on down the hall. I watched him go, all the while choking on what needed to be said, but I just couldn't tell him. Somehow the words just didn't come out. How could they? He'd think I was joking.

Rafferty and Sal looked up at my approach and to my surprise neither mentioned my tardiness, which I was very grateful for. "So, what did you find out about our mystery man?" I asked, feeling like the worst sort of hypocrite and traitor there could be.

Sal swiveled around in his chair, "Well, not so much about the actual man. We've only been able to pull a few vague references to a man that goes by the name of Flint. Mostly third world countries. The name popped up in France in a big international scandal a couple of years back. The Chinese have a three million dollar bounty if captured alive and only a million if he's dead. Apparently somebody really wants to have the joy of killing him all to themselves, it would appear. Besides that juicy tid bit that's all we can find out about him."

Rafferty looking pleased as he stated with authority, "But I thought the name sounded familiar to me so I started trying to remember where I had heard it before. It is not a common name at all. Only seven are listed in the entire country and four of those are dead and the other three are in nursing homes. I kept thinking about it and then it clicked, Louis L'Amour."

I stared blankly at Rafferty and mimicked his outspread hand motion after a moment. "What?"

"You don't know him? Oh come on you too!" Rafferty exclaimed throwing his hands up in the air.

"Should I?"

"You bet you should. He's only the greatest western writer that ever lived!" He exclaimed explosively.

I smiled, "Well that explains why I've never heard of him. I'm not currently up on my western fiction reading for the month you might say."

Rafferty crossed his arms, looking offended. Sal broke in, "Well, anyway this author wrote a lot of books. A lot of books." He underscored dryly at the last by pointing at the multiple cardboard boxes on the table. I picked a book up out of a box.

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