I used to work for the F.B.I., in the Portland office. It was my childhood dream to be the one who gets the bad guy.
My fiftieth birthday was in just three months. I had a wife and three children, still do, and the same job Id had since my graduation from Quantico. We were living just outside Portland. My oldest son, John jr., was in his third year at Washington. The twins were high school seniors at this time and my pride and joy, daddys little girls. Carolyn and I had celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary, thats the silver one I think, the previous Thursday night.
That warm July morning, I dressed for work as I had every other. Black socks and slacks, a pin striped white dress shirt, and a black jacket. I slipped on my loafers but was lost in the search for my tie. Coffee stained and still unwashed, I found it laying on the laundry room floor. I swore to myself to let Carolyn know about that. I walked into Johns empty room, knowing he owned some ties. It was just as he had left it, I guess, because Id never really gone in his room. I picked the red one he wore in his graduation pictures and slipped it over my head. I stepped into the bathroom, combed back my whitening hair, and left for the office.
The early morning sun shone in through the broken blinds that I noticed hadnt been replaced as I asked. I looked over the pile of paperwork awaiting me. Why the hell do I gotta do all these damn reports?
Actually, you dont, not today. I turned to see a man much like myself, but older and with his piece on. He was a little taller, but with the same sagging features and large belly of my body. Ive come here to give you something new. With that, I was handed a thick manila folder. It felt like it contained a video cassette. All you need is in there, including my card. This is top priority, Agent Caulsworth. You will report to me on the hour with your progress. The paperwork here will wait. The man turned and left. Outside, I heard a jet-copter quietly lift off. Funny I hadnt heard it land.
I poured out the contents of the folder, the federal statement, a case history, vid cassette, and a dossier. The card that fell to the floor read Federal Marshall Wilson R. Franklin. He was from the Boise office.
Must be real important for him to come all the way out here. Steve Menschke was my oldest friend at the office, and a fine agent. Id known him since our days at Quantico. An hours flight out here, even in that thing. He went on wh...