The Case of the Moche Rolex

This is my 2011 NaNoWriMo project.

The Case of the Moche Rolex (Excerpt)

by T. Lee Harris

Taking his drink, Katzen navigated the smoky barroom and took possession of the most remote booth he could find. He slid into the shadows, settled against the aged cushion and took a sip of the scotch. He exhaled appreciatively. It was the real thing for once.

Someone at his elbow said, “Good evening, Major.

He glanced up into the slightly sunburned face of an obviously Anglo tourist-type standing by the table. Clean-cut. A little too clean-cut. Katzen said, “Sorry,man, you’ve got the wrong guy.”

“I don’t think so.” The man slid onto the seat opposite and Josh frowned. The man grinned. “Yep. You’re the Major, all right. A little thinner and scruffier than Fuller’s pics, but I’d know that scowl anywhere.”

Something flat and solid landed in Josh’s lap under the table. He knew before he looked what he’d see. He tossed it back a little harder than necessary and was gratified by a wince from his uninvited tablemate. “A full bird colonel. Should I be impressed? You people were supposed to leave me alone. That was part of the deal.”

“That was before one of your old pals turned up dead in an archaeological dig.”

“Herb Deutsch wasn’t a friend of mine. I never even met the man. He disappeared from the antiquities scene a long time ago.”

“And now we know where he went, don’t we?”

“Why does the Pentagon care?” Katzen sat back and took another sip of whiskey. “More to the point, why should I care why the Pentagon cares? I’m retired.”

“Come on, Durand. People like you never retire.”

“Katzen.”

“Huh?”

“The name is Joshua Katzen. Please use it.”

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