Agent with a history, p.2
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       Agent with a History, p.2

           Guy S. Stanton III
 

  *****

  Rafferty and I were almost to my car when Sal came running up, waving a paper. “You’ve got to see this!” He thrust the paper into my hands and my eyes widened.

  “Who?” I asked, looking up shocked.

  “The homeless guy! Can you believe it?” Sal exclaimed.

  I couldn’t actually. I walked back into the phony precinct to where the homeless man sat at a desk with the sketch artist’s supplies laid out before him.

  I flipped the paper around and asked, still not quite believing it, “You drew this?”

  He ducked his head down a little in awkwardness and nodded before saying, “I used to be something of an artist in another life.”

  I flipped the paper back over and stared at it for a moment before looking back up at the homeless artist and addressing him, “I don’t know how life has let you down to be where you are now, but I don’t think the world of art is done with you, should you wish to try it again. Thank you for this!”

  His cheeks flushed a little red above his scraggly beard and he husked out a low, “Thank you”.

  I looked down at the picture he had drawn. The silhouette of a sleek black sedan formed the background that outlined the tall striding figure of a man in the foreground. He was a white male, deep tan and well over 6’ in height. He was dressed in a suit and was in the process of an easy stride forward that bespoke of a man confidently within his element. His eyes were shielded by a pair of dark aviator glasses of a simple classic design. His shoulders were broad and in general, if the picture was accurate, he was a big man. As impressive as his powerful athletic build was, what was most captivating about the man were the intangibles that seemed to leap off the page at me.

  I got several quick impressions. First was that this was a dangerous man. He had the poise that bespoke experience and a perceived intelligence that said he was quick on his feet, able to easily adapt to a new situation.

  He was, in a word, perhaps the most intimidating man I had ever seen, other than my father. Where had he gotten such a poised bearing?

  Military?

  CIA or something like it or was he closer to a soldier of fortune type? It was hard to say.

  He appeared to be a little of all of them and something else more ancient. If I had to say a word that encapsulated him as well as the picture seemed to, it was: warrior.

  I looked up at the homeless artist, “Earlier, when my fellow detectives questioned you they said that you didn’t remember most of the people. Why do you have such a vivid memory of this man?”

  He shrugged. “The others were like pigeons, seen one you’ve seen them all. But him, he had a real presence. You don’t see many people like that, not anymore.”

  He looked up at me speculatively and then added, “You have a strong presence too. Mind if I do a sketch?” he asked, as he reached for the sketch pad in front of him.

  I felt my face flush slightly at his offer and I quickly said, “No, no, I have to be going. Perhaps some other time, but I do appreciate the offer. Now, we are going to keep you in custody for a little while. It’s for your own protection. This case has gotten a lot bigger and I’m not quite sure what or who is involved yet and as you are our only witness you could be in a lot of danger.”

  He held up a hand. “Can I get some food and keep this sketch pad?”

  “Absolutely!”

  I turned to Sal, “On it boss,” he said.

  He turned to go, but I reached out and grasped him by the forearm quickly, “I’m sorry for what I said earlier.”

  He shrugged and a smile flashed out at me, “I’ve got thick skin, don’t worry about it. I’ll get that research for ya and see if any of the data bases comes up with anything on this guy in the sketch.”

  “Thanks,” I said, as I continued on to the car with Rafferty.

 
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