Jane Hawke woke in a cool dark and for a moment could not remember where she had gone to sleep, only that as always she was in a queen- or king-size bed and that her pistol lay under her pillow on which the head of a companion would have rested had she not been traveling alone. Diesel growl and friction drone of eighteen tires on asphalt reminded her that she was in a motel, near the interstate, and it was… Monday.

With a soft-green numerical glow, the bedside clock reported the bad but not uncommon news that it was 4:15 in the morning, too early for her to have gotten eight hours of sack time, too late to imagine that she might fall back to sleep.

She lay for a while, thinking about what had been lost. She promised herself to……..

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