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Time Management for Mercenaries


Chapter 01 ~ The Right Man
In the study of a fine old home—two walls lined with books, plank floor dark and
lustrous—sat a brawny strong-featured man, his dark hair streaked with gray. The
Southern California sun, barely restrained by filmy curtains, beat in through tall
windows as he spoke into the phone, his voice husky.
"Yes, I understand, and I hope you… No, no hard feelings. You have your… Well,
thank… thank you for your… No, my discretion is… Certainly not, Colonel."
As a larger man entered, he turned to glower in disgust before returning to the
phone.
"Absolutely. Under the circumstances you've pointed out… You've convinced…
No… No, I simply have to give up this project. Yes… yes… Right."
He hung up, leaning back and giving a huge sigh.
"Colonel Radabaugh again, Mister Cam?"
Dimarico turned weary eyes toward the doorway.
"Who else? Hard to get a word in edgewise."
"You say you're quitting?"
"To shut him up. I'll never quit—you know that."
"He chicken out?"
"Wouldn't touch this deal with a barge pole. Concerned for his reputation if it
became known he even talked to me… Yet he looked so good, Saipele—credentials and
in person, too." Dimarico’s voice hardened. "But it seems there's a difference between a
good man and the right man. And now… Now only one left, my friend. The least
impressive of the entire bunch, with a questionable record to boot."
"Maybe not-so-good record better. He don't have to always worry about his rep—
how he looks to other officers."
"I wonder…" Dimarico and the big man studied one another. "We're running so
short of time I'm ready to consider anyone with fewer than three heads. And I am not
going to drop it, regardless of what Radabaugh thinks he's talked me into."
"Look up the Marine?" Saipele Manaea sat before the desktop and started mousing.
After several clicks, he said, "Maybe at that range today."
"What times?"
"Starts ten-hundred."
Dimarico looked at the clock and came to a decision, energy returning in a rush.
"It's late but… let's move!"
"I was working. I should…"
"Only a clean shirt. Go, man!"
* * *
 
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