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Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Author’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, locations, businesses, organizations, events and incidents are either creations of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. All characters are fictional and any similarity to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

To Brent,

the man who stood by me,

and to Dorothy and Nora,

may you always be ready to take a stand.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13


- 1947 -

Holding the phone away from his ear, the man waited for the boss to stop shouting. He knew he’d blown it. He’d been too late. Finally, he got his chance. “I told you it isn’t here.” He took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. “I looked … I already looked everywhere!”

The man surveyed the once orderly room. He’d sliced up the mattress, dumped the desk’s contents on the floor, and broken the desk. The few items from the closet lay torn on the bed. Wanting to make sure there weren’t any hiding places, he’d even turned the empty table upside down.

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