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I would like to render my heartfelt thanks to the numerous family, friends and customers who read, critiqued, and encouraged this endeavor. Also Don McGuire and the editorial staff of Brighton Publishing. Last, but not least, my loving wife, whose spelling and typing skills far surpass my own. Without all of you, it would only be a story untold.


The action in this book takes place in the late 1920s, using the historical spellings of place names and historical figures of that era.

Chapter One

As Buzz tossed his duffel bag on the seat across from the one he had chosen, the train’s whistle gave two short, high-pitched blasts. It lurched forward, pitching Buzz into his seat and raising a large, choking cloud of dust. He looked around the car that would be his domain for the next eighteen hours.

The train, which traveled from the seaport of Karachi to Peshawar, had probably been the gem of the rails fifty or sixty years ago when it was new, with its velvet seats, gold inlay, and teak framing. Now the seat had only a trace of faded glory and greeted any sudden movement with dust from the past. The carved teakwood bore the marks of carelessly tossed baggage and the initials of dozens of thoughtless, bored passengers of bygone years.

Across the aisle were two gentlemen in European dress, setting up a chess set. Two seats up the aisle was a large man with a small fez perched atop his rather plump head, arranging his plethora of packages tied with fuzzy-looking string, as though he were preparing for an expedition. Behind him was a compartment labeled with a sign in four different languages—none of which happened to be English. Buzz figured that must be the rest room. Toward the rear of the car were two older ladies wearing European clothing and the matching “we are better than thou” attitude.

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