Daniel Collum's quiet life as an antique shop owner is suddenly turned around when a photograph taken by a historical journalist is seen by a group of men who thought Collum dead the past thirty years.
Now on the run with Veronica Jenkins, the journalist who took the photo, Daniel Collum is torn between his knowledge of a cover-up in the assassination attempt on President Reagan, keeping Veronica and himself alive and a personal secret that just may turn him into the most feared man on Earth.
The Quarter Year Man is Eldon Callaway's first novel.
****Some very good news. A contact at one of the major studios has read the manuscript and is very positive about the story and the possibilities it may have in either movie or television format. We'll see what happens once the novel is on 'the shelf'.****
Available in paperback and eBook
CHAPTER EIGHT EXCERPT
Daniel had pulled his car up to the parking lot behind his shop, deciding to park the car on the street, just a building down from the lot itself. Taking only the acquired Glock, tucked in the crook of his back waistband, he made his way through the shadows of the street lamps to the back of the buildings facing Glassell Street. He stopped for only a moment to think over his choices. Deciding on the safest course, he took a circuitous route across the small side street, then back to Glassell. Crouched low, he inched himself up beside a silver Ford Focus Sedan which had seen better days. He took just a second to be sure the owner of the vehicle was not present in the car. The inside was strewn with trash, food, and soda cans, but no one was inside. Glad that no one was living in the car, he positioned himself with a good view to the front of his shop.
Yesterday’s Today looked as it should after closing. The shop windows were dark, and the old-style street lights on Glassell cast an almost warm embrace over the area. He lifted his finger to turn on the earpiece, before realizing he had tossed it onto the pavement near his home.
“Not the smartest move you have made so far, but it can’t be helped now.”
As it was, the mercenaries the Haig Men were using, probably did not have, or need them here. The shop wasn’t all that big, so it made sense, he consoled himself. He had seen no one taking positions outside his shop. That would mean they were all inside. Not an easy task to deal with. If it were him, he would probably have two men stationed near the front, and two in the back office. He would just have to assume there were four or five men to deal with, though he hoped he was wrong, and there would be fewer than that.
Easing himself back into the shadows of the building, Daniel went around to the back, entering the post office through the back door. The back room was separated from the rest of the post office by thick, dark glass walls and the single glass door. The walls were lined with various sized, postal boxes, all locked. A table with various supplies was set up near the back door, along with the familiar, blue mailbox.
Pulling the keys from his pocket, Daniel walked up to the row of medium-sized boxes and opened box 130. Daniel removed the few envelopes, sorting through them for Veronica’s message. Nothing. He looked at them again, all junk mail. Tossing the mail in the trash receptacle under the table, Daniel began pacing in the small room.
“No message. That might not be bad. Maybe she didn’t call before they closed.” Maybe Victor forgot to put the message in his box. “He is old after all.” Leaning against the table, his stomach suddenly felt sick. What if they got to her before she could get away?
Daniel took deliberate deep breaths for a few moments as he tried to think. Problem was, he kept picturing Veronica and what they might have done to her.
“Nothing I can do right now. Just go to the shop, get what I came for, and then I can figure out what to do. Maybe hole up somewhere and come back tomorrow. Talk to Victor.” Yeah, that seemed logical, though reckless.
His mind made up, he backtracked his way around to the rear of the buildings connected to his shop. Hugging the wall, he skirted around the plastic-molded trashcans, ending up by the back door to his shop. He stretched on tiptoes to get a view into his back office, from the window set high next to the back door.
Inside the darkened room, someone was sitting in the chair at his desk. With only the desk lamp on for illumination, the man sitting there was none other than Frank Thomas. Wow, he has not aged well at all, Daniel thought. The bastard even had the audacity to set up a takeout dinner on his desk. Currently, he was picking at the meal with his plastic fork, pushing ravioli from one side of the plate to the other.
Daniel was happy to see that Frank was the only one in there. That would mean there were only two or three men in the shop itself, if he was lucky. He thought about unlocking the back door and using good old Frank as leverage against any others, but he would have been noticed immediately when he tried to open the door.
“Think, think. There’s got to be another way to do this,” he whispered under his breath.
His eyes took in the area around him. A nearly empty parking lot stared back. Just three cars sat in random slots, the backs of shops boxing in the lot itself. The street where his own car was parked was dark, and lining the back walls were a parade of trashcans. Trashcans, window. Daniel closed his eyes for a moment and sighed, then turned his sights on the smaller window to the bathroom of his store.