Harry Mars was pacing his dark, crowded Mission district apartment in quite an agitated state. Always short on cash, Mars seldom turned on the lights unless he was performing some particularly detailed task that required being able to actually see what he was doing -and he NEVER opened the curtains. He didn't need light. It gave too much away and it was better to be heard and not seen in this line of work.

Harry's work was all in his head, and he had the dense obstacle course of a floor plan memorized like a blind rat in a maze. If the travel agency downstairs had stayed open all night, the syncopated clomping of his worn heels on the bare hardwood floors above their ceiling would have driven them nuts. But Harry was a nighthawk, seldom stirring before the girls downstairs at El Deora Travel were calling it a day.

Tonight Mars was hard at work on a job that he didn't even want, but he was always a sucker for a desperate woman with blood on her hands. . .

77 El Deora
Oblique Americana: a verbis ad verbera