Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Edgar waited for Joseph Capelli in the corner booth of the Tropical Hotel coffee shop as Marty had instructed him. It took Marty longer than he thought to find a “guy” in Manaus, and it was almost midnight before he had called back. He found a contact in Rio, who had a contact in Salvador, who had a contact in Manaus, which meant that Marty couldn’t really vouch for Capelli. Edgar would have to be careful.
He sipped the strong, sweet Brazilian coffee and skimmed the front page of a two-day-old New York Times — the only English language paper he could find — and watched the entrance to the coffee shop. He put the newspaper down as a deeply tanned man with dark wavy hair entered the coffee shop and looked toward the corner booth. He was medium height with a muscular build under a plain white cotton shirt. He looked to be in his mid-thirties. He stared at Edgar for just a moment before walking his way.
“You Trotter?” the man said when he reached the table.
“Have a seat,” Edgar said, motioning to the other bench in the booth.
“You got some identification?” Capelli said as he sat down in the booth.
Edgar took his wallet from his rear pocket and showed his Delaware driver’s license to the man. “You don’t sound local,” he said.
“I’m from New York, been here five years.”
“How’d you wind up in this dump?”
“It was time to lay low for a while,” Capelli said. “It don’t get much lower than this. Then I got married and had kids, so I guess I’ll be here for a while. It’s a nice place once you get used to it.”
“You speak the language?”
“You know your way around this place?”
“If I don’t know how to find something, I’ll know who to ask,” Capelli said.
“What do you know about the Amazonia Resort?”
“Fancy place,” Capelli said. “Built five or six years ago. Everything’s top quality. They’re having some kind of big deal out there this week.”
“You know anybody out there?”
“Yeah, I know a coupla guys. Why do you need somebody out there?”
“My boss wants me to watch a guy, but I can’t get in the place because of this meeting.”
“Just watch?” Capelli said.
“For now,” Edgar said.
“I’ll need two hundred U. S. a day for my guys and two hundred a day for me.”
“There’s more,” Edgar said.
“OK, what else?”
“Is there a back way into the place?”
“You could get in from the river,” Capelli said. “You’d have to walk through the jungle a bit, but you could get into the nature park.”
“Can you guide me in?”
“I could take you to the nature park, but you’d be on your own from there. I’m tryin’ to keep a low profile down here, and I have a feeling that what you’re up to may not be low profile.”
“Fair enough,” Edgar said. “The only other thing I need is a Glock 19.”
“Sounds like you want to do more than watch.”
“I believe in being prepared,” Edgar said.
They quickly agreed on a price for the services and the gun, and Edgar gave him five hundred dollars as a down payment. He also gave Capelli a photograph of Clark and a description of the woman who was traveling with him. “I just need to know what they’re doing out there.”
“We’ll let you know everything they do,” Capelli said.
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