There was no one moving on the street when I came out of the house. That’s hardly unusual at three in the morning, but I had rather a greater sense of lonliness than normal that night. The bag over my shoulder felt heavy even though there was little in it; the weight was certainly imagined. I locked the front door and then reached into the bag to make sure that the package was still there and still whole. My hand brushed against the Colt as I pulled my hand out again, it’s cold steel body poking out slightly from the hand pocket inside the bag where I had hoped it would be easy to extract if necessity demanded.
I looked up and down the street, trying very hard to not look as though I were looking up and down the street, and then set off into the dark morning. There is something quite magical about that time of day, for me. It is as though the world is off-duty, and one can see it as it really is, not polluted by people or things. It is just quietly being, all alone, like a theatre without a show or audience.