Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
Wes Walker woke up on a hotel mattress that left his back stiff after
a restless sleep. Though he was fifty, and there were months of not taking
care of himself, Walker knew he was fortunate for the five years Sally
was with him. Sally got him back into a gym four nights a week due to her
teaching an aerobics class at a Tulsa health club.
The second blessing for Sally entering his life was Sally had returned
self-discipline lost through the years of success. It was at a time he
drifted from a steady course of writing no less than twenty pages a day.
Now, Wes knew that, though he drifted into his habit of smoking and drinking,
the rehabilitation of a sluggish body hadn't been totally lost. Gazing
on his frame in a mirror, Walker knew there was still a robust definition
that shaped his being. Wes knew there was still hope of maintaining further
years of vitality if he disciplined himself. This morning there was no
desire for a cigarette and the night before he drank ice tea at dinner
in the hotel restaurant.
Before going to dinner he walked to a drug store and bought a hair-darkening
product. He switched the papers taken from the bank in Tulsa for a set
taken from the Texas bank. He left his key on the television; made certain
he wiped everything he touched and exited the hotel by a side exit so no
one would see him leave.
Thirty minutes later, Walker exited the city in a rental sedan under
the name of Samuel Burns. He drove west toward Dallas. Along with the papers
for multiple switching of identities, he now used ones to document a false
history of working for a New Orleans company selling pipeline equipment.
His gray hair was now black and he appeared ten years younger. Twenty miles
out of Paris, Texas, and now using the name Samuel Burns, Wes turned on
the car's air conditioning to seek relief from the day's overpowering humidity.
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