The sun was just starting to turn the eastern horizon gray when Jim and I went through rousting everybody out. My guys were pretty well ready for it, though none of us were getting up with the alacrity we might have even a few years ago. Joints protested, backs stiffened. Men get old fast in this business.

Harold and his people, on the other hand, weren’t so sanguine about rising before the sun was up.

I shook Harold’s shoulder. He was pretty well buried under the blankets. He mumbled and tried to roll over. I tossed his covers and flicked on the bedside lamp. He flinched and squinted, trying to shield his eyes with his hand. He was wearing a wife-beater and his skivvies. “What the hell?” he mumbled. “What time is it?”

“It’s time to go,” I replied. “Get dressed.”