Stan watched at the window. A black SUV turned the corner from the a state highway that passes east of the business district on Main Street and slowly maneuvers through the snow covered street. It stopped in front of Stan’s real estate office. Two men in heavy grey overcoats climbed out of the SUV and walked around the side of the building and up the steps.
They knocked on the door.
“Come in,” Stan called out. Stan wrestled into a heavy brown work jacket.
The two men entered. One was taller and the older of the two.
Stan held out his hands to be cuffed.
The two men looked at each other.
“We drove all night to get up here,” the taller man said. “But we have to at least ask some questions and investigate first.
“Would like to catch a nap before we drive back,” Stan said. “One of you could use the couch and I have a spare room with a bed. I sent my wife to her sister’s. I didn‘t want her to be around when this happens.”
“I think we’ll take you up on that nap,” the taller man said. We have to investigate first.
Stan dropped his hands
“Did you see a clinic here?” The taller man asked the shorter man.
“No,” the shorter man said. “No one practicing medicine without a license. I even interviewed a few people.”
“When?” the taller man said.
“After we take a nap… maybe,” the shorter man said. “At least that’s what my report will read.”
“What about the articles I wrote?” Stan said.
“As near as we can figure some disreputable person used your name,” the taller man said. “That kind of stuff happens all the time.”
“You look familiar,” Stan said the taller man.
“I’m a Federal Attorney,” the taller man said. “My name is Stanly Timmons.”
“I’m lucky,” Stan said. “That was a long time ago.”
“My name sake,” the taller man said to the shorter man.
“Lucky?” the shorter man said. “We had to pull all kinds of strings to get this assignment.”
“How’s your mom and dad doing,” Stan said. “Lost track of them when you folks moved away.”
“We moved to Seattle,” the taller man said. “That was on your advice. You told them it would be hard for me to get into college from the school up here.”
“You see them, tell them I said hello,” Stan said.
“I’ll surely do that,” the taller man said. “My family and I owe you a dept we can never repay.”
“Just doin’ what I was trained to do,” Stan said and smiled. He turned to the shorter man. “I’m certain I don’t recall you. Do I know you also? Are you from here?”
“No,” the shorter man said. “But my dad was here years ago. He was a Boy Scout.”
“Just returning a favor,” the taller man said.
Stan walked over to the window and pulled back the curtain. “You boys ain’t goin’ nowhere for a couple of days. Let me put on some coffee. Tell me about your dad,”
Stan said to the shorter man.
“Well that’s the real reason I’m here,” the shorter man said. “Dad passed away six months ago. He wanted me to give something to you?” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a Purple Heart. “You see, my dad was in Vietnam. A medic named Stan Carlson saved his life. He told me to find him and give him the medal.”
“I’m sorry to hear of your father’s passing,” Stan said as he looked sadly at the medal and rubbed it with his thumb. “There were so many that couldn’t be saved.”
“You saved my dad’s life twice. We just want to make sure more are saved,” the shorter man said. “There is duty and there is honor. Today we are choosing honor.”