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Hold onto your wallet, hold onto your hat.  Victor Carl is back in town.

“Yo Vic , I haven’t seen yous around lately.  Where the hell you been?”

Where indeed?

It’s been seven years since I last wrote about Victor.  I suppose in that period he did nothing but play solitaire at his desk, never winning, only waiting, waiting for something, anything to happen.  Waiting for me.  That’s the way of it for fictional characters put on the shelf for a rest.

Seeing him there, suspended in the prison of my own imagination, I suddenly felt sorry for him; he reminded me too much of myself.  So I sent him out into the world with a bag of money and a political mission.

Yes, that’s right, Victor Carl, of all people, has become a bagman.

You know what a bagman is.  He’s the scurvy errand boy for some fat-faced pol, a dark, malevolent figure in a shady fedora and long leather jacket who lugs his satchel full of black cash and dirty tricks through the city night with no good intent.

But Victor might be the least likely bagman imaginable.  A credentialed member of the bar, he is lank and weedy and as threatening as a chipmunk. And he never wears a hat.  Yet somehow, with bag in hand, Victor believes he has maybe found his calling. Maybe the raw game of politics will shower him with the riches he so richly deserves.  Maybe he is finally heading toward the heights.

Is Victor really onto something?  Will he be the barracuda in the cesspool of politics, or will he be the minnow?

Take a guess and then see how it plays out.  Just know that at one point Victor confesses to a beautiful woman with pale green eyes and a taste for murder, “My God, this political line is rougher than I ever imagined.”

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