First of the Dan Sloane, Private Eye stories.
t to give it to them. I'd been rooked and they knew it, but the pressure was on. I tried to raise a stink, but it was hopeless, and finally the word came down: if I wanted out badly enough I could have a Dishonorable Discharge. I walked out of the Commandant's Office in Saigon and watched a Buddhist monk pour gasoline on himself and set himself on fire. I went back into the Commandant's office and talked some more. I finished my hitch at a desk in Germany.
I took my hand-to-hand combat training to Pinkerton while I was at Berkeley on the GI Bill. They used me for muscle while I finished my college, and let me do my required two years of investigating when I got out. With my license in hand I proceeded to starve for a year in a Northern California full of private eyes and impoverished kids. It was 1971 and the magic that was Berkeley was dead, along with the magic of most everything else.
I moved back to Austin and found some of it again. The kids were here, and it was a wide-open, all-night sort