The Chronicle

Disclaimer: Sentinel and its characters are the creative property of
Pet Fly Productions and Paramount. Highlander and its characters are
the property of Rysher. The characters are only borrowed and will be
returned. Questions, comments, are eagerly anticipated and greatly
appreciated. Please let me know whether you liked my story by emailing

The Chronicle
by Trish

"Come on man, just one test." Blair wheedled as he and Jim walked
through the park. 

"I thought the movie was the test," Jim said. Blair looked puzzled.
"You know, a how far can Jim dial his senses down in order to tune it
out; kind of test."

Blair laughed. "I told you I was sorry. I really didn't think any movie
could be that awful." Blair bounced around his tall friend. Jim tried
to hold back a smile. Blair reminded him of the little cartoon dog that
bounced around the big dog trying to get his attention.

//I wish I knew where he keeps all of that stored energy.// Jim
thought. "Slow down, Chief. I'll do one test," Jim told the young man.
He could almost see the ideas bouncing around in that curly head. "Only
one test." Jim repeated sternly.

"OK, OK, I get it," He shook his head at his reluctant subject. "Let me
think for a minute"

"This could get dangerous." Jim said just loudly enough for his Guide
to hear. He was rewarded with a glare from the younger man. Blair was
pacing back and forth in front of his partner. Jim watched the
expressions cross his Guide's face as he thought of a test, and just as
quickly discarded it. When Blair turned to look at him he knew he had
made a decision.

"We're going to do a hearing test tonight." Blair stated seriously.

Jim tried not to laugh as Blair shifted into what Jim called his mad
scientist mode. "Sure, Chief, lets give it a try. What do you want me
to listen for?" Jim asked.

"I want you to listen for heartbeats and breathing, trying to gauge
their distance from us." Blair said. Jim nodded his agreement. Blair
automatically slipped into Guide mode, lowering his voice and placing
his hand on his Sentinel's back to keep him from zoning as he focused
his hearing. "OK, Jim. Slow your breathing and reach out with your
hearing to find the heartbeats. Think of yourself as a compass and give
me the heading."

Jim tilted his head slightly to the side and focused outward. It took a
couple of seconds, but he found the first heartbeat. "Jogger heading
north east about fifty feet away."

"Great," Blair started bouncing. "Keep searching for others." 

Jim tracked four more people including a couple who had gotten very
carried away. He was heading for his second sweep when he heard a
sudden gasp for air and heartbeat kick in. A voice said, "I really hate
this part."

"Let's go, Chief." Jim said as he started running in the direction of
the voice.

"What did you hear?" Blair asked as he followed in the wake of the big
man, trying to keep up.

"I'm not sure." He opened up his sense of smell, piggybacking it to his
hearing. "I can smell blood though. Somebody is hurt." Jim answered. 

The two men raced through the park. "How much farther?" Blair gasped
just as Jim can to a halt in front of him. Blair crashed into his
partner's back. "Oomph! Next time, big guy, a little warning." Blair
looked around Jim to the victim on the ground. Blair paled when he saw
the man covered with blood. He was a bloody mess. Jim bent down to
check him out.

"Call an ambulance, Chief," Jim ordered, handing his cell phone to his
young partner. A bloody hand reached up.

"No ambulances, no doctors. Please." The stranger begged.

"Just hold still and let me check, then we can decide." Jim answered.
He rolled the stranger to his back. He opened his shirt intent on
determining how injured the man really was. Jim touched the edge of the
wound trying to use his sense of touch to determine the seriousness of
the wound. He quickly pulled his hand back. "What the hell was that?"
he exclaimed. He focused his sight on the wound and zoned on the sight
of tiny sparks along the edge of the now closing stab wound. 

Blair saw his partner still, and recognized the signs. Blair looked at
Jim's hands still resting of the victim's chest. The young man saw the
sparks. //Whoa, we've got trouble now.// Blair thought recognizing what
the stranger was. The Guide took his Sentinel's hands in his own. "Come
on, big guy, snap out of it. Just follow my voice back. I really need
your help here." The stranger watched warily, still unable to move his

Jim took a deep breath and his eyes focused on his guide. "What
happened, Chief?"

"I'll explain when we get home. We have to get this guy out of here."
Blair urged the big man to his feet. Jim looked around his eyes
settling on the stranger. He trusted his young partner but the Sentinel
had an uneasy feeling. He knew there was something important he should
remember but, for the life of him, could not access the memory. "Come
on, Jim, give me a hand here." Jim bent down to help his partner carry
the tall dark-haired man to the truck. They drove in silence to the
loft. The stranger had healed enough to provide assistance walking from
the elevator to the loft. 

They entered the loft helping the injured man into one of the kitchen
chairs. "I think some introductions are in order. I'm Blair Sandburg
and this is my partner, Jim Ellison. You are?" the young man asked.

"Duncan MacLeod." The dark-haired man responded. When the younger man
moved as if to shake hands, his big partner made sure he stayed out of
arms reach. Blair looked up at his friend. Jim just shook his head. The
younger man shrugged. 

"Would you like to get cleaned up?" Blair asked. "The bathroom is in
there. We'll bring you some sweats so you can change out those." Blair
gestured at MacLeod's clothing. 

MacLeod looked down at his bloodied and torn clothes and agreed. When
the bathroom door closed behind him Blair went into hyper-drive
searching through the bookshelves. Jim kept his eyes on his excited
partner and the rest of his attention on the current occupant of the

"What are you looking for?" Jim asked.

"There's a book I inherited. It explains everything." Blair said
absently. "Ah ha, I've got it." 

MacLeod walked out of the bathroom just in time to see the young man
bounce out of a cluttered room holding his prize aloft. As he moved
past MacLeod, Mac saw the imprint on the cover. Jim was alerted by
their strange guest's increase in respiration and racing heartbeat.
"Great Dawson, your people have screwed up again," Mac muttered under
his breath. Macleod's attention shifted to the big man who was staring
at him intently. 

Blair gained Jim's attention with a whisper. "Chill out, big guy. He's
not going to hurt me or anyone else." He placed his hand on the big
man's shoulder. "He's a good guy." Jim looked down at his partner and
smiled and slowly started to relax. "Jim I need to ask his permission
to tell you, are you OK with that?" He looked at his partner with
expectation shining in his eyes. "His secret is as dangerous as yours."
Blair said quietly to his Sentinel. Jim nodded his agreement. He made
sure the younger man stayed with in his protective reach. Blair turned
to the dark-haired man standing quietly beside to couch. 

"May I tell him who you are?" Blair asked.

Mac looked at him with disbelief. "What would you do if I said no?"

"Bury this book deep and show you the way out the door." Blair
answered. MacLeod could see the sincerity on the young man's face. He
looked over at the other man. "You agree to this?" The big man nodded.
MacLeod was amazed at the level of trust the two shared. He suddenly
missed the only person he had ever had so close a bond with, his Tessa.
He looked at Blair and nodded. "You can explain."

Blair opened the chronicle and began to read. "He is an Immortal. He
was born Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod in the Highlands of
Scotland in 1592." MacLeod paled and collapsed onto the couch.

//Damn, it's one of mine; Joe is going to have some tall explaining to
do.// Blair looked up in time to see the dark-haired man sit abruptly.
When he tried to move closer to check on him, his partner grabbed his
arm and held him in place. He looked up at Jim questioningly. The big
man just shook his head. Blair sighed, "OK, big guy, I won't move. Just
relax the grip." He looked at MacLeod. "Are you all right?" Blair asked
with concern coloring his voice.

"Just give me a minute, I knew you had a chronicle from the imprint on
the cover. It was just a shock to find out it was one of mine. Where
did you get it?" He asked.

"It was left to me in a round about way by my grandfather. My mom gave
it to me when I got my Masters degree. She said it was something my
grandfather had rescued from the book burning." 

Mac looked in the young man's blue eyes and briefly flashed to the
memory of a similar pair of blue eyes and face that was similar enough
that the two could be brothers. Mac sat back. He smiled lost in the
memory of a dark time grateful, that one had escaped. When he came back
to the present he said, "I'm glad Malachi escaped from the Warsaw
Ghetto. After I was killed, I lost track." He looked at Blair. "You
look a lot like him." 

Jim had been very quiet trying to take it all in. At first he was
skeptical but was slowly becoming convinced. Suddenly he remembered a
story he had been told by Inachca. A warning he had been given by the
Chopec Shaman. Blair looked over at his Sentinel and realized he had
zoned on the memory.

"Jim, wake up, man. This is not the time." Blair stood directly in
front of his partner and placed his hands on side of the big man's
face. "Come on, Jim, talk to me." Blair watched as awareness returned
to Jim's eyes. 

The scene was very familiar to MacLeod. The image connected with the
memory. //It looks like I'm not the only one with a secret.// Mac

"I'm OK, Chief," Jim reassured his worried guide. "I just remembered
something I was told by Inachca." Blair looked at his partner, worried
because he knew it was information he had gotten in Peru. "You are like
Lorca." Jim said accusingly. 

"Not really. Lorca thought he was a God. It was my pleasure to finally
prove him wrong."

"Who is Lorca?" Blair asked.

"Lorca was an Immortal. The first time I ran into him was in Peru in
eighteen thirty. My guide and I had gotten lost. Unfortunately, we were
found by the tribe Lorca had subjugated. He had kept the tribe totally
isolated. When he forced us into his village, he unknowingly brought in
a disease. He killed my guide and was preparing to execute me when the
villagers rose up against him when he couldn't stop the dying. They
buried him alive in a pit and covered it with a stone." MacLeod
shuddered with the memory. "In the confusion I escaped. I lost track of
how many times I died before I reached civilization. I ran into Lorca
again in Seacouver. He was up to his old tricks. He was killing young
pre-immortals and convincing them he was god when they revived. He sent
them out to kill me." Mac shook his head. "He didn't even teach them
the rules."

"Rules?" Jim asked.

"Yes, rules. Only fighting one on one. Holy ground is safe, no
immortals may fight there. Amongst others." Mac answered. "May I make a
phone call. I would like to have a friend of mine come over. He can
explain the chronicles better than I can."

"Sure, go ahead," Jim said. "The more, the merrier."

Mac dialed the phone. "Joe, yeah, I'm OK. I know you lost me." He
stopped and shook his head. "Listen, I need you to come to this
address, 852 Prospect. Be warned when you get here you will have a lot
of explaining to do." Duncan hung up the phone. "He will be here in a
few minutes." He looked closely at the two men. "How long have you
worked together?" He asked.

"Over three years." Blair answered.

"You do realize how lucky you both are, don't you?" he asked.

"What do you mean." Jim asked puzzled.

Mac laughed, "Do you know how rare it is for a Sentinel to find his
Guide?" Mac had hoped for a reaction and he got one. Both men paled and
glanced at each other. "Don't worry. I'm not going to be telling any
one. Not even Joe without your permission." Blair released the breath
he wasn't even aware of holding.

"How did you know?" Jim asked.

"I have only seen two Sentinel-Guide pairs in my four hundred years.
But I have seen a few dozen unbonded Sentinels." He answered the
question in the big man's eyes. "Yes." He nodded. "They were all
insane. They had no control, and their senses had driven them crazy."

Jim remembered when his senses had come back on line, before he met
Blair. He knew how close he had come to the edge of sanity. If it
hadn't been for a certain long-haired anthropologist, there would be a
Psych ward with his name on it, or a tombstone. Blair put a comforting
hand on Jim's back, gently rubbing out the tension. 

Jim knew the instant the younger man realized that MacLeod said he had
known other Sentinel-Guide pairs. Blair was almost bouncing in
excitement. "Way cool! You knew other Sentinels and Guides?" Jim could
almost see the questions trying to burst from his hyper Guide. "How
many years ago? Where were you when you met them? How long were they
together? Did they have any problems?"

"Chief, Chief." Jim tried to get Blair's attention. When he wasn't
successful, he reached around and covered his smaller friend's mouth
with his big hand. MacLeod was trying not to laugh. It had been a long
time since he had seen such exuberance. Blair looked up at Jim and gave
him a puzzled glare. "You're babbling, Darwin." 

Blair turned to MacLeod looking sheepish. "Sorry, I get a little
carried away sometimes." He apologized.

Jim gave a snort of laughter. "Only sometimes? Ha!"

* * *

Joe drove as quickly as he could, hated losing MacLeod. It always made
him feel inadequate knowing he couldn't keep up with his assigned
Immortal. He was lucky the two of them were friends. Otherwise he would
never know where the dark-haired Scot went. He was glad MacLeod
acknowledged the need for the Chronicles. The difficulty was in not
crossing the line. They were very careful, especially since Joe was put
on trial by the Watcher tribunal. He still couldn't believe how close
they came to an all out war. Joe pulled up in front of the building,
and went in. "Thank God there's an elevator. I really hate steps." As
the elevator doors closed, he saw what looked like a familiar face. 

"Damn," Simon exclaimed. "Oh, well. The stairs will be good for you."
Simon reached the top of the stairs as the elevator opened. He watched
the gray-haired man limp out of the elevator. 

Joe looked up at the tall black man in front of him. "Carl, what are
you doing here? Have you seen Mac yet?"

"I think you have me confused with someone else." Simon said calmly,
interrupting. "My name is Simon Banks." He knocked on the door. Joe
just stood confused.

* * *

Jim heard the two men before they reached the door. "Your friend is
here but we have a minor complication." Mac looked at him. "My captain
is out there with him." Blair shook his head; nothing was ever easy.

Jim opened the door. "Hey, Simon, come in." He looked past Simon at the
other man. "Joe, right? Come in. MacLeod is here." He gestured toward
the couch where Mac was seated.

Mac looked up as Simon walked through the door. He felt like his heart
had stopped. Where was the buzz to warn him another immortal was in
range, and how had Carl Robinson learned how to mask it?. Mac took a
closer look and realized that the tall black man, while looking exactly
like the man Macleod had known since nineteen twenty six, was mortal.

"Look, I don't want to interrupt. I just stopped by to pick up the
tickets for the Jags game this weekend." 

"Great, this means you get Daryl for the weekend." When Simon smiled
and nodded, the young man jumped up. "I'll get them." Blair went to
search for the promised tickets.

Joe walked over to the couch and sat next to MacLeod. "Mac, That isn't
that isn't Carl, is it?" Joe asked quietly, making sure his voice
wouldn't carry.

"No, it's not," Mac said softly to Joe.

Jim had been listening to the two men on the couch with part of his
attention filing the information away to ask questions later. He
decided to introduce the men to appease their curiosity. "Duncan
MacLeod and Joe Dawson, this is Simon Banks, my boss at the station."
He turned to Simon. "They are friends of Blair's from Seacouver."

Blair bounced back in the room. "Found them." He was holding the
tickets like trophies.

"Where were they this time, Sandburg?" Simon asked with a smile.

Blair gave Simon an embarrassed smile. "They were in the bottom of the
laundry hamper." He gave Jim a quick glance.

"You put tickets to the Jags game in the laundry hamper?" Jim asked in

Blair just looked at his partner and shrugged.

Jim tapped him on the back of the head. He shook his head. "Just don't
do it again, Chief, or you are going to be doing all of the laundry for
the rest of your life."

"OK, big guy, I got it. I promise it will never happen again." Blair
pledged with his hand over his heart. Simon watched the by-play with
tolerant amusement.

"I have to get going, guys. Nice to have met you." He nodded toward Mac
and Joe. He turned to Jim, "I'll see you tomorrow at the security
detail, right?"

"Sure, boss. We'll be there." Jim answered unhappily as he showed Simon
to the door.

"Try to stay out of trouble." was Simon's parting shot as the door

Jim heard MacLeod begin to harass Dawson. "How many of my chronicles
are missing, Joe?" 

Joe looked at MacLeod with a blank look. "What do you mean, missing?"

"I don't think I stuttered." He looked at Jim. "Detective, did I
stutter? Jim shook his head enjoying the show. "How many chronicles are
missing?" Mac said slowly. "You know, not in Watcher possession." Joe
quickly looked at the two men sitting at the table. Mac nodded. "They
know about me."

"How did they find out?" Joe asked trying to figure out a way to
implement some form of damage control.

Mac reached his hand out to Blair, who walked over and placed the
chronicle in the upturned hand. "Recognize this?" Mac asked holding the
book out to the red-faced watcher. Joe grabbed the chronicle out of the
immortal's hand and began to leaf through it.

Without thinking he asked, "Do you know what's in here?"

Mac just started to laugh. "Yeah, Joe. I lived it. Remember?" Joe
blushed and looked at Mac with an embarrassed grin. He looked at the
two men sitting at the table talking quietly to each other. 

"Who are they, Mac? Can they be trusted?" Joe asked.

"The taller one is Detective Jim Ellison and the younger one is his
partner Blair Sandburg. Sandburg is the one who had the chronicle."

"How did you meet them?"

"They found me in the park. I had just revived from being stabbed to

Joe's head swiveled back to look at Mac. "What!"

"Yeah, they noticed I was healing and got me out of there before anyone
else noticed."

"Well that explains how they found out. Now tell me why they helped

"Blair, the younger one, had the chronicle you are holding. He
inherited it from his grandfather. I think he had dismissed it as
fiction until he saw me, then he put two and two together." Duncan
answered. Joe sat back with a worried look on his face. Mac knew what
his watcher friend was worried about. "Don't worry, Joe. They aren't
going to tell anyone. They will keep what they know a secret."

"Are you sure, you know its not just your life you are trusting them
with." He tapped the cover of the chronicle.

"I'm sure." MacLeod said.

"They have decided to trust us." Jim explained to Blair. He had been
listening to the conversation between the Immortal and Watcher. Blair
smiled, knowing the alternative would have become very dangerous. He
wouldn't want to see a confrontation between his Sentinel and the

"Joe, do you feel like answering questions?" Mac had been watching the
barely restrained young man. The only thing keeping the kid from
rushing over and peppering Joe with questions was the big detective's
hand on his arm. When Joe nodded, Mac whispered. "You can let go of his
arm now, Ellison." Jim laughed and released his partner. Blair bounced
out of his seat and moved to stand in front of Joe.

He held out his hand. "Hello, Mr. Dawson, I know MacLeod told you who
we are so we don't need to do the introduction thing. Is there anything
I can get for you, like a cup of coffee or tea or maybe a beer? Blair
asked in a rush.

Joe was almost overwhelmed by the excitement radiating from the curious
young man. "A beer would be fine," Joe replied trying not to laugh. He
looked up and met the big detectives' eyes and saw the amusement and
affection toward the hyper young man. "Is he always like this?" Joe

"No, he's relatively quiet today."

Joe looked at him in disbelief. 

Blair hurried to the kitchen and looked in the fridge for the beer.
Questions tumbling around in his brain, he couldn't decide what to ask
first. He walked into the living room and sat on the floor in front of
the love seat keeping close to his Sentinel. He listened as Jim began
to ask questions. 

"How long have you been a Watcher?" Jim asked Dawson.

"Since Vietnam. I was saved by an Immortal. I had lost my legs to a
mine and Cord saved me." Jim saw a flash of pain on both men's faces at
the mention of the other Immortal. He knew this must be a barely healed
wound. "I was recruited while I was in the M.A.S.H. unit. Everyone
thought I was nuts, because I claimed to have been saved by a dead man.
I almost believed it myself until a man with a tattoo on his wrist told
me he believed and invited me to join him."

"Do all Immortals know their Watchers?" Blair asked. "The book I read
made it sound like it was supposed to be a secret."

"Most Immortals don't know about the Watchers. They wouldn't take the
news very well." Mac told them.

"How did you find out?" Jim asked.

"I found a chronicle when I was investigating a close friend's murder.
The chronicle led me to Joe's bookstore in Seacouver. He helped me find
the murderer, and we became friends over time." 

Blair and Jim could tell that the two men had a long and painful

The four men talked most of the night with Blair asking most of the
questions. Jim was vastly amused watching his friend in mad scientist
mode with two new specimens under his microscope. Jim called a halt to
the questions when he noticed it was two in the morning.

"Enough for tonight, Chief. I'm sure Joe and Duncan will be willing to
talk to you more tomorrow." He looked at the two men who nodded in

"We have the auction preview tomorrow but we could meet for lunch after
that." Duncan offered.

"Are you talking about the Whidby auction?" Blair asked.

"Yes." Joe answered.

"This is way cool. We are going to be there, too. We can meet you

"Don't forget we will be working, Chief." Jim reminded him. "We will be
there to help with security for the Auction," he explained.

The Watcher and Immortal left to get some sleep. They knew it was going
to be a long day, especially if Sandburg had anything to say about it.

* * *

"Come on, Jim. It won't be that bad." Blair tried to convince the big
man that the day was not going to be a total disaster. "What could go

Jim looked at him in disbelief. "You just had to say it, didn't you?"


"You just had to tempt fate. Now, with our luck, we'll have a crime
spree at the auction, and it will be all your fault." Jim stated with
mock seriousness.

Blair started giggling. "Its going to be a good day! Only one cup of
coffee and the sense of humor has surfaced." He jumped out of the way
as Jim took a swing at the back of his head. "Come on, Jim. Let's get
going so we can check out all of the stuff before everyone gets there."

* * *

Jim, Blair and half the crew from Major Crimes had been roped into the
auction security detail. There were definite drawbacks to having the
Mayor's attention. When the Mayor had been notified about some of the
high profile people invited to the auction, he wanted to make sure
nothing would happen to give the city of Cascade a bad name.

Blair was awestruck by the artifacts on display from the Whidby
collection. There was one piece in the collection that caught his
attention. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but it felt wrong.
It was a beautiful gold Aztec mask. He knew it would come to him
eventually. He nudged his partner in the ribs to get his attention.

"Jim, take a look at this," Blair said pointing out the mask. "Do you
notice anything odd about it?" 

"It looks fine to me, Chief," Jim told him, giving the mask a cursory

"Come on, Jim, really look at it. There is something wrong about it." 

"All right, Chief, I'll give it a shot." Jim opened up his senses and
scanned the mask. He couldn't see anything but he knew there had to be
something if his guide was so adamant. "I'd need to touch it, Chief."
As he spoke, he looked around for MacLeod and Joe. He caught a scent
that seemed familiar. He opened up his sense of smell to pinpoint it. 

As he scanned the crowd, he spotted Mac and Joe. He pointed them out to
Blair and continued searching for the elusive scent.

Blair waved, calling out to the two men. "Hey, Mac! Over here!"

Jim saw the owner of the strange scent just as the burly man spotted
MacLeod. The man turned ghost white and his heart began beating like a
trip-hammer. Jim looked back and forth between the two men and realized
the stranger was the one who had attacked MacLeod in the park. Jim
moved in to intercept the would-be killer. At first, the attacker was
so focused on MacLeod he didn't see Jim closing in on him. He suddenly
turned, feeling that he was being watched. He spotted Jim closing in on
him. He grabbed the closest person and put a knife to the young man's

"What the hell is going on?" Blair said as he was grabbed from behind. 

"Shut up, punk. You're my ticket out of here." 

Blair prepared to fight back until he felt the knife at his throat.
"Oh, man, this really sucks." //OK, Sandburg. Just go with the flow
until your Blessed Protector decides how you are going to get out of
this one.//

Jim came to halt when he saw his Guide with a knife to his throat.
MacLeod had seen the disturbance and faded into the background waiting
for a chance to help. Blair's attacker was completely focused on the
big detective; the gun was a definite attention getter. The man started
pulling Blair backwards out of the crowd. There were scattered screams
as the guests realized there was a hostage situation in their midst.

As he pulled Blair past the side of the building, he told Jim, "Put the
gun down or I'm going to cut his throat right here in front of you." 

Jim didn't waver. "Let him go and you will live. You're surrounded. You
know you can't get away." The big detectives' eyes grew cold. "I'm only
warn you once. If you hurt him you will die a slow and painful death."
Jim promised with ice in his voice. 

"No way, cop; if I let him go, I'm a dead man." 

The would be kidnapper felt something cold and sharp at the side of his
neck. He heard a voice behind him say, "If you don't let him go, I will
kill you myself. And I guarantee I will do a much better job than you

The man holding Blair turned his head slowly to look behind him. His
eyes traveled the length of the sword to the very angry face of the
tall dark-haired man holding it. His eyes rounded and his suddenly
nerveless fingers dropped the knife. Mac smiled and tapped him on the
cheek with the flat of the katana blade. He whispered, "I came back
just for you." The man gave a garbled cry and passed out.

Jim had grabbed his Guide as soon as the knife fell, pulling him out of
the way. "You OK, Chief?" He asked, lifting the young man's chin in
order to get a better look at his neck. There was a thin red line where
the knife had broken the skin. Jim almost zoned on the knowledge of how
close a call it had been.

"I'm all right, Jim. It doesn't even hurt. It's just a scratch." Jim
gave a sigh of relief and patted his friend on the cheek with a smile.
They watched as Rafe and Brown handcuffed and carried away the now
conscious man, reading him his rights as they went.

* * *

Jim shared the results of the interrogation with Blair and their new
friends at dinner that night. "His name is Martin James. He was one of
the people Whidby kept on retainer to do the leg work tracking down
artifacts. It looks like Mr. James got greedy. He was substituting
fakes in place of the real thing." He saw his partner grin. "You were
right, Chief, the mask was a fake."

"But why did he attack MacLeod?" Joe asked.

"One of the pieces he replaced was a fourteenth century claymore. He
knew MacLeod was one of the few people who would notice right away it
wasn't the real thing just by looking at it."

"I guess I shouldn't have written asking for more details," Mac said.

Jim nodded. "James would have been arrested for theft and fraud. He was
afraid Mac would bring down his whole house of cards. We have a
boatload of experts coming in to authenticate the remaining pieces in
the collection." 

The rest of the evening passed quickly, and before they knew it, it was
time for their visitors to leave. 

"You have a standing invitation to come down to Seacouver. The bar will
be open and the first round will be on the house." Joe told the

"Don't worry. You haven't seen the last of us," Blair said with a

"He will probably show up with a whole raft of questions for you to
answer," Jim laughed tosseling the young man's long hair.

They said their good-byes and the two men left for home. As Jim closed
the door, Blair asked, "So when are we going to Seacouver?"

"Is next month too soon?" Jim answered. "There's an exhibition baseball
game I just happen to have tickets for."

the end?