1980. The pack of indescribably negative circumstances mounted.
I had been on the run for 22 hours in a stolen Mercedes when night fell across the Midwest for a second time. From Denver to Seattle should have taken no more than a full day, but I was hardly halfway there because of the blizzard.
Montana: A desolate stretch of highway just north of Billings; a wild and unknown territory where not even a plow driver dared to brave the ice. I tossed a cigarette from the car, closed the window, and held tight to the steering wheel. High winds tailed the storm and the empty canyon bridges rippled like flying carpets.
It was at that very moment, several hours beyond the blinding snowstorm, when I felt the first inkling that something had gone hideously wrong with my plan.
I could tell by the temperature in the cabin that I was no longer traveling alone. There was a rustle, the burping noise of bare flesh sliding across new leather, and from the back seat I could hear the gasp of insidious lungs.
My MAC-10 machine pistol, a beast of a weapon, was lodged beneath the passenger seat. Behind the MAC was about 10 grand cash and 1 kilogram of cocaine, all of it stolen.
Out of nowhere a smell overtook me and I came dangerously close to hurling onto the instrument panel. I let down the windows and very suddenly reached for my gat. Someone had snuck into the back seat of my car. I raised the gun but stopped myself before turning it backward and firing 30 rounds into the seat of my own vehicle.
A hot palm wrapped my neck. Whoever was in the back seat had to make sure that I remained facing the forward. I heard the unmistakable sound of a double-action revolver being cocked. I was pretty sure that the barrel wasn’t being aimed at the road sign:
STEEP CLIFFS AHEAD