It was a Tuesday night in November, 1962. Rain fell slow and steady in Manhattan, slanting hard on near-deserted sidewalks and streets pocked by the occasional twin circles of approaching headlamps. Taxis spawned out from Times Square like predatory bugs in search of new feeding grounds, and here and there a truck rolled heavily past sleeping skyscrapers where spotty clusters of bright windows indicated janitors were toiling late on nocturnal rounds. Nature had a conspiracy against Kyle Walker.
Tuesday was the night for his extension course at the university, and it had rained every Tuesday since the course began. Kyle Walker was 30, a civil engineer on the city payroll, and a man of ambition far above his present status. Tall, angular, a bit shaggy in his waterproof and fedora, he hunched awkwardly over the steering wheel of the eight-year-old sedan that was taking him home.